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College versus School

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Free to be you

Right now, we know that one decision you’ll soon be facing is whether to stay on at school (sixth form) after your GCSEs, or continue your education or training elsewhere.

Of course, we think college is great, but we also know that if it’s new to you, you won’t really know what it has to offer.

Sometimes, writing things down can help you to look at the pros and cons of both sides. We’ve listed some things we think separate college from school.

So, take a look and we hope it helps you make up your mind and do what’s best for you…

Study the right way for you

A varied day: Most full-time students will have four days a week in college. Outside of timetabled lessons, you will be expected to put in additional study hours, either at home or in our Library on site.

A more independent you: From calling teachers by their first name, to deciding how and when you want to study, you’ll find college is a much more mature environment… and you’ll become a more independent person as a result.

New people, new places: One of the best things about coming to college is making new friends. You’ll find people who share the same interests as you both in class and outside. Depending on where you live you may also have a whole new town to explore!

Not just about studyingYou also have the chance to get involved in lots of enhancement activities, events, competitions and clubs. We aim to broaden your horizons, help you to develop new skills and grow.

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A different range of subjects

If History, Science, Art or PE don’t interest you, it might be time to look at new subjects to study at college. Did someone say Motor Vehicle? Animal Science? Hairdressing? Professional Cookery?

We also offer T levels which combine the best of industry placement and study -you can choose from a range of options, including Science, Care, Digital Services, Construction and Engineering.

The possibilities are (almost!) endless!

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Not just a classroom

Forget the days of just textbooks, now is the time to take your study to the next level. Lessons are taught in a variety of ways, using the latest technologies, and our class sizes also mean that your tutors will get to know you as an individual and make sure you learn to the best of your potential.

Great facilities: Depending on your subject, you’ll learn in real life working environments – from a working farm to a working restaurant and a high street salon; from a motor vehicle centre to cutting-edge engineering workshops – not forgetting our new zoological centre and the opportunity to work in an exciting motor racing environment.

More generally, most of our campuses have on-site cafes where you can get a meal, or just a snack (and coffee!).  Most are also close to local amenities, for shopping and eating, as well as being conveniently placed for travel links.

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Your own support team

We know earlier we mentioned that college is a more independent environment than school, but this doesn’t mean you won’t get great support.

You’ll have your own Personal Achievement Tutor alongside your subject tutors, have access to any additional support you need, as well as the expertise of our Student Services team who can help with pretty much any question you have – from applying for bursaries to paying for travel.

Next steps

A stepping stone into industry: Many of the tutors at our College have industry experience, which means they’ve had a career in the area they’re teaching you! From singers, to hairdressers and soldiers, they’ll be able to answer your questions about future careers and help you find work experience placements. There are also lots of great opportunities with local and national companies at college; from international competitions to guest speakers.

We’re experts at your next steps: It can be daunting looking to the future, but we’re here to help you with the next steps after college too. We have dedicated Careers and Apprenticeships Teams, so whether you want to work, go on to an Apprenticeship or study in Higher Education, we’re here to guide you and make sure you’re prepared and informed.

Find out more about our courses.

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