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Choosing your Post 16 destination can be hard and there are many questions you need to ask yourself when considering your options.
What is important to you?
You need to decide what is important to you as an individual, and use this to help you make an informed decision.
Do you want to be part of a small sixth form with small classes allowing you extra time with your teachers? Or are you happy to be in a class of over 30 students? Smaller class sizes allow your teachers to really get to know you, to understand your strengths and areas of development and how best to support you. The smaller classes here at Meopham Sixth Form allow teachers to form positive relationships with those in their classes. Within small classes students get the extra attention they deserve when studying A Levels or Level 3 BTEC Qualifications, in addition to allowing teachers to spend more time giving students feedback on work to encourage rapid progress.
Is the location of the Sixth Form the most important factor for you? If it’s not your need to think about how far you are willing to travel to attend the school of your choice.
Not all schools are equal. Meopham School is rated as Outstanding and was the highest performing highschool in Kent in 2017, 2018 and 2019. If a school’s Ofsted rating is important to you, then you may wish to consider this when making your decision.
Future Careers - Universities
If you have already chosen a career path for yourself, such as a paramedic, you need to do your research and ensure your sixth form course selection will allow you to gain entry onto the degree. Health and Social Care along with Psychology and sport would be a viable course selection.
A large number of university courses do not require certain qualifications in order to access them, rather favouring a specific number of UCAS points, for example, 120 points.
Students may only choose one course from each block to study.
If you wish to study the Business Double qualification (equivalent to two A Levels) you also need to choose the Business Single Qualification. Business Double students will have 12 lessons of Business per week, 6 in block B and 6 in block D.
BTEC v A Levels
Many of our current students decide to study a mixture of both A Levels and Level 3 BTEC qualifications. The reformed Level 3 BTEC qualifications have been brought in line with A Level qualifications, as such are welcomed by universities. The image below is taken of the UCAS Point Calculator which can be found on the UCAS website, demonstrates my above point. A student who receives a grade of A* for an A Level is awarded the exact same amount of UCAS points as a student who receives a Distinction* (D*) for a Level 3 BTEC qualification.
A key difference between both types of qualifications is that a BTEC assesses students through practical work as well as academic writing and exams, while an A level course assesses students by written examinations at the end of Year 2. For example a student studying BTEC Sport will be able to gain a grade with the completion of each unit across Year 1 and 2 of their course, whereas a student studying English Literature will be assessed at the end of Year 2 through 3 written exams.
Another difference between BTECs and A levels is that BTECs are very focused on a particular career area, whereas A levels are broader qualifications that could lead in a number of different directions.
BTEC courses are ideal for learners who struggle under the pressure of examinations.