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changing subjects chosen for college

(18 Posts)
poppym12 Sun 07-Jun-15 17:26:32

when ds applied for college, he wanted to study geography, ICT and psychology (A levels). after having several changes in ICT teacher over the last couple of terms and basically giving up on the subject, he now doesn't want to study it at A level. he has also 'gone off' geography. he has a provisional place at college, providing he gets the required GCSE grades.

he thinks he can wait to see which GCSE's have gone well and pick a couple of new ones on that basis but i've explained that college won't wait until the end of August for him to make a decision so he needs to choose the subjects he feels he enjoys most.

everything is boring/sucks/he's crap at (i'm sure he isn't although very little revision has been done and we struggled to improve quite a bit of his coursework at the 11th hour).

struggling with this one. any guidance please?

TeenAndTween Sun 07-Jun-15 17:46:38

Are A levels right for him if he doesn't fancy any of them?
Would he be better off doing a BTEC?

Failing that, does he get a taster day at college? Can he try out some of his possible options then?

noblegiraffe Sun 07-Jun-15 18:54:54

He probably can wait until the end of August to make his mind up based on his results. Other people will have to change their choices due to not achieving required grades etc, so some movement is expected.

poppym12 Sun 07-Jun-15 19:31:07

i've tried asking him this teen and he says he'll do A level english so i don't think he's decided against A levels totally, just the ones he thought he wanted to do.

we had a letter on friday about a taster day at college in july but he won't even look at it at the moment. i asked if he maybe fancied a different college, or 6th form, but no to that too.

i wasn't aware that changes could be made so late noble (all new to me) so thanks for that. maybe he'll be able to think a bit clearer in a couple of weeks time when his GCSE's have finished. all he seems to want to do at the moment is go out or sleep.

Millymollymama Sun 07-Jun-15 19:52:50

Could be a complete rethink at the end of August by the sound of it! Sounds like hard work to me and I would not want to be his A level teachers! What is he interested in? There must be something? I would suggest he does do the taster day. Something might be suitable.

poppym12 Sun 07-Jun-15 19:56:39

i hope so. he just seems to have lost all enthusiasm for everything and doesn't even want to think about what he could do with his future.

must admit, i'm feeling quite concerned at the moment as he doesn't seem interested in anything.

Unexpected Mon 08-Jun-15 09:49:56

I don't think changing subjects at this stage should be a problem at all. At DS1's college, they don't confirm your subjects until after GCSE results. Most colleges, you can even change subjects a couple of weeks into the academic year, timetabling permitting.

jeee Mon 08-Jun-15 09:59:33

I don't know how college applications work - my dc are too young. But thinking back to when I was that age, I know that I would have been very reluctant to formalise my A level choices before my GCSE results. I'd have definitely seen it as tempting fate. Could this be the case with your son?

Normally I'd think that it should be up to a 16 year old to contact the college - but I think I'd try and have a chat with them, and find out how realistic it will be for your son to choose his A levels when he has his results in front of him.

Millymollymama Mon 08-Jun-15 10:15:34

Most schools and colleges like to sort out subject teaching arrangements so if everyone leaves it until after results, and children drop out, classes can become unviable (in minority subjects) and timetables are seriously disrupted. Likewise if there is a suddent rush, classes may need to be split. What happens if there is not another teacher available? I would take the children who signed up first, not in early September.

OP - I would also be a bit worried. Obviously he can wait, but I would try and get a resolution to this by the end of the term. Perhaps after the exam period, he will feel a bit more motivated to decide. You must have some idea of his better subjects. What have his teachers said in their reports to you? There must be some clues!?

Leeds2 Mon 08-Jun-15 10:26:53

He will probably feel a bit more motivated about the Open Day when his exams have finished. I would put off talking about it until then.

Needmoresleep Mon 08-Jun-15 10:53:57

I assume they will be flexible depending on:
a) timetabling. If the subjects he wants to do clash, he may have to look at other options
b) class sizes. If classes are full they may not be able to fit him in.

I also assume they have minimum grade requirements.

However from what you say he seems pretty disenchanted with education. Is he interested in other things? Sport, drama, computers? If so can you encourage this interest and perhaps use it to help him re-engage. So, say, if over the summer he sucessfully completed a sports coaching course this might remind him that if he puts his mind to things, he can achieve and gain satisfaction from that achievement. Or volunteer for a community project designed to help the elderly access the internet (or granny/elderly neighbour). Overhaul a garden? A summer job. Something where he is a young adult taking responsibility and earning respect?

Or does his disenchantment go further to the extent that it is not obvious what he is interested in. If so I would drop the subject of college for now, do everything possible to keep him active over the summer, and hope that by the time the results come out he is ready for a more constructive conversation.

And I agree with Teen. Not all 16 year olds want to be in a classroom studying for A levels. Better for them to be doing something constructive than to waste their time failing in a classroom.

poppym12 Tue 09-Jun-15 19:33:42

thank you for your suggestions and advice.

he seems slightly more upbeat now the end of the gsce's are in sight. 6 more exams to go. i honestly think he's exhausted and can't even possibly consider his next bout of studying and exams right now.

although it wouldn't be ideal for him to change his A level options at the end of August, it would be better he tried to rather than spend 2 miserable years studying something he has lost interest in.

trying to establish what he really is interested in needmoresleep is like attempting to get blood out of a stone at the moment. his stock answer is 'nothing' and a shrug.

poppym12 Tue 09-Jun-15 19:39:14

also, he has now decided against psychology too. apparently, one of his teachers said recently not to bother with any of the 'ology' subjects at A level as they're worthless.


titchy Wed 10-Jun-15 08:04:12

Psychology not worthless at all what a stupid comment. All the RG universities accept it. Am guessing this teacher also thinks Biology is useless too given that it's an 'ology'? And Geology? And no-one is their right mind would study Oncology would they. hmm

poppym12 Wed 10-Jun-15 08:11:20

Exactly. it riled me too titchy and I said exactly the same about biology. Hope I can persuade him otherwise but at the moment, the drivel that his maths teacher spouted seems to have stuck angry

IDontDoIroning Wed 10-Jun-15 08:19:18

I think it's the wrong time to be hassling him about a levels when he hasn't finished his GCSEs. You can't really expect him to engage when he's tired and stressed.
Wait until the exams are iver

IDontDoIroning Wed 10-Jun-15 08:22:14

Ooops sorry
Over and then ask again. Colleges like to know what subjects the students wish to study but this does depend on overall GCSEs and the students wishes - nobody wants a student to spend two years in a subject they don't like.
With reacts to psychology it is a subject used for medicine so no useless at all

poppym12 Thu 11-Jun-15 17:41:26

We needed to tick off 3 choices for the college taster day in July. The letter had to be returned by Friday so I had to broach the dreaded subject of A levels with him in the midst of the gcse turmoil I'm afraid.

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