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Predicted grades not good enough for where dd wants to study...worth applying anyway?

(69 Posts)
dottyaboutstripes Wed 28-Sep-11 22:46:28

DD wants to be a primary school teacher and has predicted grades of CCC. All the unis she is interested in ask for BBB. Today, her head of 6th form told her there was no point in even applying to her preferred unis and suggested other possibilities (apparently there are very few asking for the kind of points she's predicted and she's not wanting to go to any of them)

My question is - is there really no point in even trying? That seems utterly defeatist to me! In all honesty, I don't think she's capable of achieving Bs, but is there really no chance in hell that she might possible get offered a place somewhere she actually would like to study? I mean, isn't it entirely possible that applications will go down with the £9k fees being introduced etc etc?

funnyperson Thu 29-Sep-11 06:03:12

dotty predictions are not everything. They are only predictions. With As at gcse and a reasonable PS and a reasonable reference explaining any mitigating factors, and reasonable AS grades (you don't mention those) your DC might get an offer. 

Putting in an application might motivate her to work steadily and sensibly, she needs to listen to her teachers and supplement her teaching at school with all the internet tutor2u and exam board practice opportunities and she might make her offer. Its her call really.

If the AS levels aren't up to scratch or would pull her A level grade down, she needs  to work steadily and retake the offending modules. Thats my twopence worth. Good luck.

ShoutyHamster Thu 29-Sep-11 06:16:36

How about she takes a year out after her A levels?

She's had a bit of a reality check with the predicted grades. That may up her actual results - it may not. If she waits to apply with KNOWN grades, this dilemma will disappear.

A year out could also be spent very productively on upping her CV for her delayed entry with a years' relevant work/volutary work.

At least she really will know where she stands with what institutions are within reach for her.

It's certainly a far more sensible approach than applying for unis who specify a higher set of predicted grades. She is really unlikely to get a place this way, and will just look as if she hasn't done her research. It won't be a case of them mulling over her application and looking at her statement and agonising over whether to take a punt on her - there will simply be other students who DO have the predicted grades who will quite rightly take the allocations ahead of her.

ShoutyHamster Thu 29-Sep-11 06:20:29

Sorry posted too soon - meant to add, she will be considered with lesser predicted grades only if the institutions she is interested in aren't particularly popular and likely t go into Clearing - it doesn't sound as if this is the case.

There is also OU in the future - other ways to the same goal as others have said.

Good luck with it all.

fraktious Thu 29-Sep-11 06:22:41

She may not always be in KS1 though. I have a lovely friend who did a BEd with QTS, graduated, got a job with Y1 and did swimmingly for 3 years, school had a big reshuffle and she's now teaching Y5, hates it and is really struggling to set extension work for her brightest pupils. The amount of work she has to put into planing, preparing and understanding now has practically doubled and she was very conscientious before (unlike yours truly sometimes).

Your DD needs to ask herself some hard questions. Will she cope with the work on the degree? Will she cope with teaching? Is it the time sick or is she struggling with work at Alevel standard? How would she feel about teaching Y6 as she might have to do? Is teaching in a school the only career she wants? Even if she doesn't want to be a nursery nurse what about nannying or governessing?

I hope she ca work this through but better do it sooner than later IYSWIM.

mnistooaddictive Thu 29-Sep-11 07:00:58

I think it is worth mentionIng that we have too many primary teachers. There are lots of good ones who can't get jobs. The number of trainees have been cut back which is why grades are higher.

ellisbell Thu 29-Sep-11 18:15:48

OP with predictions of 3 Cs she'd waste her time applying to a lot of universities, her application be weeded out rapidly. However you mention she had A grade GSCEs and major surgery - if she could take another year and get A or B grades at A level she could do that, she can be funded until 19. Or she can work really hard now, take a gap year and apply with known grades. If she has a job as a teaching assistant/ nanny or something in the gap year or resits to get higher grades so much the better.

She doesn't need to give up her dreams yet, but she will have to accept a slower route.

lovingthecoast Thu 29-Sep-11 18:31:03

I think she should take a gap year. See what she gets and have a think. If she does better, great, she can apply for the following year. If she ends up with CDD or similar then I'd say teaching wasn't for her.

I was a primary teacher. My Alevels are AAB and I have a 2:1 from a top university. I'm sorry to say but I can almost always pick out the colleagues who got poor Alevels. It doesn't sit well with me and very often their grammar and spelling would grate on me.

IMO, a Reception teacher should be just as capable of teaching top set Y6. Anything else is letting the profession down.

I hope she does well as these days, even if/when she graduates she could wait literally years to get a job. I know of quite a few highly qualified students who finished in June and have no job yet. I also know of one excellent student from the previous year who has spent the year supply teaching after hundreds of applications. Primary schools are finding themselves with hundreds of applications for each post.

CaptainBarnacles Thu 29-Sep-11 18:39:11

Excellent point about the job market.

Bearcat Fri 30-Sep-11 07:33:22

Dotty, why doesn't your daughter forget about applying for 2012 entry, work really,really hard in Yr13 to get her A level results to BBB or higher and then apply to the universities she really wants to go to.
In this gap year she could maybe even do some work experience in a school to enhance her application.

eatyourveg Fri 30-Sep-11 07:52:51

agree with Bearcat - though would also recommend your dd look at former teacher training colleges which have turned into unis rather than places which have always been unis. The ex colleges will have the pedagogy experience and often aren't the places wanting top grades. A lot of them are also well thought of within the profession.

Helo Fri 30-Sep-11 07:53:15

I am a primary school teacher and my A'Levels were similar (BCD) I did an English degree and then my PGCE, would she consider that, something in education or a national curriculum degree? She would need a 2.1 to do a PGCE though. Or she could consider going to a 'lesser' university to do the BA with QTS degree she cannot be picky with those predicted grades and I think you should be blunt with her about that.

I have a 2.1 degree and getting a job was fine for me last year so it does depend on where you live.

I think people are being very hard about her A'Levels, mine were rubbish because I was lazy in sixth form and I suspect if I had worked I would have been an A/B student. I am absolutely fine teaching older children, I currently teach Y1 but I also do 1:1 work with Y5 and run a Y6 G&T literacy group. My planning and assessment are thorough and I have never struggled with them because I got a D in A'Level biology!! Funnily enough I have moved on a bit in terms of knowledge since I got my A'Levels 10 years ago!

I will say that in some ways KS1 is quite academically demanding, knowing how to deliver the foundations of literacy and numeracy is quite hard I think, in some ways it is easier to build and extend on it with the older children.

snailoon Fri 30-Sep-11 07:58:13

She can also retake some exams in that gap year. My friend's son didn't get the grades he needed, took a year off, and brought one of his grades up from C to A* (100% in fact). He just started at his top choice University.

EvilTwins Fri 30-Sep-11 17:13:34

I've found this thread really interesting. The highest academic qualifications do not always mean that someone is a good teacher. I was talking to colleagues in the staffroom yesterday - I am Head of a Department that I do not have an A Level in (or a GCSE, for that matter) - Performing Arts. I did English and Theatre Studies for my degree, having got AAB for my A Levels. Not a huge leap, sure, but I was talking to the Head of the Business Faculty, who is an outstanding teacher (officially, as well as in my opinion!) but has a degree in Drama, which she got having failed to get A Levels good enough to get to the university she wanted, and did a foundation degree first. One of our very good Maths teachers did a History degree, but is a brilliant maths teacher. It doesn't necessarily follow that a great teacher has great A Level grades.

OP, I would encourage your daughter, if she was in the VI Form at my school (am Head of VI as well) to look at other universities, with lower entry requirements, but stick with the same subject. It will be her performance whilst training, rather than her A Level grades, which secure her a job.

I also find it quite sad that so many posters were so quick to say that she should give up all hope of going on to further education with the grades she's predicted to get.

maddiemostmerry Fri 30-Sep-11 21:50:35

Agree with evil and wonder how recently some of the posters have looked around uni's for primary teaching degree!
It is obviously important for her to get the best grades she can and maybe consider an extra year to bump grades up if possible.
She will be given a maths and English test prior to any uni offer.

All the uni's are looking for as much work experience in a variety of educational settings. She needs to be reading the TES and aware of how politics affects education. She needs to be able to speak up at the uni interview, usually in groups and show that she has a passion for education.

Some people seem to get a kick out of plain rudenessconfused I would say that dealing with parents could be a far greater part of the degree.

Ponders Fri 30-Sep-11 22:13:39

just had a look at requirements at Edge Hill (now university, but formerly teacher training college, & still specialist)

For "BA (Hons) Early Years Education with QTS*" they are looking for

"300 UCAS tariff points overall, to include grades BC or equivalent, plus GCSE Mathematics, English Language and Science at grade C or equivalent. Candidates are expected to have relevant experience in an early years setting or school or working with young children."

How many subjects is DD doing at A2, dotty? C at A2 is worth 80 points so 3 would only be 240, but if she's also doing General Studies & managed a C at that too she'd have 320 points

The same course at University of Cumbria in Lancaster (formerly St Martin's College) or Carlisle or Tower Hamlets only requires 240 points

Edge Hill

If being a KS1 teacher is what she really wants then she can, but she has to be realistic about where she can go to achieve it

lovingthecoast Fri 30-Sep-11 22:39:54

Maddie, I'm not sure what you mean by your first sentence?

I don't think I was rude, just honest. I suggested the OP's DD take a gap year and maybe re-take if that's what she wants.

I happen to think that academic rigour is very important as a teacher. I have taught both primary and secondary. I'm not sure how credible I would have been teaching English with a D at Alevel. I didn't see primary teaching as remotely 'cuddly' or less stringent. When I was teaching Shakespeare to my top set Y6s, it was important to them and I'm sure their parents that I had a firm grasp of what I was talking about. Also, how can you be expected to teach subordinate clauses when you have no idea what they are yourself?

Helo Fri 30-Sep-11 22:45:22


I have an English degree, it did not teach me what a subordinate clause was, in fact at no point in my education did anybody teach me that, I trained as a teacher and as part of my own professional development I made sure that I was up to date on grammar! I don't think a D in A'Level English or Cs at A'Level mean you cannot cope with teaching very bright 11 year olds!

rosy71 Fri 30-Sep-11 23:54:59

I'm quite shocked by some of the replies on this thread. Is CCC not considered good anymore? I had a quick look at Wolverhampton University's site - very well respected in the field of education - and they require 220 points for a BEd. I've no idea about points, but didn't someone say a C was 80 points? In that case, she'd be fine. It's also possible to do Early Childhood Studies, then a PGCE, which might be OK for early years teaching.

Fwiw, I have 3 Ds at A'level and a 2.2 and Im a primary shcool teacher. shock Dp has a 2.2 and has just started training.

rosy71 Fri 30-Sep-11 23:55:53

Whoops, obviously I mean I'm. blush

adamschic Sat 01-Oct-11 00:11:20

It seems to be getting more competative out there. As far as uni visits are concerned there are just as much interest this year as last year which might indicate that the fees haven't put students off.

Also A* to B grades are currency for the best uni's but I am suprised that CCC isn't good enough for teaching.

DownbytheRiverside Sat 01-Oct-11 00:13:00

I have found that you need both good grammar and spelling to cope as a teacher. Do you proof read your posts? It is advisable.

Loshad Sat 01-Oct-11 00:13:31

loving, but academic rigour doesn't always translate into A level results. FWIW the first time i sat my a levels I got DDE (sat a year early) I resat, got BBC, went to russell group uni, then did a PhD, worked as research fellow, published well over 30 papers as first author, plus books, plus chapters in books - think i could honestly say that was academic rigour, am now a secondary teacher.
It is rather a blinkered and narrow view anyway that only the most academic make the best teachers.
FWIW when i did teacher training my mentor was most worried that with my academic background i would struggle to get on the wavelength with lower sets! That would be the DDE then, or possible the PhD from a prestigious uni (turned down an offer from Cambridge) and the research papers hmm

rosy71 Sat 01-Oct-11 10:07:09

Where exactly does she want to go??? I've just looked at Reading University (much more prestigious university than Wolverhampton) and the offer was 180 points.

maddiemostmerry Sat 01-Oct-11 17:05:43

Hi loving, sorry i didn't mean you. I meant the posters who said, why even bother, and the I wouldn't want my child taught by someone who scraped in.

Good luck to your dd dotty

homeaway Mon 03-Oct-11 12:05:47

I am shocked at some of the really negative comments on here. Just because you dont get high A level grades it does not mean that you are not bright or can't go on to university. The Sunday times prints a guide to the top 100 universities and their admission criteria which might be useful. If she does an additional AS or A level in another subject which you could pay for privately , then she could get the points she needs to go. Spend some time with her on the UCAS site and help her look for a university that will suit her. Her personal statement is very important and she should see if she can get some teaching experience that she can put on there. I really hope that she gets into a great uni smile

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