Moving to take Scottish highers after GCSEs

(11 Posts)
ExamFatigue Fri 03-Jun-16 18:36:34

I would be really grateful for advice from anyone who has done this. We are planning to relocate to Edinburgh due to my husbands work, but I am concerned about DS1 who is currently completing his GCSEs in England. He would go into S5 in September and then sit highers the following May as his main university entrance qualifications.

DS1 has some educational issues and qualifies for extra time, but has been doing reasonably well at school recently after a few difficult years until we worked out what the problems were. I am really concerned about the impact of moving him at such a critical stage in his education from one education system to another. Are the syllabus's similar for GCSEs and Nationals?

Has anyone else done this, did it work out OK? We could at a stretch put him into a private school which follows the English system with A levels, would this be a better option? Any advice gratefully received as I am increasingly worried we are taking chances with his education and should not move till he is through school though this would mean prolonged commuting for DH as the two younger DC will then be at difficult stages to move.

Thanks for any advice with this!

Buckeyedjim Fri 03-Jun-16 20:57:44

Hello, hope the move goes well for you. Firstly don't send him to S5 in September! The course starts in June, often some will join when we go back (mid August) but you really need to be there as early as possible. No idea how similar courses might be. If you have the stomach for it (and the time!) course descriptions are all on the SQA website, you could do comparisons. But there will be options so that one school might pick something slightly different than the one down the road. Your son can get extra time etc here, but only you know if the actual moving will hold him back or if he'll take to it like a duck to water.

ExamFatigue Sat 04-Jun-16 10:43:17

Thanks, that is really helpful and agree we would need to make the move for August. Will check the course descriptions on the website, thanks. Have spoken to a few schools in Edinburgh and they say it 'should be fine'. But, I am really not so sure and worry that a school move will have a huge impact on DS anyway even without the switch in systems and the rush to cover the Higher syllabus in two terms. Lots to think about.

Buckeyedjim Sat 04-Jun-16 10:55:57

It's not really a rush though as it is designed to be done in one year. Of course he could do them (or more) in S6 as well. Or look into the private option, just for those two years.

Buckeyedjim Sat 04-Jun-16 10:59:11

If you could speak to the head of additional support for learning in the schools it would probably help you make up your mind. Have realised your ds will be going into S6 not S5 so ignore earlier comment! I suspect he will be more prepared in some ways than most from my experience of both systems.

Groovee Sat 04-Jun-16 11:24:47

Another option would be for your son to do his highers at college instead of starting a new school.

ExamFatigue Sat 04-Jun-16 17:32:40

Thanks very much for your posts Buck, DS is going into S5. Good thought about college but I think he would be better in a school environment. The heads of learning support in the schools we have spoken to say he can get what he needs in terms of computer, extra time etc but it is the shift to a Higher syllabus having done GCSEs rather than Nationals which worries me and will there be large gaps in his knowledge that he will struggle to fill in the timescale till next May. Maybe we should also look at e.g. Loretto who follow the english system. I just don't know!

Buckeyedjim Sat 04-Jun-16 17:44:16

Do you know what he wants to study?

ExamFatigue Sat 04-Jun-16 17:55:53

Not sure but would take a spread of the usual highers. If stayed in English system would be physics or maths, english and history A levels.

Buckeyedjim Sat 04-Jun-16 18:14:52

Ok so things like History you could crash (do without having done the same for National 5) but I think Maths and Physics you couldn't. Some will build on actual content covered, whereas with others you just need the skills and will be doing different content anyway. If you can run to a private school, a cheaper option could be to hire tutors in his exam subjects.

ExamFatigue Sun 05-Jun-16 14:46:17

Thanks, plan to look at syllabuses for National 5's compared to the GCSEs he is currently sitting to see if similar.

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