Sixth Form is an incredibly important time in a young person’s education. Not only are they on the cusp of adulthood but university is on the horizon, so finding the perfect Sixth Form College is key to successful further education.

Absolutely Education has teamed up with Eaton Square Sixth Form (ES6) to recommend what you should be looking out for when choosing a Sixth Form College.


The first thing to consider when choosing a Sixth Form College is the location – how far is it from home and what will the commute be like? It’s important to research transport links and ensure the journey is an easy one. ES6 is in central London within minutes of Victoria station, making it a convenient place for students to travel to. There are also plenty of shops, cafés and restaurants in the cosmopolitan area, ideal for independent young people.

Academic excellence

It is important to find out the kind of qualifications the Sixth Form offers, whether it is A-levels, the IB or vocational courses. Many of the top universities demand excellent A-level results, and ES6 offer a wide range of well-regarded subjects, from French and English Literature to Physics and Economics. All ES6 pupils also take the EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) and have timetabled lessons for ILA (Individual Learning Activity).

Pastoral care

Sixth Form students may be increasingly independent, but they still require a high level of pastoral care, especially in the run up to university. ES6 is a new sixth form so there aren’t too many students and class sizes are small, meaning teachers are able to provide individual support that is tailored to each student’s needs. Good relationships with teachers can give young people a more positive attitude to learning and, in turn, benefit their academic performance. It also means each child is getting the right help, whether it’s extra one-on-one time with teachers working on essays or a more challenging extension task.

The school day

Some Sixth Form colleges allow a lot of flexibility when it comes to their timetable. However, this can lead to missed classes and have a detrimental effect on their learning. A more structured day, like ES6’s 9am-5pm timetable, can be beneficial for Sixth Formers, as it encourages a strong work ethic that will see them through university and beyond. A challenging workload and compulsory lessons motivates students to fulfil their potential and get the most out of their schooling.

Extra-curricular activities

Oxbridge and Russell Group universities expect applicants to have a well-balanced application, and showcase a wide variety of experiences outside of the academic realm. Look for a Sixth Form College that has a plethora of extra-curricular and co-curricular activities, whether it is competitive sport or singing in a choir. School trips both abroad and around London can make the Sixth Form experience more enriching, while the renowned Duke of Edinburgh scheme is a brilliant opportunity to develop key skills outside the classroom that will impress universities and employers.

University applications

It is important that Sixth Form teachers are well-equipped to get students into the best universities possible. Look out for faculty members who will be able to guide students through the process. For example, at ES6 the Head, John Wilson, has been a UCAS advisor since 2002 and has been on the board of medical school admissions at University College London, Imperial College, and Queen Mary, University of London. A good Sixth Form College should be able to help students craft their personal statements, practise interview techniques and prepare for the workload they will encounter at university.

To find out more about Eaton Square Sixth Form, opening in 2020, click here.