Change to Brit School for year 10 or stay at "outstanding" comp?

(51 Posts)
notfluffy Sun 31-Mar-13 08:33:54

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seeker Sun 31-Mar-13 08:39:19

Brit school in a heartbeat!

signet Sun 31-Mar-13 08:47:56

Definitely the Brit school. Wow what an opportunity and to be with like-minded people. You must be so proud of her. Go for it....they say you onlly regret the things you don't do in life.

notfluffy Sun 31-Mar-13 09:33:40

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SanityClause Sun 31-Mar-13 09:42:39

Can you get some reassurance from the Brit about how they will handle the move?

I'm sure they have similar scenarios all the time, and will be happy to discuss it with you.

But, it's such a fantastic opportunity. Don't let her give it up for fear of the unknown. What a terrible message to give!

notfluffy Sun 31-Mar-13 09:55:07

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KandyBarr Sun 31-Mar-13 20:00:07

Just to deviate a bit, there were a few threads on here a couple of months ago about disruptive behaviour in the mainstream academic lessons at the Brit school - perhaps worth looking back.

notfluffy Sun 31-Mar-13 20:20:03

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AfricanExport Sun 31-Mar-13 20:33:26

Brit school would be my choice. No question...

Schmedz Sun 31-Mar-13 21:13:35

BRIT not brilliant academically but if the Art is that poor at her current school and she wants to do it for a career, she is unlikely to regret moving there.
She obviously applied for a reason - is there anything else she feels the BRIT can offer that her current school can't (apart from the obvious!)?
If she did stay in her current school, what opportunities would she have to develop her Art outside school (as it sounds like is necessary)?
Are there others making the long journey with her? an hour each way is quite some time to be travelling...and could be tough socially if peers are from far away also.

Tough decision. Good luck to you both.

IAmLouisWalsh Sun 31-Mar-13 21:18:54

She won't be able to take English in Nov of Y10, I don't think - most boards are making it retake only.

SminkoPinko Sun 31-Mar-13 21:21:15

My son has just received an offer too. We are going for

SminkoPinko Sun 31-Mar-13 21:49:50

I think if she dislikes her current school it makes it a no-brainer to give the Brit a try.

I am over the moon at my son getting in partly because his current school is not quite right for him- it has low expectations and has written him off a bit. I watched him blossom and really show what he can do when he tries when he was preparing his portfolio and feel so happy that he has official recognition with his offer of a place that he has done But the academic results at the Brit are pretty good prepared to his current school, tbh, so I don't have your dilemma about that.

notfluffy Sun 31-Mar-13 22:10:39

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SminkoPinko Sun 31-Mar-13 23:36:06

Your daughter sounds very talented and lovely, notfluffy. I'm sure she will do very well at either school. It must be hard when the news that she has done so well and got in throws up such a dilemma though. For us we are in little doubt that Brit is a far better school for our son than his current one. I think the right choice (I never thought I would write those words- this is the first time ever we've had a schooling choice for any of ours!) maybe depends a lot on individual children's personalities and interests as well as location etc. The Brit has a v good reputation for pastoral care and encouraging every pupil to succeed in their chosen area and that will really make a difference for my son, I think. If your daughter has a bit been overlooked at times in her current school that might be an important consideration for her too? My son thrives on a bit of encouragement from adults he respects and will also benefit from the creative atmosphere and the higher expectations of him. My other boy (his twin) just doesn't seem to need this as much- almost prefers to be left to get on with things and is fairly immune to both adult praise and peer pressure. He would be horrified at the thought of moving schools! He has his settled friendship group and would not like the idea of having to meet lots of new people either. My son who is going to the Brit is a social butterfly and though I am a bit worried that he will take time to make proper non-superficial friends I think he will cope well given time.

I do take your point about the commute. I think we are probably a bit nearer than you and it is not that much longer a commute than to his current school, though it means a train ride so won't be free as his triple bus ride is. I do think if he was doing very well in a nearby school, I might feel quite torn too. Since your girl is in a local school that already suits her very well in some ways, maybe it will really come down to how sure she is that a career in the arts is for her? I get the impression that the Brit really encourages links with the arts industries and businesses and that would be a definite advantage to her if she is certain that art is the career she wants.

notfluffy Mon 01-Apr-13 08:42:48

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notfluffy Mon 01-Apr-13 08:43:10

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SminkoPinko Mon 01-Apr-13 10:04:20

I know a couple of kids, vaguely. Both boys. One has made a dramatic turnaround since starting there (as I'm hoping my son will!) and has gone from unmotivated slacker to super enthusiastic broadcast media student and the other was doing very well at his previous school but is loving the drama strand as he wants a career in theatre. The only criticism I have heard was from the latter boy about the sports/PE teaching, which he feels is not as good as his old school.

I hadn't really taken much notice of the school until my son said he wanted to go there and could we investigate but at the open evening I was struck by the fact that the young people we met seemed very normal and down to earth; I think I was subconsciously expecting hordes of loud and pretentious teen extroverts! I really think/hope there are a range of personalities there. Plus they will all be new and a bit shy/unsure at first.

Schmedz Mon 01-Apr-13 11:33:07

Notfluffy, Art aside, it sounds like you are not sure whether the Brit is the best fit for your daughter. If you could reapply to her current school for 6th form and have a good chance of getting in, it would probably be worth her taking her Brit place and trying it out for GCSEs. She will soon know how she copes with the commuting and socialisation aspects and whether she feels she is getting the support and encouragement needed with her Art.
It would worry me that she is obviously quite academic and can't take one of her preferred A Level options at the Brit. Your academic qualifications go with you throughout life...Art contacts can be made outside of school (although being backed up by a name such as Brit and utilising their contacts would definitely be a benefit if that is absolutely the industry she is sure to enter). However, there are plenty of successful artists working without having that sort of training...possibly more important to get into a good Art college after A Levels, unless she wanted to skip FE and go straight to work. Even then, for a motivated and talented individual there are ways 'in'.
Has she spoken to a good careers advisor or contacted Art Colleges for advice on what sort of training and skills she would need, or considered the future avenues of employment with her artistic skills?
Perhaps to help the decision you should ask, what would you/she feel if she DIDN'T take the place at Brit? If you feel gutted, then she should probably go for it. If you are not that bothered, then she should probably stay put but investigate other avenues for Art because sadly it seems her current school is not really supporting her skills very well in this area.

notfluffy Mon 01-Apr-13 15:45:01

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Kez100 Mon 01-Apr-13 16:43:48

Just to say, my daughter entered a competitive Art College at 16, after not having even done GCSE Art. They waived their creative GCSE requirement due to her portfolio which was prepared in her own time. She went straight into Level 3 and is currently sat on a full set of distinctions.

I thought my daughter wasn't ready for Art College - especially at level 3, given her background, but she knew the minute she walked it that it was the right place for her and I have to say, she was right. If your daughter really does not want to go there at the moment but really has a talent, she can nurture it herself over the next few years and make a move at 16 or 18 when she is ready.

How quickly does she have to make her decision? Can she go back for another open day to fully decide?

notfluffy Mon 01-Apr-13 18:21:49

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Kez100 Mon 01-Apr-13 19:28:30

I just mentioned this to my daughter and she says that one main advantage of Brit will be immersing herself in art, at a place where Art is considered a credible subject and where she is surrounded by the inspiration of others and supported in her passion. She may well even have access to resources and equipment not available at a typical state school as well as the possibility of mixing across the arts - for example textiles might be involved in drama costumes or fine art in the staging for productions. If Brit offers this, it is an invaluable opportunity.

She says that your daughter may well be one of the best in Art at her current school, even the best. At Brit she will be surrounded by good artists and quality art work and she will learn from them and the joint crits just as much as she will learn from the teachers. She says that her love of art is never undermined at college and just being there amongst other art work gives her lots of ideas. Also, not to worry about friendships - she mas made lots of new friends but still has her old ones which she keeps in text contact with and meets up with them at weekends.

She also says that she has to travel 1hr 10 a day each way on public transport and its a pain to start with but you do get used to it. The problem is if you want to stay on for anything - make sure transport is available so that she isn't stopped from going to these activities.

However, she also says, don't worry if she starts her Art immersion at 16. It can be done. It was a bit scary in the first six weeks where everyone was talking about their A* GCSE art grades but she soon found everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Hard work was the key. Isn't it always?

She wishes her good luck - whatever her decision, no one can ever take her talent away from her.

IAmLouisWalsh Mon 01-Apr-13 20:52:05

OP, please get the school to check their info.

Edexcel and OCR have certainly announced in the last few days that November GCSEs in English Lang and Maths will be retake only, and AQA will be the same (otherwise everyone would just switch boards). We were half thinking about some first entries for November now that January is not an option, but it is a no go. Not 100% about iGCSEs - they may be be different, but Inthought they were January and June, not November.

notfluffy Tue 02-Apr-13 13:25:36

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fiddlesticks99 Tue 02-Apr-13 16:53:00

You started this thread saying that she has applied because she "dislikes" her current school.

I know a couple of people that go to the Brit School, and they love it - but they are not on the Art Strand. Both are commuting from North West London but seem to find it worthwhile.

Things in the Brit's favour might be :

Longer to do current GCSEs - if she is going to get an A in year 10, why doesn't she get an A* in year 11. She will be older and it will be easier. The same goes for Maths.

Enthusiasm - both of the school towards her, as they are specialising in an area she is interested in, and of the other pupils who are likely to all be enthusiastic about their subjects.

Things to be concerned about - they have a very narrow range of GCSEs - that range might be just what your daughter would choose, in which case it is fine. But she might want other things, which might be more available at her current school.

Not that many schools offer Psychology A level, and it is not a requirement for many (any?) psychology courses.

I am not sure why she is so torn, if she dislikes her current school !

notfluffy Tue 02-Apr-13 17:53:01

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mummytime Wed 03-Apr-13 08:42:45

AQA exams after summer 2013 all GCSE will be linear and offered in summer only. I think all January exams in GCSE have been abolished.

notfluffy Wed 03-Apr-13 12:27:34

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Kez100 Wed 03-Apr-13 12:52:21

At 16-18 I think the arts, being so vocational, are well provided for through the BTEC option of extended diplomas. My daughters college does offer an A level suite but it's very limited and very highly weighted towards the arts, with business and literature too but not a Maths or Science in sight.

But there is always the option of A levels at 18. There may be some cost involved but life isn't over at 18 because you dared to dream.

faridah Fri 12-Apr-13 23:56:12

I'm not a mother ... I'm a 14 yr old who saw this comment and had to comment ! I applied for the Brit school visual art and design and I'm a reserve ! I'm heart broken cuz there's a chance no spaces will open up. And your daughter must know how great this Is ! I wish I was in her shoes and got in, I cried for 3 days straight smile don't let her think what if , seize the opportunity!

notfluffy Sat 13-Apr-13 10:26:27

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faridah Sat 13-Apr-13 12:55:26

Thank you smile I have friends but this is my dream and they will not be there forever ! I really hope I get in but thanks for the encouragement smile

notfluffy Sat 13-Apr-13 13:21:19

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faridah Sat 13-Apr-13 14:00:52

Did she also apply for visual arts and design?

notfluffy Sat 13-Apr-13 14:09:59

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faridah Sat 13-Apr-13 14:21:50

I got mine on the 30th as well even though it was posted on the 28th, they have us 7 days so I posted it last week Wednesday smile she must have been a really great artist, maybe she was in my workshop group. My workshop/interview took place on the 28th of February from 1pm.

notfluffy Sat 13-Apr-13 14:34:19

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faridah Sat 13-Apr-13 14:46:15

There are certain subjects where I struggle and some where I am the top of the class. So I'm average. I noticed that they asked non related art questions a lot, my attendance was 91.4% and they said that I needed to have a 94% or more in Brit school. I usually have an attendance like 98% but I unfourtunalty had a series of asthma attacks resulting in my absences. I think I might of seen your daughter actually ! The name sounds so farmiliar ! Could you describe her? smile

notfluffy Sat 13-Apr-13 15:16:52

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faridah Sat 13-Apr-13 15:31:36

I thought her name was DD? I think I stood next to her smile I remember another girl who was really tall like me smile

notfluffy Sat 13-Apr-13 15:50:20

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faridah Sat 13-Apr-13 16:09:47

Oh .. smile okay I'll post back if a place is offered

Kez100 Mon 15-Apr-13 13:26:03

What a pity, notfluffy. I can appreciate her concern over the long commute though. That's a lot of extra time she can spend on her GCSE work every week! She has turned down a Brit place but she still has the talent to have been accepted and the talent remains regardless of her decision. I hope her school pulls out the stops for her in year 10 and 11 to support their claim they are art-focussed.

And I cross fingers the place goes to faridah. Be lovely if she gets to cry for another three days - but tears of joy this time! It would seem like karma.

notfluffy Mon 15-Apr-13 17:40:20

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Kez100 Mon 15-Apr-13 18:14:24

On the matter of dyslexia, my son (year 10) is severely dyslexic and we have just found that special glasses have made a huge difference to him. We have, also, had problems with schools over the years and I have tried everything.

It was expensive. The coloured overlays only worked a bit for him and we were reluctant to spend £300 on glasses with such a relatively average result from overlays but he begged us to as he was getting more and more stress and frustration at school. In the end, we got him them prescribed last summer and thank goodness we did. They are not a cure but they are a great help and making so much difference for him.

If you want to discuss this a bit more, send me a message and I'll be happy to share.

notfluffy Mon 15-Apr-13 20:27:53

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faridah Mon 19-Aug-13 11:46:38

Hey, unfortunately I haven't heard back from them and its almost the end of the summer. I'll have to try again in 2 years sad thanks anyway

Kez100 Mon 19-Aug-13 13:33:54

I'm sorry Faridah. Have a great two years and good luck in future.

IamFluffy Mon 19-Aug-13 15:06:53

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faridah Wed 21-Aug-13 00:59:13

thanks smile my parents are second guessing me going even if I got a call, they said the gcse scores were very low.

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