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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:39 pm 
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DD is considering Classical civilisation as a 4th option for A level (combined with 3 x sciences). Is this an ok combination? The alternative choice would be history, but she is worried about the amount of essay writing.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:43 pm 
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It hasn't got a great reputation ...

When I taught at a comprehensive it was the less able A level students that took it.

What does she want to do after school? Is she sure she won't need Maths?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:51 am 
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There is more to life than STEM subjects, but it depends on what she wants to study at uni and whether they would want maths. If she wants to study STEM but is not sure what then maths may be safer.

I don't agree that it is for less able students. Some of the top English, History and Classics applicants come to uni with CC. There are always very able students who choose to study the arts and humanities over STEM. If she has already decided that her 4th option will be a humanities subject then CC is a good option and it will provide a more rounded education. I understand that it is more literature based than the GCSE (if she has done that already).

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Last edited by UmSusu on Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:52 am 
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These are both essay writing subjects and some students take both of these plus English.

I would go for History which is a very traditional highly thought of A level. As she is not doing any other essay writing subject surely she can cope with one? DG


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:03 pm 
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CC taken as a 4th with sciences would I believe be seen as a 'softer' option than History.
It may be a different matter if CC was taken as one of a range of non science subjects.

Like G55 my bigger concern is taking 3 sciences without maths. What are the plans for post A level? Many science based degree courses will specify maths as an entry subject and most others will recommend it. There are few science degrees where dropping maths at GCSE is not going to make things harder.
To study physics at degree level you will need A level maths at least.

It's probably worth thinking through to the next stage before finalising the choices.
STEM isn't the only option of course but if that is the chosen direction it is important to get the right combination of A levels. I


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:11 pm 
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Today she is talking about English as option 4, she is adamant she is not taking maths.
She enjoys history so I feel it is a good 4th option. Career choices are not fixed, but she is talking about medicine at the moment. She thinks she is not strong enough at maths to take it for A level.

I would rather she took a 4th subject she is likely to get a good grade in. At the moment she is predicted a L7 in GCSE and was achieving L7 at the end of Yr 10.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:17 pm 
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sleeplessinhalstead wrote:
I would rather she took a 4th subject she is likely to get a good grade in. At the moment she is predicted a L7 in GCSE and was achieving L7 at the end of Yr 10.


I think you may be confused here about 'levels'. Level 7 was a NC level linked to the old National Curriculum.

A GCSE grade 7 is about the same as a GCSE grade A [old NC level 9] - so certainly not the same.

If she is considering medicine then she needs to research the requirements - there is an excellent section on 'The Student Room' website detailing all the medical schools.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:38 am 
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When I wanted to take physics A level the school wouldn't let me take it without also doing maths. I gather results for physics for those who don't also take maths are likely to be worse. Please do some research into this - I am not an expert but I just don't want your DD to struggle unnecessarily.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:40 am 
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There used to be significant cross over of material but that may have changed with new specifications.
If it is the same then it will be harder to do the physics without maths especially if most of the class are.
It would certainly be worth checking with the school how they make provision in the teaching of physics to the two different groups.

There is a lot of maths in physics so my concern would be whether someone who doesn't like maths would enjoy physics a level.

In the case of someone looking at medicine I am aware that some med schools do like physics A level. Certainly in the past it was deemed on a par if not favoured over biology A level by at least one.
G55 has given a link to check current situation.

As ever its about trying to keep options open if one isn't certain about future paths but for science that can make it tricky to keep non- STEM breadth.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:58 am 
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Another vote here for checking out the Physics/ Maths situation. DD's friend has taken 3 sciences, without Maths & already just 4/5 weeks in to Yr 12, is struggling with Physics. Apparently school did warn her. There's now talk of additional Maths support from school (which is brilliant of them IMO). Definitely have a conversation with school/ college in context of whatever boards your DC will be sitting.


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