Natasha’s achievements – Update

In my previous post about  parental pride, I spoke about my daughter Natasha and her passing all her GCSEs, and about how that got her into her intended college course at SGS Filton:

Natasha is looking to go to SGS College Filton to attend their Rugby academy and study a Sport & Exercise Science BTEC. Her grades mean she is eligible for the level 3 NVQ, which will stand her in better stead when looking at university options etc beyond college, so well done Natasha!

The full post for the above is HERE

The key thing in the quoted paragraph above is “Her grades mean…”. That, it appears, depends on who you speak to!

Jumping back in time to GCSE results day, once back from the school after collecting the results I was sat at my desk at home when the phone rang. It was Filton College enquiring about Natasha’s results. When I told them, they said they were sufficient to get into the course she wanted to do, and that she was required to go to college for registration the Thursday following results day (31st Aug). Thus the blog post above and the ensuing planning. This she duly did, only to be told once there that her grades were only sufficient to get her on a diploma course that is only worth 2 “A” Levels following 2 years of study, and not the BTEC course (which is worth 3)! Clearly, the person I spoke to on results day did not have the correct or relevant information to hand.

Now, attending Filton college for the BTEC she wanted to do would represent big change and commitment, both from Natasha, and myself and her mother as parents. Travel, kit costs, academy membership and more would require a considerable commitment from us, and a profound change of routine and culture for Natasha. A commitment we’d have been happy to make despite the financial issues, if it was the right course and the right thing for Natasha. Two years of that commitment to be “rewarded” with a diploma when she is capable of so much more, does not represent a particularly good option in my opinion. However, the main thing to consider was and is Natasha.

All summer, Natasha had been enjoying the rugby and the pre-season training, and has spoken highly of the coaches at Filton. However,  there has been an almost imperceptible “something” that has clearly been worrying her. I think it was more than merely the “impending doom” of GCSE results day however (given that Natasha herself, were she to be honest, would admit she could have worked harder). Her mother and I think it was the course and the dive into the unknown it represented. Undoubtedly she would have shone rugby-wise at the academy, but the academics and change of routine clearly daunted her. I say clearly, as following the debacle of registration at SGS Filton, Natasha decided that she wanted to return to Backwell School’s 6th form for A levels after all, and there was an instant spring back in her step once she’d made that decision.

After some frantic parental running about and phone calls to school on the Filton College registration day (and the revelations that brought), and Natasha going into school to see teachers the day before the new academic year started, Natasha is now fully back into the swing of things at Backwell School as a 6th form student. Enrolled to do 3 A Levels (English Language, Applied Science, and PE), as well as an EPQ (project), she seems so much happier, and has already visibly been applying herself to the initial academics. Clearly, the right decision!

So, to sum it all up, her mother and I are still immensely proud of her as we are all our kids. She perhaps could have worked harder and would admit that herself, but she did not fail a single subject in her GCSEs, and dealt with the subsequent college / school situation admirably (with help from yours truly). She seems so much bouncier and perkier than she did during the summer, both in school and out…long may it continue!