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Any parents of Y12 DCs up for a support thread?

(364 Posts)
cardibach Fri 26-Apr-13 21:23:06

to get us through AS and university Open Days etc.?

Theas18 Mon 29-Apr-13 16:35:52

I can see your problem fivefathoms! I'm only doing newcastle as it'll involve staying over - and the Nottingham day on the way back.

THe more of this juggling I do, the more I am thankful for the lucky happenstance that placed the kids 3 school years apart each time so we don't have the awful A level and GCSE at the same time thing.

secretscwirrels Mon 29-Apr-13 16:55:31

I have DS2 in year 10 so 2014 will see GCSE and A levels together. I have always thought two years to be the perfect age gap but next year will test that.
Theas18 does he have an exam tomorrow?

Theas18 Mon 29-Apr-13 17:22:57

Yup sort of- it's the music performance module. A good start in this will really boost his confidence.

cardibach Mon 29-Apr-13 17:24:09

secret we still have that shower curtain! The serious revision is on the back of the door, though.
Yes, I was on the GCSE thread last year - glad the revision stuff was useful! <blushes at being remembered>
We have one Open Day in August (York St. John)! The others are June/July and September/October though.

secretscwirrels Mon 29-Apr-13 17:36:18

DS is going to Leeds, Warwick and Durham in June with college, he has been to Cambridge and Oxford on college trips and we are going together to Nottingham in September.
I would have liked to go to Durham and made a weekend of it but the coach is only £10 so I miss out there. He has mentioned Bath and Bristol which are both overnight jobs but we can't go on the proper open days.

notfluffy Mon 29-Apr-13 18:14:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

glaurung Mon 29-Apr-13 18:49:51

Cerisier, her plan is to do an engineering apprenticeship. She could go on to do a degree afterwards if she wanted - I'm not sure how many of them do in practice though and she would be limited where to do a degree by not having A-levels.

BackforGood Mon 29-Apr-13 20:08:00

Thanks Glaurung and secretscwirrels - yes I needed support for his GCSEs too grin. ds doesn't really know what he wants to do, which makes it tricky to narrow down open days of course, but he's neither engineering nor accountancy inclined, which seem to be where the apprenticeships are. I think he'd be best getting work for a few years, and then going to University in his 20s if he decides it is the right thing for him. Trouble is of course, those 'jobs' are quite difficult to come by.

secretscwirrels Tue 30-Apr-13 12:13:18

BackforGood there are "apprenticeships" everywhere. I work in the the public sector and they have recently taken on about 40, in all areas of work. The local authority took on a similar number. They are certainly out there.
However I have huge issues with many of them and think young people should research carefully.
I think there is a great need for proper vocational, on the job training and if these kids came out after 5 years as qualified plumbers or hairdressers or similar then it would be fantastic. Sadly what I have seen is apprentices taken on for only a year, given little training, doing the same work as low grade existing employees but for much less money. The best that could be said for it is that it is work experience for the CV.

bruffin Tue 30-Apr-13 13:54:25

DS is year 12, taking Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Philosophy and Engineering as an extra.

We had a huge wobbly last term with maths, dug himself into a hole but wouldnt go to see anyone for help. Thankfully his january results were good and now he has got his confidence back and getting really good results in past papers.
He is driving me mad about uni. We have had over 20 prosepectuses turn up. he has a huge spreadsheet with requirements, whether they do a year abroad etc I just want to put my fingers in my ears and go lalala blush

He really wanted to go to Imperial, he has already spent a day there and will be going to a Headstart course in July but wont be go because he only has a C at English GCSE. He is dyslexic and got caught up in the aqa gcse thing last year. None of the others ask for a B at gcse for English.

Secretsquirrel Ds and his mates are going to the Durham open day but are going by train. I dont think they realised how expensive opendays are going to work out in fares.

secretscwirrels Tue 30-Apr-13 15:29:16

bruffin I think you were on a thread about Maths/FM? What subject is he looking at for degree?
DS is beavering through past papers, of which there seem to be many. Poor DH has to mark them which he is doing his best at having done Maths A level in 1969. I reached my limit on Maths before GCSE.
He has mocks in D1 C3 and C4 in the next few days.
He also has a Headstart course in July which clashes with a couple of open days.

cardibach Tue 30-Apr-13 16:45:36

Brufin it sounds like he has a lot on his plate, but if he really wants Imperial would he be prepared to do
a resit? I know it is harder for dyslexics but it is possible (I teach English). Extra maturity tends to increase the marks anyway. It would be a shame if he couldn't go because of something so small in the scheme of things.

bruffin Tue 30-Apr-13 16:46:08

Secrets DS has been looking at engineering, but is also wavering towards physics. He has a had a couple of trips of power plants recently which i think he has found quite interesting. DS has D2 C1 and C2 plus a retake on mechanics which he balls up because he was so worried about D1 that he didnt spend anytime on it. But has done lots of past papers on C1 and C2 and only loosing marks on silly mistakes.

Have you had the paper work on Headstart, DS got his last week and he is really excited about it, although i think it was the food rather than anything else grin

bruffin Tue 30-Apr-13 17:01:30

Cardibach They did offer a resit, but it wasnt practical. For some reason what he did badly was the speaking test which was taken the year before, no idea why because that is his strong point. He got a B in the summer exams, which is what was offered as a resit, but he would have had to pull that up to a really high A to get a B. There was also something about the 40% rule. There are other exams they will take,which I think are aimed at foreign students.
I am annoyed that it is something like that which will block him from even applying. He is in this photo so has been recognised as having a lot of potential in engineering. He is bottom right hand corner with the squashed up legs.

secretscwirrels Tue 30-Apr-13 17:08:37

We haven't had anything from Headstart since I paid.
One of DS's friends mentioned he had got something through so perhaps I'd better chase it up.

mummytime Tue 30-Apr-13 17:10:16

Bruffin do talk to Imperial, as when I talked to them they said they might look at a dyslexic student with only a C at GCSE English. They also do a lot to support dyslexic students (or so they say).

bruffin Tue 30-Apr-13 17:26:12

I wouldnt worry Secrets, my friends DD hasnt had her paper work yet, she is going to different one to ds.

I did email Imperial but they sent a terse no back. Will probably try again. Ds's Arkwright sponsor have connections to Imperial and said that they might be able to get him a bursery, but that was before we knew about the English requirement.

BackforGood Tue 30-Apr-13 17:29:06

Hi Secrets - yes, I've seen "apprenticeships" like that in childcare and in catering sad. I didn't realise LAs did them though - I'l try to look into that for him, thanks smile

glaurung Tue 30-Apr-13 18:25:22

Dd tells me she is definitely doing her apprenticeship, so I'll be losing her a year earlier than I expected, which hasn't sunk in yet at all. I think (hope) it's a good scheme - just hope she doesn't regret it.

cardibach Wed 01-May-13 16:07:26

well. DD had her Biology prac today (relying on it to boost the marks - exams not her strong point...). She has gone to a friends to revise Chemistry, but has text me to say it went well. that's a relief.
I am also grateful to the friend for the Chemistry tutoring. he is a lovely boy and a great student and he seems to be able to get her to calm down and understand it.

hanginginthere1 Wed 01-May-13 20:49:29

Chemistry does same very difficult. As someone mentioned earlier, my daughter also has difficulty in exams, She seems to be doing well in the classwork/homework. She did want to do medicine, but is beginning to realise that her Chem isn't quite good enough. Doing well in biology, got an A in the Jan module. She is thinking of Law or History. We have got a few open days booked, including Liverpool, whose requirements for Law seem slightly lower, an A and two B's.

Theas18 Thu 02-May-13 10:18:20


Good luck to your DD with her chemistry. Is guess if she's finding A level really challenging ( even though it's a bloody difficult subject anyway) then maybe re visit her choices is the best way forward. Is dropping chemistry after AS and continuing with the other 3 subjects a consideration to get the results profile she needs for her alternative choices?

Also re history- have a good look at the courses offered. Straight " history" is really competitive and generally AAA but other variations on history are around and may have a course that interests her more and lower entry requirements simply because they are less well known and popular IYSWIM

hanginginthere1 Thu 02-May-13 19:16:40

I think that she will be dropping chemistry after AS, and will concentrate on the others, esp History.
She is undecided on whether to do straight History, and then convert to law, or just to go for Law from scratch.
She has also got an A in general studies, and is discovering that some unis take this in to consideration.

glaurung Thu 02-May-13 19:58:22

dd went to sign some forms for her apprenticeship today. She only has 5 days of school left before exam leave and won't be going back after exams. No sign of revision yet and there probably won't be too much either as her offer doesn't depend on AS results. I tried to gently suggest she should ask to defer a year today, but she wasn't having it. Is it a big mistake? Are A levels really the 'gold standard'? Will BTECs/NVQs and the like be further devalued by Gove, or are they actually OK qualifications?

mummytime Thu 02-May-13 22:02:28

Plenty of Universities take BTec (even Durham). The Universities don't really like Mr Gove, so I think will ignore him.

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