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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:41 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:32 pm
Posts: 923
For a baffled time-poor parent of a Year 10, predicted As in all academic GCSEs.

Yes I know she should have her own input, but I need to shorten the list for her to visit next year. Since I will be the one taking her and footing the bills. State or independent is possible.

Does anyone actually visit schools on a normal working day and observe lessons? I found the many open events we have attended and participated for year seven entry, while not a total waste of time, were not that useful and provided less than I needed to base my opinion.

Any wonderful ones for biology in North London or west Herts? Her one unflagging interest.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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Sadly it us unlikely that you will be able to arrange a visit outside of open events but you can always give it a try.

With all the changes re AS levels & IB I would start by finding out what the plans are for exams to be taken and why.

Obviously you'll want to look at provision for and results in biology. Also check what extension / extra curricular activities they undertake for biological sciences.

I would also think carefully about location, travelling & catchment area. While you might be happy to have an inbuilt restriction on socialising :) it is an important part of 6th form - including organised extra curricular activities.

Sure there will be lots of other ideas along soon.....


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 6683
Location: Herts
We have just done all this. She will have to sit an exam for each A level she wants to do at every private school she applies for and at some there are also two rounds of interviews so I would suggest that you try and go on the 11 plus open days and learn more about the schools that way. She needs to narrow her A level choice down to six then eventually to four and find out if the combinations she is interested are even possible at some schools. For example some schools let you do Further Maths as a fifth AS but some will only let you do four, Habs girls for example.

Make a list and try and get rid of a few. DG


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:51 pm 
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DG - some schools are saying only three A levels now because of the changes to linear.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Guest55 wrote:
DG - some schools are saying only three A levels now because of the changes to linear.


I wish...


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:20 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:30 am
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Location: Warwickshire
We're not in your area, but DD's school does tours during the day for prospective students of any age - including sixth form. I know because DD regularly does them, though as far as I know, they aren't publicised.

When you have a shorter list it's definitely worth asking!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:35 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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Our school (also not in your area), always does tours on request as well, so it's worth asking.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:30 pm 
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We went through this last year. I do not know about the changes in A level as my DS seems to be in the last bunch of AS/ A2's. All the schools and colleges we visited had open days or evenings. There were opportunities in all to speak to current students and subject staff and to take a look around the facilities on offer. In some they had a hall with stalls, in other schools there was time in the classroom with the subject teachers. While going on the general open days could help to give a feel for the school it is best to go to the sixth form ones. Sixth form is very different, the expectations on the YP's in terms of dress and responsibility and the feel of the sixth form block or rooms can be very different to the rest of the school. My Ds joined a new school for 6th form and he barely sees certain sections of the school and life is really focussed around 6 th form activities. They do interact with the rest of the school for certain things but he mainly goes in for lessons and then comes home or goes to the library.

I think it is important to find out about pastoral support and what is available if they struggle. Also travelling far can be a problem. A friend of mine has a DS who travels well over an hour which means he is working late in the evenings as he ends college very late some days and has to still complete the homework. Also look at the enrichment timetable and your dc's interests. The difference between a sixth form in a school and a 6th form college can also have an impact on YP.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:03 pm
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Location: Cheshire
I have been in the process of assessing 6th Forms at the moment as plan b,c ect, the one thing that I am interested is the value added at A level, if a B grade student can be be pushed to an A ect, if it has good value added the rest(pastoral care ect )follows imo


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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Quote:
if it has good value added the rest(pastoral care ect )follows imo


Not necessarily - they might go to tutors to cover problems/issues at the school.


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