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do you know any good college for A level retake?

(12 Posts)
cloud7 Fri 29-Jul-11 10:58:22

Hello Mums
I am wondering if you can share any tips for a decent retake college in London.
My S grades are AAAB at AS, he got five rejections this year and only when I finally read the UCAS reference from the school I realised how petty and nasty a school can be. He has gone from an independent to a state school in the 6th Form. I was even thinking of taking the whole reference thing to a laywer or write to Ofsted. I feel really cheated that he did not have a fair chance to compete for Oxford among other students going for the same subject. As it stands even if he ends with the right grades he cannot go to university this year as the places for his subject have gone. I was wondering if the way forward was to enroll in a college, do another A level and get new reference which is what he needs. I will not consider going back to this horrible place and trusting them with the writing of reference again.
Please advise!

concretefeet Fri 29-Jul-11 11:35:10


Jamillalliamilli Fri 29-Jul-11 11:56:38

Not sure what could be written in a reference that would stop a student being selected for interview, but I may be being naïve.
Are you sure the competition for those uni’s isn’t so high as to disadvantage all but the exceptional? Has he talked to them about what they’re looking for from applicants?

Son’s already been warned by the uni he’d like, that he thinks he’s a ‘fit’ for, that they’ll be massively over applied to by students with a minimum of 3x A*s +1A, many of whom will be full fee paying overseas students. Because of this, they look at I/GCSE levels to differentiate, and that uni advised him to resit his IGCSE maths as his A that I was chuffed to bits for him, could turn out not to be enough! (Arghhh!)

We’re home educating which might not suit you, but consequently son will be presenting references from somewhere other than a school. Just a thought.

Other thing I’d look at is what he could do with some of that time that would make him stand out.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 29-Jul-11 14:52:34

I went to Mander Portman.
You will never see it in anybody's CV
but when I was there we had people from EVERY top school in the UK.
And we all had an absolute blast, got barred from loads of pubs
grew up
and got the A level grades we needed to get on the courses we wanted.

It was expensive, and my parents resented paying VAT on the fees, but it was the right thing.

jgbmum Fri 29-Jul-11 17:24:04

How dreadful for your DS.
Would it be possible to get a second reference lined up and try for clearing? Sorry I don't know if this is possible, - but it seems a shame to give up on his uni dreams for this year, especially if his A2 results live up to his AS grades.

Perhaps his original school might be able to give an academic reference?

cloud7 Fri 29-Jul-11 20:52:22

Thank you all very much for your support. Yes often parents exaggerate and think the world about the abilities of their children but in any case his GCSEs were 6 A* and 5 A which although not the best of the best he is still on the good side for someone who also had a life and a laugh!
I will find out about the mpw it may be a solution.
Thanks again I will let you know after the results day ..... but in the meantime the moral of the story is never to uproot your child from his independent school as the bullying is not always from other kids but may sometimes come from teachers!
Thanks again for taking the time to help

javo Sat 30-Jul-11 11:32:30

cloud7 - Rejection with great grades depends where and what applied for. My DD had the same Gcse results as your son and the same at AS results with predicted A*'s for the A2's but was rejected by Oxford (after interview), Bristol and Durham this year and that was for Geography! She had lots of voluntary work, DofE, national level sport etc. At open days at her 2 offer unis (Sussex and Southampton) I met other parents in the same predicament and some had been to the top public schools as well and my DD has talked to many on the student room with the same problem- great results not reflected by offers received - its heartbreaking.

We asked for feedback from the unis but they just said "competition tough" - lots with top grades etc etc. Most standard unis don't even look at the personal statement and references and just give out offers based on the predicted results apparently. For the top/most competitive places you need to have done something to make you stand out from the crowd of all A*which is related to the subject - lots of extra reading on a particular area that genuinely enthuses you and that you can talk about, a project or field trip or work/voluntary experience etc. I think my DD fell down here as she had originally planned to do medicine and so all her experiences were geared to that but got cold feet and switched and so didn't have a special geography experience.
Be careful about resits - all the medicine days we went to said they wouldn't consider candidates with resits outside the standard 2 year A level period.

jgbmum Sat 30-Jul-11 13:43:39

I think the universities do read the PS and the references.
My DS did well in his GCSEs (5xA* and 3xA) but not as well as either example above. However, his PS had some good work experience and DS got offers from all 5 unis he applied to (didn't apply to Oxbridge though).
He was also careful to include Unis with a range of entry requirements from A*AA -ABB

Smum99 Sun 31-Jul-11 11:39:13

Where did he apply, what subject? If you do feel the reference is unfair then make a complaint as it will be followed up. However I would back up what others are saying - The competition for Uni's is unprecedented - they have a pool of students with A*, relevant work experience, PS and references so rejection could be a mixture of where he applied and chosen subject.

donethis4timesover Mon 03-Aug-15 12:03:04

There are lots of sixth form colleges in London that are excellent at getting kids through their exams with the minimum of fuss.
One of mine went to Duff Miller and she loved all the individual attention - lots of exam practice and help with her UCAS form.
I will always be grateful that she got into medical school after a year with them and I don't think she would have if she hadn't had their help.
I've heard Lansdowne College is good too.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 03-Aug-15 12:45:51

Coming a little late, but CCSS in Cambridge.

happygardening Mon 03-Aug-15 17:24:26

This thread was started in 2011 I suspect the OP has sorted out the problem!

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