Student Blog

Prepare for Sixth Form in 5 Painless Steps

There’s a lot to think about when starting sixth form: new courses, timetables and classmates are all on the horizon. We’ve put together a couple of tips on how to smooth over the sticky transition from GCSE and prepare for sixth form in style.

Chat to everybody

In the first few weeks of sixth form, everybody will be desperate to make friends. Chat to them all, accept as many invitations you can, and do your best to throw yourself out there. The people you sit with can be particularly helpful here. Turn to the person next to you and ask their name, what subjects they’re doing, and every other kind of small talk. Even if you think they’re weird/they smell/they remind you of your annoying brother, it might be worth hanging round with them at first. You can eat your sandwiches with them at lunch. Of course, you may quickly realise you’re better suited to other people. Or you may become best friends forever. There’s no way of knowing.

Solidify those friendships…

You’ve finally found people who share your passion for etymology and now you want to make your friendship concrete. The key is simply spending time with them. Have a Harry Potter marathon. Go paintballing. Make Scrabble biscuits and then play the game. If that sounds a little too nerdy, try some incredible baking recipes with them instead. Cooking not really your thing? Go out for a group meal. There’s nothing like food to bring people together.

…And those more-than-friendships

That group meal could be just the two of you. Of course, not everybody’s looking for love in Sixth Form. But if you are, be confident, be yourself – and arm yourself with scientifically-proven tips! Your crush won’t stand a chance.

(P.S. On the subject of those tips, please take them with a shovel of salt. There’s no way you need Botox, promise).

Exercise a bit of self-control

After the horror of a GCSE timetable, free periods can feel like heaven. But one of the best ways you can prepare for sixth form – and afterwards university – is to manage your time effectively. That sounds boring, but it doesn’t have to be. After all, it’s important that you strike a work-play balance. So, if you have two free periods a day, decide that you’re going to work really hard in one of them and mess around with Hannah in the other. You’ll get far more done in one intense period of study than in two where you just stare out of the window.

Enjoy your subjects

One of the best things about sixth form is that you’re studying subjects you love (or at least, subjects you hate less than the others). Immersing yourself in those subjects outside sixth form will not only work wonders for your marks, but it will really bring your leaning to life.

Studying History? Kentwell Hall runs some outstanding recreations across time periods, from WW2 to the famous Tudor Manor. If Kentwell’s a bit far away, visit a historical site and have an amazing day out.

Studying languages? Have movie nights and watch foreign films. Or enjoy your favourite TV show in another language (Friends in Spanish, anyone?).

Studying English? Enjoy a play at Shakespeare’s Globe and watch the words lift off the page.

Studying sciences? BBC 2’s Horizon provides some fascinating documentaries. Or if you’re near London, you could visit these top science museums.

Studying Law? Watch a real trial near you.

Whatever your subject, you can find something to spark your interest. Sixth form can feel like a bit of a jump from GCSE, but with your new friends, and favourite subjects, it may well be the best time of your life.

Written by Bryony Glover

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