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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 12:07 pm 
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DD started year 12 at a new 6th form and has been loving it but major (ongoing) health issues have kept her out of school since half term. We don’t know when she will be in a position to restart at school. Her school have been brilliantly supportive but we are getting to the point of thinking maybe DD won’t be able to rejoin her class and might be better starting again. School have said this is an option.

Does anyone on the forum have experience of an early gap year? What are the opportunities and pitfalls?

TIA
PS


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 1:22 pm 
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My daughter has had no choice but to drop out of year 13 this year. When/if she is well enough the plan is that she will go back to school into year 12 and then do year 13 next year. We had no other option but the areas and pitfalls that we discussed with DD and the school were the following. Going into an established year group without the current support network of friends she has in year 13, the fact that all her current friends will be leaving at the end of the year and moving onto the next stage in their lives and she will still be at school. The fact that she has already covered all the year 12 work and was applying to university so keeping the motivation going will be a challenge too plus her issues may be volatile so she could not be able to go back or go back and be in a similar position this time next year. If there had been a viable option for her to continue in year 13 we would have taken it. Everyone's situation is different. Feel free to message me if you feel it would help.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 1:46 pm 
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In the experience of the DS of one of my friends - that he was ostracised by the people he had previously thought were his friends, because they didn't play with boys in the year below them (yes, we are talking here about a bunch of 17 year olds, soon to be old enough to vote, at a grammar school). He moved schools. No-one at the new school gave a hoot that he was in the 'wrong' year group.

In a parallel universe (DD was at the school the first lad moved to, for reference, but a couple of years below his original year group, iyswim), DD especially seems to have had several friends who restarted year 12 for various reasons, either changing schools or not. Whereas for some of them, the reason for needing to may have been unfortunate, the actual restart and the outcome has been positive in most cases

(We had heard 'tales' about my friend's lads school going back decades, btw, so it was sad, but not necessarily too surprising, that the negative experience was had there. It's just something to consider - what are the social dynamics at the school? Do the year groups mix? - but if the school itself is suggesting the restart as an option, I would see that as a positive sign).

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 4:47 pm 
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I know of a couple of people who have done this.
One was at a very pressured girls' grammar school & she decided to start afresh in a different school back in year 12. She got on well & has thrived ever since.
Another one became ill in year 13 (mental health issues) & had to take a break. She did not want to join year 13 the following year with the year below her so went to a sixth form college to finish A levels. It was slightly complicated due to different syllabuses etc but worked out in the end.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2021 2:47 am 
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Thank you Hera, Toadmum and scary mum for sharing your experiences.

I’m heartened to hear most of the DC found a way to make it work. DD, like Hera’s DD, is hoping to be able to stay at her current school. Apparently year 12 and 13 do interact so it is hoped she will be able to stay in touch with current classmates (even though they will leave eventually).

Unless a miracle happens it looks as though DD will not be able to rejoin her year group in January and so will start year 12 from scratch in 2022. I am hoping she will be well enough to do some kind of study before then - maybe background reading or perhaps doing an EPQ? Or the FSMQ? I hope she won’t have to do everything on her own at home as if in lockdown. Year 12 is when a lot of the fun activities happen before the serious Year 13 so I’m hoping DD will be able to get the most out of it second time round.

My hope is that at least some of her current year friends will consider doing a more conventional gap year so she will be back in sync with some of them and not feel so left behind.

Good luck Hera. I will keep my fingers crossed for your DD as well as mine.

Best wishes
PS


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2021 1:33 pm 
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PerpetualStudent my DD started some online lesson in year 12 a couple of weeks before the end of term and realised that she did in fact know kids in all her subjects and her new form so hopefully if she regains enough mobility to go back it won't be so hard. Would some online provision help at all in your DDs circumstances as it gives some structure and routine.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2021 2:14 pm 
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Hi Hera,

So glad your DD has been able to test things out and is feeling encouraged. Are these zoom lessons through your DD’s school or an external provider? Something similar might help my DD at some stage but as she spent the last couple of months in hospital she has been given background reading that she can pick up and put down as necessary.
For now she is hoping she will be able to do a research project before restarting year 12 but maybe a stand-alone course is also doable.

Thanks
PS


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2021 3:19 pm 
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They are lessons on teams via school that are provided to children who are isolation with COVID. They initially said she could not access them as they were only for kids with COVID but eventually changed the guidance to kids with COVID and long term health conditions thanks to the SENDCO. It doesn't work all the time and not for practicals, but it is easy for her to do it as she has already covered all the year 12 content and gives some normality and routine. Its a slightly different situation to your DD if she is in year 12 as mine was year 13. Background reading, projects, I wonder if the school would provide guidance for an EPQ if she is up to it, all sound great for keeping things ticking over.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2021 3:29 pm 
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Thank goodness for a sensible SENDCO!
I hope my DD would be able to do her project as an EPQ. I think her school would be prepared to facilitate it though I don’t know the registration requirements. Although DD is thinking about a topic I don’t think she has regained yet the powers of concentration required to be able to progress. Reading around the topic, though, is something she can manage. That will have to do for now.

Wishing you a Happier New Year,
PS


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