Going to sixth form after doing GCSEs can seem like a huge leap in education and, for most people, it is. A-Levels are tough and, fortunately, you won’t be the only person who feels that way. However, sometimes the best course of action is to move on to a different sixth form. Whether it’s a result of the learning environment or feelings of isolation, there a variety of valid reasons why you might choose to make the change. It isn’t an easy choice but it’s also not an uncommon one.
The short answer to if you can move sixth form is yes. You’ll of course need to let your current sixth form know that you are leaving and undergo the process of selecting a new sixth form to enrol in. There are also other factors to consider including subjects, exam boards and place availability.
It is much easier to transfer once the academic year is over but not everyone’s circumstances permit that. The process is not overly complicated but time between communication can be long and not every single sixth form will be eager to accept new students. Doing your research will be vital to making things go as smoothly as possible.
By reading this article, you will have a clear idea about the process of moving sixth form and some factors to consider if it is the right choice for you.
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Can you transfer sixth form after Year 12?
In many situations, people decide that they want to transfer sixth forms at the end of Year 12. This is possible and much easier than moving partway through the year. As different sixth forms may choose to cover the same content in different orders, jumping in halfway can be very disruptive to the learning process.
All sixth forms will have covered the AS-Level content by the end of Year 12 so, jumping in at the start of Year 13 will be much smoother. This way, you can be on the same page as all the other students in your new class. Furthermore, your teacher won’t have to keep checking to see if you’ve covered the content they’re teaching already or not.
How do you change sixth form?
You should begin the process by selecting the sixth form you would like to transfer to. It is all well and good wanting to leave your current sixth form, but without a new location in mind, there is no way to progress. If you would like to know more about the basics of sixth form, check out this link to a Think Student article.
Keep the reason why you are leaving your current sixth form in mind while you select a new one. If you are leaving because of the teaching quality, make sure to keep an eye out for sixth forms that are known for good teaching. If you’re leaving due to lack of support, make sure to inquire about the support systems available at the sixth form. You don’t want to move and realise you’re back at square one.
In addition, you’ll need to ensure that the sixth form offers the subjects you are currently studying. Not all sixth forms offer certain German, for example, so if you study it now, you’ll need to find one that offers it. You can also check out this link to a Think Student article for ideas on what to look out for when selecting a sixth form.
Sixth forms usually make it obvious on their websites that a subject they offer is done under a certain exam board. If that information is not available, you should call them up and ask. This is because, taking Computer Science for example, OCR and AQA content is not the exact same. It is harder to transfer to a different exam board and it could mean learning additional content.
Some sixth forms will invite you to take a tour of the campus since, if you’re joining partway through the academic year, you will have missed the induction/open days. Take this opportunity to ask as many questions as possible and immerse yourself in the environment as you’ll be spending the next year there, roughly.
Once you have a confirmed spot at the new sixth form, you will need to contact your current sixth form about the process for withdrawing from your courses there. It may be necessary to let them know where you will be finishing the rest of your course, so it is best that you have a name in mind at this point.
Should you change sixth form?
This question is something that ultimately only you can answer. It is up to you to decide what is the best choice for your life. Consider the opinions of your teachers and guardians, of course, but the final say is yours.
Some may say that certain reasonings are not worth the move, but everyone has different priorities. For example, moving sixth forms because you haven’t made many friends might not seem like a valid reason to some. However, it can really take a toll on mental health and a change in environment may help with that. The following pros and cons may also render your decision a bit easier to make.
What are the advantages of moving sixth form?
- The main advantage is the change – You are away from whatever reason caused you to change sixth form in the first place. You have a fresh start and a new reputation to foster with your peers and teachers.
- Changing sixth form gives you the opportunity to turn over a new leaf – With any luck, you will be able to resume studies as normal and with little disruption to your learning. You will have a whole host of new opportunities to make friends or join clubs.
- A new sixth form could also mean exposure to a new teaching – If the teaching at your current sixth form is unsatisfactory, hopefully the change will grant you access to higher quality learning.
As you can see there are some big factors that could have a positive impact on your leaning. But before deciding you should also consider the drawbacks.
What are the disadvantages of moving sixth form?
- You might find that you experience similar problems at the new sixth form – Moving sixth form does come with its own set of risks. No amount of research or tours will be able to inform you about the experience of learning at a sixth form better than actually learning at the sixth form.
- What you see in brochures about fantastic teaching, for example, might not be the case in actuality – Sixth forms are, of course, going to put their best foot forward when it comes to enticing students and bringing in new learners.
- It could require some extra effort on your part to reach out to other students and make conversation – Furthermore, it might be more difficult to fully integrate into your new environment as students will likely already have formed friend groups.
- A new sixth form is a completely fresh start and teachers will know little about you – Not only will you have to develop relationships with your peers, but also, you’ll have to adapt to new teachers. The ones at your current sixth form might be more familiar with how you learn and what your circumstances are.
There are many factors to consider when changing sixth form. I hope this article has provided some helpful ideas to get you started on making your decision.