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First year A levels 2015 exams

(31 Posts)
Kraktoa Tue 03-Jun-14 10:42:34

Hi all. First post with a Gove inspired headache.

DS is first year A levels next academic year. Will he have January 2015 exams? The answer i get is No but not definitive

will he have June exams in 2015? The answer i get from other parents is Yes but not definitive.

Could ask the school but afraid will look like a plonker. I just dont have that relationship with the school or teachers (snooty independent)

If answer to 2nd question is definitive yes, would it be ok for me to book a holiday in May half term for my wifes 50th birthday? The exams wont be in May half term will they?

Thanks all.

Unexpected Tue 03-Jun-14 10:51:28

The exams won't be in the May half-term but (assuming you are taking your son on this holiday and not just your wife) it would be very unwise to go away in May half-term. Exams will probably be part-way through, depending on your son's subject choices and he should be doing lots of revision during half-term. School will also probably run revision sessions which he will miss. With the best will in the world, even if your son says he will revise on holiday, the lure of sun and sea (or whatever) will prove too great to resist!

I also have a son in Yr 11, we normally go away in May half-term, last year it was a struggle to get him to revise for the one Core Science exam he had after half-term, this year would have been impossible and unfair on him.

SwedishEdith Tue 03-Jun-14 11:03:35

Once they get on the exam treadmill I think of May as totally out in terms of going on holiday really

TeenAndTween Tue 03-Jun-14 11:08:41

Hopefully developing OPs post rather than hijacking.

If AS exams no longer will count towards final A levels (am I right?), does that mean they will still all be starting with 4 and then dropping one, or is there expected to be a return to the traditional 3 subjects only that we used to have?

Furthermore, I know these changes are being introduced a bit on a rolling basis. e.g. English is an early changer. So does that mean that some A levels can still be taken in 2 parts over 2 separate years and some can't, or what?

(y10 parent also).

Expatedout Tue 03-Jun-14 11:11:21

Agree just got one going through GCSE's with A levels following in September and May half term holidays are definately off the agenda for the next few years for us. Shame about your wives birthday could you defer the holiday to the summer or do something over a long weekend or not take the DS if you want to get away for a week

Kraktoa Tue 03-Jun-14 11:16:02

Definitely not taking son for the may half term holiday. He will be 17.5 years and will be ok at home alone revising for just 3-4 days. Only a city break in Paris planned.

Lifeisadancefloor Tue 03-Jun-14 11:17:02

In answer to you first question, students who started courses in Sept 2013 beyond will have no January examinations. All exams for AS and A-levels will be in the Summer series.

The second question about the May half term holiday is trickier, it will depend on which subjects your child takes and how much coursework is involved (all coursework should be finished by May half term). If their exams are later in June a holiday might not interfere with revision much - but many subjects are early June which would mean May half term revision would be critical

My advice would be to access the exam timetable in advance and check when the exams for their subjects are and make a decision from there.

Lifeisadancefloor Tue 03-Jun-14 11:22:27


The decision as to whether students take 3/4 subjects will be up to the individual school and student (possibly). AS levels will be a new qualification in the first subjects being changed and will not count towards the A-level grade.

In terms of the timetable for change - the following A-levels (and new AS levels) are changing from September 2015: English Language,English Literature, English Language and Literature,Biology,Chemistry,Physics,History,Psychology,Art and Design,Sociology,Business Studies,Economics and Computing.

There will be new A-levels in 2016 for Dance, Drama, Music, RE, D&T, Geography, maths and Languages.

It is possible that some students will take a mix of old and new A-level (and AS levels) whilst the changes are being brought in)

hellsbells99 Tue 03-Jun-14 12:51:04

Lifeisadancefloor - I assume the dates apply to starting the AS/A level course and not taking the exams? So my DD2 who starts AS levels this September will be unaffected by the changes?
In response to the Op and May holidays - my DD1 who is currently taking AS level exams revised solidly through half-term and we would not have been able to take her on holiday. She is taking maths and sciences though and the exams started on 19th May through to 10th June (with practical exams prior to that). Her friends taking English Lit, languages, RE etc. did most of their exams in May before half-term. So you will need to check the exam timetables in relation to the subjects and the exam board.

Lifeisadancefloor Tue 03-Jun-14 13:04:44


Your daughter will be unaffected by the new AS and A-levels and will be taking the 'old' specifications. However she will still not take january exams or January re-sits

hellsbells99 Tue 03-Jun-14 14:36:22

Knew about the January exams not happening as I have DD1 currently in year 12.

Bonsoir Tue 03-Jun-14 14:42:19

You shouldn't even contemplate going on holiday for May half-term when you have DC in Y11, Y12 and Y13. Get a grip!

Kraktoa Tue 03-Jun-14 14:58:18

DS is not going on holiday. He will be at home for 4 nights. As it is we dont help with revision (does anyone?). But if the exams have already started by mid May or soon after the half term, i will not book that holiday. His school has inservice on 26th May so was planning the holiday from 26-29 May.

Thanks for all the replies.

OneMoreMum Tue 03-Jun-14 15:20:05

He won't have any exams over half term but may need you there to encourage revision rather than partying / lazing around.. Depends on the child I suppose, if a friend or relative is around to check on him occasionally and help in an emergency I wouldn't have thought leaving him at home for a few days would be a disaster.

AtiaoftheJulii Tue 03-Jun-14 15:28:26

My dd2 starts y12 in September. I know that there haven't been January exams since last year and I think she is the last year that will have old-style AS for every subject.

If you're not taking him with you (and I would want to be sure that he was ok with being left at what could be a stressy time for him) - well, for a start I'd still avoid half term as the prices will be higher and there'll be other people's kids around! - but maybe try going away the first weekend of half term, more like 22-25? Most kids seem to have the Bank Holiday weekend as a bit of a break before getting back to revision, so you wouldn't be worrying about him not working when you weren't there.

Bonsoir Tue 03-Jun-14 17:59:52

You shouldn't leave him alone in the house during revision time.

TalkinPeace Tue 03-Jun-14 18:14:34

Parent of year 11 child here.
We went away at Easter for a week and at Half term for two days
term dates for next year are mostly available online.
THree days out will not kill them : in fact it will probably do good.

Nocomet Tue 03-Jun-14 20:54:42

OK, does this mean DD1 starting sixthform Sept. 14 has old style AS levels that do count towards A2?

Her teachers didn't seem to know at the open evening and they certainty haven't a clue what exams DD2 in Y8 will get.

All I do know is without her younger sister to worry about, DD1 would revise if left here because there is nothing else to do. However, if we tried to go on holiday without her we wouldn't live to tell the tale. DD 1 loves new places and different experiences and diesnt care at all if the company is her parents.

titchy Tue 03-Jun-14 22:08:54

DCs going into year 12 this September will be the last cohort for whom ALL A levels are examined with AS exams at the end of year 12 and A2 exams at the end of year 13.

The more popular subjects will be new spec from September 15 starters, with more coming on stream the following year.

Am shock at sixth form teachers not knowing what spec they're teaching in the autumn....

AtiaoftheJulii Tue 03-Jun-14 22:27:03

You shouldn't leave him alone in the house during revision time.

What, ever? smile

TheWave Tue 03-Jun-14 22:57:28

Most of the exam boards have provisional timetables on their websites for May/June 2015 so if he knows the boards and subjects he'll be studying then you can draw up a timetable for him. Then you can work out how much you'll need to be around.

ComeHeather Tue 03-Jun-14 23:07:15

I think that you should be around when it's such a key time for your son. Most of them do need 'help' of some kind even if it's cups of tea and plates of toast at regular intervals to keep them on track. It's a stressful time for them.

And yes I do help more formally with revision....going through notes, testing him on stuff, making sure he's done his essay plans. (My Ds is bright but a bit disorganised).

I think it would be a bit mean to go away when it could easily be done another time.

agnesgrey Wed 04-Jun-14 00:24:39

How is asking about the timetable for pubic exams going to make you "look like a plonker" . It won't . Phone , get the facts , and then make your decision.

agnesgrey Wed 04-Jun-14 00:26:24


But my point stands grin

AtiaoftheJulii Wed 04-Jun-14 09:12:57

I went away for the first weekend of this half term just gone, Saturday to Monday, despite having one doing GCSEs and one doing ASs. I did leave my dh at home but I'm not sure he's the cups of tea, plates of toast type! The GCSE one did a bit of revision one afternoon, the AS one did nothing as her next exam is not until this Friday. They really did not need me hovering constantly. I could have stayed away longer but didn't, but I don't think the sky would have fallen if I had. Have a look at the timetables, talk to your wife and your son, and decide.

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