better to switch to btec or struggle on with A levels

(12 Posts)
mary21 Fri 28-Mar-14 15:21:43

Ds1 is struggling wit AS,s . At very non selective school so even if he flunks them they may let him carry on to A2. Currently on for 1 c and 3 e,s. Would it be better to move him to college and do level 3 btec orleave him where he is and maybe go on to a foundation degree. At this stage he wants to go to united but can't see him getting the grades.
He is working. Just finds it all a bit beyond him.

sashh Sat 29-Mar-14 07:09:51

What does he want to do afterwards?

Many students thrive on BTEC who have not done well at AS, but not all of them do.

rightsaidfrederick Sat 29-Mar-14 23:55:16

I'd wait and see what the damage is after AS exams. That way, you'll know for sure, and it will give him some UCAS points, which the lower ranked universities will count. He may like to consider dropping one AS now, if he thinks that that would give him more time to concentrate on the others and boost marks. If he was to go on and do the BTEC, the college may allow him to continue the C grade subject onto A2.

However, if he really does end up with CEEE then there is very little point in carrying onto A2 IMO, as the only universities that that would allow him to attend are the sort of universities that aren't worth £9 a year, let alone £9000. Plus, if he continues to A2, then he won't be able to go back and do a BTEC because of the ELQ funding rules.

However, as he's just fundamentally struggling with the work (not due to mitigating circumstances or anything like that) then I would question his suitability for university. It's not for everyone, it will be academically demanding, and if the vocational BTEC route suits him better, it may be wiser to look for a job with progression opportunities (i.e. in a big company with a clear progression structure) or an apprenticeship after college. Uni isn't the be-all and end-all.

There is no "right" answer to this as it really depends on so many things, e.g.:
- How did he get on with GCSEs?
- What A levels is he studying & why did he choose these subjects?
- Does he have any ideas of careers that might interest him?
- How does he feel about his studies? To continue or not with A levels?
- How does he feel about leaving 6th form & going to college?
Motivation is really important in whether he will be a success in either route. As rightsaidfred says, he also has the option of an apprenticeship. If he were to apply for a Level 3 apprenticeship, he would be competing against this years school-leavers, and his additional maturity should stand him in good stead. From there, he could continue his studies part-time to degree level, if interested...
Is there an independent careers adviser in his 6th form that he could talk this through with? If not, it is possible to see one privately - look at the professional register on www.theCDI.org for a qualified professional.

Oops! Wrong link. Should have been: www.theCDI.net as in the Career Development Institute...

mary21 Mon 31-Mar-14 08:59:36

Thanks for the input.
TBH I do think he is a borderline ALevel candidate and at this/stage uni is going be a step to far. His AS,s are Eng lit, biology, pe and psychology. Psych is the one he is getting on best with. He really doesn't,t know what he wants to do.
He will see out the AS levels and I think will want to stay at school. He likes to see things through even if it would sometimes be better to change.
Thanks again. I will check out that link

sashh Mon 31-Mar-14 15:33:40

Be careful with 'finishing' A Levels, you then lose funding because you have a 'full' level 3 qualification. Fine if you get good grades, not so good if you don't.

Hand in then air here, I teach BTEC and I am totally biased, but - how about having a look at the Health and Social care Level 3 spec, in particular the psychology unit and the anatomy and physiology unit?

The psychology looks at Piaget, Skinner, Pavlov, Maslow, Bandurra - he should have some basic knowledge of these from his AS. Tha Anatomy and physiology will have some overlap with both PE and to a lesser extent biology (depending on how much human vs plant biology he is doing). Some of his PE would also be similar to some of the health and safety unit.

http://www.edexcel.com/migrationdocuments/BTEC%20Nationals%20from%202010/Unit-5-Anatomy-and-Physiology-for-HSC.pdf

http://www.edexcel.com/migrationdocuments/BTEC%20Nationals%20from%202010/Unit-5-Anatomy-and-Physiology-for-HSC.pdf

I agree to wait until after AS before he makes a move or stays, I just think he might be pleasantly surprised by how much work he has already covered that could 'transfer' (what's in his head would transfer, he would still need to get things down on paper) to BTEC if he wants to give it a try. There is a work placement element as well, and ............ not sure if this would put him off or be a benefit, most colleges struggle to get male students interested in HSC so he would likely be in a class that is mainly female.

mary21 Wed 02-Apr-14 15:20:32

Thanks
Health and social care is a direction I can see him going in.

emmalouiserogers Mon 07-Apr-14 09:28:29

I am currently doing a btec at college studying media! I switched from a- levels as i wasn't enjoying them at all, i found the btec more practical based rather than a whole lot of theory! It gave me experience for work and suited my way of learning a lot better! I'm doing a project to finish my btec abd It'd be really helpful if you could fill this questionnare in for me!!smile
https://www.surveymonkey.com/MySurvey_EditorFull.aspx?sm=aVNogbtauRvVCf1hrSrDwumWjeOLwrrPOTmIp1yBKoU%3d

sashh Tue 08-Apr-14 06:16:13

Bit of a hijack there Emma

I think you need to check the link, it's taking me to a log on page.

Eastpoint Thu 10-Apr-14 07:38:59

I know a few teens who have been much happier with the BTEC route, it has really suited their learning style.

Faxthatpam Mon 14-Apr-14 17:58:39

My DS2 is doing a BTEC in Sport - double award - plus Psychology and Photography ASs. I have to say he has so enjoyed the BTEC and it really suits his style of learning. He dropped Psychology, even though he was really enjoying it and seemingly doing well, after he got a D at AS. Exams are a bit of a struggle for him and now he has faced this and knows what suits him he is so much happier and more confident and getting nothing but Distinctions in his BTEC. He too wants to go to Uni (after a gap year) and even though I think he may not be suited to further academic study I ultimately think it should be his choice if he finds a course he really wants to do. I have found that as he gets older he is much better at taking advice! grin
Good luck.

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