We often talk to post-16 students about how
important it is to strongly consider whether
university is right for them and which course
would suit them best. But what about before
higher education, at college and sixth form?
Further education can also have an impact on
what future options are available to students.
Through working with sixth forms and colleges, my team and I have identified a gap in support for Year 11 students taking their next steps to transition from school into further education. Here, I have compiled a list of key ways you can support students when making this transition.
Making sure students are aware of the full
range of qualifications they can access at
further education level is important to ensure
they choose the most suitable option for them.
A Levels, T Levels and Apprenticeships vary in course structure, teaching style, subject options and student assessment. Creating clear distinctions between these qualifications, detailing what they entail can help learners to identify what environment they learn best in and therefore what type of qualification will improve their chances of success.
There are a number of differences between
college and sixth form. Firstly, students who
are adaptable and seeking independence may
be more suited to college as they will be in a
completely new environment with lots of new
people. Colleges can also allow free periods
in student timetables and often require more
self-motivation, so students will need to be
disciplined and committed to their chosen
courses to succeed in this environment.
Sixth forms will often suit students who prefer familiarity and structure. If their school has a sixth form, they will already be familiar with the environment, teachers and other students, making for a shorter transition phase. There is also potential for more academic support in sixth forms where teachers check in with students more regularly, reminding them of their deadlines and encouraging them to manage their time well.
While being prepared for the academic progression to further education is important, the life skills students need as young adults are also imperative. Highlighting the value of time management and organisation will help to ensure they have a good balance between work and general life. The sooner students begin to prioritise their mental health and reduce stress levels, the higher chance of good wellbeing and high achievement in their studies.
This free newsletter will include information on university events added to UniTasterDays, as well as details about new webinars and blog releases for you and your students.
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