I have now officially been in 6th Form for a whole year and now classify as a Year 13. So for any of you going into your first year of 6th form or if you just want to know a bit more about what 6th form is here is a post of my personal experience in 6th form.
My name is Emma and I study IT and Media. I started the year also studying CISCO but dropped that halfway through the year as god almighty that sucked! I ended up going to the 6th form of the secondary school I went to so I didn’t really have much change in term of space, instead of going to the main school I had all my lessons in the 6th form block and thankfully I knew all of the teachers already apart from any new additions to the staff over the summer. I went in to 6th form in a better position than others in that respect.
At the start I did a lot of things by the book, I was in all day every day even if my timetable didn’t require it, I was polite at all points and didn’t socialise much with my class. As the year progressed most of that changed, I skipped a couple of lessons (namely 6th period on a Thursday), I started to socialise with my class until I realised I hated all of them, I did earn a best friend out of it though so that part wasn’t too bad. I didn’t become less polite per say, I still knew the boundaries between a teacher and a student but I definitely saw my teachers more as friends than I had before and for sure I wouldn’t have gotten the grades I got in my first year without the help of one teacher that definitely is to good for our school.
For myself workload was never an issue, I could deal with stress well and so having 4 assignments at a time was nothing. At the start of the year on my first assignment I ended up getting a Distinction and am proud to say that I ended the year with nothing less than a Distinction in any assignment – I set myself up well for this new year. That’s not me saying I didn’t have a few Merits or Passes in there but I cleaned those up with re-submissions.
A bit more about the social aspect of 6th Form is maybe needed. A lot of my time last year was spent in the common room, a place to relax, gossip and play pool until lunch arrives. My course was 15 hours and I had a spaced timetable so I spent large gaps in my day in the common room on my iPad or talking with other friends and people in other courses. This year is thankfully different, instead I get a 3 and a half day weekend meaning my timetable is much more compressed and means I only have one free hour in the common room a week.
My school is a 10-15 minute walk from Tesco so often people take a walk through the park to Tesco’s in their free time or at lunch, I rarely did this as I just got lunch at school and would prefer to spend my money on video games or just about anything else to be honest. But it’s nice to have the option and just be able to go take a walk if the day is becoming too much for you or you just want to sit in the sun on a summer’s day.
Some tips for going into 6th Form (BTEC):
- Do your work to your highest ability, first time. Just because you get the chance of a re-submission does not mean your teacher has to actually give you it. It puts so much pressure on you and it’s just easier to go for your highest grade the first time around.
- Don’t compare your work to others. It’s easy to do, when other people are getting high grades and you feel you aren’t that’s okay – everyone works at different levels and everyone has their own strengths, you just have to find yours and kick the shit out of it!
- No leaving work to the last minute. For gods sake, I have a class of morons and they all did this last year, my course is stupidly lenient to the point of they could get in serious trouble for what they did, but the people on my course were very lucky indeed. Leaving work to the last minute isn’t smart or cool, it’s stupid and a way to get yourself thrown off of a course. If you are struggling with the workload tell your teacher and they will help you.
- Use your free time effectively. I know it’s going to be really easy to just sit in the common room in your hours free or just go home if you have no other lessons, it’s easy to do and I was at fault for doing that all of last year. But now the pressure has stepped up in year 2 and so I spend much more of my time in the study centre doing work. That’s not to say I don’t spend time with my friends, even in the study I spend time with them but we peacefully get on with work and occasionally talk and of course there is always lunch for a good old catch up.
- Just enjoy it! There’s a lot to do and a lot for you to think about in the years of 6th form, you’ll be worrying about University, what’s next, the work you are turning in and all things UCAS (every other word we utter is UCAS now) so just remember to enjoy yourself, enjoy the new freedom of being able to leave when you like, enjoy being the older part of the school and most of all make the most of the friends you have.
Thank you for reading,
Take care, I’ll see you in the next post 🙂