Friday 20 December 2019

GCSEs Explained

At the end of Key Stage 3, students have the opportunity to choose their GCSE subjects. This can be a challenging time for children and they will need plenty of support from their family in order to help them choose wisely.
Family support is one 
of the most important factors in a child’s success. St Christopher's School in Letchworth have put together the following information for families who want to learn more about GCSEs, in order to provide the best support for their child.

mage courtesy of Stuart Miles at

First and foremost, you may be thinking ‘what exactly are GCSEs and what do they involve?’
Please read on to learn more…

A GCSE (or a General Certificate of Secondary Education) is a qualification normally taken by most UK students towards the end of year 11.
For most schools, English, maths and science are mandatory GCSEs. In addition to these three core subjects, students have to study three ‘foundation subjects’ such as citizenship, computing and PE. Then children get to choose one subject from each of the four ‘entitlement areas’ which include the arts (including art and design, dance, drama, and media arts), design and technology, humanities (history and geography) and modern foreign languages. This means that most pupils will take at least seven GCSEs in total.

Now you have a basic understanding of GCSEs and what subjects they include, here is some advice on how best to support your child when the time comes to choose their subjects…

  • ·         Deciding which GCSEs to choose involves a number of factors, such as your child’s interests, which optional subjects their school allows and your child’s future plans.

  • ·         It is a good idea to talk about what they wish to do after school, such as university or a particular career interest. These kinds of conversations will prompt your child to think about their academic strengths and how they could benefit their future.

  • ·         If your child does have a particular career interest, you could research the qualifications needed in order to secure a role in that industry. However, it’s also worth encouraging them to select a variety of subjects that will allow them to explore and develop a range of skills. In doing so, they are keeping their options open in case they change their mind about their career later on.

  • ·         The best thing you can do for your child when they are choosing their GCSE’s is help them to collect as much information as possible. Relevant information will help to make your child’s decision making as stress free as possible.

This is a collaborative post. 

1 comment:

  1. It was so hard for my teen to decide on what GCSE's to take. We found the perfect combination then she only got to do half of them as the classes she wanted were over filled. Ugh! My youngest has already chosen what she wants to do and she still has a year or so before she has to choose them. lol


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