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The Westgate School (Winchester) and whether to change school mid-GCSEs

(12 Posts)
tomoveschoolornot Wed 18-Jul-18 23:24:48

My daughter is facing a dilemma. She is currently at the end of year 10 at a school which is not great. It's now facing upheaval, with key senior staff having left mid-term and apparently 25 teachers leaving at the end of this term. Ofsted has just visited and the unconfirmed rumour is that it's being put in special measures.

The Westgate School contacted me this morning to say that they have a place available for her in September (she has been on the waiting list since last year). Now, I would never normally even consider moving her mid-GCSE's, but with all of the problems of her current school, I'm wondering what we should do.

So, can I ask your opinions as to whether it is ever a good idea to move in the middle of GCSE's and also whether you have any experience of The Westgate School?

OP’s posts: |
MarchingFrogs Thu 19-Jul-18 06:59:52

If the second school
- offers all the options that your DD currently takes
- uses the same exam boards
- can place her in a form for English Lit which is studying the same texts and so far has studied them in the same order
- ditto any other subject where there is a choice as to which topics to cover and when
then there should only be the same social 'settling in' issues as there would be anywhere.

But if there are significant mis-matches, this will be much more of a problem and your DD may do better staying where she is and making sure that she has covered everything that she needs to have done for the spec of the board(s) that she is currently studying.

Just one opinion - I'm sure that others will be offeredsmile

TeenTimesTwo Thu 19-Jul-18 11:59:09

I have friends with DC who have recently gone through Westgate, and they have all been positive about it.

It is quite a drastic step. I would expect potentially a need to drop 1 GCSE option, and use the time to catch up on syllabus of others where either there has been a board change, or syllabus has been taught in a different order.

I would go and see Westgate NOW before they break up (tomorrow?) and go through the implications so you can make an informed decision. Take your DD with you.

At least you won't have CAs to worry about.

NewModelArmyMayhem18 Thu 19-Jul-18 15:10:39

Don't do it at this stage. If need be you could move your DD for sixth. I speak as someone who changed schools part way through my GCSEs and really it had an adverse impact on not only my results but also a longstanding lack of confidence in my abilities.

Couchpotato3 Thu 19-Jul-18 15:18:38

I think it depends how well you think your DD would cope with the upheaval. Would she be able to do all the extra work that would be needed in order to catch up with anything that she hasn't covered and so on? How important are her GCSE grades? Does she just need enough to get into a decent Sixth form or is she an academic high-flyer? Bear in mind that universities do take into account student background and if they see that she has come from a school in special measures, that will be taken into account.
Would restarting Year 10 at the new school be an option if there is too much of a mismatch with her current subjects? Would she be willing to do this?
I would grab the place and then work out the details - you can always change your mind and leave her where she is. Other families will be jumping ship too, so there may be a scramble for places.

Regardless of how the school is doing overall, how do you feel about the teaching and support that your DD has had? If she is doing OK and is happy with her teachers, perhaps staying put for now would be best? I'm guessing this isn't the case if you have been on a waiting list for another school all this time.

TeenTimesTwo Thu 19-Jul-18 15:23:15

re Comments on 6th form from posters.
For info: Winchester has a very well respected take-everyone (more or less) 6th form called Peter Symonds (2000 per year intake). Hants schools (mainly) don't have 6th forms.

it does mean the OPs DD would move, then move again after a year though.

furlinedsheepskinjacket Thu 19-Jul-18 15:32:11

give us a clue re yr current school...... imo westgate is pretty bog standard

you might find better options outside winch

tomoveschoolornot Thu 19-Jul-18 21:12:07

Thank you everyone for your comments.

We have made the decision for her to stay where she is. We had the same concerns which you guys have voiced, confirming that it is better to stay.

The long term plan is for her to go to Peter Symonds. I can't imagine that her current school will fall apart so badly that she wouldn't get sufficient grades to go there!

OP’s posts: |
Snowcatrunsthehouse Sun 22-Jul-18 18:08:53

Can I ask what the current school is???
We will be applying for secondary schools in Winchester in October and this is panicking me.

TeenTimesTwo Sun 22-Jul-18 20:32:34

I have friends with DC who have been at all 3 of the Winchester secondary schools.

They've all been happy with then one they chose. I don't think you need to panic Snow but go to the open evenings and consider which ethos will suit you best.

tomoveschoolornot Sun 22-Jul-18 23:15:51

*Snowcat Can I ask what the current school is???
We will be applying for secondary schools in Winchester in October and this is panicking me.*

She's not in school in Winchester, don't worry!

OP’s posts: |
Ta1kinpeace Tue 24-Jul-18 16:54:01

I've got a pretty good idea which school it is.
IME not worth the upheaval.

She'll be off to Symonds at the end of year 11

better to stay where you know the routines
than face the horrific traffic into Winchester for more years than you have to

also remember that the rumour mill will be worst outcome rather than reality

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