Our latest blog gives advice with the decisions to make when choosing the next stage of your child’s school career.
The time is upon us where students will be leaving their secondary school behind in order to head to sixth form college. This is where the question comes in ”which one is right for my child?”.
There are numerous factors we need to look at when choosing a sixth form college and here, we will review the most important of these.
After sifting through numerous brochures and searching on college websites, we can find ourselves a little overwhelmed. The most important thing to remember is that the student needs to be happy and confident with their choice, after all, they will be there for the final two years of their schooling education and these will be the most important years.
Students often go on to University after Sixth Form and so the results they achieve are incredibly important in order to be accepted into the university desired. For that reason, it is key to have a look at the past results of the previous students and if available, the results for each subject. This way you can choose a sixth form that is successful within the specific subjects that your child is interested in as many will have departments that excel over others.
The facilities of any school are very important and it is vital that the college offers great facilities in the subjects that the student is interested in in order to give them the best possible chance of achieving the best possible results. It is also important that the students have opportunities to attend extra-curricular activities. These are available throughout colleges but some will have more options than others. Extra-curricular activities give university applications an edge which can make them more successful.
It goes without saying that with a larger class, it can be more difficult to concentrate and students can get left behind. Smaller classes tend to provide students with any extra attention required and teachers will have the time to focus on each individual’s needs.
It is also important to find out the type of support offered to the students and the communication to the parents. Many colleges offer personal tutors and having regular tutor meetings and the opportunity for additional help will facilitate each student in achieving the best possible grades. It should also be possible for a parent to be able to meet with members of staff in order to discuss academic progress if necessary. This is also something you will need to consider while looking at colleges, especially if your child tends to need a bit of encouragement directly from you.
If you are able to attend an open day with your child, it will be incredibly helpful when choosing a college. Your child will instantly get a feeling about where they might feel more comfortable and it gives the colleges the chance to show off their facilities and sell themselves showing what they have to offer. You will be able to see the classrooms, meet some of the teachers, and explore the facilities to give you a key insight into how each student can prosper in said college.
Written by Holly Patterson, Cardiff & Vale English tutor and blog writer.