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Why Choose a Sixth Form College?

There is so much choice available when it comes to where to study after GCSEs, with options including staying on at your school, choosing a Further Education College or a specialist Sixth Form College.  We understand this can be a difficult decision to make, with pros and cons to each. However, a Sixth Form College can be a fantastic option for you for the following reasons: 

How are Sixth Form Colleges different from a School Sixth Form?

  • We are sixth form specialists – all of our teaching, facilities and support services are specially designed for 16-18 year olds and their specific needs, and run by experts with years of experience working with this age group.
  • Course choice – because we do sixth form and nothing else, we can offer a much wider range of courses most schools simply can’t deliver. For example, we offer 27 A level options, 11 BTEC/ UAL level 3 extended diplomas, 3 BTEC level 2 extended certificates and a foundation learning course.
  • Independence – the experience of making that step from one institution to another will help you develop confidence, independence and maturity.  Outside of lesson time we will support you to work independently, and help you manage your  time, deadlines, study and workload in a way that best suits you. We treat you like an adult, and help to prepare you for your next stage of university or work.
  • A fresh start – our students relish the chance to meet a new group of like-minded people, make new friends and explore new opportunities in a fresh, campus environment.
  • Enterprise & employability links - through numerous work placement opportunities, guest speakers from many different professions and high-quality careers support, Sixth Form Colleges can offer the perfect bridge between education and the work place.
How are Sixth Form Colleges different to Further Education Colleges?
  • Peer group environment – unlike FE Colleges whose intake covers all ages, you'll be in an environment with only your age group.
  • Support – the majority of Sixth Form Colleges provide a lot of support when it comes to day-to-day learning, careers guidance and university preparation & application.  We have processes in place to make sure no student falls behind, as well as tailored support for everyone's learning needs and future ambitions. This level of support means Sixth Form Colleges have high retention rates.
  • Safety & Welfare – all our staff are trained and experienced in the issues faced by the 16-18 age group, and take the welfare of all our students seriously. Students can access support and counselling from dedicated welfare staff for both academic and personal issues.
  • Community – Sixth Form Colleges tend to be smaller in student number compared to Further Education Colleges (who might have 8000+ students), with a collegiate and social culture. For example, at St. Francis Xavier Sixth Form College we have many clubs and groups that bring likeminded students together for both work and play.