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Sixth Form

(12 Posts)
NotABeliever Tue 31-Oct-17 19:31:42

Hi, new to the site. DD is in Year 11 at a South Cambs Village College. So far, she’s expected to achieve all 7s and a couple of 8s at GCSE.
Can anyone recommend a Sixth Form college south of the city or in the centre of town apart for Hills Road (our first choice) obviously? We’ve ruled out Comberton and Impington because they’re too far. How about the Stephen Perse Sixth Form? How difficult is it to get in?
Any experiences of Long Road, Netherhall and UTC? She’s hoping to take Maths and two sciences at A-Level.

BringOnTheScience Tue 31-Oct-17 21:35:40

The open evenings are all happening now, so get out there and visit as many as you can.

UTC , now Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology, has superb facilities for sciences. Classes are small. The 'Challenge Projects' with local industries are excellent. It got a proper kicking from Ofsted a year ago for admin issues but that's been transformed since they joined Parkside Federation.

Is it definitely A levels that she wants? Parkside does the IB. Centre of town so v v handy for bus routes. Your DD could do 2 sciences and maths at Higher level, plus English, a humanity and a foreign language at Standard level. Small classes and very much focused on the individual student. IB students do very well at Uni. They do need to be very organised and self-motivated as the workload is high ... but the courses are fab.

Hills is Hills. Massive machine! Suits some, and undoubtedly gets the job done on grades, but too big for individual attention.

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 01-Nov-17 13:35:51

I assume you are aware that Stephen Perse is independent (fee paying). Her grades would be good enough to get in there or at The Perse which is another option if looking at independents.

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 01-Nov-17 13:36:45

Oops posted too soon. I just mentioned that because it looked a bit incongruous amongst the others you mentioned.

NotABeliever Wed 01-Nov-17 19:15:36

Thanks for the replies.
IB not an option unfortunately. She's got her mind set on A Levels.
Good to hear positives about UTC, we'd nearly ruled it out because of the below-average exams results.
We're considering independent schools too. Please keep the comments coming!

grumpysquash3 Wed 01-Nov-17 20:59:47

Are you worried that she won't get into Hills, if it's your first choice?
Her grades sound really good, if she gets those she'll easily get into Hills.

NotABeliever Wed 01-Nov-17 21:33:49

She has to put down three options so we're trying to decide the other two as well as considering private Sixth Forms as an alternative to Hills Road if she gets the grades.

BringOnTheScience Wed 01-Nov-17 21:52:48

UTC's early intakes were often of the pupils that other schools were keen to get rid of :-(. Not all of course, but a disproportionately high number of 'challenging' pupils. As time passes, the results will improve and improve as their intake better fits the specialism of the school.

Cambridgemumm Wed 01-Nov-17 23:07:16

You're right to make sure you've a back up for Hills. The actual grades they require are often significantly higher than they claim on their website (mostly As/7s rather than Bs as they claim, especially for sciences)

DS did make it to Hills in the end. But we had Long Road as a second choice, which looked good. It's similarly big to Hills, with lots going on etc. Staff were very friendly. Netherhall I think is OK, but pretty small with most of the kids having been there since Y7. Not sure it would be that much fun to join at sixth form, unless your DD finds large colleges scary.

The Perse and Stephen Perse both have a reasonable number joining for sixth form I think. The Perse allow/encourage 4 subjects in Y12, dropping to 3 for most during Y13. It's a big lively school with loads going on, but does treat the sixth formers very much like younger pupils (strict dress code, compulsory assemblies, daily registration, etc) They have a lot more freedom at Hills, though also less teaching. I know less about the Stephen Perse.

NotABeliever Thu 02-Nov-17 08:48:36

Thank you Cambridgemumm. Very useful info and the sort of first hand experiences we'd like to hear. smile

Tingalingle Thu 02-Nov-17 16:21:36

It depends on the child, the subject and the groups they end up in.

DS1 went to Comberton 6th - very supportive, and he did very well there, but I see you've ruled it out on distance (fair enough).

DS2 went to Hills and got rather lost and dispirited, though he did think the English teaching there was great. Friends with an academic but reserved daughter have also called it a bit of a soulless machine. On the other hand DS2's bosom pal started at Parkside 6th, switched to Hills Road and loved it.

Of friends at Long Road, I can think of two who absolutely blossomed there with unexpectedly good A-levels, and one who floundered and retook the year elsewhere.

user1483732237 Sat 04-Nov-17 23:08:23

Cambridge UTC was rated inadequate by OFSTED: 6 months later it was apparently good, Results remain less than impressive -see DfE 2017 provisional GCSE results. Education is NOT about shiny, expensive buildings. Little evidence to suggest that the type of pupils a UTC is going to attract is going to change. Interesting to note that Cambridge UTC has dropped the toxic UTC from its name!!

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