Parent's guide: how to know if sixth form is right for your child 

Pupils studying and learning for their A-Levels in the café at Talbot Heath Sixth Form in Bournemouth, Dorset.

Talbot Heath Sixth Form in Dorset offers one-to-one support on their A-Level subjects, career prospects and university applications to give your child the best opportunities for their futures. - Credit: Talbot Heath Sixth Form

What are your child’s post-GCSE options and how can you best support them as they take the next steps in their future?    

Angharad Holloway, head of Talbot Heath Sixth Form in Bournemouth, shares everything you need to know about applying for sixth form, and how to tell if it’s the best route for them.

Q: Will college and sixth form provide the same educational experience?

A: Not really. Despite sometimes offering similar courses or qualifications, college and sixth form provide unique learning experiences. Our sixth form offers more structure and support than within a college. Sixth form offers a bridge between the independence of university and the supportive environment of a school.

Colleges are institutions in their own right and therefore are not integrated into a senior school. A college may offer a broad range of subjects but our sixth form provides small class sizes, an intimate seminar-style learning environment and extensive pastoral support.

Talbot Heath Sixth Form remains an integral part of the school community, yet students have the freedom to take control of their learning, develop their individual passions and discover who they are. They receive one-to-one support in their A-level subjects, assistance with university applications and guidance on applying for jobs.

Pupils also have opportunities for extracurricular enrichment. They can explore other interests and pursue personal goals. The Extended Project Qualification allows students to conduct their own research and evaluation on a topic of their choosing – it's highly favourable to universities and is also an option we encourage.

Modern building and facilities at Talbot Heath Sixth Form in Bournemouth, Dorset.

State-of-the-art facilities is the foundation for pupil satisfaction and success at Talbot Heath Sixth Form in Dorset. - Credit: Talbot Heath Sixth Form

Q: What type of student is best suited to Talbot Heath Sixth Form?

A: Talbot Heath is best suited to students who are inquisitive and have a thirst for knowledge. Our superb A-level results provide a springboard into exciting careers and futures.

We look for students to become a part of the family and community of the staff and pupils we’ve created here. We celebrate students that support each other's individuality, personal interests and academic achievements.

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The students at Talbot Heath should be imaginative and approach their personal and educational life with a ‘can-do’ mentality. Our teachers will be there to offer guidance every step of the way. They know the requirements of the courses inside and out and can prepare pupils to face their exams with confidence.

We encourage our students to make the best of their sixth form experience, use their initiative, explore their passions and take ownership of their learning.

Students celebrating outstanding A-Level results and university offers at Talbot Heath Sixth Form in Bournemouth, Dorset.

Talbot Heath Sixth Form is best suited to passionate, innovative and focused students looking to bridge the gap between school and university. - Credit: Talbot Heath Sixth Form

Q: How can students apply to Talbot Heath Sixth Form?

A: The entrance requirements for Talbot Heath are based upon GCSE results. Six GCSEs are required, achieving a minimum of grade seven and above in the chosen A-level subjects for study.  Our conditional offering of places within the sixth form are based upon predicted grades and the individual’s current school report.

There are two routes of entry:

  • A conditional offer based upon a current school report and predicted GCSE results.  

  • A firm scholarship offer based upon success in the scholarship exams which take place in the November of Year 11. The deadline to register for a scholarship is the end of October.

Applications are reviewed throughout the year from international pupils but our main deadline for entry for UK pupils is October.

We will be hosting an open evening for the sixth form in October, which is an ideal opportunity to chat with subject teachers and get a feel for the school. We also offer taster days in the autumn term a year prior to entry.

There is an open evening for the sixth form on Tuesday, October 5. For more information, visit talbotheath.org/admissions-and-open-days/open-days-virtual-open-days-and-tours 

For more information on the sixth form visit talbotheath.org/sixth-form-16-18/talbot-heath-sixth-form. Alternatively, contact 01202 761881 or office@talbotheath.org.