Where to take GCSE's(14 Posts)
I'm home edding my DS due to an illness we believe was brought on by the stress of being buillied.
As he is at the start of year 10 we were discussing GCSEs and it soon became clear that the mere thought of going into a school was just too stressful. We discussed various options - I pointed out that it would not be his old school and that every one there would be a stranger and as stressed about taking the exam as he was, but to no avail. We then discussed college but he still has some anxiety about this idea - but may be willing to at least try.
Part of the illness has caused Hyperacusis (sensitivity to certain noises) and part of his anxiety is the lack of control he has to noise whilst out i.e. if a security alarm goes off in a shop then it is very painful but he can leave - if a school bell sounds whilst in the exam he cannot do anything.
Does anyone have any ideas how he can take these exams in a non-school environment?
No experience but have you tried contacting the exam board as your son wouldn't be the only child with a medical problem which stopped them taking the exam. The only thing I would expect is that it has to be taken on the same day at the same time as everyone else. How is he going to get his coursework assessed? would they be able to help you.
Its a bit chicken and egg - I can't choose the exam board until I know which one the exam centre use. I've tried the exam boards websites and all they list are exam centres within schools, admittedly private schools, but my son still can't face these.
We are hoping to take IGCSEs as I believe they don't need coursework.
I'd agree that contacting the exam boards is the way to go - if you explain the circumstances, and where in the country you are, they may be able to suggest exam centres which are not schools. I'd contact both the IGCSE boards with the same question and see what each of them can come up with, then go with that syllabus!
I agree IGCSEs are the right option - they do have a non-marked-coursework option. That's what my DS did - they just get an extra exam for the area which would have been done via coursework. DS did them in a local private school thoguh - I think these are usually the exam centres. But they may be able to suggest somewhere different, even if you might have to travel a bit further to get there.
I've found a centre in Bristol called 3AT. Has anyone heard / used them?
This is a new venture near Monmouth.
They are very helpful.
Thanks for your replies. I'll try the exam boards themselves next week.
Thanks for th elink Tinuviel
I am tutoring a HE 15yo for GCSE at present. He will be taking his exams at a private school. I believe it's relatively straighforward to arrange but I can ask him mum if you like. I think she contacted the exams officer of the school in question.
Thanks Betelgeuse. That sounds exactly what we're looking for. I am looking at one of these in Bristol and they're being very helpful but it was more knowing what the atmosphere in this sort of place is like, so your experience of them is very helpful. I was beginning to doubt if he'd be able to take GCSEs but now we're much more hopeful. Having a goal will also help with his recovery. Where was the one you went to?
Thanks for the offer Duchesse but I've spoken to DS and he won't even go to a private school. The anxiety of being around groups of teenagers brings back memories of being bullied - I'm beginning to think that he has been misdiagnosed and it is not CFS but PTSD as I can see a marked difference in him whenever school is mentioned. Thanks for thinking of it though.
Navy, do you have a Red Balloon centre near you?
No, I think the nearest is about 90 miles away. There was a program on TV about them so I looked into it then.
May I tag on a question, which is please can someone give a link to definitive prices for IGCSE fees in 2012? I am confused by what I've found using Google.
I've found the link for the Edecxel versions here £36 for most subjects, £72 for double science. I would guess Cambridge are similar though you'd need to look round their site for the exact figures.
But what you might be seeing is the exam centre's fees - they can charge a fee for admin for an independent student. We were told it could be something like £50 admin per exam, though we were lucky that a private school in the area were happy to take DS as a candidate for no extra fee. I think some private schools are happy to do it as part of their charitable "giving back to the community" bit, but it's really up to them I'm afraid.
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