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 Post subject: Subject choices
PostPosted: 16 Jan 2018, 22:55 
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Rescuing a Junior from the lake
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This came up in one of the Special Sixth discussions last week, in relation to needlework. There are various references to people, usually new girls, not taking particular subjects, or taking extra art or music, but I'm struggling to think of references to people actually dropping subjects, except during the brief incarnation of Special Sixth. In the geography lesson in New Mistress, for example, and in some of the lessons in Peggy, the whole of VIa or VIb seems to be there. Is there anywhere where people actually discuss which subjects they're taking in the VIth form?

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 Post subject: Re: Subject choices
PostPosted: 16 Jan 2018, 23:04 
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I think we are told that Len is 'specialising' in the sixth form rather than taking the 'general' course - Triplets maybe. Otherwise they all seem to take everything. EBD was a bit hazy about A levels/Highers.


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 Post subject: Re: Subject choices
PostPosted: 16 Jan 2018, 23:11 
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Gay talks about dropping subjects after School Cert., and says she isn't allowed to specialise in music until then, although she's already dropped science in favour of extra maths. And in Triplets there's a bit at the beginning about Len having dropped art in favour of extra Spanish. The idea seems to be that once you'd sat the School Cert./GCE at sixteen or so, you could drop certain subjects like music, art, science, maths, history etc. if you were bad at/didn't want to carry on with them, as long as you replaced them with something else, usually something more suited to your career plans, such as the Len example above. She apparently sucks at art, so she drops it in favour of Spanish, which is obviously much more suited to her plans for a degree in modern languages.

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 Post subject: Re: Subject choices
PostPosted: 16 Jan 2018, 23:59 
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Carola contains one of the more eccentric curricular suggestions (to me, anyway) that I can think of: Miss Annersley discusses Carola's previous education with her in Chapter 6 and concludes "As you have had a year's botany, and seem to have done practically no maths, we had better concentrate on the botany and cut the maths out. No need for you to do both." And yet in the previous sentences her arithmetic is apparently perfectly adequate and she has done "a little" algebra, just no geometry. I also found it a bit odd that as someone who had done no chemistry, she was expected to "soon pick up" as much of it as the other girls in her form, VB...


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 Post subject: Re: Subject choices
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2018, 08:19 
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WEll, that would depend on when Vb began to learn chemistry scifically, rather than just a genral science course or focusing on botany or biology. If they had only begun chemistry the previous term, picking up the background would not have been too difficult.

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 Post subject: Re: Subject choices
PostPosted: 20 Jan 2018, 01:58 
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Mel wrote:
I think we are told that Len is 'specialising' in the sixth form rather than taking the 'general' course - Triplets maybe. Otherwise they all seem to take everything. EBD was a bit hazy about A levels/Highers.


Yeah, Margot complains because she wants to get hold of her sisters and can't because they are both busy with 'special' subjects.

So Len is doing extra language training and Con is doing more English Lit stuff.

But given Margot has decided to become a doctor, wouldn't she get extra training in biology and umm... other doctor stuff?

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 Post subject: Re: Subject choices
PostPosted: 20 Jan 2018, 17:35 
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If the triplets had been at school in the Island years, they'd have been in Special Sixth. Len couldn't have been HG and probably Margot couldn't have been Games Prefect either.

There was really no educational reason why they needed to stay on that extra year. It was only that EBD didn't want to lose them, wanted Len to have longer as HG, and didn't have any interesting groups of girls coming along to take over as prefects.

Evelyn Ross is another oddity, in that she didn't get to specialise when she should have done. She was sixteen, she'd done her O Levels at her previous school. Her age and level of education should have put her in VIb where she could have dropped some subjects and had time for extra coaching in languages. I suppose the answer is that EBD wanted her in the Vth for plot purposes.


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 Post subject: Re: Subject choices
PostPosted: 21 Jan 2018, 13:14 
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Aquabird wrote:
Gay talks about dropping subjects after School Cert., and says she isn't allowed to specialise in music until then, although she's already dropped science in favour of extra maths. And in Triplets there's a bit at the beginning about Len having dropped art in favour of extra Spanish. The idea seems to be that once you'd sat the School Cert./GCE at sixteen or so, you could drop certain subjects like music, art, science, maths, history etc. if you were bad at/didn't want to carry on with them, as long as you replaced them with something else, usually something more suited to your career plans, such as the Len example above. She apparently sucks at art, so she drops it in favour of Spanish, which is obviously much more suited to her plans for a degree in modern languages.


I read that too recently but yet in Prefects EBD has Len doing art. I suppose it was possible Len picked it up again as she had an extra year in the school.


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 Post subject: Re: Subject choices
PostPosted: 21 Jan 2018, 13:22 
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Joan Baker and Maeve Bettany both learn Spanish - yet another of the zillion languages spoken by Miss Denny - because they're hoping to get jobs involving languages. That seems very sensible. I've no idea why Len suddenly took up art again, except that it meant she could get paint all over her face and be embarrassed when Reg saw her :roll: .

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