College life

College Vs. Sixth Form

The benefits of choosing College instead of a School Sixth Form

Young people are now required to stay in education or training until they are 18, this means that you have several options to choose from and we can help you make the right decision for you. One of the biggest choices you may need to make is whether to stay on at a school sixth form or consider a fresh start at a College of Further and Higher Education such as Macclesfield College. To help you consider all your options here is some information on how sixth forms and colleges can differ:

Wider range of study options

We are bigger than most school sixth forms, therefore we can provide a greater variety of learning opportunities, such as vocational courses (BTECs, NVQs) or apprenticeship training, at different levels to suit varying abilities. Vocational qualifications can offer a fast track to employment or University as they allow learners to demonstrate they are better prepared for the workplace or higher study. Universities often prefer students from a vocational background rather than an academic one.

Specialist facilities and teaching staff

Set in stunning surroundings, our modern, state-of-the-art campus is one of the best in the country. Along with a traditional classroom environment we have specialist, vocational training facilities fitted out with industry-standard resources and the latest equipment. The vocational resource areas are normally far better than any found in schools. Our students enjoy first class tuition from friendly, experienced teaching staff, many of whom have worked in their specialist industry areas and can pass on their knowledge and expertise to you.

A different learning environment

College offers a different atmosphere to that experienced at a school’s sixth form: It can be more informal with a greater feeling of independence and you’ll be treated more like an adult. Your classes will be timetabled differently too, so there may be days when you might not need to attend, meaning you can use your free time for home study or part-time work. You will also get to meet lots of new people and make new friends as we take students from different schools from across East Cheshire and beyond.

Expert support

Along with the teaching staff in your programme of study you will also benefit from the support of a dedicated Personal Tutor who will monitor your learning goals, attendance, progress and general wellbeing. Additional Learning Support is available whether that’s through extra literacy and numeracy support, or support for a specific learning difficulty and/or disability. We can also provide information, advice and guidance on progression options throughout your time at the College.

You may like to view our Learner Journey – Step by Step Guide which outlines the information, advice and guidance we provide to you during your time at Macclesfield College.

Working with Parents / Cares

We’re proud of our relationships with parents / carers and keep them informed through regular progress events held at the College – in many cases this is more frequent than many school sixth forms.

Progressing Higher

Macclesfield College runs a programme of Higher Education (HE) options and our range of Higher Nationals (HNCs/HNDs) and Foundation Degrees provide you with high quality, cost-effective HE study, enabling you to continue your studies to the next level without the expense of going away to University.

Anything else you need to know?

If you’d like to see for yourself what we can offer,why not attend one of our Open Events and come and see the campus and it’s spectacular facilities yourself or contact us and arrange a tour – we’d be delighted to hear from you.