Until you enter the sixth form,
your education will probably have been relatively broad, its main
purpose being to equip you with a wide variety of skills and knowledge.
Increasingly, education is focused on exam results which means that the
emphasis is on academic, rather than social or personal skills.
education at the age of 16 and beyond is primarily a preparation for
university or a job. Exams are clearly still important to most students
but they are a means to an end rather than simply achievements in
themselves. Courses taken at this stage, whether they be A levels, the International Baccalaureate
Diploma or vocational qualifications, are all about preparation for the
next stage of your life. The decision as to which subjects and courses
are taken, a decision which is often made a year before, must be made
with care. Doors can be opened or closed at this point so not only your
place of study but also your course should be carefully considered. If
you are unsure of what you wish to study at university, or as to your
future career, then pick the subjects you enjoy and try to keep your
options wide by selecting a variety of subjects. Education at this
stage is all about giving yourself the best chance.
your personal development becomes much more important. Now is the time
to fine-tune those skills and attributes which will feature on your
personal statement and CV: leadership, motivation, organisation,
independent working, team working, communication amongst others.
Many schools, particularly independent schools
and tutorial colleges, are extremely well-equipped to help you in this
preparation stage. With smaller pupil numbers they are able to provide
the careers support and advice you need, especially with regards to
UCAS applications and practice interview techniques. They tend to take
an holistic approach, realising that time and resources need to be
dedicated to help develop personal and social skills and talents, thus
they tend to provide a wide variety of extracurricular activities and
chances to develop leadership skills.
is a guide to over 1800 schools and colleges throughout the UK.
Designed to provide as much helpful information as possible, it
includes details on the full range of educational institutions
(including independent and maintained sixth form
colleges and colleges of further education) and information on
educational associations and the range of curriculum options available
(including the IB, AS/A2 levels, AEAs and VCEs).
our editorial section explain the roles of BAC and CIFE in accrediting
and inspecting colleges; detail the steps to take if you are interested
in having a gap-year after sixth form;
explain the options available to you should you decide to take a
vocational route; discuss the diference between the IB Diploma and A
levels; and consider the financial implications of an independent education at sixth form.
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