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 Post subject: Visiting Sixth forms
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:46 am
Posts: 421
The time has come for DS to think seriously about A levels. We plan to look round several sixth forms as not convinced about staying where DS is a mo.
I'd be interested in other peoples thoughts and experiences of moving to a different school and wondered if anyone had been to open evenings yet?
Cant believe 5 years ago they were just starting out on their new adventures!


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 Post subject: Re: Visiting Sixth forms
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:51 pm
Posts: 1034
Hi we are in the same boat. For some reason I'm feeling very nervous. DS wants to go to uni but not a clear idea of what to do. He's busy revising for Nov exams and so I feel we have little time to talk. We weren't very good at choosing his secondary school and so we are especially nervous as we want to get this right for him. His younger brother goes to a top grammar and he can look at this, but I'm not sure he will get in and I don't want him to feel second best again. So we will probably look at good local schools and see what is on offer, but it does feel daunting. Agree though where did the last 4 plus years go.


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 Post subject: Re: Visiting Sixth forms
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11931
Make sure that if you change school that you choose one that is used to new sixthformers. Try to talk to new students and find out how quickly they have settled in.

My nephew went to a different sixth form with really good GCSEs but seemed not to be known to teachers for about a year!


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 Post subject: Re: Visiting Sixth forms
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 5921
My DD chose her own sixth form and I feel strongly that they should - just as I feel that they should not choose their own school at 11.
Go with them by all means, talk it through with them; but this is a good time for them to get a taste of independence while you are still there to catch them if it goes wrong. I feel that even if they decide to remain where they are, that should be an active, i.e. considered, decision rather than a passive 'I might as well stay here' one.

And let them choose their own subjects too - again with advice and support from you - but this is the right time to get them looking on TSR, on uni websites and the like.

Good luck


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 Post subject: Re: Visiting Sixth forms
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:51 pm
Posts: 1034
I am very conscience that he has to make the decision himself with our support and guidance. Good advice re the schools experience of taking in new students, but I think most around us do this anyway. He does need to leave his school to mix with a different population and to push himself more. Y11 is exhausting and we are only a month in, what with mocks, exams and looking at schools/colleges. Trying to remain calm, it feels much worse than the 11 plus as they are nearly adults and whilst you can advise them, in the end it's up to them to put in the hard work


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 Post subject: Re: Visiting Sixth forms
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:19 am
Posts: 888
We're probably going to look at one other school sixth form and two sixth form colleges. Dd2 has already started talking to her current teachers about A levels where she is now, and we have their sixth form open evening as well. For her there are definite pros and cons of both moving and staying, and it will definitely be her that has to make the final decision.


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 Post subject: Re: Visiting Sixth forms
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:46 am
Posts: 421
Thanks for your replies. Always nice to know you aren't doing something alone!!
We are lucky enough to be within reach of quite a few options. I admit having a nearer/walkable option is appealing to both parents and son!!
Does anyone know how soon we need to make a decision? Can we register interest with more than one?
I have been through this before with older son but things change so quickly and that was 8 years ago! :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Visiting Sixth forms
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:19 am
Posts: 888
As I understand it, you can apply and hold offers for as many as you like.

Our nice near walkable option (dd1's grammar) don't do one of the subjects that dd2 is determined to do, so I don't think her travelling is going to improve unfortunately.

Think our first open evening is 6th November.


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 Post subject: Re: Visiting Sixth forms
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11931
Ask about group sizes. More than 20 is a worry and a challenge for a teacher in terms of marking.

Also check what the policy is for moving into Year 13.


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 Post subject: Re: Visiting Sixth forms
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:19 am
Posts: 888
What would you think was an optimal number? I guess it varies from subject to subject. I've been worrying about dd2 staying where she is because she wants to do languages A levels, and that will only be a handful of people per class at her school. I think there are more at the sixth form colleges.


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