Sunday, December 29, 2013

Update Number 3: Marie

Marie is now part way through her GCSE exam year at school (exams taken at the end of what in the US would be the sophomore year of high school) and working very hard. She has become quite ambitious academically and is determined to get the best grades she can. She has decided that she wants to change schools next year for Sixth Form (for historical reasons years 12 and 13 are often known as Sixth Form even though it now makes no logical sense whatsoever). The adjacent county still has a selective education system, in which children take an exam at age 11 and the brightest go to very academic grammar schools. The town where Helen works has three grammar schools - one for boys only, one for girls only (both of these very highly performing academically) and a third mixed school which is slightly more relaxed. Marie has been saying for a while that she would like to go to the girls only school to take her A levels (the usual next step after GCSEs in the UK examination system). However before the open evening for this school she made a last minute decision to go to the Sixth Form open evening for the mixed grammar school, thinking it might be a back-up option. She came out convinced that it was the right school for her and we have now applied for her to go there next year to study for the International Baccalaureate (that merits a post of its own, so I won't say any more about it now). Whether she gets a place there will depend on both her predicted and actual GCSE results, but based on how she is doing now it should not be a problem. In the end she never even bothered to look at the school she originally thought she wanted to go to.

As well as working hard in school Marie keeps busy outside. She has found a part time job and works as a waitress in a cafe on Saturdays. She joined A-Next-Door's gym and goes there regularly. She also likes running (though not so much in the winter!) and says she eventually wants to run a 10K or a half marathon. She is hoping to go to Bulgaria again, possibly in May, which will mean another spell of fund raising. She still loves her art and intends to continue with it next year. The picture below is a silk screen printed, African art inspired cushion cover she made for her mock GCSE exam (someone more experienced with a sewing machine did the making up - the exam was only testing the art part, not sewing ability!).


Missus Wookie said...

Lovely colours on the cushion. Good luck for those exams and yes, explaining why we call it 6th form is fun :)

The Bookworm said...

Very Missus Wookie colours, aren't they! Slightly stronger in real life than in the picture, I think.

ellie said...

Looking forward to hearing more about the International Baccalaureate. It seems to me that in the UK there are far more options for high school aged students. Here in the US it is all so standardized .... Either you finish high school, or you don't — regardless of the 'type' of school you attend (public meaning free, or private meaning high fees, or religious, or homeschool ...).