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General Chat Thread, Resit GCSE Maths & English - Really? in General; ...
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    Resit GCSE Maths & English - Really?

    OK, I'm not a teacher, maybe I'm not qualified to comment on this, but really? There are students that will never pass a GCSE in either subject, at least not without an unfair amount of coaching. Iím not sure I understand the huge focus on academia for every student; we need to accept that weíre not all the same and that some people are more adept at other subjects (like the arts, humanities, music etc).
    I happened to excel at Maths and Science, I did not find art and languages easy at all, one of my friends back then was the complete opposite; he was a skilled artist and excellent at drama. I guess my point is that we are all different and this latest nonsense from the Government does not take that into account.

    Of course Iím not suggesting that Maths & English are unimportant, just that there are some kids that will never know what they might be good at because they are too busy failing to find out. I really donít care if my mechanic can write a decent essay or solve a differential equation, I just want my car fixed, likewise Iím not too bothered if a Lifeguard can quote Shakespeare Ė he has a more important job to do!

    There are many teachers on this forum and I would love to know your opinion, if you work in a successful Grammar school this might be a moot point but I would bet that anyone working in a secondary school in a deprived area would tend to agree with me.

    If I had to campaign for one thing in schools it would be to have a more inclusive curriculum that catered for the non-academic kids without any sense of shame. For some kids, Music might be a more important subject than Maths!

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    CAM
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    Maths and English are two subjects we frankly take for granted. They are core skills that affect everything we do, whilst I wouldn't care if my mechanic can solve advanced equations I'd certainly care that he measures the right amount of oil for the car, read the part numbers correctly and can add up the bill at the end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAM View Post
    I'd certainly care that he measures the right amount of oil for the car, read the part numbers correctly and can add up the bill at the end.
    Oh a mechanic can add your bill up all right!

    You hit on the point I was about to make; everyone needs a basic standard of literacy to function in today's society. Even if only to read and fill in benefits claim form. There won't be anyone to do it for them!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_C View Post
    You hit on the point I was about to make; everyone needs a basic standard of literacy to function in today's society.
    GCSE isn't basic English/Maths...

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    I obviously agree that Maths & English are extremely important, my point is that there happen to be some kids that just cannot make the grade in one or both subjects. So what should happen to those kids? We just keep making them resit constantly? It would be like me re-running the 1500m in the hope of achieving an acceptable time, or re-sitting Art until I hit a C grade - it will never happen!
    Also, a basic level of English does not necessarily equate to a C grade at GCSE but that is what has been proposed - we just keep making them resit until they achieve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    GCSE isn't basic English/Maths...
    Maybe they need a basic competency test in English and Maths for those people

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    Maybe they need a basic competency test in English and Maths for those people
    sounds like a plan. For instance english ( subject i got d's in) I can write and read weell enough but what i remember from english lessons was evaluating books writing poetry which tbh are not imo at least particually usefull "life skills" i honestly cant remember the last time i needed to compose a sonett or review a book ive read. Granted my spelling isnt great and i can trip up over gramer but it generally gets the point across

    Maths that i can do (gcse b) but again ive never needed trigonometry since leaving school and all i can remember about it is Some Old Hags Can Always Have Tankers Of Ale (sin oposite hypoternuse, cosign adjacent hyportrnuse, tangent opposite adjacent) and have no idea what to do with it after that lol.

    Yes people need to be FUNCTIONALLY numerate/literate but gcse is beyond that

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    I for one would never pass a numeracy competency test. I have very severe dyscalculia and the very thought of doing any kind of numerical testing would freak the hell out of me. I have however managed over my life to find strategies that work for me. What do we do for the kids like me who CANNOT make the grade?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAM View Post
    Maths and English are two subjects we frankly take for granted. They are core skills that affect everything we do, whilst I wouldn't care if my mechanic can solve advanced equations I'd certainly care that he measures the right amount of oil for the car, read the part numbers correctly and can add up the bill at the end.
    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    GCSE isn't basic English/Maths...
    Must admit that I agree somewhat with the OP. These are too subjects I think we place too great an importance on compared with other subjects. In a similar way we seem obsessed with lumping the three sciences together as if someone good/interested in Physics is automatically good/interested in Chemistry or Biology. It's like the previous Labour governments obsession with >50% in going to university.

    There was a news story this morning about bringing back national service for 18-26yr olds (I think). While I didn't agree with the proposed implementation, I certainly agree with the sentiment.

    There must be better ways of educating our kids than force feeding them quadratic equations or shakespeare?

    P.S. I got a D in English after doing a 1 year resit in college, up from an E the first time round - still got a uni degree with out it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ButterflyMoon View Post
    What do we do for the kids like me who CANNOT make the grade?
    You go work in the mines.

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    @X-13 dinny think so!!

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    If your mechanic has qualifications then you can be assured he's done some maths to get it. We covered both physics type maths covering acceleration, volume, mass etc and also electrical maths V=I/R etc.

    The only time i remember using maths in the job was working out tappet shim sizes and clearance on a diesel engine.

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    CAM
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    If browsing a CV, which of these look better? "Grade C English & Maths" or "Level 8 Key Stage 3 English/Maths" No employer will care what you did in Year 9 but they certainly care about GCSE grades and beyond.

    Even if you think you don't need the qualification, it will help further down the line. You may even be using the skills from these two qualifications without realising, hence why we take them for granted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAM View Post
    If browsing a CV, which of these look better? "Grade C English & Maths" or "Level 8 Key Stage 3 English/Maths" No employer will care what you did in Year 9 but they certainly care about GCSE grades and beyond.
    What about "3yr plumbers apprentiship with NVQ college day release and basic English & Maths" vs. "GCSE Grade E English & Maths (after 3 attempts before being kicked out of education at 18)"?

    Not saying that the subjects don't offer valuable skills, just unsure of the obsession with everyone have to pass at a high GCSE standard. For a lot of people a basic Economics or Accountancy course would be more beneficial than GCSE Maths.

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    CAM
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    But not everyone takes an apprenticeship, a vast majority of students I have seen go through the process have taken the GCSE -> A-Level route with the possibility of going on to more stuff at uni.

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