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Aibu to ignore sixth form results when choosing secondary?

(8 Posts)
Goposie Fri 22-Feb-19 21:28:47

It seems to me that lots of students change school for sixth form. Given that a lot can change between years 7 and 11, aibu to not worry about A levels when choosing secondary schools?

OP’s posts: |
PettsWoodParadise Fri 22-Feb-19 22:24:41

I’d say focus on GCSE, but don’t ignore A level as it may be the ‘route of least resistance’ for your DC.

If the school has a high qualifying criteria for sixth form that could potentially cause your child to leave a school they love and disrupt tje early stages of their sixth form learning?

At DD’s school they do stellar at GCSE but the nearby boys Grammar has a big draw and so many girls leave and the sixth form at DD’s school suffers. It doesn’t make the first five years bad, but does cause funding issues that impact sixth form and she could choose to stay or go. Having seen this happen with a number of schools and knowing distance goes out the window for most sixth forms and some sort of selection happens it makes sense to me when choosing a school for Y7!to push so the sixth form performance down the list. Also not all schools have sixth forms - increasingly rare but does sti happen.

Goposie Fri 22-Feb-19 22:41:16

Wise words.... so take it into account but prioritise gcses? I have to say having just got through 11 plus I can’t fathom having to manage a switch at sixth form. Also seems to me a lot of students at single sex schools want to go co ed

OP’s posts: |
Soursprout Fri 22-Feb-19 23:08:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HotpotLawyer Fri 22-Feb-19 23:35:21

Changing at sixth form isn’t a big deal for top set / Grammar ability kids because they will generally have the option to stay at their school or pick and choose elsewhere.

In our area schools tend to have higher entrance requirements than sixth form colleges.

And lots of kids swap schools, single sex for co-ed, choose schools which have a reputation for the A levels they choose, or for a string extra curricular opportunity.

But if you have just done 11 plus, aren’t you past the point of choosing secondary having established your preferences?

Goposie Sat 23-Feb-19 06:56:59

Yes. Dd has an offer from a school whose gcse results are more impressive than its a levels and a couple of other schools on the list are similar.

OP’s posts: |
Dimetrodon Mon 25-Feb-19 11:28:12

OP, I'd be careful if a school's A levels results are not good and yet their GCSE results are excellent. How many in their sixth form? Are they full? If they're not full they will not get the full funding they need for the whole school. This can permeate down into the lower years.

If the school is a grammar then they will always achieve high GCSE results - they have clever children entering in year 7. These children also tend to be more interested in studying so there can be less disruption, another way to achieve excellent GCSE results.

If the same school's A levels results are not good then remember that the same teachers will teach GCSE and A Level. Is there a mention in their Ofsted report of the progression made between KS4 (GCSE) and KS5 (A level)? If there is concern that not enough progress is being made by the entire cohort of sixth formers then this will be highlighted in their Ofsted if it was undertaken within the last few years.

For your child, look at specific subjects for results. If you think your child will want to do science A levels, even aim to a doctor or vet, check those A level science results. They will need to be excellent for the correct universities to make offers.

Have a look at the destinations page of the sixth formers. If it's not displayed on the school website, call them and ask them for a copy. Every school publishes this.

Haskell Mon 25-Feb-19 21:06:26

Not sure I agree with dimetrodon. Many schools have fantastic GCSE results, and get huge amounts of progress out of the pupils. However, DfE measure progress at KS5 from pupils' KS4 results, and if those were an over-performance at KS4, it's extremely difficult to also achieve that at KS5.

I live in an area with super-selective grammar schools, and the Prog8 are all fantastic (+0.5 to +1), but their progress at KS5 is hovering around national average for value added. Their results look stellar in terms of A*-A%, but progress is no better than pupils with those KS4 results would get anywhere else.
They're still excellent schools.

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