Comparisons to school life and Sixth Form life are difficult to make. Here, a number of our current students are happy to share their experiences about what Sixth Form means to them.
Laura: I chose to stay on at Sixth Form for a number of reasons. There was the obvious convenience, but I felt more comfortable and at home around people and staff I knew. The Sixth Form is a friendly environment and this has helped me settle into my studies much better than elsewhere.
Libby: Knowing so many students already, as well as some of the staff made a difference. The teachers already knew my preferred learning style and how to get the best out of me.
Mark: I liked the teachers and was familiar with the school. I could choose all of the courses I wanted to follow and my friends and I couldn’t see ourselves anywhere else.
Lois: Everyone was so friendly and was willing to help form the start. I knew all of my teachers and liked working with them.
Emilie: I already knew people in the Sixth Form who came here and some of the teachers so it just felt more comfortable for me. All the support I needed was here and I could pick any of the courses I wanted.
Dan: It felt genuine from the start. Some larger colleges seemed to put on an act. What you see is what you get here.
Nakia: The teachers were a big part of the reason why I stayed because I knew them and they knew me. I felt less of a number to them and more of a person. The smaller sized classes are better than at a large college.
Laura: It makes such a huge difference focusing on your favourite subjects, especially because they are all of your choosing.
Libby: Lots of things! You have more responsibility, you are treated like adults and you are in your own areas away from the rest of the school students.
Mark: Freedom to work and revise in your own way. Timetables that aren’t full so you can keep on top of your work. We have more responsibility around the school and more independence to learn.
Lois: You are treated very differently. Teachers see you as adults and not as children so you feel more independent, but they are there to help you if you get stressed.
Emilie: So much more freedom! Going to the canteen whenever you feel like a break, working on what you want when you want. Trust between teachers and students through independence and being allowed to leave the college when you want.
Dan: You get to follow the subjects that you want to do and learn so much more.
Nakia: More work! Not always harder, but more of it!
Laura: The classes are so much smaller which means you get much more attention and support from your subject teacher.
Libby: Lessons are hard, very challenging. However, they feel more laid back and not as pressured, it’s about how you understand things as a student.
Mark: Much better – they are more personal due to smaller class sizes.
Lois: Chilled! You don’t feel that teachers are always breathing down your neck like they are in school. You learn so much because they teachers have so much knowledge to share with you.
Emilie: The lessons are harder, but more relaxed. It feels like the teachers are working with you all the time. They listen to you and ask you how you’d like to learn things and where you would prefer to work.
Dan: I feel like I’m being prepared for university and learning new ways of looking at things.
Nakia: We cover more content in one lesson than in school lessons. More subject lessons a week due to the fact that we are only following four subject choices.
Laura: I get various support from all my subject teachers and it differs from subject to subject. I have staff who no longer teach me supporting me in the art department whenever I go to their extra workshops!
Libby: Teachers are always there when you need them and Alice in the study room is always there to help. As students we help each other and support each other through too – it’s that kind of place.
Mark: Evening revision sessions, catch-up sessions and the ability to work with Alice study periods or in-between lessons. The teachers are always willing to help.
Emilie: Non-stop support from Alice, Mr Pinder, Miss Fisher etc. Little things like being helped to organise my time better and being supported with my coursework and revision.
Dan: You almost take for granted the support that exists, from teachers to tutors to Mr Pinder or Alice there is always someone to help.
Nakia: Teachers offer to spend their free time with you to help support you. Alice and teachers are happy to look through any extra work you do at home. With tutor reviews my tutor always knows how I feel and how I am coping.
Laura: I love the fact that I am treat as an adult and given the freedom to learn and revise in a way that suits me best. The facilities are a great aspect.
Libby: The freedom, the support I receive and the food!
Mark: The food, squares and great friends. Lessons are very enjoyable.
Lois: You can go to Mr Pinder whenever you need help, advice or if you are just worrying about things. I know that there is always people there to help me when I need it.
Emilie: Meeting up with everyone at breakfast in the canteen and the fact that it is open all day.
Dan: Banter! It is such a friendly place everyone talks to each other and the staff talk with you and joke with you as an adult.
Nakia: The environment of friends and teachers who treat you as adults. It is so easy to settle in at the start of the year.
Laura: I love the Sixth Form ID cards and how you use them to register and access the doors!
Libby: This is a good place to be, you feel motivated to do well, but it feels like home. It’s much better than going to somewhere big and impersonal, having to settle in as well as get to grips with A-Levels. I would recommend this place to anyone – no-one gets left behind!
Mark: Playing football for the Sixth Form has been great fun.
Lois: It is a great place as there is so much more support when needed. A chilled environment that I would recommend to everyone.
Emilie: I like the social environment, everyone gets on really well together. But at the same time you are encouraged and expected to work hard to achieve your grades.
Dan: No college is better than this!
Nakia: I like the large study room where Alice is there to support you. It helps you get organised and complete work between lessons so there is less to do at home.