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To say no to DDs sixth form choice?

(100 Posts)
TheStirrer Mon 22-Apr-19 11:04:54

Daughter has decided she wants to study the International Baccalaureate as couldn’t pick 3 a levels. In particular she wanted to do maths, physics, chemistry & geography & a language. All fine as she’s a good all rounder and she wanted to keep options open as interested in Urban design and sustainability.

IB choices limited nearby but found a day school with an 1 hr / 1.15 hour bus commute / walk offering the choices.

Also applied to United World Colleges and offered a boarding place overseas but have since discovered they can’t offer geography. DD has decided to do global politics instead. I just don’t feel comfortable and am worried she will regret not doing geography. She will be going half way round the world and it will be a huge culture shock/change as it is and am worried how she’ll cope if she hates the subject. Limited other humanities choices - economics, anthropology or history.

I have mentioned this and she is really upset as really wants to go and I suspect will resent being sent to other school which also won’t be a good start.

I am really conflicted as to what to do ....

JudgeRindersMinder Mon 22-Apr-19 11:50:50

What she loses from not doing Geography, she’ll more than make up for by studying overseas

Let her follow her heart, she has the rest of her life to pick up geography

CanILeavenowplease Mon 22-Apr-19 11:50:57

If you think geography is a possible degree choice, all it takes is a few phone calls to admissions tutors to ask if they would refuse a place on the basis of her choices for IB. My guess is they won’t but it is easily verified.

BattenburgIsland Mon 22-Apr-19 11:50:58

I think you can offer your opinion but at her age the final choice has to be hers. I think if you 'dont let her' you are going to create problems. Whatever she chooses will have its draw backs and be hard at times. She needs to know that it was something she actively chose herself in order to have commitment to it and not just blame it all on you being controlling if it goes wrong for her.
The school abroad sounds like an exciting opportunity... and something she is quite engaged with. Of course it has its issues but it sounds like all of the options you have do. So go with the one she is most excited and engaged with.

TatianaLarina Mon 22-Apr-19 11:52:51

Where is the boarding school? Is she used to travelling, being away from home, being around a different language, different food?

If the yes is the answer to all of this, she will be fine.

TatianaLarina Mon 22-Apr-19 11:54:17

I don’t think the difference between geography/global politics is significant enough to be a major issue. Human geography is basically a kind of global politics anyway.

Whynotnowbaby Mon 22-Apr-19 11:55:36

Have you been to visit the school? Are you happy that it provides a safe and caring pastoral environment for someone who will still be very young? Do they have a high success rate in the IB? Those questions would all be far more important to me than whether she will love global politics - which is only one subject amongst many and can be changed to another of the quite large range of humanities you quoted. Personally I would look for a U.K. boarding school that offers IB as I think it’s easier to know they are well regulated and I think international schools can be hit and miss (but I’m sure you have established that yours is good so that may not be an issue for you).

Petalflowers Mon 22-Apr-19 11:56:55

Global politics is probably more relevant to today then geography, so i’d Go for it, (and I have a geography degree!).

Frenchfancy Mon 22-Apr-19 11:57:35

I am amazed at how many people are saying let her go. I wonder if they have teenagers or if they are projecting what they would want.

There is now way on God's green earth that I would let my 15/16 year old go abroad for school. No education is worth the loss of family life. She can study abroad when she is older but as a child she needs your support and to be close by.

underneaththeash Mon 22-Apr-19 11:59:15

French - me neither. If she's keen to board there are lots of UK boarding schools which offer IB.

Heratnumber7 Mon 22-Apr-19 12:02:48

Bloody hell! She got accepted by UWC and you don't want to let her go??!!!!! shock

That is such a fantastic opportunity OP. Are you thinking of her, or yourself?

Birdsfoottrefoil Mon 22-Apr-19 12:11:37

I love the ‘just let her go/make her own decision’ as if she is an adult who will be picking up what is presumably a pretty hefty bill herself, rather than a 15/16 year old expecting you to pay.

badtime Mon 22-Apr-19 12:12:45

I don't think I would ever forgive you if I was your daughter and you stopped me going.

JacquesHammer Mon 22-Apr-19 12:14:22

I don’t think you should stop her going if she wants to.

But why can’t she do more than 3 A-levels? Is that not allowed anymore?

TheStirrer Mon 22-Apr-19 12:16:03

Thanks for all the viewpoints - she is a mature 16 year old. Boarding school was something that we had never considered for her as like many other parents we would rather she was at home! It has been driven by her and she is really keen to experience the multi cultural aspect of uwc as opposed to a boarding school.

I think we are quite traditional parents so uwc is a bit outside our comfort zone and not having experienced that type of education or boarding we are slightly nervous. Local school also not perfect as quite a bit of travel and small cohort but we will be there to support her and she’ll still have local friends.

GoGoJo Mon 22-Apr-19 12:17:38

But UWCs are great and not at all like most boarding schools (also usually full fees covered, although the Singapore one is run on a different model)

Which one has she been accepted to? I'd let her go. Such an amazing opportunity.

BettyDuMonde Mon 22-Apr-19 12:18:21

I agree with previous posters, the decision is less about one subject and more about home v abroad study.
I wouldn’t have let my child go so far from home at this stage.

There is a big academic leap between GCSE and A Level/ IB - far bigger than the one between A Level/IB and the first year of a degree. I definitely thought it best to keep home life familiar during this difficult transition.

My kid is not your kid, of course! You are best placed to know what your daughter can handle.

AllPizzasGreatAndSmall Mon 22-Apr-19 12:20:05

Am I the only person that has considered the, presumably not insubstantial, costs involved and therefore the OP, who I suppose will be funding it, definitely does get to decide what she spends her money on.

SeaToSki Mon 22-Apr-19 12:22:23

Global politics will cover a lot of the human geography curriculum, so it is just the physical geography part she wont get at a higher level than GCSE, but to be honest, the human geography is far more relevant to todays society unless she wants to be a geologist, or metereologist etc

JanuarySun Mon 22-Apr-19 12:30:21

It sounds like you don't want her to go and lack of Geography is just an excuse?

DPotter Mon 22-Apr-19 12:31:40

The only reason I would say No to boarding overseas would be the financial commitment. If fees are covered that's great but don't forget the 'extras' - flights, school trips, books, holiday guardians etc.

IB is a great system. If overseas proves too costly there are boarding schools in the UK offering. Whereabouts in the country are you? Can recommend a day school in Berkshire with an excellent record in IB - its a rare year they don't have a student getting full marks

Jaxhog Mon 22-Apr-19 12:33:33

I doubt she'll regret not doing Geography (I didn't). But she would definitely regret being talked out of taking up such a fantastic opportunity. She was mature enough to apply and get the place, so she believes she is mature enough to go.

Is this really about Geography, or that she'll be leaving home?

TheStirrer Mon 22-Apr-19 12:35:59

GoGoJo - they will nominate her for the us. Unfortunately not fully funded though. Do you have experience with uwc?

Thanks for the feedback that Glo Pol will have aspects of human geography.

I think a big part of this is how I feel about letting her go at a young age. She is very mature, independent and determined but probably very idealistic as to what life will be like - but then weren’t we all at 16 ( or me at 18 when I went to uni!). I have highlighted what I think the difficulties will be - shared rooms, people that may be very different from her and big step up in workload so she is going in with her eyes wide open.

Jaxhog Mon 22-Apr-19 12:38:10

P.S. I studied Architecture and Town Planning, which is in a similar field to Urban Design. I not only didn't do a Geography A level, but failed my O level as well. It made absolutely no difference. She'll pick up what she needs to know.

Smellyrose Mon 22-Apr-19 12:45:23

@DPotter can you let me know which school inn Berkshire has excellent IB record? DD is starting GCSEs next year and I am already looking at post GCSE study for her - thank you.

BlackPrism Mon 22-Apr-19 12:45:33

It sounds incredible... I think she'd always regret not going to the boarding school.

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