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 Post subject: not sure which 6th form
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:04 pm 
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Ds is in yr 11 and wants to study physics, chemistry, maths and further maths A levels. He is looking at going to uni to study physics with astronomy
He would prefer to stay at the comprehensive he is at for 6th form but when looking at their A level results we are not sure if they are classed as good or not iyswim so he is willing to move to a different school
His current school summer 2012 results for the A level subjects he wants to study are

Chemistry 22 children sat exam
A*=0 A=1 B=6 C=6 D=4 E=3 and U=2
Physics 14 children sat exam
A*=0 A=0 B=4 C=4 D=2 E=3 and U=1
Mathematics 14 children sat the exam
A*=1 A=2 B=2 C=2 D=3 E=4 and U=0
Further maths 2 children sat the exam
Both got A

Are these result average for A levels or should we look at the nearest grammar school in the next county. There is a bus so not a problem getting there. I have looked at their website but cant find detailed results for their A level results. On bbc school league tables their score is 1084 for A level points per pupil which I know is good but also I am aware schools can inflate this mark by children doing general studies and critical thinking
Also not sure if my ds will suit an all boys school
Is it better to leave him where he is where he knows the teachers and they know him. Or move him to a grammar school as their results will be better so hopefully he would do better than staying put
Sorry for the long post but really need advise


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:11 pm 
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Location: Reading
The chemistry performance looks pretty poor

I would have thought you need to get a move on if you are looking to move schools for September


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:23 pm 
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hmm yes for this Septembers year 12 quite a lot of schools have already had the application process and made offers based on GCSEs etc.. have you looked round some schools?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:25 pm 
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Location: Birmingham
Definitely worth looking at other options - both the chemistry and physics are not great although a lot depends on the intake of students. Do you know what the entry criteria is in the school for progressions to the 6th form? If they accept C at GCSE this might explain the results. Also seems like a small 6th form.

Have you thought about a 6th form college as an alternative to the Grammar - this can work out very well and usually the teaching is a lot better than small 6th form comps


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:53 pm 
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My ds wouldnt hear of going to a new school until recently, he loves his current school so when other schools had open nights on, he wouldnt go and look. He regrets that now as he has now seen his current schools A level results and has now realised that moving might be better in the long run.
His current school allow you to do A levels with just 5 gcse grades c and above
There is 2 grammars in the next county that now have buses from where we live, one has already said its to late their 6th form is full for september and they have a waiting list for it as well. This is the one my son would of loved as its a mixed 6th form and it specialises in maths and science
The other grammar has said for us to fill in their on line application form and have said we can go and look around. They want 6 gcse grade B and above ( this shouldn't be a problem)
Couple of things that worry me though is that my ds wants to do maths and further maths and the grammar are stipulating a maths gcse grade A or A*.
At the moment my ds has done one of his maths modules, he got an A but it was a low level A (he was about 3 points in to it) He gets his second module result for maths next week and will be sitting his 3rd module in june. So i am a bit worried that he might not get the grade needed and he really needs to do maths as he want to do physics. He is A* in his sciences
I am also worried that he might struggle at the grammar as he is used to a comprehensive and he might not cope with the pressure.
Lastly the fact that it is a boys only school worries me. He has most probably got more female friends than male. He is not into football or rugby which the grammar is
There is only 6th forms connected to high schools around here. There is colleges but they are open for all ages above 16


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:05 pm 
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Forgot to say, it is a small 6th form. Last year according to the department of education in their 6th form there was a total of 153 children of which 57 of them were year 13


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:15 am 
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From what you have said the current 6th form looks pretty weak both in terms of numbers taking science/maths and results. This may not be a reflection on standard of teaching if there is a very mixed ability intake but it still makes it harder for those with the potential to acheive high grades.
I would certainly go and look at the other option and see what he thinks - he wouldnt necessarily need to loose his current friends if he can socialise locally at weekends? Ans ask what else goes on besides rugby - our local GS has a reputation for rugby but there is lots else besides - music, drama, debating, science projects & competitions.

Re the Maths grade - can you get him a couple of tutor sessions to boost his exam technique/ pick up on any specific issues? Furthe Maths A level does require quite a level of ability so I would agree with the school that asks for A grade at GCSE but if your DS is coming from a school where there is mixed ability teachinh he might just have suffered a bit from that and his ability isnt reflected in his exam scores?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:02 pm
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Thanks for everyones input
We have an appointment at 11.30 friday to look round the grammar and then to see head of 6th form after :D
Your probably right over the maths, he is in top set but their maths department is not very good, they have a couple of really decent maths teachers but they have got a few bad ones as well, which my ds has had in previous years
Ds current physics teacher is fantastic, she was the one who has got my son into astronomy. My ds has a lot of respect for her and quite often will stay behind talking to her about astronomy (she likes astronomy too) she has told him that they are looking at changing what units they cover in A level physics as apparent some units are to do with astronomy so they are looking at doing some of them. This will be fantastic for my ds. However physics A level is split between the physics teachers and one of them is not very good
I will have to ask the grammar if their physics A level covers astronomy units
Its so hard knowing what he should do for the best


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:30 pm 
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Bati - I've taught in a comprehensive and a GS so know the dilemma.

You should look at a range of results over several years and ask for the A level results against GCSE grades. It is possible to take A level with grade Cs but a D grade at A level would be a good result! Most GS in my area (Bucks) ask for minimum B grades and a grade A for Maths.

Do not understimate the demands of changing school; he may well find the pace rather overwhelming at first and will be a a group of 20 I would think. Just because the GS gets good results does not mean he will. We have people joining our sixth form each year, some do well but some leave and go back to smaller sixth forms.

It is a difficult decision - do the GS have induction days so he can experience the pace before he goes? Will they provide summer work to ensure he hits the ground running?

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:20 pm 
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Just thinking that it might be sensible not to get too swayed by the astronomy modules in A level physics option but to focus on where he will get the best overall results and therefore have most opportunity of a good University place. The astronomy interest can probably be maintained as extra curricular - whether at school or elsewhere.

I agree with potential issue of moving to selective 6th form and certainly something to investigate when you visit - ask about extra support. At our GS the staff are happy to help if students are prepared to work hard where they need to catch up.

Hope it goes well.


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