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  1. #1
    Isle of discombobulation Joe 90's Avatar
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    What four subjects other than Maths and English would you advise a child to take?

    What four subjects other than Mathematics and English would you advise a child to take?

    At Gcse level or equivalent.

    I would suggest..

    Chemistry
    Physics
    Biology
    Geography


    What would you advise or take given your time again and why?

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat

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    As a general rule, I would agree with sciences, but a great deal depends on the individual concerned.
    My lads are all different when it comes to interests and skills. Only one is academically inclined, and he is interested in accountancy as a career. Currently doing A levels.
    The second son is already into his first year of an engineering apprenticeship. The third son is about to choose electives for O levels or whatever they are called now.

    Provided the choices are not ridiculous, I would be inclined to let him have a say in the chosen subjects.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat deeks's Avatar
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    Swap Biology with Computer sciences at least in the latter an 0 is a 0 and a 1 is a 1.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe 90 View Post
    What four subjects other than Mathematics and English would you advise a child to take?
    Simple arithmetic?


  5. #5
    Thailand Expat russellsimpson's Avatar
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    Simple English?





  6. #6
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe 90 View Post
    I would suggest..

    Chemistry
    Physics
    Biology
    Geography
    You have picked all science subjects, which I think is wrong for all individuals.

    I would advise at least one foreign language. Which one depends on where you live but one of French, German or Spanish if you are in Europe.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealKW View Post
    Simple arithmetic?


    Moron

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat VocalNeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy View Post
    I would advise at least one foreign language. Which one depends on where you live but one of French, German or Spanish if you are in Europe.
    Many countries in the world speak Spanish. More than one might imagine, in Africa.

    In this day and age you need at least a passing understanding of computers but things like Excel are just like learning a language.
    One doesn't need Physics to get a Chemical Engineering degree.

  9. #9
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    One science, a foreign language, geography and history.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    One science, a foreign language, geography and history.
    One of the vagaries of UK education is that it forces specialization at a comparatively young age. That selection would be good for a generalist, but it would kill any possibility of doing a decent science based degree in University. The selection of a foreign language, geography and history and only one science would quite strongly steer to an "arts" based career path.

    Geography (at least it used to be) was a bit of a bastard child - not considered a "hard" science.

    Joe - you need to discuss and find out which way your kid leans academically. The chem/phys/biol is a hard load, and only really required if your kid thinks they may end up in a hard science path. In which case I would also drop geography and look for additional maths (if they still do that).

    But why only 6? In my day we did 9, which meant you kept your options open for another two years (until you were screwed when you picked your three A levels).

  11. #11
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    ^ as Nid says, i would encourage more than six and that way they will also find out what interests them, they can always drop or switch. Keep the sciences and add Mandarin, if they have a bent for languages that is.

  12. #12
    Custom user Neverna's Avatar
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    It really depends on what options are available at the school and what the child is good at or interested in, and what direction they think their future will take. Do they want to go to university? Or would they prefer a trade? What do they want to do now and in the future, and why? What will be useful for them? Only they/you will know that.

    Some subjects are mandatory (core subjects) and science (combined) is probably one, along with Maths and English.

    For the options, I would choose subjects that provide or develop a balance of knowledge and transferable skills.

    A subject that requires longer written answers and how to present an argument (history or religious studies, for example).
    A course that requires analysis and/or problem solving; business if it is available.
    A language if one is not a mandatory subject.
    A creative or technical course (or possibly an extra science class) depending on what's available or the specific interest of the child and their ideas for their future.
    • Respecting someoneís provided pronouns is not optional so please use these respectfully or use their name.
    • Donít make it a big deal if you make a mistake. Correct yourself, apologise genuinely and move on.

    UQ

  13. #13
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    Look at the future. Computers.

    Would definitely include IT/Computer Studies or whatever they call it nowadays. Friends of ours have young teenagers and their school computer lessons are Python, Scratch and C++ etc. When I was 16 our computer lessons were typing out a text and saving it on a floppy disc. The internet was getting big and we were shown how to leave messages on regional radio station's websites. I was given a stern talking to for leaving the message 'penis'.


    Anyway, it isn't a field I'd be comfortable seeing a kid leave behind given how much everything in the future depends on it.


    I would also include a creative/design based subject.


    Our neighbour goes to Robotics class, where they design and build computerized robots in teams and then program them, to move through mazes, fight, take over the World, that kinda thing. I've asked if I can go too.

  14. #14
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    Personally, I wouldn't use up one of the options for GCSEs for computer science... the kids will pick computing up anyway... they'll be using computers for every other subject, a lot of their leisure time, and if they decide in later life for a career in IT they can take courses then. I would concentrate on 'traditional' subjects at this stage to get a good grounding.

    It all depend on which way your kid leans Joe. I'll encourage my daughter to get a good grounding in the sciences when the time comes... any from Chemistry, Biology and Physics. Geography in my day was divided between physical and human... the physical side interested me but the human side was political and I found it boring. I was lucky because my school offered Geology... which I guess ultimately is why I'm lucky enough to be able to live in Korat now.

    I was encouraged to do at least one language... I didn't want to but bowed to pressure and took German... I was never interested and wasn't put up for the O level but scraped a CSE 1 (a foreign language to anyone under 40 I guess).

    My daughter is only 9, but I can already see that she's not really academic but has a flair for music and art. I'll encourage her to do a split between academic subjects and what she's interested in when the time comes... she'll have no choice about the core subjects but my hope is she just stays in education and enjoys it.

  15. #15
    I am not a cat
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    ^ Reasonable. Again, my only quibble is that if your kid wants to go into science, then they need all three (chem, phys biol). If you want to go for very hard science, then biol could be skipped (but I would be looking at additional maths if it is an option).

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg View Post
    One of the vagaries of UK education is that it forces specialization at a comparatively young age.
    There no age stated I am assuming we are discussing 12 to 16 age group.

    Things may have changed but, when I was at school in the UK, there was a full spread of science available in the sciences, physics, chemistry and biology, all available to 12 to 16-year-olds - O level exams. !7 to 18 year olds were forced to drop some subjects as you say.

    I suspect Geography has morphed into various branches - Climate, Environmental .....

    Quote Originally Posted by Neverna View Post
    what options are available at the school
    Which for many Thai schools is rather limited, out in the sticks.
    Plus the child's families expectations. Some families one child others four. Some own enough land for all to have enough for each. For those that don't children two, three and four may have to look further afield.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond View Post
    leave behind given how much everything in the future depends on it.
    The ability to utilise technology, code righting or all branches, will remain essential although "generally" the skills to access/utilise technology is being greatly simplified I suggest.

    As our fishing net casting thread has illustrated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond View Post
    Robotics class .... I've asked if I can go too
    Indeed. Meccano, Lego .... were the equivalents.


    What four subjects other than Maths and English would you advise a child to take?-64dc913885e05763f9b4248a5ff07716-hot-rods-snails-jpg


    Some fancy things but economics, maths and science are the requirements, assisted with an occasional dose of snake oil:

    Ask the Tesla/Space X man Elon Musk. The lads done well.

    "A Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in economics from the Wharton School and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in physics."


    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg View Post
    very hard science, then biol could be skipped
    All science is hard, I see debates every day regarding chemistry/biology.
    Last edited by OhOh; 25-04-2021 at 09:02 PM.
    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

  17. #17
    fully fledged Mutt-packer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    Personally, I wouldn't use up one of the options for GCSEs for computer science... the kids will pick computing up anyway... they'll be using computers for every other subject, a lot of their leisure time, and if they decide in later life for a career in IT they can take courses then. I would concentrate on 'traditional' subjects at this stage to get a good grounding.
    and that fact that the IGCSE course is absolutely redudant and not particularly inspiring or modern.

  18. #18
    Achieve By Unity cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealKW View Post
    and that fact that the IGCSE course is absolutely redudant
    Willy - what happened to you, man?

    Did you take up wicket keeping and can't get the gloves off?

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat
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    At my school we done 7 Standard Grades and 4 short courses of 6 months each.

    Maths and English - Mandatory

    1 Science or Combined Science (Spuzzy Science) - I took Physics

    1 Social Subject - I took History

    1 Language between French or German - I took German

    2 Free choice Subjects - I took Technical Studies and Graphic Communication (Techy Drawing)

    4 Short Courses:

    Religious and Moral Education - Mandatory

    I also took - Electronics, Working With Wood, Cake Decoration
    Lang may yer lum reek...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by VocalNeal View Post
    Many countries in the world speak Spanish.
    True

    Quote Originally Posted by VocalNeal View Post
    More than one might imagine, in Africa.
    Hmm
    Ceuta and Mellila

    And a few...people further south

  21. #21
    A Cockless Wonder
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    If a kid is academically capable then Maths Physics and Chemistry are no brainers. They have to be done. This keeps open all the doors that matter in all future decisions. All other subjects are academically down hill.

    If you want to do 4 subjects then they can choose any subject that tickles their fancy for number 4 as long as they crack the books for the big 3.

    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    a foreign language
    I don't see the point in learning a foreign language unless you need to go and live or work somewhere foreign. If so then learn it when you get there.

    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg View Post
    If you want to go for very hard science, then biol could be skipped
    I dunno. I am up to lecture 53 in my youtube biology degree and some of it has been quite hard.

  22. #22
    Custom user Neverna's Avatar
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    If the child intends to go to university, it's a good idea to choose subjects that will help get the child onto the course he/she wants to study at university. To find out what subjects would help with that, contact a few universities that offer the subject/course that the child is interested in studying at university and ask the universities which subjects they would recommend to study at school that would help get an offer of a place at their university. Contact the relevant departments if you can.

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat deeks's Avatar
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    20 years from now, language will be obsolete, our phones will translate what we say to each other on the spot, a bluetooth earpiece will translate and people with 5 different language skills as an income will be sitting at home wishing they learned computer programing.

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looper View Post
    If so then learn it when you get there.
    I agree fluency only arrives once one is immersed in-country.

    However, foreign language teachers do spark an interest in a foreign country's culture and history. Which I believe can only be beneficial to the student whatever their age.

  25. #25
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    Physics
    Chemistry
    Mandarin
    Computer geek subject

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