Sixth Form Colleges
The time between secondary school and university can be quite defining for a young person, choosing the right institution to send a child/ ward can be one of the most challenging decisions a parent/ guardian can face especially if a minor is involved.
In such cases, the best option is to enroll the child in a sixth form college where they can explore a wide variety of subject choices while preparing for university.
What is a Sixth Form College?
A sixth form college is an educational institution that offers advanced preparation for university, these offer A-level, foundation programmes, Business Technology Education Council (BTEC) access courses and International Baccalaureate Diploma.
Advantages Of Attending A Sixth Form College
The advantages of attending a Sixth form college are as follows:
At sixth form colleges, students are encouraged to explore various subject choices and are not limited to conventional course offerings. Most of these colleges offer interesting subject combinations.
Conducive Atmosphere For Mature Students
Sixth form colleges have minimal supervision to encourage students to take ownership of their learning compared with secondary school; this is designed to aid students to adapt to life at university more easily. This type of environment favours creative and critical thinking which is required for more advanced learners.
Experienced teaching staff
Most colleges employ professional teachers for foundation and A-level programmes due to the more complex treatment required, this leads to better performance by students.
Excellent Preparation for University
The courses offered at sixth form colleges are specifically tailored to prepare students for learning at university. this ensures that students are familiarized with the concepts and teaching styles adopted at university.
For example, the critical thinking module studied for foundation is offered in the first year at university.
Smaller Class sizes: sixth form colleges work with smaller classroom sizes with about 6-8 students creating more room for personalized instruction and participation by students.
Friendly And Supportive Environment
Sixth form colleges usually offer pastoral support by providing personal tutors for the students who guide them on career and psychological matters. members of staff are trained to counsel the students and the students are encouraged to meet with them frequently to discuss matters affecting them.
What Is The Difference Between College And Sixth Form?
Normal Colleges tend to provide tuition for vocational courses based on the particular needs of an industry. This prepares students for professional life and apprenticeships while Sixth form colleges train students in more advanced academic subjects.
Studies by University Suffolk researchers in 2015 indicated that sixth form colleges provide a natural progression to higher education than other higher educational institutions. This research was conducted by interviews with teenagers in East Anglia.
The study reports that “the focus in the sixth form college on progression to higher education meant that the students at the college tended to be better informed, better prepared and more confident about progression to higher education.”
This is due to the fact that sixth form colleges introduce students to some of the educational concepts they will learn at university. The study further explained that “the use of course work assessments allows for gradual improvement in grades to the standards required in higher institutions.”
What Are The Requirements For Entering A Sixth Form College In Nigeria?
Usually, students wishing to enter a sixth form college in Nigeria have to provide the following documents:
- Application form to the college
- Original qualifications /Transcripts.
- Birth Certificate.
- Data page of international passport
- Reference Letter from their last school.
- Comprehensive Medical Reports.
What Are The Top Sixth Form Colleges In The World
Some of the top sixth form colleges are:
How Much Do Sixth Form Colleges Cost?
Sixth form colleges in Nigeria cost between 2million naira and 5 Million Naira per year.
See below a testimonial from a former student at a sixth form college John Leonard
“After spending six years with some of my best friends in life then, just as I was about to get to the best part of being a teenager, we graduate from secondary school and have to start all over again.
That’s the part that no one tells you about, finishing secondary school means leaving people, friends you’ve been close with for years. Some will go to the US, others to the UK, and others somewhere else, but you all have to start all over again.
The good part for me, and for you I guess is that you can also go to a Sixth Form college like I did and have a mix of what you had before and what comes next in your life- it’s a mixture of secondary school and university, I guess.
I say it’s like secondary school because everyone there is just finished secondary school, and from around the country so you still get to meet people in the same life-stage as you, with many similar interests, you can even arrange to go to the same Sixth Form college as your friends.
That way you stay in touch and make new friends too. You’ll be surprised at the cool people you will meet from other schools at a Sixth Form college. It also allows you to explore new subjects and career paths without the pressures of WAEC and SSCE exams looming.
Every door is an opportunity and in a Sixth Form college, you have the benefit of being able to explore them to discover your interest and strengths. It was an invaluable experience for me, a lot of my friends from school were still around and even if I only went to my Sixth Form college with Remi from my school I made a lot more there that are still my lifelong friends.
I started out wanting to go to University in the US, I took SATs but eventually went to University in London and I am so grateful for the experience. So that’s how I try to look at the choices I face today, as opportunities for a new life experience. Jump in with your mind open and your heart hopeful, you never know, it might change your life!”