Advanced search

Which SUSSEX SIXTH FORM for lovely DD who has anorexia? BRIGHTON/ MID SUSSEX area

(23 Posts)
SixthFormDilemma Wed 01-Nov-17 11:03:59

Ok our search area running east to west is roughly Brighton to Worthing and then Horsham at a pinch to the North and then towards Hurstpierpoint.

My lovely Dd1 is currently very unwell and has quite low attendance due to her eating disorder and associated anxiety and depression.

We are just about to start proper treatment but have no idea how she will be next year.

she is fairly bright and has an amazing brain for arguing plus she is very artistic but doesn't have a naturally brilliant work ethic. she is now falling behind academically but is predicted mostly grades 5/6 plus a couple of 7/8s.

We are trying to hedge our bets with sixth form applications and had one particular college at the top of our list until we found out that the contact hours are quite minimal and the lack of structure could be hard for dd.

I think we are looking for:
- excellent pastoral care
-good structure / fairly full timetable for students who can't focus well if left to own devices
-good standard without academic pressure e.g. not letting them go onto the second year
-good art department
- state or private
-not highly selective
-any denomination

I think we will apply for everywhere that might possibly suit her and then see how the land lies nearer the time.

any suggestions re applications...where to avoid/ consider?

What about Brighton secondaries with sixth forms? would it be hard to break in to friendship groups having been elsewhere for GCSE?

all advice appreciated x

Needmoresleep Wed 01-Nov-17 12:36:11

Mayfield is worth a look. It is a kind school.

tinypop4 Fri 03-Nov-17 18:00:52

Lewes Old Grammar- very small and caring School, outstanding pastoral care.

tinypop4 Fri 03-Nov-17 18:01:59

Also, the Brighton schools with sixth forms are quite weak because the Sixth Form colleges are very popular and attract most of the brightest students.

MissWimpyDimple Fri 03-Nov-17 21:51:22

Depending on what subjects she wants, Brighton and hove High school might suit her? Small numbers, personal touch etc.

SixthFormDilemma Sat 04-Nov-17 08:03:12

Thanks so much for the responses, everyone!

We are in the eastern part of West Sussex, so sadly Mayfield is too far and Lewes Grammar also would be a transport nightmare- such a shame. Although at a pinch we could go by car to the end of one of Lewes OG bus routes.

Brighton and Hove is all girls so wouldn't appeal to DD.

Very interesting to hear about the quality of sixth form within local schools. Thanks.

Any thoughts on:

Also, this may be a more general sixth form question but what to students tend to do if they don't live locally and get bused in to college , yet only have a minimal timetable? Do they tend to have a shorter school day or just go to the library for hours??


Mary21 Sat 04-Nov-17 14:40:55


FfZzBbGg Sat 04-Nov-17 14:53:41

If you want structure and routine and consequences then Collyers will be a disaster OP; like many FE collages they treat the students more like university students than a school would, so self motivation is key.

Hurst would be a very structured environment with full days to keep her busy. However I imagine it would not be very tolerant of low attendance.

Sparkletastic Sat 04-Nov-17 15:05:06


BHASVIC work em hard and value outstanding results over pupils’ wellbeing.

tinypop4 Sat 04-Nov-17 15:47:08

I would avoid bhasvic, collyers and varndean. They're all good but they are big and their pastoral support won't be good enough for a Dd in your situation. She will need smaller classes and robust pastoral support. I think a small 6th form attached to a school would be better - Sion I don't know about the 6th form but the school is nurturing. St Paul's in Burgess Hill? Great school and Sixth Form

tothesideoftheirlives Sat 04-Nov-17 15:53:30

I would also say - not BHASVIC. I am local and it has a terrible reputation for pastoral care (only cares about A/A* pupils, no support for pupils struggling) as well as being massive and increasing every year.

Varndean has a better reputation for pastoral care and an excellent reputation for art subjects, but still quite large.

Blatchington Mill and Hove Park secondary schools both have sixth forms, but found it difficult to compete with BHASVIC. As a result next year they are merging their sixth forms so they can offer a greater range of subjects. The sixth form will still be much smaller than most sixth form colleges and both schools have a good reputation for pastoral care.

traviata Sat 04-Nov-17 16:03:58

I'd echo what the last pp said. I was at Hove Park 6th form open evening last week, and the emphasis is on small groups, individual care, lots of support.

BHASVIC is a sink-or-swim environment, and so is Varndean.

I don't know about your second question.

traviata Sat 04-Nov-17 16:41:05

Whilst it may be true that many of the brightest students are attracted away from the school 6th forms, this is absolutely not the case for everyone. The school 6th forms get people into Oxbridge every year, for example.

SixthFormDilemma Sat 04-Nov-17 16:59:00

Wow, what interesting replies. Thanks so much.
And another to the list...Steyning Grammar?

I'm confused about the conflicting opinions about Varndean. Will go to the open day and see what we think.

To be honest, I'm not worried about academic excellence as long as the teaching is good. Being in a 'safe place' is higher priority.

Also in terms of dd's values, she is very much a feminist, really broad minded, creative, loves to be with people who don't follow the crowd and would hate to be somewhere parochial or stuffy.

Does that help with any recommendations/ ruling anywhere out?

Tia again!

SixthFormDilemma Sat 04-Nov-17 17:13:12

Bedes is too far. Shame.

Cardinal Newman?

tinypop4 Sat 04-Nov-17 17:16:24

Steaming Grammar is a great school - quite big and most kids stay on for 6th form.

Also in terms of dd's values, she is very much a feminist, really broad minded, creative, loves to be with people who don't follow the crowd and would hate to be somewhere parochial or stuffy.

I'm gutted that Lewes Old Grammar is too far for you- it would be perfect it's really creative and quirky.

tinypop4 Sat 04-Nov-17 17:16:44

grin at my own Steaming grammar typo there

traviata Sat 04-Nov-17 18:35:36

Cardinal Newman - Someone described the sixth form Newman College to me as being very aspirational, very concerned about appearances. Sounds like a poor fit for a creative feminist who likes alternative thinkers.

badgerhead Sun 05-Nov-17 19:25:11

How about The Weald at Billingshurst, both my dd’s went there from secondary school elsewhere & settled well. Pastoral care is good & the timetable is kept full for at least the first term with no home study allowed until after Xmas & then only under certain conditions. It’s only a 5 minute walk from Billingshurst Station so easy to access by train.

SixthFormDilemma Mon 06-Nov-17 11:11:15

Very interesting about Cardinal Newman; is it a bit 'Hove Park'/ aspirational?

The Weald is also too far, unfortunately.

I have been reflecting on all the advice on this thread and have come to a couple of possible conclusions; I wonder if I need to reconsider a few things in my OP. At the moment, DD is at a small nurturing school and feels absolutely stifled by it. she has unbelievable emotional maturity and is ready to be treated as a young adult in so many ways, however as she is ill she does have other needs too.

I think on reflection, that maybe she would feel really stifled at a school like Hurst, with a full timetable. Maybe a college might actually suit her if she felt like she was being treated as young adult.

The key thing that we need for her is a decent student support (pastoral, not academic) and somewhere that won't kick her out after a year if she has a wobble during end of year exams.

such a shame about bhasvic as it makes loads of sense for us logistically. is it definitely terrible with pastoral care?

sorry for the apparent u -turn since my OP but i'm just wondering if she might possible thrive on a 'more free', rather than 'less free' environment, in fact.

traviata Mon 06-Nov-17 21:46:10

OP hurry because the open evenings are happening currently.

Varndean is tomorrow 7 November; Bhasvic is next week; you may have missed a few already.

SixthFormDilemma Tue 07-Nov-17 09:43:12

traviata, thanks so much for your advice; we are going to go along tonight thanks to your top tip! we have actually visited 2 already and have 2-3 more planned so are not totally out of the loop with open evenings (but Varndean did escape my notice as we were previously favouring bhasvic).

any thoughts on Hurst?

Jaffajuices Sat 11-Nov-17 09:51:37

Having lived there I would say Bedes, I hope dd gets better xx

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: