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Enforced yeard off for a 16 year old - ideas please

(16 Posts)
sophus Mon 21-Sep-09 10:21:10

My niece is 16 and just done GCSEs, she was going to do the international bacc, but her course got cancelled at the last minute. there are no places left to do A levels where she lives and she is faced with a year off before getting on a course next year.
Any advice as to how best to approach this year, so as to ensure her motivation and brain keep working. I have offered to help fund anything as my sister has no money. Some time doing a language course abroad would be excellent, she is quite young to live independently though. She is currently staying with me and doing work experience.
any ideas vert gratefully received, or has anyone been in this position?

ErikaMaye Mon 21-Sep-09 10:25:52

Not exactly the same, but when I got ill and couldn't continue at college, I did some home study. I set myself a project and although I had to really pace it because of my condition, it was a great way to keep my brain working, and to stop myself from going insane!

Could she enroll in an adult education / evening course, and get a part time job?

LadyGlencoraPalliser Mon 21-Sep-09 10:29:48

What about an OU course in an area she is interested in. Anyone over 16 can do them and there is a special programme for young applicants called YASS. It would help keep her in the habit of studying and there is such a wide range of courses she is bound to find something that would appeal to her.

llareggub Mon 21-Sep-09 10:32:07

No experience I'm afraid.

At 16 I was also too young to live independently but spent a summer abroad living with a family learning French.

At various times in my life I have wanted the ability to cook better, so how about a great cookery class learning a variety of dishes? It will give her something different to do and give her a greater capacity to fend for herself when she goes to university.

I live close to a good university adn they offer all sorts of interesting but obscure short courses for the local community. Perhaps she could give some of these a whirl and perhaps help her consider a wider choice of subject for university?

If she is set on the IB, has she come across United World Colleges which are situated around the world? I'm a UWC reject (was devastated at the time) but know of several people who went from my school on very subsidised places. She could spend this year doing lots of useful things and apply now for next year.

I went to university at just 18 and have always thought I'd have benefited from a year out to help me grow up a bit. This sounds like a great opportunity, and what a great aunt you are!

mumeeee Mon 21-Sep-09 12:28:45

Is there any colleges that do a course she would like to do or is there a young peoples Career office where you are?
When DD3 17 didn't get the grades she needed for the course she was going to do, We went to carers Wales and got some advice. They have an on the job trainig schemme that she could have taken up if she wanted to. She decided to visit and phone other colleges, There were spare places on some courses and she ended up doing a catering course. She is now doing a difernt course at the same college but that's another story.

sophus Mon 21-Sep-09 13:45:45

the problem is, is that if she does full time education during this year off then she loses her grant funding for the sixth form. she also lives in a very depressed area of the country where the good educational opportunities are few and far between, and so anything good is full for the year. i haev looked into the OU YASS scheme, which looks ideal - independent and will stretch her, then i think it is a matter of scouting round for short courses and evening classes.
I just want her to stay motivated and eager to carry on learning when she goes back next year. i think it is a big ask of a 16 year old to take a year out of study.

Evaprob Mon 21-Sep-09 13:54:31

There are plenty of e-courses, including A Levels she could do over the internet - people of her age like to use computers- she could choose a mix and not do it full time.

Then try an evening class to get her out socially.

desertmum Wed 23-Sep-09 10:43:42

Could she join cadets with the army, navy or RAF ? It isn't seen as education as such but they cover Duke of Edinburgh awards, and if they do the full four badges it's classed as a BTEC qualification. It's open to youngsters ages 13 to 20 and they do some great stuff, flying, sailing, etc.

Hope it works out for her

DM

Takver Wed 23-Sep-09 10:57:23

Could she get a job (as in, are there any jobs round her for 16 y/os?). I know that I would have benefitted massively from a year's proper work at that age, not only in terms of growing up, but also it would mean she would have some cash put away.

BonsoirAnna Wed 23-Sep-09 11:00:36

How unfortunate for your niece.

She must be very bright if she was intending to do the IB. She wouldn't necessarily need to live independently if she did a course abroad - she could live as a lodger in a family (I did this when I was 18 and lived in Florence) or in a hostel - my cousin's stepdaughter used to live in a hostel in Paris where there were lots of well-off Asian girls doing French courses. Contact the Alliance Française in London and see if they can help.

jeee Wed 23-Sep-09 11:01:19

Does she not have any legal rights? Particularly if the IB was cancelled at the last minute. I'd certainly look at the LEA's obligation to provide her with an education.

BonsoirAnna Wed 23-Sep-09 11:02:03

The French course at the Sorbonne (Paris IV) is excellent and not expensive - I think it is called Langue et Civilisation Française - and is properly studious - your niece would not lose her study skills, which would be my biggest fear about working for the year.

CarGirl Wed 23-Sep-09 11:04:45

I think trying to find her a family to live with to learn language skills would be fabulous!

BonsoirAnna Wed 23-Sep-09 11:05:24

She could go to Australia with SCCE, a very reputable organisation, and go to school there for a few months - the hosting families provide board and lodging for free, you would only have to pay the organisation's fees and her flight.

ViktoriaMac Thu 24-Sep-09 02:59:43

I would get her to get in touch with her local branch of Connexions www.connexions-direct.com/ . The website will tell her how to contact her local branch - they have all kinds of advisors working there and when I have worked with them in various parts of the UK they have always been brilliant. She may already be aware of them from school. Also the British Council Youth in Action scheme runs programmes abroad for young people.www.britishcouncil.org/connectyouth If she applies before 1st Nov she could be on a scheme by February.
Good luck

julienoshoes Thu 24-Sep-09 08:56:00

Just a couple of points about the OU.

"Anyone over 16 can do them"
Actually you don't have to be 16 to do an OU course. Many home educated young people use the OU instead of doing GCSEs/A levels.
My youngest daughter did this and was 15 years old when she started with the OU.
The support and feedback she recived was excellent-I would recommend them.

Secondly, if she is does a 60 point course then the OU will take into her income and she should get the course for free.

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