Although it might seem a bit daunting starting somewhere new, there can be lots of advantages to choosing to go to a sixth form college over staying on at your secondary school’s own sixth form.
Sixth form colleges tend to be more informal and comfortable environments in comparison to school sixth form centres. It’s highly unlikely that you will be made to wear a uniform at a sixth form college, whereas if you stay at school you’ll probably have to wear a similar (if not the same) uniform to the one you have worn since Year 7!
Sixth form colleges are generally bigger than school sixth forms, and as the majority of students are aged between 16-19 you’ll no-longer have to endure the shrieks and shouts of new Year 7’s as they run up and down the corridors. As students will have all come from different schools at sixth form college, it’s a great chance to meet new people, make new friends and start-a-fresh.
The independence you are given at a sixth form college helps bridge the gap between school and university/a career very well. At school your teachers will chase you to get your work done, but at a sixth form college they won’t quite so much; it is up to you to keep up-to-date. This is the same in employment and at university. Therefore, the independence you are given at a sixth form college is a massive step in terms of experiencing responsibility and autonomy as a young adult.
Perhaps the greatest difference between sixth form colleges and school sixth forms however, is the range of courses available. Most school sixth forms will only offer you the chance to do AS and A- levels after your GCSEs. These are brilliant courses to take and they are highly respected by universities, but they don’t tailor to everyone’s needs.
In addition to offering AS and A-level courses, many sixth form colleges offer BTEC, diplomas and vocational courses too. BTECs and diplomas are equally respected by universities if you so choose to go, whilst being taught with a more hands-on approach; this can also be very useful to those who don’t intend on going to university as you will acquire the skills to directly enter into a career.