These are strange times, but the disruption brought by Covid-19 doesn’t mean students’ futures are on hold.
Even though Year 11 students have now finished school, there is still time to apply for a September place at award-winning Blackpool Sixth college.
For younger students, the start of a new school year is a good point to begin thinking carefully about where they want to be in the future.
Choose to succeed
Jon McLeod, Head of Admissions at Blackpool Sixth, said year nine or year ten is a good time for youngsters to start thinking about which college best suits them and what subjects they might take.
“If you have a career in mind already, then build that into the subjects you choose to study in sixth form and beyond,” he says.
“Also, pick subjects you enjoy. That often gets missed by parents who want to guide children towards subjects they think will lead to a good job. If a student isn’t interested, they are unlikely to succeed and will probably change their mind at some point.”
Know your type
How do you learn? Do you prefer to put pen to paper in an exam setting, or build up grades as you go through practical work? A Levels suit students who enjoy an academic approach with lots of theory to learn, while BTEC or vocational-style courses suit others who like to put the theory they are learning into practice in a context related to particular jobs.
Blackpool Sixth offers a choice of ways to learn. Students can opt to focus on A Levels or BTEC qualifications, or a combination of both.
“Our combined programme means students might pursue a health and social care BTEC but also an A Level in sociology,” adds Mr McLeod. “It’s a good way to group together courses to create an individual package of learning.”
Keep an open mind
Students should always consider subjects they might not have experienced before. Blackpool Sixth, rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, offers more than 50 different courses including subjects like A Level psychology, electronics and textiles, BTEC Level 3 sport and exercise science and travel and tourism. All topics which students might not have explored in school.
“It can be good to keep options open and choose courses that could lead in a number of directions,” added Mr McLeod. “For example, students might combine art, media studies and English language, giving them the chance to go to art school if they want or switch direction and study English or journalism instead.”
Plan to succeed
University and the world of work might seem far off but look around now at what is offer so you can plot your course properly. Check university websites, UCAS and apprenticeship programmes to see what qualifications they are looking for.
If you’re planning to start sixth form college in September, chat now with college staff to discuss your options.
Why choose Blackpool Sixth?
Blackpool Sixth Form College offers a diverse range of courses and a flexible approach to learning for 16 to 19-year-olds. Because it is strictly for that age group, the college can focus on helping students achieve their aims for the next stage in their lives, whether they choose a vocational route, A Levels or a combination.
With a 100% pass success rate across 50 subjects, and 99% of leavers going on to positive destinations, it has a proven track record in helping young people on the path to success. While its BTEC College of the Year award is proof of its strong vocational programme, approach to learning and links with employers.
Enrolment for next term takes place online on Thursday 12th, Friday 13th, and Monday 16th August – contact [email protected] to apply if you are a school leaver and haven't applied to the college yet.
Blackpool Sixth will be holding an open day on Saturday, 2nd October, and another on Saturday, 13th November.
Find out more at www.blackpoolsixth.ac.uk