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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 22:56:56

What would be the curriculum for home schooling? GCSE, A-Levels? How would she get in to an IB program without those test results?

outtolunchagain Sat 05-Jan-13 23:02:29

There are some state schools doing the IB , the ones already mentioned higher up the thread , plus I know Colchester Sixth Form college does.

GCSEs are not mandatory but if there are no extenuating circumstances , then generally UK children heading to University will take GCSEs as a step towards A levels .

Is there no possibility you could delay for a year ,this stage of education is so difficult for them to move at , even within the UK system would be difficult, as year 11 is like the culmination of secondary school, friendship groups are very settled plus there is really only 2.5 terms before study leave and exams in June and in my experience they hit the ground running in Sept and by Nov they are planning for sixth form or the next step so a very busy year .

outtolunchagain Sat 05-Jan-13 23:04:41

In the circumstances a sixth form offering the IB may look at her current results and make a judgment. I think your best bet would be to talk to one or two of the schools/ colleges about admission to IB and what level she would have to reach to be accepted onto the course

CaHoHoHootz Sat 05-Jan-13 23:35:35

Depending on your circumstances (nationalities etc) it may be a very bad idea to delay coming to the Uk due to whether or not your daughter would be classified as a home student or an international student for fee purposes. Foreign student fees are much higher. Info here

Your daughter doesnt need gcse's to get into UK Uni's, nor does she need them to be accepted on the IB diploma programme

If she has no GCSE's the IB may be more suitable as it includes maths and English.

When is your daughters birthday and roughly where do you expect to live in the UK?

We were in a similar position and came o the UK when my eldest was starting the IB at 16. He had absolutely no previous qualifications and nor did he take any extra ones over the normal IB requirements. He got several offers to study medicine and is now in his third year at Uni.

BettySuarez Sat 05-Jan-13 23:42:56

I was going to suggest letting her stay behind in the States to finish her qualifications there before coming over but yes, on second thoughts that would be disastrous in terms of Uni Fees.

EduCated Sat 05-Jan-13 23:49:50

It may be worth speaking to colleges about what they would require for her to sit the IB. Slightly different situation, but a close friend was allowed to take A Levels with only Maths and English GCSEs, having been home educated. He recently graduated with a first from a Russell Group uni and won loads of awards, jammy sod so certainly didn't hold him back only having 2.

CaHoHoHootz Sun 06-Jan-13 00:01:33

All my son needed to be accepted on the IB at our local state 6th form college was copies of some of his recent school reports. He is academic but didn't have any actual qualifications. There were other kids from overseas on his course.

MJIG Sun 06-Jan-13 00:31:03

We have dual citizenship so were are European Union members as far as Uni fees are concerned. I will see what the schools will require for her to assimilate into the GCSE or if it would be possible for her to go straight to the IB. Thank you all for your responses!

Chiff Sun 06-Jan-13 08:03:56

I just wanted to jump in to this thread to say what a great mother you are! You're taking so much care and interest in your daughter's education and how she will fit in to this complex system. I moved around the world as a child and I think my mother just gave up trying to figure out all the different education systems, and left me to it. So you are being wonderful and I am sure she will really appreciate it.

I think if your daughter is clever then she will probably be fine, after a period of adjustment. At her age, the other really important thing is making friends and fitting in (and I know from experience that can have a big effect on grades), so my advice would be to look for a school that feels right for her in more ways than just the academics.

Good luck!

Lilymaid Sun 06-Jan-13 12:07:22

University fees don't depend on citizenship but on having been ordinarily resident in the UK (or other EU state) for three years immediately before entry onto university course.

CaHoHoHootz Sun 06-Jan-13 13:44:42

Citizenship does matter if you are in the UK for less than the three years. That is why I mentioned it. As with all these things it is always best to go to the actual source of the information.

My DS went to Uni as a home fee payer despite having lived in the Uk for less than three years. I seemed to have filled out millions of forms as all the Uni's decide your fee status individually and my son didn't want to waste a Uni choice with a Uni that wasn't going to consider him a home student. There are cases of the same student being considered a home fee by one Uni and an overseas student by another Uni. Goodness knows why this isn't done by some central body.

MJIG Sun 06-Jan-13 14:14:36

Lilymaid- Yes I did read that we would need to be living in the UK for three of the previous five years to be considered eligible as a home payer so we should be ok if we move this June.
CaHoHoHootz- It seems like there will be another round of education fun to get through for Uni?
Chiff- Thank you! I am so concerned with the social aspect of this move as well. She is very involved if different activities(sports, play, music, clubs) at her school now and was hoping to continue those as well but that seems to be a whole different issue. The other confusing thing for me is the specialist school title for music, languages, science, etc. Does the average school put on plays and compete in sports?

EduCated Sun 06-Jan-13 14:34:06

In short, yes they do. Specialist status can be a bit of a red herring and is variable by school. For example, a local languages specialist school insists everyone takes a language at GCSE and offers a couple of choices, but languages are still offered at every other school. The local Sports specialist just has an extra PE lesson a week.

In essence, every school will offer music, sports, languages, drama, technology etc, but they might be slightly better resources in their specialism or it may alter the options the students are allowed to make at GCSE.

Spalva Sun 06-Jan-13 14:54:08

Dd1 is making cookies so I'll just sit here and answer you!

From what I've read it isn't wise to rely on a school's specialist status -- doesn't mean much apparently. I know it was a total and complete joke that my dd's school was a specialist science, math and computing school. Music schools seem to tend to prioritize places for music students.

Which sports does your dd do? Girls play netball (a form of basketball) here, sometimes rugby, sometimes football (soccer). It isn't like in the States. There are extra-curricular activities but often quite limited, as in "such and such club" for "Year such and such only." You could find sports clubs exterior to the school.

Drama is part of the national curriculum, if I'm not mistaken -- at least my dd had it.

lljkk Sun 06-Jan-13 15:02:40

Agree specialisms mean almost didley squat.
Any decent size secondary will do some sport & some drama.
They don't have competitive sports teams to the same extent that most American high schools do, it's not a central part of high school life.

Homeschooling a home-sick culturally shocked 16yo with no local friends and not even any siblings: sounds like Hell to me! Hope you get something sorted soon.

Spalva Sun 06-Jan-13 15:20:29

lljkk, just try it with a 12 year-old! I have searched all over the London area (Essex and Hertfordshire included) trying to find a suitable school for my dd! (same situation as OP)

She does have a 7 year-old sister to keep her company -- when she's home from school!

RiversideMum Sun 06-Jan-13 16:11:59

It may be worth thinking about putting your DD into year 10 in Sept. It is uncommon, but not impossible for a DC to be in the "wrong" school year. You could also argue that as the school start year is different in the US, that this will be more appropriate anyway.

Moving country will be stressful. Starting a new school will be stressful. Starting a school in an exam year will add to the stress. Going into Y10 means that she will be starting courses with the rest of the group and may have a better chance of developing friendships. She will have more of a chance of filling gaps (or consolidating) in knowledge. The only long term impact will be that she misses out on a year of pension - hardly a massive consideration.

IB is quite rare in the UK. If that's what you want her to do at 18, then you probably need to find a school that offers it first and work backwards from that.

CheeseStrawWars Sun 06-Jan-13 16:23:17

Would you consider commuting to London from Cambridge? Village College is a secondary school which includes an international sixth form, and they do IB so may be able to work something out.

CheeseStrawWars Sun 06-Jan-13 16:23:55

Sorry, that link again

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 06-Jan-13 16:41:01

You don't need GCSEs or any qualification at age 16 to start the IB diploma. And IB schools tend to use the calendar year instead of the September-August dates of birth - not sure if this helps or not!

CaHoHoHootz Sun 06-Jan-13 16:46:26

I am pretty sure most of the schools offering IB in the UK follow the standard uk school year.

CaHoHoHootz Sun 06-Jan-13 16:48:32

Oops, misread the last post. blush sorry

However, I still think most schools offering the IB in the UK use the UK August cutoff for entry ages IYSWIM

MJIG Sun 06-Jan-13 19:20:58

I will look at the Cambridge schools as well. Thank you

cavell Sun 06-Jan-13 21:14:27

You might not need GCSEs to do the IB per se - but schools offering IB may have their own entrance requirements based on GCSE results. (It may not be typical, but in my area, entry to a school offering IB is highly competitive and would rquire at least 6 Grade A GCSEs).

It would seem to me to be more sensible to look at the possibility of your daughter stating school in Y10.

LIZS Sun 06-Jan-13 21:18:02

I would have thought it might be possible to join Year11 but start the first year of GCSE courses if needs be so effectively be a year "behind". As a gap year after A levels/IB isn't uncommon, likewise GCSE resits in Year12, she wouldn't necessarily be out of peer group for long.

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