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I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of some statistics to back up my argument for SLT that A level French should run in our Sixth Form next year even though only 3 students have opted for it. I need to convince them that uptake at KS5 nationally is lower for MFL due to nature of subject/perceived difficulty etc and as our entries for Y12 are estimated at only 30/40 next year - 3 students = 10% !! Is this a valid argument?? The Y11 students have stated quite catagorically that if French is not offered they will go elsewhere because they definitely want to continue with it, but this isn't swaying SLT either. So any ammunition will be welcome - than you in advance.
Tell them that the introduction of EBACC will mean more MFL students at GCSE in the future (and thus more potential A level candidates) and A level should be retained so that the importance of the subject is reinforced..
Removing A level MFL whilst at the same time persuading Yr9 pupils that MFL is important is contradictory.
The thing that has kept our A level languages running with low numbers is the fact that as staff we would become deskilled if we stop teaching A level. I wouldn't have thought SLT would place so much importance on that, but it's swung the argument in our favour several times in the past.
I would suggest that 10% of the year group cohort is quite a success. I would be interested to know what percentage other schools have, as this is probably a better guide than class size alone.
I have just 2 in my 6.1 - we started the year with 3, but one dropped out in October.
I support a previous poster's argument that as long as you have someone to teach, you should continue teaching it to avoid becoming deskilled in teaching at KS5 level. You may end up having 10 people interested the following year but if you have lost a year's experience of teaching at A level then it will not be to anyone's advantage.
I had a timetable planning meeting with my deputy head yesterday and have been told that where AS and A2 classes fall below 6 students the number of teaching hours will be cut fro 9 to 7 per fortnight. The remaining two periods will be independent study.
This affects 4 of the 6 AS/A2 classes which we have timetabled next year.I've raised all the obvious arguments against the proposal but I feel we will have no option but to accept the decision otherwise the classes won't run at all - it all comes down to money.
Is there a precedent for this in other schools? What has been the impact on results? How have students and parents reacted?
At our place, if numbers fall below three then teaching periods are reduced from 8 to 6. We are a private school and can't afford to refuse a subject to run, even if there's just one student wanting to take it, so I think this is a good compromise. Vice-versa, you'd hope that for bigger groups (14 in my AS next year!) you'd be allowed extra teaching time, but not so.
They wouldm't ru it for us last year with 6.
This year 3 want to continue, so I guess it won't be happening.
One short-term solution may be to run AS and A2 in the same lesson. It's far from perfect but it may buy you some time to build up numbers. There's a thread on this at
parkykeeperOut if interest what subjects are being allowed to run?
Public Services, Media, Psychology, Sport, History (although i know the MFL students were taking history too, so that will have an impact). I have to admit, it just seems like they don't care about keeping the top end students. Thank you for all your good points...I am building my case.
Larger groups in the subjects you quote bring bums onto those seats, and that's why you won't get any sympathy from your colleagues who have more students in one teaching group than MFL has in total across two levels and maybe three languages. Nor will SMT care if six French students walk away when there dozens staying to do that academically challenging array of subjects, with the obvious exception of history . However, a school that doesn't offer breadth of curriculum at A level doesn't always look too appealing to the outside world.
Out of 28 German learners in year 11, 4 chose German AS, plus 2 'maybe's', plus 3 from the girls' school next door (all of whom SLT discounted, with the argument 'well, they might not turn up'). French was also chosen by 4 students. Therefore they decided to run French AS but not German ('We can't afford both').
The day after the letters were sent home, all four sets of parents requested a meeting with the Headteacher. A few days later the money was found to fund German AS.
musiclover1The day after the letters were sent home, all four sets of parents requested a meeting with the Headteacher. A few days later the money was found to fund German AS.
Sheer coincidence!! Well done. Have sent you a PM.
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