Hampshire children are 'struggling' with GCSE option choices after remote learning

REMOTE learning and other Covid-19 restrictions may heavily influence GCSE options, it is believed.

Friday, 21st January 2022, 3:45 pm

Over the coming months, Year 9 pupils across Hampshire will be picking their GCSE option subjects for the next two years.

English, maths and science are all compulsory subjects, but students can also pick up subjects like history, geography, languages and more.

Read More

Read More
Councillors clash over plans to build new 3G football pitch at Brookfield Commun...

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Year 9 students will be picking their GCSE options in the coming weeks. Picture: John Devlin

But having spent the best part of two years learning via Zoom or Microsoft Teams, students are apparently steering clear of computer-centric fields.

Natalie Smith, the county council's secondary and post-16 education manager, said: 'The quandary with Year 9 options is an interesting one - we don't have specific data but there's a lot of anecdotal evidence.

'Children aren't opting for subjects they have done previously, and are far less interested in computer science than previous year groups.

'I wonder if they're simply fed up of looking at screens all day. We have no idea what impact this will have on their results - we'll just have to wait and see.'

Hampshire County Council's division member for Itchen Valley, Cllr Jackie Porter, believes many are struggling with their choices.

She said: 'Speaking to pupils in my area, they believe that Year 9s are among those who have struggled the most during the Covid-19 pandemic.

'Through remote learning and Covid restrictions they don't have much real secondary school experience, and are finding it difficult to choose their GCSE subjects.'

At Park Community School in Leigh Park, students have many options that stray away from traditional GCSE subjects.

They will be choosing their options later in the year.

Headteacher Chris Anders said: 'We are really proud of the variety we can present to our students - they can take subjects like construction or horticulture.

'One of the most popular courses over the past few years has been photography, which is great to see. It's very important to us that we focus on finding subjects that children enjoy, because they will get so much more out of it.

'The bottom line is you have to make all subjects enjoyable and engaging, and a lot of that comes down to the teachers. They all do a fantastic job.'

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Subscribe here for unlimited access to all our coverage, including Pompey, for just 26p a day.