Published on December 23rd, 20110
The Guide To Going On To Sixth Form
So You Now Have Your GCSE Results And Off To Sixth Form – Here’s The Guide
GCSE’s are finally over, its been a hard two years and you are either waiting for your results or anticipating the next stage in your schooling life. The next two years at A-Level will not be similar to that of what you have gone through for the past few years it presents you with a whole new experience and set of challenges.
Moving onto sixth form will be different from your previous 11 years which you had been working on to achieve your GCSE’s but now you have a new challenge, the next step in further education is to get your A-Levels which is a whole new kettle of fish. Here is what to expect and what to look out for -
- Picking Subjects – By now you most likely already know that you are only going to be studying 3 – 5 subjects. This might sound massively appealing to you and you might be thinking you are going to have a lot of spare time and it is going to be just like GCSE – it isn’t going to be like that. Remember this is the next step in further education, it is a step up from GCSE’s and some people say it is a bigger jump from GCSE to A-Level than it is from A-Level to University. So, for A-Level you should make sure that you are well advised in what subjects you are good at and those you aren’t so strong at and pick the ones you will excel in.
- Workload – Being organised is a large thing in which you need to be on top of during A-Levels – during GCSE and primary school you would have been required to complete around 15-45 minutes of homework each night. During A-Levels you might not receive homework every night, and you will have twice or possibly three lessons of the same subject throughout one week where you could receive homework for each day. Depending on the subjects you chose you could receive a lot of homework or a little, but what needs to be remembered is that the work is a lot harder so more time each night will be required.
- Being Organised - At GCSE things were rather easy, but you still probably did things wrong. You may have never had the right stationery in lessons, or enough paper, or the right books. Forgetting your homework, losing handouts, not understanding notes may also have been an issue. Take advantage of all these mistakes in the last few years and get it right this time. Get the right stationery, make sure you always have spare paper. You’ll be doing fewer subjects too, and the chances are you’ll have at least one lesson of each every day – bring a bag sufficiently large to carry all your books home every night and back to school the next day, because a lot of the time you’ll have to. No excuses for not having the right books. Unless your teachers specifically tell you otherwise, you’ll probably need near enough every book every day. You need to be much more organised as your teachers will be a lot less sympathetic this time round.
- Lessons – Your lessons might not be as imagined, they might not be a hard slog, chances are you could have 2 or 3 of the same subject in each week resulting in a more relaxed lesson in order to learn more and have more one on one time with the teachers. As you spend a lot more time with your teachers and students, you’ll all get to know each other and might even become friends with your teachers.
- Introduced to Free Periods - Depending on your sixth form college or school, you may have some free periods. It might be a few a week and supervised, or elsewhere you could be looking at eleven or so hours a week alone, when you reach A2 (second year of A-Level). It’s up to you whether you work or not during this free time, it is advised that you do as it stops extra work having to be done at home after school. If the atmosphere in your sixth form centre, common room, library or wherever is used simply isn’t conducive to work, don’t feel compelled to. Also, don’t count on having those free periods. Teachers might want to see you, or you might have to use them for other things than what you’d planned.
- Freedom - You will get a certain degree more freedom in sixth form. It is the small minority, however, who are allowed to turn up and hand in their work simply whenever they want. You’ll find this freedom in the form of slightly relaxed rules, maybe better facilities, being treated more individually than previously.
- Being Independent - You are now officially a big boy/girl now. Mum and dad aren’t responsible for your education, the government isn’t responsible for your education, your friends aren’t responsible for your education, and believe it or not, to a large extent, your teachers aren’t responsible for your education. You’re on your own. This has advantages and disadvantages. You have a choice to enter into sixth form and go for your A-Levels, so you now need to think about if it is for you and if it will benefit you.