DD is entering year 11 at an independent boarding school but wants to move for 6th Form. She has some SEN issues which mean she gets 25% extra time for exams but she should do well at GCSE and is academically capable of A level work. However, she is unlikely to get top grades and I am wondering if she would be better taking a different route. She has confidence issues and I feel it would be better for her to be near the top of the class than the bottom!
A local college offers BTEC and she is keen to go the Open Day so we can all find out more. The problem is she's not clear on a career and so it is difficult to choose a course. She is attracted to equine, sport and animal care at the moment.
Well, there's no harm in going to the open day. They'll give you and her a better understanding of what the BTEC entails. It will be more applied than A level, and if she does something animal related, then it will be much more practical that A level. BTECs are examined on coursework only, so this could help if she struggles with exams/exam stress.
Taking a BTEC will not stop her going to university, but it may limit the courses she can apply for. She will need to be sure it's something she is commited to for the next couple of years. So, if she wants to keep her options open, this might not be the best route for her.
With the things she is interested in, she would probably need to take biology A level to study them at university. How would she feel about this? Biology is one of the harder A levels, due to the amount of new concepts introduced, and the amount of information you need to remember for the exam.
The BTEC in Animal Management is accepted by many universities as entry to zoology, ecology or other animal related degrees.
DS2 is interested in this area and has ASD so we have been thinking about this. He will be taking his GCSEs next summer and our plan is to apply for this at our FE college alongside a 6th form place to do A levels and then make the final decision (assuming he gets offers from both) after he gets his GCSE grades.
My dd is similar to yours in that she had 25% extra time I. Exams (due to dyslexia). She got decent enough grades at GCSE and attempted a level last year. Se found the jump to a level incredibly hard, and her predicted grades for 3 a levels would have been Cs and Ds.
She left after one term and is now doing an extended diploma BTEC (equivalent to a levels but vocational). Luckily the college had a January intake so she didn't lose a year. It is the best choice she could have made, she loves her new course and really enjoys the different atmosphere of a college.
I would certainly have a look at the college and research the course. Dd has always felt rather worried about her (perceived) poor academic attainment. Leaving behind a levels and achieving success in the BTEC (she has gained distinction in all her modules) has really increased her confidence. I think her nerves would have been in tatters if she stayed on doing the a levels.
Look at level 3 equine at Plumpton, Merrist Wood and Brinsbury. You can carry on to degree level at Merrist Wood. Level 3 is the equivalent of A level. Much better for pupils who struggle with the academic formality of writing to a formulaic exam question.
The correct Animal Management course leaves all animal based doors open with three distinctions in the right sections you can do veterinary medicine at Uni, I employ three vet nurses who did this course and one veterinary receptionist.