Which GCSE?!

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Ditzi
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Which GCSE?!

Post by Ditzi » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:45 am

Hi all,

Dd is currently in year 9 and looking at her GCSE options. Her plan is to apply for the BTEC course at EDA at age 16, even though she is still considering A levels, but heavily leaning towards the 2 year BTEC course. She was thinking of choosing drama, dance, history and philosophy&ethics, but DH thinks she’s doubling up on dance and drama, as she’s doing them outside of school, twice a week, at drama school. His argument is that she should keep her options open, and choose other subjects instead of dance and/or drama,(which she understands), but she’s worried that this will put her at a disadvantage when applying for drama school post 18, plus she thinks she will really enjoy these subjects, and struggling to find other subjects that she would enjoy. She is not keen on languages, geography or triple science (she chose double science). She is doing well at school, has very good reports and she is very capable, she is hard working, mature and conscientious, and she is predicted good GCSE grades. I have been following the auditions forum, so my understanding is that to apply for drama schools English and Maths are the subjects that matter, and The Btec, A level, etc, but most importantly the audition, is that right? I would be interested to know what GCSE subjects have other DC’s chosen and people’s opinions. Thank you very much.
Last edited by Ditzi on Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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riverdancefan
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Re: Which GCSE?!

Post by riverdancefan » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:11 am

Hi Ditzi,
In my experience and only speaking for DS's school , the level of dance and drama was nowhere near or anything like his experience of training outside school. I wouldn't even call it dance , I would call it choreographed movement. Remember there are pretty much what you would call non-dancers in the GCSE dance groups. My DS did the dance GCSE, and he actually quite enjoyed the camaraderie and the opportunity to choreograph his piece. Plus he was in every other piece lifting every single girl so he got strong :lol: , but it didn't push him really.
He did not do drama as he was happy with his classes out of school. Plus unfortunately in his school it was an option chosen by some of those who thought they could do nothing but arse about in the classes.
He did music which he felt pushed him more, was tougher and he got much more from it. Lots of relevant experience for his EDA course now.A good choice.
He then did the usual,history and geography, which he loved.
He is now at EDA after a year of a levels and being very unhappy.
I would say let her choose what she wants to do and if that isn't dance or drama, it's not going to give her any disadvantage when auditioning for college, as long as she has a good standard of training outside school, that's what will get her through.
"Tall and proud my mother taught me, this is how we dance" - RIVERDANCE

Ditzi
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Re: Which GCSE?!

Post by Ditzi » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:03 pm

Hi riverdancefan,

Thank you for reply, your ds’s dance and drama at school sound very similar to dd’s. This is exactly what we thought, and heard from other students who are doing them, that unfortunately they are not great, and like you say, some people choose them thinking it’s an easy option, which is something we haven’t considered, great point! She often mentioned that about drama, which she’s been doing since year eight. She finds it incredibly frustrating and off putting, as she’s so dedicated and always gives it 100%. She was thinking about music but she doesn’t play an instrument, and wasn’t sure if she can do it, she is going to find out more from her teacher today.

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Re: Which GCSE?!

Post by Lakeviewp » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:43 pm

Ditzi wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:03 pm
Hi riverdancefan,

Thank you for reply, your ds’s dance and drama at school sound very similar to dd’s. This is exactly what we thought, and heard from other students who are doing them, that unfortunately they are not great, and like you say, some people choose them thinking it’s an easy option, which is something we haven’t considered, great point! She often mentioned that about drama, which she’s been doing since year eight. She finds it incredibly frustrating and off putting, as she’s so dedicated and always gives it 100%. She was thinking about music but she doesn’t play an instrument, and wasn’t sure if she can do it, she is going to find out more from her teacher today.
Our DS didn't take GCSE drama particularly for that reason (not wanting to spend two years frustrated with the rest of the class messing about). He did music. Whilst many do play instruments, it is possible to have your voice as the 'instrument' for the performing parts of the course. Even though my DS plays the tuba he opted to sing at GCSE rather than play. And it's never too late to learn an instrument! (Although finding the time may be more of a problem!) Our elder DS didn't play an instrument but they were in a school where the music department is the place to be and when his younger brother joined he realised he had missed out. So in the first year of sixth form he took up the trumpet. He joined the school orchestra a week later (as long as you can play one note in tune you're in!) and took grade 5 and passed it two years later. So I personally would recommend music as the GCSE option. It will teach her more that she will use later in life, than maybe dance or drama that she is already doing elsewhere. (Obviously if she wasn't doing it elsewhere the answer would be different!) Good luck with the decision! The time goes so quickly. I still remember our DS trying to choose between history and geography. Fortunately he picked the right one for him in the end.

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Re: Which GCSE?!

Post by islandofsodor » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:31 pm

My daughter went to a full time vocational school from the age of 11 and they didn't even offer GCSE dance as they said the standard was too low. A lot did choose to do drama but its certainly not necessary.

Dd did GCSE music, Grade 8 LAMDA and Intermediate ballet, tap and Modern and had 3 offers of full time post 16 places. She had a choice between triple science or drama and chose triple science as she felt it gave her more options. ONe thing to take not or is that the new GCSE drama syllabus is a lot more academic, less practical.

Ds is doing Btec Dance at school but only because for him its a Get Out of PE option. He isn't a dancer like dd is (started jazz and tap lessons 18 months ago)
Last edited by islandofsodor on Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ditzi
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Re: Which GCSE?!

Post by Ditzi » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:07 pm

Brilliant points to consider, thanks Lakeviewp and islandofsodor! I’ll show her your comments, hopefully they will make her decision easier :D

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Re: Which GCSE?!

Post by amo185 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:08 pm

My DD will start at EDA in September (can't wait!) and is currently doing History, German, Drama and Music along with the sciences etc. Drama is practically all theory - although thanks to the suggestions on this forum they are going to see Jamie and using that for the theatre revue part which has livened up the course. Music is a great option - DD is using voice although could have used piano - and I think it could help a little in the future. She's also doing Grade 5 theory. Goodness knows where German will ever fit in! And there's so much to learn off by heart for history now - but DD is enjoying it. She took RE last year. I also wanted her to get some traditional qualifications under her belt if going off to do a BTEC rather than A levels. She does plenty of Dance outside of school at a high vocational level, so dance was never on our list for the reasons others have given. Good luck with your chosen subjects - sadly it's often down to the teacher as to whether they embrace or regret their choices!

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Re: Which GCSE?!

Post by Ditzi » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:19 pm

Brilliant, thanks amo185! We managed to talk to the head of music at parents evening last night, and he said she’d be ok to take it, providing she’s prepared to work at it, as our concern was that she doesn’t play an instrument or has much musical knowledge. She played acoustic guitar up to Year 4 (I think), but had to give it up for financial reasons. I think she would enjoy it, she likes a challenge and I’m sure she could pick it up, if she wanted to, it just depends if she feels confident enough to take it knowing that most, if not all students will have a head start because of that. I think she realised that drama is not going to be as good as she was hoping to because of the girls that have already put it down as an option, for totally the wrong reasons. She thinks that won’t allow her to fully emerge herself into it for fear of being judged. She is now reconsidering geography, and looking at business studies. She has 2 more weeks to decide, and I think we are making progress. #-o
Good luck to your dd for September, my dd is going to to their one day summer school in August, which she’s very excited about 😊
Last edited by Ditzi on Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Ditzi
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Re: Which GCSE?!

Post by Ditzi » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:22 pm

riverdancefan wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:11 am
Hi Ditzi,
In my experience and only speaking for DS's school , the level of dance and drama was nowhere near or anything like his experience of training outside school. I wouldn't even call it dance , I would call it choreographed movement. Remember there are pretty much what you would call non-dancers in the GCSE dance groups. My DS did the dance GCSE, and he actually quite enjoyed the camaraderie and the opportunity to choreograph his piece. Plus he was in every other piece lifting every single girl so he got strong :lol: , but it didn't push him really.
He did not do drama as he was happy with his classes out of school. Plus unfortunately in his school it was an option chosen by some of those who thought they could do nothing but arse about in the classes.
He did music which he felt pushed him more, was tougher and he got much more from it. Lots of relevant experience for his EDA course now.A good choice.
He then did the usual,history and geography, which he loved.
He is now at EDA after a year of a levels and being very unhappy.
I would say let her choose what she wants to do and if that isn't dance or drama, it's not going to give her any disadvantage when auditioning for college, as long as she has a good standard of training outside school, that's what will get her through.
I think we know who your ds is, does he help with the weekend school on Sundays? :D

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riverdancefan
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Re: Which GCSE?!

Post by riverdancefan » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:56 pm

Ditzi wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:22 pm
riverdancefan wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:11 am
Hi Ditzi,
In my experience and only speaking for DS's school , the level of dance and drama was nowhere near or anything like his experience of training outside school. I wouldn't even call it dance , I would call it choreographed movement. Remember there are pretty much what you would call non-dancers in the GCSE dance groups. My DS did the dance GCSE, and he actually quite enjoyed the camaraderie and the opportunity to choreograph his piece. Plus he was in every other piece lifting every single girl so he got strong :lol: , but it didn't push him really.
He did not do drama as he was happy with his classes out of school. Plus unfortunately in his school it was an option chosen by some of those who thought they could do nothing but arse about in the classes.
He did music which he felt pushed him more, was tougher and he got much more from it. Lots of relevant experience for his EDA course now.A good choice.
He then did the usual,history and geography, which he loved.
He is now at EDA after a year of a levels and being very unhappy.
I would say let her choose what she wants to do and if that isn't dance or drama, it's not going to give her any disadvantage when auditioning for college, as long as she has a good standard of training outside school, that's what will get her through.
I think we know who your ds is, does he help with the weekend school on Sundays? :D
Yes he does :D
"Tall and proud my mother taught me, this is how we dance" - RIVERDANCE

Ditzi
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Re: Which GCSE?!

Post by Ditzi » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:08 pm

riverdancefan wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:56 pm
Ditzi wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:22 pm
riverdancefan wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:11 am
Hi Ditzi,
In my experience and only speaking for DS's school , the level of dance and drama was nowhere near or anything like his experience of training outside school. I wouldn't even call it dance , I would call it choreographed movement. Remember there are pretty much what you would call non-dancers in the GCSE dance groups. My DS did the dance GCSE, and he actually quite enjoyed the camaraderie and the opportunity to choreograph his piece. Plus he was in every other piece lifting every single girl so he got strong :lol: , but it didn't push him really.
He did not do drama as he was happy with his classes out of school. Plus unfortunately in his school it was an option chosen by some of those who thought they could do nothing but arse about in the classes.
He did music which he felt pushed him more, was tougher and he got much more from it. Lots of relevant experience for his EDA course now.A good choice.
He then did the usual,history and geography, which he loved.
He is now at EDA after a year of a levels and being very unhappy.
I would say let her choose what she wants to do and if that isn't dance or drama, it's not going to give her any disadvantage when auditioning for college, as long as she has a good standard of training outside school, that's what will get her through.
I think we know who your ds is, does he help with the weekend school on Sundays? :D
Yes he does :D
Oh brilliant, he sometimes helps with dd’s team, she mentioned his name a few times, small world :D

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