Jump to content

Distance learning/Online A Levels


Friends
 Share

Recommended Posts

You mean the mechanics of it or how difficult/easy it is? What I mean is are you after some information of where to go or are you trying to find out if it is feasible and how through other people's experience?

Edited by afab
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know it's not the same as A levels, but my dd studied iGCSE's online with a very good distance learning company - I know they also do some A levels. She studied with Oxford Open Learning and her online tutors were (in the main) really good. She did it all herself with very little input from me and the results (so far at least) have been excellent.

 

One thing I would say though, you have to be very focussed to study independently - but for most dance students this wouldn't be a problem :P

Edited by Klaris
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The one thing I would caution is be sure you know where you could sit the actual exam - Julie W may have some insight into this, but certainly the school where I worked wouldn't countenance my son as an external candidate, and his old school, although they did agree, were not exactly keen on the idea.  The rules are very tight now about who you have in your exam room.

 

However, would be interested to know if people have found a work around to this problem, and if so if there are any companies that come recommended.

 

An alternative suggestion  - many part time/distance degrees are modular (OU springs to mind) and if its a matter of getting some study in, transferable at a later date, this may work?   Maybe just studying one module?

 

DS is considering this route at Glasgow Uni, as it also gives you access to their sports facilities and library !

 

Meadowblythe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is this for your dd about to start at Central? I would suggest that you don't commit her to studying outside school until she has started and feels that she can cope with extra studying. As I am sure other Central  parents will agree the course is quite demanding timewise. First and second years start at 8.45 (six days a week) but need to be there at 7.45 to warm-up and most days don't finish till 5 or 6. Although they may get breaks during the day, I know there have been plenty of times when dd has barely had time to eat and if there are things like choreographic platforms etc the students frequently need to rehearse in their own time. Add onto this travel time (such a pity the Y closed as was about the only reasonably priced local accommodation that would take 16 year olds), laundry, shopping etc and it really is very full-on. Also they only get three days (thurs-sun) off for half-terms and substantially shorter main holidays than a lot of other places. My dd did one AS in first year but it was a real struggle and she decided not to continue with the A2. A decision which I fully supported having seen how hard it was and I was trying to encourage her to start two AS's in the beginning as she did very well at GCSE.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as finding somewhere to sit the exams is concerned, we had no problems finding a local school to take dd on - we just phoned around locally and asked a few. Some schools will not do it but I know there are plenty throughout the country who do.

 

It does cost, but admin fees vary quite a bit (we paid £75 per exam 'season' - and could take as many exams as wanted in that period.) Our exam officer was absolutely brilliant and saw us through the whole process. 

 

I also joined an online Home Ed forum, which gave a lot of good information - most people on there did not enrol with distance learning colleges and preferred to buy the books and do it themselves at home, including for A levels. However, I personally think this would be quite a hard option. It would be a bit easier with a home tutor though.

 

I also think it will be quite hard to do A levels while they are at 6th form doing the dance degree - my dd's starting at Rambert in September and they don't recommend taking on extra study as the students will be so busy and tired (I know Central like them to, though.)

Edited by Klaris
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Spooky and Klaris - I feel that studying for a degree and dancing all hours would be quite enough work!

 

Don't forget you can take A'Levels at any time of life - my Mother took Art A'Level at age 67 and Photography A'Level at 69 - and got As in both! :-)

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Regarding exam centres that take private candidates CCSS do and used to charge around £100/subject. We mostly used a couple of private schools with minimal fees as they often offer this as a service to help maintain their charitable status. The state school I work at has a number of private candidates but it is at the discretion of the exam officer. I never heard of or found a college that would take private candidates. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can I thank everyone for your valuable input. At the moment my dd is thinking of doing PE which would complement the dance course.

If my dd gets injured and cannot follow her dream then her alternative career path would be physiotherapy/ dance therapist.

Does anyone know of any courses that would be recognised and considered for entry onto these courses that are not A levels and could be studied at leisure ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would think that for physiotherapy she would need science A'Levels (in particular human biology) as opposed to PE.

 

If she graduates with a BA (Hons) then - if I remember rightly - could she not convert that to a BSc by doing a science foundation degree at a later date? I'm sure a friend of mine did just that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having looked at a number of options regarding distance learning companies etc, we decided just to buy the textbooks, revision guides and past exam papers ourselves and so far proving to be ok. They do have to be focused but they are used to that and she is managing to find time to study, in fact she quite enjoys it as something different to ballet- keeps her grounded. Obviously depends on subjec, science a bit more tricky as needs practical work but I believe a company in Birmingham can provide this at a cost.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would think that your best approach would be to contact somewhere that offers a physiotherapy degree and ask about entry requirements and possible transferrable skills from the central course. I had a brief look at:

 

 

http://www.csp.org.uk/professional-union/careers-development/career-physiotherapy

 

which seems to imply that a degree is necessary so assuming it is a standard three year course your dd would have to swap from Central at the end of the first year as only 4 years degree funding (loan) is available to anyone. Unless of course you are able to fund the fees yourself. Not sure if you could do a post-graduate course following a dance degree but again funding might be a problem.

 

With PE A level is there not quite a bit of practical assessment? My youngest dd has just done the GCSE course and was assessed in 4 different practical sports although she did manage to do dance as one of them!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Does anyone have experience of taking A levels through a distance learning provider or any recommendations?

My DD is considering this as an option to do an A level which is not offered by her school and I am not sure whether it is a good idea or not or how it works. Are you tied into a set timetable to do the coursework and exams e.g. one year, two years? 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you looked at colleges near her school that offer evening A level classes to see if her subject is offered there. Locally to us I know of a few students who are doing A levels in 6th form but are taking one at local colleges as their school does not offer the subject they want. It could be an option if your DD can fit it around her own school commitments.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My non dancing DD skipped A levels and did an Open University degree in four years, working flexible hours at the same time. I don't know what age you can sign up for OU but I know of at least one ENB school graduate, now with ENB company who is studying law via OU at the same time as having a professional ballet career. Don't know how they have the time or the energy!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My immediate reaction was that it would depend totally on the subject, with the sciences being tricky: chemistry without doing the actual experiments would be pretty boring (although I understand that you can find most of this stuff on ... guess where? these days anyway, and I believe you no longer have to dissect animals in biology if you don't want to), and no geography A-level would be complete without a field trip and standing up to your waist in an ice-cold, fast-flowing river measuring flow rates or something equally exciting :).  Although come to think of it that's probably been outlawed by H&S by now, too.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would think that for physiotherapy she would need science A'Levels (in particular human biology) as opposed to PE.

 

If she graduates with a BA (Hons) then - if I remember rightly - could she not convert that to a BSc by doing a science foundation degree at a later date? I'm sure a friend of mine did just that.

PE is very much a recogised option for Physiotherapy.  One of my daughters dance teachers is a physio and she said that the students who did PE A level or L3 extended diploma had a better starting point than she did with Biology A level as the PE focused more on the human body whereas the A level biology covered all biology and the human element was very small.  I suppose it depends which examining board you choose.  I know AQA do it,  but it focuses on the body and disease.

Hope this helps

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Friends .... another method of entry onto a BA university course is by doing a one year Access to Higher Education Diploma (an alternative to A levels). I work at a college where we offer these Diplomas. We offer 3 choices, one of which is a Science course and many (not all though) universities will accept this as entry onto a physiotherapy degree. The courses are part-time, but do vary from college to college. At our college, the science course is 3 mornings per week, so not possible whist at dance college but a possibility afterwards. However, we also offer an eve course as well for social sciences. It varies from one college to another. If you look at the website www.accessible.ac.uk, you can find out more info. Not many people are aware of these diplomas as alternative entry routes to uni.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having looked at a number of options regarding distance learning companies etc, we decided just to buy the textbooks, revision guides and past exam papers ourselves and so far proving to be ok. They do have to be focused but they are used to that and she is managing to find time to study, in fact she quite enjoys it as something different to ballet- keeps her grounded. Obviously depends on subjec, science a bit more tricky as needs practical work but I believe a company in Birmingham can provide this at a cost.

 

When did you start follycat? Having done a lot of research this week, I think we may do the same. The school has been kind enough to act as the examination centre, but it is all change this year with the exams because they are changing to the new A levels next year, so I understand that there are no exam sessions in Jan 2014 for the current exam format, only in June 2014. This means she won't be able to spread the exams out and will have to take 2 AS exams in June which will be quite a lot of pressure. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...