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Going to Uni at end of S5

(20 Posts)
ttlshiwwya Mon 15-Aug-16 21:08:38

Anyone's got recent experience of their kids going to university after S5 particularly to study a subject you study at school?

My middle one is keen to apply this year (spring birthday so he'll be nearly 17.5). He's wants to stay at home (to continue his sporting hobbies) and we're within an easy commute of 4 universities. His elder brother went after S6 (didn't get enough in S5 to go anyway) and is studying something you don't do at school. However he says virtually no-one goes immediately after S5 now (not even those we meet the entry requirements).

I went in S5 but that was a long time ago. I remember thinking that I wasn't so smart after all in first year however being pleasantly surprised that I was fine from second year onwards. Also I can't remember working any harder in first year than I'd done for my Highers in my first year. Plus I think there was fair number of us from S5 (but it was a large course). Has this changed now?

Interested also to hear of anyone's DCs who have gone down the HND route after S5 and then university entry direct into third year as that's a possibility also.

museumum Mon 15-Aug-16 21:10:42

Recently I've noted most students doing a gap year so making Scottish students around 19 and English even older. I think an under 18 is rarer now than it was ten years ago.

StBosco Mon 15-Aug-16 22:00:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

prettybird Mon 15-Aug-16 23:56:28

Not at all recent blush, but I went from 5th Year to St Andrews (so away from home) and despite the Uni checking that I was "more" mature (my friends were told to wait a year; I had the advantage of 2 years when we'd emigrated away/back and having to catch up both times confused) , I still struggled in my 1st year with being naive (I was 17.5 too when I started)

Don't regret it though.

Having said that, I think nowadays it would be more difficult, with more sophisticated ID and checks to guard against underage drinking. (At least at St Andrews they assumed that all the students were already 18 wink)

Ds' birthday is in September, so depending on the Uni he goes to, even if he does S6, he might still have a month "underage" hmm

Fortunately, he wants to do a 6th year, but if he didn't, I'd encourage a gap year rather than going to Uni from S5.

Going by his behaviour this evening he's definitely got more than a year's worth of growing up to do hmmwink

ttlshiwwya Tue 16-Aug-16 21:58:30

Thanks everyone. I passed on your comments and he's not put off completely. He has signed up for the ucas sessions at school and it turns out that one or two do go from S5 each year. I suspect getting the grades might be the issue. He's the smartest of my three but by far the laziest. He's got by with the minimum of effort so far but I suspect he'll need to step it up for highers.

WankersHacksandThieves Wed 17-Aug-16 08:04:39

I think nowadays it does seem the norm to do 6th year. I think over 90% of DSs school do 6th. So I think for them to leave at end of 5th for uni would feel like missing out in being the senior class, having the senior blazer and tie etc. There are only 4 pupils in DS1s year that have left at the end of 4th year!

Kr1stina Wed 17-Aug-16 14:23:27

My DD has just started 6th year. In her year of over 250 pupils , ONE left to go to uni in the summer . About a dozen left to do apprenticeships and a similar number to go to college.

The girl who left has gone to a university away from home and to study a non school subject, but related, like business studies .she was old in her year, so is now 17.5. I happen to know her well and and I think it's a big mistake. But hey ho, they didn't ask for my opinion .

DDS best friend left after 5th last year and she's done ok during first year at uni. Lives at home . I was very doubtful as she is very .....ahem...cosseted at home. She doesn't really take part in the social scene at uni , but she probably wouldn't if she had gone at 18, it's not her thing .

Dh ( who is nearly as old as pretty bird ;-) went after 5th and found it very hard, as he had not done SYS maths ( now AH maths ) and he struggled to keep up. Many of the people on his course came in at 2nd or 3rd year aftre an HND and work exerience amd of course they were streets ahead of everyone else .

Did I mention he was 16 and away from home ? Madness.

So I think it depends on lost of factors such as the age and maturity of the child , the subject and the course, will they be away from home , how much self motivation and self disciple they have etc

Kr1stina Wed 17-Aug-16 14:27:00

Forgot to say - don't even consider it if he's lazy. unless his course has masses of contact time, tutorials, labs and coursework .

He'll be lying in bed until lunchtime , telling you that he doesn't need to go in that day / week and you'll be worried sick .

ttlshiwwya Wed 17-Aug-16 19:08:28

Good point about the contact time. He's well aware of how lazy he is so I'll suggest that he choses a course that he has less ability to skive about in (my first degree with its 10 contact hours per week was definitely for the self-motivated).

His school is on the list of schools that the local universities target because of poor higher education take-up so he'll probably get some opportunities for taster sessions and a summer school. He signed up for these so I suspect that'll give him a better idea of whether to go after S5 or not.

Lidlfix Wed 17-Aug-16 20:14:56

I do UCAS mentoring for senior pupils. So much emphasis is placed on the Personal Statement and so many Unis interview or have group tasks as part of the selection process now that many S6 pupils who have attained what they needed in S5 use this as year to focus on self development .

Might be a big ask to achieve qualifications and have everything in place for a great application.

Attending open days might eat into a full S5 timetable whereas S6 usually have "enhancement options".

Kr1stina Wed 17-Aug-16 21:51:13

Lidl makes a good point. My DD is just 3 days into 6th year proper and they've already had them in meetings talking about their personal statement and asking for a draft in the next few weeks.

Then they get training in interview skills from the drama department !

Plus many of them are doing voluntary work out of school as well as peer tutoring etc

It woudl be a lot of pressure on top of 5 highers and a full timetable .

Kr1stina Wed 17-Aug-16 21:52:12

What is an enhancement option please ?

dementedma Wed 17-Aug-16 21:56:24

Ds is a January birthday so will only be 16.4 at the end of 5th year. Too young to leave IMO

prettybird Wed 17-Aug-16 22:18:38

I'm still keen for ds to go to open days in S5: to open him up to other options and to make him think more widely about potential courses and where.

crumbspenfold Wed 17-Aug-16 22:42:07

My brother went straight after 5th year and had only just turned 17 and is in his last year at glasgow, he has no regrets at all but he has always been really focused but still got the best out of uni life. My own son 4th the year thinks he will do the same. They both think why do another year of high school if you have the grades already, and my brother still got to go the 6th year prom along with others that had left for college and work.

Lidlfix Wed 17-Aug-16 23:10:38

"Enhancement options" are available to S6 pupils as they are over 16 therefore do not legally require to be in a taught learning environment.

They might be peer mentoring, sports leaders, self directed study... Young people often select choices which strength UCAS application.

Big difference doing 3 AHs and 2 enhancement options when you have bagged what you need in S5.

Totally agree with going to open days (even in S5) but have to be strategic if meant missing a double period of a subject you really needed - is it worth it?

Some schools only allow 2 per year as authorised absence as many take place at weekends too.

Kr1stina Thu 18-Aug-16 10:23:49

Thank you lidl . I'd don't know that's what they were called. DD is going to do peer mentoring as she's good with younger kids except her siblings

DD actually went to an open day at the end of 4th year ( sometime in June so school happily gave her the day off ) and it completely inspired her to do the course she's applying for .

Also there are a few open days on Saturdays - she's doing Newcastle next month and strathclyde in October.

noideanow Fri 19-Aug-16 22:49:39


My DD did it. Turned 18 in the June, started uni in the September.
I felt she should stay at school for 6th year, and have a more relaxed year before Uni, but she was determined.
She has finished 3rd year now and had done absolutely fine.

I think it really depends on the person, their ambition and their maturity, not their age.

GinandJag Sat 20-Aug-16 13:00:23

I went after fifth year (over 30 years ago, so not recent). I did it to save my parents having to pay an extra year's school fees. There were other 17 year olds there too, but I'd say the older ones found it easier.

One side of me wishes I had the extra year at school, but then I wouldn't have met DH and had my children.

ttlshiwwya Sat 20-Aug-16 22:11:27

Thanks. At last a few positive experiences.

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