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AS Course Preparation

(8 Posts)
MEgirl Fri 03-Jul-15 10:04:09

DTs school have sent a preparation booklet for AS courses. Most of it is fine, i.e get familiar with the course specs, reading list of material that might help settle in etc. One particular course asks the kids to study some material during the holiday and there will be a test during the first lesson when they go back. Is it usual for schools to ask their students to pre-learn material before starting their courses?

To me, it looks like quite a lot to learn. To the kids it might seem like nothing as they may already know the material. It isn't a subject that I know. They don't actually have much time to do this as from next week our whole summer is booked and the school only notified us yesterday of their expectations. The kids have been at home doing nothing since 11 June so it would have been nice if the school had sent this info some time ago though I imagine that with end of year stuff it probably slipped their minds.

I'm curious how other schools manage this sort of thing.

aginghippy Fri 03-Jul-15 11:42:33

My dd's school give them some AS work to do over the summer. I have not looked at any of it (neither has dd afaik) so could not say if it is a lot to learn or not. As I understand it, they want to give the teachers an idea of what level the students are starting from.

They gave out the assignments at the sixth form open day, which was last week. While it's true that the students have been home doing nothing since mid-June, I doubt the teachers were and I presume they didn't decide on the work until just before the open day.

MEgirl Fri 03-Jul-15 15:03:44

I was sitting in Costa earlier and mentioned the booklet to the DTs. Turned out that they already knew about the test from attending a taster day for the subject last week. They sat there and started to test each other on various things. So, it seems, despite being annoyed by having a test in the first lesson they are okay with the idea. They were far more amused by the amount of work required by other subjects than their own.

Leeds2 Fri 03-Jul-15 15:45:15

My DD got nothing last year.

noblegiraffe Fri 03-Jul-15 18:12:29

My school has set holiday homework for all subjects. The kids are off for an awfully long time and they will need to hit the ground running in September, not have to struggle to remember the basics.

The holiday work also shows commitment to their choice of subjects. If they don't do it, and slack off in the first weeks of the course, it will be used as evidence against them to boot them off the course.

MEgirl Fri 03-Jul-15 23:48:58

That makes sense Noble.

Aging I know the teachers are busy and rushed. Quite a few are off on a 3 week overseas trip with the Year 9s so had a lot to do before they left yesterday. Interestingly, the school didn't seem to have a 6th form open day. They had a subject specific day last week. Now, if I can get the DTs to understand the importance of doing the work so they hit the ground running, all will be well.

Layde Sat 04-Jul-15 03:12:12

I am an A level teacher / lecturer at a college, and I set my new AS students work to complete over the summer holiday, however, I do not set any tests.

I give my students a reading to complete, and a list of questions for them to think about and to come to college prepared to discuss their answers on the first lesson. My main motive is that my subject is very different from GCSE to A level. I want to give my students a taste of what it is like at A level, so they know what it is they are signing up for, and can have a greater understanding of whether the course is for them or not when they sign that dotted line in Sept.

My college is increasingly encouraging summer holiday work, and I understand lots of schools and sixth forms are too. I think if done right, it can help to give students a taste of their subjects and if they hate the summer prep work, maybe think twice about whether the course is right for them.

MEgirl Sat 04-Jul-15 14:03:48

That makes a lot of sense Layde. I think a quick discussion with the DTs about the jump from GCSEs to A levels is on the cards and what the expectations are likely to be.

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