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    My daughter is studying her A levels, physics, chemistry & biology she is doing an AS in Spanish and it is a disaster. Rather than let her drop the AS level and concentrate on her sciences which she wants to do, the school is digging its heels in and insisting she continue with the AS level. Why, are they paid per exam? is it the league tables. Anyone know?

    Thanks,
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    Well one of my teachers last year explained to us why they try to avoid letting students drop out of Sixth Form which kinda applies to this. Apparently (shoot me down if I'm wrong) the Sixth Form gets paid a certain amount (I think he said ~£1000) per subject a student is taking...so they'd be reluctant to let her drop it but if she wants to there's not a lot they can do to stop her...
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    Generally it just looks better to have done four AS levels, as that's what most of the people that she will be competing against for uni places will have. It's also not a bad idea to balance the sciences out with a language or arts subject, like she has currently.

    I think the school are resisting because they are aware of this and just want the best for her.
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    tell me about it. last year i begged my school to let me drop history and they wouldnt let me so in the end i got 4 alevels when you only need three. Sure its great to have an extra alevel but I'd rather concentrate on 3 and get good grades than on 4, one of which took up all my revision time :grumble:
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    Can you explain the situation more clearly?

    is your daughter at the moment doing her AS levels: bio, chem, phys and spanish?

    or is she doing her A2's: bio, chem, phys and completing an AS in spanish along side these?
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    (Original post by celialamb)
    My daughter is studying her A levels, physics, chemistry & biology she is doing an AS in Spanish and it is a disaster. Rather than let her drop the AS level and concentrate on her sciences which she wants to do, the school is digging its heels in and insisting she continue with the AS level. Why, are they paid per exam? is it the league tables. Anyone know?

    Thanks,
    The school is doing the right thing.
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    Physics, Biology & Chemistry A level & Spanish AS
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    the school will get paid more because of the amount of a level subjects being taken- one of the reasons we had to generally do 3 alevels, an AS and then an a level in general studies on top, however i would of thought the main reason would be to balance out her choices, she would just look like a better all rounder with the art subject of spanish as well.
    is she finding it hard to cope with 3 sciences and the as in spanish? are her grades suffering or is it just because she wants to focus on the sciences. The school obviously think that she can cope with it and dont wish her to drop it.
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    I decided to drop a subject at as level last year and while the school wanted me to carry on, they can't force you to continue with the course- especially as bad grades don't do anything for their reputation. Just tell you're daughter to insist on dropping the subject if that's what she really wants to do.
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    she says she needs to concentrate on Physics and Chemistry and has now 'fallen out of love' with Spanish and finds it just too much. She is a worrier, she is worrying that she will fall behind and get mediocre grades if she has to concentrate on spanish as well.

    I don't want to stand by her if she is making a big mistake. I rang the admissions officers at a couple of University's and they were completely uninterested in the AS levels. But I just want to do the right thing by her. If the school is digging their heels in because of their place in the league tables or because of money, then I would just like to know. Thanks for all your help. Much appreciated.
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    if your daughter has already done another AS level in her first year, then she should drop the Spanish AS. Physics and Chemistry are very challenging A levels and it sounds like shes interested in science at university: they won't care at all about an extra spanish AS level, but they will care if she doesn't do well in her A2s.
    However if she hasn't done another AS level then perhaps it would be a good thing to keep up the spanish, most people applying to university have 4AS levels, three of which they convert to A levels so come out with 3A levels and 1AS. So she would probably be at a disadvantage against an applicant with another AS. (However if she really feels she will fluff the science then maybe she should still give it up. A2s are more important, and some universities don't look at AS levels much. They all specify 3As as their entry requirements anyway, not + 1AS. What are her modules like from last year? If they'er very good then she doesn' need to do so well in the science this year).

    The school is probably doing it for money. I'm part of the Student Council and so I attend the College Comittee Meetings and I know for a fact that state schools get paid per exam taken, rather than per student. So its more expensive per student if they are doing less exams. nevertheless, its her education and you should write a stinking letter or something if she decides to drop it!
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    i think its to do with the fact that an AS level in a language is highly regarded
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    If it were league tables, they'd probably encourage her to drop it if they think she's struggling - a bad grade looks worse on league tables than someone not taking the subject at all as far as I'm aware, that's what my school did with me anyway...

    And then my college did the opposite, forced me to continue with an AS I wanted to drop (I'm now thankful I carried on, but of course not everyone will feel that way) and for them I think it was a funding thing, they do get paid a certain amount of money for each subject a student takes. However it is different everywhere I'm sure, and the school could just be trying to help, as most people do usually have 4 ASs, and it is good to have a contrasting subject to show you are versatile.

    However, if your daughter really doesn't want to continue and feels that this will really disrupt her other subjects and risk getting the best grades she could, then I guess she has 2 options:

    1) Try her hardest and carry on with all 4 subjects
    2) Technically still take Spanish, but just never go to the lessons or do any work and concentrate on her other subjects (This WILL have consequences, such as the school punishing her for poor attendance and poor grades, with the possibility of her getting kicked out. Also, if she didn't actually fail the subject and got an E or something, she'd still have to declare this on a UCAS form, which again could look worse than not actually having a grade)

    As for the school not being able to do anything about it, yes they can. A lot of places require that students take 4 AS Levels (again for the money), and they could argue that your daughter is taking the place of a student who is prepared to take 4 subjects blah blah blah...(I don't agree with this at all, but they could use it as their argument) so I guess theoretically if she refused to take the subject, and they refuse to remove her from the course, it would just effectively be option 2, which could result in her being kicked out (an unlikely outcome, but a possibility, and if not that then some form of punishment), or they could give up and finally let her drop the subject.

    However, it might be an idea to ask them why they won't let her drop the subject and see what they say.

    If it were me, I'd just continue with all subjects but really concentrate on the sciences, and just kind of go with the flow in Spanish, and hope to get a fairly decent grade but not stress too much over it.

    Edit: This is all assuming she doesn't already have another AS. If she does, then screw the school because I don't really think there's much they can do about her dropping the subject
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    If she just doesn't revise at all and hands in a near-blank paper then she'll get a U which does not get declared as officially she didn't get the AS level. A few friends of mine went for the strategy in electronics cos they were hopeless so they wouldn't have to waste time on it and/or declare it on UCAS.
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    From what I have understood so far, your daughter is in year 13, doing her second year of A levels, and just started AS spanish in sept 09. If so:
    Has your daughter applied to university yet? Has she had any offers? Because if she has submitted her UCAS form with AS spanish on it, then she can't back out of doing it without having to notify each of the universities that she applied to, and then they have the option of changing their offer.
    Also, the fact that she is doing an AS in a contrasting subject is highly valued by universities, so you should encourage her to carry it on.
    If she is indeed in year 13, what AS subject did she do in year 12 alongside bio phys and chem?
    However, if I've misunderstood what you're saying and she is in year 12, then the school won't let her drop spanish as everyone is supposed to do 4 AS levels, and then drop one AS level after the end of the first year, no matter what she thinks that she wants to drop and what she wants to continue to A2.
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    Thank you all for the info. She is in her first year of sixth form. So if she gives up she will come out with just 3 A levels. So far she has not expressed a desire to go for the top unis, so it sounds like if she gets good grades she will be ok. i.am.lost's strategy was also what I was thinking, but my daughter thought that all grades had to be declared, so thanks for that (you are absolutely sure she won't have to declare a U). It looks like it would be beneficial if she could get it, but not a disaster if she doesn't - or am I just a bit too laid back for these times. Thanks for you help.
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    (Original post by candytreeman)
    Generally it just looks better to have done four AS levels, as that's what most of the people that she will be competing against for uni places will have. It's also not a bad idea to balance the sciences out with a language or arts subject, like she has currently.

    I think the school are resisting because they are aware of this and just want the best for her.
    Pretty much this. She can drop the spanish at the end of the year but its probably worth persevering for a few more months.
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    Maybe she could drop AS Spanish, carry on with her sciences for A-Level, and maybe do anotehr AS subject next year, in Year 13 ? I know in my school , some peopel who dropped a AS in year 12 had to "promise" theyd do one in year 13.. Is there maybe another subject she maybe interested in doing next year ??
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    to mazda12, I thought that, although year 13 might be a bit heavy going? But I think this is an idea. There might be something more appealing on offer next year. Philosophy (RE??) was one of her other options but it clashed, so maybe next year she could look into that.
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    She could always stop putting any effort into the subject so that she fails it - especially if the universities she has applied to have said that they are not interested in that AS level. They really can't make her continue with it, and I don't see them kicking her out over one AS level.
 
 
 
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