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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1300
Location: Birmingham
Tipsy

You may have a point at GCSE but I disagree at A level, many Independent schools seem **** bent on following the IB route as a replacement for A levels. I think this is definitely not as good a launch pad for science at University as A levels.

My son's would be horrified at the prospect of continuing a mandatory language into the 6th form with the IB.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:45 pm 
KenR - I am against the IB, I was meaning the Cambridge Pre -U, although I didn't make that clear. I agree entirely that it is better to specialise when it comes to the sixth form. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:27 pm 
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Last edited by Belinda on Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:31 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
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Location: Birmingham
Hi Belinda

The IB comes in different flavours.

It sounds like what your daughter has signed up for the version that supplements the existing A Levels. (with extra curriculum activities and work experience, music etc). I have no problem with that at all, my daughter has also signed up for this at B/Ham KEHS Independent.

My concern is that some schools (e.g. B/Ham KES boys independent) plan to abandon A Levels completely and switch to the pure UK form of IB. Due to the fact that there is a greater breadth of subjects (including a mandatory language), I just don't think this is the best grounding for those wishing study Pure science or Maths at University as it lacks the depth. Many of the other teachers in my wife's 6th form college who have experience of the pure IB say that it's a bit boring and similar in style and structure to the old A Level papers with an emphasis on written English. There is also the mandatory language which may be ok for some but certainly not all students.

You are quite right about this year's A level intake having to cope with A* for the first time.

Regards


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 8:04 am 
Hi Belinda,

There are different IB''s and generally the most sought after one is not the one that is being taken up in our country. That aside, my views are similar to KenR. Apparently the science in the IB is not as indepth as an A'level so it does not provide good enough preparation for studying sciences at University. Some schools now only offer the IB, which is what I am against more because you may have a child who is useless at language but a science genius and yet his results will not be as good as if he had taken 4 specialised A'levels.

The IB is one of these qualifications which can be great for the individual. You mentioned that your daughter wants to continue with a language and the pity is that in most schools you are tied to 3 A'levels, whereas other schools have no limit so you could fit a language in amongst your other subjects. The overall impression of an IB is that each subject is slightly watered down and not as rigourous as an A'level in the same subject.

In saying all that if your child wished to study the humanities then I think the IB is perfectly acceptable. As I have mentioned in the past, I will send my sons to schools that offer the Pre-U as I think this will be the most rigorous sought after qualification in the near future.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:11 pm 
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Last edited by Belinda on Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6965
Location: East Kent
I SO agree with the open letter. My son sat first part of his GCSE last week. My husband (engineering science degree and runs an electrical instrument manufacturing factory) is still reeling from the discovery that " we don't need formuale and stuff! :shock:

I've just forwarded him teh original article!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:30 pm 
You have a healthy attitude to life Belinda and I wish it could rub off on me! :)

Regarding English, I think that everyone could benefit from it being compulsory, though not necessarily examined, if a child wanted to stay on until 18. Can I ask what school your child goes to? Certain independent schools that do A'levels or the Pre-U spend about 30-40% of the timetable on non examined subjects such as English, politics, religion and history so they are still developing their written skills. In some schools is called 'Div'.

If your child does very well with the IB then she will get into good Uni's although I think she may find it difficult getting into the very top ones for science if she's up against students who often have 4-5 A'levels in the maths and sciences. If she had three strong science A'levels then I think it would be less tough. The other thing is that its not just about getting in to uni but how well prepared she is for the course. If she sticks with science she may find that she is behind her peers or has a lot of catching up to do with the IB.

Many independent schools opt for the IB as a way of competeing with other independents as they offer an alternative, so any school offering it will always give you their biased view, as would a school that offers only A'levels. The last thing to consider is your daughter probably has more chance of getting top grades at A'level than she does at IB because there may well be some subjects that she just does not do as well, so that may be something to consider.

If your daughter wasn't keen on science then I would have said that the IB will be fine, but maybe further research may be beneficial. Good luck with your decisions - I'm sure she will do well with whatever she chooses, and maybe you can come back in 2 years an tell me I was talking rubbish! :wink: :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:31 pm 
yoyo123 wrote:
I SO agree with the open letter. My son sat first part of his GCSE last week. My husband (engineering science degree and runs an electrical instrument manufacturing factory) is still reeling from the discovery that " we don't need formuale and stuff! :shock:

I've just forwarded him teh original article!


Intentionally trying to wind up your hubby yoyo? Can you really bare the whining tonight? :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6965
Location: East Kent
We like to give him something to rant about, saves him having to do it himself!!


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