Admissions tutors' advice needed re early gap year please!

(38 Posts)
PeterTavy Sat 19-Dec-15 13:09:03

My DD would like to take an early gap year and miss Year 11. She is a bright, Summer born girl and a year ahead so will have completed 11 GCSEs by the end of Year 10.

She would plan to return to a Sixth form college for Year 12 and take A levels as normal.
She ideally wants to learn a particular language- she has already started teaching herself this and would like to do an exchange visit to the country if possible. She will be 15 throughout Year 11, so this might curtail what is possible for her as I have looked at various courses (non-academic as well as academic) but all are for over 16 year olds. She already knows that she ultimately wants to study a specific Arts course at a competitive Uni.

Are there any admissions tutors out there (or anyone with any experience of unusual education paths) who can help with my questions :

1. Will this be a problem?
2. Will she need to do qualifications in her gap year?
3. Does anyone have any ideas what a 15 year old can do who is not in school?!
4. Do you come across students like this from time to time?

We need to decide in the next couple of months really and have been fobbing her off so far!

OP’s posts: |
PeterTavy Sat 19-Dec-15 13:11:40

Oh, and all ideas for a gap year for a 15 year old gratefully received!

So far we have learn a language, spend a couple of months on an exchange, get on British Bake Off (too young anyway), art course...

OP’s posts: |
GoMilou Sat 19-Dec-15 13:19:34

Sorry, not here to help but I am very, very interested in the responses you get.

AtiaoftheJulii Sat 19-Dec-15 13:21:11

En Famille do exchanges that last up to 6 months either way, if you were interested in something longer. Of course, having someone back for that long might hamper her other plans!

So is she actually in (or will be in y10) and doing GCSEs, or is she with a group older than her in a y11 class? Just being nosy fwink

I think if you call it being home educated for a year because she's young for her year at school, then it will sound less weird than a gap year for a 15 year old. Academically, the only thing you'd have to worry about I'd think would be making sure she didn't lose ground in her A level choice subjects.

I can't imagine admissions tutors would care - there are a surprising amount of kids out there who do 3 years of sixth form for some reason, she'd just be one of them really.

lionheart Sat 19-Dec-15 14:07:58

I work on admissions for an arts based degree and would not see this as a problem at all.

I don't think she would need to show what she has been doing by acquiring a qualification. If the year turns out to have shaped her understanding or experience in relation to the subject she wants to study then perhaps she can add that fact to her personal statement.

I don't know what to suggest about how she spends the time, depends on your daughter, the subject and her interests. Could she do some arts based volunteering?

Yes, students do come through admissions with different profiles. It does not matter.

MultishirkingAgain Sat 19-Dec-15 15:35:46

We look at the A Levels, the Personal Statement, and the person in interview & related selection activities.

But I thought children had to be in some form of education or training until they are 18 nowadays?

balletgirlmum Sat 19-Dec-15 15:42:17

Legally you would have to be being seen to be home educating her as she can't leave education until the last Friday in June of Year 11 & it would need to be an education suitable for her age & ability.


Incaseithelps Sat 19-Dec-15 16:24:53

It depends how much money you have to spend, what language she wants to learn and how long she could be away from you. There are obviously online courses she can do.
As a short term thing I would have really liked the combined language courses with skiing courses that some agencies run. If you have a lot of money and she is brave enough you can do the opposite of what some European pupils do and send her to an international boarding school or school with a host family for eg the summer term somewhere where she could immerse herself in the language she has been learning before.

GoMilou Sat 19-Dec-15 16:35:21

If you have a lot of money and she is brave enough you can do the opposite of what some European pupils do and send her to an international boarding school

Aren't most international schools full of expat kids with English as the medium of instruction?

Incaseithelps Sat 19-Dec-15 17:22:03

Yes GoMilou but staying with a host family from the country would give the language exposure. It would be a bit much to expect a 15 year old to be expected to follow age appropriate classes in a language they had only just started that year.

Incaseithelps Sat 19-Dec-15 17:25:57

Sorry did n't finish. If a boarding school I meant somewhere international or possibly a bilingual school. Most international schools in Europe and elsewhere are not boarding

UhtredRagnorsson Sat 19-Dec-15 17:41:22

You say she wants to do a specific arts course - what sort of 'art'? (I suspect our kids are at the same school...)

GoMilou Sat 19-Dec-15 17:45:05

In that case, you better make sure the host family do not send their kids to international schools and that they speak the language of interest at home because what tends to happen is that local families whose kids attend int schools are the elite of their country. The kids tend to speak English only at home and with their friends and find their mouther-tongue a huge struggle.

Obviously I am not talking about the likes of France/Germany, I'm thinking of Latin America, for instance.

BoboChic Sat 19-Dec-15 17:45:22

At 15 she is required to attend school so your only option is to send her to school abroad.

GoMilou Sat 19-Dec-15 17:46:28

mother-tongue even

BoboChic Sat 19-Dec-15 17:48:22

If you say which language I might be able to give you some pointers to appropriate schools.

Incaseithelps Sat 19-Dec-15 17:51:39

GoMilou yes I agree about choosing a family who speak the native language at home but since we do not know the language that OP's DD wants to study or the budget it is difficult to know what is appropriate. Latin America would not be my choice for a 15 year old for their first time anyway. from home for a term or more anyway.

BoboChic Sat 19-Dec-15 17:56:29

I wouldn't want to send any DC aged 15 of mine to a school outside the EU. Australia, NZ, US, SA and Canada are fine but obviously useless for language learning purposes.

AtiaoftheJulii Sat 19-Dec-15 18:06:50

At 15 she is required to attend school so your only option is to send her to school abroad.

No, at 15 she has to be provided with an education. Home education is perfectly acceptable.

It would be a bit much to expect a 15 year old to be expected to follow age appropriate classes in a language they had only just started that year.

And I know several (mostly home educated) children who have done long exchanges (via En Famille who I mentioned earlier) and spent six months going to school in France or Germany, only having the basics of the foreign language - they've all been fine and have learnt quickly!

GoMilou Sat 19-Dec-15 18:08:09

Not even if you could accompany them?

GoMilou Sat 19-Dec-15 18:10:34

My question was to Bobochic

BoboChic Sat 19-Dec-15 19:44:39

I was thinking of boarding school or a home stay. I wouldn't be keen on non-international school outside the EU or the countries I mentioned - too much potential difference to make a year worth it.

PeterTavy Sat 19-Dec-15 19:49:19

lionheart and multishirking thanks for confirming that it shouldn't be a problem, that's good to know.
Atia En famille looks very interesting but unfortunately doesn't seem to cater for the Nordic language DD is currently self-teaching. German might be a possibility though Bobochic. She has fairly niche interests in the English/ History/ languages area and her dream course combines all three elements. She also loves drama and art. Sadly for DD we have a scientific/ medical background so although I am keen to support her interests I do have to suppress my natural tendency to steer her towards a vocational degree or one more likely to have better graduate prospects. She is particularly good at English apparently so I would be keen for her not to lose her writing ability during the year.

Our budget wouldn't stretch to international boarding school fees, day school fees would be fine. I am keen for her to remain in Europe with same age peers.

OP’s posts: |
BoboChic Sat 19-Dec-15 20:23:26

BoboChic Sat 19-Dec-15 20:25:51

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