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Chapter 2 : 5 reasons why a sixth form college may be right for you



1) Need a confidence boost

As weve seen, sixth form colleges have smaller classes and a more casual atmosphere.

For pupils who have sat at the back of a large, loud classroom at school, this change in scenery can allow them to express themselves and gain an invaluable boost in confidence.

This confidence boost can be both intellectual and personal, an ideal preparation for what will follow, be that university or the world of work.

2) Want more flexibility

To varying degrees, independent sixth form colleges have the ability to accommodate pupils’ many different curriculum requests.

The majority of sixth form college students are there for a standard 2-year A Level, but many offer the International Baccalaureate (IB), and some the Cambridge Pre-U curriculum. What is IB?

There are options for one-year A Levels, GCSE courses (some offer admittance at 14 up to 20 years old), retakes of particular modules, language courses, university foundation courses, SATS for US university entrance… You get the picture!

Also, at schools pupils are often restricted to studying certain combinations of subjects, but such issues are very rare at a sixth form college.

3) Exams are a stumbling block

Many pupils are bright and confident in the classroom, but struggle to realise this potential in the exam hall.

With teachers more focussed on their specific area, and who know specific exams inside out, independent sixth form colleges can boost exam performance.

Normal school teachers often often have neither the time or specialist knowledge to concentrate on vital training in exam technique and preparation, such as essay-writing or how to show one’s working.

Ultimately, grades are important in education, and for some pupils an exam-focussed approach may help them reach the grades they need.


4) Aiming for a top uni

Independent sixth form colleges have teachers with a wealth of knowledge about the university application process.

Whether it’s for general UCAS or specific Oxbridge or medical school applications, colleges advise and support pupils through every step.

Again, the high staff-to-pupil ratio is invaluable in university applications, with sixth form college teachers more likely to have time to give for advice.


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5) You’ve outgrown school

After several years at school, some pupils naturally feel like theyve outgrown school. At sixth form college, pupils are treated like adults and given more independence.

Also, for various different reasons some teenagers want a fresh start, with a change of scenery and new friends.

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