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Y7 and already done GCSE and A level Maths

(77 Posts)
Sally65 Sat 29-Jun-13 13:20:40

I am tremendously frustrated about not being able to find a suitable school for my DD aged 12. She was last in school at Christmas of Y2 but she stopped going due to refusal over boredom. Funny thing is her teacher at that point did not think she was at all smart since my daughter's boredom was so intense she just switched off entirely. Anyway, I let her stay home and play and then decided when she was turning 11 to get her caught up for secondary. In just 4 months doing no more than 30 minutes a day and working alone, my daughter completed the whole GCSE maths syllabus and begged me to let her take the exam. I reluctantly let her and she scored an A star this past January still aged 11. Then she studied by herself for A level maths and did C1, C2 and C3 and has probably done very well since he was getting 95% + on past papers. Her ability and standard in all subjects is very high. However, I cannot find any suitable school for her - no local school will accelerate her. I am a single mother in a difficult financial situation so I cannot afford the private sector. We live in NW London. Any ideas please.

OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 02-Jul-13 12:33:19

I do admit we are bloody fortunate.

richmal Tue 02-Jul-13 12:25:53

Kitten If that were our experience with schools, that is the course we would take aswell.
It seems from the OP, others have had the same as us.

OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 02-Jul-13 10:32:53

I don't know what the schools are like in your area, round here lots don't have 6th forms and we specifically chose one that did, partly because it has teachers that routinely teach to a higher level but also they have links to local unis that can help out - dds school has been great at talking to our nearest uni about her.

OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 02-Jul-13 10:26:56

Some schools are much better at handling this.

Dd goes to a comp. She is off curriculum for maths, even though she sits in the class with her peers. Instead she is given a wide range of problems that can be looked at and explored really in depth. Often these problems take her sideways through interesting maths in quite an unpredictable way.

We did talk extensively and have done for many years about putting her in for her gcse and then a level but we can't see the point. The exams shouldn't be barriers that mean you can't learn more until you've done them. Instead she will sit them with her peers and in the mean time she will develop deep skills and become a mathematician, rather than someone who is good at maths.

Taking this route keeps her with her peer groups for other subjects too. She is top of all of her academic classes (practical subjects not so much!) but that doesn't mean to say that she's not learning. She's learning loads because her teachers encourage her to use critical thinking and at home she uses resources to look at things more in depth.

Yes, she probably could be hothoused and could have been one of these kids who go to uni super early but what would that achieve? Our main hope for her is that she grows up happy with good friends, is resilient to lifes knocks and can achieve whatever she would like to when the time comes.

The above is not meant as a stealth boast. It is dds life and her hard work, not mine! grin I just wanted to illustrate that there is another path than the early exam route that may well work well (will come back to you in a decade and report back grin

richmal Tue 02-Jul-13 07:30:03

In answer to the question; Why take GCSE early? I can only give my reason. I am tired of going into schools and being told dd is not as advanced as I think. At least with the paper to prove it, dd will not have to sit throgh lessons being taught what she can already do.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Jul-13 21:58:25


I have only been H.edding our dd this school year but our LA asked me for a list of resources I'd be using and then they ask for an annual report, this is basically the same as the previous year unless anything drastic changes.
If they feel your dc aren't receiving an education of course they can step in, but cases are very few and far between and they need pretty concrete evidence to suggest this. My own dd does a lot of music practice, maths, English, Science, history etc, just not the same as school.

Honestyisbest Mon 01-Jul-13 21:49:44

I am with xylem8 on this. what is the benefit of accelerating GCSEs beyond a year? There is so much more to raising a happy, successful adult. I know a couple of kids locally who have been accelerated and they have ended up struggling socially because their peers can't relate to them. One in particular always tries to chat to the adults instead of any kids around his age, it's a bit sad, even though his IQ is truely amazing and obvious as soon as he speaks. I would definitely broaden your child's education and experience and relax about exams.
Someone earlier posted re comprehensives and have to say the large comp I went to did a great job with the super bright.

xylem8 Mon 01-Jul-13 20:32:37

When my DS2 started at grammar school there were 2 yr7 children, just in his class, who had already done GCSE maths.I think it is getting more and more common.They haven't done anything special with these kids though.I think they work on an OU foundation course in the library in maths lessons
I don't think a reputable school would accelerate kids more than a year.I just can't see how it would end well.
I think your DD needs to broaden her interests

piprabbit Mon 01-Jul-13 19:18:07

Have you had a look at the Potential Plus website? There is a membership fee to join, but they seem to have lots of informed posters and information sheets and I'm sure you'll find people who have had similar experiences.

hardboiled Mon 01-Jul-13 19:09:29

Thank you morethan I had not idea it was like that. I thought the state kept a close eye and you had to show proof of progress etc, because of mandatory education till 16 and all that.

vess the cellist who won BBC young musician last year was, I think, flexi schooling... it has to be agreed by the school.

vess Mon 01-Jul-13 18:39:41

Is flexi-schooling possible at secondary level?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Jul-13 17:59:04


Many people assume you have to formally teach your child if you H.ed, some believe you have to teach certain subjects.
personally, I think Maths and English is important but practical application is more important to us than say classroom based resources.
It is possible to fit this around work if you so desire.
You are allowed to teach your children what you like because the law states it is the responsibility of a parent to educate their child either through school or elsewhere. h.ed is the elsewhere and parents take full responsibility for their childs education. There is very little interaction between the state and H.ed parents, especially in terms of subjects, resources and assessment for which you are pretty much on your own after opting out of the system

hardboiled Mon 01-Jul-13 16:34:40

Not untrue as far as I know re bursaries.
And yes, I did make an assumption based on the OP mentioning she took her DD out of school in y2 and the DD stayed home playing for years. Maybe she has help or a grandmother to sit but I don't know anyone caring for their child full time while also working full time , not even from home because the point if you decide to homeschool is to be teaching and sharing activities with your child, meeting other h.e. groups, going to museums, etc. That to me would already be a full time job.
Re the playing, I also didn't know it was legal to take your child out of school and not start a proper h.e. program with them? I am not against it, quite the contrary in some cases, but surprised it is allowed.

OhYouBadBadKitten Mon 01-Jul-13 10:33:05

Project Euler looks brilliant - thank you smile

richmal Mon 01-Jul-13 08:27:31

Project Euler looks really interesting. Thanks for the link.

sashh Mon 01-Jul-13 04:41:55

The day she turns 14 she can go to an FE college and take A Levels. There is also ring-fenced funding for home ed students.

At this stage go for breadth, has she tried project Euler? It has maths puzzles some of which have established solutions, some of which have not.

You are allowed to use a computer, but only if yo program it yourself.

There have been a couple of children who have gone to uni at your dd's age, it doesn't seem to end well.

Maths and Languages are subjects that some children can accelerate in, but it doesn't (or rarely) happens in humanities and social sciences.

What does she want to do?

Could she do further maths by distance learning? Or maybe an OU course?

Obviously I don't know you or your daughter but she would be well advised to take English and Science GCSE and another 3 or 4 - it makes life easier if you have the magic 5.

Do esquire about bursaries / scholarships but if that doesn't work think about college.

GTbaby Mon 01-Jul-13 00:57:21

I don't know if this gas been mention. I work in a regular comp. we had a year 7 student join a gcse class and do his exam early. He then went on to do AS level in year 8.
We have quite a few students do MFL exams early. We are a regular comp, but as teachers we cater to gifted students.
Maybe get in touch with your best local comp schools and see what they can offer? Maybe one with a 6th form so there are teachers with expertise to the level she needs.

mikulkin Mon 01-Jul-13 00:33:38

I agree with Icantotallydance - it is all about how you pitch this. Give a call to independent schools (even to the ones you talked already) and explain how smart your daughter is. I would also write an email to them and attach her results from GCSE etc. All these schools are interested in smart kids who can increase their rating and they would be very interested in her once they realize her capabilities.
I wouldn't send her to Christ Hospital even though they do provide generous bursaries - I think she will get bored there too.
Just don't take "no" for an answer straightaway and reiterate your points. My DS is not half as smart as your DD is but he is pretty smart. We were late with the application for one of the schools we wanted to apply to and they sent us a formal reply saying that we are late. I didn't take no for an answer and sent back to them all the offers he got so far and his results on exams and said that we would really appreciate a chance even though we are late. They came back within 2 days confirming they will consider us. Everything is possible when your child is smart.

ThreeBeeOneGee Sun 30-Jun-13 22:14:27

DS2 goes to Masterclasses run by Tomorrow's Achievers. We pay half the cost of the class but I think full cost is covered for those with low incomes. The last one he went to (Maths) was in Northwood and he's going to one in Pinner soon. I don't remember them asking us what school he attended, so might be open to HE children.

Sally65 Sun 30-Jun-13 20:22:41

Thanks to everyone for the excellent suggestions.

The Royal Institution Maths Materclasses were recommended to me a few weeks ago and I called them about it, but they told me they do not accept home ed kids. I am really torn between HE and a very good school. I want the best for my DD>

morethanpotatoprints Sun 30-Jun-13 19:29:15


I just wanted to inform you that you don't need a school for the things you suggest. Most dc access this type of socialisation outside school. mine does anyway grin

morethanpotatoprints Sun 30-Jun-13 19:24:46

I think there was a sp talking about this on a H.ed thread not long ago. She was asking about the possibilities.
Some people do work shifts and have child minders as well as H.ed
One of the joys is that you can learn at any time and don't need to do specific hours or subjects.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 30-Jun-13 17:05:53

Talkin not really. OP could work in the evenings whilst someone sits....or from home.

bruffin Sun 30-Jun-13 15:57:28

As she already has the maths, the other few subjects she would need for uni entrance could easily be done at home*

She may be taking maths early but that will not qualify her for university. Universities like to see a group of A levels taken together in one year, to prove you can handle the work load

Talkinpeace Sun 30-Jun-13 15:44:18

Sorry but its a perfectly reasonable assumption.
As per the OP, a single mum who has been home educating for 4 years is not likely to be going out to work all day.

School is not just about lessons. Its about socialising, learning how to read the thoughts of strangers, how to fit in, how to achieve other than what parents want.
I know I cannot give my children all the breadth and reach of learning they need.
Many HE parents think they can.
OP has realised she cannot.

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