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Help with choosing a college watch

  • View Poll Results: Which college should I pick?
    Peter Symonds
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    Farnborough Sixth Form
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    Queen Mary's College
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    I posted this elsewhere but didn't get any replies, so maybe this is a better place for it.

    I'm currently in year 11, in the process of applying to college. I've narrowed my options down to the following:

    1. Peter Symonds (PSC)
    2. Farnborough Sixth Form (FSFC)
    3. Queen Mary's College (QMC)


    I live near Basingstoke, so the commute to PSC would be a train and a walk, FSFC would be a train, bus and walk, and QMC would just be a bus.

    I've been to all the open evenings, but I think there's things they don't tell you on those evenings, like for example at my school we have an annoying as hell stamp system. You wouldn't hear that at open evening. You also don't hear the college's reputation - my friend ended up going to a terrible secondary school because she liked the campus, but as soon as she got there she realised how bad it was. You wouldn't have been able to tell from their open evening.

    So does anyone have any information about the reputations of the colleges, whether it's worth the commute, and any small little things they do? (like force you to take General Studies, as I saw in a 2013 post about Farnborough)

    If you need any more info before advising, feel free to ask. I didn't wanna tell you my life story because that would've made a very long post aha.
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    I know exactly what you mean! I’m struggling to find a college to go to as well. I think the best thing to tell you is to go with your gut, I’m considering 3 colleges: Runshaw, Cardinal Newman and Winstanley. I went to all open days and I feel that the place that gives you more comfort and a sense of belonging is key. I’ve always felt that to get good grades, it’s important to actually like the college and the campus. I went to all of them as I previously said and I liked Winstanley the best but it’s a bit far! I think to get an overview of the college, ask students that go there (people that you think would tell the truth and not be like it’s amazing!) as then you would get a rough view of it. Hope this helped and if you don’t mind me asking, what a levels have you chosen and how did you choose them because I still have no idea which ones (I have a brief idea but too many subjects)
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    (Original post by Salsabel)
    I know exactly what you mean! I’m struggling to find a college to go to as well. I think the best thing to tell you is to go with your gut, I’m considering 3 colleges: Runshaw, Cardinal Newman and Winstanley. I went to all open days and I feel that the place that gives you more comfort and a sense of belonging is key. I’ve always felt that to get good grades, it’s important to actually like the college and the campus. I went to all of them as I previously said and I liked Winstanley the best but it’s a bit far! I think to get an overview of the college, ask students that go there (people that you think would tell the truth and not be like it’s amazing!) as then you would get a rough view of it. Hope this helped and if you don’t mind me asking, what a levels have you chosen and how did you choose them because I still have no idea which ones (I have a brief idea but too many subjects)
    Thanks. I'm doing Psychology, Chemistry and Biology.
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    (Original post by Starra)
    Thanks. I'm doing Psychology, Chemistry and Biology.
    Have you considered what uni courses you want to do? And how did you come to that decision? Thanks.
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    (Original post by Salsabel)
    Have you considered what uni courses you want to do? And how did you come to that decision? Thanks.
    Maybe medicine - thinking of being a psychiatrist or something similar. Mainly because I find myself being a counsellor to my friends so think the job would suit me and because it's good money, lol.
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    (Original post by Starra)
    I posted this elsewhere but didn't get any replies, so maybe this is a better place for it.

    I'm currently in year 11, in the process of applying to college. I've narrowed my options down to the following:

    1. Peter Symonds (PSC)
    2. Farnborough Sixth Form (FSFC)
    3. Queen Mary's College (QMC)


    I live near Basingstoke, so the commute to PSC would be a train and a walk, FSFC would be a train, bus and walk, and QMC would just be a bus.

    I've been to all the open evenings, but I think there's things they don't tell you on those evenings, like for example at my school we have an annoying as hell stamp system. You wouldn't hear that at open evening. You also don't hear the college's reputation - my friend ended up going to a terrible secondary school because she liked the campus, but as soon as she got there she realised how bad it was. You wouldn't have been able to tell from their open evening.

    So does anyone have any information about the reputations of the colleges, whether it's worth the commute, and any small little things they do? (like force you to take General Studies, as I saw in a 2013 post about Farnborough)

    If you need any more info before advising, feel free to ask. I didn't wanna tell you my life story because that would've made a very long post aha.
    Hi!! I have applied for farnborough sixth. I really liked the open evening, I put down psychology biology and photography as my options but I feel like these might change. I thought that the headmaster seemed like a really genuine person and I instantly warmed to him. Really hoping I get a place
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    TSR Support Team
    Ex-Symondian here. I'll preface this by saying I didn't study any of your choices so I'll only talk about Symonds overall.

    Symonds did indeed make General Studies mandatory when I was there and afaik, still do. Registration for GS is tracked by your student card which you swipe as you enter/leave the lecture hall. Whilst of course frowned upon, a lot of people would take turns getting their mates to swipe in for them but they might have cracked down on that since I left.

    You'll need to do an interview before being offered a place. I wouldn't worry about this, it really doesn't affect your chances that much and is pretty basic in nature so if you're going to study (which as a potential Med applicant I'm sure you would be doing), you'll have absolutely no problem.

    The Ashurst library was an excellent resource when I was there. I usually had no problems getting a computer (except for the periods getting close to exams when everyone naturally buckles up and tries to do more) and the uni applications/careers centre on the ground floor provides lots of good advice and help. I'd say that most people are pretty focused there and get reasonably good grades for the most part. The number of people going to Symonds may skew the Oxbridge entry figures a bit but I do feel like the environment is genuinely one that encourages you to work hard to get to top notch unis like those.

    Food was nice with multiple options. I personally loved the snackboxes (they used to be £2.50 which was extremely good value but I think they've increased prices a couple of years ago) at Paul Woodhouse, and Varley Cafe does good milkshakes. You can also walk into Winchester to grab food if your timetable gives you extra time before your afternoon lessons.

    Overall, I certainly enjoyed my time there. It's probably not for you if you want to know everyone at your college (the sheer number of people at Symonds makes this impossible) but you certainly make friends with plenty of people so that isn't a problem for many. Is it worth the commute (for reference, I commuted from Southampton rather than Basingstoke)? In my opinion, yes.
 
 
 

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