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    • Thread Starter

    My last question was a bit unclear, so ill just get to the point.

    Im in year 10, predicted all a*'s & 2A's. Im not sure about whether to look or colleges or sixth forms in schools. Im not sure which is better for education, which is more fun ect

    What are the advantages and disadvantages on both? what are your experiences??

    I chose sixth form over college.
    I preferred the familiarity of sixth form along with most of my friends deciding to stay on there. Plus it helped convince me as my sixth form had a very good reputation.
    A few of my friends go to college and they say it's a lot more relaxed over there. Like apparently you call your teachers by their first names, and just the whole work ethic is laid back. He said that they treat you like adults and let you be responsible for your own education, whereas at sixth form they can often mother you a bit too much but I think it shows a greater care for wanting you to do well.

    Each to their own anyway, it all depends on what sort of environment you want to work in...

    Yeah I gotta say we are pushed hard at the sixth form I go to (though they have always been like this, and are a very pushy private school generally) but we do all get good grades! I think it all depends how much you can motivate yourself to do independent study because if you're bad at that, and may need a little push, then maybe a sixth form would treat you better than a college where you need to motivate yourself.<br />
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    Definitely sixth form over college. There is more structure to school. You are still obliged to attend regularly, hand in home work and they communicate closely with parents. College is more relaxed. All sounds very stuffy, but I don't know anyone who has done as well at college, (especially if they are a high achiever) against sixth form at school. Research sixth forms locally, find a high achieving school. Perhaps a change of school will be an exciting change you will enjoy. I also find that sixth forms have more support for university applications, ie personal statements. Of course I am only speaking as I find of our local colleges.

    I have never ever regretted going to my schools sixth form. Most of the teachers knew me and I knew them, and most of my friends went there too. All in all I think 6th form was the best time of my life in education.
    • PS Reviewer

    PS Reviewer
    What's the difference? Mine's called a 'sixth form college'...
    I assume you meant 'should I do my A levels at a school which teaches students from pre-GCSE through to A levels or one which just does A levels'
    Advantages of the 'pre-GCSE to A levels' option:
    -stay at your current school, so less adapting to a new environment (or disadvantage: moving to a new school where everyone else has been there already for five years so it's harder to make friends)
    -possibly more options to retake GCSEs if you mess key ones up (probably doesn't apply to you!)
    -possibly more/ better facilities as they may have a greater number of total students
    -probably have a uniform = easier than trying to decide what to wear each morning
    -maybe they would push you more as they are used to having to push the younger students to achieve
    -they may have less time to focus on A level students as they also have the younger students to teach
    -I've heard that they're more restricted when it comes to when you can leave - some of my friends at other schools have to be in school all day studying, even if they have frees at the very end or start of the day
    -There may be less A level options - they already have lots of younger students, so would probably have a lower number of A level students that at a school which only teaches A levels. Therefore, there would not be enough students to justify offering a wide range of subjects as less popular subjects would not have big enough classes to be economically viable (or advantage: possibly smaller class sizes = more individual teaching, less A level options may not be an issue if you are planning to take popular, traditional subjects such as the sciences/ main humanities or art subjects)
    -you may not be treated as 'grown-up' as if you went to a A levels only school, as you may still have a school uniform and the teachers may treat you similar to how they treat the younger kids
    -Possibly less extra-curricular opportunities or extra workshops for help with your studies (less A level students, teachers busy with younger students)

    The 'A level only school' option:
    -Probably more A level students = more subjects offered, teachers have more time to give extra workshops/ extra-curriculars specifically aimed at A level students
    -I would guess slightly better facilities such as science equipment, as they have more A level students = more funding
    -Treated as more 'grown-up' - you are more responsible for your own learning, probably don't have to wear a school uniform, teachers are used to teaching A level students and so not talk to you like you're still in year 7
    -Possibly better qualified teachers - I've noticed that many of the teachers at my sixth form college are 'Dr.' whereas there weren't any at secondary school. Perhaps if my secondary school offered A levels they would have had more qualified teachers though... This also could be linked to the extra funding for A level students
    -Perhaps you would be less 'pushed' to do well, as you would be treated as more grown-up and so responsible for your own learning
    -Maybe larger class sizes as there are probably more A level students
    -need to adjust to a new environment and way of learning

    I hope that helps, bear in mind that a lot of this is speculation based upon my own experience.
    Edit: they probably vary a lot depending on where you live. Have a look at league tables and A level results for each of the schools you are considering, visit the ones which look the best, and decide which you prefer.
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