Sunday, 21 April 2013

Another update regarding the Virtual Sixth Form College (VSFC)

A third post in a matter of days!

I must tell everyone though the assuring news that I received another e-mail from the founder of this proposed new college, Robert Ellis, who wanted to let me know the Department of Education have altered their policy regarding funding for part time students.

All part time students as of next year *will* receive funding which, if this college comes to fruition, will be marvellous for many home educating families as some students will prefer to just take one or two A levels and not the usual four.

It means more flexibility for students and makes it much more attractive for many people are the funding may be imperative to their children carrying on with their further education from home.

I will follow this post up as soon as I hear how the college gets on with their application for funding.

for now if you are interested in this form of studying for your child, do add your interest on their website;

This would be the only Government funded virtual college and may be the beginning of many and allow our dear children should they choose, to remain at home and enjoy their studies.

We entrust this possibility to the Most Holy Family!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Do you think the Virtual Sixth Form College (VSFC) will receive funding? An update...

Following on from the exciting news of the possibility of a virtual sixth form college, the main question in any interested parents' minds is - will they receive funding from the Department of Education?

I have had a few e-mail exchanges with the founder of this college, Robert Ellis.
He seems confident that they will gain funding but urges anyone curious about the college to show add their details on this link;

To be clear, only those students registering full time would gain funding. The college would accept part time students but they would have to pay a fee.

I asked this as my daughter would love to study Latin A level and they hope to offer it. I would, however, have to pay fees for her if she only takes the sole A level and not sign up full time.

If you are interested do sign up and keep this initiative in mind for the future. So many children, home educated all the way through, or those already in school, prefer to study at home. This college would be the first of it's kind in that it acts exactly as a college but within the home.
There would be proper 'classrooms' albeit virtual ones, with prep and teachers available for extra tuition.

What are your opinions on this college receiving funding?

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Living in the modern world - a virtual sixth form college.

As I completed the post last week on alternative choices for further education, a friend sent me this intriguing website -

VSFC (Virtual Sixth form college) sounds like an answer to prayer for students who do not feel entering the school system is for them, or they are unable find a suitable sixth form/college in their area which is in accordance with their beliefs. They will use the cutting edge video conferencing and seminars with the teachers (see  the effective virtual teaching section under 'About VSFC)

Hoping to open in September 2015, they will offer A level courses for ages 16-19yrs old.
They are hoping to present their evidence for support to the Department of Education and apply for funding. How wonderful!

On looking at the proposed courses I noticed there are many subjects not easily available in mainstream state schools and colleges and this is an area we're concerned about for my daughter who is 15 yrs, as she would like to study Latin and Human Biology, both of which are considered 'minority' subjects.

I have found on searching that only the prestigious private schools offers subjects like Latin and Greek with even Ancient Civilization or/and Greek being very taxing to find.

Other unique subjects such as Italian, Archaelogy and Creative writing (I won't show that one to Ben who is constantly writing stories in between his prep for his AS levels!) which offer a wealth of choice to students who prefer to remain within their homes.

There is a section on their website asking for anyone interested to 'Register interest', so if you feel this is a venture you would consider pursuing, do sign and say a prayer for their fruition.

Remaining at home to study A you think this is a viable option, or just too much work and pressure for the student (and parents!)?

Would you like to study A levels but can't face the pressures of school? Perhaps you've had a bad experience of school or been home-schooled. Perhaps you'd just prefer to work independently without unnecessary regimentation. Perhaps you want to do minority subWould you
 like to study A levels but can't face the pressures of school? Perhaps you've had a bad experience of school or been home-schooled. Perhaps you'd just prefer to work independently without unnecessary regimentation. Perhaps you want to do minority subjects, like Latin or Archaeology, that aren't offered locally.

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 Latin or Archaeology, that aren't offered locally.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

What if your child(ren) don't choose to take the IGCSE, A level route?

Not all children in the UK (I hope!) will choose to follow the 'traditional' route of IGCSEs/GCSEs and then A levels, and then, possibly, University...

Some will go on to study a BTEC which is usually more practical and encompasses a selection of subjects yet not as in depth as say A levels. Yet some higher level BTECs, like level 3 and 4 National diplomas are equal to taking three A levels, which is what the average student at 16yrs or older, will study in the UK.

Some Catholic home educators have chosen an entirely different form of education, following the various American 'High School Diplomas', like Kolbe Academy, Thomas Aquinas, Mother of Divine Grace, Our Lady of Victories...the list is many!
They will 'graduate' with a Diploma and then can choose to sit the SATs which are usually taken in America at 17/18yrs and a vital requirement for University.

However, some British home educated children (and their parents) would still prefer to 'keep it British' but do not feel sixth form or college for A levels is appropriate or will suit their child's needs.
And some children (and their parents) reject even the IGCSEs, feeling them to be not necessary for achieving and desire a more autonomous style of education.
(We haven't had the courage or the need to do this yet, however our third child, Samuel, is adamant he will not be entering school/sixth form at 16yrs old...)

The Open University is a fabulous option for many versatile students who wish to remain within the comfort of their own homes, but desire to do something challenging and academic.

All Open University degrees are highly recognised and respected and for home educated children can be very suitable, as they can begin them as young as 15yrs old, therefore bypassing the usual exams, should they wish.

The O.U offers a prodigious variety of courses and one can actually choose which components they have to make up their own degree. One can study anything from Classics to Child care...
There are courses worth 10 points which are short courses, usually completed within three months and can be done alone or alongside the larger 30 and 60 point courses.

When Ben was 14 yrs old he decided to try a OU course in science. At the time he was drawn to forensic sciences hindsight a boy's dream! (Believe me, Ben is many things, but a scientist he isn't!)
He chose a 10 point course, with the helpful guidance of the Young person's applicant team;

They are available to guide and help the student choose the right course best suited for them.
Ben did the 'Medicines and molecules' course and although he found it very tough, he did enjoy it, and (Deo Gratias!) passed.

If your child has any experience with the OU, I'd love to hear their experiences, perhaps they would even write a small piece for the blog?

Finally, I came across this super story of a home educated girl who studied nursing at University having no previous IGCSEs or A levels, so being alternative and approaching the educational system from a different angle can be just as successful and rewarding!

May the Most Holy Family guide our children wisely over all their educational decisions!