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Returning to UK Year 11

(45 Posts)
Bonkus Sun 10-Dec-17 22:54:59

We are currently living in the US and due to work plan to send our DSs to an independent boarding school in the UK for Sep 2018.

Problem is DS1 is in the equivalent of Year 10 now and with most schools offering 2 Year GCSEs wonder if anyone can share suggestions on schools he could apply to for YR 11 entry preferably in the 1.5 hour radius from London. The other option is to have him drop a Year?

Would appreciate suggestions

Bonkus Sun 10-Dec-17 22:57:32

We are currently living in the US and due to work plan to send our DSs to an independent boarding school in the UK for Sep 2018.

Problem is DS1 is in the equivalent of Year 10 now and with most schools offering 2 Year GCSEs wonder if anyone can share suggestions on schools he could apply to for YR 11 entry preferably in the 1.5 hour radius from London. The other option is to have him drop a Year?

Would appreciate suggestions

flouncybeetroot Sun 10-Dec-17 22:57:59

Could you look at schools that teach the American syllabus in London, so there's not a big change from what he's been doing?

Bonkus Sun 10-Dec-17 23:02:36

Thanks for the quick response. We could but really want to make the transition back to UK system since he will go on to do A Levels and Uni in the UK

We have started tutoring via Skype in an attempt to close the gap in systems.

steppemum Sun 10-Dec-17 23:03:57

there is a huge difference between the US curriculum and the UK.
You cannot go into year 11 without having done the year 10 curriculum. Exams at the end of year 11 cover all topics taken over the two year course.

His best bet woudl be to drop a year, and take the 2 year course. Or as flouncy said, look at school soffereing the US curriculum.
I am pretty sure there is one in the wondsor area, mayeb in Virginia Water? I have driven past it on the A30. It is an independent school. No idea if it does boarding though.

Does it have to be a school in UK? If it is boarding, it could be somewhere else? There are loads of International schools aroudn the world, and most of them run US curriculae

titchy Sun 10-Dec-17 23:09:24

Why can't you keep him on the US curriculum for A level equivalent? Or look at IB? Some schools do middle years IB. But GCSEs after one year - not a chance.

(I assume you're aware he'll be classified as overseas for university fees - unless you're diplomats.)

steppemum Sun 10-Dec-17 23:09:40

OK, just seen your second post.

I wonder if it is easier to go straight to A levels?
You could begin the syllabus on-line, especially with distance education.
But he would probably need to leave his US school in order to give enough time to all the subjects, and some, eg science, will have a practical element.
if you do begin on-line courses, they would need to be compatible with the syllabus your chosen school does, as each exam board does things a little differently (eg English texts)

steppemum Sun 10-Dec-17 23:11:40

(I assume you're aware he'll be classified as overseas for university fees - unless you're diplomats.)

That depends, if you are a UK family returning to Uk, then he is resident here once you arrive. he is NOT resident here while at school, if you are still living in US. You need 3 years residency to be sure of fees, but that is not quite the whole story, ask if you want more info at this point.

Bonkus Sun 10-Dec-17 23:16:08

Again thanks.

DS2 will be going in to Year 9 and we have applied to a few schools already. Would like to keep them close by although unlikely same school.

We have finally wrapped our heads around DS1 dropping a year, however some schools have expressed concerns about a 15 year old in year 10 - too old 🤔

There are 2 schools willing to test him for Year 11 - Eastbourne College and St. Lawrence Ramsgate. Does anyone have any information on either of these?

Bonkus Sun 10-Dec-17 23:20:05

Titchy: I wonder if is is easier to go straight to A levels?
Is that an option and if so, how would that work?

Mary21 Sun 10-Dec-17 23:37:31

Have you looked at Mill Hill inrenational and Rochester independent College

Bonkus Mon 11-Dec-17 00:01:45

Mary21 - Rochester looks interesting - will explore further.

Thanks

Fffion Mon 11-Dec-17 05:29:22

I think you are doing the right thing by dropping him to Year 10. Independent schools aren’t generally fixated on being in the right age group. They will be more than happy to have him for four years rather than three, and will do what’s right for him as an individual.

Most GCSE courses start in Year 10, but a lot of schools start Sciences in Year 9, so there will still be some catching up. Depending on the courses he has done in the US, he may be ahead in some areas, so catching up shouldn’t be too bad.

Fffion Mon 11-Dec-17 05:31:38

If he goes straight to A-levels, he may well struggle and end up in courses he wouldn’t naturally have chosen.

University tuition fees, and three years of residency, also need to be factored in.

sashh Mon 11-Dec-17 06:15:12

Titchy: I wonder if is is easier to go straight to A levels?
Is that an option and if so, how would that work?

Not really, A Levels are the equivalent of the first year at a US university so unless he has AP classes he won't be ready.

Dropping a year is the best bet.

Another option would be to home ed with a reduced number of GCSEs.

somewhereovertherain Mon 11-Dec-17 06:50:05

A friend of ours did this from Canada. They dropped a year back to year 10. I think dropping into year 11 would be a massive ask to do well.

GU24Mum Mon 11-Dec-17 09:36:17

When is his birthday? If he's early in the UK school year (1 Sept to 31 Aug), he could well look too old but probably less so if he's Jul/Aug.

You no doubt know that it's a dreadful time to move in the UK school system - most of us wouldn't move schools in case there was a difference between exam boards/set texts etc and certainly wouldn't come into Y11 without there being very little option. Most schools aim to finish the GCSE syllabus by the end of the Christmas term so they can focus on revision in the Spring term so your son is likely to have very little content teaching if he starts in Y11.

Can't he go into a US school for a year then transition into a UK sixth form. The US schools in Surrey are Tasis (The American School in Surrey) and ACS.

I only have scant knowledge of one of the two schools which will assess your son - don't want to dismiss them unreasonably ...... but there's a good reason most independent schools won't take children into Y11 and probably a less good reason a very small number of private schools will do.......

steppemum Mon 11-Dec-17 12:28:41

when I suggested up thread that you go straight to A levels, my assumtion was that he completeed year 11 in US, and then moved for year 12 (A levels)

If your concern is UK university, I would come at this differently, look at US school in UK. Ask them if their students, when they finish, can access UK university, and if so how, and how well they do etc.

There are standard equivalents, so a child graduating from US school can use their qualifications to apply to UK uni.
So, he finishes high school in US system and then applies to UK university?

I am surprised at the concern over his age, one year up or down isn't a big issue really, ds is already 15 and in year 10 (birthday early in the year)

TheSecondOfHerName Mon 11-Dec-17 14:10:33

There are 2 schools willing to test him for Year 11

What then? Will they teach him separately from the other students in order to attempt to condense 2-3 years of teaching into 8 months?

Or will he be expected to sit his GCSE exams having completed less than half of each course?

If I were in a similar position, I would do everything possible to avoid my child having to enter the UK school system at the beginning of Y11.

steppemum Mon 11-Dec-17 14:16:32

can I just say that your posts sound as if you are concerned about him being the right level/standard for year 11. That is not the issue. The issue is content. So a GCSE history course has 2 years worth of content in it that he has to learn. And it varies from exam board to exam board.
Similarly he will have 4 or 5 English set texts to study, which they have been studying since beginning of year 10. Again the set texts vary, and even more than that, each school can chose from a list so 2 schools with the same exam board may be doing 2 different sets of books.
and I think I am right in thinking that US science teaching is very different to UK, and that we place more emphasis on it here. At school here he will be expected to do 2 or 3 science GCSEs and will need to be up to speed on science, as it is taught in UK.

So your issue is that he needs the whole 2 year course to cover the content for the exams.

EvilTwins Mon 11-Dec-17 14:21:19

I taught a girl (state school) a few years back who was in this position, though moving back to the UK from Spain, not the US. She went into Year 10, even though she "should" have been in Year 11. It didn't make a jot of difference socially - though her work was always of an excellent standard because she was academically bright anyway - she'd just missed the content. She stayed at school for A Levels too and is now in her first year of university having just turned 20 - October birthday so was 16 in the first term of Year 10.

Needmoresleep Mon 11-Dec-17 14:31:51

Several of the London tutorial colleges offer GCSEs in a year.

This is one example, Ashbourne is another. DLD, the example shown, offers boarding. There will probably be similar in Oxford and Cambridge. The Good Schools Guide (available as an online subscription) includes reviews on tutorial colleges.

It is possible for a motivated student to do core GCSEs in a year and then go on to a more traditional sixth form. It is very hard work but the doors are then open for the full range of English Universities.

user1484040234 Mon 11-Dec-17 15:29:37

I would second what needsmoresleep says, specially if he is older in the UK school year and is a child who works towards the top of his current class. If he's younger (ie a summer birthday) and or less academically able than repeat year 10

steppemum Mon 11-Dec-17 15:42:09

while I agree with needsmoresleep, I think you will find he would then do a core 5 GCSEs in one year, which will get him entry into A levels. It is not the same as others of his age, who owuld do 8-10, but once he has A levels what he did at GCSE is less relevant (except that he really has to have English and maths, but then they are core subjects)

Needmoresleep Mon 11-Dec-17 16:24:25

Steppemum, I don't know where you get your five from.

DLD seem to be suggesting 6 teaching blocks giving 6 or 7 subjects depending on whether English is one or two. So maths English, 3 subjects that will be taken at A level and one other. If the switch in system is explained I doubt many universities will care, as long as he goes onto have a solid sixth form experience. The boy we knew who went to Ashbourne did more, but had to work tremendously hard. And indeed this approach was recommended by the sixth for, who wanted him to get his transition over before he started with them.

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