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Sophie
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#1
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#1
hey what do you think is better for a-levels, 6th form or college to do a-level, and what are the qualifications you need to get into both??

Thanks alot

Sophie x x
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Adhsur
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#2
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#2
I would personally say sixth form, but in the end it doesn't really matter where you take them because its your results which count. I don't know about entry requirements though - varies between institution.
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lou p lou
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i chose college- love every second (well not exams + some boring lessons...). you get so much more freedom and the social life is fantastic.

my twin brother chose 6th form- his friends are all still there and he gets more guidance etc.

i left school because i was getting restless and needed a change, my brother was happy and didn't want to change (i was happy- just kinda fidgety).

we are both really happy- and both feel we made the right decision, but both would have coped ok in the other situation.

i think most colleges/6th froms ask for about 5 A-C GCSEs (normally including maths + english)- but you should definately contact each institution seperately to check.

i know people tend to do what their friends do- i didn't- i have managed to keep in contact with my friends from high school + made some great new friends at college.

look at the subjects you want, the teachers, the facilities (labs etc. for science), ask to see individual subject results- compare them. do you want to be single-sex/mixed (i don't know whether this is an option for you- it was for me)- make a list and see which is better.

good luck!

lou xxx
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Ollie
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#4
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id go for sixth form cos at ours i no pretty much everyone in our year. its really close. a real nice community. im not the sort of person to like huge colleges with loadsa ppl, my dad works at one and i dont like it much
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Expression
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Originally posted by Ollie
id go for sixth form cos at ours i no pretty much everyone in our year. its really close. a real nice community. im not the sort of person to like huge colleges with loadsa ppl, my dad works at one and i dont like it much
I went to the sixth form at my school, and like Ollie, found that a small community works well. Ours in total had all of 50 people in it this year, 20 of which were in the upper 6th, and of these 20, only 6 of them were girls !

You already know just about everyone, plus you also know your staff. Your staff already know you, and you will not simply be another face in the crowd. Staff at a 6th Form centre don't mind you walking into their main school lessons to interupt and ask for help.

This can be alot more comforting, especially at the start of the first year, and during exam sessions when support is needed the most.
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Unregistered
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#6
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#6
I'd recommend Sixth Form as well. It may be a lot like school once was, but statistics show that Sixth Forms bring out better grades. Teachers encourage students to hand in their work, and if it's not handed in, you get chased up.

Generally, there's a lot more freedom at college but to be honest, you're on your own. You're normally given raw information from the exam boards to hand in work when they want it in. Sixth Forms however tend to give you false deadlines, so you rush the work at the last minute and give it to the teacher long before it's due in - enough time to make changes and get good grades.

It really depends on the sort of person you are. If you're independent and dedicated to your subject, you'll probably be better off at college. If you're lazy though, love receiving praise and want a system you can fall back on, I'd choose Sixth Form.

Whatever you choose, good luck with the future.
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Koloth
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#7
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I personally went to college and would suggest you do the same. Going to college will ofcourse be quite a change from going to school. You won't need to wear uniform too (though I know some sixth forms don't require one either). College will require you to adapt to new changes such as new teachers, new buildings/areas to learn, new friends to make etc. These changes will ofcourse make you a lot more nervous and perhaps even worried or scared that things won't work out. However, I believe it will be very useful to your confidense in the future. If after college you decide to seek employment or go to univerisity such similar changes are less likely to bother you as you haven't been to the same institution for so many long years.
There are also others issues on why I believe a college is better than a sixth form. Generally at colleges their is usually a greater range of courses to choose from than at a sixth form. Colleges tend to be more specialised with students at post 16 education than schools will be. For starters in my opinion your more likely to be treated like an adult than at a sixth form. The sixth form teachers will likely teach under 16 year olds and therefore may not be able to differentiate their treatment between the pupils and the students. Noting from the fact that there is likely to be the same teachers teaching GCSE and A Levels could bring issues on how qualified and experienced is your teacher in teaching A Levels. Don't be suprised if you find schools that just pay a little extra to a GCSE teacher to teach A Levels instead of employing a specialist A level teacher because its cheaper. Don't be suprised if the extra goverment funding from having a sixth form is just used to cover other areas in a school. Some schools know their sixth form will never ever be better than the local college in the area and so use some of this extra funding to boost their places in the GCSE league tables. I'd also point out that resources like libraries and careers advisors available at a college will be more geared to a post 16's need than a schools.

Overall it is a matter of opinions and can be different from where you live. A good reference would be to use league tables on A Levels from:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/h.../a_level_1.stm

You can compare the peformance of the sixth forms and colleges in your local area. You may find your local schools is the best or worst in your area compared to your local college. In my case my college was far ahead than my school. For example, I believe it made a huge difference to have a business studies teacher that was a university graduate at college than the business studies teacher from my school/sixth form whos highest qualification was A levels.

Good luck in your choice.

PS Nice I have such a biased viewpoint since nearly everyone in this thread believes in sixth form. Therefore your getting a good mixture of arguments .
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Ollie
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#8
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Originally posted by Koloth
Nice I have such a biased viewpoint since nearly everyone in this thread believes in sixth form. Therefore your getting a good mixture of arguments .
and as usual koloth is showing what brilliant advise he has!
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Koloth
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#9
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Oh and as for requirements it really depends on the demand at the college/sixth form. In my case the college in my area had more applicants than places and therefore was more elitist in requiring good GCSE results. The sixth forms in my area on the other hand tend to take anyone in, even if they are academically incapable of doing the course.
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Expression
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#10
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#10

Quality posting from Koloth - great summary of the pro's and con's.

Give the lad a sticker !
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Ollie
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#11
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1 thing i will add tho, i found the prospect of settling in to a new school in time for jan exams somewhat daunting!

koloth, (nice posting) what do u think of making the chitchat thread a sticky?
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Unregistered
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#12
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#12
thanks for telling me the link to secondary league tables, i just found out that the secondary school i went to is ranked 3563 out of 3571. Which is below the 99.8th quartile.......
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Unregistered
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#13
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There are many pros and cons to consider. An important factor which is crucial to your happiness is to consider your current friendship situation. If you are very happy at school then it would be foolish to rock the boat. AS, A2s only last two years which is not that long to build solid new friendships at a time when you will be under a lot of pressure academically. Maybe you have a small group of rock solid friends who you feel confident you can hang on to at the same time as you expand your circle at college , and perhaps everything will work out fine if you move, but think carefully how you will feel if those friends drift away from you before you have found new ones. On the other hand perhaps you are the kind of person who has an easy casual attitude to friendships and just wants a large circle of aquaintances without needing to be close to anyone, and college will definitely widen the scope for that. Just remember, school is "the devil you know" and it wont be long before university, dont let the need for excitemnt and a better social life mess up your studies.
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Koloth
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#14
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Originally posted by Expression
Quality posting from Koloth - great summary of the pro's and con's.

Give the lad a sticker !
Originally posted by Ollie
and as usual koloth is showing what brilliant advise he has!
oh please don't award me with your flattery . Give me presents instead .
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Koloth
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#15
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Originally posted by Unregistered
thanks for telling me the link to secondary league tables, i just found out that the secondary school i went to is ranked 3563 out of 3571. Which is below the 99.8th quartile.......
I thought I might hear something like this after posting the link and I'm sorry to hear this. But take a positive point of view from your findings. Perhaps you can be more determined to achieve even better grades despite the disadvantage that you have and prove your results will be determined by your own hard work than that of a goverment statistic. My friend (who I first met at college) went to the 2nd worst school in my county (on league tables). However, he managed to get 6 A's and 6A*'s at GCSE and is well on course to get 6 A's at A level this summer. It is definetly possible to do well so don't be disillusioned.
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Koloth
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#16
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Originally posted by Unregistered
If you are very happy at school then it would be foolish to rock the boat. AS, A2s only last two years which is not that long to build solid new friendships at a time when you will be under a lot of pressure academically.
Happiness is definetly an important factor but I personally do have, perhaps unusual views on the topic of unhappiness. I tend to look at Happiness in the short term and long term. I personally would be happy to sacrifice Happiness in the short term if it meant I would likely have Happiness in the future. For example, I'd probably stay at university even if I was unhappy as I perhaps could likely regret all my life for giving up it up too easily.
I'll point to a quote from Churchill:

"If your going through hell..................Keep going"

In the end all decisions you make in life will have consequences. Just make sure your looking at the 'big picture' as well when making them.

Also getting more on to topic, lets look at this further. Do you know many adults who are still in contact with their friends from school? I personally don't. Obviously its important you have friends but (in my opinion) lets not overestimate the importance of these school friends when making decisions that could have a considerable impact on your life. However, I'm in no way implying that a sixth form/college decision may have a considerable impact on your life (it depends on the person and circumstances).
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Koloth
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#17
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Originally posted by Ollie
koloth, (nice posting) what do u think of making the chitchat thread a sticky?
If its helpful then go right ahead. You can always ask d if your unsure. Though maybe it would be better if we had an IRC channel to do this kind of talking. Forum threads to me just don't work for chatting .
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Unregistered
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#18
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#18
I got a Sixth Form College


best of both worlds..

(and no, it really exists. Its got all the freedom as a college, but all the strictness and things like parents evenings like a school)
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#19
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#19
I decided at the end of gcse's to leave my school which had a 6th form, to attend a 6th form college. I loved the college more relaxed yet still strict on deadlines. I also dramatically improved my as grades from that of gcse. Which i dont think i could have done at my schools 6th form. At the end of the day its where you think you will be the happiest and produnce the best grades, i dont see the reason for all the hype behind league tables. My 6th form college is almost bottom amongst the 6th forms in my area yet there are many bright intellegent oxbridge bound people there, its just the 6th form college doesnt have a very strict enterence grade criteria unlike most 6th forms attatched to schools. Just my opinion
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Unregistered
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#20
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#20
WENT TO COL AFTER REPETING GCSE. DIDNT GET ABOVE "D" GRADE BUT GOT IN COS SUM SPARE PLACES CAME UP + I WADS TOLD I HAD A GR8 MIND. DID AS LEVELS + A2 + GET RES NXT MONTH.
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