Y7 and already done GCSE and A level Maths(77 Posts)
I am tremendously frustrated about not being able to find a suitable school for my DD aged 12. She was last in school at Christmas of Y2 but she stopped going due to refusal over boredom. Funny thing is her teacher at that point did not think she was at all smart since my daughter's boredom was so intense she just switched off entirely. Anyway, I let her stay home and play and then decided when she was turning 11 to get her caught up for secondary. In just 4 months doing no more than 30 minutes a day and working alone, my daughter completed the whole GCSE maths syllabus and begged me to let her take the exam. I reluctantly let her and she scored an A star this past January still aged 11. Then she studied by herself for A level maths and did C1, C2 and C3 and has probably done very well since he was getting 95% + on past papers. Her ability and standard in all subjects is very high. However, I cannot find any suitable school for her - no local school will accelerate her. I am a single mother in a difficult financial situation so I cannot afford the private sector. We live in NW London. Any ideas please.
Gosh I don't know. In an way it is a problem I would like to have considering my dd's attitude to maths - but I realise it is a serious problem for you.
Have you thought about getting her IQ tested and maybe seeing if Mensa can give you some advice? I know in the US they have schools especially geared to children with a very high IQ but I don't know of anything similar in the UK.
How is she with other subjects? If she went off to study maths say sometime soon, would she be at a level in her other subjects and emotionally at the point where she might be able to cope?
You let her stay home and play from year 2 to year 6? Do you mean you have home-schooled in that time?
How is her competence in other subjects? How is her literacy? I'd she's a strong all rounder then you should look into scholarships in private education. If she's behind elsewhere which is likely if she's had no proper education for a number of years I think you're going to struggle.
I have just seen that you posted her ability and standard in all subjects is quite high. Sorry I missed that first time round.
I really don't know, it is a shame if there is not some good possibility for a dc like her to do accelerated exams and move on to tertiary education. Hope someone has some good advice for you. I think if you continue to HE, do a couple of GCSEs a year so she has those under her belt and try in the meantime to get a scholarship at an independent school so she can do Alevels there and be generally prepared to apply for university.
Many top London girls schools are offering generous bursaries e.g St Paul's Girls ( thats where Id start) ring them tell them about her and see if they can help.
If I was in that position I think I'd phone around the independent schools and explain my situation re DD and finances. A lot of these schools have scholarship funds and the right school would be interested in having her I'm sure. Good luck!
During her time out of education (between Y2 and Y6 before I started home educating her formally) she read avidly, more than a book a day on average. She also watched many documentaries so she has a great vocabulary, general knowledge and writing style.
The problem with independent schools is that they have no bursaries between 11 and 16 except for current students who fall on hard times. Does anyone know a goo public school with a full bursary at age 13? Though I think I would miss her too much to send her away to school.
I would not want her starting uni early because she is still a kid, and very average for age emotionally.
Which independent schools have you spoken to? I don't know about girls schools but all of the senior co-ed schools I've spoken to offer bursaries for new pupils. Some link them to scholarships and others don't. It sounds as if your dd wouldn't have any problem obtaining a scholarship so would certainly be able to get a bursary if your income level qualified.
I agree with Bico, as far as I'm aware all the major girls' schools offer bursaries for those with qualifying income levels. Some also offer scholarships of a high value, eg Francis Holland over a fee reduction of 25%. However if your daughter was 11 in January she would be entering year 7 this September and all the entrance exams for those places were in January this year. I think you will need to contact all the schools, speak to their admissions departments and ask their advice. Make a list of boarding schools and work through it. You could use the school league tables to work out which schools achieve the highest academic results, however the schools around the top 50-75 might offer a better financial package as they will be keener on attracting your daughter.
Would you consider boarding school? There's Christs Hospital which has a lot of bursaries.
OP there are schools which offer generous bursaries to new pupils and although if your daughter is going into yr 7 she's missed the normal cut off points for applying I would still get on the phone to a few bursars. As I've already said I'd start with St Paul's Girls if I was you. Also look up girls day school trust.
Accelerating in subjects other than maths (and sometimes modern foreign languages if the student is bilingual) is rarely done. If that is what you're looking for be prepared for disappointed. If you're looking for your DD to be stretched beyond the curriculum then you may have more luck.
I don't know of any independent schools which wouldn't consider a new child for a bursary in intervening years, assuming the criteria were met . Many have an intake at 13+, not just the "public" ones. Have you actually approached any , you need to speak to the bursar and admissions office.
If anyone knows a school that would let her study Further Maths A level (and possibly Additional Further Maths) whilst still in KS$ age group, please let me know. St Paul's is too far for us. We are in Harrow.
NLCS have already confirmed no bursaries available.
Scarily I will utterly echo what Happygardening has said
you need to start parking your tanks on the lawn of the top girls schools
NLCS - Xenias girls went there : go see them and point out that this is less a charity case than them being able to take the credit for your daughters results
SPG : again, talk to them and see if they can help you with travel
otherwise the GDST may have ideas
and do be willing to consider boarding
Christs Hospital is odd but in a good way
other boarding schools might be willing to let her fly
and you'd then be free to do your thing in term times
Alternatively, if you want to continue home educating her, why not let her try some of the many free online university courses now available. Like Coursera.
All great advice. In fact we are already using Coursera, EdX, Udacity and Canvas to source phenomenal courses of study. The only real thing lacking is social interaction which she now needs as she is entering adolescence.
You can get the social interaction with other h
Sorry- posted too soon. With other home educated children. You live in an area with a very large number of home ed families. There is a harrow home ed email list and a north London one.
All the indies have some forms of bursaries available - they have to - but you may be too late as they will have a quota in each year group. It would have been better to get her to sit 11+ exams. Look at schools which have 13+ entry and you may be better off. Definitely talk to bursars of the schools directly for advice.
Just a note of caution. I totally understand your worries about keeping her advanced etc. I was accelerated as school. As was my mother. I wouldn't recommend it to others tbh. While at Oxbridge I also met a 15 yo who was there when the rest of us were much older. Very awkward, not enjoying it at all.
Personally, would suggest getting her into a good school and perhaps letting things even out a bit. A good school will accelerate her in the areas where she needs it (although not necessarily to the extent you might believe appropriate) and help her advance in other areas, e.g. social, or things like science, art, history, music - etc. If she is very bright she will continue to be very bright and capable even if she (in your opinion) 'coasts' for a while. Life is a marathon not a sprint.
Savoir, did the 15 yr old have the initials LP by any chance?
I agree with Bico, do contact Wycombe Abbey, a great girl boarding school for the very talented, and high achiever.
I thought state schools were obliged to provide an education suited to the level of the child.
My dd is in a similar situation. She is is in home ed and will be looking to do GCSE maths next year in the equivalent of year 6. We are hoping she passes the 11+. We would then want her to follow A level maths in year 7 and from initial enquiries this would be possible.
Are there any grammar schools in your area? They do sometimes get places in higher years.
Also the UKMT maths challenges offer something other than simply accellerating through levels.
You can go for scholarships instead of bursaries (I know, they are very similar and at some schools one and the same) these will be easier to get at some schools because they are more about academics and less about money, however at some schools the bursaries will be worth more or you can try for both. There are fewer bright children than there are poor children. Proofreading this, I realise that statement could be offensive but I mean it as in it will be less competitive for your DD.
Here are some school suggestions.
St Mary's Calne offers 13+ scholarships for academics, sports, music, choral, and all-rounders (sorry this doesn't make grammatical sense). It is a girls school. Friends sent their DD there and if they didn't offer a subject they brought in tutors so she could study it. Very supportive.
Wycome Abbey- for 13+ you would have to enrol NOW. Good school. Scholarships are only worth 5% but they offer means tested bursaries.
Cheltenham- for 13+ you would have to be applying ASAP. Scholarships available for 15% off fees at 11, 12, 13 and 16+ and means tested bursaries can be applied for as well.
St Swithurn's- you would have to apply around August/September. Scholarships are 20% and bursaries are available. Again, lovely school.
Princess Helena College: Very nice, quite small. I am not sure if their bursaries are only for clergy and armed forces or open to all, but available at 13+ and very friendly registrar who welcomes enquiries.
There are heaps more schools, for example try this list.
Schools will snap your daughter up once they hear what she is capable of. Sorry these are all boarding, I wrote if before I saw your location.
Around Harrow, I have heard of St. Helen's which has a very positive inspection report but I have not really considered the school so looked into it. They offer scholarships and bursaries but their main admissions points are 11+ and 16+.
There is also Peterborough and St. Margaret which seems ok but doesn't have a sixth form (40% A*-A at GCSEs).
What you would get in (the right) private school is a tailored timetable that allows her to complete classes to her level (even if that means some classes at the local uni/with Yr 13/with a tutor) and also gives her a sense of belonging in her own year group.
You need to be upfront with the schools. Don't enquire "will you be offering bursaries for 2014 13+?"
Say, "my daughter, currently year 7, has completed her A level in mathematics and is advanced in many other subjects. She is not being challenged enough at home/at her current school and I want to know if you would do a better job. What could you offer my daughter?"
Obviously not those words. If they seems interested, mention you would need a bursary. Perhaps try again with NLCS?
Also, this is a bit cheeky, if she is home schooled you could re-enter her for Year 7 at these schools to get the entry bursaries/scholarships and then have her accelerated to year 8 or 9 .
Do be careful with accelerating her more than one year beyond her age group. It becomes difficult socially and I know that's what you're worried about from your post. My older sister was accelerated and found it a bit tricky from about Year 11 onwards (although she was bullied from Year 3 or so until Year 8 so she wasn't a social butterfly). She hit her social stride at university but the no drinking/can't go to movie nights/can't get a part time job etc made it hard for her.
I teach at grammar school we don't usually accelerate but they often do UKMT maths challenge.
One of my form scored so highly he's off to a maths summer school which he is very excited about. I think secondary school might be the time to add more breadth to your dc's education - grammar schools are awesome though (not biased at all ).
englishteacher78, if a child were to join year 7 with GCSE in maths, what would the grammar school teach them over the following five years? Would they go on to the A level or just repeat GCSE?
It'll be far too late for bursaries for this September, and as OP says DD is already 12 then she'll be going in to year 8 which won't have schoarships on offer.
It would be better to try again for year 9, at schools which have an intake at that point as they are likely to have both scholarships and money for new bursaries budgeted for at that point. This will need action, and fast - as some of the schools listed above make their 13+ offers in year 7.
Have you actually applied to any state schools. You'll need to make an in-year application , and see what vacancies there are in your area. As it's London, there may be some churn of school places, but you may find that the schools you like best are full - in which case, you need to find out waiting list arrangements. It might be worth finding out now where you can secure a place from your current address.
Would you move house? You'd still have the issue of schools being already full, but if you moved right next door to one you liked, then at least you'd be high on the waiting list.
Have you sought out summer schools or enrichment programmes for maths? The Royal Institute might've worth a look.
Talk to your LA. I know they fund places at schools like InterHigh and PeriPlus where there is need or a child can't be persuaded to go or settle in school.
Interhigh I know for certain would let her place by ability not age. They are putting my very average son up two years for Spanish becuase he has a lingusitic advantage rather than let him plod along unstretched with his own agegroup.
There is a possibility in the state sector; Watford Girls' Grammar. In Harrow, you might be in the right postcode for the outer catchment area. They do take girls later than the beginning of Y7 if there are unusual circumstances, and this might count.
It's not something we've had to address before. But next September we will be in that situation, not sure how they're dealing with it in Maths yet.
Just had a look at the WGGS admissions area: it includes the following postcodes:
HA5 1 to 5
HA6 1 to 3
HA7 3 and 4
My DS says he knows a girl who got 100% bursary for Habs ...
Please also remember that many of the kids who do astoundingly at Maths in their preteens are technically a prodigy rather than a genius.
In that by the age of 19, the remainder of the top 0.1% will be level with them again.
Which again comes back to the point where you need to get her into an education environment where other people are better than her at some things.
as far as possible get her in with people going through puberty at the same time as her.
I too was bumped up a year at school and in the long run it did me no favours at all.
What about Bedales? Excellent school and offer scolarships and bursaries from 13.
I suspect that the 'social' side of Bedales would not fit a seriously bright London based child without the moneyed background
I wonder how many children do now take GCSE and A level maths early. It seems to me the number is increasing.
Talkinpeace I don't think it is a sign of anything other than a child having been taught how to do maths at a younger age than normal. However if they have got to that level, they should be taught at that level.
Maths is intuitive. If you "get" it, its easy. Most people have to be taught. The numbers of kids who "get" probably does not change much over the years, but the press covers the stories from all over the country now.
Talkin surely she won't be the only one though. At this point I would be more interested in anywhere my child could receive an education which was suited to her needs rather than worrying about that kind of thing when it's not even an issue.
Education works best when children are socially settled. When they have people to chat to between classes with whom they share reference points - hence the problem with moving age groups.
Its one of the reasons why scholarship and bursary kids at expensive schools have to be given extra support. If all the other kids at Bedales are going to the Med in the summer and you are going to Bognor, the comfort reference points that allow a child to fly academically are not there.
And in OPs case, her chile has been home ed for a while. Ensuring social comfort will be essential.
Speaking as a former school bully, the misfits are the targets.
I understand the issues surrounding scholarships Talkin. My own DD went to an independent school on a scholarship. The fact is that you will never escape the problems surrounding social growth in an environment where the majority are better off financially, most private schools have these issue.....but that does not mean you should forget about certain options.
I know nothing about bursaries/ scholarships and deadlines for these.
BUT, I would imagine a your DD is an exceptional case then rules maybe not applied in the same way. Indie schools may offer a full scholorship for academia. If not then the LEA should be funding schooling for your DD tailored to meet her needs.
LEA's fund indie specialist schools for pupils with SEN - which effectively is what your DD has.
I must be blind. Where does OP say her daughter is a very high standard at all subjects? I can only see talk about maths. Not biology, DT, cookery, drama, PE, art, history, music, etc. Has she finished GCSEs or A-levels for those too, then?
I don't see why OP wouldn't just continue as she is. Guides is very good value, OP, cheap way to have a complete package of sociallife activities. They usually have a bursary system if you're skint, too. Scouts is similar but they can't subsidise subs as easily. Amateur Drama is also very intensely social. Most girls that sort of age are very into something like Scouts, Minecraft, dance or drama.
ragged it is in the OP's first post ^ Her ability and standard in all subjects is very high. ^
Her ability and standard in all subjects is very high
Ragged we are taking it from this ^ Her ability and standard in all subjects is very high. However, I cannot find any suitable school for her - no local school will accelerate her.^ in the OP.
TBF though it does only say 'high' not an actual figure of comparison to her peers.
I don't have any suggestions but wondered why you want/need to send her back to school. I too H.ed and am finding the benefits are tremendous.
As she already has the maths, the other few subjects she would need for uni entrance could easily be done at home, especially now that coursework and some controlled assessment has gone, giving more choice at GCSE. Also if it is work related there are several H.ed parents I know who work in between H.ed
Well done and good luck to your dd whatever you decide to do.
okay, fair enough. I am blind .
Still, thrice impressed that she's ace at things like drama, music, DT & PE, too.
OP, by your posts it doesn't seem like you have a job. Unless some special circumstance prevents you from working like a disability etc be aware that most schools will ask both - or the single - parents to be working before they give you a bursary.
That is entirely untrue hardboiled and very presumptious of you too.
Sorry but its a perfectly reasonable assumption.
As per the OP, a single mum who has been home educating for 4 years is not likely to be going out to work all day.
School is not just about lessons. Its about socialising, learning how to read the thoughts of strangers, how to fit in, how to achieve other than what parents want.
I know I cannot give my children all the breadth and reach of learning they need.
Many HE parents think they can.
OP has realised she cannot.
As she already has the maths, the other few subjects she would need for uni entrance could easily be done at home*
She may be taking maths early but that will not qualify her for university. Universities like to see a group of A levels taken together in one year, to prove you can handle the work load
Talkin not really. OP could work in the evenings whilst someone sits....or from home.
I think there was a sp talking about this on a H.ed thread not long ago. She was asking about the possibilities.
Some people do work shifts and have child minders as well as H.ed
One of the joys is that you can learn at any time and don't need to do specific hours or subjects.
I just wanted to inform you that you don't need a school for the things you suggest. Most dc access this type of socialisation outside school. mine does anyway
Thanks to everyone for the excellent suggestions.
The Royal Institution Maths Materclasses were recommended to me a few weeks ago and I called them about it, but they told me they do not accept home ed kids. I am really torn between HE and a very good school. I want the best for my DD>
DS2 goes to Masterclasses run by Tomorrow's Achievers. We pay half the cost of the class but I think full cost is covered for those with low incomes. The last one he went to (Maths) was in Northwood and he's going to one in Pinner soon. I don't remember them asking us what school he attended, so might be open to HE children.
I agree with Icantotallydance - it is all about how you pitch this. Give a call to independent schools (even to the ones you talked already) and explain how smart your daughter is. I would also write an email to them and attach her results from GCSE etc. All these schools are interested in smart kids who can increase their rating and they would be very interested in her once they realize her capabilities.
I wouldn't send her to Christ Hospital even though they do provide generous bursaries - I think she will get bored there too.
Just don't take "no" for an answer straightaway and reiterate your points. My DS is not half as smart as your DD is but he is pretty smart. We were late with the application for one of the schools we wanted to apply to and they sent us a formal reply saying that we are late. I didn't take no for an answer and sent back to them all the offers he got so far and his results on exams and said that we would really appreciate a chance even though we are late. They came back within 2 days confirming they will consider us. Everything is possible when your child is smart.
I don't know if this gas been mention. I work in a regular comp. we had a year 7 student join a gcse class and do his exam early. He then went on to do AS level in year 8.
We have quite a few students do MFL exams early. We are a regular comp, but as teachers we cater to gifted students.
Maybe get in touch with your best local comp schools and see what they can offer? Maybe one with a 6th form so there are teachers with expertise to the level she needs.
The day she turns 14 she can go to an FE college and take A Levels. There is also ring-fenced funding for home ed students.
At this stage go for breadth, has she tried project Euler? It has maths puzzles some of which have established solutions, some of which have not.
You are allowed to use a computer, but only if yo program it yourself.
There have been a couple of children who have gone to uni at your dd's age, it doesn't seem to end well.
Maths and Languages are subjects that some children can accelerate in, but it doesn't (or rarely) happens in humanities and social sciences.
What does she want to do?
Could she do further maths by distance learning? Or maybe an OU course?
Obviously I don't know you or your daughter but she would be well advised to take English and Science GCSE and another 3 or 4 - it makes life easier if you have the magic 5.
Do esquire about bursaries / scholarships but if that doesn't work think about college.
Project Euler looks really interesting. Thanks for the link.
Project Euler looks brilliant - thank you
Not untrue as far as I know re bursaries.
And yes, I did make an assumption based on the OP mentioning she took her DD out of school in y2 and the DD stayed home playing for years. Maybe she has help or a grandmother to sit but I don't know anyone caring for their child full time while also working full time , not even from home because the point if you decide to homeschool is to be teaching and sharing activities with your child, meeting other h.e. groups, going to museums, etc. That to me would already be a full time job.
Re the playing, I also didn't know it was legal to take your child out of school and not start a proper h.e. program with them? I am not against it, quite the contrary in some cases, but surprised it is allowed.
Many people assume you have to formally teach your child if you H.ed, some believe you have to teach certain subjects.
personally, I think Maths and English is important but practical application is more important to us than say classroom based resources.
It is possible to fit this around work if you so desire.
You are allowed to teach your children what you like because the law states it is the responsibility of a parent to educate their child either through school or elsewhere. h.ed is the elsewhere and parents take full responsibility for their childs education. There is very little interaction between the state and H.ed parents, especially in terms of subjects, resources and assessment for which you are pretty much on your own after opting out of the system
Is flexi-schooling possible at secondary level?
Thank you morethan I had not idea it was like that. I thought the state kept a close eye and you had to show proof of progress etc, because of mandatory education till 16 and all that.
vess the cellist who won BBC young musician last year was, I think, flexi schooling... it has to be agreed by the school.
Have you had a look at the Potential Plus website? There is a membership fee to join, but they seem to have lots of informed posters and information sheets and I'm sure you'll find people who have had similar experiences.
When my DS2 started at grammar school there were 2 yr7 children, just in his class, who had already done GCSE maths.I think it is getting more and more common.They haven't done anything special with these kids though.I think they work on an OU foundation course in the library in maths lessons
I don't think a reputable school would accelerate kids more than a year.I just can't see how it would end well.
I think your DD needs to broaden her interests
I am with xylem8 on this. what is the benefit of accelerating GCSEs beyond a year? There is so much more to raising a happy, successful adult. I know a couple of kids locally who have been accelerated and they have ended up struggling socially because their peers can't relate to them. One in particular always tries to chat to the adults instead of any kids around his age, it's a bit sad, even though his IQ is truely amazing and obvious as soon as he speaks. I would definitely broaden your child's education and experience and relax about exams.
Someone earlier posted re comprehensives and have to say the large comp I went to did a great job with the super bright.
I have only been H.edding our dd this school year but our LA asked me for a list of resources I'd be using and then they ask for an annual report, this is basically the same as the previous year unless anything drastic changes.
If they feel your dc aren't receiving an education of course they can step in, but cases are very few and far between and they need pretty concrete evidence to suggest this. My own dd does a lot of music practice, maths, English, Science, history etc, just not the same as school.
In answer to the question; Why take GCSE early? I can only give my reason. I am tired of going into schools and being told dd is not as advanced as I think. At least with the paper to prove it, dd will not have to sit throgh lessons being taught what she can already do.
Some schools are much better at handling this.
Dd goes to a comp. She is off curriculum for maths, even though she sits in the class with her peers. Instead she is given a wide range of problems that can be looked at and explored really in depth. Often these problems take her sideways through interesting maths in quite an unpredictable way.
We did talk extensively and have done for many years about putting her in for her gcse and then a level but we can't see the point. The exams shouldn't be barriers that mean you can't learn more until you've done them. Instead she will sit them with her peers and in the mean time she will develop deep skills and become a mathematician, rather than someone who is good at maths.
Taking this route keeps her with her peer groups for other subjects too. She is top of all of her academic classes (practical subjects not so much!) but that doesn't mean to say that she's not learning. She's learning loads because her teachers encourage her to use critical thinking and at home she uses resources to look at things more in depth.
Yes, she probably could be hothoused and could have been one of these kids who go to uni super early but what would that achieve? Our main hope for her is that she grows up happy with good friends, is resilient to lifes knocks and can achieve whatever she would like to when the time comes.
The above is not meant as a stealth boast. It is dds life and her hard work, not mine! I just wanted to illustrate that there is another path than the early exam route that may well work well (will come back to you in a decade and report back
I don't know what the schools are like in your area, round here lots don't have 6th forms and we specifically chose one that did, partly because it has teachers that routinely teach to a higher level but also they have links to local unis that can help out - dds school has been great at talking to our nearest uni about her.
Kitten If that were our experience with schools, that is the course we would take aswell.
It seems from the OP, others have had the same as us.
I do admit we are bloody fortunate.
Join the discussion
Please login first.