As a teacher I am well versed in supporting young people choosing their GCSE options, their A Level options and University courses and Universities. I know the questions to ask. I tell students to consider their strengths and play to them, that they need to pick subjects that interest them and subjects that maybe they want to study at a higher level in the future.
Year Nine students will be picking GCSE options, all students take English, Maths and Science as core subjects. The schools then may also have their own requirements like a humanities or a language. Students may have the option to pick a BTEc course for example Health and Social Care or Public Services. Therefore it is important to talk to your teachers and seek their advice. It is also the time to try new subjects, subjects like Sociology.
Giving that advice when your pretty impartial is easy. I happily stand chatting to parents convincing them that my subject is worthy. That my subject will open their child’s eyes to the world around them. However this year the boot is definitely on the other foot. My biggest girl is choosing her options. I am looking at this from a parents view. It amazes me that we have reached this stage already. That my daughter is 14 and we are considering her future options. Where has my baby gone – that little millennium bundle that I bought home at the start of a new century.
In addition to helping Chloe make these decisions I am watching my little brother spread his wings. Sam will soon be heading up a motorway to start the next chapter of his life. I remember starting Uni like it was last week. Meeting Lee in our Halls or Residence some eighteen years ago. Now that is what my little brother is preparing for.
If your little bundle is making these choices my top tips are:
1. Talk to their teachers – they know you child and their strengths. Most schools will have a parents evening dedicated to talking about options. Chloe is talented at sport so GCSE PE is an obvious choice for her.
2. Keep options broad, it is good to have a range of subjects. Some top Universities like students to have gained the English Baccalaureate. This involves taking Geography or History and a language in addition to the core subjects. Schools are to be measured for this in the future by ofsted.
3. Make sure they enjoy the subjects they choose. It is important that child is committed to their subjects. Very few will be succesful if they do not enjoy the subject. That said it is important not to choose a subject because they like a specific teacher. They may not be in that teachers class or the teacher may move on. Likewise encourage them not to choose a subject because friends are.