Thursday, 10 February 2011

Important Decisions

I feel as if I'm back at school at the moment, I seem to have been there more often than at home just recently. This year is an important year for both Daniel and Eleanor as they both have some important decisions to make.

Daniel is in year 11 so he will be sitting his GCSEs soon. At the moment he's pondering on which A levels to take. We've been to school to listen to a talk about year 12, we've been to an A level evening where we could speak with subject tutors and last night we went to parent's evening.

He's decided which A levels he would like to take, he just needs to get good grades in his GCSEs now.

The kids at this school choose their GCSE options a year early, in year 8 rather than year 9. On one hand this works well as they drop the subjects which don't interest them and they have an extra year studying the subjects they are going to take for their GCSEs, but on the other hand, they're still very young at 12 to be making choices which are so important.

As Eleanor is in year 8, she is now choosing her GCSE options. We've been to an evening where we could speak with subject tutors and last week we went to parent's evening. She has to take core subjects such as maths, English and science, and then choose five further optional subjects.

In addition to the usual subjects, the school run a BTEC animal care course. It's the extended certificate level 2, which is equivalent to two GCSEs. The places on this course are limited, but it is run after school two evenings per week. Eleanor is applying for a place on this course as she has been involved with the animals at the school since she began. Some of the animals they have are rabbits, guinea pigs, bearded dragons, Madagascan cockroaches, poultry and chinchillas. I'm hoping that she manages to get on the course otherwise she'll be very disappointed.

Our visits to school haven't all been study related. On Tuesday, we went to a wonderful concert which was organised by Eleanor's singing teacher. Eleanor takes singing lessons privately out of school, but her singing teacher goes in to her school and teaches students there and it was they who were taking part in the concert. As Eleanor goes to the same school which her teacher teaches at, she asked if she would like to take part. Eleanor sang Moon River which I always associate with Breakfast at Tiffany's and Audrey Hepburn. The music was very varied with songs ranging from pop, to songs from shows, right through to classical. The money raised from ticket sales and refreshments went to Cancer Research, CRY and Help for Heroes. It was a lovely evening.

I'm hoping that my visits to school will be less often now, unless they're for something as pleasurable as the concert.


  1. Wait until you have to scour the planet for a suitable university!!!!!!!!!! These decisions are momentous, but the offspring involved don't really see it that way I find! Pour me another gin! xxxx

  2. Flippin eck, they are big decisions to make. I'll keep my fingers crossed that Eleanor gets a plaace on the BTEC animal care course.
    Were you in floods of tears when Eleanor sang Moon River?? - I'd have been a complete, embarrassing, mummy wreck :0)
    Jill x

  3. WOW I remember those days, picking GCSEs and then my A Levels!

    Victoria xx

  4. Important decisions and exciting times ahead for both of them...I wish them both well in what ever decision they take!!!

  5. I remember those decisions, they were only 10 years ago for me! University choosing for me was easier than GCSE/A level. Apart from IT I never knew which subjects I wanted but in the end, I don't think it matters that much as long as you have one, or two that you are passionate about.
    Good luck to both of them!

  6. Oh poultry! Will look forward to asking some questions! lol!

  7. Oh my, both of them at the same time. eeek! I have these things to look forward to. I remember having to make those decisions (many more moons ago than I sometimes realise!) and feeling like a rabbit in the headlights. Good luck with it all! x Jacs x

  8. Thanks, everyone.

    It was O levels rather than GCSEs when I was choosing my options, and we only had to choose three rather than five.

    Jill- I'm not usually emotional when Eleanor sings, I'm too busy worrying that she'll forget her words, she hasn't yet. It's a different story if she's singing in a group though, music usually tugs at my heartstrings anyway.

  9. It's that time here too! Slight complexity in that there's a clash in the combination my daughter wants to take, which is Advanced Higher (A level equivalent) History, Music and Modern Studies (sort of politics/social studies). It was much simpler when her brother chose AH Maths, Physics and Chemistry! Hope you negotiate it all safely. And Diane is right - just wait until university choices!

  10. I'm dreading the time when we have to start looking for universities, Linda. GCSEs and A levels are bad enough.