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    (Tl;dr at the bottom)

    I've just finished year 11 and am continuing on at the same school to do sixth form. I'm interested in going into a science field, I'm currently unsure which but am leaning towards either astronomy or medicine, likely medicine. I chose my A levels in January to be maths, physics, chemistry, and biology, a selection that should keep both astronomy and medicine open as options.

    My school, which is supposed to be a science college, has calculated the year 12 timetable in a way such that biology and physics clash and so students can only take one of them.

    I heard this a couple of weeks ago from a friend who said somebody they know had been told they couldn't do both physics and biology, however I dismissed it as it sounded ridiculous since they are two of the most common subject choices and are often chosen together.

    I only had it confirmed today when I emailed my head of sixth form just to check, who said that no student has picked physics and biology in there first three options, which seems crazy considering how popular choices they are, and my school has around 80 people in year 12 alone so it's not like it's a small sixth form.

    Does this seem crazy to anyone else? A science college, one that is quite academically focused, not letting people choose two of the most academic sciences together? Two of the most popular choices, that will be needed to get into a lot of degrees!

    I am having a meeting with the head of sixth form tomorrow with my dad to ask if they can change their timetabling, but I'm worried they'll just say "sorry we can't change it now" or something.

    I know at least one other person who was going to do maths + triple science and now cannot, and I am going to tell them that I may not go to their sixth form if I cannot do those subjects together, as it will completely cut down my options for subjects at university.

    Tl;dr sixth form won't let me do physics and biology together as they have timetabled them in the same period, this massively messes up my choices, what can I do to get them to change?
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    (Original post by KomradeKorbyn)
    (Tl;dr at the bottom)

    I've just finished year 11 and am continuing on at the same school to do sixth form. I'm interested in going into a science field, I'm currently unsure which but am leaning towards either astronomy or medicine, likely medicine. I chose my A levels in January to be maths, physics, chemistry, and biology, a selection that should keep both astronomy and medicine open as options.

    My school, which is supposed to be a science college, has calculated the year 12 timetable in a way such that biology and physics clash and so students can only take one of them.

    I heard this a couple of weeks ago from a friend who said somebody they know had been told they couldn't do both physics and biology, however I dismissed it as it sounded ridiculous since they are two of the most common subject choices and are often chosen together.

    I only had it confirmed today when I emailed my head of sixth form just to check, who said that no student has picked physics and biology in there first three options, which seems crazy considering how popular choices they are, and my school has around 80 people in year 12 alone so it's not like it's a small sixth form.

    Does this seem crazy to anyone else? A science college, one that is quite academically focused, not letting people choose two of the most academic sciences together? Two of the most popular choices, that will be needed to get into a lot of degrees!

    I am having a meeting with the head of sixth form tomorrow with my dad to ask if they can change their timetabling, but I'm worried they'll just say "sorry we can't change it now" or something.

    I know at least one other person who was going to do maths + triple science and now cannot, and I am going to tell them that I may not go to their sixth form if I cannot do those subjects together, as it will completely cut down my options for subjects at university.

    Tl;dr sixth form won't let me do physics and biology together as they have timetabled them in the same period, this massively messes up my choices, what can I do to get them to change?
    That is really tricky - but surely for the sake of the school's reputation they will think about re-timetabling? I mean they're literally stopping themselves from being able to say 'we produce doctors at this sixth form' because of this clash.

    Are there any other sixth forms or colleges in your area?

    You could think about self-studying one of them but I think it's kind of expensive.
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    (Original post by Fox Corner)
    That is really tricky - but surely for the sake of the school's reputation they will think about re-timetabling? I mean they're literally stopping themselves from being able to say 'we produce doctors at this sixth form' because of this clash.

    Are there any other sixth forms or colleges in your area?

    You could think about self-studying one of them but I think it's kind of expensive.
    I don't think they're stopping people from doing medicine as people can still do maths/chemistry/biology which will let you into almost all medical schools, but it does get harder I suppose and medicine is already extremely competitive, so it does seem so ridiculous that they'd do it.

    They're some of the worst lessons to timetable together, because it actively prevents people from being able to do certain degrees. If there was a clash that meant people couldn't do psychology, say, it wouldn't prevent people from doing a psychology degree because they don't require psychology A level. Physics degrees, on the other hand, all require physics A level.

    I considered self teaching one of them, but both biology and physics seem like they'd be very hard A levels to teach yourself, considering the difficulty of physics and the amount of content in biology.

    There are other sixth forms but they're all a lot farther away - I live about 10 minutes walk away from this sixth form, any others are at least 10 minutes of walking and then a 20 minute bus ride. It would still be possible for me to go to them as that still isn't very far, but I really don't want to as my friends are all at my current school, I like the teachers, the sixth form centre is nice, the science block is really good, etc. Essentially everything is good about it except for this massive caveat of not being able to do my subjects.

    I really hope they reconsider, it just seems so silly for a science school to not let people do three sciences
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    physics is fine to self teach

    not sure about bio. but i hear it's a lot of memorising so that should be easy to self teach too
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    Lol never seen such a clash before
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    (Original post by Student403)
    physics is fine to self teach
    Really? I thought it was one of the hardest A levels? Wouldn't it be one of the worst to self teach?

    (Original post by TSR Mustafa)
    Lol never seen such a clash before
    Yeah it's ridiculous, I haven't applied to any other sixth form because this is supposed to be a science school, and this is literally the most science focused choice of subjects you could possibly do. School is now saying that being a science school doesn't affect it as they're just short of funding and are placing the options into blocks that allow as many students as possible to get their choices. I stupidly chose back in january to put biology as my last choice (essentially a reserve as they gave people 4 choices but expect you to only do 3) and so they did not factor in that I wanted to do biology and physics together as they were my least favoured two subjects, but I have changed completely since then

    (Original post by Fox Corner)
    That is really tricky - but surely for the sake of the school's reputation they will think about re-timetabling? I mean they're literally stopping themselves from being able to say 'we produce doctors at this sixth form' because of this clash.Are there any other sixth forms or colleges in your area?You could think about self-studying one of them but I think it's kind of expensive.
    I don't think they're stopping themselves from producing doctors as as far as I know you can do medicine without physics, but it does seem like they're screwing over students who want to do science when they're supposed to be a science school.


    I spoke with the head of sixth form today, she pretty much said it's very unlikely they can change it and it's just because of financial constraints on the school and because only me and one other student wanted to do physics + biology (which is crazy, since our sixth form is 100 or so students in year 12 alone, so isn't exactly small).

    At the moment I am desperately hoping they will manage to change the timetabling.

    However if not then I have three options:
    1 - do maths physics chemistry. This makes it very unlikely that I can do medicine as I assume universities will prefer candidates with biology, and it is already very competetive. I will probably not do this as I quite like biology, but it's still an option I'm considering as I also enjoy physics. This choice prevents me from being able to drop an A level if I don't like it, as then I would only have two A levels.

    2 - do maths chemistry biology. This seems like a good idea if I want to do medicine or something biology related, and leaves me a lot of free periods to get good grades by focusing on just three subjects. However like with option 1, if I end up hating chemistry (which I may well do, as I didn't like some bits at GCSE) I can't drop it as then I would only have two A levels.

    3 - do three of these four A levels at my sixth form and then do the fourth one (either physics or biology, likely biology as I am a lot more likely to drop physics) at another school and/or or get a private tutor and self teach a bit. This seems like a good choice as I can still drop an A level if I hate it.

    Any thoughts on this? I felt good about choosing maths + triple science before, now everything seems awful and I am so unsure what to do.

    I do not want to have to decide on what career path I will take when I have virtually no experience with any of them, and I do not want to cut out physics or biology as I'm worried that I'll get to the end of year 12 and end up wanting to do physics, but having not taken it and so being stuck unable to do a physics degree, pretty much screwing over my career choices.

    I enjoy biology out of all my subjects at the moment, however six months ago I didn't like it that much, and in another six months my opinion may change again, so I really feel unable to make such an important decision.

    Any advice anyone?

    Edit: also how would I enter for an exam if I did the A level outside of school? Would I have to pay for the entrance fee?
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    option 3 sounds good. I don't know which will be best to self teach so maybe someone can guide you with that.I really feel self-teaching is the way forward. What is your opinion on self studying? Will you able to afford a private tutor?
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    KomradeKorbyn no it's fine to self teach
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    I think that's a stupid idea..... clashing Physics and Biology?
    My year has 23 people and they still opened Physics and Biology together.
    If I were you I would push with the asking for re-timetabling as much as possible, but otherwise I agree that Physics would be the easier one to self teach. Or you could decide what you want to pursue, since medicine would need action pretty soon anyway, work experience, blah blah.
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    (Original post by EnterNamehereplz)
    option 3 sounds good. I don't know which will be best to self teach so maybe someone can guide you with that.I really feel self-teaching is the way forward. What is your opinion on self studying? Will you able to afford a private tutor?
    I can afford a private tutor and my parents said they'd be willing to pay for it, IDK though just because of how much work A levels sound like, doing physics seems like it would be a ton of work on top of three other hard A levels. I suppose I could just get a private tutor for a few months then only continue if I decide I like physics enough.
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    (Original post by Azarashi)
    I think that's a stupid idea..... clashing Physics and Biology?
    My year has 23 people and they still opened Physics and Biology together.
    If I were you I would push with the asking for re-timetabling as much as possible, but otherwise I agree that Physics would be the easier one to self teach. Or you could decide what you want to pursue, since medicine would need action pretty soon anyway, work experience, blah blah.
    It is very silly, but it is down to the fact that only me and one other person chose physics and biology (not sure why it's so few people) and even then we didn't put both of them in our first three options (the school allowed us four choices plus a backup, but both of us changed our minds and wanted to do our backup more since we chose A levels like 6 months ago, and they said they'd let us do all four A levels anyway if we got decent grades).

    I tried pursueding the head of sixth form as much as possible, she'll talk to the IT teacher who does the timetabling and see if it can change but says it's unlikely. Should I talk to the headmaster of the school? She's a biologist, knows me, is very nice, etc, so would probably sympathise with the issue. Not sure if she could do much more though, although it does seem like this clash is the one of the worst clashes you could have since it could actively prevent people from doing their favoured degree, whereas something like a film studies clash wouldn't prevent people from doing a degree since film studies isn't going to be required by universities.

    I've been looking into doing medicine work experience anyway though I don't think that should force me to choose since it's not like if I decide to do a physics based degree they won't let me in because I've got irrelevant medical work experience.
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    That is strange, but I'm going to be self teaching all 3 sciences to myself, while working part-time. I feel like I learn and understand things better on my own than have a teacher, unless the teacher is actually good at their job. If the constant badgering doesn't get them to change it, then do the self study.
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    You could definitely self teach physics/bio at least up to AS and then see which one you want to drop. You'd likely learn the content faster by working directly off the spec and not having to follow a teachers lessons which are usually quite off topic at least in my experience
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    (Original post by KomradeKorbyn)
    It is very silly, but it is down to the fact that only me and one other person chose physics and biology (not sure why it's so few people) and even then we didn't put both of them in our first three options (the school allowed us four choices plus a backup, but both of us changed our minds and wanted to do our backup more since we chose A levels like 6 months ago, and they said they'd let us do all four A levels anyway if we got decent grades).

    I tried pursueding the head of sixth form as much as possible, she'll talk to the IT teacher who does the timetabling and see if it can change but says it's unlikely. Should I talk to the headmaster of the school? She's a biologist, knows me, is very nice, etc, so would probably sympathise with the issue. Not sure if she could do much more though, although it does seem like this clash is the one of the worst clashes you could have since it could actively prevent people from doing their favoured degree, whereas something like a film studies clash wouldn't prevent people from doing a degree since film studies isn't going to be required by universities.

    I've been looking into doing medicine work experience anyway though I don't think that should force me to choose since it's not like if I decide to do a physics based degree they won't let me in because I've got irrelevant medical work experience.
    I still think you should try as much as possible. It's the school's job to support your choices. Of course medical work experience would be good anyway, but I'm just saying that if you decide to do Physics related degrees, there will be other, better things you could do with your time.
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    Organise a school protest
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    (Original post by HopelessMedic)
    You could definitely self teach physics/bio at least up to AS and then see which one you want to drop. You'd likely learn the content faster by working directly off the spec and not having to follow a teachers lessons which are usually quite off topic at least in my experience
    Thanks, this sounds like a good idea. One problem though, my school is no longer doing AS levels and so you do not get any qualification if you drop the subject after a year. Should I do physics anyway? I'm worried that I'll either end up dropping it after a year due to the workload and not having anything to show for it, dropping it a few months in due to not liking it or workload (although this wouldn't affect me too much if I've only spent a few months on the A level), or I'll do it for the full two years and it will bring my other grades down, reducing my chance of getting into medicine if I choose to.
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    I'm sure if you ask nicely, TSR will help you. Physics on the EdExcel syllabus is fantastically simple, whereas the AQA syllabus can be an absolute nightmare. I can try and help you in pm too if you like.
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    I have no experience of doing either physics or biology, and so can't give advice in regard to which would be easier to self teach, but I just wanted to say that this is probably the most ridiculous subject clash I've ever heard of.
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    (Original post by Rather_Cynical)
    I'm sure if you ask nicely, TSR will help you. Physics on the EdExcel syllabus is fantastically simple, whereas the AQA syllabus can be an absolute nightmare. I can try and help you in pm too if you like.
    Thanks, do you know what the OCR syllabus is like? My school does OCR, however since I would be doing the A level externally I assume I'd be able to choose whichever course I like the most, if I had a tutor of course. I will also look into doing the A level at a college nearby if that is possible, in which case I likely won't get any say in the exam board I do.

    One other problem - practicals. I just spoke to my biology teacher, the head of physics, and the head of sixth form today (the last day I can speak to them in person as school finished today) and they said that there are 12 "Pags", which they described as being sort of practical exams, that would be required in order to do the A level, and so this would be a problem if I had a private tutor.

    Do you know if the AQA or Edexel exam boards have any sort of practical work for physics A level? If they don't then I could just do the A level with a tutor learning one of those exam board's content.
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    (Original post by JoshC98)
    I have no experience of doing either physics or biology, and so can't give advice in regard to which would be easier to self teach, but I just wanted to say that this is probably the most ridiculous subject clash I've ever heard of.
    Yep, short of maybe physics/maths or chemistry/biology this is one of the worst clashes you could have.
 
 
 
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