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Sixth form interviews looming

(5 Posts)
Pipandmum Fri 23-Oct-20 06:01:04

Hoping for some advice for parents of children who are doing this or have recently. My Y11 daughter has applied to a few fairly competitive independent sixth forms in London (she is at a non selective private school 70 miles away but we are moving to London). Luckily we started the process early and visited most last year. Due to tier two the exams have been replaced by virtual subject interviews and general interviews plus in one case submitting pieces of work that the candidate has done well in.
My question is what is the gist of the interviews and any tips on how to prepare? My daughter is not an extrovert, and I'm a bit worried that her passion for her subjects will not come across. Will they ask those awful 'what are your weaknesses' type job interview questions? And as the subject specific interviews are in place of exams, how 'hard' might these be? She is predicted to get 8s in all her A level subject choices.
As for best work to be submitted, my daughter is struggling as to what that means; I suppose for history a good essay, but biology? And psychology which she isn't doing at gcse - what could they expect there? I will ask the school in question for some clarification but wondering what others are doing if this has been asked of them.
Another concern is that I've just had the letter about 'best examples of work', no interview date yet because they decide whether to even invite to an interview based on these submissions and she is on half term for the next two weeks - no access to teachers for advice on which projects that they may have!
I have asked her current school head of sixth form for help but he has seen her just once and not sure if he offered anything of practical use.
For clarification of timeline as it is different to state schools: the application deadline has passed, the interviews are in the next two weeks (based on predicted grades or reports or written application, though some do interview all applicants) with scholarship interviews the week after and conditional offers made early December and accepted by Christmas..

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Clutterbugsmum Fri 23-Oct-20 06:29:28

My DD1 6th form initial interview was to have a quick talk about what courses she wanted to do and why. Also her school had already sent through her expected exam results and the reference letter from her tutor so they checked to make sure her results are inline with what was needed to do courses.

Maybe find out the head of the courses in the college about what is required for the course interview.

GU24Mum Fri 23-Oct-20 15:46:26

Are you happy to share which schools you've applied for? For sixth form, some are still very hard to get in to; others probably less so than you might think if they are losing some of their own Y11s. It sounds as though your daughter is fine academically so it does really depend where you are hoping for.

Zodlebud Sat 24-Oct-20 08:05:14

I would expect questions about why she has chosen those subjects to study at A-level and any ideas about future careers. They may well ask questions about the pieces of work they submitted - why they chose those particular ones etc. Whilst I would chose ones that got high grades, there are other reasons for selecting them e.g. it included a lot of independent study and I really enjoyed the freedom that gave me to take the piece the way I wanted. They may be looking for original thoughts as well as just stuff that has been learnt.

Most importantly your daughter should just be herself. Academically she sounds great. You don’t need to be an extrovert to be confident in yourself, your abilities and your passions. It’s ok to take an answer a little off tangent (so long as you end up answering the question). As you move up the academic chain, it’s more and more ok to be a free thinker.

Also be prepared to talk about hobbies and how you can balance your work / play time.

Pipandmum Tue 27-Oct-20 22:52:01

Thanks for the replies. I'm sure the schools in question (Putney High is one) are struggling with this too. It is unusual this year - it seems most schools would have her do an exam in her chosen A levels but are replacing that with an interview, which is why I expect it will not just be 'why do you want to study this' but more an oral test! But maybe not.
We are stumped still about the work to be submitted - the school says it will give more details (Kingston Grammer school is the one that wants examples of 'best work'). My daughter can't really think of anything - no real independent work, just the usual class stuff and tests. She did get a silver medal in junior olympiad in biology last year and was the highest scorer in the school, but that isn't something she has a copy of, or even remembered taking until the teacher wrote about it in her report. Well I guess the other kids are in the same position. Her art A level a no brainer she has very good examples of her work.
We shall soon find out!

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