Sixth Form: is it worth it?

By Joseph and Oliver
Edited by the ‘Newspaper in a Day’ team.

Around this time of year, all across the country, pupils are picking their options for GCSE and college. Here at Wellington, we have a sixth form, so we decided to venture out and find out more from the students themselves – is it worth it?

On a quiet Friday morning, we meandered in the corridors of the sixth form area, the light from a frost-covered quadrangle making us sleepy. Then we met and interviewed four happy sixth form students on their way back from lessons. They told us that they study independently twice a week on Tuesday and Sunday. This didn’t seem too much to us! They also ‘claimed’ to get approximately six hours sleep per night during the week and eight hours on the weekend which is more than we – Year 8 students – get now! They then went on to tell us that sixth form is worth it, but only if you try hard and get the correct grades; they didn’t tell us exactly how to get those correct grades though. We were hoping for a secret formula!

In the common room, over cups of cola, we spoke with some female students in Year 12. Reluctantly, they told us that sixth form is similar to high school, but that you have more freedom which comes at the price of excruciatingly tonnes of work! We asked many students if their subjects were chosen to help them get a job they wanted to do in the future, but most students were more interested in grades for University. Harry told us that he wishes to go to University. He will go if he gets the right grades: his target grades are Bs and Cs. From his speech we could tell it was hard work in sixth form but we were impressed by his determination. We then went on to ask Harry and the girls if sixth form was the best option post-16. Some of them said “No, get an apprenticeship.” in contrast to this, the majority of others said they were seriously enjoying sixth form and would find having an apprenticeship boring. They were pleased they stayed with their GCSE friends for another two years.

From our interviews that day we learned a lot about sixth form. Sixth form is: full of hard work, encourages independent study, an opportunity to get into University, a good alternative to college and apprenticeships, a chance to stay in contact with school friends and a good lifestyle choice.

We certainly feel better informed now. Do you?