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Going to a Sixth Form College

(32 Posts)
beingadrummer Sat 21-Nov-15 23:10:25

First I am not a mom but I just want to ask you all.

I'm a Korean student who is studying in America and wants to go to Six Form College. Though I just turned into 17 yo, I am nineth grade in America. I think I must explain my state.

I had studied from 6 yo to 11 yo in Korea. And then I got leukemia.
Of course I couldn't study for about 2 years. When I finished tenth grade in Korea, I decided to study in America because I liked 70's rock and hated Korean government. But I ruined my grade since I got leukemia, so my only option was starting second semester of eighth grade in America. But I soon found out that I don't suit my school; It is a conservative christian school.

Now I consider to go to Sixth Form College in England; I prefer a school in London. I found out DLD College and consider to go there; If you know better colleges, please let me know.


1. I want to go to England when I finish my nineth grade, but I've heard that it is impossible to move into eleventh grade(GSCE). Is it really impossible?

2. If moving into eleventh grade is impossible, could I move into twelfth grade(A-level) after finishing nine grade in America?

3. If you know both American schools and English Colleges well, do you recommend me to just move to another American school?

purpledasies Sun 22-Nov-15 08:20:37

It is possible, but not not recommended, to start in Y11 at a British school. But at your age you couldn't as you're too old. You could attend a sixth form or further education college. Most sixth former take A levels during Year 12&13, but it's also possible to take/retake GCSEs at a sixth GI form college. I don't know how they'd view your American qualifications but if they're not sufficient to do A levels then you could probably do GCSEs or something more vocational.

You'd normally be expected to be living at home with your parents at sixth form age, unless you go to a private (fee paying) boarding school. Some of them at very much geared at international students with non-uk qualifications.

senua Sun 22-Nov-15 09:07:43

You are right to do research. There are many schools and colleges in Britain offering education to overseas students. Some are better than others (this is typical British understatement - it translates as 'some are awful charlatans and rip people off. DO NOT GO TO THOSE!')

I don't know London colleges so cannot help, but there are plenty of other posters on here who are from London / the South East so they might be able to
You might get a better response if your thread title is more specific eg Help! Korean student needs advice on KS4/KS5 education in UK

beingadrummer Sun 22-Nov-15 10:31:30

Thank you. I think I should search some more sixth form colleges.

(I really wanna change the title and some words, but I don't know how to do)

senua Sun 22-Nov-15 11:11:10

I really wanna change the title and some words, but I don't know how to do

There is no edit facility. It would be much simpler to start a new thread.

senua Sun 22-Nov-15 11:28:12

Actually "Help! Korean student needs advice on KS4/KS5 education in London/SE" would be even more specific.

mary21 Sun 22-Nov-15 16:10:28

Mill hill international school takes pupils into year 11

talkinnpeace Sun 22-Nov-15 16:18:23

visa might be an issue

LIZS Sun 22-Nov-15 16:50:38

It is not as straightforward as just choosing one. I'd not heard of DLD before and their fees are costly for any day school. How do you plan to support yourself and where would you live? What attracts you to UK now and what are your longer term plans. Unfortunately there are establishments who are less scrupulous in accepting applications and funding , promising visas and recognisable qualifications, but not delivering what is expected, so do be very careful before parting with any money.

At 9th grade I doubt you'd have reached a transferable qualification level. GCSEs are typically taken over 2 years minimum at 15/16 so anywhere offering a later entry or shorter courses will also be catering for resits, so perhaps not the most academic of establishments. Private secondaries may consider taking you out of year into a sixth form for a levels or IB but you'd need a level 2 qualification first and they generally cut off by 19.

GinandJag Sun 22-Nov-15 17:19:47

There are different things to consider - immigration, education and money.

9th grade is Year 10 by age here (14-15), but behind academically. In Year 10, you would be studying a maximum of 10 subjects in depth. High School graduation (12th grade) maps to Y11 here.

If you weren't already 17, it would make a lot of sense to start in the UK in Year 10. However, you can go straight into sixth form, where you do 3 - 4 subjects only, depending on what courses you have taken so far.

You will find a school that can accommodate you, but it might not be according to your dreams.

You need to be able to satisfy immigration criteria, and will need a lot of money to support your cause. School fees will be £15 - 20k per year, and then you need living costs on top.

beingadrummer Sun 22-Nov-15 18:21:42

Would you recommend any sixth form college to me?

I seriously consider to go to England.
I do not want to go to any christian school, but going to non-religious schools in America is as expensive as going a sixth form college.
I think studying 3 subjects which I want to study(A Level) is much better than just studying 6-8 subjects.

DeoGratias Sun 22-Nov-15 18:44:46

You are allowed to sit A levels withough GCSE. You would normally be aged 16 and end 2 years later at age 18. You could also consider a UK boarding school too for sixth form.

Make sure you are up to the standard before you give your money to any school as if your English or grades are not good enough it might be a waste of money. You also need to check you will get a visa to come here too.

Look at what UK universities students go on to from the college you choose - do they get people into Oxford and cambridge and the better universities with a high academic standard or not?

LIZS Sun 22-Nov-15 18:44:54

But you aren't listening. You will need qualifications at GCSE or equivalent level to enter at A level which you don't yet have. Relatively few secondary schools and 6th form colleges in UK are religious affiliated and there aren't many 6th form only colleges that are private.

Are you actually looking for boarding school as then you are looking at fees of 30000plus per year. For under 18s you'd need a UK based guardian too. State 6th form colleges would not arrange accommodation and you may not be eligible for what are known as Further Education colleges or State boarding schools . You also need to look at student visa requirements and funding. I don't think anyone can make recommendations until you have done your homework on the basics of what you need.

beingadrummer Sun 22-Nov-15 19:21:36

1. I found that there is 1 year GCSE programme. If I can not do A Level right after this year, I would want to do the programme.
2. I do not seek only sixth form colleges.
3. I did not know I would need a UK based guiardian for studying.
I am gonna search about that.
4. I am afraid that I do have done my homework on the basics of what I need.

LIZS Sun 22-Nov-15 19:25:01

Can you show an example of a one year gcse? I fear they may be largely refresher courses, assuming some prior knowledge, rather than teaching from the beginning.

talkinnpeace Sun 22-Nov-15 19:29:30

One year GCSE
highly successful just not cheap !

beingadrummer Sun 22-Nov-15 19:36:41
There is fee for GCSE International 1 Year Programme

I do not know about most of secondary schools.
But this college has a one year GCSE programme.
Yes, it's not cheap. Think I should find cheaper one.

LIZS Sun 22-Nov-15 19:43:27

I think those are what are less politely known as crammars. Started as language colleges and intensive revision courses for retakes but seem to have developed to meet an international market. Can you really afford accommodation and living costs in London on top of tuition fees? Do you have family in US or Korea? It might make a difference to your visa which passport you have. You haven't said what attracts you to the UK system rather than others.

talkinnpeace Sun 22-Nov-15 19:47:22

Yup, MPW is most definitely a cramm*e*r
and a highly successful one that meets a need
and has done for many many years

but OP needs to be aware that visa rules are no laughing matter

LIZS Sun 22-Nov-15 19:50:56

Apologies, I've always thought that they were described like grammars! Just looked at DLD boarding fees £14k minimum for shared accommodation shock

GinandJag Sun 22-Nov-15 20:42:45

UK boarding schools are full of far Eastern students. The visa isn't a problem. The school will arrange.

There is also no GCSE prerequisite for A-level. It's a stand-alone qualification.

DeoGratias Sun 22-Nov-15 20:43:38

Yes, the London crammers can be fine.
Also there are some UK state comprehensive schools which allow boarders to live there - there is one in Devon which is popular with the Chinese. These seems to cost only £10,000 a year which is quite cheap compared to the other options

On the guardian issue don't worry about that. They are easy enough to hire and find.

Needmoresleep Sun 22-Nov-15 20:53:54

OP I don't think some of the advice you are getting here is very good. I am amazed that someone giving advice to an overseas student has not heard of DLD. Or thinks that central London boarding at £14k is excessive.

Lots of overseas, particularly Asian, come to the UK to complete their education, often then applying to UK or other English speaking Universities.

If you are academic I would think about taking your GCSES in a year. This is offered by several London tutorial colleges, certainly Asbourne College (we know a boy who earned 9 A*'s despite switching both system and language) but possibly DLD, MPW and others.

Subscribe to the Good Schools Guide online, look under tutorial colleges and then approach the most promising. They will know more about students coming in from different systems. Do come back here to check you are dealing with someone well established.

Consider colleges in Oxford, Cambridge (there is a college there which is very popular with Koreans though I don't know the name), Cardiff Sixth Form College and Concord in Shropshire. The latter attract a large number of students from Asia and get very good results. Living costs are much lower outside London.

If you can do you GCSES in a year, though 8t is very hard work, you are then in a good position to progress to a two year A Level course.

If you are not as academic you might be better off in a smaller, more English, boarding school. I don't understand American grades but you would need to speak to them individually to see where they place you. They may insist you spend two years taking GCSES. Or one year taking a limited number of GCSES in London and then onto a more typical school for A levels.

It is a big and expensive decision and you might use an educational consultant (the Good Schools Guide might be as good as anyone). But rest assured. There are lots of Asian students making similar transitions. One of DS' best friends arrived from Korea at a slightly younger age but with no English. He has done fine.

(Also there is a very big Korean community in South West London in a place called New Malden. One option might be to find a family you could board with. New Malden to DLD is a straight forward train journey.)

talkinnpeace Sun 22-Nov-15 21:02:57

I am very well aware of the New Malden Korean population
the OP does not mention any family connections to provide the financial / visa guarantees that are now required
( British people always think the UK is welcoming - its not)
THey have the right to live in the US at the moment but seem to want to jump to the UK with no means of support

caution is entirely sensible

LIZS Sun 22-Nov-15 21:09:39

Nms , no I hadn't heard of DLD but grew up near Bellerbys etc in an area v popular with short term overseas students, many younger than op. In those days they also had a reputation for intensive tutoring rather than pastoral concern which I assume has changed. The DLD 14k boarding cost is on top of tuition fees of 21- 24k , clearly not a sum to be sneezed at when even Eton et al are cheaper, but could well be normal in this circumstance.

Op, there have been issues in recent years with some colleges getting visas on behalf of students who then don't attend let alone qualify and as a result application processes and checks have become more rigorous. It might be worth looking into this and the criteria required first. I'm doubtful that many private schools would accept a 17/18yo into y10 (14/15yo) , a year/2 out seems the most, but I'm sure you could find a few who would.

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