Wednesday, 15 May 2019

College or Sixth form? What to do after your GCSEs!

Hey Guys,

Now it's nearing to exam season once again. I thought this would be a good chance to share with you how I choose to leave my school and go to college for my A levels hopefully giving you all some advice along the way.

Now originally I planned to stay at my school for my A levels I wanted to stay with my friends, my boyfriend, I got on so well with particular teachers and I was really happy towards the end of year 11 but they just introduced a new uniform, the head of sixth is horrible and the subjects I wanted to take all clashed in the columns so I began looking at my other options.

I originally wanted to study Art, English literature and geography.

I actually went to a school out of my catchment area (which is a different story) so my mum looked into the local high school with all my friends from primary but I didn't want to go there! Then I looked into my local college, I went to an open evening and applied to study a full-time art diploma. I was lucky enough to get accepted but I decided to decline because I didn't want art to be my only option!  So I then enquired about A levels and attended the sixth form centre open day. Here we got to meet loads of really nice teachers, explore the amazing building....this may have been one of the main attractions with 4 lifts, 3 libraries, a gym and a salon all right next to a cinema, McDonald's,  Nandos and Frankie and Bennys! And I was informed about all the unique things the college has to offer.

I was hooked...desperate to study at this college.  I was still gonna find it hard leaving my best friends and my boyfriend but I knew I'd be able to do the A levels I want, closer to home, have a fresh start and it really excited me.

Now when it came to enrolment I did come across a few obstacles however the staff were so helpful. I was advised to take R.S instead of geography because I got a C in geography GCSE but an A in RS and I agreed this would be more beneficial and I loved RS. Also, my biggest disappointment is that my college sadly only offers an English A level rather than two separate Lit or Lang A levels. I only enjoyed English so much in school because of my love for book I loathed any kind of creative writing so I decided to take sociology instead. This does still frustrates me but I am enjoying sociology so much and I am not regretting my change from geography to RS either!

So that's my story of how I choose college over the sixth form.

Here are some of the reasons I am glad I choose a college:

·         The only students are my age or older so there are no year sevens running around of year nines causing fights.
·          We are treated so much more grown up, for example, most teachers are referred to by first name and phones are allowed more freely.
·         The amount of free time is insane... with no daily registration or assembly in your tutor group you only come in for lessons, this is brilliant! In my old school the head of sixth makes pupils stay in the full school day so obviously, it depends on the school though. 
·         You are classed as a student rather than a pupil so your college ID is a student discount which you don't get in the sixth form! Yes, girls you heard me 10% off Topshop and new look to name a few.
·         You receive a lot more opportunities. For example enterprise competitions. Some of you may know I recently took part in Trading places in Cardiff and was on the winning team with other college students from over South Wales. 
·          The support you receive is so much better than in school. With most teachers only having 4 or 5 classes they have a lot more time for each student, you have a college E-mail account so it’s really easy to contact staff (as far as I am aware you don't get this in school).

·         It gives you a better step between school and university.

I am aware some of those points may be selective to my college or my experiences but I am thoroughly glad I chose a college.

I hope this has been useful if you have any questions I'll answer in the comments. I fully believe everyone should at least consider college, it won't be the right place for everyone but on my experience, I really recommend studying at a college instead!

Love Charlotte

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