Advanced search

BTEC (level 3) plus extra subject

(10 Posts)
GreenShadow Fri 23-Jan-15 13:02:36

DS3 is in year 11 and we still haven't established exactly what he wants to do in the 6th form.

DS1 and DS2 were straight forward and just slid into suitable A levels at their existing school.

DS3 isn't as academic but would probably just about manage 3 A levels but it wouldn't be obvious what subjects to select. The most suitable option now seems to be an IT BTEC.

We went to an open evening at the college last night and they also suggested that most students also take an additional subject - maybe an A level or an AS. As we've no experience of BTECs I would be grateful if anyone who has gone along this route could offer any advice as to how realistic this would be. If a BTEC is meant to equate to 3 A levels anyway, it seems to me that there shouldn't really be time to take an additional subject.

TeenAndTween Fri 23-Jan-15 14:57:52

I thought for a moment that I was writing the opening post.

DD1 also y11 has applied to do a BTEC (3 A level 'equivalent') plus an AS/A level. The college is saying it should be fine.

Remember that many pupils currently start with 4 A levels and drop one after a year.

My idea is if it is too much she can drop the A level (or drop the BTEC down to '2 A level'). But I am hoping that as a 'more able' person on the BTEC course she may find some stuff a bit easier and therefore less time consuming. I may be completely wrong though.

GreenShadow Fri 23-Jan-15 15:15:18

Thanks for replying Teen.

Starting, but not necessarily completing, the additional subject were my thoughts too (not that I would raise that possibility with DS at this point).

Anyone else ?

sablepoot Mon 26-Jan-15 10:20:05

the work distribution for btecs is quite different to a levels. With A levels the work output is stacked towards the end of the year and the exams, whereas with btec, the assessment is continuous so the output is more constant throughout the year with a lot of self organisation and discipline needed to meet the deadlines along the way. I would think an A level alongside a btec extended diploma would be doable for many youngsters, but try it and see and reevaluate if needed.

GreenShadow Mon 26-Jan-15 13:23:49

sable - thank you. This is just the sort of feedback I was hoping to hear. I will encourage him to give it a try.

TeenAndTween Mon 26-Jan-15 15:47:51

sable Thank you. helpful for me too.

Caronaim Tue 27-Jan-15 14:18:07

I taught BTEC level 3 until last year, ans many of our students did the full 3 A level Btec, and one other A level. Not all completed the A level, but some did. Some chose subjects with a big overlap to the BTEC, others chose to do Extra English or Maths.

I would say DO NOT assume you can drop down to doing a "2 A level" BTEC, it is unlikely to be possible within the timetable. I would also say make sure the A level is fun, a subject your child really enjoys. Realistically, the choices may be limited, as it would have to be what is available to fit around the BTEC time table, but go for interest or enjoyment rather than something they will find heavy going.

TeenAndTween Tue 27-Jan-15 14:25:17

Caron can I ask what you mean by unlikely to be possible within the timetable ?

Do you mean like dropping from triple to double science, in as a much as you can't do it in practice because all the lessons are jumbled together?

(DD has applied to do Travel & Tourism with Spanish A level, which I think fits rather well. )

Caronaim Tue 27-Jan-15 16:11:33

yes, we have tried in the past to separate lessons out so that it is possible to drop from the triple BTEC to the double, but it just doesn't work. You cannot guess in advance which students will need to repeat which teaching, or which units, and make the timetable flexible enough to cater for them. If we start with all the core units, for example, then move onto the optional units, then anyone who hasn't kept up will need to repeat core units, and they will not be taught again until the following year. if we run them side by side, we end up with students passing optional units that they will never be able to use because they have failed core units. It is a logistical impossibility to guarantee that students can drop down to the two A level equivalent. Some do manage it, but it can never be guaranteed.

TeenAndTween Tue 27-Jan-15 16:30:56

Thanks, that helps a lot.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: