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Moving from state secondary to top private for A levels

(18 Posts)
Luna9 Thu 19-May-16 19:40:00


How possible is to move from an outstanding comprehensive to a top selective private secondary for A levels ?

We would like to send our DD to a local selective private secondary school but I am concerned about the social aspect of not having local friends; she goes to an outstanding state primary; we are in the catchment of a good state comprehensive secondary where the majority of her friends will go, so we are thinking of sending her there and move in 16 plus or 13 plus. Not sure how realistic this is.

When I was growing up I used to play with my neighbours; we all attended different schools but we lived close to each other so this didn't matter; it is different in a big city like London where everything has to be planned in advance; I can't imagine what it would be like having friends spread all around SE ,SW and Central London.

On the other hand we like what the private secondary offers; specially the artistic aspect and extra curricular activities; it is also local and the facilities are great.

Any advice regarding whether could she moved later on? And disadvantages or advantages ?

Thank you

Leeds2 Thu 19-May-16 20:04:23

What does your DD think?

At my DD's school, there was a big intake of new girls into Sixth Form, and a smaller intake into Year 9. The new sixth formers seemed to integrate very quickly and their "newness" didn't seem to impede things like UCAS applications, election to posts of responsibility etc. From memory, the majority of the girls entering Year 9 were overseas students, from two particular countries, and they seemed to naturally hang about together.

Luna9 Thu 19-May-16 20:57:11

Thank you Leeds

She is getting tutored for the exam at 11plus; she said if I don't pass to the private school can I go to the state comprehensive with my friends or if I pass can I have a mobile to keep in touch with my best friend; but I feel it will be difficult to keep in touch once they move schools; We want her to be happy above all; she is bright but not the sort that wants to be studying all the time so not sure if the private will be too much for her if she does get in; but she is very creative and the private school has great art facilities; she is also sportive.

The other day we were talking about my childhood and I was telling her how my best friends moved to different countries after enjoying 5 years of friendship; I was 15 already and she started crying and saying I don't want to loose my friends. So I feel 16 will be a great age to move schools; she will be more matured and more independent; friendships will be more established and she will have more options for the A levels and better opportunities ; but unsure if it is possible to move from the state sector to the private sector for A levels.

lifeisunjust Thu 19-May-16 21:18:53

Isn't it a bit early to be thinking of what school to attend in 5 years time?
What is wrong with the state secondary that it is fine for 11-16 and not for 16-18?

HPFA Thu 19-May-16 21:19:31

I worked with someone who gave both her daughters the choice of moving from state to a top private school. One made the move, one decided to stay in the comp. Both got top A-Levels and went to Cambridge so I guess they both made the right choice! I wouldn't have thought it was difficult to make the move, when you think how many kids move from single to mixed sex, or from school to sixth form college.

I am getting the impression your daughter doesn't sound very keen on the private school? My own DD wanted to go to a different (state) school to her friends and didn't seem very bothered about leaving them at all -though has expressed some sadness since. Did she like the school when you visited?

Leeds2 Thu 19-May-16 21:52:06

I don't know how you feel about the dreaded Facebook, but when my DD went to senior school (only one from her primary to go to that school) FB was invaluable at keeping her in touch with her old friends. It dropped off a little in Years 8 and 9, now in Sixth Form and they have regular meet ups etc in a way that I think they would've just lost touch without the use of social media.

bojorojo Fri 20-May-16 01:22:22

My DD moved to boarding from state primary. She never looked back and had only one good friend anyway who would have gone to a different secondary school - we have countywide 11 plus here.

Personally I think transferring at 11 is easier. It is when everyone moves on from state school. 13 is CE entry and by that time she will have new friends at the state secondary school and will not want to leave them. Ditto in the 6th form although she will be more mature by then so may see the advantages of the private school over her own school - assuming this is the case. If you want private, go at the normal time for that school. Making friends will be easier as everyone is new. Starting at 13 when pupils have formed friendship groups can be lonely.

Cleo1303 Fri 20-May-16 09:55:28

I think it's much easier these days for children to keep in touch with their friends though Instagram, Snapchat, etc. The children from DD's prep school went off to about 20 different schools, including three to different boarding schools, and they all follow each other on social media. She meets up with those friends mainly in the holidays because of time limits/extra-curricular commitments, but they just click back in.

It might be tricky to move at Year 9 and join a year where most of the children have known each other since Year 7, but I think that will depend on the school, and your daughter. If she gets involved in clubs, Choir, etc., as soon as she arrives she should settle in more quickly.

Moving for 6th Form to a super selective private school will depend on her GCSE results so you need to be sure the comprehensive can deliver on her getting A*/As.

Luna9 Fri 20-May-16 16:08:32

Thank you; this is very useful information. I realise now that 13 plus is not a good idea.

She has been in both schools but not in the official open days; we will go in September and give her the choice after she sees both schools to take the 11 plus in January, go to the comprehensible all the way or go to the comprehensive and try to move for six form,

It is good that social media enables them to keep in touch with friends; so it is definitely easier these days.

Lottielo Fri 20-May-16 23:04:14

My DD moved from state to private for sixth form, as did many of her friends, and she settled in very quickly and loves her new school. I don't think there would be any problem at all with sending your DD to an independent school for A levels. However, I'm not convinced that there would be any advantage in doing this. I think the teaching in the state sector is better and DD may have a harder time getting into uni now (contextual offers). Having said that, she loves all the extracurricular stuff and finds the independent school students very friendly and hard working. She is much happier now.

Luna9 Sat 21-May-16 05:34:50

Thank you Lottielo. That's good to know and interesting too. One of the main reasons for moving to an independent is the great extra curricular activities they offer.

I did my last 2 years of secondary in a different school; not in the UK and I think they were key for my career; I had great teachers and I got into a good university.

Panicmode1 Sat 21-May-16 06:17:58

My cousins all did this. They were in a fairly poor comp until 16 and then all went to top public schools for A levels. They all did really well (1 to Oxford, 1 Cambridge and 1 Durham) so it worked for them. In fact, they did much better than my brother and me, who were sent private all the way through!

Luna9 Sat 21-May-16 10:02:54

That's good to hear Panicmode

bojorojo Sun 22-May-16 13:20:02

Contextual offers do NOT apply to students from all state school 6th forms. Often a univeristy will state the bottom 100 schools in the country or those with the lowest numbers going to university. The university should publish what schools or how they judge the "inadequacy" of the schools. Therefore you have nothing to lose if you want to go private over a reasonable state 6th
form. A child just has to get the GCSE results required and be willing to move. Some will be happy to do this, some will not. It would also depend on the quality of the private school. Does being an alumni actually mean anything? Where do the pupils go for university? What help do they get with personal statements and university advice? All of these may be better thana state school but I still think going at 11 is best if you can do this.

goodbyestranger Sun 22-May-16 13:28:45

bojorojo what exactly do you mean by 'Does being an alumna actually mean anything?'? What are the expectations?

bojorojo Sun 22-May-16 17:12:39

Some schools have extremely strong "old boy" and "old girl" networks. This can really help with work experience (eg if applying for medicine at university). It is something that parents who have always gone to prestigious schools consider important. It is networking and it can be very useful.

Alicekeach Sun 22-May-16 17:18:34

I went to a rubbish comp and then got a scholarship to an independent school for sixth form. It was a boys' school with a mixed sixth form so all of the girls were new to the school which helped. I had a whale of a time! The teaching wasn't much different to the comp, but there were far more extra curricular activities and (most importantly) an attitude from my peers that it was "cool" to work hard and be ambitious. I got into Oxbridge, but it wouldn't really have mattered hugely if I hadn't because the school really boosted my self confidence in a way that has stayed with me for my adult life.

Luna9 Sun 22-May-16 17:50:02

Thank you for your opinions. It sounds like a good possibility so far as long as she gets good GCSES results which the comprehensive is good at; she will also need to pass an exam and interview

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