As the end of term gets ever closer there are some important decisions to be made for pupils of all ages. Sixth formers will have to decide about university, year elevens will have to decide between sixth form or college and year nines will have to pick the GCSE subjects they study. Selecting GCSEs may seem like an easy choice with minimal consequences but it is actually a massive decision that could affect their entire future. Often GCSE subjects are continued to A-level and in many cases even on to University and there are a lot of GCSEs to choose from which makes it even harder.


Some subjects have to be taken at GCSE level, these are English, maths and science. However, these are only the ones mandated by the government some schools also have their own compulsory subjects. A religious school may make pupils take RE as a GCSE, some schools demand a foreign language is taken at GCSE and some specialist arts or technology schools will make pupils pick something in their specialism. The best way to check which subjects are compulsory is to check with the school, many have options evenings where parents can ask questions about GCSE selection.

Optional Subjects

GCSE’s are the first chance that pupils will ever get to pick subjects that they are interested in to study. Different schools offer a diverse range of subjects, this usually depends upon the staff available and the exam boards they use. Generally, the subjects available can be broken down into four categories arts, design and technology, humanities and modern foreign languages. After GCSE reforms pupils will only need to pick eight subjects to study.
While you cannot tell them what to do you should be advising them on the best ones to take. It is essential to study a broad range of GCSEs, so pick one from each category and fill in with anything else they enjoy. Having a broad education ensures they are not forced to focus on an area of school that they dislike and will help them later in life. However, if your child has clear plans for what they wish to do and study then you should help advise them on the best subjects for that career path. There are plenty of online guides that will explain which subjects help with certain careers.
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