The Student Room Group

distance, or academic vigour?

i've got into two really good sixth forms:
London Academy of Excellence Tottenham
Woodford County School for Girls

pros for LAET:
More prestigious and newer - reputation of having just as good results as private
2/3 of students went to Russell Group Universities
The Sunday Times Sixth Form College of the Year 2021.

however:
Takes 1 hour and 5 minutes to get there by 1 bus, and it takes me 20 minutes to go WCHS by 1 bus, which means for LAET i need to leave home for around 7:30am and will arrive home at around 5:30pm
i've got friends going WCHS so i dont have to worry socially about that

LAET just seems more prestigious and i feel like i'll get better results out of it. but with WCHS, it's a local school, not that prestigious, but it's a grammar school and i've got friends going there. i feel like it would be a real loss to reject LAET but i'm just worried about the commute and social aspect. help meee???!!
hiii as someone who goes to woodford, i can say for sure that woodford's sixthform definitely cannot compete with LAET in terms of russel group uni offers. however, it rlly depends on the subjects your choosing. if you're taking sciences or maths, woodford is well suited to it. if you're taking english or classics or something like that, woodford is also really good at that, with someone i personally know getting a conditional offer from cambridge. the different between LAET and woodford post-18 is that most students who go woodford, don't actually aspire for russel group or oxbridge. it's why there aren't many offers. i'd say, the school doesn't rlly matter, and that it's more you as a person wanting to learn and wanting the best for yourself. With that considered, i'd actually say woodford is the better fit for you, in terms of commute, self study, and less need to get to know people as you know people here already. the choice is yours of course, and i don't mean to be biased, but from my observation and from what you said, i think woodford may be good for you.
Reply 2
Original post by Ramiya5
i've got into two really good sixth forms:
London Academy of Excellence Tottenham
Woodford County School for Girls
pros for LAET:
More prestigious and newer - reputation of having just as good results as private
2/3 of students went to Russell Group Universities
The Sunday Times Sixth Form College of the Year 2021.
however:
Takes 1 hour and 5 minutes to get there by 1 bus, and it takes me 20 minutes to go WCHS by 1 bus, which means for LAET i need to leave home for around 7:30am and will arrive home at around 5:30pm
i've got friends going WCHS so i dont have to worry socially about that
LAET just seems more prestigious and i feel like i'll get better results out of it. but with WCHS, it's a local school, not that prestigious, but it's a grammar school and i've got friends going there. i feel like it would be a real loss to reject LAET but i'm just worried about the commute and social aspect. help meee???!!

Ultimately, it all comes down to your results. Obviously if you don't get the grades for one or both of your options, you'll have to go to another, so I wouldn't get too fixated on which you should go to. You have until August to make your decision, and if you haven't already gone to induction days, these will help you make up your mind. I know someone who goes to LAET and she really enjoys it there but it is tough. It's an incredibly academic sixth form, so if you're going to go there, mentally prepare yourself. I would say that a big pro of going to LAET is that everyone around you will be hard workers and that motivated you to do well, since that's the norm.

Now I don't know anything about WCHS, but as someone who debated on staying at a secondary school or going to a sixth form college, I can safely say that going to a sixth form college was the best decision I could have made. Although my option wasn't a grammar school, both my secondary school which was ranked 4th in the borough with an outstanding OFSTED and a local sixth form that I applied to, offered me places. I was deeply unhappy in my secondary school, so when they offered me a place on results day after I hadn't even applied to the sixth form, I was in shock and flat out denied them, as I had no intention of staying somewhere I was unhappy, despite how good it was. At the local sixth form, I made many friends and really enjoyed the induction day they held for external students, but the reason that I ended up picking my sixth form college was to gain a fresh start and prepare myself for independence. My college is around 1h15 - 1h30 on 2 or 3 buses from my house or about 30-45 mins on the two trains (literally a 2 stops on each) and 2 buses (about 10 minute journeys on each), so I understand lengthy commute times. You'll get used to it, and soon, it will feel worth it. I think that having a fresh start in a healthy learning environment might be better for growth and independence than you think. Everyone at LAET, even if they came with people from secondary school, is in the same boat. You are all new, so you will make friends, even if you struggle. At my sixth form college, I was initially overwhelmed with having around 600 people in my year group and seeing so many new faces who already had friends, but I found my amazing group of friends within the first few weeks and although some of them knew each other, I never once felt isolated. You will find your people I promise. LAET is an amazing school and I think you should take this opportunity. If your goal is to go to a more prestigious university, while a grammar school can set you up well for it, LAET are basically specialists when it comes to this.

Like I said, you have plenty of time to decide and attending induction days will help you make your decision. You must already be a very capable student if you were able to get in, so my advice is to work hard and think about what you value more - convenience or independence?
Reply 3
thank you guys so much, you dont understand how much those have both helped me and i think ill be able to make a more informed decision by attending their taster days 🙂
Reply 4
Original post by Ramiya5
i've got into two really good sixth forms:
London Academy of Excellence Tottenham
Woodford County School for Girls
pros for LAET:
More prestigious and newer - reputation of having just as good results as private
2/3 of students went to Russell Group Universities
The Sunday Times Sixth Form College of the Year 2021.
however:
Takes 1 hour and 5 minutes to get there by 1 bus, and it takes me 20 minutes to go WCHS by 1 bus, which means for LAET i need to leave home for around 7:30am and will arrive home at around 5:30pm
i've got friends going WCHS so i dont have to worry socially about that
LAET just seems more prestigious and i feel like i'll get better results out of it. but with WCHS, it's a local school, not that prestigious, but it's a grammar school and i've got friends going there. i feel like it would be a real loss to reject LAET but i'm just worried about the commute and social aspect. help meee???!!

RG unis aren't necessarily the best for every degree. What sort of A levels are you taking and which degrees might you be looking at?
Reply 5
Original post by Muttley79
RG unis aren't necessarily the best for every degree. What sort of A levels are you taking and which degrees might you be looking at?

i plan to take physics, maths, economics and english lit. so either im going down the engineering route (which i havent looked that much into to be honest) or down the economics and finance route :smile:
Reply 6
Original post by Ramiya5
i plan to take physics, maths, economics and english lit. so either im going down the engineering route (which i havent looked that much into to be honest) or down the economics and finance route :smile:

Engineering is better taught at non-RG if you want to work as one.

For top unis Economics might want FMaths - do check.
Reply 7
Original post by Ramiya5
i've got into two really good sixth forms:
London Academy of Excellence Tottenham
Woodford County School for Girls
pros for LAET:
More prestigious and newer - reputation of having just as good results as private
2/3 of students went to Russell Group Universities
The Sunday Times Sixth Form College of the Year 2021.
however:
Takes 1 hour and 5 minutes to get there by 1 bus, and it takes me 20 minutes to go WCHS by 1 bus, which means for LAET i need to leave home for around 7:30am and will arrive home at around 5:30pm
i've got friends going WCHS so i dont have to worry socially about that
LAET just seems more prestigious and i feel like i'll get better results out of it. but with WCHS, it's a local school, not that prestigious, but it's a grammar school and i've got friends going there. i feel like it would be a real loss to reject LAET but i'm just worried about the commute and social aspect. help meee???!!

I also got offers from WCHS and LAET. Right now I am leaning towards LAET due to the academic rigour.
(edited 2 months ago)
Reply 8
Original post by annahko
I also got offers from WCHS and LAET. Right now I am leaning towards LAET due to the academic rigour.

how like close do u live to each school because honestly distance is like my enemy when it comes to LAET because it's so far away
Original post by urfaverowboat
hiii as someone who goes to woodford, i can say for sure that woodford's sixthform definitely cannot compete with LAET in terms of russel group uni offers. however, it rlly depends on the subjects your choosing. if you're taking sciences or maths, woodford is well suited to it. if you're taking english or classics or something like that, woodford is also really good at that, with someone i personally know getting a conditional offer from cambridge. the different between LAET and woodford post-18 is that most students who go woodford, don't actually aspire for russel group or oxbridge. it's why there aren't many offers. i'd say, the school doesn't rlly matter, and that it's more you as a person wanting to learn and wanting the best for yourself. With that considered, i'd actually say woodford is the better fit for you, in terms of commute, self study, and less need to get to know people as you know people here already. the choice is yours of course, and i don't mean to be biased, but from my observation and from what you said, i think woodford may be good for you.

Hey I have no idea what either of those schools are, but I'm here because I'm in a similar predicament,
I can either go to a local sixth form and have alot of free time
Or I go to a private sixth form an hour and 40 minutes away (on a scholarship)
I'm really on the fence, if I go to the private school it will basically be my entire life, 6am wakeup to 6pm arrival at home.
I feel like I'd be miserable there, despite it being an amazing school with so many things to do and opportunities.
But on the other hand i could go to the local sixth form and study the same things and get potentially the same results with alot more free time to see family, friends and my girlfriend which would be alot better mentally.
However I would probably be living with the feeling of "what if i went to berkhamsted, would I be in a better place"
Original post by codyvarga
Hey I have no idea what either of those schools are, but I'm here because I'm in a similar predicament,
I can either go to a local sixth form and have alot of free time
Or I go to a private sixth form an hour and 40 minutes away (on a scholarship)
I'm really on the fence, if I go to the private school it will basically be my entire life, 6am wakeup to 6pm arrival at home.
I feel like I'd be miserable there, despite it being an amazing school with so many things to do and opportunities.
But on the other hand i could go to the local sixth form and study the same things and get potentially the same results with alot more free time to see family, friends and my girlfriend which would be alot better mentally.
However I would probably be living with the feeling of "what if i went to berkhamsted, would I be in a better place"

hiya at the end of the day, it's not the place you go to that will help you in life, it's you as a person. if you can manage in a local one i think go to a local one, because you're still going to get the same alevel exams regardless of where you go. it's not worth struggling a ton for.

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