private sixth form colleges London(16 Posts)
This is my second thread of the day! This is a niche subject, but if anyone has experience of any of the London 6th form private colleges that they could share, I'd be very grateful. I know of MPW, Collingham, Brampton, Ashbourne, DLD, and presumably there are quite a few others. One lovely mner has already pmd me with some info about some, and if anyone knows of a dc who has attended one and what the experience was like, I'd be very grateful. (For a ds in yr 12 who may be moving from current 6th form - academic side currently going well, social side not so much.)
bumping for the early evening crowd, with thanks to anyone who has any info they could pass on!
You might also look at Portland Place School, which traditionally takes in either newly arrived ex-pat children or refugees (from across the ability range) from other schools.
Thanks needs, that is a good suggestion. Great location as well!
Ds is doing a less usual subject combination so a usual 6th form block timetable may not be able to accommodate, whereas I gather some of the colleges are very flexible even if that means you end up with some classes at unusual times!
No direct experience but heard wonderful things about Brampton - teaching, general support, results etc etc. Some DCs have found it tough adapting to the fluidity of 6th form college ie no need to come in if no lessons, no structured games/ extra-curricular etc. However that's not a criticism of Brampton, just an observation of difference between school and 6th form college life.
Ashbourne seem to be interviewing now for a Jan 2018 start (A level courses offered over 18 mths instead of 2 years) - if you are keen to move quickly.
Thanks so much Clavinova, yes quite a few seem to do 18 month courses starting in the January. I wonder whether part of the recruitment market is students (or parents) who have realised they've made a mistake for whatever reason by the end of the first term!
Oh and I meant to say thanks so much to Jaguar as well for the info. Absence of structured games would not be an issue here!
As for lack of other extra curricular stuff - well, ideally you have it but it is a nice to have rather than an essential, so that would not put ds off.
Thanks so much Davros, just gone off to look at it - very interesting! Just knowing about all the options is so helpful.
OP, the first question I would ask of any sixth form college is the make up of the student body and how they manage the diversity. And then think about how your DS would fit in.
There are three obvious groups:
1. Ultra hard working students from overseas who are aiming for A*s and places at Imperial or the LSE. Perfect course-mates for a home student who is similarly focused but potentially intimidating otherwise.
2. The party crowd, who either did not get the grades to carry on to sixth form or are resitting. These days it is not just the ex-boarders but a big contingent of international Notting Hill types. FWIW I think Fine Arts Hamstead is the alma mater of Rocco and Brooklyn.
3. Other more ordinary kids: your DS, kids who may have changed their mind about University subject so need different A levels, wanting unusual subject combinations, parents moving to London or who are not enjoying boarding, etc.
A good college should be able to both understand the question and have an answer.
I went to MPW - the teaching and pastoral care was bloody brilliant.
Thanks again, all! Re Needsmoresleep's categories, can confidently say ds is not in the party crowd category! - so perhaps a combination of a watered down version of a UK 1 (so not ultra hard working, but aiming fairly high) and, more so perhaps, a 3. Yes, that is a very good question to ask - the response would be very informative.
Academically we would want somewhere that's good for those aiming for As at A level (but not where A is a disappointment); and re socially and fitting in I think the key would not to have too high expectations - just a pleasant social environment to do the A level classes, and not expect too much else!
Thanks for the Albemarle and MPW recommendations - it is so cheering to hear positive things - great reminder that there are potentially good options out there, which is not always easy for a dteen to realise!
Mainly culled from standing on the sidelines at sports matches. (DD played a lot of sport at representational level.)
1. MPW got great results for both a bright girl needing an extra A level after changing her mind about her University subject, and a "Cat 2" girl asked to leave her sixth form mid term. They are long established and experienced, but will have students with a mix of motivations.
2. Portland place school did very well with two kids who had had car-crash experiences in their previous schools at around Yr 9, one private, one state, one very gifted, one not. We also knew two other families who were very happy, one of whom went on to land a place on a very competitive University course. .
3. Ashbourne were very supportive to a boy switching from European to British schooling by taking his GCSEs in a year, and his results were spectacular, though he had to work very hard.
In contrast a friend of DDs arrived in London for sixth form and went to one of the private IB colleges which seemed populated by ultra-rich international Notting Hill/Chelsea types. Not a success.
Thanks needs - I am very grateful for the hours you put in on the sports pitch! No chance of ds doing ib - wants to stick with current A level subjects. The three places you name all sound promising!
Although it sounds a bit 'resigned' of me, we wouldn't have a high bar for the social side. As long as there are some pleasant hard working people in the classes that should be enough. (Not that there aren't those at the current place, but there are also other issues....)
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