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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 9:09 am 
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Talking to someone over the weekend, I was cautioned this is common to many 'top' school that have boarding, although not all - that a significant part of it's v high A level grades is down to the performance of high-achieving and extremely hard working boarders from overseas. Strip out those results and the picture is a little different. :cry:

One of the schools we are keen on certainly has a large chunk of international studets that join at A level and just wondered what people think of this? I definately know the work ethic of overseas students is very different but I didnt think that would significantly affect results?

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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 9:12 am 
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Hi Sheery d. I'm afraid I don' know the answer to your question, but wonder why you ask? If indeed this is what is happening, it means there are lots of high achieving pupils at the school being taught at a 'high achieving' level which presumably is what you would want?

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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 9:40 am 
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I think that in terms of top Indies with pupils joining school at A level from overseas this is a statistically insignificant sample and the claim is bogus. You will not find one top Indie school that does not have an international intake of pupils but they will generally be children joining at Common Entrance age. The whole point about these schools is that while they facilitate A level examination they also provide for alternative examinations and offer the IB, the Cambridge PreU for example. They know only too well that A levels do not enable Universities to select the most able students for their degree courses.


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 11:35 am 
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Hi
I would say you need to look beyond the immediate stats to find out how any intake of overseas students impacts the school & whether this would be beneficial for your DC.
You should be able to get figures from the school re the number of overseas students but also be useful to know where they come from.
If they come from one area there is a danger that they tend to stick together & dont really integrate with other students. They may also tend towards a particular group of subjects.
Having said that they can bring an extra cultural dimension to the school & often a strong work ethos.


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 12:01 pm 
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Between seventy and eighty students join the school in Year 12, of whom up to sixty are from abroad. This intake adds new vigour and enthusiasm to an already exciting school environment, and the quality of the work they produce is often of a particularly high standard.


So that makes it roughly 80 out of 220 students. This was one of the attraction I had with the school that its quite diverse but I am getting slightly twitch feet as I am beginnig to wonder if the high standards are mainly achived by overseas students. The inspection report above even touched on the aspect that overseas students have a paricularily high standard of education.

Ah well maybe I should just concentrate on the lower school now and cross the A level bridge when the time comes along. I am sure that new comers bringing in that work ethic may also be a very good thing helping everyone work and thrieve for excellence.

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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 12:05 pm 
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Someone once told me that when I was comparing schools I should pay more attention to GCSE results than A levels as there is a lot of movemnet at that level.I know of gilrs who have moved from all girls school to mixed schools and the results of that mixed school have improved at A Levels


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 2:18 pm 
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I think you are right if you are looking at the school for year 7 entry I would be more concerned about GCSE results as you can usually change quite easily for A levels. Moreover, it is some years off so the situation could have changed quite a bit.
The aspect of the 6th form you might want to look at is how much they contribute to the lower school. They can provide good role models as well as mentoring & running activities etc.


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 4:01 pm 
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sherry_d wrote:
Quote:
Between seventy and eighty students join the school in Year 12, of whom up to sixty are from abroad. This intake adds new vigour and enthusiasm to an already exciting school environment, and the quality of the work they produce is often of a particularly high standard.


So that makes it roughly 80 out of 220 students.....


In fact it makes 60 out of 210 or so if it is the overseas cohort you are concerned about. The school is Sevenoaks, (where DS1 starts in September), and however wonderful those 60 might be they couldn't entirely account for an average across 210 students of over 39 points out of 45 at IB, which is where Oxbridge offers begin.
Nor of course do they contribute to circa 90% A*/A at GCSE. I do accept that they would be a very high standard given that they hail from schools in Switzerland, New York, Munich, Hong Kong, etc.

The key giveaway, as others have suggested, of a school which uses its 6th form intake to juice its results is a disparity between GCSE results and A levels or IB. For most schools the A*/A percentage at GCSE and the A/B percentage at A-levels do not diverge very much. However certain schools in Sussex I could mention....... :roll:

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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 4:17 pm 
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Thanks FTB for putting my mind at ease and you're right that their GCSE are good so it cant be the overseas cohort inflating results. I am kind of feeling that it was just my friend trying to be a bit dismissive of my choices. Well thats a discussion for another post altogether but all the same she got me worried. :roll:

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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 4:54 pm 
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Sevenoaks has a very, very high ability intake at 11, 13 and 17. Those coming in at 17 are no more 'high-fliers' than those already at the school - just more of the same.

Anyway, the school has always had a high proportion of pupils from overseas. The International Centre for overseas borders has been around for what 40 or 50 years? It was certainly a big part of the school in the 1970's when I have very fond memories of then leader of the National Front (John Tyndall or Martin Webster?) being torn to pieces by the huge IC contingent when he came to speak at the school. Happy days.


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