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Another A level choices question

(21 Posts)
MotherOfGirls Thu 25-Aug-11 16:37:51

DD loves sport and thinks she would like to do Sports Science or Physio at Uni - I'd like her to keep her options open. She had planned to do AS Biology, Chemistry, PE and Latin (probably dropping Latin for A levels) but she has gained A* in Maths, Physics and Latin, and only A in Biology and Chemistry and a B in PE. (As in the rest of her subjects.) Not sure whether she should be reconsidering her A level options. Any thoughts welcome .........

ragged Thu 25-Aug-11 16:59:50

Sciences will always stand her well. Better than most other choices.
I would Check Uni admissions for PE courses, was trying to look them up Lboro offers several combined sports-science + science or engineering courses for people who know better than to put too many eggs in one basket. Lboro is great for the sports mad, btw. If I read this right Lboro takes almost any 3 A-levels, so she could keep her options open by doing science+maths+PE.

throckenholt Thu 25-Aug-11 18:41:20

Bio and Chem will be good combinations for a lot of careers, would tie that with maths as well (or physics although usually you would do maths with that as well) rather than latin.

I am guessing Sport Sciences or Physio do a lot of bio mechanics - so the sciences would be a very good combination, plus a love of sport. I guess also there may be an element more understanding of the chemical processes underlying it in the future - so sticking with chem would be useful.

senua Thu 25-Aug-11 20:23:52

I'm not so sure about Loughborough being great for the sports-mad. It is very sports orientated, maybe too sports orientated. A friend-of-a-friend tells of her DC who was County level in his sport but could only get into the Fourthshock team at Lboro.

ragged Thu 25-Aug-11 20:33:24

It's really good for those who appreciate watching all the beautiful male bodies out training every day some sport fans. wink

throckenholt Fri 26-Aug-11 11:20:54

If you are thinking of potential places to go then maybe consider UEA - it has a very good (newish) sports centre and also does physiotherapy (I know the course organiser smile).

Also a sports education degree (I know nothing about this one).

MigratingCoconuts Fri 26-Aug-11 11:53:05

She's got good enough grades to still do what she planned to do. My only concern would be that Biology and Chemistry are really hard A levels to do if they are just a means to an end (in this case, the PE course)...she needs to enjoy them for their own sake too.

This aside, she has a good set of A level choices that would stand in good stead for a physio course and also give her other options too.

MotherOfGirls Fri 26-Aug-11 17:44:12

Thanks everyone. Had a long discussion and she really doesn't know what she wants to do after school. Tried to reassure her that's perfectly OK at 16!

On the basis of what she enjoys, what she does well at and what might keep as many options open as possible, she's now thinking of PE, Biology, Maths and either Chemistry or Physics. She enjoys both Chemistry and Physics but I'm thinking Chemistry sits better with Biology (although Physics sits better with Maths!)

Still wrestling with it ........

throckenholt Sat 27-Aug-11 09:13:29

personally I found chemistry more fun than physics - but I loved messing around with chemicals in the lab. And I had a crap physics teacher ! So an easy decision for me between those two.

Maths (at least in my day) was in 3 parts, pure, stats and applied. You did 2 of the 3 - and only the applied maths went with physics really well, stats was much more used for things like bio. So I guess maybe look a bit more at what the maths syllabus offers before you decide whether it fits better with physics or not.

I might be tempted to suggest drop the pe and keep the sciences, and keep up sport in free time.

MotherOfGirls Sat 27-Aug-11 09:21:47

Thanks, throckenholt. I am currently searching the house for the booklet detailing the maths syllabus! I agree it would be wise to do maths and sciences as she has the ability, but PE is her passion (and she really enjoys the theoretical side, which I know features heavily at AS) and is the only non-negotiable subject as far as she is concerned.

MigratingCoconuts Sat 27-Aug-11 09:38:08

PE and Biology overlap massively in human bio content. So does Bio and chem, in terms of the biology of chemical substances such as porteins and carbohydrates. If she likes PE, I would stick with it. I am a great believer in studying courses you enjoy!

However I have also known a lot of students who struggle with A level chemistry. I get the impression that it is perhaps the science that makes the biggest conceptual leaps from GCSE to A level.

Physics does work well with the maths. And would be a good choice if she prefers it to chemistry

Its might be worth a chat with her teachers on the induction day to ask them for advice.

Have you considered ditching the Latin and keeping all sciences?

MotherOfGirls Sat 27-Aug-11 10:43:58

Thanks MC. I was aware that PE and Bio overlap but not that Bio and Chem do so. Is this a good thing - understanding in one subject will lead to understanding in another - or a bad thing in that a university might see A levels in Bio, Chem and PE as too closely linked and so not broad enough?

Latin has been ditched in favour of Maths but none of the sciences are in that block, so we have two certainties - Maths as we feel it's the best option in that block, and PE because she loves it so much.

She boards 3 hours from home and so all conversations need to be by phone in advance of her return. I hope to speak to her Director of Studies on Monday.

MigratingCoconuts Sat 27-Aug-11 10:49:16

or a bad thing in that a university might see A levels in Bio, Chem and PE as too closely linked and so not broad enough?

You are absolutely fine on that score. There are enough differences to ensure that this won't be a problem.

Good luck grin its a nightmare! but at least you can say that she is in the happy position of having too much choice rather than many I have seen over the years who don't have enough to really pick from.

MotherOfGirls Sat 27-Aug-11 10:56:42

Thanks for the reassurance and the good wishes.

I know we are really lucky that she has so many choices smile

upsydaisysexstylist Sat 27-Aug-11 11:38:49

I many moons ago did chemistry, biology and pure maths with stats and would recomend it, the overlap is mainly biochemistry and to be honest it helped having it taught from too different perspectives. I found the biggest leap up was the maths, but that may have been because the A levels syllabusses were still the same as they had been for O levels the year before and there some gaps with algebra. Don't underestimate the value of having a little less memorising to do because the subjects complement each other

MrsCog Sat 27-Aug-11 13:16:38

Just a bit of advice, if she wants to keep physio as an open option, to start thinking about work experience in health settings asap - I trained as a physio and did a lot of work in old people's homes etc. to help with UCAS statements etc. as the sports side of physio is smaller than the general 'mobilising the elderly and sick' element. When I trained (10 years ago), it was uber competitive, but people did get in having done PE and biology, but I know that some courses preferred chemistry with biology, and those three subjects might have a bit too much overlap.

mountaingirl Sat 27-Aug-11 20:24:57

Ds wants to study English lit/language, biology, economics and PE for his As choices. He has already passed his A'level in French with an A grade. Dh isn't happy with him choosing PE, feels it is a 'soft' subject. Ds decided not to do geography As as he had previously planned and has swapped to doing PE. He doesn't know what he wants to study at uni, but obviously something plus French would be a good idea. Are his choice of subjects so awful?

MigratingCoconuts Sat 27-Aug-11 20:48:03

I don't think they are awful. It does sort of depend on what he wants to do later on. There do not appear to be many linked subjects that would form a core knowledge.

For instance, a lack of a second science subject would rule out many science degrees. However, PE and Biology would leave open lots of physical sciences courses.

mountaingirl Sun 28-Aug-11 21:31:41

migrating coconuts many thanks for your reply. I suppose the fear is that ds will want to drop a facilitating subject for the PE after his As levels. Dh is concerned that the school will encourage this. If only ds had a clearer idea of his future like so many of the other teenagers on here.

MigratingCoconuts Sun 28-Aug-11 21:36:30

It is an age old you pick the subjects you should pick because they make sense and risk not doing well in them because they don't really float your boat? you pick subjects you enjoy and that might inspire you to do well, even if they limit your future choices?

Personally (and it is very personal) I would go with the latter because it is more likely to reflect future interests.

I really do not envy your choices smile

BlackandGold Sun 28-Aug-11 22:41:14

Just to add that Bath Uni is really good for PE/Sports degrees and is very well respected.

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