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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 ....

AmIRightOrAMeringue Mon 22-Apr-19 21:17:04

I have never ever heard anyone say 'my life could have turned out differently...if only I'd studied geography'. I am being flippant but I did geography a level and a related degree and wish I'd done something more useful! Surely if she wanted to do it that much she wouldn't be considering something else

Rando42 Mon 22-Apr-19 21:21:00

Almost everyone I know either dropped out or performed badly if they got talked into a school or course by their parents rather than picking it for themselves. If she makes the wrong choice, it can be fixed later on, but at least it’s her choice.

bridgetreilly Mon 22-Apr-19 21:23:13

I would want her to go, OP. I know it's scary for you (and probably a bit for her too), but it is an amazing opportunity that will really open so many doors for her. All of the things that you mention are learning opportunities. Yes, it'll be harder than going to a local sixth form. But facing and coping with hard things are how we learn and grow.

TheGrapefulDread Mon 22-Apr-19 21:32:06

Have you tried contacting the to ask questions about results ? There is a contact section.

yoursworried Tue 23-Apr-19 13:50:53

Op yes I went to a different UWC. Great ethos I would love my kids to do that when they're older

Rosesaredead Tue 23-Apr-19 15:04:56

It's not your decision! Let her choose!

SaveThePangolin Tue 23-Apr-19 15:09:57

My mother was super-controlling, seriously, but she let me decide my own A level choices. If it turns out to have been the wrong decision, so what, it happens, it's life. She's identified a wish to do this and I think it would be wrong to stand in her way.

Nandocushion Tue 23-Apr-19 15:23:14

A friend of mine went to UWC in New Mexico (I think) and absolutely raves about it. (This was a couple of decades ago.) If you can manage it you should fly out to whichever campus she's considering and look at it together - it might help you a lot.

PurpleCrazyHorse Tue 23-Apr-19 15:24:27

During my a-levels at 6th form, I realised I wanted to do something else at uni, I took a gap year, did the extra a-level at college in the evenings while working full-time, started uni the following Sept. Super easy for her to do an extra a-level during a gap year if she wants/needs to. Or indeed to do it later on.

It sounds like an amazing opportunity and if you can afford flights and other associated costs, then I'd let er go. She might absolutely love it, she might want to drop out and come home, either way, she's done it herself. However, I get that it must be very hard as a parent to wave your 16yo off. Is there anyway you could go and visit or indeed stay out there for a week or so after drop off?

AnnaComnena Tue 23-Apr-19 20:01:31

All these people saying 'it's nothing to do with you - it's not your decision' - who do you think is going to be paying for it?

22esmeweatherwax Tue 23-Apr-19 20:23:49

Both DH and I did International Baccalaureate at a UWC 30 years ago and it was utterly fantastic. They had great pastoral care and the academic teaching was fabulous. Please don’t discourage her from taking up this opportunity. UWC are brilliant.

pearldeodorant Tue 23-Apr-19 20:40:49

Just been reading about them and it turns out I have some friends who went to different UWC colleges. They sound incredible. I'd definitely let your daughter lead and take the opportunity- if things don't work out, a year out to restart year 12 locally at 17 makes v v little difference in the long run so you still have that back up smile

Best of luck to her!

britnay Wed 24-Apr-19 10:43:53

Why don't you join their facebook group and see if anyone will chat to you about your concerns?

GoGoJo Wed 24-Apr-19 19:51:41

Sorry I haven't checked back for a few days.

I worked for a RG in international recruitment so UWCs were on our rounds of schools we visited although I never made it to the states I've been to Cardiff, Singapore and Pune a few times and we had UWC students on our summer schools.

I really liked the international ethos, the careful way they blended the students from different nationalities and the way they turned out such thoughtful, mature citizens. I would send my kids for 6th form if I had any!

Like I said the Singapore one is different, its 11-18 and more like a traditional school. More focus on academics and most students are from Singapore rather than the mix they have in other places. Still a great school though.

ElloBrian Wed 24-Apr-19 19:57:09

Has she been away from home for a significant period of time (summer camp etc)? How much travel experience does she have? These are fundamental questions.

TheStirrer Fri 26-Apr-19 08:51:54

Just thought I would update the thread as your perspectives were all very useful. I agree that she would have resented not being able to go as she put in lots of work to the application and went through the rigorous assessment. She is mature and has spent time away from home ( weeks not months though!) and we have discussed that initially she might find it tough.....

Anyway she has now been accepted to go to UWC In the USA and is very excited. If it doesn’t work out she can just come back! I will probably be on here in August bemoaning empty nest syndrome and moaning why she hasn’t spoken to me in a week when usually glued to her phone!

Dumdedumdedum Fri 26-Apr-19 09:19:25

Congratulations, how exciting for her! You, less so! My nest has been empty since 2013 and I still haven't adapted!
Just a reminder of the note of caution a pp voiced - if she decides to return to England to go to university, she will probably not then be eligible for a student loan, or even to pay home tuition fees, which will mean a pretty hefty outlay for you, unless she finds someone to sponsor her through university.

TheStirrer Fri 26-Apr-19 12:14:21

UWC have not mentioned the loans or tuition fees so will ask them - I hadn’t heard or considered this! Has anyone experienced a refusal following overseas schooling?

LIZS Fri 26-Apr-19 12:54:22

I think residence purely for education is disregarded for SF, so she should remain Uk resident for fee purposes.

Dumdedumdedum Fri 26-Apr-19 13:21:49

LIZS - ah, yes, I hope you're right - my child had never lived in the UK before going to university in England, so our case was probably different from the OP's. It might be worth checking though, so as not to get a nasty shock, as I seem to remember that we had to have lived in the UK or EU for the previous 3 academic years in order to be able to get Home Fees status (and even then, our status varied from university to university) and because of having lived abroad for so long, were ineligible for a student loan.
were helpful, links came from here:

TheStirrer Sat 27-Apr-19 08:48:23

Have spoken to the college - apparently uk students still eligible for loans and home fees as classed as a temporary absence so now have no more excuses for her not go to! Exciting for her grin but scary for me shock

Stompythedinosaur Sat 27-Apr-19 10:25:42

Fab update op, congratulations to you both!

ThatssomebadhatHarry Sat 27-Apr-19 11:40:23

Say no!??? It’s her decision get a grip!

GoGoJo Sat 27-Apr-19 12:28:59

Yeah no problems with student finance. She's still ordinarily resident with you and you still pay tax here.

She might end up wanting to study in the states long term though so you should be ready for that but good chance of scholarships if she gets good grades.

Dumdedumdedum Sun 28-Apr-19 19:32:28

Excellent news! Congratulations again!

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