Changing School for Sixth Form

(16 Posts)
nagynolonger Wed 27-Feb-13 09:36:26

My eldest four all stayed at school to do A levels. DC5 did one year post 16 and then switched to a college and is retaking AS. He has enjoyed the moved and is getting on well. He didn't enjoy all the extras that went with doing A levels at school and fell foul of a member of staff because of this. Now he just turns up for his A levels and does all his extra sport and music out of college.

The youngest starts A levels at school in September. It is his choice. My only concern is how school are going to accomodate those being forced to stay at school for the extra year.

Copthallresident Wed 27-Feb-13 09:18:17

"Everyone" tends to say they are leaving a sixth form but in practise when it comes to it many don't go through with it. My DD1's friendship group said they were leaving and did the rounds of the schools and then realised they wanted to stay put. DD2 and her friends did leave for various other sixth forms because it was a horrible year group but she has found it hard to settle in at her new school, I think that is partly because her confidence suffered. However the teaching style at a (slightly ) less academic school is suiting her.

I would disagree with senua, the friendship group is very important at that age, they are 16. It is not as at 18 when everyone moves. I do know of DCs who have gone off to sixth form colleges where they didn't know anyone, and found cohorts coming in from other schools stayed in their cliques, who have had a miserable time, and that has affected their studies.

I also agree that with a 16 year old you have to let them have the opportunity to look elsewhere and decide for themselves, whilst guiding them to do so for rational reasons.

sashh Wed 27-Feb-13 05:50:01

Can't give much advice re choices. I can tell you that I still resent my mother for forcing me to go to a particular VI form.

I did very little work, hardly attended and basically wasted two years of my life.

This was 30 years ago.

DO talk with her, not just to her and discuss the options.

Mutteroo Wed 27-Feb-13 01:08:03

DS moved from boarding school to a local state sixth form. did we have reservations? Yes, however DS knows his own mind and moving has been incredibly successful.

As a parent, I understand your reservations OP, but at who is to say she won't drop out of sixth form if she stays at her current school?

WorriedTeenMum Tue 26-Feb-13 22:38:08

My DD moved for 6th form. She has settled well and it is a good option for her.

6th form is an upheaval anyway so I would not oppose a change on the grounds that it is a change. Staying put does not guarantee continuity as many staff dont teach at A level or only teach at A level.

The reasons for not changing seem to be all around what you want not what your DD wants. 6th Form is when you will find that you are far less involved in day to day school matters.

BackforGood Mon 25-Feb-13 19:33:45

Thanks cricket. I'd not come across it before my friend was telling me yesterday (same LA as my dcs - indeed, it was her dd who was my dd's friend in Primary school, it's how we know each other!)

senua Mon 25-Feb-13 19:31:17

go to another one for sixth form because all her friends are leaving to go there

How old is she?hmm She should be picking a sixth form on the basis of how well they do in her particular subjects.

I understand your feeling about the Grammar. I had a friend whose DD just missed out on the 11+. She was called back a year later and just missed out again. No way was she putting it down for sixth form!

However, there is no need to make a battle of it: you can apply to any number of sixth forms and don't need to make the final decision until results are out.

You can look around all the 6th form options just as you do for secondary. She will then get a feel for what the alternatives are really like. I would recommend talking to subject teacher as well on open days.
As BackforGood says the decisions are often made last minute. Many of DS1s friends applied to more than one 6th form and didn't make the final decision until days before. Also many of them didn't go to the one they had said they would.
Your DD may find that nearer the time her friends make more informed choices.

cricketballs Mon 25-Feb-13 19:05:53

backforgood the reason for the one day for GCSE is to allow those who travel to a college/another school for an option without it affecting other subjects. The LA I work in do this, we have Year 10 on a Tuesday, Year 11 on a Friday for option subjects; this means that those who have chosen engineering for example to go the the neighboring school which runs this course as we don't. This enables all students to take a course which they are interested in and can excel at without restricting their options.

BackforGood Mon 25-Feb-13 15:16:48

My ds is in the 6th form. He actually stayed, but a number of his friends left, and he's made friends with a number o new people who have come into the 6th form. Do let her know that a lot of these decisions were made very late on - for eg, people getting apprenticeships, or, after people got their GCSE results - so planning to move to be with your friends, probably isn't the best reason.
That said, I don't think your reason for not wanting her to go to the grammar is a good one either!
Why not go to the open evenings together, and calmly list the reasons why each of them would be good, and bad move for your dd, and see if she can come round to her decision based on a bit more than wanting to follow her friends? It's possible she won't be able to do the combination of subjects she wants at all of them anyway, which ought to be a big deciding factor, or you may find strange timetabling things (like I found yesterday a local school here does a whole day on one subject ~ this is for GCSE ~ which sounds a bit 'heavy' to me, but might sound really appealling to someone else).

Floralnomad Mon 25-Feb-13 14:59:40

My son changed from a boys grammar to the girls grammar at 6th form and it was the best thing for him . It really didnt take him long to settle in and make lots of new friends ,and he was much happier than he'd been at his previous school .

tiggytape Mon 25-Feb-13 14:55:52

I'm not sure you can 'tell them what was what' at that age if they are totally determined to move. It may be counterproductive even if you could since so much of A Level success depends on motivation and application that you don't want her to be unhappy with her choice.
You can however help guide her to make the right decision for her so that would involve finding out what she wants to study and looking at how well each 6th form caters for that (there may be some fantastic trips or opportunities linked to her subjects available at her current school that aren't offered elsewhere or maybe the other school has subject clashes that will restrict what she can study there?). Also get her to think about how many people really will leave and whether she would see them much anyway. If they are doing different options to her, even at the same school, they might drift apart and make new friends and uni is only 2 years away. The chances of staying together even after 6th form are very slim even if they do stick together for the next 2 years.

goinggetstough Mon 25-Feb-13 14:38:42

We had the same when my DD was doing her GCSEs. Maybe it is true 'everyone' is moving for sixth form...... in our case it wasn't, so it is worth checking! We looked at other sixth forms but by the time she had to make a decision she decided to stay where she was with all her friends. She also benefitted from being at the top of her school and taking on extra responsibilities.
In some counties eg Hampshire they only have 6th form colleges so lots of students do make the transition easily. I think it may be easier when all the lower sixth are new rather than when they join a sixth form attached to a school.
At the end of the day what is right for one sixteen year old is not necessarily right for another. Good luck with your decision.

ChildWorthy Mon 25-Feb-13 14:21:33

Thanks.

I dont want herto swap because I do not feel it would be good for her. She tends to take time to settle places. A level is only two years anyway and by the time she had got sed to new school and teachers she will have to move again

I am not sure another school will do a good job for her. She does well in her present school and the teachers know how to support her. I am not sure she will get that support elsewhere.

There are two schools she wants to look at - mostly driven by her friends - one is the local academy and it has a bad reputation ( and I suspect those going there are doing so for financial reasons not for a real choice).

I have seen other DC who did this who have within a year dropped out whilst those at DD's current school have carried on to successfully complete their studies.

The other school she is interested in I have no time for (and have said this). Its the local grammar school. She didnt pass the 11+ ( although she was close) and I just feel that the grammar school didnt want her when she was 11 and I will be hanged if they should have her now she is 16 and has
"proved herself worthy" - two fingers to them in my book. Besides they are far from a top performer and very devisive - even as far as having separate rooms and groups and uniforms for those doing the IB and those doing A level.

I also just think, lets stick with what has worked and will give her a good chance of getting on.

I have tried to explain this but she just wants to go because everyone else is leaving. I do wonder how many will be leaving when crunch time actually comes.

eatyourveg Mon 25-Feb-13 13:21:13

Tons of people swap here, the schools often share subjects so if you are on the roll of one school but they aren't running your subject, you can do it at another school. The grammar schools always have a high external intake for Y12. Why don't you want your dd to swap?

ChildWorthy Mon 25-Feb-13 12:17:03

DD wants to move schools and go to another one for sixth form because all her friends are leaving to go there ( she says). I would rather she did not. Anyone come across this? Did you let your DD go or did you tell them what was what?

Thats it really.

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