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 Post subject: secondary school options
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:52 am
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Recently, I've become slightly concerned re my ds3's options for sec. school. He is currently in y5 and we are working towards 11+. He's doing ok but having 2 extra languages at home has left him lacking some English vocab. Especially words like eg stile, hoe, words that most children would have learnt at home. I obviously work hard with him and encourage reading, but he picks up new words rather slowly. Being fluent in Greek does help him with longer words though, I must admit.
Well, I am quite aware that he may not pass the bucks11+ (despite being brilliant in maths+non-verbal).

So, I have started looking at other sec school options and I got slightly concerned with the gcse/a-level results of our 2 local comps. One major concern of mine is that they do not do triple science. These might (I would guess) be his best subjects in the future. I've understood they offer Physics, Chem, Biol for A-levels but looking at the few students' results who have taken these, they got very low grades typ C's def. no A's. This makes me suspect that teaching in these subjects is not their top priority. Probably hard for the kids making the leap from double science to A-level science.

We are not keen on sending him to private school, having another 2 younger dc (possibly not passing) this would make us go bancrupt.

I'm not British, so I kindly ask for your advice. Which options are feasible/in your view best?

A) Send him to local comp. Support him at home using material/notes from gs that his 2 older brothers' attend.
Is it then possible for him to take triple science? Have you done this? Could he skip doing the double/single science at school? Where would he take his tests?
Would I be allowed to teach him latin and let him take the gcse (my eldest finds this subject the easiest of all, so it might be worth giving it a try to home-school him in)?

B) Is it possible to enter gs later than 12+? eg after gcse?

C) Is it possible to enter an indie at a later stage eg around gcse or later if we find the state school isn't right for him?

D) I believe from other posts that comps do streaming, but it really doesn't seem to reflect the children's gcse results. Maybe the "best" teachers and support is focused on children struggling and the top tier is left with inadequate support(?) I am hopefully completely wrong about this. It seems like the schools achieve fab results in pe, cooking and dt, but pretty much no A's in maths, english, science, history.
If anyone would have recommendation on a South Bucks school, I would be extremely grateful

Sorry for the long post and I sincerely do not wish to offend anyone who has their dc at comps - I am sure there are great ones, but I need advice locating them and understanding how to tell which one is best for my ds3.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:54 am 
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I suggest you ask one of the moderators to move this to Bucks as you will get more information and advice there!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:05 pm 
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kenyancowgirl wrote:
I suggest you ask one of the moderators to move this to Bucks as you will get more information and advice there!


Good idea - I'll move it

Quote:
A) Send him to local comp. Support him at home using material/notes from gs that his 2 older brothers' attend.
Is it then possible for him to take triple science? Have you done this? Could he skip doing the double/single science at school? Where would he take his tests?



science exams are currently hard to take out of school as they require observed practicals and have to write them up in class etc. Best maybe to let him do the double science with the others

Quote:
Would I be allowed to teach him latin and let him take the gcse (my eldest finds this subject the easiest of all, so it might be worth giving it a try to home-school him in)?


yes

Quote:
B) Is it possible to enter gs later than 12+? eg after gcse?
yes - there is quite a bit of movement for schools at sixth form level and it may be best to find one that suits his interests at this stage

Quote:
C) Is it possible to enter an indie at a later stage eg around gcse or later if we find the state school isn't right for him?

yes though better earlier rather than later - some have entry at year 9


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:52 am
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thank you! That was swiftly accomplished!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
Are you near enough to Herts for those schools to be an option? Are you sure that none of your local comps do Triple Science? Are you teaching him Latin at home? How does he find the Y5 work at the moment? DG


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:52 am
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Hi again,

I think that our mistake was buying a house was based on catchment for top primary school (+ obviously all other reasons non-related to school ), not realising that 95% of children from the local area not passing would end up at indies.

We never looked at comp school results. So, maybe it would be wise to move to an area (any suggestions which one? south bucks) with a good comp school and obviously catchment for gs. The only problem is the logistics with 5 dc + 2 jobs.

Week-ends are short, so going down the home-schooling route is not tempting.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:21 pm 
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Triple science is not the be-all and end-all. One friend I know who had to do double because the school didn't offer triple is now doing Dentistry at university; and one friend who is Head of Science at a GS says incoming students without it are not disadvantaged at A level. I have heard other views on that but it certainly isn't a deal-breaker - in fact my sons' GS started this year for the first time offering boys the option not to do triple.

Please don't panic - children do well at all kinds of school.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:52 am
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Thanks for replies.

Re: triple science, I've emailed the closest comps and they don't do triple at gcse level. For some reason they do Forensic (!!) science at A-level and Ph,Ch,Bio, but students seem to get very low grades in the end! I'll extend my search a bit further, but if someone knows of any comp school doing it, I would be very interested. We live in South Bucks. Herts is too far, but North East berks would be ok.

I might seem obsessed with triple science. Slightly childish maybe, but he is quite good in maths non-verbal and enjoys science + that I and dh have PhDs in Physics/Maths. To me it feels sad, him possibly missing out on ever doing science at a higher level. Also, I think schools not providing this as an option indicates that they are not supporting science/maths as much as I would like.

Latin I would (if he wants to) teach him myself (with help from ds1+2). Not necessary though.

And as I said before I do believe there are reat comps out there, it just seems we haven't found them yet... Never worried for ds1+2 luckily. They also lacked vocab but given flash cards+vocab lists would learn them swiftly and independently (far quicker than my rusty brain managed).

Thanks again for all help.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:52 am
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Thank you, Amber. You might very well be right. Maybe I should study the curriculum before panicking anymore.... Maybe there are just a couple of extra months worth of studying to get to triple sc. level.

Lovely to hear there might be possibilities of - if necessary - changing schools at a later date.

11+ does really bring out panic in everyone! I've had enough and I've got 2 more dc in the pipeline.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
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ccl wrote:
Thank you, Amber. You might very well be right. Maybe I should study the curriculum before panicking anymore.... Maybe there are just a couple of extra months worth of studying to get to triple sc. level.

Lovely to hear there might be possibilities of - if necessary - changing schools at a later date.
One more module each of Physics, Chemistry and Biology is the difference between double and triple science. And the second module is thought to be the most difficult one so you cover that with any course anyway.

Many children change schools for sixth form where I live and from posts on this forum I don't think that is atypical.


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