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 Post subject: IGCSEs
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:13 am 
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I was discussing IGCSEs over on another forum and also asked about the importance of an English GCSE when it comes to accessing employment and higher education. My son has had a look at the English IGCSE exam papers but thinks they're too difficult for him at the moment. He studies English every now and then but it isn't one of his priority subjects at the moment. His plan is to take English exams when he is ready and only if he needs to.

I feel that I'm doing the right thing by letting my son focus on the subjects he enjoys and is good at for the time being. My experience is that parents of children with AS overwhelmingly get worried about the subjects their children are bad at or can't do rather than those that they are good at and can do well. This doesn't do any justice to the children because they end up sacrificing their strengths and talents for something they may never be good at, and they get bitter and frustrated in the process.


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 Post subject: Re: IGCSEs
Post Number:#2  PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:38 pm 
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Location: South of Hampshire
AS Home Ed wrote:
I feel that I'm doing the right thing by letting my son focus on the subjects he enjoys and is good at for the time being. My experience is that parents of children with AS overwhelmingly get worried about the subjects their children are bad at or can't do rather than those that they are good at and can do well. This doesn't do any justice to the children because they end up sacrificing their strengths and talents for something they may never be good at, and they get bitter and frustrated in the process.


I can second you that you are doing the right thing. My parents were more concerned with the things that I was bad at rather than those I was good at. One of my problem subjects was English and this overshadowed the things that I was good at like science and maths. I wanted to take GCSEs early as a private candidate in subjects I was strong at, but my parents didn't put enough effort in to find out how to take GCSEs outside of the system. Instead they were more concerned about following the National Curriculum and getting a broad and balanced education.

When I was at primary school I happened to be good at computers, electronics, and anything scientific and technical. Unfortunately they were not school subjects, so my school and LEA did not think highly of my talents and expertise in these areas. They also thought I was wasting my time and should focus more on school work instead. This made me feel very unhappy and inadequate and I felt my talents were not recognised or respected because of the system.


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 Post subject: Re: IGCSEs
Post Number:#3  PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 10:43 pm 
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Canopus wrote:
I can second you that you are doing the right thing. My parents were more concerned with the things that I was bad at rather than those I was good at. One of my problem subjects was English and this overshadowed the things that I was good at like science and maths. I wanted to take GCSEs early as a private candidate in subjects I was strong at, but my parents didn't put enough effort in to find out how to take GCSEs outside of the system. Instead they were more concerned about following the National Curriculum and getting a broad and balanced education.


This attitude is all too common amongst parents of children with AS. They are so obsessed with ensuring their children receive the full National Curriculum that they fail to capitalise on their children's strengths.

Every August you read about children who get GCSEs and A Levels at a very young age and wonder how they did it. Investigations have uncovered that very few of these children have AS as most are neurotypical. I wondered why so few children with AS take exams at a young age for a few years until it finally clicked. The expertise and talents of children with AS are overshadowed by their social problems at school and the heartache it creates for their parents. The end result is that parents channel most of their efforts on the social side of things and fighting the education system rather than helping their children with GCSE and A Level exams.

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When I was at primary school I happened to be good at computers, electronics, and anything scientific and technical. Unfortunately they were not school subjects, so my school and LEA did not think highly of my talents and expertise in these areas. They also thought I was wasting my time and should focus more on school work instead. This made me feel very unhappy and inadequate and I felt my talents were not recognised or respected because of the system.


This is terrible. Such a waste of potential and talent. It also goes to show how narrow the school curriculum really is when there are all sorts of interesting and useful things to study that aren't part of the school curriculum. My experience is that teachers often aren't interested in things they don't teach and even less interested in things they know little about.


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 Post subject: Re: IGCSEs
Post Number:#4  PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:27 am 
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Location: South of Hampshire
AS Home Ed wrote:
This attitude is all too common amongst parents of children with AS. They are so obsessed with ensuring their children receive the full National Curriculum that they fail to capitalise on their children's strengths.

Every August you read about children who get GCSEs and A Levels at a very young age and wonder how they did it. Investigations have uncovered that very few of these children have AS as most are neurotypical. I wondered why so few children with AS take exams at a young age for a few years until it finally clicked. The expertise and talents of children with AS are overshadowed by their social problems at school and the heartache it creates for their parents. The end result is that parents channel most of their efforts on the social side of things and fighting the education system rather than helping their children with GCSE and A Level exams.


I think there is definitely some truth to this theory. Over on another AS forum I use, there is very little interest in taking exams outside of the school system. There is however, innumerable articles about social problems at school and fighting the education system.

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This is terrible. Such a waste of potential and talent. It also goes to show how narrow the school curriculum really is when there are all sorts of interesting and useful things to study that aren't part of the school curriculum. My experience is that teachers often aren't interested in things they don't teach and even less interested in things they know little about.


I agree with you on the last point. The introduction of the NC in 1988 was a killer for primary school teachers because they would have to teach stuff they didn't know a thing about. Thousands resigned their jobs.

My experience is that most parents seem to have some attitude that what schools teach is important and things you have to know - but they rarely pause and think "if I don't know it then is there really any point knowing it". They want their kids to access the full NC without ever questioning its utility for life as an adult or in the job market. They also think most subjects outside of the NC are less important than NC subjects.


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 Post subject: Re: IGCSEs
Post Number:#5  PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 5:47 pm 
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Location: Liverpool
I am interested to find out more re IGCE - my son is particularly interested in History and Science, I would prefer him to focus on what he is most passionate about. That said I am keen for him to consolidate maths and english because without them he will not succeed - have had long battle about subjects such as french which he struggles with - as well as being a child with aspergers he is also has dyspraxi, dyslexia and CFS - It is such a struggle for him as he is bright and sharp with his thinking but has real barriers in trying to display his knowledge.


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 Post subject: Re: IGCSEs
Post Number:#6  PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:38 pm 
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Joined: 29 February 2008
Posts: 203
Location: The central office
IGCSEs are offered in a diverse range of subjects by two exam boards. The first is Cambridge International Examinations and the second is Edexcel which was formerly the London examination board.

The Cambridge IGCSE has recently been approved by Ofqual for use in state schools although only a tiny handful of schools which rank highly on the league tables offer it as an alternative to GCSEs. Only a handful of Edexcel IGCSEs have been approved for use in state schools under the guise of the Edexcel certificate and they are currently all foreign languages although approval of other subjects is pending - including history, double science, and separate physics, chemistry, and biology.

I have been trying to find exam centres that accept external candidates such as HE kids but it has been a struggle. Many centres are independent schools that only admit candidates as a personal favour whilst other centres will not accept candidates below 16 (or in some cases 18) years old.

If you would like more information about IGCSEs I will endeavour to find out as my proposal is to have a page on this website dedicated to exams and qualifications including a list of exam centres.


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