English, History, Geography, ICT A levels- good combo?

(27 Posts)
Creamycoolerwithcream Fri 07-Feb-14 15:09:01

My DS2 has chosen the following for his A level subjects. He's on track for B's in English, History and Geograpy and an A in ICT in his GCSEs. How does this combination sound,apart from the ICT are they too similar. He doesn't know what he wants to do after A levels.

BeckAndCall Fri 07-Feb-14 15:13:34

You can never say is a good combo unless you know what he wants to do.

But to answer you Q, they are in no way similar - 3 humanities but that's a good base for many many many things. The first three are solid acceptable subjects for university ( if that's what he wants) or for demonstration to a future employer at he can apply him self in solid logical evidence based subjects.

ICT I know nothing about but if your DS likes it and if he keeps those other 3 subjects he's doing just fine.

Creamycoolerwithcream Fri 07-Feb-14 15:17:47

Thank you for replying. I keep reading about choosing a broad range of A level subjects but these are the subjects he likes.

They sound like good solid subjects as long he likes essays.

Creamycoolerwithcream Fri 07-Feb-14 15:20:26

Yes he does, or at least a bit more than Maths or Science type questions.

ancientbuchanan Fri 07-Feb-14 15:23:57

Three " facilitating".subjects, and the Ict, sounds fine. He could do lots in the arts and humanities worlds at HE or out. If he likes them, then do them. Unless there's a subject he's bound to do better in?

tess73 Fri 07-Feb-14 16:06:25

Unusual to do both history and geography. If he is likely to go down arts route then something like politics might be better than geography?
I did geography, biology and French a levels, def a wide range BUT uni choices were limited. For biology you needed chemistry. For languages you needed more than just French. So I did geography which was fine, BUT if I had known/been advised better I would have chosen differently.

Creamycoolerwithcream Fri 07-Feb-14 16:16:36

I'm not sure if swapping Geography for a non facilitating subject is better just in case he drops History or English after AS level and is left with just one facilitating subject. It's tricky as he really has no clue what he wants to do. He isn't 16 until the very end of August as is quite young for his age.

Creamycoolerwithcream Fri 07-Feb-14 16:17:54

Tess, what do you think you would have picked if you could go back in time?

FirstLoveMama Fri 07-Feb-14 16:24:18

If those are the subjects he enjoys do them.
It's all very well picking other subjects that may open up more doors for him but if he gets poor grades due to lack of interest those doors will quickly shut!
So I'd say go with these subjects smile
ICT is always a winner nowadays, English always has been. Even though geography and history are similar they compliment eachother.

Best to go with interesting subjects your son enjoys so he has more chance of getting good grades smile the grades are essential regardless of subject

It is tricky OP isn't it?
choosing a broad range of A level subjects this is all very well but they have to like, and be reasonably good at, what they are choosing.
I have persuaded DS that if he did not choose Chemistry that would close the door to Genetics / Biomedical sciences which is one area he has shown an interest in.( Along with law, politics, and economics).

tess73 Fri 07-Feb-14 16:29:52

Well I loved geography and biology. I shouldn't have done French, you are up against people who speak French at home, or have lots of chances to speak French or who have another Latin language as first language so very hard to compete.
I would have done chemistry if I had my time again, biology on it's own isn't much use going forward, and/or maths.
I do agree though do what he enjoys and is best at, getting good grades is the first priority.

Creamycoolerwithcream Fri 07-Feb-14 16:35:29

Yes I agree about doing the ones you will enjoy. When the DC were younger it was easy talking to other mums about school stuff as i used to see them on the school run. Now i dont really see them anymore or if i do i found people can be a more cagey discussing choices etc so thank you.

Floralnomad Fri 07-Feb-14 16:41:04

My DS did IT ,geography and English at A level , he is at uni doing IT and is starting his teacher training ( to be an IT teacher) in September . He is very into English literature though and reads widely which has seemed to impress at the interviews for teacher training that he has been to . My only question would be are there other subjects that he will get an A or A* for at GCSE as they may be a better choice .

Lilymaid Fri 07-Feb-14 16:45:13

I took English, history, geography back in the year dot - seemed fine then for humanities degrees or social science or law. All good academic subjects.

maitaimojito Fri 07-Feb-14 16:47:53

Sounds a lot like me actually. I preferred essays over maths and science.

I did geography, English language, psychology and history (dropped history for A2).

I always wished I had done GCSE I.T. but the job I'm in now I would never have imagined myself doing (it involves maths!). So, in hindsight I would have done maths like my teacher at the time was pushing me to do. I think I would have struggled though and in terms of getting in at uni you're best to go with the subjects you're likely to get high grades for.

Creamycoolerwithcream Fri 07-Feb-14 17:09:41

Floralnomad, he isn't on track for any A*s. His humanity subjects are on track for good Bs and Maths and Sciences C to Bs. He's doing double science and got a B in last years GCSE .I dont thinka Science subject would be a good choice for him as he would be up against triple science grade A pupils. He is not that keen on French.
Can I ask the posters who picked similar subject what jobs they do now and if they went to university what they studied?

Lilymaid Fri 07-Feb-14 17:30:28

I studied Law but now work in legal field in information management.

MillyMollyMama Fri 07-Feb-14 17:33:31

Will he not be up against A* pupils in humanities? Bs could make getting a good A level grade more of a challenge. It would be good to start considering what he might do post 18 though. All the people I know who did History, English and Geography ended up doing one of those 3 at university. English and History are, of course, very difficult to get on. Geography a bit less so. Several Geographers became Town Planners and teachers , the Historians went into the civil service and the English people went into teaching, retrained for Occupational Therapy and joined retail training schemes. In other words, your DS could do a variety of things but you need to be realistic about his likely A level grades which may not be good enough for History or English. Many recruiters like to see numeracy rather than IT skills. Everyone has that these days and can easily be picked up by company specific training.

Tess73. I would not put anyone off doing languages just because they do not speak the language at home or go abroad to practice it. If you have a talent, it is perfectly possible to compete. You just have to work a bit harder without home coaching!

Creamycoolerwithcream Fri 07-Feb-14 17:49:34

Yes he will up against A* pupils in humanities but at least he's done the same gcse course as them, unlike science. He isn't an A* pupil but wants to do A levels. I'm not expecting him to get As and Bs at A levels but you can get on university courses with Cs and Ds. I could imagine my DS being a teacher or a social worker but at the moment he can't think that far ahead.

Mermi Fri 07-Feb-14 18:29:33

Hi OP, I think he should do whatever subjects he enjoys. I always think if you do something that you enjoy you can't go far wrong. He is also more likely to do well if he's actually enjoying the subject.

I don't imagine it particularly matters if he hasn't got A*s for his GCSEs in the subjects he wants to do, even if the rest of his class has?

I am doing Geography at uni after taking it for Alevel and its a respected subject. It's very diverse so, as you probably know, you can do a huge amount with it post uni. I'm planning to become a surveyor.

Friends with History, Geography and English alevels and degrees are doing a huge variety of degrees and jobs - police force, teaching, military, journalism, law, medicine, consultancy, investment banking etc etc.

BeckAndCall Sat 08-Feb-14 08:48:08

Although I've alreAdy given my two pennorth on this, I thought I'd add a dissenting voice to the idea of doing a broad range of subjects - the scatter gun approach of one science, one humanity, maybe a language and a non facilitating subject - will be no help for anything. The range of subjects approach doesn't suggest strength for a degree subject - and if he does want to do a degree with C grade A2 s then he will need to have an appropriate range of subjects which demonstrate a good interest in the subject ( so if he chooses politics, say, history and geography would be good choices, English always a good choice).

Your DS's choices are good and complementary and would lead to some subject options he hasn't thought of, not just geography! Politics, international studies, American studies, sociology all come to mind. Subjects that haven't occurred to him yet as he hasn't started looking .

And mermi - you really have friends without science A levels doing medicine? Really? Where is that then?

LeBearPolar Sat 08-Feb-14 08:52:27

Glad to see you are realistic about his possible A Level grades. You have no idea how many pupils I get entering English A level with a B at GCSE and assuming that will translate to a B/A at A Level. D/C is more likely.

sugarandspite Sat 08-Feb-14 09:02:57

I'd get him to have a look at some of subjects that (may not) have been available to him at GCSE level but are usually an option at A level - eg psychology, sociology, law etc.

Something like psychology might be a better option than geography as it demonstrates that you can handle data and research but he might enjoy it a lot more than the traditional sciences. Psychology graduates are usually some of the most employable because they have a skillset which crosses many of the science and humanities divides.

BeckAndCall Sat 08-Feb-14 09:50:39

The only thing to watch for on psychology, sugar is the level of maths needed. The content of the A level varies by board but there is a lot of data interpretation in some boards which may not suit the OP's DS.

Creamycoolerwithcream Sat 08-Feb-14 09:59:24

Thanks guys, that very helpful. We have discussed trying a new subject ( I'm a Sociology graduate so did try and slightly push that subject). He's quite cautious and not keen on change but has mentioned psychology a couple of times as a possibly maybe.

antimatter Sat 08-Feb-14 15:01:38

psychology has a lot of science in it covered. Have look at topics for psych A level to see if he likes the sound of it.

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