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IS IT OK 2 JOIN AN ENGLAND SCHOOL IN THE MIDDLE OF GCSE COURSE:i.eYR 11? watch

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    HELlo everone- i have a huge problem on my hands.I am from Ireland. and I have been unable 2 gather info frm other sources and there is no real support system 4 students like my son with unusual circumstances.

    My son will be 15 in November- so he is still 14- but has finished his Junior Cert Exams in Ireland- which are equivalent 2 the GCSes in UK. Now, in ireland there r only 12 years od schooling as opposed 2 the 13 in the UK. The Jr Cert exama, which are considered equal 2 the GCSEs in Uk, are taken at the end of the 9th yr- followed by what is called a gap/transition yr- and then 2 years of Leaving Cert/A-level equivalent.
    So, for all purposes he has done his GCSes already. We r now moving 2 wARWICKSHIRE, eNGLAND- AND THERE HAS BEEN A BIG PROBLEM RE: his year of Entry. He is too young for Sixth form, and he should really speaking, acc 2 his age , be going 2 Yr 11. But schools r reluctant as this will be the middle of the course, as he will be doing only 11th- the second yr of GCSe- and completely missing out on the yr 10/1st yr of GCSe. Schools wd prefer that he go 2 yr 10, and do GCSes all over again- which we think will be an unnecessary strain on him- 2 have 2 go undergo 2 yrs of training for an exam he has already done. But taking into consideration the fact that he is young, we r ready 2 send him 2 yr 11 if the school agrees. Now, only one school has agreed 2 take him in yr 11.

    Now, my problem is: which the school couldnt satisfy me with their answers--

    Is it possible 2 do reasonably well in GCSE exams- having missed on one full year?

    How much weightage/impact do GCSe results have on uni admissions? Cos he will probably not do so well in GCSEs as he is capable of due 2 missing out of 1 yr?

    In case he does not do so well in GCSes in this case, will universities consider his Junior Cert results from Ireland instead of the GCSes?

    There will be no problem for schools 2 take him 2 sixth form next year- but-After all- there is just the question of him doing something this yr in school- I cant keep him home.

    SO i have 2 choose between staying back in Ireland and seek admission 2 sixth form next year- which is not very practical-
    or
    To let him enter yr 11 and appear for GCSes at the end of the coming academic year.
    or
    the rare possbility of admitting him 2 Sixth form straight as he has already done his GCSes(one school has agreed 2 dop that if he he does well in his Jr Cert exams)
    or Put him back 2 yrs-in yr 10- schools r soooo willing 2 do that so that he can do the full GCSE course- but we in the family r reluctant.

    I am at my wits' end. I have made hundreds of phone calls and approached the county councils ands schools-- but I've had no satisfactory explanation/advice/response.
    I can only hope u can give me some advice. He is a ggod student- not extremely intelligent- but we predictat least 4/5 As in his GCses.

    Elles- if u r reading this - or whoever willing 2 help- Please do reply. I know its a big headcahe - for someone else who does not know me 2 think for me -first by trying 2 grasp the exact situation- but I'm sure bcos u r so familiar 2 the system there- u will be able 2 advice. I shall be ver so gr8ful 2 u. I wd value ur opinion.
    Thanks and regards
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    You said he'd already taken a GCSE equivalent exam, so why on earth does he need to redo them at all? Why can't he go straight into sixth form? In Ireland he'd only have two years left, wouldn't he? I see no problem with him going into sixth form right now. Of course, a 15-year-old in sixth form is rare (a 14-year-old even rarer), and he might have a hell of a time adjusting, but academically it'd be the best thing for him. Ask him what he feels about this; mixing with 17-year-olds might be difficult for him, but I know people who've joined the sixth form a year early and still done ok, particularly the more mature ones. (They were only just 16 when they joined, though, not only just 15.) If this is a bad idea, there's no reason he can't go into year 11 straight away if he's taken the exams already. He might be bored, but he'll know the damn syllabus back to front by the time he's finished, which can only be a good thing in terms of GCSE grades and A-level preparation. There might (might!) just be some teachers who are willing to give him extra help on subjects that he didn't study in his previous school, either if they're mandatory in his school or if GCSE work is boring him and he needs an extra push.

    If he's already done a GCSE equivalent then there's absolutely no reason why he wouldn't do just as well as he did this time round, or better. But as I said, not worth it. Universities do consider GCSEs; how much this matters depends on the applicant and the university. (If they've got a strong personal statement, reference, AS-level grades and predicted A-level grades, then GCSE is practically worthless; if the above are good but not exceptional, then the odd low or high grade at GCSE might push the candidate either way, particularly at universities such as Oxford and Cambridge.) I don't know what 4 or 5 As means in terms of the Junior Cert exams, can you clarify that?

    Universities I'm sure will accept the Junior Cert exams. I don't know of them myself but then I'm not a university. If you're certain that they're GCSE equivalents, and they're standard exams for Irish schools, there should be absolutely no problem with the universities, particularly if your son is taking A-levels (or the IB) which are very well respected amongst universities.

    Hope this helps.
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    Mnay Thanx for ur reply, Generalebriety.

    Well u c- he has 3 more yrs left in ireland 2 finish his a levels. The first yr is a Transition yr- sort of a gap yr where they do work xperience and stuff. Then 2 yrs of study after which they enter uni.

    WHEN I SAY WE PREDICT 5 A GRADES- i MEAN- HE APPEARED FOR 10 SUBJECTS IN TOTAL- AND WE EXPECT 5 A GRADES IN TOTAL, MAYBE 2 A-STARS AND A PROBABLE A/B IN THE REMAINING.

    i DONT WANNA PUSH HIM INTO sIXTH FORM , AND HE IS RELUCTANT AS WELL- COS HE IS YOUNG AS IT IS EVEN FOR YR 11. but going back 2 yr 10 an absoltue no-no.

    SO,GENERALEBRIETY- PLEASE ELABOR8 FURTHER- PRIVATE SCHOOLS WONT TAKE HIM IN YR 11 AT ALL- BUT ONE COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL HAS AGRRED 2 TAKE HIM IN YR 11. MY SON AIMS FOR MEDICINE/ACTUARIAL SCIENCES/LAW- A DIVERSE RANGE-HA HA- SO WHAT I'M REALLY WORRIED ABOUT IS PUTTING HIM UNDER TOO MUCH STARIN TO FINISH 2 YEARS STUDY IN ONE- AND ANOTHER IS HE SHOULD NOT BE LEFT OUT OF INTERVIEWS/SHORTLISTING FOR WANT OF GOOD gcseS.

    tHE UNIS WONT ANSWER MY QUESTIONS AS THEY SAY THAT IT WILL DEPEND ON INDIVIDUAL COLLEGES IN THE UNI ITSELF.

    IF I CAN BE ASSURED THAT IT WILL NOT BE TOO STRENUOUS FOR AN ACaDEMICALLY-ABOVE-AVERAGE KID TO COVER 2 YRS OF GCSE IN ONE- AND THAT THE UNIS MIGHT CONSIDER HIS jUNIOR CERT FROM iRELAND(WHICH R DEFINITELY STANDARD EXAMS EQUIV 2 GCSEs)-- inspite of having done his GCSes also from england-albeit in 1 yr- I shall be comfortable taking him 2 yr 11- as that will mean putting a family 2gether . His father works in UK, u c- so it will be a gr8 thing 2 have the family 2gether - so as u can c,dear.generalebriety, its an important decision- and my instinct does tell me 2 go ahead- I had started packing boxes- and have abandoned doing so twice-maybe I should start packing again? tHANX AGAIN, 4 UR EXPLANATORY EMAIL- HOPE U CAN ADVICE SOME MORE. CHEERS !!
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    MANY MANY Thanx for ur reply, Generalebriety.

    Well u c- he has 3 more yrs left in ireland 2 finish his a levels. The first yr is a Transition yr- sort of a gap yr where they do work xperience and stuff. Then 2 yrs of study after which they enter uni.

    WHEN I SAY WE PREDICT 5 A GRADES- i MEAN- HE APPEARED FOR 10 SUBJECTS IN TOTAL- AND WE EXPECT 5 A GRADES IN TOTAL, MAYBE 2 A-STARS AND A PROBABLE A/B IN THE REMAINING.

    i DONT WANNA PUSH HIM INTO sIXTH FORM , AND HE IS RELUCTANT AS WELL- COS HE IS YOUNG AS IT IS EVEN FOR YR 11. but going back 2 yr 10 an absoltue no-no.

    SO,GENERALEBRIETY- PLEASE ELABOR8 FURTHER- PRIVATE SCHOOLS WONT TAKE HIM IN YR 11 AT ALL- BUT ONE COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL HAS AGRRED 2 TAKE HIM IN YR 11. MY SON AIMS FOR MEDICINE/ACTUARIAL SCIENCES/LAW- A DIVERSE RANGE-HA HA- SO WHAT I'M REALLY WORRIED ABOUT IS PUTTING HIM UNDER TOO MUCH STARIN TO FINISH 2 YEARS STUDY IN ONE- AND ANOTHER IS HE SHOULD NOT BE LEFT OUT OF INTERVIEWS/SHORTLISTING FOR WANT OF GOOD gcseS.

    tHE UNIS WONT ANSWER MY QUESTIONS AS THEY SAY THAT IT WILL DEPEND ON INDIVIDUAL COLLEGES IN THE UNI ITSELF.

    IF I CAN BE ASSURED THAT IT WILL NOT BE TOO STRENUOUS FOR AN ACaDEMICALLY-ABOVE-AVERAGE KID TO COVER 2 YRS OF GCSE IN ONE- AND THAT THE UNIS MIGHT CONSIDER HIS jUNIOR CERT FROM iRELAND(WHICH R DEFINITELY STANDARD EXAMS EQUIV 2 GCSEs)-- inspite of having done his GCSes also from england-albeit in 1 yr- I shall be comfortable taking him 2 yr 11- as that will mean putting a family 2gether . His father works in UK, u c- so it will be a gr8 thing 2 have the family 2gether - so as u can c,dear.generalebriety, its an important decision- and my instinct does tell me 2 go ahead- I had started packing boxes- and have abandoned doing so twice-maybe I should start packing again? tHANX AGAIN, 4 UR EXPLANATORY EMAIL- HOPE U CAN ADVICE SOME MORE. CHEERS !!
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    Well, I'm certain that universities will consider his Junior Cert. You're not required to declare any exam results, so if he fails all his GCSEs, you would never have to mention it. But on that note, I can see no reason why it would be difficult at all for him to pass his GCSEs... he's done his GCSE equivalent exams already, so surely an extra year in year 11 would be overpreparation? Nothing more than revision for exams that cover essentially the same material?

    Given that he's done all this stuff already and is now going back to do it again, I think year 11 would practically bore him. He seems bright enough. That's why I suggested sixth form. But when I re-read your initial post and noticed that he would be joining sixth form at the age of 14, I was a bit more reluctant. I do understand that it's difficult and it's an important decision, but it's not an easy one to make. I think you should seriously consider year 10 as a possibility (even if it's not one you particularly would enjoy), because as you said yourself, 14 years old is young even for year 11.

    My advice, if you're definitely moving, would be to put him in year 11. He'll have no trouble since he'll have already covered most of the material, and the odd bit of bridging the gap with minor variations between Irish and English syllabuses won't tax him at all if he's as good as you say, and would definitely be good preparation for A-level, particularly in terms of teaching style and exam technique and so on. I got the impression from your post that staying in Ireland wasn't what you wanted to do, and it's certainly not gonna cause any harm if he repeats year 11 and does his GCSEs again. I can't see any major problems that could arise at all, and the extra year before A-levels will give him a chance to make friends nearer his own age and get used to the education system and his surroundings, without challenging him academically very much and giving him the opportunity to gain a qualification that's more well respected in England. (And if he does better in his GCSEs than he does in his Junior Cert, as I said in my post above, there's no need to mention he ever took the Junior Cert. )
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    dEAR GENERAL, I CANT TELL U HOW GR8FUL I AM FOR UR QUICK REPLIES. U HAVE EVN ANSWERED MY CONCERNS THAT I DID NOT PUT IN SO MANY WORDS. YES- I WD PREFER 2 MOVE 2 THE UK NOW - I'D STAY BEHIND ONLY IF IT WOULD BE A REAL PROBLEM FOR MY SON- COS AFTER ALL- HAVING DONE HIS JR CERT WHAT HE REALLY NEEDS 2 DO IS JUST APPLY FOR A LEVELS NEXT YEAR- BUT FILL THIS YEAR WITH SOMETHING !. SO, YES- YR 11 SEEMS A GOOD IDEA AFTER YOUR ADVICE- HE CAN REVEAL ONLY THE MORE-FAVOURABLE RESULTS - AND HE WILL GET USED 2 THE SYSTEM AND EXAM TECHNIQUE. EXACTLY WHAT I WD LIKE 2 HAPPEN. NOW THE ONLY QUESTION REMAINS: SCHOOL. ONLY ONE SCHOOL IN WARWICKSHIRE WILL TAKE HIM. I DID SOME RESEARCH AND IT SEEMS 2 BE QUITE A GOOD SCHOOL- COMPREHENSIVE VA WITH SCIENCE STATUS-THO NOT AS GOOD A SCHOOL AS I'D LIKE- I'D PREFER THE LAWRENCE SHERIFF GRAMMAR IN RUGBY OR WARWICK SCHOOL OR BABLAKE-- BUT I HAVE NO CHOICE. MAYBE I CAN MOVE HIM 2 THOSE SCHOOLS IN SIXTH FORM? SURELY THEY WONT REFUSE BCOS OF HIS AGE THEN. IN UR EXPERIENCE- SHOULD IT REALLY MATTER WHAT SCHOOL HE GOES TO FOR A LEVELS IF HE WERE 2 GET EQUAL PREDICTED GRADES IN ANY OF THEM? I MEAN- DOES THE NAME OF THE SCHOOL MATTER- OF COURSE I UNDERSTAND THAT SOME SCHOOLS WILL TRY AND BRING HIM 2 HIS FULL POTENTIAL.WELL- DONT FEEL OBLIGED TOO MUCH 2 ANSWER- BUT U'VE REALLY BEEN GR8, SON- I'M SURE U R A BOY- ALL THE BEST FOR UR FUTURE, AND I HOPE U GET WHAT U WANT FROM LIFE,YOUR WHOLE LIFE. i GUESS I SHOULD START LOOKING FOR MORE BOXES... BY THE WAY I'M A DOC AND SO IS MY HUBBY- I CAN ONLY HOPE THAT MY SON DOESNT FOLLOW OUR FOOTSTEPS AND BECOMES AN ACTUARY INSTEAD!! WHAT R UR VIEWS ON THIS? TAKE CARE,SON.THANX-A -LOT
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    And Just A Quick Note, General- Its Not A Question Of " If " I'm Moving. Rather-i'm Moving "if" I'm Convinced That Its Not Such A Bad Decision To Move Him 2 Yr 11- In The Face Of Keeping The Family Apart If We Didnt. Parents Make Loads Of Sacrifices For Their Kids- And If We Dont Move- It Will Just B Another One.so My Prority Is My Son- I Wd Stay Behind If It Wd Make Things Complicated For Him By Moving-u Know What I Mean? Thats Why Its So Important. It Wd Be Much Easier If I Had Made The Decision Already And Then Think About His Schooling. Thats Where U Have Given Me Valuable Advice And Information. It Isnt A Question Of "will I Move- Or Will I Not?"-- It Was More Of "should I Move- At This Critical Stage? Do U Have Any Comments On This Enlightened Version? I'd Appreciate It . Tho I Already Feel More Comfortable Now With The Probable Decision Of Moving Without Any Big Problems- As Per Ur Info. Thanx Again
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    Your son seems intelligent enough to cope through that year. If he's not happy in that school, or if you're not happy with him being in that school, then of course he can change schools, yeah. I'd say it generally didn't matter what school you went to. Of course, some of the crappiest state schools will be pretty awful for learning, but as long as the school is decent, I'm quite sure he'll be fine there. Particularly since he's covered the material before. If he's not happy there after a year, move him... no big hassle, but he should get what he deserves wherever he goes as long as he puts the work in. There's plenty of material out there (exam boards' websites and this website, to name a few) that would ensure he passed regardless how bad his teachers were as long as he put the effort in.

    As for his career... hey, he's only 14.

    Thank you, and no problem. Good luck, and if you need any more advice in the future and I forget about this thread, feel free to send me a PM.
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    (Original post by shubhoo)
    And Just A Quick Note, General- Its Not A Question Of " If " I'm Moving. Rather-i'm Moving "if" I'm Convinced That Its Not Such A Bad Decision To Move Him 2 Yr 11- In The Face Of Keeping The Family Apart If We Didnt. Parents Make Loads Of Sacrifices For Their Kids- And If We Dont Move- It Will Just B Another One.so My Prority Is My Son- I Wd Stay Behind If It Wd Make Things Complicated For Him By Moving-u Know What I Mean? Thats Why Its So Important. It Wd Be Much Easier If I Had Made The Decision Already And Then Think About His Schooling. Thats Where U Have Given Me Valuable Advice And Information. It Isnt A Question Of "will I Move- Or Will I Not?"-- It Was More Of "should I Move- At This Critical Stage? Do U Have Any Comments On This Enlightened Version? I'd Appreciate It . Tho I Already Feel More Comfortable Now With The Probable Decision Of Moving Without Any Big Problems- As Per Ur Info. Thanx Again
    In relation to this... I honestly can't see it being that big a deal. Parents make sacrifices for their kids, but you're going to end up moving sooner or later, and while I'm sure you have your son's best interests at heart whatever the consequences, I'm sure adapting to a school in England wouldn't be difficult. I know people who moved from all around the world to England just to go to sixth form and they coped fine, and most have done reasonably well. Again, as long as your son is well motivated and is comfortable where he is, I can't see any decision you make being too much of a problem for him.

    How does he feel about moving?
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    From an Academic standpoint, although it's unrecommended, it is manageable. My mum moved to Badminton (the boarding school) in the January before their O-Levels (so literally 4-5 months before) and she was okay. She was allowed to take only 5 subjects, because obviously being expected to complete more than that in the space of 5 months isn't very fair. She did well and went on to do A-Levels, and finally to study Maths at King's College :eek:
    But then again, back in the time of O-Levels, they didn't matter half as much as GCSEs do currently, so I'm not sure if it's fair to compare.
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    (Original post by Vesta)
    From an Academic standpoint, although it's unrecommended, it is manageable. My mum moved to Badminton (the boarding school) in the January before their O-Levels (so literally 4-5 months before) and she was okay. She was allowed to take only 5 subjects, because obviously being expected to complete more than that in the space of 5 months isn't very fair. She did well and went on to do A-Levels, and finally to study Maths at King's College :eek:
    But then again, back in the time of O-Levels, they didn't matter half as much as GCSEs do currently, so I'm not sure if it's fair to compare.
    HI VESTA- WHAT EXACTLY DO U MEAN WHEN U SAY gcseS ARE MORE IMPORTANT NOW-----?. WILL GCSES HAVE A HUGE IMPACT ON UNI ADMISSION? BCOS IN THE END THATS WHAT IT BOILS DOWN TO AND EXACTLY WHAT I'M WORRIED ABOUT--- GCSEs and their impact on uni admission.AND REMEMBER- HE HAS DONE JUNIOR CERT FRM IRELAND, SO HE CAN ALWAYS FALL BACK ON THOSE RESULTS IF HE DOESNT DO TOO GOOD IN GCSEs , ISNT IT?
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    (Original post by shubhoo)
    HI VESTA- WHAT EXACTLY DO U MEAN WHEN U SAY gcseS ARE MORE IMPORTANT NOW-----?. WILL GCSES HAVE A HUGE IMPACT ON UNI ADMISSION? BCOS IN THE END THATS WHAT IT BOILS DOWN TO AND EXACTLY WHAT I'M WORRIED ABOUT--- GCSEs and their impact on uni admission.AND REMEMBER- HE HAS DONE JUNIOR CERT FRM IRELAND, SO HE CAN ALWAYS FALL BACK ON THOSE RESULTS IF HE DOESNT DO TOO GOOD IN GCSEs , ISNT IT?
    Hi, the importance of GCSEs is a constantly debated issue - some people insist that it has no impact whatsoever on University applications, whereas others swear by the fact that GCSEs are very important when applying for university. I guess it depends where you're applying to - Oxbridge expect 5 A*s (usually the minimum) at GCSE, where as other universities don't mind if you have 5 A*-C passes. The course also matters, I presume: applying for medicine, law or the like are naturally very competitive courses so one would be placed against very academic students. However less demanding courses require less in terms of GCSE grades.
    AS Levels are the most important, and obviously A2 grades are those which get you into the university itself (unless one has a conditional offer). In all honesty, one has to put their GCSE results on the UCAS form, so universities can access them so the better you do, obviously, the higher you can aim.
    Hope this helps
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    Thats not quite right about Oxbridge. A lot of students will have excellent grades at GCSE i.e 5A*s+ but not all and it's certainly not a requirement to get an interview at least. Also the situation the OP has mentioned is a unique one and one which would be taken into consideration by universities. The fact the OP's son has Irish equivalent qualifications would satisfy and then any GCSE's he managed in a year would simply be a bonus. In my opinion this year in England before sixth form doing GCSE's will be very useful in terms of allowing him to get used to our examination system whilst at the same time gain more qualifications. The school he attends will not matter provided he gets the results and he seems intelligent enough to do so.
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    why doesnt he go into year 10 and do 10 GCSEs over two years like the majority of english students.

    I took an Alevel early and found mixing with sixth formers hard at times as year 12 often start to go out on a night etc and at 14/15 it even more difficult than at 16.

    or alternativly i have an american friend that is coming over next year and will be starting at an international school which allows him to carry on with his current courses near enough has to drop one subject (latin) as they dont offer it at the school hes going to.
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    (Original post by Vesta)
    AS Levels are the most important, and obviously A2 grades are those which get you into the university itself (unless one has a conditional offer).
    You mean unconditional, right?
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    (Original post by sillyvicky)
    why doesnt he go into year 10 and do 10 GCSEs over two years like the majority of english students.
    Do you think that would be wise? Considering he's done all this stuff before and really just needs to bridge the gap between syllabuses and get used to our education system?
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    (Original post by generalebriety)
    Do you think that would be wise? Considering he's done all this stuff before and really just needs to bridge the gap between syllabuses and get used to our education system?
    yeah he could maybe consider short course or GNVQs that he could do in a year but going into a year 11 class where everyone already knows half the course is going to be hard for him and mean alot of work ad stress instead of spending an extra year learning the basics of the course and possibly coming out with higher grades than if he went into year 11 or as mentioned before the international school.

    http://www.cois.org/

    http://www.cois.org/Directory/Gen_SchoolSearch.asp
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    (Original post by generalebriety)
    You mean unconditional, right?
    Yes, yes I do. Thank you
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    It all depends on your boy. If I was him I would want to jump straight into A levels.

    And I am sure you can convince some schools to take him on, head of 6th forms are usually willing to take anyone who seems able - more students = more money; every student taking any one subject gets the school allocated x amount of money, so if he takes 4 subjects they get +4x added to there 6th form budget. But then it depends on how many subjects at A level he wants to take. If he wanted to enter for say 2, well, he can probably forget it... Entering early PLUS only taking 2 subjects... This is likely to stop them even breaking even on him as a student (at my school to break even each student has to take 3 subjects at AS level)...

    Anyway I am sure you could convince a school to take him on to 6th form. You will have to realise he's entering into a some what more adult community than he's used to, and ideally you would have to treat him as such. He may be younger than the people he becomes friends with in the 6th form but he will need to be able to mingle with them socially to "survive" 6th form with some sanity.

    That is honestly what I would do, dive straight into 6th form. There is no difficulty catching up on gcse content as far as I am concerned - I learnt intermediate tier gcse maths (but sat the higher tier exam to meet entry requirements for the A level course) but I soon caught up with everything in the gcse syllabus (I would go so far as to say I covered everything I hadn't covered at gcse within 2 months of A level. A lot of people are rusty on there gcse syllabuses, and the teachers will go over things and explain things again. This is how I learnt , anyway...)
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    (Original post by sillyvicky)
    yeah he could maybe consider short course or GNVQs that he could do in a year but going into a year 11 class where everyone already knows half the course is going to be hard for him and mean alot of work ad stress instead of spending an extra year learning the basics of the course and possibly coming out with higher grades than if he went into year 11 or as mentioned before the international school.
    My understanding was that he'd already taken equivalent exams, though. He'd know more than them, surely?
 
 
 

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