How to Choose Subjects to Take at Sixth Form

Posted: 22nd May 2024

The transition between secondary school and sixth form can be overwhelming. Students are faced with plenty of decisions, such as which sixth form college to attend, and choosing A Levels can be a significant source of stress.

We are well aware of the impact of this decision at St. Augustine’s Priory – but we would urge our students, both current and potential, to take their time in making this choice.

In this blog post, we aim to offer our guidance to students struggling with choosing their sixth form subjects. Read on to find out how we recommend finding the right subjects for you.

Sixth Form education at St. Augustine’s Priory

Priory Sixth is a part of our school that fills us with pride. Again and again, we watch our sixth form students grow into compassionate, courageous, conscientious people in just two years.

We maintain the highest expectations for our students and expect each student to hold themselves to these too; independent study, intellectual curiosity and engagement are all crucial components for A Level (and lifelong) success.

We offer a bespoke and individualised teaching environment, with small, intimate teaching groups. This prepares our students for higher education, emulating the seminar-style teaching of universities.

Priory Sixth benefits from a well-equipped, separate sixth form study area. This incorporates space for private study and collaborative group work, encompassing all students’ needs. Our students also have access to an excellent range of carefully chosen journals and publications to support them in their studies.

In addition to choosing from a wide array of A Level courses, many students also opt to undertake the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). This encourages students to pursue their interests beyond the curriculum, as well as developing crucial skills including research, analytical writing and presentation.

Our Sixth Form community

Every student in our Priory Sixth community reaches success. With exceptional results, an impressive range of university destinations, and highly ambitious career opportunities, we help our pupils decide what success means to them.

Our support and guidance throughout their life at Priory Sixth enables them to achieve greatness, in whatever shape that takes.

Leading the Catholic life and mission of the school, our Priory Sixth students are, without exception, highly generous and creative individuals. They consistently engage in partnerships, projects and outcomes for a sustainable and prosperous future.

Here are our top pieces of advice for students choosing their sixth form subjects.

Consider your interests and strengths

Understanding yourself as a person plays a crucial role in selecting the right subjects. Reflect on what subjects ignite your passion, and where your strengths lie. Whether you’re interested in the complexities of mathematics, if you’re gifted at languages, or if you want to start unravelling the nuances of literature – choose subjects that resonate with you.

Research career aspirations

Peering into the future can provide invaluable guidance in selecting subjects. Research potential career paths and identify the subjects that can pave the way towards your desired profession. Whether you aspire to become a scientist, an artist, or an entrepreneur, align your subject choices with your long-term goals.

At Priory Sixth, we have a strong, personalised careers programme which enables students to explore the multitude of pathways available to them, and to receive individualised advice and guidance from their tutor and the Director of Priory Sixth.

They are also supported by a thorough programme of Higher Education guidance, including ‘Futures Fortnight’, which encourages students to explore the UCAS process as well as the many different pathways available to them.  We know that this area is a real strength of Priory Sixth; our unique ability to get to know our sixth form students so well enables us to provide exceptionally bespoke guidance and opportunities.

Consult teachers or pastoral care

The wisdom and experience of teachers and pastoral care staff are invaluable assets in the subject selection process. Seek their guidance and tap into their expertise to gain insights into the suitability of subjects based on your strengths, interests, and career aspirations.

Our sixth form teaching staff are, without exception, highly qualified and experienced subject teachers, and experts in their chosen fields, whose passion for their subjects transfers to the students they are working with. They are people that Priory Sixth students can rely on – do feel free to reach out to them in your decision-making process.

Review course requirements

Each subject comes with its own set of prerequisites and expectations. Take the time to review the course requirements to ensure compatibility with your academic capabilities and aspirations.

If you’re planning to go into higher education, consider any prerequisites for your desired university courses, or career paths to make informed decisions.

Balance your subjects

Striking a balance between different subject areas is essential for a well-rounded education. Opt for a combination of subjects that challenge you intellectually while offering a diverse skill set. Balance humanities with sciences, arts with languages, to broaden your horizons and foster a holistic approach to learning.

Assess workload and difficulty

While it’s essential to pursue subjects that challenge and inspire you, it’s equally important to assess the workload and difficulty level. Be realistic about your capabilities and commitments, and ensure that your subject choices align with your capacity to manage workload and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Explore new subjects

Sixth form is a time for exploration and discovery. Don’t hesitate to step out of your comfort zone and explore new subjects that pique your curiosity. Embrace the opportunity to broaden your intellectual horizons and uncover hidden talents.

Think about long-term prospects

Look beyond the immediate academic landscape and consider the long-term prospects of your subject choices. Evaluate how your chosen subjects align with your future career aspirations and the opportunities they may unlock in the ever-evolving job market.

Our bespoke ‘Preparing Your Future’ course at Priory Sixth helps our students to develop essential skills with which to equip themselves for their future studies and careers. This includes opportunity for presentation, debate and discussion, social justice, RSE, critical thinking, study skills, financial literacy, IT literacy, careers education, PSHCE and opportunities to explore and pursue the values of Catholic Social Teaching.

Seek advice from peers

Your peers can offer valuable insights and perspectives based on their own experiences and knowledge. Engage in conversations with classmates, seniors, and alumni to gain diverse viewpoints and make informed decisions about your subject choices.

Be flexible

Flexibility plays a crucial role in adapting to changing circumstances and seizing new opportunities. Remain open-minded throughout the subject selection process and be willing to reassess your choices based on evolving interests, aspirations, and circumstances.

Explore your options at St Augustine’s Priory

At St. Augustine’s Priory, we recognise the pivotal role that subject selection plays in shaping your academic journey and future endeavours. By considering your interests, strengths, and aspirations, and with the guidance of our experienced teachers and pastoral care staff, you can make informed decisions that set the stage for success.

As one of the leading schools in the education sector, we are committed to nurturing your talents, fostering holistic development, and preparing you to thrive.

Join us at St. Augustine’s Priory Sixth, where your journey from early years, to primary school, to pre-U education is met with unparalleled support and opportunities for growth.

Apply now for a transformative educational experience that not only enriches your life, but also contributes to the economic growth and advancement of society through our dedication to excellence in education policies and practices, in sixth form and beyond.

Categories: Supporting your child