Which 6th Form to chose...Help !!

(8 Posts)
gillian3985 Fri 08-Jul-16 09:44:54

Daughter just finished gcse,s in a small,rural,secondary school which she loves and is within walking distance of .She is not a straight A* student but works damn hard and is/has achieved well.Her current setting has a 6th form to which most students progress seamlessly.Thirty minutes drive away is the County,s most successful school,a Grammar School and even though we are out of the catchment area with daughters consent we made an inquiry and to cut a long story short after an application and interview she has been accepted.The place is very professionally run and slick and initially she was enthused about going.I don,t know if its the fact that she,s got a newish best friend who will be staying at her current school or something else but she now does not want to go to the Grammar School.
I can see her point of view in that "if its not fixed don't broke it" and also one of the subjects she is so keen on taking (Drama)is not available at the Grammar School (but this would be dropped after year 1 anyway as AS level) All evidence suggests if she does move then the learning will be quite intense and new friends will have to be made (30% of the 6th Form will be new starters so she will not be alone) I also believe that as the Grammar School is in a larger town and there are many more students it would be a great stepping stone for University and not the shock it often is to students at the current smaller rural school making the leap.My view is that she has a terrific opportunity and if she doesn't take it she may live to regret it but she doesn't see it that way.I have also been a little disappointed by her current school "enticing" her to remain without communicating with us.One positive thing in my favour is that if she were not to settle at the Grammar School after 3 months or so she could transfer back to her current school.
I am now worried if she changes school she may resent us and likewise if she doesn't go I might resent her for the missed opportunity.
Yes she probably wouldn't enjoy it as much but at the end of the day she will probably get better A level grades and a better University.
This is a dilemma and any advice is greatly appreciated

Autumnsky Fri 08-Jul-16 10:48:41

So the grammar school is better for your DD's future achivement, but your DD insist to go to the close one. I think at this age, you have to treat her as an adult now. You can try to persuade her, but in the end , I think you should let her decide. If she choose the close one in the end, there is benefit of it as well, she will save the travel time, has more energy left for study. And you should adjust yourself and support her.

Have you find out exactly why she has changed her mind? I think this is important before you try to persuade her. If it is for friendship, she can keep her old friends and see them after school since they all live locally.

And how is the A level score in the local school? For the local school, how many percentage students can achive A*/A in her choosen subjects? If there is a good chance , she will get good teaching in local school, then I think you can relax.

catslife Mon 11-Jul-16 10:16:23

Unlike choosing a secondary school, I think the choice of sixth form and subjects is really your dds choice. I have a daughter in Y11 but also teach a level students and in my subject I see a lot of students withdraw after a few weeks or even drop out of college altogether if they make decisions based on what someone else wants.
You can discuss the issues with your dd perhaps now that Y11 is over, the penny has just dropped that really she would prefer not to leave her current school. If she has been well supported with good teaching and friends and the current school offers her preferred subjects would it really be better to move elsewhere or not. Perhaps she is worried that she wouldn't fit in at a new school. It can be difficult moving from somewhere where you are towards the top of the class to a situation where everyone else is achieving high grades too. This is the sort of thing that you need to talk about. Perhaps she thinks that the grammar school is only interested in the straight A* students.
My dd is probably be going to be moving but the main reason is that her current school don't offer some of her chosen A level subjects.
Has your dd attended any sixth form taster days? My dd has found this useful to help work out the different styles of teaching at different sixth forms and to see what A level classes are really like.

aginghippy Mon 11-Jul-16 12:18:37

As others have said, at this stage it really should be the student's decision. That's why her current school have been communicating directly with her and not with you. My dd's school did the same.

I am now worried if she changes school she may resent us. Yes and not only that, it may also be demotivating for her. If she's not happy and feel pressurised, going to the grammar may have the opposite effect to the one you expect and she might not get higher grades.

Talk to her about her reasons for changing her mind. There may be more to it than just the new friend. Get her to go through the pros and cons of each choice and help her to reach a mature, considered decision. It's her life and her decision to make.

LIZS Mon 11-Jul-16 12:27:54

How small is the 6th form where she is ? Do all subjects offered actually run and is drama one which is a standalone AS option any more. Tbh if she did LAMDA or similar elsewhere she wouldn't be missing out.

swingofthings Mon 11-Jul-16 16:13:53

You say 30 mns drive, do you mean she will be driving herself, she'll be reliant on your to drive her, or it is actually longer on public transport?

cricketballs Mon 11-Jul-16 16:52:47

The 3 month window to change schools is an issue; 6th form providers have to report numbers/hours on roll 1st October for that years academic funding, therefore we won't accept new students after this date as we won't get the funding for the year

bojorojo Tue 12-Jul-16 23:24:55

Difficult to drive if you are only aged 16 when you start. Also, with a longer day, seeing local friends after school is unlikely to happen.

I would ask to see the results for her chosen A levels at the local school. Is she likely to get the best teaching if she stays? I assume you have been happy with the teaching up to now. The grammar school results are better no doubt and I think you also need to bear in mind the style of the two schools. You say she works damn hard to achieve the grades. Is this hard work likely to stress her out at the grammar school if other children are naturally brighter and don't have to work so quite hard? Is she thinking she is not going to fit in?

Where I live, there are few children who move from the secondary moderns to the grammar schools for 6th form. They tend to want to stay at the school they know, with the teachers they know and with their friends. It is seemiess. The bigger problem is university destinations. Does the local school aim high enough? Mostly the grammar schools give better university advice, but you can supplement this yourself with your own research.

I just do not see how you can force her. If she cannot see what the grammar school offers is 'better' then her reasons for staying in her school are just as valid in her mind. I am surprised though that she has suddenly made a new friend who has changed her mind. There will be more to it than this. Schools always try and keep their better students. Why wouldn't they?

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