There are many options you have after you finish Year 11. Many students chose to go to sixth form to complete their further education. Students typically spend two years at sixth form with many taking A-Levels and BTEC qualifications. Sixth forms don’t always have the same term times as schools and universities, therefore you may be wondering when students finish their studies at sixth form.
The date that you will finish sixth form is highly dependent on the sixth form you go to. Most sixth form colleges have ended their summer term roughly around the 21st of July 2023.
Read on to find out more about the summer term at sixth form and what sort of dates you should expect to leave next year and in the following years.
When do sixth formers leave school?
During your time at sixth form, you will be completing the last two years of your secondary education before you go to university if you decide to. Unless you have repeated a year or entered school early, you will be around the ages of 17 or 18 when you typically finish sixth form.
Repeating a year of sixth form will put you a year behind your classmates. You will be around 18 or 19 when you finish sixth form and maybe even later. This can be a good decision for someone who would like to retake their A-Levels.
Check out this article from Think Student for a more detailed explanation of the process behind repeating a year.
In recent years gone by the coronavirus has caused some disruption to learning and led to school time being missed. Legally, students must be educated for 190 days a year. To learn more about the legal requirements, check out this document from GOV.UK. Fortunately, most schools have managed to make up for this time so sixth form ends around the same time it usually does.
During your last year of sixth form, you will be in Year 13 and expected to complete the A-Level exams or submit your coursework so you can gain admission at university or an apprenticeship. You will be granted study leave to prepare for these exams and then come into school only to take the exams. Many sixth forms will give you roughly 5 weeks of study leave which typically begins sometime in May.
This can make it confusing as you may consider the day before study leave as your last day of Year 13 and thus the last day of sixth form. Whilst you will finish formal lessons before your study leave, you may be asked to come into school after your exams. This is because they want to help you when preparing for university or if they want you to finish off any coursework that you have forgotten about.
There is no official finish date for Year 13 so it is important to speak to your school about the date you will leave.
When do sixth forms break up for summer?
Although the government can set a guideline for when schools should break up for summer, it is ultimately up to your school and your council.
Check out this link from GOV.UK to find out the recommended school term holiday dates from your local council.
The date you finish summer term becomes a bit clearer in Year 12, the first year of sixth form. A large part of this is due to the growing lack of General Certificate of Education (GCE) examinations. Whilst you do the A-Level exams in Year 13, you do not have to do a GCE exam in Year 12. You may just do a school assessment mock exam in preparation for Year 13.
However, some schools may make you take the AS exams in Year 12. Check out this article from Uni Guide to learn more about the AS and A-Level exams.
Therefore, Year 12s will end their sixth form year in the summer as early as the rest of the school will. This is typically around the penultimate week of July or even earlier.
Hopefully this article has provided you with a better understanding of the dates you can expect to finish the sixth form year. If you would like to learn more about the sixth form application process and what it’s like, be sure to check the many articles on Think Student. Good luck preparing for your new school year!