What does a college time table look like?Watch
At a guess I'd expect you to be in 3.5 days a week, full days may be rare, they might not, MOST days will likely be early starts, (Less so in Uni i found)
I'm up in Scotland, and the SQA/SAAS cracked down a few years ago on lecturers letting students away early, dunno how it ended up but it annoyed a lot of people on both sides.
Alternatively (and I think this is more true of private or smaller sixth forms attached to a secondary school) you may have scheduled and compulsory study periods and have to be in college from 8:30-3 as per a normal school day. A couple of friends at private school have confirmed this.
My timetable consists of 4 hours of lessons per subject per week (4 1 hour lessons) and a single 1 hour lesson for tutorial. There are 6 periods of lessons per day and a "free" is just anytime you don't have a lesson - there are no requirements for how you spend them. They also have put 4 suggested "study periods" on my timetable but I don't pay any attention to them. The time I arrive at college and leave each day completely depends on my timetable eg. on Wednesday's I only have biology first period so get the bus in, go to bio, then get the bus home at 10. It also happens that, if I wanted, I could leave college during the day then come back eg. if I had first and last but nothing in between.
Obviously your experience will be different to mine, unless by some strange coincidence you are going to the same college as me, but hopefully this helps a little The best way to find out is to contact your college or people you know who are currently there and ask what it will be like in your specific scenario
At the private school, we had a similar amount of taught time per fortnight. We were expected to stay at school for the rest of the time and study (8:30-3:45 ish) , however it was much less strict than my current college as we were allowed to pop to the shops, chat with friends etc in the common room area during this time. I was also forced to do PE at this school which I was not a fan of!
I believe both of these experiences were quite strict though. I have many friends who are only required on site for the lesson times and free to leave or do as they wish in free periods, however this is not necessarily wise. It really depends on the college you go to. hope this helps a bit :P