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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 2:49 pm
Posts: 55
Location: S.W. London
I would appreciate an overview of Year 8/9, hopefully this is the right part of the forum. Briefly my DS has not received any offers of places for senior school so will probably be re-entering the state system at year 9.

I will be having to look round secondary schools but having missed out on the Year 6/7 stage, I think what I should be looking for at this stage is GCSE information. Our nearest school has just become an academy and has little information on their website. The general questions on this website are a good start, but are there any specific GCSE questions you would ask?

He would know a few children at the local school, I'm guessing that it would be better to supplement a 'thinner' curriculum, rather than trying to get into a better school further away but where he would know no-one?

The local schools do not have 6th forms, so any advice about how GCSE results impact As/A2s would also be appreciated.

My DS has strengths in maths and science.

Any guidance, experience or help would help me in what is a difficult situation.

Susan


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:33 pm
Posts: 866
I think it would depend whether you envisage your child staying at the new school for A-level. Most halfway decent schools should be able to teach a selection of GCSE subjects and there really isn't much to choose from despite the fuss they all make about GCSE options.
I might ask how many A*s they manage to get and I would certainly want to find a school which taught triple science rather than double.
I would not want the school to be moving over to the IGCSE because although I am sure it is more academic and more interesting university admissions tutors only want to see A*s and these are much easier to get in ordinary GCSEs.
I would choose the school based on its record at A-level including the amount of extra help offered by staff for all ability ranges and also by the leavers destinations ( not too many "new" universities and a good number of oxbridge places)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 2:49 pm
Posts: 55
Location: S.W. London
Thanks for the reply Magwich.

Secondary schools in our London Borough do not have 6th forms, so if DS goes to a borough school he would have to move for A levels to one of the three local 6th form colleges.

Have just checked one college website and it says 137 went to Russell Group Universities and 13 to Oxbridge, out of 1,167 University places obtained. The other one gives no destination figures but is locally regarded as the "better" college, so perhaps has less need to "prove" itself to potential students?

So given he has to change, would there be any additional advice you might have?

Susan


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
Yep, really careful look at school results, subject by subject, grade by grade, and compare with national averages subject by subject, grade by grade. This will give you an idea which departments the school is weak in.

Also check out whether they do anything really early - if they do, you might need to crack on in those subjects with your son so he is not at a disadvantage starting in year 9. Also find out how they set / stream things in Year 9 and exactly what your son needs to do to get into the top sets. Then do it!


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