Which Sixth Form to choose?
Want to ensure your teenager chooses the right Sixth Form for them? Then follow these straightforward tips for open day success.
Helping your teenager choose the right Sixth Form for them is a big decision.
We round up our top tips for open day success, including advice, the best questions to ask and what to look out for.
1. Do your research
Before attending open evenings, do your research and make a list of any follow-up questions you need answering on the night.
2. Don’t be afraid to move
Encourage your teenager to consider options beyond their current school.
Ash Manaseki joined The Sixth Form at Harrogate Grammar School in September, having attended an open evening last year.
He believes studying away from his former school has given him a taste of what university will be like.
“It was very interesting for me as a personal experience because I wasn’t expecting to meet so many new people from so many different backgrounds.
“The people are very inviting and welcoming, especially the people who have already been studying here.”
His advice to anyone thinking about moving away from their current school for Sixth Form?
“Just go for it because you are going to do it anyway if you go to university.”
3. Check the results
When considering Sixth Forms look for consistently excellent results rather than just one year.
4. Look at the subjects on offer
Sixth Form is the first time your teenager will have a true choice in what they are studying so it is important to look at the range on offer.
Does the Sixth Form have a strong offering of a diverse range of subjects?
Neil Renton, head of Sixth Form at Harrogate Grammar School has these three pieces of advice for future students: “Select a subject that you enjoy and that you are interested in.
“Select a subject that you are good at because then you can make significant progress and develop at the higher level of study expected at A Level.
“Make sure you select a subject that allows you to progress after Sixth Form to the next stage in your life.”
5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Take the chance to chat to current students at open evenings. Do they seem passionate and engaged?
Are teachers open to questions about the curriculum and how they could meet the learning needs of your teenager?
6. Think about progression
Is there a clear route to university or higher apprenticeships? Do successful alumni visit to inspire current students? Is there an active work-experience programme?
“It is not just about academic performance but also about the students as individuals,” said Mr Renton.
“We develop leadership in young people so hopefully they will not just go to university or get an apprenticeship but become a leader in their chosen profession.”
The Sixth Form at Harrogate Grammar School encourages excellence for all its students across 35 subjects, taught in world-class facilities, including a newly refurbished independent study centre.
“We offer top-class facilities and high-quality teaching but it is done in a nurturing environment where students are supported for success,” said Mr Renton.