We interviewed former student Dylan Allard about his time at sixth form.
“The support that I was given at those times when I struggled really did pick me up and helped me to decide what I wanted to do in the future.”
How did you find your experience in St Edward’s sixth form?
One of the best decisions I made was to go to St Edward’s sixth form. The school itself doesn’t feel too big and the sixth form centre is very much the same. It allows for a really unique community feel, where everyone knows everyone. I liked walking between lessons or up to the study room and being able to interact with everyone. When you study your A-levels, there is always help and support on offer to combat any struggles or stress that you may feel. You never feel alone or without support due to the positive relationships between yourself and the other students, as well as from the network of teachers who are always there for you. I think I might have struggled to find that elsewhere.
What A-Levels did you do?
Physical Education, English Language, Philosophy and Ethics and Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).
How did the teachers support you?
The teachers went above and beyond their role inside the classroom. They were all willing to go the extra mile whether that be running extra sessions when you are struggling or providing extra resources to aid your learning. However, what I think makes the teachers unique is the support that they are willing to provide away from their subject. The two years doing A-levels are very hard work and things can quickly get on top of you. The teachers understand this and empathise with the students. As long as you are willing to work hard for them, they are willing to support you as much as they can. The support that I was given at those times when I struggled really did pick me up and helped me to decide what I wanted to do in the future.
How different was sixth form to normal school?
Sixth form is completely different to normal school. In most cases you are working on subjects you have chosen and I know from personal experience that I found this much more engaging and enjoyable. Furthermore, the relationships you build with the teachers are much stronger due to the personal feel within a smaller class size. I also found the study periods that you get in sixth form really useful to allow myself extra time to revise the topics which I found difficult.
What did you go on to do after sixth form?
I wanted to have the same impact on young people’s lives that some of the teachers at St Edward’s had on me, so I decided to go into teaching. Specifically, I went to the University of Chichester to study Physical Education in the Secondary Years. I completed my degree earlier this year and I am now almost halfway through my year of teacher training before I become a fully qualified PE teacher.
What words of advice would you give to those thinking about applying to St Edward’s sixth form?
A-levels open up so many possibilities. However, even if you aren’t sure what you want to do in the future, sixth form gives you another two years to decide whilst you are studying some fantastic courses and gaining widely recognised qualifications. St Edward’s sixth form is unique in the amazing opportunities it gives students. I had the opportunity to play in sports fixtures and gain valuable careers experience. As I mentioned earlier, the community feel and support network within St Edward’s sixth form is second to none. The great relationships you build with your peers but also your teachers is so valuable. I loved my time at St Edward’s sixth form and I am certain that if you choose to apply, you will too.