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ExpatSingapore Message Board 02 October 2014, 22:27:58 PM *
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Author Topic: To UWCSEA parents  (Read 4799 times)
Lok
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« on: 21 December 2009, 21:39:48 PM »
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Hi everyone,

We are trying to make a big decision about where to send our daughters (age 8 and 4).

It seems that everyone is unanimous about the quality of UWCSEA. We have a big problem with this school's selective policy for older grades. What does this tell us about their passing rate?? I heard about a 16 yr old who was in UWCSEA from age 3. At 16, he was told not to return because he wasn't sure to pass his IB!

What happens if one doesn't succeed at his IB diploma? There is no such thing as UWCSEA diploma, is there??
 
SAS offers one.

Can anyone please comment?

Thanks
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« on: 21 December 2009, 21:39:48 PM »
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Horse's mouth
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« Reply #1 on: 21 December 2009, 23:41:33 PM »
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I'd bring up these concerns with the school directly.

Good luck.
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donkey's mouth
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« Reply #2 on: 22 December 2009, 1:04:52 AM »
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What you state is a fact - if your child will not achieve, what in their eyes is a good result for their stats - your child will be asked to leave. Obviously this may change by the time your child reaches that level.
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old mum
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« Reply #3 on: 22 December 2009, 1:08:03 AM »
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I don't agree with that policy either, since it's possible to do IB certificates individually, even if you are not likely to be full diploma material, but I wouldn't worry about it too much the ages your children are now. If they are not particularly academic, you will know that long before they hit 16 years old and are ready to start the IB diploma - make your school choices according to what is best for your own children at that time as their school careers progress. If you have problems with the basics of how a school operates, vote with your feet and wallet. ISS and OFS are both more flexible on certificates or their own high school diploma versus full IB diploma. Some choose that option for academic reasons, some because the IB diploma doesn't meet every country's Uni entry requirements. For example, I seem to remember when we last looked at this that ISS said that to enter faculty of medicine at Uni level in India, more higher level science passes were required than are included in the IB diploma so they have a more flexible view on what subjects are taken. Of course this sort of requirement changes all the time, and you are years away from the end of high school, so you just have to keep some flexibility and an open mind.
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Lok
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« Reply #4 on: 22 December 2009, 12:03:19 PM »
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Thanks for your input.

Still confused! Trust schools should be a better choice but, actually, they are also run as a business. Big problem for us Europeans! Why not accept all kids and bring them to their full potential. That would sound as a great mission statement to me.

The choice seems wide but it actually narrows pretty much. At these rates, with these school policies we might return home earlier than thought.

Thanks again.
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Waiting lists?
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« Reply #5 on: 22 December 2009, 12:16:44 PM »
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TO LOK:  Are you able to get your kids into UWC at all?  They have long waiting lists.  Your 8 year old, was she offered a place?
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Lok
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« Reply #6 on: 22 December 2009, 14:04:43 PM »
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Both our daughters are on the list for UWCSEA, which will take another 2 years. Few weeks ago we tried to get the older one in Ang Mo Kio campus. They had a few places and told us that they would examine all the candidates.

Then we were told that it would be too difficult for our child to switch half way the year! She is at grade level at her current school, doing fine (could do more work though)!

So, are all those kids on the UWC list above average?? The list isn't only about your place on it. It's place + school results (and they'd better be pretty good).

Good luck to all, we're probably looking elsewhere.
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uwcuwc
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« Reply #7 on: 22 December 2009, 16:26:41 PM »
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I know a teacher at UWC. She told me the admissions are arrogant, even to their own teachers. Apparently it is not a true reflection of the school. According to the teacher, there are a lot of "average" kids there too.
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My experience
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« Reply #8 on: 22 December 2009, 17:16:06 PM »
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I have dealt with admissions at various schools (UWC, TTS, OFS, CIS, ISS) (sad I know!) and in all cases they have been friendly and informative.  Can't really fault their attitudes, to be honest.
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aw
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« Reply #9 on: 22 December 2009, 21:07:49 PM »
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I think sometimes you need to be a bit careful who you speak to.  Parents from children who for whatever reason were asked to leave will have negative view about the school.  My child just started the IB this summer.  The few who did not make it to IB are the ones (according to my child) who don't bother doing work, bad attitude etc.  In fact, she said one student who sat in front of her did not write anything throughout the entire exam.  Surprise surprise, he didn't make it to IB.  A friend of hers who didn't meet the academic requirement for IB diploma (was only recommended for 2 higher subjects) was asked to stay to do the IB certificate as the school said that she has a positive attitude.  So I think that the child's attitude is more (or at least the same) important than their academic result.  I'm not saying that they're the best school in Singapore as they have issues like any other schools.  But they're certainly not the type of schools who throw students out just because they don't achieve 12 A* in GCSE either.  BTW I will definitely say that not all students in UWC are Einstein.  I wish they were as both my children are there!
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What's wrong
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« Reply #10 on: 23 December 2009, 20:24:09 PM »
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with having standards? If your child isn't likely to pass the IB i wouldn't want them at the school either. At the end of the day, the high fees warrant a good quality schooling with good quality students. Like previous posters state, if you are looking for flexibility other schools that are not so focused on this would be the way to go
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uwcer
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« Reply #11 on: 24 December 2009, 14:32:42 PM »
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Lok

The best advice is still to talk to the school directly, so many posters here have agendas, which ‘hint’ isn’t to help you with your school choice.

Aw posted a lot of correct information.

My children graduated a while ago but in my children’s case the entry into the high school was totally non selective. Most of the children who were unable to handle the full IB diploma were offered individual certificate options. BUT if the child had a bad attitude towards their work they were asked to leave and quite right to IMHO.

But in my experience they (and their parents) were counselled well beforehand that improvement was needed to stay at the school.

Good luck.
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IB teacher/parent
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« Reply #12 on: 25 December 2009, 21:51:38 PM »
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with having standards? If your child isn't likely to pass the IB i wouldn't want them at the school either. At the end of the day, the high fees warrant a good quality schooling with good quality students. Like previous posters state, if you are looking for flexibility other schools that are not so focused on this would be the way to go
  What?   Since each child/student takes IB exams on their own it doesn't matter if some other kid doesn't pass.  If your child passes their score can be sent on to the University they apply to.  There are ALWAYS kids who don't pass.  The secondary issue is whether they can receive a recognized graduation diploma that is separate from the IB results. 




It's not quite that simple.  If  a class has students in it who don't work and disrupt the class, that affects everyone.  If a class has students who try hard but just aren't up to the standard required, the teacher has to spend more time with those students and it's difficult to extend the brighter ones.  I used to teach the IB diploma at an international school here and we used to get several UWC 'rejects' (for want of a better word) each year.  One year I had about 5 of them join my higher class - they were very disruptive and had no interest in learning. I felt sorry for the other ten who had their lessons disrupted.  Other times I had classes full of weak students - hard working but real strugglers.  I really had to dumb down my delivery of the syllabus so they could access it.  They all passed, but it was hard on the brighter ones who were bored and it wasn't a great preparation for university where they are expected to debate and discuss at a higher level.  I had to stick purely to the syllabus as they couldn't cope with any more and pretty much cram them for the exam. 

No, UWC don't offer and American style High School diploma.  Other international schools do, so as a PP said, if that's what you're looking for, look elsewhere.  If you fail the IB, you would have your IGCSE results which are recognised by UK employers, but not universities unless accompanied by the IB, A levels, AP or equivalent.  US universities all want the SATs anyway so an IB diploma whilst getting you credits isn't usually enough on its own.
 
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