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 Post subject: UCS sixth form
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:54 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:46 pm
Posts: 270
Does anyone have any recent experience of UCS sixth form? or general thoughts about the benefits - and distractions :lol: of being one of 35 girls with 120 boys in the year - not to mention 800 smaller boys in the vicinity.

UCS have only taken girls for two years - so still very early stages cf some other London boys schools. But maybe that doesn't matter very much?

Can't decide if the dangers of disruption and loss of good girl friends at a vulnerable time, outweigh the benefits of co-ed. and is 4 to 1 really co-ed anyway!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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No experience of this school but DD changed to Sixth form of boys' school (though from a predomiantely male co-ed).
With hind-sight not sure a change at 6th form is good idea if they are happy where they are. (We had very specific reasons). AS grades are important & they dont have much time to adjust before first set of modules.

Experience of 'boys'' schools taking girls is that the ethos may not have adjusted to suit females. Staff may have plenty of experience with boys but girls are different :wink: presumably its the hormones :)
Seriously - it is a wide generalisation but especially coming from a girls only environment DD may find it difficult to adjust to teaching styles/communication with staff...
Also may be little in way of games provision - even practical things like toilets!(Not joking -my DD has found provision very primative!)

Its not just about your DD adjusting (mine is used to having male friends & is strong personality, independently minded etc..) but also the attitude of boys who are not used to girls.

There are the advatages of co-ed but personal view is that this is more beneficial if its from Year 7 & not much difference bewteen year 12 & university from that perspective. Could get same benefits from joining co-ed groups like DofE, orchestra, athletics club.. anywhere they get to meet boys as 'friends'.

If you are going to check out the school I would advise asking some searching questions about how they have dealt with different requirements of girls. The PC answer maybe that there is no difference but I would want to hear that they recognise it may be necessary to adjust the way they communicate to girls & to control boys' 'showing off' in lessons.
Be interesting to hear from them why they introduced girls into the 6th form & what advantages they think there are to the girls (not just the school & the boys!)
Also find out how much responsibilty the girls are given. If the boys have been there for 5 years & are known to staff do they get given all the 'posts of responsibilty' before the girls have a chance to 'make their mark'? If interested in music - do the boys already have places in eg orchestra - how easy for girls to be admitted.

I dont know what we would decide if faced with the choice again - as I said there were additional factors in our case - but if DD ishappy where she is & it is simply a case of the attraction of co-ed I would say don't!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:46 pm
Posts: 270
Hi KB

That was extremely useful advice - thank you so much - gave me several new question areas!! (DD complains I ask too many qus everywhere). I'm sorry its taken so long to get back to the forum but have been ridiculously busy. I have now seen three boys' school sixth forms in as many days - and been to DD's own school 'sixth form' evening - it's been an interesting/exhausting/stimulating/confusing experience all round!

UCS lived up to its liberal reputation on all counts! Which was very appealing in some ways (if I had a son aged 11) but the lack of real interest in why girls would benefit and the idea that they'd all just roll with it assumed quite a lot I think. Far too much focus on facilities (which are great) and little else. I think it's probably great for girls who really want/can adapt to the style of the school and the endless banter (which several boys have told me is what they love about it) but I had no sense the staff were really delighted to have girls there or saw that they brought anything to the school beyond improved results (which hasn't happened yet). Interestingly mums of boys I know there are luke warm about the change too. I know from them how good the staff are but no attempt was made to let us really talk to those who might be teaching our daughters except in the most casual way - it felt very slack compared with everywhere else we saw and despite going back for an individual tour, with a lovely girl, DD not impressed and isn't applying though has several friends who are.

Still pondering the others but I am certainly moving more and more to staying put and/or looking at the few state options next month - though not sure how many more variations on A levels courses I can take (I did like the Pre U though - why aren't more places doing it?) Also very taken with the Welsh Board English A level - does anyone know anything about its merits over OCR or otherwise?


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