Starting Year 13 - September 2015

(1000 Posts)
hellsbells99 Sat 05-Sep-15 08:01:24

Welcome to Year 13!
Their final year of school;
Applying for university/college/work/apprenticeships;
A year of 18th birthday parties;
Going to their first nightclub (unless they already have fake ID!);
The year they turn into adults!

DD2 has been back at school for 3 days and has lots of work already.

LIZS Sat 05-Sep-15 08:05:16

2 days in and been off timetable, lessons start in earnest on Monday. He's off to a uni open day today.

hellsbells99 Sat 05-Sep-15 08:23:47

Hello Lizs - Hope he enjoys his open day today. DD is doing the Nottingham open day next week.

Needmoresleep Sat 05-Sep-15 08:28:28

Hi, Great minds thinkk alike. We both seem to started threads at the same time. I will ask MN to delete mine.

eatyourveg Sat 05-Sep-15 08:33:47

Ds not back until the 14th here - he broke up at the end of June which seems a lifetime ago. Thankfully he's been working a lot so his bank balance is sufficiently healthy to pay for extra driving lessons. We paid for a block but the rest is up to him.

Still not written a word for his PS although he seems to be reading. Not sure college will nudge him on it , he says there are only 3 in the year applying to uni - I was the only one to go to the parents ucas talk so am not sure there will be much support for him. Contrast to ds1 who stayed on at school and who had ucas lessons timetabled weekly from the end of AS exams through to Oct half term which was the school set deadline for applying.

ISingSoprano Sat 05-Sep-15 08:41:30

Did wnt back on Thursday and seems very motivated so far ...! We had a conversation about her personal statement yesterday but nothing written yet.

hellsbells99 Sat 05-Sep-15 08:48:16

Sorry Needmoresleep!

AtiaoftheJulii Sat 05-Sep-15 09:43:25

Oh good, I was just about to look for the old y12 thread! Dd2 was back on Wednesday. Has decided not to do the EPQ, mainly because she isn't really dropping anything - doing French, Spanish, History, resitting maths C3 and doing C4 - and she doesn't think it will give her much of an advantage anyway. She's reading a fair amount, and has snippets of PS scribbled down - her school are aiming for a first draft done by Friday.

She's decided not to apply to Cambridge (which threw me a bit at first, as she's been obsessed with the place for a year) - after spending three days there this year and thinking about what she actually wants from university, she's realised the course isn't for her. She wants somewhere where she can study three languages equally, and a bit less literature-focused. Current favourite is Newcastle. Also likes Leeds (they don't do a 3 language degree, she just liked it there!) Going to see Southampton, Bristol, Bath in coming weeks. Think her task though will not be whittling down a shortlist to 5, rather hunting for 5 which fulfill her criteria!

Has there been much of a drop out at your dcs' schools/colleges? Dd1 was at a grammar, and I think only one person left after AS levels, because she wanted to do medicine and was going to repeat y12 to improve her grades. But lots of people have left dd2's comp 6th form - the 6th has been growing yearly recently, and with the leaving age increased, y12 was very big this year. Dd2 has been quite shocked at the amount of low and failing AS grades, I think. Kids have left to go to college to change to BTECs or other A levels, some have landed apprenticeships. Her tutor group, which had already lost a couple of pupils during y12, is starting y13 with half the number who were there last September. I think it's a rather graphic demonstration of the step up to A levels from GCSE.

UhtredOfBebbanburg Sat 05-Sep-15 09:51:09

DD1 went back to school Thursday. I don't think she has done much work yet in classes. She has done the first draft of one of her PSs (she has to do two but the second one will be based on the first, when it's locked, with a couple of replacement paragraphs about performing) and she is waiting for comments. I haven't seen it. She had a long meeting at school yesterday about her applications and people seem to be very supportive.

Sadly for her (or maybe not, maybe it takes the pressure off) it can't be all about her at the moment. DD2 is having an operation on Tuesday week and DS has to start think about where he wants to go after GCSEs (his school is only 11-16 and he has just started Y11). If any open days are gone to in the next few months they will be for him.

UhtredOfBebbanburg Sat 05-Sep-15 09:57:25

DD1 is aware of 3 people who haven't come back for Y13. There may be more - she's not very observant (possibly an AS thing). She's ahead of track on her EPQ apparently but only on the written bit - personally I don't think her recital is ready yet but that's just me - and since she won't be doing it for a while that's understandable. The written stuff is ahead of where they told her she would need to be at this point (but I don't think they have much idea of how much work needs to go into being ready for the recital - it's a bit more than just selecting a list of pieces (which she has done) and sadly there is almost no overlap with her audition work). She has dropped geography as planned even though she did amazingly well in the AS exam - but something had to give and it was always going to be that.

hellsbells99 Sat 05-Sep-15 10:53:06

Uhtred - hope your DS's operation goes well.
Atia - similar situation at DD2's comp as in some quite low results and a lot have not returned. DD2 liked Leeds Uni too!

hellsbells99 Sat 05-Sep-15 10:55:07

Uhtred - DD has also dropped a subject she did very well in at AS at the expense of one that she is going to have to retake a unit in.

Northernlurker Sat 05-Sep-15 10:59:02

Dd doesn't go back till next Wednesday. She got the UKCAT over and done with last week so that's one more hurdle down. We're happy with the result though I think whilst relieved she has now decided she would like a slightly higher score. I reckon it's ok though, it's well over the minimum quoted for some places and even if cut offs move she should be ok. I think she did brilliantly considering how unpredictable the damn thing is! School insisted on a draft of the PS by the end of last term so that's done too. EPQ progressing, shadowing and volunteering continuing. She is now deliberating on the best tactics for med school applications. She's basically sticking to UKCAT places. I dread her turning round and declaring she'll need to take the BMAT too. I can take the stress!

UhtredOfBebbanburg Sat 05-Sep-15 11:01:35

Hellsbells - it's Dd2 that is having the operation. But thanks! grin I smile but actually it's all a bit of a mess - she has to miss 2 weeks of school which is a worry and it may mess up things she has planned for this term (1 ballet exam, 2 music exams and a professional panto - the op won't mess the panto up per se but if the school get sticky about her having the couple of days off right at the end of term that are necessary it could get tricky). its all a bit of a worry really but the operation is quite urgent and can't be put off. sad DD1 is quite used to being the major planet in our family orbit (not because we think she is more important but because she does more 'stuff') and I think not being the key focus of effort right at the most crucial point may be destabilising. But there is nothing we can do. And DS's 6th form choice is pretty important - certainly not less important than DD1's applications. I really messed up on the kid spacing thing!

UhtredOfBebbanburg Sat 05-Sep-15 11:05:49

Hells - DD1 may retake a unit in one of her subjects, it hasn't been decided yet. Just to give her a better UMS cushion against the vagaries of the A2 papers. One of the teachers in another subject asked her if she wanted to retake his paper too next year (she got full UMS in the other paper and again if she improved the UMS on the less good paper she'd be in a better position for the A* she is predicted) but she is far from wild about that idea. There's no pressure either way though.

Leeds2 Sat 05-Sep-15 11:13:23

DD went back on Thursday. Think they spent the time doing Personal Statement type stuff, and I think hers is now finished. She isn't doing an EPQ, so don't have that to worry about!

DD hasn't mentioned anyone leaving, although I will ask her when I see her.

MrsUltracrepidarian Sat 05-Sep-15 11:18:33

Checking in!
DS assured me thru' the holidays that he was 'drafting' his PS hmm
Draft has to be into the school for review on Monday, so I think its reasonable he shows it to us too. Or is it?
Suddenly occurred to me yesterday (!) that whereas we have made major decisions for him in the past - primary school, secondary input - taking into account his opinions but ultimately our decision - this time it is HIS decision.
He is going to a party tonight and said the birthday girl has asked for guests to bring champagne instead of a present. shock So again (I am behind the curve) I realised that his friends are starting to be 18, and actual adult people...
Luckily grin, his younger bro' only last week was persuaded (unbeknownst to me )to drink alcohol by a group of other teens when we were on holiday - witnessing his subsequent severe suffering on a long and very hot coach journey home has put DS off the concept of drinking at the mo' grin

UhtredOfBebbanburg Sat 05-Sep-15 12:04:17

I really don't want to see DD1's PS. Writing is a big part of my job and I am often asked to tart up correct/edit the work of other people. But a PS is a completely different proposition, it's not a piece of technical writing, a submission or training material/handbook. I'm concerned that if I look at it I'll start tearing it to pieces (because that's what I do, that's what I'm supposed to do) and it will end up being clearly not written in her 'voice'. And it's not as if I have any special insight into what is required for PSs anyway. I've seen a couple of 'model' examples and they were actually pretty poor (they wouldn't get through the door in our recruitment process, for example). But that's in my context, which obviously isn't the one that matters here. So I think that if I was to read the whole thing I might actually do her a disservice with my comments. What I might be able to do usefully, if required, is help her achieve economy of prose of she needs to cut down specific paragraphs/sentences if she is over her limit. But other than that I do not believe I'm better placed to have a view on it than she is (and certainly not better placed than her teachers even though I do sometimes autopsy school letters for fun). It seems to me that the universities are interested in her writing, not my idea of what her writing should look like.

I know someone who has just got into somewhere Very Good whose PS was essentially the work of a committee. Obviously it's done the job at this stage but I do wonder whether the people who constructed his PS have actually done him a favour or, you know, not.

Northernlurker Sat 05-Sep-15 12:25:08

Dd gave us her first draft. Most of our comments were about slight improvements to phrasing or structure - eg put that paragraph higher up because it fits with the third paragraph etc. Then she took it school. I don't expect to see it again and certainly don't know what needs to be in it. I just know how to make a decent sounding paragraph. As does she but I think you can always tweak somebody else's first draft.

eatyourveg Sat 05-Sep-15 13:32:51

Oh dear seems like ds is in a minority re his ps or rather lack of. I think I may get him to spend the last week of his holiday producing something to take in to the careers woman for her comments but as HE is not the normal progression route for most students at his college, I'm a tad worried she may not have enough experience and could sign it off regardless of whether it does him justice.

UhtredOfBebbanburg Sat 05-Sep-15 14:00:25

DD1 needs to have her applications pretty much ready to go by 25 September. The UCAS conservatories deadline is 1 October and it doesn't make sense not to do the two applications (conservatoire and uni) pretty much in tandem since some of the info is in common and there are twiddled around the fact that she has SEN etc. she's going on an overseas school trip from 25-29 September so that doesn't help. Most of her friends at school haven't even started their PSs not even the medics or the other Oxbridge applicants. She just has a tight deadline and needs a long run at it for her own peace of mind hence the early preparation.

Cherryburn Sat 05-Sep-15 15:39:29

DD went back to school on Thursday and submitted the first draft of her PS. School has a ridiculously very early internal deadline for Oxbridge candidates-think their PS is meant to be finalised by end of next week. According to DD some people haven't started theirs yet though, so not sure the deadline is taken that seriously.

DD has decided to carry on with all 4 of her subjects (3x humanities plus Latin) as there isn't one she wants to drop. Not sure that's wise but it's her decision. She won't be doing an EPQ though.

SecretSquirrels Sat 05-Sep-15 17:14:36

Signing in. Just back from family holiday and first day back will be Monday. After feeling we were ahead of the game in open days (DS went to about 6) we are back to square one as he has decided he is not sure of subject choice. So far from making inroads to his PS he is now researching other courses. Sigh.

AtiaoftheJulii Sat 05-Sep-15 17:19:49

she got full UMS in the other paper and again if she improved the UMS on the less good paper she'd be in a better position for the A she is predicted*

Probably not? For an A* she needs 180/200 for the A2 papers plus 320/400 overall. So as long as she's got 140 or more for AS, then if she gets the A*, she gets the A*. Of course it might make getting an A feel more comfortable grin

Dh and I both read dd1's PS - I was surprised by how good her first draft was, tbh, and our tweaking was very very minor (although hers wasn't, lol). Dh likewise writes a lot at work, but seemed to find it fairly easy to resist the urge to rewrite the whole thing. And he was very helpful with dd2 when she was writing her 2000 character (half the length of UCAS) PS for UNIQ.

When I wrote mine a couple of years ago, I got dh to read the first and penultimate versions, and in between sent it to several of my friends for their comments! (Not having any teachers to give it to smile )

SueDunome Sat 05-Sep-15 17:32:06

Hi, I didn't participate on the Y12 thread - can I join you now?
ds has been back to school since Thursday. He's currently on his way home from a Uni Open Day and has the first 18th birthday party of the year tonight so, socially, it's all go.
PS under construction, we're assured.

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