Just waved my Sixth Former off to school!

(87 Posts)
Horsemad Thu 05-Sep-13 08:03:07

How on earth can he be in sixth form?! Doesn't seem five minutes ago since he started Reception and I was wondering if he'd cope as he is a July baby!

Good Luck DS1, work hard and enjoy!

circular Wed 11-Sep-13 18:12:47

Russians DD did Eng Lang in yr10, and a module for Geog and each of the sciences, then more CAs before W/E. Maths in Feb of yr11, rest at end of yr11.

I only mentioned funding as timing may be linked to it if they had to postpone while funding agreed. But it seems schools choose different times - if all did it at the same time of year would be harder to find placements.

I fully agree with you that sport shouldn't be given treatment over and above the performing arts. I also think its wrong when schools are allowed to let you miss lessons for their internal performances, and then won't authorise for external ones.
But wouldn't mind betting the discretion is also on a child by child basis, depending in how well they are keeping up with their school work, and catching up with what they miss - which does seem fair.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 11-Sep-13 17:53:55

Circular Your DD did her GCSEs in Y11 though, didn't she? I'm confused now. All this Y10 Y11 stuff - I will never get used to it!

I have no idea who is funding the WE or even what possible point it could have - ours is not to reason why! grin It seems nuts to me but there you go - so do lots of things but I seem to be perpetually in a minority.

The rule change was about exceptional circumstances, which was the 'category' under which term time holidays fell. There was a statutory instrument back in the Spring. The problem is that in the guidance they specifically mention going to concerts. Not performing. Going to. Which I had assumed was yer Glasto trip or similar. (I remember being off school for one morning in the 6th form because I'd gone to see the Cocteau Twins in Chelmsford the night before, spent the night at a friends and then headed back to London in the morning. Oh what a rebel I was! grin ) I hadn't been at all worried until this person I know suggested that performing was now banned (it isn't AFAICS) and at the same time, I heard some worrying rumours that some of the local schools were being difficult with the panto kids. No problem for DD2 though either for the panto or the other thing. Her head has given permission for both.

It is slightly worrying - to me - though, that there is one category of 'allowable absence' which is 'approved educational activity' (which while in theory good because of it's potential flexibility is in practice dodgy because it's up to the head's discretion) there is another one for 'approved sport'. Why should sport get special treatment?

circular Wed 11-Sep-13 17:44:38

Russians The W/E DD did in yr10 was early/mid July, so after GCSE time. although appreciate they are exhausted by then if they've done all their exams in May/June.

I remember being told early in yr10 that funding for W/E had been cut so many state schools were stopping it. Her old school took the decision to continue for the next yr10s as recently turned academy.

Primary school that DD2 (yr6) goes to recently announced that they are clamping down on unauthorised absences because of some ruling change. Something about school cannot authorise them without LA seeing details now? So possibly a general thing, but took that to mean holidays etc. not a change in what would be considered as authorised.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 11-Sep-13 16:12:19

You're not allowed to be absent on work experience week unless you are sick. I don't know why, I don't make the rules! I don't think the WE issue is related to the new rules though, it might just be her school, for all I know - she's my oldest child.

I think that doing WE when you're in Y10 and doing GCSEs in Y11 is a bit different from doing it in Y10 when you're doing your GCSEs in Y10! And Y9 would be way too young.

But it is really annoying. sad I do hope you are right about the other performance stuff. She was a runner up in a thing last year, and she has been offered some brilliant workshop stuff as a result, I haven't asked permission yet because the dates are a bit vague - but it'll be in term time. I'd've said 'approved educational activity' for sure until my conversation last night. Now, I'm concerned.

Horsemad Wed 11-Sep-13 14:56:17

DS1 did his WE in Yr10, he did a week and loved it. DS2 has just started Yr10 but there is a rumour that WE is now changing to Yr 11, so will wait and see what happens.

circular Wed 11-Sep-13 14:26:23

Russians Re work experience, DD did a fortnight in July of y10. School arranged some, but she sorted her own.Also did a few odd days in yr9 but most of those related to winning a competition.

Puzzled about the unauthorised absence thing, as if it's their work experience period, she won't be missing lessons. Thought performances, auditions , interviews and the like would all be authorised?
DD has been asked to do something next month that would mean a couple of days off school for rehearsals. Not asked, but not keen on her missing lessons at this stage, as has difficult subjects an not sure how well she will manage workload. Never occurred to me that school could refuse. Seems bizarre when they WILK be pulling them from lesons left right and centre for school Xmas performances.

Edexcel GCSE, was told Grade 3 min, but no advantage for playing anything above Grade 5. She did recorders for both solo and ensemble (duet) but had a bit of trouble getting the duet recognised as a more difficult piece as not graded As far as we could see from results (full UMS) moderators never downgraded.

Thought as AS was minimum Grade 5, Grade 7 would be a more difficult piece, but school are saying Grade 6. Edexcel again.
Hope music school can advise further before she choses her pieces.

Agree, a minefield. She's very concerned about the composition element, as not creative.
Feel for your DD doing it all a year earlier.

DDs second instrument is violin, she doesn't practice enough to get the techniques she needs to progress further. Never taken grades, just enjoys playing at the level she is at - school orchestra and music school string ensemble. Not intending to have a second study at University.
Yes - wants to get Grade 5 piano prior to UCAS, only been playing a couple of years, has Grade 3.

Is your DD all healed now?

Hope we are not taking over the thread with music stuff.
Do you think we need a separate thread for A level music?

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 11-Sep-13 07:46:53

Circukar sorry, posted too soon......the worry over performing is to do with the new rules about time off school. Not about usual commitments. DD1 has been invited to perform in a couple of things which would require missing a bit of time (one day each) from school. I haven't tested it out yet, but I know a teacher at the school socially, and she was saying last night that she interprets the mention of concerts as now being not a good reason to be off school as including performing. I'd assumed the reference was to attending (you know, the annual trek (well, short drive, from here) to Glasto) and if you were playing in something, it would still be an approved education activity. And she is very hmm about that which is worrying. And anecdotally, some of the kids in the Panto that Dd2 is in are having difficulty getting the school letter required for their performance license which again indicates a hardening of attitudes within schools. Which is already completely non evident when it comes to sport. angry

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 11-Sep-13 07:34:33

Circular Remember, she's only in Y11. That's when most work experience is, isn't it? Y10 too young.

DD can do all her performing on one instrument. It's just her teacher is a bit.......he made her do her performing on the flute for GCSE. But to be fair, it's not because he doesn't reckon the recorder, he says (and I might believe him) but he thinks the moderators might not. They don't have to do things on different instruments. Grade 5 is the minimum standard for AS, Grade 6 is the minimum for A2, on the syllabus they are doing, so to do a grade 6 piece for AS would be not that higher than the minimum standard..... But if your syllabus is more like GCSE (which gave an upper limit as well as a lower) then obviously that might change things.

God it's all so complex isn't it.

What's your DD's second study? Is she battling to get to the required level in piano too? It was all looking ok on that front for DD this time last year, but then she got burned in her ISA and then she broke her hand and it's completely set her back on the piano. sad

circular Wed 11-Sep-13 06:32:51

Russians no - the grade 6 was a general comment aimed at the group. DD not questioned it (yet). Wants to check the playing lengths of some of her pieces and see what fits well first.

What is it with GCSE /A level music teachers and this hatred / disrespect of recorders. No doubt DD will have a similar battle, but one I feel she can win quite easily as she is only grade 5 standard on second instrument., and lower on piano.

iIRC correctly, your DD is doing a different syllabus that either requires performance on 2 different instruments, or both solo and ensemble. Think ours can all be done on one, for AS at least.

I would have thought as your DD Has not changed schools, they would be used to her playing commitments by now? Quite unusual to have a weeks work experience in sixth form.

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 10-Sep-13 22:44:04

circular Perhaps they said that because Grade 6 is the last exam she passed? So her grade 6 pieces will be firmly under her belt? DD1 certainly won't be exhuming any old grade 6 pieces - too long ago in recorders flute and singing and frankly impossibly far in the future in piano (if she can just pass her grade 5 this term - actually, if she can just TAKE it - I'll deem that a triumph really). Her problem is her teacher really seriously doesn't want her to do her performances on recorders. His thing is, she's grade 8 standard on flute and at singing too, so why not go with one or other of them. Her thing is, she doesn't want to. Impasse. sad

We also have a looming issue with performing stuff she's been asked to do which the school may say no to. Not least because some of it classes with work experience week. Which is just ridiculous when you think that the performing is rather more relevant work experience than the placement she has lined up for that week. Ah well. One has to pick one's battles. And I think I might advise her, in the end, to give the lot of them a body swerve. An easy life might be a nice thing to try out for a change. After the nightmares of last year.

webwiz Tue 10-Sep-13 22:23:19

grin mumslife. I told DS that he needs to change out of his suit when he gets home so he's been putting his pyjamas and dressing gown on at 4.30pm - DD1 says its like living with Hugh Hefner!

mumslife Tue 10-Sep-13 21:33:19

Glad im not the only one with tired daughter loads of homework here but been back over a week now. Left her in a cafe looking after my handbag whilst i went to the toilet. Came back ten minutes later to find her asleep!

circular Tue 10-Sep-13 21:09:59

Russians Only had 2 music lessons so far. Been told performance mock in December and will get to perform their chosen pieces in front of each other shortly before. Also been told not worth playing above grade 6 piece for AS (does that sound right?)

Think she's a bit put out not to get to perform in front of class yet. About 12 or 13 in their group.

Not been back to other thread since summer hols - music school not restarted yet.

Hope your DD is enjoying the course.

Haystack Tue 10-Sep-13 20:51:09

Thanks Wave
No homework here yet - well not according to dd anyway!

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 10-Sep-13 19:59:17

Circular has your DD had to perform yet for the class? DD1 had to perform yesterday. It's a small group though and it's not like she doesn't have quite a sizeable repertoire of stuff she can do almost off the cuff, so that was OK. I think some of the others were a bit more wary though.

Also - I posted in your thread but perhaps you didn't see - have you sorted out the grade 8 situation yet?

roisin Tue 10-Sep-13 19:46:52

ds1 has had lots of homework:two or three lots each day. He only has 4 frees each week, so mostly he has to do it when he gets home.

But he is absolutely loving sixth form. Today he was buzzing and telling me over tea about everything they learned today. (Most straight over my head, as I'm an arts person, not science! But it's nice that he wants to share.)

He's also really independent and taking responsibility for himself. He still hasn't quite done all the steps to enable him to use the cashless catering system (5 days in!), but he says he's nearly cracked it. LOL

circular Tue 10-Sep-13 19:37:16

Lessons only started yesterday for DD1. No homework except for maths both days. Also, both times lesson was after her free study period so she has had to do it at home. Maybe they are being broken in gently, though they did have a lot of holiday homework - which so far none of the teachers have asked for.

Bit early to tell how its going, seems to like most of the teachers but missing all the friends she left behind and suspecting it will be difficult to break into a friendship group.

Horsemad Tue 10-Sep-13 19:06:31

Oops, sorry! We did get a bit sidetracked with feet for a while!

Chem homework here tonight & he's just said how pleased he is with his teachers as they know their stuff!

TheWave Tue 10-Sep-13 16:42:38

Yes webwiz thought I'd got the wrong thread from a moment.

Hay well it's early days maybe. They should be making them feel different I think if in the same school. Have a look at the 6th form prospectus and see what sort of things might still be offered that your DC hasn't accessed yet. Are there newbies from other schools as that contributes to a new atmosphere? Could she help them settle in/make new friends?

Haystack Tue 10-Sep-13 16:17:32

My dd just started on Monday - 6th form of her old school, still have to wear uniform, and I am beginning to think we have made a big mistake.

She has been given the same tutor for 6th form as she has had for 5 years through the school and dd feels that 'nothing has changed.' I think this is a shame as where is the sense of something new and exciting, a new chapter if you have the same tutor (sadly one who has never got over dd going from 'perfect' pupil to occasionally late and grumpy when we had family problems a few years back - was no support and never even returned my calls when I tried to enlist her support for dd?)

Prior to going back she was really excited about the new adventure of 6th form, about getting to grow up a bit, being more independent and had been demonstrably more mature in many ways at home - the last two days she has reverted to mono syllabled grunting and looks miserable. Do we act now? Move her to a different setting? Ask to change tutor? Or am I panicking and she will settle down soon? If I try to talk to her she just gets cross.

webwiz Tue 10-Sep-13 16:01:35

Independent is good TheWave the sooner they learn some the better they cope at this level (skims over the feet stuff!)

Horsemad Tue 10-Sep-13 12:59:03

My teen keeps his bloody socks on at night, grrr! He does shower daily so clean socks but he will not listen to me about 'letting your feet breathe'.

So frustrating angry

Abra1d Tue 10-Sep-13 12:53:43

All three we've had (and one in particular was awful) have healed up swiftly and cleanly. It helps when they're young and have good immune systems. With the saltwater, we found getting it as hot as we could (without obviously scalding) really helped to flush out the gunk.

We were also recommended crocs while the toe is healing as they offer cushioning but let air flow through. But teenagers aren't always keen.

Horsemad Tue 10-Sep-13 12:51:09

Thank you, have just googled and now feeling stressed after reading gory accounts of ingrowing toe nails!!

Abra1d Tue 10-Sep-13 12:42:38

Days. The worst ingrowing nail my son had probably took five to six days to completely heal. My toe last month cleared up in about two to three. But I was blessed with being by a lovely clean beach so it got accidentally dunked in saltwater in between treatments when I was windsurfing and falling off.

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