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Uni admission people? changing school for sixth form.

(11 Posts)
maddiemostmerry Fri 26-Aug-11 18:07:09

Hi my ds attends a super selective Grammar. He hasn't been very happy there and is seriously considering applying to one of the local comps attended by his brothers for his A levels.

The pastoral care at his school is weak, the teachers don't seem to know the children or have any real interest in them beyond exam grades. The comps attended by his brothers are double the size yet the staff have a far more personable relationship with the children.

My dh and I feel he should stick it out where he is. I am worried that if he changes school it may be seen as an attempt by him to play the system or that uni admission may feel he has been asked to leave the super selective.
He feels that he would like to attend a more caring school and I can certainly understand that but am worried about him leaving a school with such a good reputation.
We didn't attend uni so this is all new to us and looking at other threads I feel worried about letting him down as it seems such a mine field.

Any advice welcomesmile

exoticfruits Fri 26-Aug-11 19:17:42

Lots of DCs change school for the 6th form. I would go for it. If asked, which I doubt, he can explain his reasons. It can be a school with a wonderful reputatation, but it isn't much use if it isn't the best for him.
The 6th form at the comprehensive will be fine-any DCs who are difficult will have left and numbers will be much smaller.He will probably blossom-another 2 yrs is a long time in a place you are not happy in.

maddiemostmerry Fri 26-Aug-11 19:51:42

Thanks exotic.

senua Fri 26-Aug-11 20:35:30

Has he spoken to sixthformers at the Grammar? Sometimes teachers have a different/better relationship with 6thform from their relationship with the lower school.

One of the things you have to be careful about is that if you change then you have to start from scratch. You are no longer on a level playing field to be chosen as Head Boy, prefect, member of the First Team, Debating team, lead part in the play, etc etc. Obviously, if he was never in the running for anything like this then it doesn't matter.

maddiemostmerry Fri 26-Aug-11 21:40:27

Thanks Senua. You have both given me things to discuss with ds

exoticfruits Fri 26-Aug-11 21:49:17

Have you asked how much change there is generally? Often pupils swap into grammar school at that stage- or out. If it is single sex they often decide they want co ed.
You don't say which year he is in. I am assuming year 10 at the moment? senua has a sensible post-worth thinking about.
I swapped into a grammar for 6th form and it does take a while to settle and get used to different systems. 6th form at any school is a very different experience from lower down.
You say that pastoral care is weak-does this mean that he doesn't have a personal/form tutor to discuss it with? It might be worth having a chat with the Head of 6th form early in the term

kla73 Fri 26-Aug-11 21:59:58

I changed schools at 16 due to relocation. There were several new students in the sixth form so although I wasn't immune to the fact that many of my year group had been together from the first year but I wasn't alone. It may be worth investigating how many new students join the comp in the 6th form. I was a prefect in the lower sixth and a senior prefect in the upper sixth. Head girl eluded me! The point I'm trying to make is that I wasn't overlooked for these roles because I was new. If he's not happy where he is I would really consider it.

exoticfruits Fri 26-Aug-11 22:15:43

People who started new in the grammar school 6th form with me got picked for the first team, prefects etc. I was very shy and not sporty and hated to be in the limelight, so wouldn't have been chosen for things anywhere.
Does the grammar school 6th form do much in the way of extra curricular? Does he do much out of school? It is something he needs to start thinking about for his personal statement. If he has a lot outside then the school opportunities are not important. Although I wasn't chosen for prefect, plays etc- I did quite a bit in 6th form in the community and as librarian etc.
Find out about the 6th form at the comp. You can get information without committing yourself. They must have a web site and a separate prospectus. Are there other possibilities? Sixth form colleges etc?

senua Fri 26-Aug-11 23:16:45

What are his subjects for A Level btw? Some subjects vary wildly between exam boards so he may find that he wants to move anyway for that reason. Science subjects tend to be pretty much the same but something like History (could be History of medicine or study of WWII), RE (could be Bible Studies or could be more Philosophy based) or English (totally different set texts) depend very much on the teacher's choice of exam board. Check the syllabus carefully.

Ponders Fri 26-Aug-11 23:20:00

my DS also went to a super-selective grammar and was 'encouraged' to leave after Y11 due to a - er - personality clash with certain tossers senior members of staff

he went to a 6th form college in another town & his uni admission has not been affected at all.

HTH smile

maddiemostmerry Sat 27-Aug-11 11:33:12

Thanks very much for all the advice.

Ds2 is hoping to study sciences and maths.

He is quite shy so I don't think he would want to chosen for anything.

Senua, I will check the syallbus, thank you. He is considering History as his AS.I

We already have boys at two local comps and the vibe at these schools is so different to the one my ds attends. Ds2 school is tiny yet I have sat through parents evenings where it is quite obvious the teacher doesn't know who he is. I know he is quiet but the school is very small.

Ponders, it's nice to know your son went to similar and everything worked out.

I think we will look at all available schools and certainly have a chat with the head of sixth form he currently attends.

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