One of the Sixth-forms we are looking at expects students to take 4 AS levels in Year 12, drop one and continue with 3 through to A level in Year 13. I'm struggling to see why this would still be offered and what the benefits are given that most universities are using GSCEs and school predicted grades to make offers and they are really not interested in AS levels any more. But I am open to being persuaded why it is a good way to go. Can anyone help?
It's a dying model to be honest with most post-16 providers moving to either 3 or 4 A-levels depending on ability and the AS route being almost scrapped entirely. But there's still something to be said for having the 4th subject in the first year as this often turns out to be something that a student enjoys more than the 3 they thought they wanted to do! Also gives a chance for students to sample something new e.g. Media, Sociology, Psychology, Law etc.
DS's school is doing this - it's working out for him as he wanted to carry on with music for another year. He plans to do three in Y13. I think if you have AS levels universities will look at the grades as predictions are rather uncertain but they obviously aren't expecting to see them as so many schools stopped offering.
Our school does 4 subjects then drops to 3. Sometimes people can't cope with the increased difficulty in certain subjects so they can drop one and still be doing 3. Or they can try subjects they haven't done eg politics, sociology etc but then find itbis not what they expected so again have the luxury of dropping one but still be doing 3
“But there's still something to be said for having the 4th subject in the first year as this often turns out to be something that a student enjoys more than the 3 they thought they wanted to do!”
I wholeheartedly agree with this ^^ DD took psychology in year 12 as she really wanted to do it. She found it very boring and unchallenging. The volume of work was ridiculous as well. Because she was doing three other subjects she could drop psychology after her AS exams. She felt sorry for the psychology haters who only started with three subjects as they had to keep it.
Another who lies that model too. My dd1 went into 6th form pretty certain what she wanted to do at University (had been fairly sure since she was about 13). Started her A-levels and HATED the 2 subjects she needed. Really struggled with the subjects. The fact she had 2 other subjects meant she was able to continue with them, drop one of the 2 she had loved at GCSE, but hated at A Level, and struggle through with the other one. she is now at uiversity doing a completely different course from that which she though she wanted to do at 15. If she'd only started with 3 A levels, she'd have been a bit stuffed.
All that said, if all other schools are now doing 3, then you are probably at a disadvantage if you are spreading yourself across 4 subjects rather than the 3 all your competitors (for courses) are studying.
In many school you can now start with four but drop one after a few weeks or a term (or basically at the point you are certain of your subjects or need to reduce the workload). I think this is sensible especially if you are doing untried subjects