The transition from Secondary school to a Sixth Form College can be a bit overwhelming, especially with an abundance of information from different Colleges. It’s a new environment, different coursework, new teachers etc. Finding the right fit can be quite challenging with all the choices available but with a little effort, you can find the right College for your Cambridge A Levels or University Foundation Programme.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that as a student you should be happy with your choice as this is where you will spend the next one or two years. The College you eventually choose should feel like home for that period. As a parent, your choice of College should resonate with your teenager. You might both need to make compromises to arrive at a decision.
With this in mind, what are the factors to consider when choosing a Sixth Form College? There are several factors that come into play but there are a few key factors to take into consideration when making this very important transition.
7 IMPORTANT FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A SIXTH FORM COLLEGE
The results of a College are important when choosing one. The results help you get a feel of the pedigree of the College. Although Sixth Form coursework involves a lot of effort on the part of the student, the results can help you see how well the College has performed and the quality of students that come there.
The location of a College is very important. A serene environment is most conducive for teaching and learning and reduces distractions. A College situated in a noisy or busy location will make learning stressful for students and be a great source of distraction and discomfort for both parents and students alike.
University Placement Support:
The end goal for any student attending a Sixth Form College is to achieve the required grades and ultimately get admitted into their University of choice. The College you choose for Sixth Form should provide adequate support to help you gain admission into your chosen University. It should have dedicated counsellors to guide you through your application process and offer support services for various destinations.
The facilities of a College tell you a lot about its mission and vision as an academic institution. It helps you get a good view of the direction and aspirations of the College. A reputable academic institution invests in its facilities and maintenance is taken seriously. Visiting the facilities will help you determine if the College is the right fit for you and also assess what kind of support you will be getting to help you achieve your goals.
Average Class Size:
It is important to ask about the average class size when visiting facilities. Smaller class sizes provide more support and better teacher-student interactions. There is less room to mess about. It also helps keep concentration levels up. Occasional larger class size can also be beneficial as it prepares you for University-style lectures if properly managed.
College Life and Culture:
Another important thing to examine is the College life and culture. What is the College community like? How do staff and students interact? Is the atmosphere warm and friendly? What extracurricular activities or events are available? A good way to find answers to these questions is by visiting in person and also by checking out the social media channels of the College (Youtube, IG, Twitter etc.)
Recommendations from past students:
Another good way to get the vibe of a Sixth Form College is by talking to past students about their experiences. Following the social media channels of the College is a great way to connect with their past students and get their feedback.
There you have it. Some of the most important factors to consider when choosing the right Sixth Form College for your Pre-University programme, whether A-Levels or University Foundation Programme (UFP).
I hope you will find these tips useful as you consider your transition to Sixth Form.