Top Tips for choosing Sixth Form
Five Top Tips when choosing your Sixth Form or College
Time is marching on for taking your next big step – choosing your Sixth Form or College. Chances are that by now you’ll have discussed your options with your tutors and careers advisors. You’ll have spoken to your parents and heard their views. You’ll have visited the Open Days and read the marketing bumph supplied by schools and colleges eager to get you on board. But you’re still not decided – so how do you choose? Here are five top tips from our students to get you started:
1. Think laterally
You’re dead set on taking your favourite subjects and that’s admirable – after all, we often perform best when feeling motivated. But if the Sixth Form you feel has the best fit for you doesn’t have your subject choice on offer – consider your options. It may be that a similar subject can take you closer to your preferred university course, or open the doors to a new path. Perhaps you could attend or start a club related to your first choice subject so that you keep that up alongside!
2. Take a leap
Sometimes a change can be daunting but now is the best time to make it if you’re looking for something new! We have a melting pot of students from local schools, our own lower school students, and boarding students from further afield so there’s a real mix. One of our Y12s, Elsie, talks about her move to Sexey’s from Gillingham School as easy because she “made friends on induction day and stayed in touch with them over the summer holidays. There was nothing to worry about when term started in September.” It could be the same for you.
3. Ask for a taster day
Maybe you missed an Open Evening or feel like you didn’t get much of a ‘real’ view of the Sixth Form you visited. Some Sixth Forms or Colleges might be amenable to letting you attend some of the working day to get a feel for what it’s really like to take A levels or BTECs there. For example, Sexey’s Sixth runs a ‘Shadow a Sixth Former’ programme to let you get to know some of our Sixth Formers and teachers better.
4. Look at what more you get beyond your courses
Does your preferred Sixth Form or College offer a robust HE+ programme? Are there plenty of trips? What about careers and university/apprenticeship application support? Is the pastoral team up to scratch? Will you have a dedicated Sixth Form area for work and meeting friends? Often these things are as important or more so than your subject courses in giving you the best experience.
5. What do the Sixth Formers say?
Don’t be afraid to ask the Sixth Formers already studying there when you visit. After all, they’re the ones who will be able to tell you what it’s really like!
For more advice, you could try these articles from the Good Schools Guide and Milkround. Feel free to view our Sixth Form pages to find out more or call us on +44 (0)1749 813393. We’d love to help you with your final decisions!
Head of Sixth Form