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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:15 pm 
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In the sixth form at my sons grammar school, it is compulsory to take A level General Studies, as well as the other four A level choices. The Head said that all schools have some sort of compulsory enrichment A level, either General Studies or Critical Thinking, is this correct? Look forward to hearing your views.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:24 pm 
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not sure that it was comulsory but all of DS's year did AS General studies - they took both papers in the january and then could opt to continue it at A level.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:26 pm 
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No - certainly not! General studies is, imho, a complete waste of time as Universities do not take it into account. However, critical thinking is more highly thought of.

Sixth form usually encourage some enrichment activity but that can be D of E, Sports Leader award, work experience, PE ... :D


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:38 pm 
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Location: Berkshire
We have to do GS for both AS and A2, as has been said it is a complete waste of time, in fact more often than not there is no-one to teach whatever is in the course :lol:

I don't think Critical Thinking is that much better either, and a lot of universities take neither into account


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:27 pm 
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
My DD started with compulsory general studies in Year 12 (which did include some useful sessions such as pre-driving safety awareness) but was delighted to be allowed to drop it when she took up the option of one of the Open University Young Applicants modules which she found far more interesting.

DS2 did General studies A level at grammar sixth form, one lesson a week as I recall - none of them took it particularly seriously although he did enjoy the chance to keep up a foreign language as one of the parts of it. He didn't really need additional enrichment as he took 5 other A levels (well, 4 and 2 ASs) and did lots and lots of music both in school and elsewhere.

DS1 (6th form college) did have to choose an "enrichment" session - he was fortunate to get one of the places on the Engineering Education Scheme for A level physicists with a local firm, which helped set him on his way to an engineering year in industry and then a Mech Eng degree.

So in conclusion - there are more interesting enrichment activities out there, but Gen Studies could be a useful slot otherwise. Not if no one actually comes to teach anything though!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:44 pm 
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GS A level is compulsory at my sons' grammar. I took it up with the Head and he said that although it isn't taken into consideration as far as UCAS points are concerned at some of the unis, it is still quite highly regarded. He said he has researched this himself by speaking to the appropriate people at several of the top unis. Not sure I am entirely convinced but he is an extremely effective Head and very forward thinking. I can only take him at his word.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:48 pm 
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We never took GS seriously at my school. I too remember many sessions with no teacher turning up. We eventually stopped turning up ourselves.
In my GS exam one of the questions asked us to write about "an artist or writer whose work you think will be remembered in 100 years time." As I had those aspirations at the time, I wrote an essay about myself, including some (very bad) poetry I made up on the spot :lol: needless to say I got grade D.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:51 pm 
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Location: Berkshire
Fran17 wrote:
He said he has researched this himself by speaking to the appropriate people at several of the top unis.


Oh heck, my dozy daft daughter who pays no attention to anything going on the world has an E at AS, as a result of not really knowing what was going on as far as General Studies is concerned. We had to keep repeating Cameron Cameron Cameron so she could remember who the Prime Minister as folk in this house (not me you understand) keep joking that Jordan Brown is still PM - no I actually mean Jordan


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:02 pm 
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LFH I really wouldn't worry about it. As we all know they are looking for three solid grades at A'level, all taken in the same two years. Who knows whether GS is worth it or not - as I said, I have my doubts. :D


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:06 pm 
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Location: Berkshire
Nothing we have as an option is asking for GS, which is a relief but it isn't very good to have to declare an E in anything...I don't think anything about the current PM came up , which is probably just as well :lol:


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