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GCSE's and UK Education

GCSE's and UK Education

Old Mar 15th 2010, 9:31 pm
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Default GCSE's and UK Education

I'm just wondering whether the Australian education is as mad as ours in the UK?

We have just taken 12 kids through a 2 WEEK course called 'Wider Key Skills' where students learn how to develop a number of skills in a variety of areas such as orienteering, climbing and leadership and a touch on first aid. Apart from writing down what they have learned, in some cases very little, there is no exam or assignment to complete. They receive 2 GCSE's for this!!
Out of the 12 students only 8 successfully managed to build and float a model raft made out of table tennis balls and other small floating objects. They all passed because thay all learned from their mistakes!!
8 of my other students have completed a BTEC course and will receive 4 GCSE's for it - they will probably not pass any other GCSE's because they struggle badly with learning, remembering what they might have learned and simply writing down information.

I wonder whether the Australian system is as demanding and consistent as ours?
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Old Mar 15th 2010, 9:42 pm
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Default Re: GCSE's and UK Education

Originally Posted by sportsendurance View Post
I'm just wondering whether the Australian education is as mad as ours in the UK?

We have just taken 12 kids through a 2 WEEK course called 'Wider Key Skills' where students learn how to develop a number of skills in a variety of areas such as orienteering, climbing and leadership and a touch on first aid.
goodness....


my kids learn all that sort of thing in Oz through their outdoor lifestyle.
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Old Mar 15th 2010, 9:51 pm
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Default Re: GCSE's and UK Education

Then send them to the UK for two weeks and they will pick up 2 GCSE's!

Honestly the whole system is a joke - don't be taken in by league tables, GCSE grades etc etc

The sad thing is my BTEC kids have learned very little other than how to copy from the internet and answering simple questions such as 'Describe the sports provision in you area'
2 weeks down the line and they won't be able to answer it again unless you explain what 'provision' means!!
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Old Mar 16th 2010, 2:16 am
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Default Re: GCSE's and UK Education

Originally Posted by sportsendurance View Post
Then send them to the UK for two weeks and they will pick up 2 GCSE's!
And now the McDonalds GCSE is being proposed

Originally Posted by sportsendurance View Post
Honestly the whole system is a joke - don't be taken in by league tables, GCSE grades etc etc

The sad thing is my BTEC kids have learned very little other than how to copy from the internet and answering simple questions such as 'Describe the sports provision in you area'
2 weeks down the line and they won't be able to answer it again unless you explain what 'provision' means!!
And there I was thinking that GCSE for PE was becoming more like human biology. My eldest was doing homework for it over the weekend to do with spinal anatomy - it looked quite demanding.
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Old Mar 16th 2010, 7:25 am
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Default Re: GCSE's and UK Education

Originally Posted by sportsendurance View Post
I'm just wondering whether the Australian education is as mad as ours in the UK?

We have just taken 12 kids through a 2 WEEK course called 'Wider Key Skills' where students learn how to develop a number of skills in a variety of areas such as orienteering, climbing and leadership and a touch on first aid. Apart from writing down what they have learned, in some cases very little, there is no exam or assignment to complete. They receive 2 GCSE's for this!!
Out of the 12 students only 8 successfully managed to build and float a model raft made out of table tennis balls and other small floating objects. They all passed because thay all learned from their mistakes!!
8 of my other students have completed a BTEC course and will receive 4 GCSE's for it - they will probably not pass any other GCSE's because they struggle badly with learning, remembering what they might have learned and simply writing down information.

I wonder whether the Australian system is as demanding and consistent as ours?
They don't "recieve" GCSE's for this... It's just that for the purposes of league tables the government has arbitrarily decided that the two things are equal. Students still have to do a GCSE course to get a GCSE ( or 2)
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Old Mar 16th 2010, 8:54 am
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Default Re: GCSE's and UK Education

My 14 year old was asked at 12 about her options for GCSEs & BTECs...12???

Of course, she opted for dropping the subjects she found difficulty in & we were conned (I feel) by schools who wanted to boost their stats by being able to show lots of "successes".

So she dropped Languages & the Humanities & chose BTEC Childcare, & something called COPE (Cert of Personal Effectiveness) which are allegedly worth 2 GCSEs each. She's now Year 10 & thoroughly bored with the BTEC course & can see for herself it is taking her nowhere. She feels she has wasted her time with them at school & is looking forward to "going back a year" when we get to Oz so that she can try & pick up on her academic subjects again.

Fortunately my younger daughter has learned from this & has chosen the Languages & Humanities, but looking at the range of cop-out subjects on offer in schools now, I do wonder how these kids are going to find meaningful employment in the future...we have a college up the road from us that encourages 16 year olds to go to them for courses in such cr*p as African Drumming, for god's sake!!!
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Old Mar 16th 2010, 9:44 am
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Default Re: GCSE's and UK Education

Originally Posted by sportsendurance View Post
I'm just wondering whether the Australian education is as mad as ours in the UK?

We have just taken 12 kids through a 2 WEEK course called 'Wider Key Skills' where students learn how to develop a number of skills in a variety of areas such as orienteering, climbing and leadership and a touch on first aid. Apart from writing down what they have learned, in some cases very little, there is no exam or assignment to complete. They receive 2 GCSE's for this!!
Out of the 12 students only 8 successfully managed to build and float a model raft made out of table tennis balls and other small floating objects. They all passed because thay all learned from their mistakes!!
8 of my other students have completed a BTEC course and will receive 4 GCSE's for it - they will probably not pass any other GCSE's because they struggle badly with learning, remembering what they might have learned and simply writing down information.


I wonder whether the Australian system is as demanding and consistent as ours?
Please please please, it's GCSEs. There's NO apostrophe (teacher!)
Back to school for you
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Old Mar 16th 2010, 10:44 am
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Default Re: GCSE's and UK Education

Originally Posted by No 15 View Post
Please please please, it's GCSEs. There's NO apostrophe (teacher!)
Back to school for you
Ner ner sportsendurance - I got it right
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Old Mar 16th 2010, 11:51 am
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Default Re: GCSE's and UK Education

Originally Posted by sportsendurance View Post
I'm just wondering whether the Australian education is as mad as ours in the UK?
?
Can be a lot madder. Depends on where you live... Our two are way way ahead of nearly all their class mates. But we can only say from what we've seen, schools vary a lot here as they do in the UK. Don't believe there is a perfect system anywhere in the world. confused:
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Old Mar 16th 2010, 11:54 am
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Default Re: GCSE's and UK Education

Originally Posted by sportsendurance View Post
I'm just wondering whether the Australian education is as mad as ours in the UK?

We have just taken 12 kids through a 2 WEEK course called 'Wider Key Skills' where students learn how to develop a number of skills in a variety of areas such as orienteering, climbing and leadership and a touch on first aid. Apart from writing down what they have learned, in some cases very little, there is no exam or assignment to complete. They receive 2 GCSE's for this!!
Out of the 12 students only 8 successfully managed to build and float a model raft made out of table tennis balls and other small floating objects. They all passed because thay all learned from their mistakes!!
8 of my other students have completed a BTEC course and will receive 4 GCSE's for it - they will probably not pass any other GCSE's because they struggle badly with learning, remembering what they might have learned and simply writing down information.

I wonder whether the Australian system is as demanding and consistent as ours?

And the govt wonder why schools choose iGCSEs and the IB instead......
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Old Mar 17th 2010, 6:01 am
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Default Re: GCSE's and UK Education

Originally Posted by JenniGee View Post
My 14 year old was asked at 12 about her options for GCSEs & BTECs...12???

Of course, she opted for dropping the subjects she found difficulty in & we were conned (I feel) by schools who wanted to boost their stats by being able to show lots of "successes".

So she dropped Languages & the Humanities & chose BTEC Childcare, & something called COPE (Cert of Personal Effectiveness) which are allegedly worth 2 GCSEs each. She's now Year 10 & thoroughly bored with the BTEC course & can see for herself it is taking her nowhere. She feels she has wasted her time with them at school & is looking forward to "going back a year" when we get to Oz so that she can try & pick up on her academic subjects again.

Fortunately my younger daughter has learned from this & has chosen the Languages & Humanities, but looking at the range of cop-out subjects on offer in schools now, I do wonder how these kids are going to find meaningful employment in the future...we have a college up the road from us that encourages 16 year olds to go to them for courses in such cr*p as African Drumming, for god's sake!!!
My eldest (also now in year 10) chose his subjects last year. He opted for mostly academic subjects. But he was unable to take geography though because of the way that the school set up the options so he had to take one of the cop-out subjects in place of that: Leisure and Tourism. He says it's boring, the teacher lacks enthusiasm and it's an unruly class. I try to look on the bright side that maybe he needs one or two "easy" subjects to help reduce the stress of doing so many tougher subjects like triple science. Maybe he'll be able to pick up Geography again in years 11 & 12 once we get to Australia.
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Old Mar 17th 2010, 8:41 am
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Default Re: GCSE's and UK Education

Yep..my eldest is doing triple science too - she's very far from being the typical nerdy type, but thank God she's doing it otherwise she'd be bored out of her skull.

I wonder how both my girls will do when we move over...I'm thinking of trying for some scholarships for them both because from reading here on BE, they might both be quite far ahead of the kids in Oz & I would like them to make the most of any advantage they may have.
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Old Mar 17th 2010, 9:10 am
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Default Re: GCSE's and UK Education

Originally Posted by JenniGee View Post
I wonder how both my girls will do when we move over...I'm thinking of trying for some scholarships for them both because from reading here on BE, they might both be quite far ahead of the kids in Oz & I would like them to make the most of any advantage they may have.
Trust me, it doesn't matter how 'far ahead' you think your kids might be - they will never be further ahead than the 'kids in Oz' of Asian extraction.

Most private school scholarships are for Year 7 but I think your children are much older than that? A few private schools offer scholarships for Years 11 and 12 but please don't underestimate the competition for these - or any scholarship.
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Old Mar 17th 2010, 9:13 am
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Default Re: GCSE's and UK Education

Sounds about the same. You can get yr 12 credits here for being a competitive sports person or growing potatoes. I think the underwater macrame courses have been discontinued (that used to be a local joke because of the lack of rigor of some of the year 12 accepted courses!)

And Nicky is spot on about the Asian students as well - just check out any selective HS in NSW especially!
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Old Mar 17th 2010, 9:51 am
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Default Re: GCSE's and UK Education

Originally Posted by JenniGee View Post
COPE (Cert of Personal Effectiveness) which are allegedly worth 2 GCSEs each.
What on earth do you have to do in that? And how the hell do you get two GCSEs for one subject?
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