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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:38 pm
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Has your DC moved school at Sixth Form?

What was your/their experience?

Was it worth it or a bad decision - consideriing they have to hit the ground running from day one?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:58 pm 
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Location: East Kent
my son didn't change schools for sixth form, but he did leave school and go to college to do his A levels, it was a positive decision, he is much happier there ( and doesn;t have to wear a suit!)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:01 pm 
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Its quite common for students to move schools for sixth form. Quite often, in single sex schools, the sixth form is mixed as a result of this.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:34 am 
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Location: berkshire
My son has applied to a different 6th form for this September. Preference for the subjects offered and the 'feel' of the 6th form were the two reasons for the decision.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:50 pm 
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My friend's DD moved to a different school for 6th Form. This was the parents' decision as they had moved and the previous school was now too far away. Maybe because it was the parents' decision, the DD was not happy at all. She made friends but found that it took her a long time to get to know the new school and its etos and the staff. So, please make sure your DC is part of the decision making process. My own DD has refused even to look at other schools so we are going to let her stay where she is.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:49 pm 
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
DS1 had no option but to move as his school was 11-16 - he went to sixth form college and just about did enough work to get to a good university where he has now started a PhD.

DS2 had to decide to move (his school was just starting a small sixth form centre but he would have been the guinea pig year) and after some debate went to one of the Birmingham grammars where after a slightly wobbly start where the formality and petty rules of a much smaller school were irritating, he settled in very well, despite the extra travelling, made some very good friends, made lots of music and achieved good results, now doing a Maths degree. About 4 other boys made the same transition with some success, although one left in the first week.

DD: by now the existing school has a more established sixth form: she did look at various other sixth forms (including the neighbouring girls' grammar to DS2's, who offered her a place) but in the end was adamant in her decision to stay at the same school, citing the difficulty of settling in, making new friends, travelling etc especially with the need to "hit the ground running" for January modules. Time will tell if this was the right decision although so far she is fairly happy and working hard. A few of her contemporaries who started at other sixth forms have come back to their original school, a couple in the first week I gather and one as late as half term, while others that she is still in touch with are thriving in their new environments (including one who went to Eton....)

So there are no easy "one-size-fits-all" answers in this as in every other educational decision point!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:53 pm 
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From our experience I wouldn't recommend it unless there are very compelling reasons. Dont under-estimate the advantages of staying in an environment which is familiar & where good relationships with staff & fellow pupils are already established.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:57 pm 
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Location: london
solimum wrote:
So there are no easy "one-size-fits-all" answers in this as in every other educational decision point!

It's a shame though isn't it? Would that there were a univeral answer to everything...even what to cook for supper...

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:59 am 
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I believe there is a universal answer to that one, and this is why it is OK for me to cook the same thing every night. The answer is "same as yesterday".

But back to the sixth form thing. I have only experienced this secondhand so far. It seems as though moving works just fine in areas / schools where it is normal to move. In schools where it is "normal" to stay on, it is only the enterprising (or unhappy) few who choose to move. The ones who stay cite all the terrible things that will happen if they move.

I look at it cynically and think, (for the ones who want to go to university) hey, but in two years you are wanting to go somewhere where you don't know anyone, live in a different place, fend for yourself etc etc, all we are talking here is a change of school, the rest of your life stays the same.

But the point maybe that I overlook is that if you are one of the minority joining a new school it might be harder to make friends, settle in etc etc. And also you might have great feelings of "loyalty" to the old school if it is not the norm to leave it. Whereas everyone expects at uni to be in the same boat, on their own, making new friends, which probably makes it friendlier.

But the fact is that once you are in the sixth form, even within the same school, it is generally quite a different world anyway - separate facilities, maybe new teachers you never had before, a different way of working, different rules, not necessarily in groups with your friends if they do different subjects, people end year 13 with a modified group of friends quite often from their Year 11 group even if they stayed at the same school.

The scary thing is that if some 16 year olds are likely to be so inflexible about moving, you have to choose a school at 11 that is going to serve its purpose for your child by 6th form. That's a tall order. I'd like to think my children would move if there were compelling reasons to do so, so I'm going to have to set them up to be open minded about this from 11 onwards. Anyone rate my chances of success?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:19 am 
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We haven't gotten to the stage of 6th form yet (dd is year 8 presently).

Thinking back to my son's time at school it was the norm to stay where you were.

Yet, I have noticed a trend in the last 4/5 years in the local newspaper where every school, in this district, pushes like crazy their 6th forms. They have open evenings and enticing activities - it's just like moving from primary to secondary/independent, there's such a drive on it. From that, I can only conclude it's become 'the thing' to move at 6th form round here!

I wonder if it'll still be the same in 3 year's time.

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