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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:03 am 
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I need some opinions from people with older children...

My DD is in Year 10 and aspires to go to uni to study a subject that requires Science. We have said we will help her but it’s hard to see her struggling so much trying to be good at a subject she finds so difficult.

On the other hand there are a handful of subjects she is really good at and easily got good grades in without trying so hard. She doesn’t dislike these subjects but if she were to continue with them post GCSE, they would take her down a different route from where she wants to be.

She would probably get the grades needed to leave school and do BTEC in college. But the course is still very science based and I’m worried she would find it too hard. So she would end up with a grade not strong enough to get to uni anyway.

Alternatively she could stay in 6th form and do the subjects that she is good at. She would probably do well enough to get the 112 points/BBC grades she need to get to uni but not on the courses she wants to do.

What advice would you give and how should I encourage her? Most people seem to be good at things they like doing or find out they are good at something and want to do that. Not my DD! I am not sure what to do.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:13 am 
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We spend enough hours of our life at work, do what you love every time!

There are often different routes into careers, is there someone she can ask at school. Also my son changed his A levels in the first half term of sixth form, so there’s still plenty of time.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:13 am 
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Maybe say what careers she’s interested in, someone might have some useful information.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:45 am 
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She’s not 100% sure but the courses she is interested are Biological Sciences, Zoology, Animal Science, Animal Behaviour, Ecology, Conservation, Wildlife Conservation etc. All of these say you need Biology at A-level or BTEC Animal Management which is mostly Biology.

She got a U in her Biology mock because it was the higher paper. In the real thing she will sit the foundation tier and may get a 4/5. This means she won’t be allowed to take Biology A-level.

In all other non Science subjects she got 6/7s.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:30 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:46 am
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Here is just a suggestion, but if she loves science you could get her the CGP GCSE guides and get her to do them for 3 or 4 weeks over the Summer break. You will then find out if she is really enthusiastic about science and if her grade can improve enough by the end of year 11.
If she wants to do biology, I think maths and chemistry are also important, but am not sure on this.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:02 am 
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Have a look at the courses, you may find biology isn't needed, although two sciences usually are - some universities will allow geography & psychology as sciences, others won't. I'm going to pm you later today when I get a chance.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:16 am 
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We do! We have all the books and she tries so hard. She’s spoken to her school and they sent us some extra things and revision techniques. I am going to subscribe to mygcsescience and try to help her and I got her revision flash cards. She wants me to sit with her for half an hour every day and help her go through it with her.

The university she looked at wants A-level Biology plus another science. Geography counts as a science so that will be ok. It’s one of the subjects she got a 6 in.
She could also do BTEC Animal Management but if she doesn’t get a good grade in GCSE she won’t get on the BTEC course.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:25 am 
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Location: Essex
Would she consider starting with a Foundation degree and then topping up? This course at Cirencester, for example, doesn't appear to require specific subjects at A level, unless I'm missing something obvious:
https://www.rau.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/fdsc-british-wildlife-conservation

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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:26 am 
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I know someone who did an environmental conservation degree and was just looking up the course requirements (Bangor) because I didn't think he did biology. They accept geography as a science.
https://www.bangor.ac.uk/courses/underg ... quirements
Is she ok at maths?
If so then maybe maths and geography and something else to get her the grades would be a good idea?
I'm all in favour of doing things one enjoys but sometimes I think there's a place for having to be realistic about what's then achievable. For example, a friend of mine has a daughter who wants to be a play therapist but in reality is not going to get a degree in a "relevant field" so has to accept that she's more likely to get a job as a play therapy assistant (which she's ok with).
I did science a levels to get to the degree I wanted to do. Science was not where my natural abilities lay (and nor did I love them) but I was prepared to put up with that to get to where I wanted to go. However I was (just! - with a lot of support but unfortunately no one in my family able to actually help me understand stuff) capable of making that goal.
Maybe have a look at other courses that require a science but are broad in their definition of that and have a list of everything she could possibly aspire to in this field and see how she feels about it?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:39 am 
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The only thing I'd add (with caution, as I am only basing this on my own child) is that there is a chance that the things she "loves" might still change over the next year.
A year ago (year 10) my dd would have said the subjects she was most looking forward to giving up were French and Biology and the subjects she was most regretting giving up were Maths, Geography and Chemistry.
Now she is not enjoying Maths at all, prefers Biology to the other sciences, is fed up with Geography and has decided to continue French on into sixth form (huge surprise/shock to us!)
Just the other day she was saying how different she feels about different subjects now (though her real passions admittedly have remained unchanged and her core A level choices are the same. But what she wants to study at university has changed in that time too).
So I guess there is still time maybe for her to change her goals just because she wants to rather than due to feeling that she won't achieve if that makes sense?


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