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From a poor background/failing comprehensive to a top university Watch

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    I went to a fairly average comp and it turned out fine. I was pretty much
    left to my own devices, which I am grateful for. It doesn't need good or even competent teachers, as long as they don't actually block your progress.

    Imo, where it starts to be an issue is more when the school/background is actually disruptive. Whether it be having to work continuously to bring in money, having no space to think or whatever.

    I would think it might actually for some schools to give the best students the option to have a room guaranteed to be quiet and free of disruptions to study independently with the school resources at their disposal, rather than waste their time in any lesson that are not beneficial for whatever reason.


    (Original post by Chris Ashby)
    ''Your parents had to pay thousands of pounds to get you here and my parents didn't pay a penny for my schooling - I'm here on my own merit''
    You realise either you parents or someone else paid for your schooling?
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    (Original post by aeonflux)
    I have to say I don't buy into all this 'I didn't get into oxbridge because I'm from a disadvantaged background' crap. Is it easier to get into oxbridge from a top school? Absolutely. Is it impossible to get into oxbridge from a crap school? Absolutely not. The fact that there are people on here who went to failing comprehensives and got into oxbridge prove that. It certainly isn't easy, but if you have the motivation and ability it isn't out of reach. It's unbelievable what you can achieve when you put your mind to it, but the first thing to do is stop blaming circumstances and take responsibility for your own life.
    Absolutely disagree.
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    (Original post by unknownpleasures)
    Absolutely disagree.
    Well I guessed that comment would be unpopular but whatever. Still it would be nice to hear why I am so wrong, it's much easier to sit back in your chair and neg someone than come up with a structured response.
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    (Original post by grape:))
    My Secondary school was in special measures by Ofsted, and at one point only 27% of students were getting 5 A-C grades. I am very proud to hold an offer from RHUL which averages at somewhere around 10 in the league tables for Psychology. I see myself as achieving in the same way as other people of my age (from all 'classes') however, I would still argue that my GCSEs would be miles better had I had a better Secondary school. I mean, when I'm older, if I ever have a child (god forbid) then it would be going to a private school, just so that I could make sure it had the most opportunity for high achievement, the kind of opportunity that I believe everyone deserves.
    Mine was 25% :p: 75% of my year failed to obtain 5 A-C grades at GCSE (including double science, which means deep down that my year struggled to obtain 4 GCSEs). It's shocking really. Well done on getting into RHUL!!
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    I went to a pretty rubbish comprehensive for my GCSEs. I did well in my GCSEs though and I'm at UCL now. =)
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    My school wasn't failing but it was pretty damn awful, I'm at oxford now doing medicine. I don't think it made that much difference to me tbh though.
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    It's possible. I went to a comp with a 19% 5 A-C pass rate and I received an offer from Cambridge, I narrowly missed it but I don't feel that had much to do with my school. I'm currently in the process of reapplying, looking at LSE, Bath and UEA, all can be considered decent Uni's.
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    My high school was appauling. Sixth form made me.
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    (Original post by swallows)
    The way I see it is everyone has to work as hard to get their exam results no matter what school they go to - they take the same exams. Obviously there are external pressures that impact upon performance, but if you have the mindset that you want to achieve and go to university then you can do that whatever school to go to. I really don't see it as a badge of honour wherever you went to school - Eton or a failing comprehensive. Obviously, those 'higher' up the social scale may have more things in their favour (supportive parents etc.) but ultimately it's down to personal will and conscious decision-making. I find people who say 'I went to a ****** comp yet I'm at a good uni init init init' just as annoying as those who say 'I went to Eton and I'm at a good uni rah rah rah.'
    There are some schools where half of the students go to Oxbridge, and there are others (and these schools aren't exactly uncommon either) where the overwhelming majority of students don't even progress past GCSE level. I'm not denying that the public school set have to work hard to get into a top university, but I think your view is a bit naive.
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    (Original post by Sequin)
    My high school was appauling. Sixth form made me.
    made you what?
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    (Original post by Sequin)
    My high school was appauling. Sixth form made me.
    They didn't teach you to spell "appalling" properly, I see.

    Sorry couldn't resist.
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    I think location of the school is important also. An inner-city comprehensive will be worse than say one in a town. So it's alright saying "I've been to..........school" but not actually experiencing truly bad schools with disruptive pupils, teachers off sick all the time, fights all the time, bullying, and in more extreme cases schools where police have to patrol.
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    Course they can! I did!
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    There's someone on this forum I know quite well irl, he went to a crappy comp, went to QM to do Pol, now is doing a masters at LSE.

    I have a friend who comes from a big Catholic Italian family, she went to a fairly average girls school (not failing but not like the best either), her dad was the janitor at our school and her mum was a housewife, so trust me, pretty working class. Anyway now she's a second year law student at UCL.

    It can happen.
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    School where people got stabbed waiting for the bus home ----> LSE
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    I got rejected from Oxford, but UCL is interested in me despite pretty much failing my GCSE's.
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    I don't think your education is the encompassing factor in you getting into university. There are other factors-quality of health, home life etc etc that should come into account also.
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    (Original post by aeonflux)
    I have to say I don't buy into all this 'I didn't get into oxbridge because I'm from a disadvantaged background' crap. Is it easier to get into oxbridge from a top school? Absolutely.
    And that's the end of the argument I'm afraid. At a crap school, how many pupils go on to Oxbridge? Maybe 1 or 2 every few 5 years. Maybe. At Westminster, almost half go to Oxbridge every year. That means it's astronomically easier to get into the top universities if you come from a top school. Put a random child (A) aged 4 into a crap state primary in a poor area, see them through the state system in that area... what are the chances of them even going on to do A levels? Yet, put the child's twin (B) instead into a Westminster feeder school and Westminster, and there's a 50:50 chance of them ending up at Oxbridge! So 1) child B can put his Oxbridge success in some way down to luck that he didn't have the same education as child A and 2) child A can put his failings in some way down to (bad) luck that he didn't have the same education as Child B. Therefore, child A can justifiably say "I didn't get into oxbridge because I'm from a disadvantaged background"



    (Original post by aeonflux)
    Is it impossible to get into oxbridge from a crap school? Absolutely not. The fact that there are people on here who went to failing comprehensives and got into oxbridge prove that. It certainly isn't easy, but if you have the motivation and ability it isn't out of reach. It's unbelievable what you can achieve when you put your mind to it, but the first thing to do is stop blaming circumstances and take responsibility for your own life.
    That's a load of rubbish quite frankly. Course it's not impossible (is anything impossible?), it's merely highly, highly improbable [there are more children getting into Oxbridge every year from the pool of 300 kids at Eton than from the 300,000 kids on free school meals. Either you believe those Etonians are born smarter – an absurd proposition – or our school system is failing poor children on a vast scale]. And anecdotal evidence is just that. But please, are you suggesting all the motivated and intelligent people happen to go to this school, rather than this school? No, it is far, far harder to get into Oxbridge from the latter. In fact, it's too much harder to the extent that yes, students at some schools have every right to blame their failings on their background. It's not just a case of "if you work hard"- you also have to overcome bad teachers, pupils who don't want to be there, and a whole range of other reasons (reasons which undoubtedly exist, since otherwise private schools themselves wouldn't exist).
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    When my dad was 15, his father had a heartattack. The family had no money so my dad had to drop out of school to get some low-paid job.

    After a few year, he worked during the dy and revised at night in order to be able to pass his A levels.

    He got AAA and went to Oxford
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    My school's pretty gash, and I got decent enough results, and every few years somebody manages to go to Oxbridge. My Dad's school was even worse though; I think he failed the 11+ and went to a Secondary Modern, and, of about the 300 people in his year, he was the only one at all to go to University, and he got an offer from Imperial.
 
 
 
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