A Parents’ Guide to GCSEs

A Parents’ Guide to GCSEs

When the time comes for your child to choose their GCSEs, they might feel a mixture of both excitement and anxiety. It means that they can start to be more selective about what they study, but also sets them on a particular path for the rest of their education. As a parent, it would be a good idea to get yourself as clued up as possible on everything GCSE related so that you’re in a good position to help your child pick their subjects and make it through their exams. Here’s some advice from an independent school in Hertfordshire.


You’re probably already aware that a child’s education is split into four key stages. GCSEs fall into Key Stage 4 and are taught to children in Years 10 and 11. While some of the GCSE subjects are compulsory, your child will be asked to choose additional subjects when they are in Year 8 or 9. These optional subjects won’t be the same in every school and there may be some requirements as to what your child has to choose. For instance, they may have to choose one modern foreign language. 


Encourage your child to consider their interests and talents. For instance, if they absolutely love music and have been having piano lessons since they were young, music might be a great option for them. However, you should also ask them to think about what they want to do when they grow up, as this will help determine which subjects are right for them. Under no circumstances should they choose a subject just because their friends are planning to study it or because you studied it when you were young. Their decisions have to be their own. 


This is a challenging stage in a young person’s life and your support is crucial. There will be information evenings at the school that you and your child should attend so that you can learn all there is to know about GCSEs, what to expect from the lessons and how the subjects will be graded.


*This is a collaborative post.

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