Father and son at school presentation
This is where we were this evening. Hugo needs to decide which subjects to do for GCSE (‘O’ levels to those older UK readers who don’t know what the new acronyms stand for). Robin was struggling to stay awake.
Having just been through the whole process of university application with Flo I now belatedly realise that not all GCSE and ‘A’ level subjects are considered to be equal in the eyes of certain universities, but there was precious little information about that, this evening. I think many parents would assume that law might be a useful subject if you wanted to study law at university, or that design technology might be a useful subject if you wanted to study architecture or that graphics might be of use for a graphic designer, but in all of these instances they’d be pretty much wrong*.
It seems to me that highly academic children in the state-school system don’t necessarily get the kind of useful advice that their private-school counterparts receive. But then the state schools have such a complicated job trying to provide a good education for children of wildly different levels of ability and from a huge variety of family backgrounds. So I really do feel for the teachers. It’s just I worry that very bright children with not so bright parents are not being served very well, and helps to explain the disproportionately high number of private school educated students at Oxbridge.
* Most top universities consider law ‘A’ level to be so unrelated to law at degree level that they would far rather a student did any other academic ‘A’ level. Cambridge University school of architecture advise against choosing a ‘design’ ‘A’ level and would much rather a student did Fine Art. I have looked at the graphics technology syllabus and find it neither good life-time education about the basic principles of design, nor good training. It seems to simply be poor quality training – showing students how to use the wrong kind of software to produce unrealistic design projects.
Brushpen in small sketchbook