6th Form Open Evenings....(28 Posts)
DS1 is in Year 11 and will be doing the rounds of local 6th forms.
What questions should we be asking?
He's currently at a comprehensive school but we will be looking at grammar 6th Forms.
One local grammar runs the Ibac course too. DS wants to take A levels in Maths, Chemistry and Physics with a view to a degree in Chemical Engineering. Would the Ibac be relevant to this?
International Baccalaureate is not good for science / engineering as its too humanities based - it is instead of A levels, not as well as
if he's moving schools, the 'feel' will be the most important
round here its colleges and the 'mood' is the main difference between the top three ....
How many new students come and how will he fit in? Any trips/extra-curricular stuff and how might he get involved? How much support for career paths and uni choices? Where do they spend free periods/lunchtime?
Thanks, am putting all these questions in my handy notebook!
If he is considering moving from coed to single sex then I would ask very closely about any shared activities with local girls' grammar.
Some are very close and share some lessons, drama, external trips, others very separate (in which case he may need to be the type of child who is meeting/socialising with girls through other activities/parties etc if you want him to have this).
Some single sex grammars were very cagey about this and in fact there weren't really any links to speak of.
What are the applied modules studied as part of A-level Maths? Mechanics, statistics and decision maths are available, but students only do two out of three (or rarely one out of three but to a greater depth) and schools usually don't offer a choice. If he is doing chemical engineering, make sure the maths includes mechanics.
We did the rounds last year for DD1, now yr12 and very happy with her move.
We did come across some quite vast differences between the Physics Syllabus that were on offer, so it may be worth questioning if you have a preference as some more mathematical than others.
Also what Noblegiraffe says re the maths modules. Of 8 schools we considered, only 2 offered a choice (between M1 and S1 ) at the outset. The others all did S1 in yr12, then a choice of S2, M1 or D1 in yr13.
Possibly less of an issue if your DS is intending to take further maths too, as that will include the M modules.
If he isn't taking further maths, dies he have a 4th subject choice yet?
Important to check fir likely clashes if option blocks used. and if they are not used, when time tabling decided to ensure options fit, relevant if 4th subject something less usually combined with sciences.
Also, don't forget, you can apply to as many as you like, and hold on to all the provisional places until results day. Most will have induction day(s) after GCSEs over too, so more of an insight before having to make final decision.
How do they integrate the newcomers?
What size are the classes?
What sort of enrichment activities are on offer?
wave the grammar he's particularly interested is co-ed in the 6th form but will ask about this.
Thanks for that crucial piece of advice noble I do remember you on another of my threads re Chem Eng.
circular he hasn't chosen a 4th yet but is currently studying GCSE Further Maths so perhaps that will be his choice?
Good questions there Atia
Thanks all, there seems to be a lot more involved than when I went to 6th form!
I have one in 6th form and DS2 in year 11 so we are also just starting to look.
I agree the IB is unlikely to suit your DS if he is very science / Maths orientated.
DS1 is doing Maths Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry. He did Biology to AS in year 12.
Some schools do a combined Maths and Further Maths course where they cover all the Maths modules the first year and then the FM in the second year.
Regarding enrichments. These are subjects they can choose as tasters, so not leading to exams. Good for balance. Also ask whether the school insists on EPQ, General Studies, Critical Thinking or Duke of Ed. Your DS may be happy to do them, on the other hand he may not want them to be compulsory.
One of the schools DS2 is looking at insists on General Studies which I think is a waste of time.
insisting you go down the oxbridge route if you get handfuls of a stars we are not in that position lol
could you explain that comment ?
various kids of friends have gone to Oxford and Cambridge and found that the maintenance grant stretches further due to the college policies
and that the tuition fee/tax is the same as elsewhere.
Why would you not be in a position to let your child have that opportunity ?
TalkIn - I read if you get handfuls of a stars we are not in that position lol to mean their child is not getting those grades, not that they cannot financially afford it. May be wrong of course.
teen think you're right.
Have just had a lovely chat with 2 boys from the local 6th form grammar. Very polite, mature. A really good advert
Oxbridge is by no means the be all and end all : its about the right course for the child
The good thing about Oxbridge is - if a sixth form regularly get some students in, then they are up to date with the entry criteria (same for Medicine).
But I also wouldn't want a Sixth form that didn't send to a range of Universities. Do they know about Art Foundation? Do they send people to Nursing degrees? Do any go straight into employment based routes?
If the sixth form sends people to a range of Universities and courses, and other options; then even if they haven't just sent several to study Chemical Engineering, hopefully, they have a good careers advisor available to give advise.
particularly at grammar school sixth forms it's worth asking what happens to those who don't do so well at AS level. Are any refused admission to year 13? How many? Do they leave or can they resit year 12 and what criteria are used to determine who leaves resits year etc.
Hopefully it won't be an issue, but if your ds does wobble in year 12 it's nice to know where you stand and some schools do seem to put their league table position above individual students interests imo.
ontheallotment that sounds scary!
Because DS has been at a comp which has had good pastoral carei can't help worrying that a grammar would be a less "fluffy" environment??
I was going to post exactly what ontheallotment said.
The grammar school near here does not let you carry on into Upper 6th if you don't get high enough
in their opinion grades at AS. It is quite common for dc to move there, then be thrown out after the first year.
Hopefully that doesn't happen in many places, but it's worth asking the question.
I didn't mean to imply all grammars were like that, but a few do seem to be. There can be a huge range of reasons for doing badly in year 12 and some dc can turn things around with the right support. Having to change school (and quite probably exam syllabuses too) is often not in their best interests.
If all children applying are predicted A* how does the school choose?
BaconAndAvocado We're not in a grammar area, although close to a super-selective in neighbouring LA.
When we did the rounds with DD1 last year, many of the comps become very selection fit 6th form entry, and only offer A levels. Hence get results not far behind the grammars, without quite as much pressure.
Also the added bonus that these 6th forms can be quite large, so more choices on subject combinations.
DD1 is at a school now that get around 60% A* to B at A level, They are also very heavy on enrichment activities, offering fat more choice thanDCs we know at private and grammar schools.
I think all schools we saw wanted D or C grades at AS to continue a subject for A2. As they are expected to start with 4 or sometimes 5, and usually continue with 3, I guess that would mean 3Ds minimum. Not heard anything from DDs school about being asked to leave or rven drop subjects if lower in mocks. Although they are having maths tests before half term to determine whether they are in the right sets.
I wonder if with next yr12 being the first cohort where education to 18 compulsory, whether schools will be a bit more accommodating.
Also wondering what happens to those at grammars that are asked to leave in yr12. Do they start again elsewhere or try something different.
DD1 has 2 students in one if her lessons that are repeating
yr12. Sounds like from what others are saying, that wouldn't happen at grammar.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.