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Cambridge Sixth Forms

(7 Posts)
PickyParent Thu 22-Jun-17 15:18:19

My son's at a Cambs state secondary, taking GCSEs next year, predicted 7/8/9 for everything (9 for maths).

He would like to go to Uni after school and probably study something like economics, possibly combined with a language. He is taking French GCSE and does Mandarin after school.

He's shortlisted Hills Road, Long Road, Comberton Sixth and Parkside Sixth. Doing the taster days this term for all.

We've made lots of charts/lists/SWOT analysis comparing the foursmile The first decision is of course A level v IB... He's a classic all-rounder, but hesitant about choosing a path that's unknown to him and his mates and is never talked about by his teachers and advisors, probably because they don't understand IB

If anyone has personal experience of any of these, or can give me insight that I might not have thought of, I'd be really gratefull. flowersflowers

Allthebestnamesareused Thu 22-Jun-17 16:15:00

If he wants to read Economics at university most unis require Maths A level to be able to do so. I am not sure how this would work for IB. I assume one of his highers would need to be in Maths.

If he is expected those grades and able to work independently my inclination would be to go for Hills Road and A levels.

PickyParent Thu 22-Jun-17 17:22:07

Should have said, he'll definitely be doing maths/further maths A level or H/L maths IB.

Other subjects will be chosen from history, geography, economics, politics, psychology, a language, depending on course availability and curriculum.

BringOnTheScience Thu 22-Jun-17 21:25:13

My DC1 is going to do the IB at Parkside. From the list of subjects in your 2nd post, the IB sounds perfect!

Parkside or Impington? Parkside has a lovely atmosphere. Jess (Head of 6th) is fab.

There are lots of stats around about how well IB students do at uni. They are much better prepared for independent study.

One other bonus of the IB... their results come out in early July, so they have their uni places sorted waaaaaay before the A level students!

Make the most of the 6th form info events and open evenings in Autumn term. They apply via UCAS with a mid-January deadline.

Don't be put off by the lack of general awareness about the IB. If it's right for you then you'll know as you investigate it more and meet the staff. :-)

BringOnTheScience Thu 22-Jun-17 21:27:48

PS - language options at Parkside include Russian or Japanese from scratch!

PickyParent Fri 23-Jun-17 10:07:20

Thank you Bring! It's really useful to know about the results coming out early. It would have to be Parkside as Impington is a bit difficult to get to from us.

He went to Long Road yesterday, not massively impressed. I thinks it's going to come down to Hills v Parkside but it's hard to fly in the face of an entire friendship group and all the aspirational teachers at his school for whom Hills is the ultimate achievement! He was certainly very taken with the Eden Centre and the small class sizes. Hills taster day is next week so we'll wait and see. Will definitely be attending the open evenings next term.

BringOnTheScience Fri 23-Jun-17 17:47:19

Hills v Parkside = chalk v cheese!

What they each do they do very well, but the scale and approaches could not be more different.

One difference that DC1 and I both spotted at the interviews ['guidance meeting'] was that at Hills there was a lot of "Hills students do xxx..." and "At Hills we...", while at Parkside it was "You could do..." It really felt like Parkside was far more focused on the individual. The Hills interviewer never mentioned anything on DC1's personal statement, while the Parkside team referred to it several times.

You're right about how Hills is viewed locally. We always thought that DC1 would go to Hills because that's what bright Cambridge teens just do. Discovering the IB was a revelation and some friends have been very surprised (Disappointed? Disapproving?) that we're not doing As at Hills.

But if the IB is right for you then you should go for it!

It is one HUGE advantage of the Cambridge area that we have such a vast choice at 6th form. There are wonderful opportunities there to suit everyone. 😀

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