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A'Levels not working!

(23 Posts)
BrocollinCheese Tue 06-Feb-18 16:39:57

So it looks like ds is going to bomb A'levels. He's in L6 but averaging D's and E's so far. No idea what is going on, very capable boy but just cannot self motivate.

What are his options? if by end of the academic yr there is no change we are thinking of pulling him out. He wants to do something within technology, so Computing Info Systems, stuff like that but not Eng.

I'm considering BTEC but don't know much about it and it seems for what he wants to do he will still need an A'level in Maths to combine it with, so not sure how that works.

He's at an indy and boards if that makes any difference.

bluechairs Tue 06-Feb-18 17:18:49

Have you considered an apprenticeship? They’re fantastic tbh, I’m doing one now after my degree. Have a look at what’s out there he only needs 5 A* to C grade GCSEs for most L3 and below apprenticeships.

Plus he’ll get paid to do it.

BrocollinCheese Tue 06-Feb-18 17:42:51

Can you tell me a bit more about that? if he wants to study something in computing, what type of apprenticeship will he go for and what qualification does one get at the end of it? or does it just carry on from there into a more senior level of the job?

PattiStanger Tue 06-Feb-18 17:46:08

Apprenticeships cover everything, there's no one answer iyswim. If your son has an idea of what he's interested in use the government apprentice portal to search using key words for opportunities

BrocollinCheese Tue 06-Feb-18 17:52:36

I've just had a look at the gov.uk site and it looks interesting. Will need to read more. Please keep your ideas coming!

cricketballs3 Tue 06-Feb-18 18:13:30

If he can't self motivate then BTEC is not the right course for him, whilst there are now externally assessed units in every BTEC course the majority are coursework units and they all have strict deadlines given

BrocollinCheese Tue 06-Feb-18 18:35:33

BTEC might be right for him if he's in a different environment and has different structure. I'd like to look at all the options and not close any doors just yet.

errorofjudgement Tue 06-Feb-18 19:03:09

What’s the advice from his current school? If he’s studying new subjects it might be taking a bit longer to get his grades up, or it could be the jump from GCSE and he’s one of several still adapting.
Certainly in IT and computing there are some very interesting BTECs available (judging by DDs friends) but you need to look at what is available locally to you.
And how would DS feel about leaving his boarding school to live at home and attend a local FE college. It’s a very different environment he’d be joining.

chocolateworshipper Tue 06-Feb-18 19:09:36

A lot of DD's friends started Y12 over again, so will have done 3 years of 6th form by the time they finish - it does seem to be quite common. DD herself is going well at her BTECs. She doesn't handle exams at all well, so she is prepared to cope with having deadlines for coursework in order to avoid any more exams. So far she is on track to get Distinction * - which is the same UCAS points as A* in A level.

As mentioned, apprenticeships are an option. He could do an apprenticeship instead of 6th form, or if he does end up with A levels or equivalent BTECs, he could go on to do a Higher apprenticeship or a Degree apprenticeship (employer pays a wage and all tuition fees). As he's interested in computing you could tell him that IBM offer Degree apprenticeships.

BrocollinCheese Tue 06-Feb-18 19:33:34

Error -We are actually due to have a meeting with school tomorrow. I'll see whats available locally. As far as adapting to living at home etc, he'll miss it no doubt, but if he's not pulling his weight this might be the wake up to real life he needs.

chocolate -I didn't know you could do that i.e repeat L6. I'm not sure they will allow that at his current school, but good you know its possible. Do you now if one can do it at a different school or does it have to be at the original school?
Is your dd also doing an a'level alongside her BTECs because the Unis i've looked at wanted an A'level plus BTECs.

I've seen the IBM, Cap Gemini etc apprenticeships (just this evening), they're brilliant! i don't know why more students don't opt for them. I'd kill for ds to get on one of those.

chocolateworshipper Tue 06-Feb-18 19:44:59

Being able to repeat first year of 6th form is to do with funding - the government will pay for a teen to do Level 3 courses up until the Summer after they turn 19 - so I would be pretty sure they can move to a different school / college.
DD is only doing BTECs and is on track to get all Distinction*'s. She doesn't want to go to university as she'd rather do a Higher apprenticeship as exams really, really aren't for her.
I don't think that many people know about Degree apprenticeships yet - they're still quite new. But as you say - they're great - why on earth wouldn't you let an employer pay your fees (apart from certain professions where you need a specific degree and there are not degree apprenticeships available yet)?!
IBM used to mainly take graduates, but are now very keen on apprenticeships.

LynetteScavo Tue 06-Feb-18 20:36:52

Two years ago I was in a similar place to you, except DS was at a state school. I've no idea why he started getting low grades, but that's another story.

He decided to do a BTEC in engineering - the course included maths Alevel alongside it.

I was initially quite snobby about it, but now he has an unconditional offer from one uni, a conditional from another and last week went to an interview at another. I'm surprised DS has done so well with a BTEC as he's a bit lazy but good at exams.

I know people who have done apprenticeship and a degree after BTEC, and it seems to have worked well for m
You may need to search to find the right course, but this it the right time of year to be looking.

LoniceraJaponica Tue 06-Feb-18 21:09:22

Quite a few 6th form students round here have moved on to do year 12 elsewhere. Sometimes a change of scene does the world of good.

LynetteScavo Tue 06-Feb-18 21:34:39

I've seen the IBM, Cap Gemini etc apprenticeships (just this evening), they're brilliant! i don't know why more students don't opt for them. I'd kill for ds to get on one of those.

Yep, so would many parents which is why they can pick and choose the best applicants. I'm not sure my DS has the personality for an apprenticeship...I think he needs to grow up at uni before he's ready for working with adults, but for the right candidate there are some amazing opportunities out there.

homebythesea Thu 08-Feb-18 16:34:56

My DD has ben told that D at this stage (one and a half terms into a 2 year course) is as expected assuming work being marked to "real" A level standard. So I'd say don't panic quite yet!

BrocollinCheese Thu 08-Feb-18 18:35:48

God bless you Homeby. I really do wish that is true.

homebythesea Thu 08-Feb-18 19:12:41

Based on GCSE results she is heading for B/C type grades to put in a bit of context

jaimelannistersgoldenhand Thu 08-Feb-18 19:57:58

My ds is getting "D"s based on AS exams. Considering that May is 3 months away, the school and I am concerned.

He's doing 1 BTEC and 2 A-levels. I was dubious about BTEC being good for him as he didn't do well on GCSE Controlled Assessments but he has Distinctions in his tasks for his first modules and is predicted to do well in his summer exam on the next module.

errorofjudgement Thu 08-Feb-18 20:27:22

Op how was your meeting with the school?

BrocollinCheese Thu 08-Feb-18 20:44:12

Unfortunately I couldn't make the meeting (last minute migraine) but DH met with them and his feedback was notalot they're concerned about his grades in 2 of his subjects, but they think he is working hard as he is always seen working confused. We just have to wait till end of the academic year to see where we are.

errorofjudgement Thu 08-Feb-18 20:59:57

Oh dear, that sounds rough, I hope you’re feeling better now.
So it sounds as though the feedback is a bit inconclusive really. If you’re thinking of making a change then I guess you have to give the school notice at Easter. So a few weeks to research alternatives.
Perhaps the reality of looking at other schools/courses will help your DS to realise what he actually wants to do.

BrocollinCheese Fri 09-Feb-18 13:56:03

Thank you Error. Fingers crossed, half term is round the corner, so we can talk things through with DS. I've already made some enquiries locally and its looking quite positive, If we have to make that move.

Tigerblue Fri 09-Feb-18 14:55:57

You mentioned you don't think he's self motivated. Has this always been the case? If it's a new thing, does he feel A levels are too hard for him and he's given up, or perhaps his A level choices aren't what he thought.

It's certainly worth getting him to check if he can repeat L6. Someone at the school may be able to chat to him about other options and if there's any open days for colleages for next Sept, do get him to go and look.

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