It cannot be denied that there is a large proportion of pupils at Oundle
who are likely to be overjoyed about reducing the number of subjects they take when going into Sixth Form.
While it seems fair that the importance lies in the individual’s choice, the fact that you are still cutting out several options at a critical period in your life cannot simply be ignored.
Surely some of the principal purposes of Sixth Form education include enlarging your knowledge
and intellectual curiosity, which is undeniably reduced by cutting down the number of subjects you study.
Keeping a range of subjects is not only beneficial for those keen beans eager not to drop, but for everyone.
To start with, at the age of sixteen it is often the case that you do not know what you want to do,
and will most likely change your mind over the next two years.
I know I certainly struggled to pick my A Levels, let alone decide what I wanted to do in the future.
Yet by specialising to three or four subjects so early on you are immediately narrowing your options, not only for your academic learning in the following school years, but also for your future. Want to study a science at university?
When only studying three subjects, this is a decision you essentially need to make at the age of sixteen.
Most universities won’t consider a candidate for Biology, for example, who does not study one other Science or Maths. Although Science is the main culprit in this, it is can be an issue across the board.
In Oundle’s Sixth Form, there is a definite divide between science and arts.
In general, Oundelians do either science subjects or arts subjects We have managed to create a physical divide between the two, one building housing all of Maths and Science, and the rest elsewhere. I hardly even see ‘the Science people’.
There is even a sense that when choosing your Sixth Form options you have to decide: ‘should I enter into the science faction, or the arts?’ Rarely do you get people studying a combination, even if they do in fact have an interest in both sides.
Biology is often not seen as compatible with the study of English and History, for example. Yet a division between these two subjects is surely to be discouraged.
Learning across the curriculum should not be seen as a negative thing, just because it does not go with your other subjects.
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