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Sixth form college or school..... and recommendations.(16 Posts)
Our DS is currently is going into Y11 and will take his GCSE's this year. He has lived most of his life overseas but we will be returning next summer. We need to find a suitable day school or college. We are flexible on location (South/SW, SE UK). I am wondering what the best fit would be - a 6th form college sounds like a good scenario, where everyone is new together, but I am open to suggestions. He is quite bright, prefers sciences, has mild to moderate dyslexia (he requires extra time and reading support in exams), loves golf (a school where they play would be an advantage but not a necessity).
I'm struggling to identify any - most sixth forms appear to be attached to large schools which I think could be overwhelming for him. Any comments or suggestions welcome.
Hampshire - all schools only go to year 11. Several very sought after sixth form colleges - Peter Symonds etc. Godalming College is Surrey also has great rep.
Alton, Queen Mary, and Farnborough are all very good sixth form colleges in Hampshire as well.
Cambridge Hills Road 6th form has a good reputation
A 6th form attached to a school is quite normal over here, but often will have a separate block/slightly different rules. I wouldn't rule them out simply as they're attached to a big school as they'd soon settle into their little bit of school.
On the other hand Hamsphire is an area where most schools stop at 16 and there are dedicated 6th form.colleges. they could be more overwhelming as its 100s and 100s of 16-18 year olds rather than just the 6th form section of a school which would be much smaller!
Don't recommend Farnborough for teaching. It's also very large (over 1000 in a year) so if he'd find a large school intimidating, he'll find that worse.
Not sure if you are looking at private or state, but Seaford College has both golf and a great learning support centre. It's near Petworth in West Sussex but they have a wide coach network.
Thank you for your comments. I agree a smaller private school with separate 6th form might be more appropriate than a larger 6th form. We did think somewhere like Millfield, as I know many international students go there -however again its quite a big school. Any thoughts on private schools with good sixth forms attached?
If it's state school, sixth form colleges tend to be large, over 2000 young people is common. Sixth forms attached to schools are smaller but subjects limited. To be honest you may not get much choice, you cannot apply until he is resident in the U.K. so will need to take whatever is left, the problem being that chosen courses may be full. Private school is simpler because you can apply from abroad but it comes at a cost £££
School sixth firms all want as many students as possible as they get paid per student. They don’t tend to have the same cap on numbers as Y7-11. You won’t have trouble getting a space. Most state schools with sixth forms are quite big though.
The issue with school 6th forms is that friendship groups have already been formed from lower down the school and they can be quite cliquey.
At DD's 6th form quite a few students who had joined from outside the school left after a couple of weeks because they couldn't settle. At a 6th form college everyone is new.
The Hampshire 11-16 state schools are up to 350 per year group
The 6th forms are up to 2000 per year group
Universities are around 5000 per year group
the 6th forms are a good staging post
We are unable to return to the UK before he has taken his GCSE's so being resident and applying to a State school looks problematic. Our DD was at boarding school and had a couple of new students to the 6th form, one faired better than the other (I think because she had already been in a boarding school system). Do private sixth forms exist?
I can't comment on the area but you mentioned Millfield. There's been threads on that school so it may be worth looking at them....
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
You don't need to be resident in the UK at the time of applying to state sixth forms. For state school sixth forms catchment areas no longer apply, entry is by GCSE attainment, and for all sixth forms, private or state, places are not confirmed until GCSE results ate received in August. Therefore, it may be best to apply to several, private and state, with different levels of entry requirements to ensure your DC gets a place somewhere. Regarding your DC's dyslexia, it will be important to know exactly what support they may get. I am aware of several state schools where support stops post 16. It seems you are going down the private route, and I would urge you to find a private school with a good SEN support that has a track record of understanding and supporting those with dyslexia.
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