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Moving from the US to the UK

(151 Posts)
MJIG Fri 04-Jan-13 14:59:49

We will be moving to the London from the US with our daughter who will be starting year 11 in September. Can anyone offer advice on state schools? I understand that she would be entering a school in the middle of the GCSE years so I am looking for information on what type of school would help her assimilate best into the UK system. We would like her to move on to the IB diploma.

MJIG Sat 05-Jan-13 18:01:06

I think her global studies is what we called world civilisation back when I was in school. This is how her school describes the class: This class is an exploration of the histories and cultures of the peoples of Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America from ancient times to modern day. An emphasis is placed on studying the effects of intercultural exchanges among the people of these many different nations
In the US we teach the sciences and maths in a linear form. She must take algebra, the following year geometry, following year algebra 2 and final year of high school calculus. Science is biology, following year chemistry, following year physics

ggirl Sat 05-Jan-13 18:03:46

so a mix of history/geography and politics?? is it for one year ?

ohfunnyhoneyface Sat 05-Jan-13 18:03:59

Global studies sounds like a mixture of geography and history.

MJIG Sat 05-Jan-13 18:18:05

Ggirl- yes, it is for one year

NewYearBlues Sat 05-Jan-13 18:25:24

You can do combined science gcse, of either 2 our 3d disciplines, but I believe brighter students trend to do then desperately as, obviously, they go into greater depth if studied individually.

I don't think there's any subject which approximates global studies unfortunately and over here english language and literature (two separate subjects) are both compulsory I believe...language definitely is anyway.

Maths is a combined subject, so she would be expected to do a wider range of aspects, but possibly to a lower standard/level.

nannyof3 Sat 05-Jan-13 18:39:58

The GCSE 's that are completed in year 11, have a rounded up score from the previous year , year 10... So if she done only year 11 work, her rounded GCSE marks would be very low, she would be entered into lower grades d downwards

MJIG Sat 05-Jan-13 18:45:58

Do students pick their own classes for GCSE?

creamteas Sat 05-Jan-13 19:04:46

Some classes (like English, Maths, Science) are compulsory and some are choices.

Each school has slight variations as to what they have to do and how many choices they have.

ggirl Sat 05-Jan-13 19:06:02

they can pick some but must do eng lang/eng lit/maths/sciences and some schools have compulsory languages etc

dd had to do french /spanish/ IT as well as it was a language specialist school ( another minefield for you grin )

quirrelquarrel Sat 05-Jan-13 19:34:53

It would be a real pity for an American grade-A student to get GCSE D grades, because she will have to declare them in all likelihood when applying for uni, and will be unnecessarily discouraging Must she do the exams? Apart from the grade thing, I would find it incredibly frustrating moving to the GCSE system- I found it very stifling and restrictive myself and I've had time to get used to it!.....eleven years of state school......

Loshad Sat 05-Jan-13 19:40:14

you do not need to worry about her peers having done part of their exams, the y11 for next academic year will be the first for many years to do totally linear exams, ie all the exams are in may/june at end of y11. She will need to do some coursework, but most schools will offer that in y11.

Lilymaid Sat 05-Jan-13 19:49:05

If there is any chance of being able to pay for one year's schooling, I'd recommend that she went to somewhere like CCSS or MPW for Y11 and then on to a local (non-fee paying) school for Sixth form/IB.

lljkk Sat 05-Jan-13 19:49:48

American Uni wouldn't require her to declare all previous grades, our system allows for as many resits as we like and we only submit the results we want to.

Global studies will have very little geography in it as English recognise Geography.

Spalva Sat 05-Jan-13 20:14:12

Disclaimer: Haven't read all the replies yet (but I will).

We just did this. We moved from Lithuania where dd1 was at a very small private international school because we were still considered expatriates and our organization was helping to pay for it.

The transition to the British was a disaster. Granted, she went into a large comprehensive (the equivalent of a big public high school in the States...except she's only 12 years old, as around London there are no middle schools). The systems are vastly different and, quite frankly, so are the children.

There are a couple of state-run IB schools but they are quite full. We are currently on the waiting list for one of them. One is in Essex, east of London, and one is in the north at Bishop's Stortford (but that one is even fuller than the one in Essex and it currently does not have a place in Year 11).

Would love to chat about your experiences or give you tips on finding areas, adjusting, etc. I've only been here since August but I've done a lot since then -- even did a school appeal (where you beg them for a place they don't have!). It can be frustrating when we're used to just going down to the nearest school and enrolling the kids in a few minutes.

Spalva Sat 05-Jan-13 20:27:20

I really think Anglo European is the school for you. I would talk to them (fantastic people!) and see what they say. They have plenty of experience with students from abroad.

I live two stations away. Ingatestone does not have loads of rental properties so you may have to look in Shenfield or Brentwood, though I do not recommend it as there is almost nothing to do outside of going to school -- besides spending a fortune on the train to London! These towns are an easy commute to Aldgate, though. Dh does that commute and it's very easy.

Kids are very independent here and take the train to school from age 11, in case you were wondering.

forevergreek Sat 05-Jan-13 20:43:42

Gcses subjects generally have compulsory then choices. Usually everyone must do Maths, English language, English lit, double or triple science ( triple gives more choices), one humanity ( geography/ history/ region) and a modern foreign language. Then depending on the school they usually pick 3-5 other subjects such as arts/ drama/ Ict/ more languages or more humanities

You generally need a b level or above at gcse to continue the subject at the next level

MJIG Sat 05-Jan-13 21:02:14

I just sent a private message

OhYouBadBadKitten Sat 05-Jan-13 21:13:28

Could she sit her GED before she leaves so that she has something to bring to the UK with her, then talk to schools about doing fewer GCSEs so she can concentrate on them and get good grades? With the combination you might find some sympathetic schools. Some schools go up to the age of 18 and those are ones I would approach to start with to see if they would entertain this idea.

LIZS Sat 05-Jan-13 21:15:55

Is this a permanent move ? Would she want to go to a UK university ?

MJIG Sat 05-Jan-13 21:28:29

LIZS-This is a permanent move and would possibly be attending a UK university.

MJIG Sat 05-Jan-13 21:31:29

OhYouBadBadKitten- I don't think the GED is comparable to the GCSE. The GED is taken by high school dropouts so I don't think that would be something helpful to bring to the UK.

OhYouBadBadKitten Sat 05-Jan-13 22:16:26

True, but cos the gcse is for 16/17 year olds and I think the GED is equivalent to graduating high school, the UK might see it as a helpful qualification.

Will pm you with another idea.

BettySuarez Sat 05-Jan-13 22:34:18

Very tricky situation, we almost relocated to US. Our daughters had just sat their GCSE's (completed year 11) but still would have had to completed at least one year of senior high I think.

Could you forget GCSE'S altogether? Maybe start her on the first year of an AS level so that she can start working towards her A Levels and Uni Entry?

MJIG Sat 05-Jan-13 22:43:24

BettySuarez- Are the GCSE's not mandatory?

MrsSchadenfreude Sat 05-Jan-13 22:49:10

I would home ed for a year and then send her somewhere that does the IB diploma. If she gets this, she won't need anything else and you can forget GCSEs, AS levels etc. We are likely to be in your situation come the summer, and I have researched schools which do the IB MYP, but in the UK they are all fee paying. I think we are just going to have to bite the bullet and go for it as DD1 will be starting year 10 in September.

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