A levels fail

(32 Posts)
hardestdecisionever Wed 11-Jun-14 12:30:13

Hi

Our DD has just sat her A levels and doesn't think she has done very well (although the amount of effort put in may be a part of that!). She has a conditional offer from uni but has already decided to take a gap year.

Is it possible for her to retake yr 13 at a state school? She has been in a private school for 6th form but we are not willing to pay out for the additional year. I realise admissions for state 6th form are probably now over so how would we need to go about this?

Any help or advice much appreciated.

titchy Wed 11-Jun-14 16:09:09

You'll find it difficult I'm afraid. Sixth forms colleges and schools normally only allow their own students back for a resit year. I don't think she'd be able to use her AS results either as they'll have been cashed in this summer, so she'd be retaking AS and A2. You'd need to match subject and exam board too probably though boards may have similar syllabuses depending on subject. An FE college might be a better bet. Get phoning round!

What were her AS results like? They contribute half the mark so she'd really have to bomb the A2 exams to fail completely.

Whyjustwhyagain Wed 11-Jun-14 16:27:47

I have known students resit A2s at their old school, but have studied at home so only using the school as an exam centre. Would that be a possibility for your DD?

hardestdecisionever Wed 11-Jun-14 20:44:54

I think it may be an option to use her old school as an exam centre my only issue with that is the 9 months before she gets to re do the exam and whether she would be motivated enough to self study. On prior performance I don't think that would be the case.

Her AS levels weren't great and she has retaken a couple of those modules along with her A2 exams now.

Does anybody know if you can do a levels as distance learning courses so there is still some structure to the year?

Whyjustwhyagain Wed 11-Jun-14 21:47:40

Rather than retaking A levels, is it worth looking at foundation year courses at university in her chosen subject?

hardestdecisionever Wed 11-Jun-14 22:07:36

I've never heard of them. What are they? Do they bridge the gap between AS and A level?

hardestdecisionever Wed 11-Jun-14 22:08:14

*sorry I meant AS level and university?

titchy Wed 11-Jun-14 22:17:08

No, you still need A levels for foundation years at university. Tbh if she's failed, or scraped Es and isn't particularly motivated to study university isn't the place for her at the moment.

Some time away from education, working out in the big wide world might be more beneficial and help her work out what she wants to do longer term.

Whyjustwhyagain Wed 11-Jun-14 22:18:59

They provide a 1 year course that bridges the gap between less good/relevant A levels and a degree in the same subject.
I think they are mainly science/engineering/medicine based.

Do a google search.

They take place at the university, and let you go onto the 1st year of the proper degree course if you successfully complete the foundation year.

joanofarchitrave Wed 11-Jun-14 22:23:09

I like titchy and why's suggestions.

However, she may also be shocked by this result and suddenly turn things around motivation wise. What A-levels did she do? I did a distance learning A-level with the National Extension College, not too expensive and I thought the materials were good. Tutor time was a little more tricky and I paid at one point for 2 extra revision sessions with a face to face tutor just from the local paper. Exam fees were expensive, but cheapest at the local state school, they were happy to have me as a private candidate.

The other option, if you can afford it, is to send her to a crammer, like D'oeverbrokes (sp) or Davis College/Mander Portman Woodward etc.

oops! sorry, just saw you don't want to pay out for another year.

hardestdecisionever Wed 11-Jun-14 23:29:28

What is a crammer? Just a short intensive course?

Foundation course is certainly something to look into. I'm hoping she will be disappointed with her results and that will kick her into gear. She has had her heart set on uni for a while. We even took her round to see her top choices hoping to inspire her. She seemed so keen and loved going around. But just can't seem to get her to focus on the exams.

She has done Economics, government and politics and psychology at a level with the hope of studying politics at uni. I think it will be economics that will definitely need to be retaken and not sure on the others until results come out.

Crammers are expensive colleges where kids go to retake a levels when they have buggered around and there parents can pay. Often used to up grades for Oxbridge entry.

joanofarchitrave Wed 11-Jun-14 23:35:54

Hmm. If she wants to work in politics, could you support her to do an internship (have a look at working for an mp, or a serious entry-level voluntary role in a campaigning charity? She could probably combine the latter with at least one A-level.

MagratGarlik Wed 11-Jun-14 23:40:19

Foundation courses can rarely be used for students who didn't make the grade at A'level. They tend to be used for courses such as vet med/med/pharmacy/nursing by people who didn't do suitable A'levels and then suddenly realize that they want to do something different.

Tbh if she is not motivated to work at a private 6th form, a university foundation course, where she would be expected to be extremely self-motivated is not the place for her.

I'd agree with other posters saying a year out to really decide what she wants to do is her best bet. If she is not self-motivated at school, she will not last too long in a university environment.

TinklyLittleLaugh Wed 11-Jun-14 23:42:09

My idle DS did a foundation year at the University of Liverpool. His grades would maybe have got him into a poor university (CDD).

It seems to have worked for him, he did really well in his foundation year and has just completed his first proper year. We were slightly concerned whether he'd keep up academically but everything he's had marked so far has been at least a 2i. I think his A level performance was a combination of laziness and poor teaching.

hardestdecisionever Wed 11-Jun-14 23:45:50

I agree she needs to get out there and actually play an active part in a political party this year if she is serious about wanting to do something in politics. Trying to get her to do anything though always turns into a huge battle. We are more than happy to support her to do an internship in her gap year it's just actually getting her to do anything that requires effort!

Crammer is not an option then as we are unwilling to pay out for more private education when she hasn't used it to its full potential this time.

ClashCityRocker Wed 11-Jun-14 23:47:06

It's all going to come down to how much work she is willing to do and how she feels about doing the work itself. Is it just the actual exams she has a problem with, or is it the long term motivation?

I know on my DN's A2 courses there were a couple of people who were re-sitting the year from different schools, so some colleges do offer this on a full time basis, but if she does struggle with the whole acedemic framework, it may be that work experience or internships will be more valuable to her in the long run.

She might not be in the right headspace yet; it may benefit her to do a couple of years work experience and then go on to a foundation degree.

Lilymaid Wed 11-Jun-14 23:47:59

DS went to a "crammer" for his A Levels and enjoyed the experience. Small classes, good teachers who treated the students as adults. And normal school activities - sports, DofE etc. but it would be only worth doing if the DC was motivated. Nowadays these colleges are more like private sixth form colleges and offer a broader curriculum/experience than just exam prep.
If not interested in academic work it is better not to go on to university but to get a job or vocational training. Is she interested in a particular political party?

ClashCityRocker Wed 11-Jun-14 23:53:41

Sorry cross-posted.

If you'll forgive me for saying so, it sounds like she wants the good career without putting in the leg-work to get there.

I think you need to take a step back and give her a year to really think about what she wants to do, and what she is prepared to do to get there.

The world is full of people (me included!) who think 'if I could have my time again...' sometimes a bit of time to grow up and mature before you make 'big' and above all, realistic choices about what you want out of life works wonders.

ClashCityRocker Wed 11-Jun-14 23:54:46

Shit. That sounded really patronising...sorry, I didn't mean it to be!

hardestdecisionever Thu 12-Jun-14 08:47:29

Hi ClashCityRocker I don't think your comment is patronising at all, it's totally true. She is hoping that this perfect job will just come along and find her rather than her putting in any effort and going to find it.

I think it is the exams she has a problem with, she was fine going to school, was there on time and always completed assignments etc.

Will have a look at the national extension college to see what her options are with that. Will also look at the internships available and hopefully get her out doing some voluntary work. We do want her tobe happy and get a career that she will enjoy but currently feel annoyed and upset that she seems to have wasted �24k worth of education.

TalkinPeace Thu 12-Jun-14 17:47:11

I loved my crammer, but know that it cost MORE than school fees for the year.
I did one A level in a term (D to a B) and the other two in a year (E to A and O to C)
Oddly enough none of the people I met there have it on their CVs (including me)

Luggagecarousel Thu 12-Jun-14 23:31:00

hardestdecisionever. How old is your dd. If she is still only 18 in September, she may be able to find a place in a sixth form.

It would depend whether there were spaces in the courses she wants, and whether the school uses the same exam boards.

we do accept students in these circumstances. Competition for places in AS courses is high, but there is always a few who drop out over the year, leaving spaces in A2 classes. Quite frankly, we would rather fill the spaces if we could.

Criteria for government funding changes, but currently, an 18 year old CANNOT be funded to take a course in one institution, if she took a course the same level in that institution already. A different institution would list her as a new student, and get the place funded.

For this rather silly reason, there is a certain amount of swapping round of retake students between schools.

If she is already 19, she has passed the age of free education, and cannot apply.

(Foundation degree years cost £9000)

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