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Home Schooling and GCSEs

By: Louise Tobias BA (hons) - Updated: 28 Mar 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Education Gcse Children Home Schooling

Home schooling students who want to take GCSE qualifications (which usually last two years, and in schools culminate in exams usually taken at the age of 16, in school year 11) have several options to consider. While the school norms for GCSEs are outlined above, GCSEs can in fact be taken at any age, and while some home schooled children do decide to take these exams at 16, many decide to take one or two GCSE subjects per year from the age of around twelve or thirteen up to whatever year they decide to stop, perhaps continuing on to an A Level syllabus, or opting for vocational qualifications, or deciding not to take any further examined qualifications.

At 16 some home schooled students may alternatively decide to enrol at a college - either part time or full time - to take GCSEs, that is, to end their fully home schooled education. The latter option is most often selected when home schooled students require a particular qualification for a certain career or university course.

GCSE Examination Boards are not all the Same

Parents of home schooled children who are looking at taking GCSEs should be aware that not every examination board will cover the same subject, or have the same requirements. With literature subjects, for example, boards will set different texts in their syllabi, while some boards will include coursework as part of their examination requirements but others may not.

These issues should all be researched before embarking on a GCSE course. This information can be found in most GCSE text books, but some are board-specific so be careful about buying these (and in fact many libraries stock a large variety). Another good place to look is revision guides, which tend to provide information on the which boards ask for coursework, exams, oral examinations, etc. Past papers, available in high street book shops as well as online and from the examination boards direct, are another way to gauge which board's GCSEs you wish your child to take. There is usually a fee for these, however, so you may want to look at some online or wait until after a course decision has been made before purchasing them.

GCSE Coursework and Home Schooling

For many students coursework is a popular option as it lessens the importance of single examinations and can lead to reduced levels of stress (some marks are already 'in the bag' so pupils may worry less about making a mistake in an exam.) Coursework may include things like art or design and technology projects, essays, question responses or similar written work; it is carried out during the year in which GCSEs are studied and the marks from the coursework go towards a student's final grade.

Coursework can be difficult to arrange for a home educating teacher, however, as it must be marked by a neutral person and some boards have rules about who that person can be, his or her qualifications, etc. It is best to look into this before embarking on a GCSE course which includes coursework; another option is to take International GCSEs, IGCSEs, which do not have coursework components.

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I am writing because I'm concerned of what my possibilities are at college and what I can choose to do, currently I am getting home schooled but do find it quite challenging I haven't learnt much at school for when I have been there and have forgotten pretty much everything I'm probably meant to know for my GCSEs this worries me greatly, I can't go to school because of reasons I wouldn't really like to say but basically no schools would accept me due to my old younger self behaviour but now i was wondering if I don't take sit my gcses this year can I redo my gcses at college with a proper teacher next year and then sit my gcses at college? I would love to be in proper education right now but I have messed that up for myself so yeah can I redo my gcses all at college for free of charge?
Joe - 28-Mar-17 @ 2:05 PM
Susie - Your Question:
Hi, I'm fifteen and have recently been unable to go to school because of anxiety. My mum has phoned the school but they refuse to send work for me home and it is really worrying my because I really value my education is there anyway for me to learn my GCSE work without having to be thrown into an environment with a lot of people?

Our Response:
If the school is refusing to provide work, you need to arrange a meeting to discuss the way forward - this may involve encouraging/ supporting your child to attend. If necessary, speak with your Local education Authority as well
AHomeEducation - 23-Mar-17 @ 2:50 PM
Hi, I'm fifteen and have recently been unable to go to school because of anxiety. My mum has phoned the school but they refuse to send work for me home and it is really worrying my because I really value my education is there anyway for me to learn my GCSE work without having to be thrown into an environment with a lot of people?
Susie - 23-Mar-17 @ 4:11 AM
i'm currently 15 years old and have been to a phycatric ward for 6 months for my depression and bpd. I haven't been in normal education wince year 8 and I find going to school a big herdle for me . I am at a stepping stone school at the moment but my 12 weeks is almost up and they want to basically just throw me back into main stream school. Though I understand the situation , I don't want to get ill again and I think school would just not help . I want to go to college and do my GCSES there as people are more mature , they want to be there , and I really don't want to give up my education . Is going to college to take my gcses at 15 impossible ??
hayday - 7-Mar-17 @ 2:29 PM
I am 14 years old ( year 10 ) This year I am taking 3 GCSE exams Dutch , English language and statistics However in year 11 I want to be homeschooled as we are moving to Dubai . I was wondering if I could continue with the same exam boards and syllabus as my school that I am enrolled in now . Also where would I get the recourses from to homeschool and how wouldI know why a recourses to get and how how would I enter or signup for my exams ?
Sumaya - 4-Mar-17 @ 5:09 PM
Rachel - Your Question:
I am 15 years old and do not like going to school due to personal problems, my attendance is very weak and I always wake up not wanting to go. My school wont send me work to do and have threatened to take my mum to court. I hate being there and am starting to develop anxiety and depression. what should I do????

Our Response:
Please speak to someone at school first. Does your school have a pastoral adviser or welfare officer? They should be able to help you with your worries and anxiety. Your GP may also be able to help you with a referral for counselling, therapy or other treatment options. Please do try and share your worries rather than thinking home schooling will be a solution at this stage of education. If you are left with no option but to try home schooling, you will need to do lots of research - there are plenty of forums and resources on the Internet. The main exam boards also have information that might help.
AHomeEducation - 24-Feb-17 @ 11:23 AM
I'm looking into home schooling but I'm doing dance and drama GCSEs how would I do them at home?
Paige - 23-Feb-17 @ 12:26 PM
I'm a year 9 student (homeschooled till September) I am doing great it science and maths but English is something I'm stuck on anyone have any ideas what I can do?
Roxana - 23-Feb-17 @ 11:34 AM
I am 15 years old and do not like going to school due to personal problems, my attendance is very weak and I always wake up not wanting to go. My school wont send me work to do and have threatened to take my mum to court. I hate being there and am starting to develop anxiety and depression. what should I do????
Rachel - 21-Feb-17 @ 6:05 PM
Queenie - Your Question:
I'm 15 nearly 16 (year 11) and have not been going to school due to anxiety problems. My school won't send me work to do, but they said I can go in for my exams, (which I don't want to sit at that school). Is there any other places I can sit exams rather than a school, and would my parents have to pay for the exams?

Our Response:
Try contacting your local education authority (usually the county council, but if not, they will refer you to the right place) and asking them if you can take your exams elsewhere. They may be able to arrange this for you. Unfortunately we can't say whether your parents would have to pay or not.
AHomeEducation - 16-Feb-17 @ 12:39 PM
I'm 15 nearly 16 (year 11) and have not been going to school due to anxiety problems. My school won't send me work to do, but they said I can go in for my exams, (which I don't want to sit at that school). Is there any other places I can sit exams rather than a school, and would my parents have to pay for the exams?
Queenie - 15-Feb-17 @ 10:05 PM
hi, I am 14 nearly 15 and I'm thinking of being taken out of school because of somethings are going on and I don't think I can continue going but if I were going to continue studying for my maths, English and science gcse would I have to go to college and take some classes there? and how would I know which books to study from??
tia - 25-Jan-17 @ 11:15 AM
Janz22 - Your Question:
Who do I contact to get my daughter to do her GCSE

Our Response:
The exam boards are your first port of call if your daughter is not in school. The main examination boards in England are:
AQA
Pearson Edexcel
OCR
CCEA
AHomeEducation - 19-Jan-17 @ 11:35 AM
Who do I contact to get my daughter to do her GCSE
Janz22 - 17-Jan-17 @ 12:29 PM
barrowmillhouse - Your Question:
My Daughter aged 14 yr 10 has just been pulled from school unable to cope with Constant Pressure & teenage drama's hormones. Cant concentrate & learn under those conditions. There is a good chance now she will not pass her GCSEs. Can she still go to College next Sept 2018 & re-do GCSEs or any courses or aprenteships????

Our Response:
She needs to be undertaking some kind of education while she's this age. Speak with your local education authority to see what options are available.
AHomeEducation - 17-Jan-17 @ 12:27 PM
My daughter got pulled from school as all the bulling and they won't let her sit her gcse first she has been there since she started secondary school and been bullied since then but they didn't do anything about it and she has tried other schools it's the same so I'm trying to put her in online schooling
Janz22 - 17-Jan-17 @ 12:27 PM
My daughter has just left school half way through year 10 the school has said they are willing to take her back Feb 2018 to sit her exams how to I find correct coursework/lessons etc for the next year
Debz34 - 16-Jan-17 @ 8:32 PM
My Daughter aged 14 yr 10 has just been pulled from school unable to cope with Constant Pressure & teenage drama's hormones. Cant concentrate & learn under those conditions.There is a good chance now she will not pass her GCSEs. Can she still go to College next Sept 2018 & re-do GCSEs or any courses or aprenteships????
barrowmillhouse - 16-Jan-17 @ 12:01 PM
Hi my son is 17 he left school Dec15 with Anxiety and GAD he is under CAHMS and having CBT treatment it's still a long recovery for him but just want to know who l contact to get him doing his GCSES when he's ready he can't go out as has social anxiety so colledge not a option he would love to do a apprentiship in time but l don't know what age you Can be to do one as he's probably going to be 18 any help advice would be much apprenticed
Clur - 14-Jan-17 @ 9:23 AM
Hi i was wondering if anyone could answer my question, im homeschooled and my gcses are in May, i left school around mid year ten time, The school didnt educate very well and the teachers and students tended to bully, i am really not ready for my gcses and id like to take them when im ready, is it possible to do them when im 17 at college?
chloematthews10100 - 12-Jan-17 @ 3:08 AM
Hiya I'm 18 and was home schooled for 5 years and have never taken my gcses I was just wondering where I would go to take them .
Chels - 3-Jan-17 @ 6:00 PM
moom40 - Your Question:
Hi my daughter is currently studying her A-levels at home.can anyone advise how we get her coursework marked for her English Literature/Language A level? thank you

Our Response:
The easiest way to establish how to do this would be to get in touch with her chosen exam board (that sets the papers and coursework etc) directly.
AHomeEducation - 14-Dec-16 @ 12:55 PM
hi my daughter is currently studying her A-levels at home....can anyone advise how we get her coursework marked for her English Literature/Language A level? thank you
moom40 - 13-Dec-16 @ 6:52 PM
I'm 14 and was diagnosed with a chronic medical condition in 2013 (the start of year 7). I've missed almost all of lower school and have not had much home tutoring since I live on a small island with very little resources. I am now in year 10 and have no idea what to do, even if I were to go back to school I would be very far behind. My school is hoping for me to come in to get a few GCSE's but I have no idea where to start. Sorry for the mini rant, I just don't know what to do anymore
Luke - 1-Dec-16 @ 10:14 PM
My son is in year 10 and has had a number of issues with bullying at school, so we are considering home schooling to get him through his gcse's. What are our options? Could he start his gcse earlier?? Would he be able to study at college??
Mum4 - 30-Nov-16 @ 11:22 AM
elena - Your Question:
Hi, I'm a year 11 home schooled student, however I'm worried about to take my gcse exams, can someone help me plz???

Our Response:
Hi Annie have a look at the response to @Lucy below, which gives details of the various GCSE exam boards. There is lots of information on their websites about how you can take the exams etc.
AHomeEducation - 22-Nov-16 @ 11:55 AM
Lucy- Your Question:
Hiya , I was just wondering if anyone could help me ? I was hoping to start thinking about my GCSES , being homeschooled I am not sure on what GCSES I can take ? Any advice will be very much appreciated ??

Our Response:
More and more subjects are based on a final examination with the introduction of the new iGCSEs over the next few years. To find out what's possible, it might be worth looking at the various examination boards; the ones in England are:
AQA
Pearson Edexcel
OCR
AHomeEducation - 22-Nov-16 @ 10:51 AM
Hi, I'm a year 11 home schooled student, however I'm worried about to take my gcse exams, can someone help me plz???
elena - 21-Nov-16 @ 6:16 PM
Hiya , I was just wondering if anyone could help me ? I was hoping to start thinking about my GCSES , being homeschooled I am not sure on what GCSES I can take ? Any advice will be very much appreciated ??
Lucy - 21-Nov-16 @ 1:47 PM
Anita36 - Your Question:
Thid is going to sound really bad, my son has been permanently excluded from school, he can not get in to another local school, he is in year 11, what can I do about getting him in to education? Is college an option ?

Our Response:
Your local education authority should be able to give you an idea of the options available to your son. Most colleges are aimed at year 12s and above but it might be worth contacting them to see if there are any study opportunities there for him until next year when he can think about either re-sitting his GCSEs or taking a vocational course in an environment more suited to him than a school.
AHomeEducation - 12-Oct-16 @ 2:29 PM
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