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On line A levels


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Just wondered if any of you have experience of on line A levels.

My DD is starting at vocational school in September. She would like to try and continue with A levels on line possibly only one as we are aware of how demanding she will find full time dance school.

Have any of your DC had success with this. If so any recommendations of providers etc. and is the support offered good enough?

i would be interested in your experiences.

DD is interested in taking biology which at least relates to what she will be studying at vocational school.

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I have no experience of on line A levels, but my daughter is doing biology A level and I would advise caution. It is by far the most demanding of her A levels (she is doing history, psychology and english lit as well) and I think that without contact with a "real" teacher it would be very difficult. She found biology pretty easy at GCSE but the step up to A level has been a bit of a shock to the system. There is also quite a lot of practical work - not sure how they arrange that via an on line course?

Sorry if that sounds a bit negative - there may well be ways round these things and your DD could well be a better biologist than mine, but I would look into it very carefully before making a decision if I were you.

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Are you aware that there is a major change in the science A levels being taught from this Sept in that there is no longer a practical exam or alternative to practical paper. Instead there are 12 'set' practicals to be carried out over the two years and most schools seem to be planning to use lab books for these which are kept in school. There is also no requirement to take the AS level as this will be purely a stand-alone qualification and not count towards the A2. In reality this will mean less time 'lost' at the end of the first year in revision but more to remember at the end of year 2.  Some of the students in my school (top state grammar school) are taking an AS level (not sciences) over 2 years and will be receiving just 2 hours tuition a week for this but this is in addition to up to 7 full A levels so probably a similar workload to a vocational dance student!

 

Also I have no personal experience but I do know of children who have been home-schooled finding it difficult to find a centre willing to enter them for public exams as all entries would be counted in a centre's  statistics and they have no way of knowing an external candidates ability. Don't know if this is a problem with on-line courses or if all that is arranged as part of the course.

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Gosh, 7 A levels? Why so many?

 

Is it a good idea to do an AS in the same subject that you are doing an A level, as presumably there is a lot of similar content even though they are 2 separate exams now and the AS doesn't count towards the A level?

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That doesn't apply to all subjects, as I understand it - if I remember rightly, languages and music will still have AS levels which count towards A2 - for the next couple of years, at least. When we were mulling over plans, we spoke to dd's teachers about one option of doing AS levels and auditioning again for Year 13. That would have worked with Russian, French and Music AS levels but not Maths or Chemistry, if I remember. Because of that she decided to either go to Voc school at 16 or do the full 2 years of A Levels then apply.

 

It's a good question about online A Levels; dd was considering it but nobody seems to do an online A Level for Russian.

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Thank you for your replies,

Yes I noticed A level biology is changing as of 2016 I believe. I think there are quite a few centres you can take the exams at.

I think I need to do a little more research.

Am I right in thinking that at CBS the A levels offered are on line? My DD is going to BTUK and they are supportive of self study but up to us to arrange.

My DD very keen to try anyway!

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I've had some experience of this. There are centres around that take candidates. Shop around, as the ones listed in the examination board guides are often the most expensive. I just emailed the exams officer in schools and asked. They enter students as 'guest students' so they don't show up in the stats (watch Channel 4 Dispatches tonight for an explanation of how some schools have used this procedure in a 'creative' fashion!).

 

Oxford Home learning - all home study and tutor support on phone and online by message and email. Study when you want.

 

Interhigh - online 'synchronous' lessons timetabled in during the evening. i.e. a tutor teaching an online class of students around the country. need to be at the lesson on a computer. The have a number of performing arts and sport students that need a more flexible schooling.

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Like Stirrups I've never had a problem finding a centre. We have experience of public schools just charging the the exam fee and saying it is part of their drive to support local community - nothing added for admin or invigilation even when exams have been longer than school exam.

If at BT UK is it worth seeing if college does evening A levels?

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I've had some experience of this. There are centres around that take candidates. Shop around, as the ones listed in the examination board guides are often the most expensive. I just emailed the exams officer in schools and asked. They enter students as 'guest students' so they don't show up in the stats (watch Channel 4 Dispatches tonight for an explanation of how some schools have used this procedure in a 'creative' fashion!).

 

Oxford Home learning - all home study and tutor support on phone and online by message and email. Study when you want.

 

Interhigh - online 'synchronous' lessons timetabled in during the evening. i.e. a tutor teaching an online class of students around the country. need to be at the lesson on a computer. The have a number of performing arts and sport students that need a more flexible schooling.

I can find "Oxford Home Schooling" and "Oxford City Learning" Stirrups - is it one of those you've had experience of?

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  • 9 months later...

According to the prospectus at my daughter's school (music vocational) the modular (AS content not re-examined at the end of A2) subjects from this September are

 

Maths

Italian

History of Art

Latin

Classics

 

 

Pretty much everything else is linear, including Music (not Music Tech), French and German.  

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My daughter started at vocational school BTUK is September and is doing A level biology on line. She says she is enjoying it and managing to keep up with the course.

I don't think there is much interaction with her tutor. My daughter enjoys studying and is self motivated. She went to a very academic state school and although she is loving full time dancing she says she enjoys using her brain in a different way. I think another of the girls is doing her maths A level on line.

School say it is fine to do but is completely independent. Also my daughter did not have wifi for the first 3 months which was very difficult. She made use of the local library.

I think A levels are approx 3 hours a week study which she finds easy to find at weekends. It gives her some structure. She also catches up in the holidays.

So far so good!

You have to book a centre in well in advance to take the exam and if I think that costs about as much as the on line course.

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We are using Open Study College AQA. I don't really have anything to compare it with. The college doesn't really give you contact time, according to my DD it is definitely self study.

My DD says she wishes she had used the same exam board as some of her friends who are at her original school as she could have access to some extra notes/ shared with them when she comes home in the holidays. Hope that helps.

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My dd doing A level through Oxford Open learning and they recommend 700 hours of study per course. Dd struggles to find enough hours in the school week with her timetable and Trinity diploma so often had lots of catching up to do in holidays.

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