Which A Levels

(53 Posts)
Teenagedconfusion Fri 01-Mar-19 13:23:28

I am hoping someone who has gone through this process can help. My son has chosen to study A Levels in Maths, Business and Economics and selected a lovely college. However he has now been told that Economics is no longer available. The problem is that he doesn't fancy doing any of the other options. Economics just fitted so well. He isn't planning on University. Now faced with choosing a random A Level, which I think is a waste, or leaving all his friends (he's shy and quiet) to choose another college. Any advice would be great!

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BasiliskStare Fri 01-Mar-19 13:32:33

When DS was at school one of the teachers said that if you want to do anything beyond school , Economics related, Maths is more important than Economics ( at A level) How that works with your son's situation - I don't know I am afraid. What other options does he have at lovely college ?
Sorry that's not terribly helpful but I wonder if staying at his current college may mean better grades as he is happy there, even if not the Economics he wants.

Teenagedconfusion Fri 01-Mar-19 13:46:26

Thank you Basiliskstare

That's what I'm thinking, is it better to be happy with friends and choose another subject but what the hell do you pick to go with Maths and Business. He's good at science but can't wait to get rid of it, good at Geography but doesn't fancy it. I'm stressed and don't want him to pick any old A level that he can't then use. He's very business orientated so although for instance he likes photography it would be a wasted subject he'd never use. I thought of psychology but to be honest I have no idea what to suggest to him.

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Somewhereovertheroad Fri 01-Mar-19 13:53:57

Physchology is difficult. I would go with some sort of ICT/ computing type A level. He will need that in any job or future course.

goodbyestranger Fri 01-Mar-19 14:02:46

A language would be good.

OKBobble Fri 01-Mar-19 14:03:36

I was actually going to suggest Geography as the human side of it there is some overlap or similarity to economics but he doesn't fancy it. It would be a good one to choose because if he changes his mind about uni at a later stage it is a facilitating subject as is Maths whereas Business isn't nor are photography and.psychology.

BasiliskStare Fri 01-Mar-19 15:01:01

I would agree with @Goodbye - if he has a language at GCSE and an aptitude - then that may be a good choice. If not worrying about A levels which are qualifying for University then Psychology ( which I believe has a maths element ) may also work - or ICT as an A Level ( but then that is confirmng pretty much non facilitating subjects , bar his Maths ) - or an essay based subject given that reports etc need to be written in many jobs & the likes of History etc are often liked by employers as shows the ability to write a decent argument.


Teenagedconfusion Fri 01-Mar-19 15:11:36

It's just so difficult! Unfortunately when choosing options they were made to choose between computing and French. The school really pushed them to do French (good for school) which he did but was then unable to do computing. He is now barred from any kind of computing/ICT at A level as hasn't done it since year 9. He's found French really hard and doesn't like it but will pass.

Sorry to sound dumb but what do you mean by non facilitating subjects? Because he isn't going to Zuni I feel it's even more important to choose the right subjects

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Teenagedconfusion Fri 01-Mar-19 15:12:16

Typo..... Uni not Zuni

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Comefromaway Fri 01-Mar-19 15:17:56

Is Further Maths available?

Comefromaway Fri 01-Mar-19 15:18:14

What about Govt & Politics?

OddBoots Fri 01-Mar-19 15:20:05

Have they actually said he is barred?

It really isn't unusual to do Computing A Level without studying it at GCSE (it's even common to study it at university without having a GCSE or A Level in it). If he is good at maths, which it sounds like he is, then he should be able to take it.

Teenagedconfusion Fri 01-Mar-19 15:29:59

They are not allowed to rake both maths and further maths at college, but he's doing further maths at GCSE. It's his best subject and expected 8/9 at GCSE

No govt/politics offered whatsoever.

Barred sounded harsh but pretty much yes. You can't do computing at all if not studied at GCSE.

The more I think about it I think he is going to have to leave his friends and choose another college. It's such a shame as they have been all through high school together and are a brilliant group of hardworking boys who get on great and all have careers in mind. Can't believe this has gone wrong and feel quite concerned about it all. Plus he will be travelling for 2.5 hours a day to get to other colleges.

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Comefromaway Fri 01-Mar-19 15:34:31

It does sound like this college has a very limited range of subjects especially if they don’t offer Further Maths.

BasiliskStare Fri 01-Mar-19 15:39:34

Re "facilitating subjects" @Teenagedconfusion - not a showstopper but 2 of 3 A levels which are facilitating subjects tend to give more options. if a DC wants to go to University. If your DS doesn't want to go to university then may be it does not matter one jot - and that's all good - but just to answer your question.

A bit of googling will answer but here is one answer to the question - just follow links to facilitating subjects. russellgroup.ac.uk/policy/publications/informed-choices/

Teenagedconfusion Fri 01-Mar-19 15:44:18

Thank you for clearing that up BasiliskStare I suddenly feel out of my depth. I will take a look at that.

Comefromaway - They do offer further maths but have said he can't do it as he is already doing maths and you can't choose both there.

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Teenagedconfusion Fri 01-Mar-19 16:03:40

I've just read the link from the Russell group and I'm quite staggered that not one person has pointed out to my DS during careers discussions that the A Levels he has chosen are not facilitating subjects. He has told us that he doesn't want to go to uni but if he did it appears his chosen A Levels would have hindered his chances.

You have all been very helpful and informative. Thank you!

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OKBobble Fri 01-Mar-19 16:07:47

Bizarre set up re maths because usually you can only take FM in addition to Maths. Do they need him to take it as a 4th A level as some only do it on that basis? He may have misunderstood.

ClashCityRocker Fri 01-Mar-19 16:20:16

Hmm, I can see the dilemma. 2.5 extra a day travelling is a lot, but it is hard to get a good grade in an a level that you feel 'meh' about.

What options for gcses is he taking? Are then any 'new' subjects the college offer that tickle hsi fancy?

Teenagedconfusion Fri 01-Mar-19 16:52:14

I may have confused you OkBobble. He is taking Maths GCSE and further Maths but the college told him he can only do Maths A Level and not both maths and further maths.

There's Philosophy but can only do that if you get a 4 in religion which he isn't doing. Tourism which he can't do as it's a BTEC. Media, not his thing at all. Film, not his thing either. Art, he is dreadful at and same for Textiles. Not one thing interests him in any of those.

I wish he would choose a science as in top set but he is adamant that he won't do science and of course it's not my choice but his.

Thought this was going to be easy!!!

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Comefromaway Fri 01-Mar-19 17:06:11

That is truly bizarre. Further maths A level is never usually taken unless Maths A level is too. Some colleges only allow their most able mathematicians to take it but it’s not meant to be taken on its own.

Comefromaway Fri 01-Mar-19 17:09:04

That’s also strange. There are links between RS & Philosophy but it’s not necessary to have done it to take a level. Any essay based humanity is good preparation.

BigGreenOlives Fri 01-Mar-19 17:10:00

What BTECs do they offer? Can he do a business one & maths A level?

avocadochocolate Fri 01-Mar-19 17:13:44

Photography would not be a waste in business. If your DS ends up working in marketing, advertising, PR or web design, photography would be useful.

AnnaComnena Fri 01-Mar-19 17:15:56

I agree with a pp's suggestion that he could look at an essay based subject such as History or Eng Lit. It's not just about the subject, but about learning to select relevant information, construct an evidence based argument and present it clearly in writing. Those are skills which are useful in almost any type of employment.

What other subjects are offered?

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