Katmum
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My son, 15, has had to leave full time education due to medical issues. We are currently enrolling him on IGCSEs and tutors/online schools. As a lot of HE kids he will take less GCSEs than a child at school at the moment they are English Language, Maths and higher maths, physics, chemistry, biology and computer science. He has his heart set on Cambridge to study computer science. He is very academic and loves learning.
I was wondering if there are any homeschooled children that have made it into Cambridge or other top universities? We are hoping that he will be well enough to complete his A levels at college. I just hate to think his dreams could be over before they have begun..
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redmeercat
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Hi,
I wasn't home schooled, but when you apply to Cambridge they take into account the context of your GCSEs, and there's an SAQ where you can mention anything which impacted you (such as health issues) at GCSE level and below. Basically, they recognise that getting 77777777 (for example) whilst combatting other issues is more difficult that 77777777 from a more privileged situation.

I really hope he gets where he wants to be, I'm sure I've heard of homeschooled pupils getting to Oxbridge. x
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Katmum
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(Original post by redmeercat)
Hi,
I wasn't home schooled, but when you apply to Cambridge they take into account the context of your GCSEs, and there's an SAQ where you can mention anything which impacted you (such as health issues) at GCSE level and below. Basically, they recognise that getting 77777777 (for example) whilst combatting other issues is more difficult that 77777777 from a more privileged situation.

I really hope he gets where he wants to be, I'm sure I've heard of homeschooled pupils getting to Oxbridge. x
Thank you so much for your reply and kind words.
As a parent you want to help your child to achieve their dreams but have to be realistic within the situation we have found ourselves.
Do you know if they take GCSEs as an important indicator during application? Or is it often based A level results?
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Chopinnocturne31
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redmeercat
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(Original post by Katmum)
Thank you so much for your reply and kind words.
As a parent you want to help your child to achieve their dreams but have to be realistic within the situation we have found ourselves.
Do you know if they take GCSEs as an important indicator during application? Or is it often based A level results?
It's a very holistic approach - before they decide on interviews, they'll have received any previous grades, personal statements, SAQ, references, sometimes work that's been sent in and/or admissions test results (both depending on college and subject), and Cambridge tend to invite anyone to interview who they think has the potential to achieve the average entry requirements (for their course) later in the year... They interview a far higher percentage than Oxford, and GCSEs are unlikely to stop a candidate from recieving a call to interview if their a level predictions, reference, personal statement and SAQ suggest that those grades don't reflect the student's potential. I had undiagnosed dyslexia when I did my GCSEs, so they were ok but not fabulous compared to some of my course-mates, but my other elements were stronger so I got in anyway. After interview, it's again really a case of the student's overall performance rather than trying to reach a specific standard in all elements.
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Katmum
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(Original post by redmeercat)
It's a very holistic approach - before they decide on interviews, they'll have received any previous grades, personal statements, SAQ, references, sometimes work that's been sent in and/or admissions test results (both depending on college and subject), and Cambridge tend to invite anyone to interview who they think has the potential to achieve the average entry requirements (for their course) later in the year... They interview a far higher percentage than Oxford, and GCSEs are unlikely to stop a candidate from recieving a call to interview if their a level predictions, reference, personal statement and SAQ suggest that those grades don't reflect the student's potential. I had undiagnosed dyslexia when I did my GCSEs, so they were ok but not fabulous compared to some of my coursemates, but my predictions were higher so I got in anyway. After interview, it's again really a case of the student's overall performance rather than trying to reach a specific standard in all elements.
Thank you 😊 I feel much better knowing it’s a holistic process and he can still aim for his dream. x
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Katmum)
Thank you so much for your reply and kind words.
As a parent you want to help your child to achieve their dreams but have to be realistic within the situation we have found ourselves.
Do you know if they take GCSEs as an important indicator during application? Or is it often based A level results?
Cambridge doesn't focus on GCSEs in the way Oxford does - they are also interested in progression ie great A level grades

What is he thinking of studying?
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Katmum
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(Original post by Muttley79)
Cambridge doesn't focus on GCSEs in the way Oxford does - they are also interested in progression ie great A level grades

What is he thinking of studying?
Hi, he’s hoping to study computer science.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Katmum)
Hi, he’s hoping to study computer science.
OK - he might also want to look at universities which offer a year in industry

Let me know if you need good maths resources. Encourage him to post questions he's stuck on here with what he's tried and we'll give hints.
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Katmum
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(Original post by Muttley79)
OK - he might also want to look at universities which offer a year in industry

Let me know if you need good maths resources. Encourage him to post questions he's stuck on here with what he's tried and we'll give hints.
Thank you 😊
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Oxford Mum
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Peterhouse Admissions may be able to help you with this.

Also please see link to Oxford Demystified (sorry I haven't got a Cambridge one) chapter on Computer Science (ie how they got an Oxford place)

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...0#post88246090

I wish you all the very best.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
Peterhouse Admissions may be able to help you with this.

Also please see link to Oxford Demystified (sorry I haven't got a Cambridge one) chapter on Computer Science (ie how they got an Oxford place)

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...0#post88246090

I wish you all the very best.
The Oxford entry approach is quite different ...
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2childmum!
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This website has a lot of info for Home educated students taking exams, in case you haven't found it.

https://he-exams.wikia.org/wiki/HE_Exams_Wiki

If you click on the Higher Education section and scroll down there is some info on applying to Cambridge.

There is also an email group and a Facebook page for parents of home educated students taking exams - scroll to the bottom of the page (under the list of exam subjects) for links to those. I found them very useful when home educating my daughter, although she did end up going back to school for exams in the end. If you post on one/both of those you may find parents who have had children go to Cambridge. I do know of someone who went to Oxford, after being home educated from 5 to 16 and then going onto a sixth form for A levels.
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NoraSmith
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Hi,
I self-studied my GCSEs at home in year 11, and was planning to apply to Cambridge at the time. I had some questions, and wrote to the individual colleges that I was interested in - they all replied and were very friendly and constructive. I would recommend that your son does the same, and I also advise him to do some independent reading around the subject, to demonstrate his motivation - this will stand him in good stead.
Taking a year out of school to study at home was one of the best decisions I ever made, and I actually ended up learning far more than I ever did at school, as it gave me the opportunity to delve much deeper into my subjects and also to pursue my own interests. I know several homeschoolers who have gone on to be remarkably successful. Very best of luck!
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