School days will be shorter and there will be less access to after school assistance with coursework and homework. All rights reserved. Their needs are different and should be treated as such. However, in all parts of the country there are colleges which provide a much wider range of courses at different levels; these are usually called 'Further Education' (FE) colleges. If your teenager has acquired a ‘label’ which leads to certain expectations of their abilities and performance, moving school for a fresh start could be to their advantage. Â© . If you are considering this as an option, you really need to be making initial enquiries to schools in September of Year 11, to ensure you keep you options open and do not miss any application deadlines. If you are considering changing school for 6th form, our consultants have produced a guide to help parents navigate the decisions. Access to new teachers with differing teaching styles may refresh your teenager’s enthusiasm for education. Last modified on Thu 17 Aug 2017 17.32 BST. Do not think about the answers too long. School ethos. In many areas of the country there are schools with their own sixth forms, offering courses which are designed to follow on from your GCSEs. Make sure that the educational programme and pastoral care has been tailor-made for co-education, with careful thought to the needs of both boys and girls. 3. What do you look for in a friend? Maths recently overtook English to become the most popular A-level subject. Depending on which style of course you choose, you could also end up with a timetable that has more free time and you may be expected to stay at school to study if you go to sixth form, but that is unlikely at college. At school your classmates were all the same age but at college they could be anything from 16 to 80! “There might be a subject, like politics or the social sciences, that you haven’t studied at GCSE but that would be perfect,” he says. This is a great if you worry about settling in or making friends as it removes at least some of those concerns, meaning you can focus on your studies from the start. “Two years is a long time to do a subject, so it’s important that you have the drive and passion to succeed.”. (For further information on these examinations see our Education Tips piece on sixth form examinations.) If there’s a particular university course that you’re keen on applying to, he advises checking that BTecs are accepted by its admissions tutors. This is why some students choose to take their A levels, or vocational qualifications, at an FE college rather than stay on at their local school after taking GCSEs. This means thinking about what you – rather than your parents – believe is the best option. A college will offer you a different learning environment to that experienced at a school's sixth form. Theme can be used to create a professional Q&A community. Friendships, particularly amongst girls in an all-girls school, tend to be very strong so leaving the support of these behind may be a challenge. “A lot of universities will run taster days for year 11s to give them a sense of what a subject is like at university level – they’re keen to do residential events, especially with state schools.”, University requirements aside, you need to ensure that the subjects you pick are ones that you enjoy. icking your A-level subjects is one of the first big academic decisions that students face. If you think you answered incorrectly, you can always go back to any question and change your answer. They should hopefully raise some important questions that can be asked when meeting with the potential new school to discuss opportunities for admission. Careers advice, university applications and assistance with arranging work experience, so vital now in applying to university, may be less accessible. Students taking A-levels next year may want to find out whether local sixth forms will be offering AS qualifications. Maybe you'd love PSYCH because you love studying and helping people. If you have the same teachers then they will already know you as well so they’ll be able to support you better if you struggle. “In some cases the BTec might be better preparation for university, depending on the study style. Among the Russell Group universities, which are rated best for research, some subjects are favoured more than others. Reason – Moving from independent into state education. Make sure the new school has a large intake of new students at sixth form as breaking into existing long-term friendship groups, particularly where girls are concerned, can be a challenge. I think you should go to College to be honest you get more freedom, in sixth form its all rules rules rules and bad consequences if you break them plus your attendance has to be over 95%, so you’ll rarely get to take days off if you’re sick or can’t be bothered to go to college. “It’s increasingly common for students to take a mix of A-levels and BTecs – so it’s worth finding out what your local college or sixth form offers,” says Philip Bloor, admissions manager at Sheffield Hallam University. We don't have all the answers, but if you take this quiz, we will give you a pretty good idea about what major you should take in college. . Once you have decided which qualification is the best route, ensure the school you chose has the relevant and proven teaching expertise. E very sixth form or college student should get into the habit of answering practice questions, from textbooks and from websites online. Some tutors work full time so you can contact them any time of the week if you have any problems; others are part time and may only be in college for their actual teaching duties. Living back at home full-time may lead to challenges for the whole family. Is Sixth Form School or Further Education. Something... What book would you normally be “This means some students will have to resit, which can be a problem if they don’t find out until it’s too late. And how can you weigh up which subjects best suit your ambitions? 1. “A-levels are exam-focused, and the benefit is that you pick three or four different subjects in your first year, so you don’t need to commit to studying just one area.” These are well established, have an academic focus and are recognised by all universities across the country, he adds. Eight things I wish I'd known before starting my A-levels. You may prefer the opportunity to monitor more closely your teenager’s efforts towards their studies. Tutors and teaching staff are different too and sometimes look just like the students! Class sizes will be significantly larger meaning less individual support. There could be several hours between lessons/lectures; you might not even have to attend at all for a full day; or if you are there all day it might start at 8.30am and not finish until 5pm. A college will offer you a different learning environment to that experienced at a school's sixth form There are likely to be students from a wide range of ages, backgrounds and interests. Picking subjects can feel high stakes, but Nicholson adds that – as long as you’ve done your research – there’s no reason to be put off trying something new. If you tend to need more attention then sixth form may be a better choice as you will be in smaller classes and get more one-to-one time with the teacher. At the end of the quiz we will give you the result. A mixed environment might be deemed as a more realistic preparation for university. Unless your teenager has a car, the parent taxi service demands will increase! Speak to your teachers and former students, read up on university requirements and try subjects out, says Scott Peasey, head of the school of A-levels and GCSEs at Kingston College. They’re an increasingly popular option for students who want to go to university – last year, one in four people starting a degree course had one. And it’s not just a case of picking between subject areas – you’ll need to decide what type of qualifications you want to sit and whether it’s best for you to do them at school or a college. Sixth form: you're familiar with everyone and everything. What are the grade boundaries for GCSE Geography? You can share it with your friends :). At college it’s also possible to study on a part-time basis, rather than take a full-time course. Reason – Single Sex to Co-Ed (For the most part, all-girls to Co-Ed). Timetable flexibility often makes wider combinations of A level subject choices available. This is because the videos include everything you need to know, are students themselves are brilliant, clear and enjoyable to learn from. Institutional living presents less parental challenges with supervision of access to smoking, drugs and alcohol. Sixth forms can range from between 100 and 400 students so the range of courses and subjects you can study will depend on the size of the sixth form. So it can be quite a different learning environment. One of the first things you will notice at any further education college is that the range of courses is much wider. Sixth form, you can study a variety of subjects and A-levels are generally viewed as "better" than a BTEC by some, despite them both being worth the same UCAS points. In the past, AS-level exams, which are sat at the end of year 12, made up half of the final A-level grade.