Secret Sixthformer: The Next Step

The first of a series in association with the South Wolds Academy and Sixth Form called ‘Secret Sixthformer’ –  articles written by students at the school.


The departure from the world of GCSEs can be intimidating and almost always underwhelming. After a lengthy 12 week break for most, the return to school can be as welcome as a good toe stubbing, however, being reunited with your school pals is always a lively event, which makes getting out of bed seem worth it; albeit for the first five minutes.

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Grappling with the independence can be difficult, as unlike the previous 11 years of education, we are no longer spoon fed every aspect of the curriculum. Reading chosen subjects is something that students can’t afford to avoid.

After the first few weeks of deadline juggling and frantic ring-binder purchasing, the pace of learning becomes an exciting challenge. For the first time in your academic career, you are given the opportunity to pursue the subjects you find most interesting.

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Having the freedom to enjoy and manage your school day is another welcome benefit of staying on, ‘free periods’ for example: students have to make the decision between wallowing in a sea of worksheets and self-pity or going to the local Co-op; a choice that many students find too hard to bear.

One of the most important elements of sixth-form is the social life it provides. With mounting pressure to succeed, it is normal to feel isolated and without direction; being surrounded by friends is the perfect remedy. A trip to the common room is enough to suppress any feeling of inadequacy, as you can procrastinate guilt free in the knowledge that everyone else is doing the same.

Surrounding yourself with people in the same boat as you can also offer comforting therapy, discussing problems regularly can help alleviate any worries students may be having, with common room topics ranging from a lack of revision to a lack of sleep. It’s not all doom and gloom, if you’re lucky enough to not be worrying about your subjects, you can start to enjoy things like UCAS application and writing personal statements.

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As an initiated Year 12, I can say that sixth form is serving as an incredible valuable experience. In the bigger picture, attaining decent A levels is vital and the hard work eventually pays off; even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. When the big day comes and you’re waving goodbye to your family to start your first term at university, sixth form will go from being a seemingly big leap; to a happy memory.

Written by a Secret Sixthformer at The South Wolds Academy and Sixth Form – Keyworth.