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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:53 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:32 pm
Posts: 1104
Wondered if anyone had any top tips, or “wish I had checked x, y and z” when they accompanied DC to potential Sixth Form interview? It’s a school we don’t know well but is looking like the best option for her. I will be on my own as other half won’t be there, so will be asking about finance and costs on his behalf (independent). I’m not great at this, I tend to go on instinct myself (and that has paid off most of the time, to be honest!) DC has left it super-late to decide to apply to move school, is torn and upset about everything, and is stressed with run up to GCSE exams so some of my task will be providing an emotional punchbag on the way there, I expect!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:14 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
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Location: Essex
No experience of sixth form interviees, I'm afraid, as the Admissions Code expressly forbids them in the state sector and only one of our local schools sails anywhere near close to the wind on that one. However, one thing I would suggest is that one of you should check is whether there is a minimum number needed for a course to run - and if so, how likely is it that this will not be met? One of DD's friends turned up on enrolment day, only to find that one of her agreed courses, which to her was non negotiable, was not going to run that year. The subject in question was one for which no school we could think of locally was likely to lack qualified applicants, but obviously it happened there. (Fortunately, she was 'rescued' by one of the 6th form colleges, but it made for a rather stressful day).

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:42 am 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
Find out what proportion of the 6th form are new to the school, and how they ensure they're not excluded from any cliques, opportunities for trips etc: how they go about writing UCAS references for pupils they've not known since yr 7.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
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What support they offer for students who find the jump from GCSE to A level tricky. Check whether they have a required level at the end of Y12 to get into the Y13 (wouldn't be allowed in a state school but you mentioned this is a private)

What opportunities are there for new students to become prefects/take on roles of responsibility/access school sports teams.

Definitely ask about numbers to run a course as TM suggests!

With finance, ask what sort of percentage rise do they expect in fees per year and what essential extras have to be paid for (eg exam fees, book fees, compulsory trips) as there may be things that are covered as standard at a state school but not in a private school.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:44 am
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Location: Reading
Maybe ask about possibility of scholarship (although you might be too late for that - DD had to take an extra exam for this in November).

What the GCSE required grades are to take the A level.

Expected rise in fees not such a big issue since it is only 2 years but knowing if books, exam entrance, lunch etc included is useful.

Ask about support for UCAS process - anything special laid on for their intended course (if they know what that is yet).

Extra curricular opportunities (DofE etc) and trips.

Typical class sizes


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
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Expected rise in fees may become more important with things like Brexit, however....if things become more tricky for "boarders" from EU/Internationally, the people who will pick up the slack will be local fee payers - and that could be significant. It is certainly affecting international university fees!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:44 am
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Location: Reading
Yes but this is for 6th form - the the fees for September are probably already published so there will likely only be 1 rise to factor in


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:21 pm
Posts: 11
Location: London
You should find out if there will be two teachers timetabled for each subject taken as issues regarding teaching styles vs learning styles, or even just plain old personality clashes, can be greatly mitigated if there is more than one teacher to deal with.

Also, find out when is the latest in Yr.12 that subjects can be dropped/substituted, and any rules surrounding subject choice.

If your DC knows exactly what they want to do at Uni, wouldn't hurt to find out leavers destinations for the last 3 years if this info is not readily available on the school's website.

Definitely find out how pastoral care is delivered in U6. And a last one that may be applicable to day students only but worth finding out what students need permission for outside of school hours. For example, a case may need to be made before a part-time job can be secured by the student.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:40 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
I would ask about the involvement of the sixth form in the rest of the school.

dd1 ended up doing two sixth forms as she did an extra A level that her school did not offer.

In her second sixth form she found it quite odd that the sixth form was very disconnected from the rest of the school as she was used to be very involved mentoring younger students and helping out in lower school classes.

I think your dd would very much enjoy that mentoring role, both of mine certainly did.

I would also echo the numbers joining question.

It is important to have others to share the new experience with. DG


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:44 am
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Location: Reading
also worth seeing if the 'norm' is 3 A levels or 4 - do they even support 4? Do they do As levels any more, or EPQ?
Is the IB offered?


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