Sixth Form means year 12 and 13 – the two years after your GCSEs. This is when you typically study A-levels or Level 3 BTEC courses for two years in a school or college classroom.
A-levels are generally a continuation of your favourite or best GCSEs in traditional (‘facilitating’) subjects, such as Maths, History, Geography or Chemistry or ‘new’ subjects, such as Psychology, Sociology, Accounting and Textiles.
Level 3 BTEC courses can be studied instead of / alongside A-levels and these typically include more work-related subjects such as Business, Health & Social Care, Sport or IT.
By choosing Sixth Form you are deciding to stay on in education (mostly in the classroom). This might be because you prefer academic study and exams.
However, your next career path might also influence your decision – e.g. Higher Education entry requirements may specify certain A-Levels. Make sure you research this carefully before choosing if, what and where to study.
Having decided to continue on into Sixth Form, your main options are to:
- stay on in the same school community – assuming there is a sixth form pathway
- change schools – perhaps to one with a more relevant choice of sixth form subjects
- study in the sixth form at a College – if this is a preferred environment
Your choice of where to study could be influenced by a number of factors including:
- location / catchment area restrictions
- student numbers
- travel arrangements
- student age range
- choice of subjects
- course structure
- social/extra-curricular opportunities
Sixth Form education is available at a variety of establishments including most, but not all, of the local Colleges, studio schools, state-funded and fee-paying independent schools. As an alternative, there are level 3 courses available at local colleges.
Research carefully because there are literally hundreds of A-level and BTEC subjects to choose from and they won’t all be on offer at the same Sixth Form.
Some local secondary schools have also merged their year 12 and 13 provision into a single Sixth Form Centre whilst others are now working together collaboratively as a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT).
The main local Sixth Forms are listed below and, regardless of local authority, each has a BS or BA postcode as part of the Careersnearhere.com criteria for being local to the area.
Why not also explore Careersnearhere.com as the local Sixth Forms can advertise for free on the noticeboards under the relevant industry / career sectors including:
Each Sixth Form website should list their available subjects, open evenings, contact details and application process. Remember to check for any admissions criteria as this will also be worth researching carefully before making any decisions.
The local authority websites list their own Sixth Forms with contact details, admissions procedures/criteria and any Sixth Forms for young people with special educational needs.
To explore local Sixth Form adverts on Careersnearhere.com:
- Click on Explore Local Careers (at the top of the screen)
- Scroll down
- Select your favourite local industry/career sector
- Discover any relevant, local adverts on the noticeboards
- Follow the link in each advert to find out more or to apply direct to the Sixth Form
And the individual Sixth Forms are also listed below for ease of reference.
To compare Sixth Forms online, search under headings such as school and college performance tables as well as A-level school league tables.
And if you are looking for a local fee-paying Sixth Form, these are marked with ‘(INDEP.)’ below. You can also find them on the Independent Schools Council website.
Many of the Sixth Forms have also produced videos which are on YouTube and linked from their own websites.
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Local Authority: Bath & North East Somerset (with a BS or BA postcode)
Bath Academy (INDEP.)
Bath Studio School
Beechen Cliff School
Chew Valley School
King Edward’s School (INDEP.)
Kingswood School (INDEP.)
Mendip Studio School
Midsomer Norton Sixth Form
Monkton Combe School (INDEP.)
Prior Park College (INDEP.)
Ralph Allen School
The Royal High School Bath (INDEP.)
The New Sixth
Local Authority: Bristol (with a BS or BA postcode)
Ashton Park School
Badminton School (INDEP.)
Bristol Brunel Academy (CLF Post16)
Bristol Cathedral Choir School
Bristol Free School
Bristol Grammar School (INDEP.)
The City Academy Bristol
City of Bristol College
Clifton College (INDEP.)
Clifton High School (INDEP.)
Colston’s Girls’ School
Colston’s School (INDEP.)
North Bristol Post 16 Centre
Oasis Academy – Brislington
Oasis Academy – John Williams
QEH Bristol (INDEP.)
Redmaids’ High School
St Bede’s Catholic College
St. Brendan’s Sixth Form College
St Mary Redcliffe
Local Authority: North Somerset (with a BS or BA postcode)
Local Authority: Somerset (with a BS or BA postcode)
The Blue School
Bruton School for Girls (INDEP.)
Downside School (INDEP.)
Frome Community College
King’s Bruton (INDEP.)
The Kings of Wessex Academy
Millfield School (INDEP.)
The Park School (INDEP.)
Wells Cathedral School (INDEP.)
Local Authority: South Gloucestershire (with a BS or BA postcode)
Abbeywood Community School
Bradley Stoke Community School
Bristol Technology and Engineering Academy
The Castle School
Cotswold Edge Sixth Form
John Cabot Academy (CLF Post16)
Patchway Community College
Sir Bernard Lovell School
The Ridings’ Federation Winterbourne International Academy
South Gloucestershire & Stroud College (SGS – Filton)