A parent’s guide to choosing GCSE subjects

How to help your child choose their GCSE subjects

It might seem like just yesterday that your son or daughter was getting ready to start their first day of senior school and yet here they are, facing one of the biggest decisions of their educational journey. Helping your child to consider the wide range of GCSE courses in London and which would suit them best can feel like a daunting task. Allow our parents’ guide to choosing GCSE subjects help to make the process a little easier.

How much choice is there?

Something that all good school will have in common is a broad and balanced curriculum, supplemented by a rigorous extra-curricular programme of activities. The best private schools in London tend to be sufficiently flexible to cater to practically any combination of subjects, however,
Maths, English and a Science will need to be covered by every child regardless of the school they attend.

Those students undertaking their GCSEs at one of the North Bridge House senior schools – North Bridge House Senior Hampstead or North Bridge House Senior & Sixth Form Canonbury – can expect to study at least one foreign language as well as the above core subjects. Modern languages include French and Spanish as well as German at North Bridge House Senior Hampstead and Mandarin at North Bridge House Canonbury. Your child can choose three additional subjects from a diverse portfolio of options including additional sciences, languages, humanities and a range of creative and practical subjects including drama and computing.

How to choose

With the GCSE reform being rolled out by the government, it is important that students are confident in their choice of subjects, which should depend on their individual abilities and aspirations. It’s for this reason that North Bridge House prioritises smaller classes: teachers can get to know students as individuals and work with parents to help them make the right choice.
The government has stated that the reformed GCSEs will be of greater difficulty than their predecessors and as such, North Bridge House has purposely chosen to narrow the overall suite to 9 GCSEs for most pupils, allowing greater focus on the new, more demanding content.

Choosing the right GCSEs certainly means thinking about the future – it’s important to discuss the pros and cons and the long-term influence of the subjects your son or daughter is considering. However, it’s important to remember that, at this age, few teenagers will have a set-in-stone career plan so it’s important not to close too many doors.

Remember also that your child will feel happier and therefore more motivated if they have taken ownership of their choice and are genuinely interested in the options they settle on. Take into account both what they enjoy and what they are good at – this tends to be a safe place to start.

The best private schools in London will offer plenty of support to families as they prepare to make this important choice. Have a look at our school’s GCSE courses in London, at both our Canonbury campus in Islington and its sister campus in Hampstead, or contact us for further information.