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 Post subject: Advice for a colleague
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
I was asked for advice today and while I could offer some, since it's a long time since I did A levels, and DD is a way off that yet, I'd like the opinion for those with more up to date knowledge

Her DD wants to do engineering, she has just taken AS levels and got BBC (I think that's what she said). The mum doesn't think this is a true reflection of her ability, but had some extra help as well as school, so obviously something isn't right.

She is considering what to do. It's now after the start of term too. They are considering maybe moving to Reading.

Given that the engineering courses I've looked at recently are looking at offers someway above what she has achieved at AS, is it worth her looking at retaking As rather than continue with A level? Do sixth forms allow this typically?
I doubt she would get into a sixth form locally, but suggested she looked at Reading college and UTC Reading. She was also wondering about whether it's worth looking at BTEC instead, but I don't know how unis look at these these days, in my day, they were acceptable for some unis but others didn't like them so much.

I've also suggested maybe looking at apprenticeships.

I currently don't know much more than this, but she wants to buy me lunch next week and pick my brain further, so if any one has useful advice out there, please let me know.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:02 pm 
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Oxford Brookes standard offer is BBB so she is not far from that.

It is UMS that matter as much as grades at AS ie how near she is to the grade above. What are likely predictions if she continues to A2 now?

Happy to continue by pm if you want to give more detail.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:05 pm 
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Location: Reading
Thanks G55, I did suggest looking at as many unis as possible to see what grades they wanted, to see if she would get I to one that she was happy with too.

I know nothing about her ums, (as I don't really know quite what they are about from adjusted scores).

I did ask whether she was near a grade boundary and whether a remark might be worth looking at but I guess it might be too late for that. Mum said no any way.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:53 pm 
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Its very hard to advise because it really depends on whether the grades are a true reflection of ability with max effort.
If they are and A2 results are unlikely to be much higher then she won't get into a top flight engineering course but she might swing something . But I would question if she is suited to an academic course or would be better off with an apprenticeship. In which case there is the option of carrying on to complete A2s and go for Higher level entry or abandon and go in with GCSEs ( if there are any places still and that seems a waste of efforts so far)

If the AS grades are really below what she is capable of then there are 2 options: to retake the AS year ( in which case she needs to act fast as this should have been sorted a couple of weeks ago). Or to take a gap year, applying to Uni after A2 results in the expectation they are better. This will probably be dependent on being able to resit a few modules along side A2s and whether its feasible depends on specific module marks.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
Remember that the stated grades of offers are all inflated: they can't afford to make too low a standard offer as they might end up with too many successful applicants. See this very relevant recent news article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-29141762

But to impress admissions tutors especially in the more competitive institutions it would be good if she had some additional engineering-type experience especially if the predicted grades aren't stellar... See http://www.etrust.org.uk/ for more ideas. Unless she does restart yr 12 she'll miss out on the excellent engineering educstion scheme but it might be worth looking at Headstsrt and/or applying for the Year in Industry. dS1 did this and it certainly helped get his place. (For the record, his final A level grades were a disappointing BBC but he went on to do a gap year, got a 1st at an excellent Uni and has just submitted his PHD thesis )

If they are having to move area anyway then restarting, perhaps with a slightly different combination of subjects, might not be a bad thing. Go to lots of open days anyway and ask the admissions people

(Edited to add - cross posted with KB, sensible advice there too)


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:55 am 
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Location: Reading
Thanks. Lots of food for thought there. Plenty to talk to her about next week.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:04 pm 
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Just thought I'd post an update. She came up to see me today to apologise for not being around this morning to organise taking me to lunch.

She had spent the morning at the UTC in Reading after looking it up at the weekend. She was just intending to have a chat to them about if her DD would be accepted and have a look around.

She ended up enroling her, and the DD starts an engineering diploma on Monday. :D both very happy. From the sound of it, it will suit her better.

AND she enrolled her second child there too.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Queens Belfast offer BBB for engineering.

DS has changed schools and is repeating because he didn't get suitable grades for the course that interests him. He, however, did no work, lazy tyke!

Ford, Landrover and a few others offer sponsored degrees - usually BBC required. Not a Russell group for the degree but experience and a salary combined with degree study.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:44 pm 
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
Tinkers wrote:
Just thought I'd post an update. She came up to see me today to apologise for not being around this morning to organise taking me to lunch.

She had spent the morning at the UTC in Reading after looking it up at the weekend. She was just intending to have a chat to them about if her DD would be accepted and have a look around.

She ended up enroling her, and the DD starts an engineering diploma on Monday. :D both very happy. From the sound of it, it will suit her better.

AND she enrolled her second child there too.


Sounds great! Just looked it up to see http://www.utcreading.co.uk/page/?title ... ism&pid=97

There's a similar UTC in Birmingham, sponsored by Aston University. I suspect this sort of learning will suit a lot of children who have been turned off by or struggled with the academic exam machine, but who have the potential to gain higher level qualifications when they can better understand the relevance to practical situations.


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