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    • Thread Starter

    So, I'm currently in year 11, and i'm having to choose whether to stay at my current comprehensive school for sixth form, or to move to my local independent school which my brother - year 13 - is currently at. As i have to make the decision to whether go state or private by next Monday, please could y'all give me some opinions on my options!

    The pros of going to my current school:
    -know teachers well
    -smooth transition
    -as it's a state school, I might get more opportunities to take part in state-only events to do with unis and oxbridge etc

    HOWEVER, the state school does not currently have a medic society (I would like to study medicine in the future), which, even though I could start up, would take me a lot of time and effort when an already established medic society exists in the independent school. I think it's quite important to have a proper medic society at your school so you can get links/info all about the application.

    Another drawback of the state school is that the class sizes are much bigger - here, it's around 23 people per class, and as I'm planning on doing Maths, Further Maths, Biology, Chemistry, they won't be any smaller. But in the independent school, class sizes are like 14, some 11, meaning that I would get much more help and support in my classes.

    Independent school pros:
    -CONFIDENCE! My brother, who joined in sixth form there, says many times how the school really makes you much more outspoken and well-rounded as a person, and I think this point means quite a lot to me.
    -smaller classes

    HOWEVER, as it's an independent school, I feel that universities might be more biased against them, i.e. if i go to a state school and get just as good grades there as the independent school, then of course they'll probably be more likely to choose the state candidate. And as i'm hoping to get mostly all A*s in my gcses, I feel like I could get just as good grades at any type of school. BUT, it's A Levels, so i might require that extra push.

    Another point I am looking at is whether the schools have a lot of leadership opportunities - I would like to become a prefect at either my current school or the independent school in sixth form, but then i have a feeling that there would be less competition to become deputy head girl etc at the state school than the independent school, so i would more easily have the chance to be it there. However, student council wise, the state school's Student Parliament is near to non existant, so although that may sound bad, I think that i would have quite a lot of fun trying to revive and organise it as I like that kind of thing.

    So, what are all your views on this comprehensive/private school issue? I live in the South West so we don't have many grammar schools near us . And to sum up, the top things I am looking at when deciding on the school are:

    - class sizes
    - have a medic society or not
    - leadership opportunities
    - oxbridge (universities) bias/leniency


    -If you have an abundance of money and will really enjoy activities, go to the private school.
    -Don't worry about oxbridge or other universities, you can get in from any school.
    -I got 4A* at A Level from an average comprehensive Sixth Form, it's do-able with a bit of work.

    In summary:
    If you have the money and think you'll suit the environment then go to the private school, but just know all your goals can be achieved at the state school, it may be slightly less glamorous and may require a bit more independent work on your part, but it can get the job done if you think you'll prefer it. My point is, if you work hard either option is a good one, just think where YOU will be happier at.

    btw it may be good your school doesn't have a medic society, you can create one and lead it

    Class sizes are very important, and to get into medicine a medic society would be absolutely invaluable. I'd go with the private sixth form
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    Do you think paying the money is worth it?
    Teaching quality, opportunities, facilities etc. things you can't change, Medic society and prefect can be achieved at any school. I chose to stay at my school, which is a grammar, but I didn't feel like I'd fit into the private school and the people there I felt wouldn't have a positive influence on me.Class sizes are a worry in state schools but are the teachers willing to help during lunch and break times, if so then anyhting you didn't understand you could just ask at the end of the lesson. Are there any opportunities that your school doesn't offer, or couldn't enter you in? Talk to your teachers about entering e.g Biology competitions that the private school also enter, that way you are still getting the same opportuninties.
    Most importantly will you enjoy your time at the private school and will they help prepare you for going to (I'm assuming) Cambridge to do Medecine? -ask you brother about no. of people going to Oxbridge to do medecine and see if you could contact them somehow.

    Hi there, I currently attend a independent school and am in the same year as you. I understand that the thought of transitioning may be hard, but having been to both state and independent schools, I definitely rate independent schools higher. I also want to be a medic and have found that I have a lot more support at my private school. I also feel like my teachers are more invested in my future, enabled by the small class sizes. Additionally, I feel that the extra-curricular activities offered is higher at independent schools, and as medical school is competitive, anything that enables you to stand out is a bonus.
    Hope this helps xxx
    • Thread Starter

    Thank you so much for all your advice! The comprehensive sixth form doesnt do the Biology Olympiad etc rn so I could instigate it like i did with the Biology Challenge last year, but I just worry if i will have enough time to start up all these things when I'll be busy with school work and work experience. also, the oxbridge thing - usually the state one has like 3 people but this year we have 7 people who have offers, but in the independent school, they usually have around 15 people getting in (although this year had a bit of an anomaly where only 9 people got an offer...that puts me off a bit lol). If anyone is in year 13 or 12 and is thinking of doing medicine, it would be great if you could tell me how hard it might be to juggle all these things at once
    Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
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