Tell me about 11-16 comprehensives

(37 Posts)
HilaryM Tue 11-Dec-12 14:17:06

In our county we have a mixture of 11-16 comprehensives, and 11-18s. There are a smattering of FE colleges for A-Levels but no "Sixth Form Colleges" as such. In the 11-16 schools students leave for various destinations including the Sixth forms at the 11-18 schools.

The county school strategy is for any new school to be 11-16 - it seems to be the model they prefer.

I come from a part of the country where all secondaries are 11-18 so I am not really sure about the pros and cons of 11-16 schools.

The two comprehensives where we have a realistic chance of a place are both 11-16s, so I really need to get my head around this by the time DS1 applies for secondary in 2-3 years.

Thank you smile

HilaryM Wed 12-Dec-12 18:56:06

My year three copes with a proper tie!

Abra1d Wed 12-Dec-12 19:04:57

I'd be wary of this. I think many of the better teachers probably want to teach A level, don't they? So why would they go to a school that didn't teach A levels?

nagynolonger Wed 12-Dec-12 19:17:53

If people want to teach just A level they would teach at a 6th form college surely.
In rural areas there is often only one secondary school anyway so parents don't really have any choice.

TalkinPeace2 Wed 12-Dec-12 19:33:10

we seem to get reasonable teachers at the schools in Hampshire - which do not have 6th forms

HilaryM Wed 12-Dec-12 21:06:11

I wonder if 16-18 education is more like adult education, though. I'm not a teacher but I have got an education qualification, and I can see that teaching younger teenagers might well involve a whole different set of skills than teaching to a perhaps more motivated and more mature cohort.

sashh Thu 13-Dec-12 00:38:30

I wonder if 16-18 education is more like adult education

Very much so. A 16 year old learns like an adult not like a child. Motivations are different, maturity is variable.

The onus is on the student to produce work not the teacher to chase it up.

HilaryM Thu 13-Dec-12 09:40:10

... in which case you can see why the 'best' teachers might be happy enough teaching to 11-16 and another group might prefer teaching 16-18/adults.

This is all very interesting and reassuring, thank you.

Am especially heartened by the Hampshire example as I know the schools are well regarded there.

JWIM Thu 13-Dec-12 11:31:55

Just backing up the Hampshire comments...

Hampshire have had state Comprehensives (11 to 16) and sixth form colleges and also more vocational further education colleges since the mid 70s. I went through it at the end of the70s - successfully - and DD is now applying to 6th forms locally.

Based on family friends a bit further down the education road a fair proportion of privately educated 11 to 16 children also step into the state sixth form option rather than stick with their private school.

Abra1d Thu 13-Dec-12 12:32:24

Seems I am completely wrong. Humble pie eating going on. Can they be mincepies, though?

TalkinPeace2 Thu 13-Dec-12 12:39:56

mince pies - nom
BUT you are not completely wrong - it will be the case in some areas, just not round here!

prettydaisies Thu 13-Dec-12 17:53:53

I grew up in Hampshire, so went to 11-16 (actually I think it was 12-16) school and then changed at 16 to a sixth form college. All ok.
My younger daughter's school is 11-16. It is our catchment school. I know she the admission criteria for the local sixth forms prioritises their own children, followed by those coming from a school with no sixth form, so hopefully she'll get into one of them. Her school has good GCSE results including As and Bs, so I think they do push the more able children. We live in quite a rural area and not all the schools have sixth forms. There are no sixth form colleges here, although there is a FE college in the city.

indiegrrl Sun 16-Dec-12 17:41:20

Just backing up these comments, I'm an admissions tutor at a Russell Group university. We interview, and I'm very struck at interview and in their First Year how well students from VI Form colleges perform. They're mature, motivated and have often had a great time - I include in that kids from various social backgrounds and both shy and more assertive. I'd want to know how selective the colleges are, though, as some seem very academically selective and I'm not a fan of that, having seen a lot of great students who have clearly only begun to shine in Yr 12. That said, many of them have come from big FE or VIth Form colleges which suggests that these colleges do really provide space for these kids to grow and find their strengths. I do a lot of college talks as part of our widening participation strategy and am struck at the close links that many colleges have with local comprehensives - that's particularly true of colleges in areas with low levels of FE participation, actually, where they make a real effort to engage the kids at an early age. Very impressed all round.

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