In recent years, independent sixth form colleges have become a popular and viable alternative to senior schools. Not only are their academic results impressive, but they offer students exam-focused teaching in an environment that gets them ready for university. In this blog, we take a look at the benefits of attending a sixth form college and why it might be a good route for your child.
The first benefit of attending a sixth form college is of course the wide variety of choice available for students. Many colleges will offer up to 40 different subjects at A Levels and greater flexibility in subject combinations than traditional schools. For students wanting to study non-traditional subjects this could be a great route.
More relaxed atmosphere
The ethos in sixth form colleges is very much that students should be treated as adults rather than children. The atmosphere is more relaxed with less supervision and students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own academic lives. This can often be a good fit with young people who feel they have outgrown the traditional school environment and are looking for a less controlled environment similar to university.
Sixth form colleges have some of the best A Level teachers in the profession. Not only are teachers subject experts, they become experts in that particular syllabus since Key Stage 5 is the only thing they teach. This leads to impressive academic outcomes and a rich and challenging learning environment for students.
Moving to a new environment after GCSEs can be a natural break for students. It is a chance to take on a new challenge, make new friends and gain confidence in a new school. This can be extremely positive for the personal development of young adults and is a helpful stepping stone to university.
Colleges often run targeted programmes for students applying to competitive university courses such as medicine or Oxbridge. The support you can get here leading up to your application is unrivalled.
Small class sizes
Sixth form colleges have small class sizes, usually about 6-8 students. This leads to really personalised and attentive teaching which means almost 1-1 tuition in many cases.
Opportunities for everyone
Each sixth form college is unique with very different admission criteria. Some are extremely selective, where as others offer a range of opportunities from A Levels to Foundation Courses to GCSE re-sits. It’s important to make sure you understand which college might be best for your child and to thoroughly research the best options.