This blog has been created to provide an insight into life at Cheadle & Marple Sixth College, by the people who know it best: members of staff and current students. Our first blog is written by two current students who study at Marple Sixth Form College. Nothing within their story has been changed, so these are genuine accounts of their experiences.
Life at College by Rhea Gibson
Rhea is a current Year 13 student studying A levels at Marple Sixth Form College
When it comes to choosing a college there are quite a few things that you have to take into consideration and it’s almost guaranteed that the first thing you will think about is what college your friends are going to.
The most important thing to remember is to choose the college that suits you the most and not the one all your friends are going to as you grow up you may lose those friends, or you may not feel as comfortable in that college compared to others.
When I was deciding on which college to choose, I found it really helped to look on the website for the colleges that I was thinking of applying to and reading what the courses had to offer, this helped me to narrow my choices down to 3 (Marple was the top choice).
I chose Marple college because after open days and talking to past /current students there I realised that it was the college for me. Marple college has such a nice environment and I feel so comfortable there.
One thing I’ve found when starting college is that you have so much more freedom than you do in high school. One of my favourite things about the college is that you have free periods which are so helpful as it means you can use that time to catch up on any work /revision or even nip to the shop for some lunch.
Another thing I love about the college is how supportive and understanding the teachers are, even if it is the smallest problem with a piece of work or something you didn’t understand in the lesson, they are always there to provide help and support.
During high school one thing I didn’t really like was that the canteens were so packed so sometimes in winter you had to stand outside in the freezing cold shivering and shaking but with college the canteen is much quieter as there are only 2-year groups.
” Another thing I love about the college is how supportive and understanding the teachers are, even if it is the smallest problem with a piece of work or something you didn’t understand in the lesson, they are always there to provide help and support.”
When it comes to free periods and doing revision or catching up on work, I really enjoy having the choice to choose where I want to study, the canteen so I can work with my friends and ask them if I don’t understand anything or the library which helps when it comes to my drama and English work as I have access to a computer and printer plus the wide range of books and resources round the library to help with any research I need to do.
When it comes to choosing a career path the college are always there to guide you in the right direction, from when you first join the college all the way up to year 13 results day, they are always helping you with ways to improve your UCAs application and things that will help you stand out from everyone else such as becoming a student ambassador or involving yourself in extracurricular activities.
Overall Marple college is a great college since being here I’ve made so many new friends, memories and feel so supported in and outside of lessons.
- Rhea Gibson
Life at College by Amelie Commins
Amelie is a current Year 13 student studying A levels at Marple Sixth Form College.
College is so, so different. And I don’t mean that in a bad way, but it takes a bit to get used to and I am thankful for the induction period that Marple College offered in the first few weeks of my year 12 that allowed us to get introduced to the subjects, helping the process to be much smoother.
Everyone will tell you different things about what college is like compared to high school, because there’s just so much, but for me it’s the free periods that make the most difference. It feels as though there are just so many more hours in a day to get work done.
Instead of having to do all your homework from home, there are computer rooms and the library. Having periods where I don’t have to constantly be paying consistent attention makes it a more relaxed atmosphere to come into, even if the workload does steadily increase. Some days I even get a lie in. Honestly, I’m just still excited by the fact that I can just pop down the road to Greggs or Asda during lunch time.
But why did I choose Marple College? I went through the interview process with other colleges in my area but this is where I ended up. The classes looked more engaging and everyone was just so friendly on open days. With a lot of my friends going one place and a few going somewhere else, my friendship groups have changed dramatically since high school.
“Everyone will tell you different things about what college is like compared to high school, because there’s just so much, but for me it’s the free periods that make the most difference.”
People always say don’t go somewhere just because your friends are, and I think that’s partly true, it’s important to look at the courses — what YOU will be studying, not anyone else — but the reality is that you will meet new people and make new friends no matter how many you start off with. Everyone is in the same boat in the first few weeks.
The courses I chose were Photography, English literature, and Drama. I could spend hours gushing about why those are the perfect subjects and how fantastic they are, which is absolutely true, but A levels allow you to personalise what you take, as well as cater to YOUR own strengths.
Each college might teach your subject slightly different or have a different attitude towards it too, which is why it’s important to see what they say on the websites. Don’t stress too much about what to take, especially if you don’t have any plans for the future, but it is essential that you choose something you could see yourself really getting into for the next two years.
I wasn’t going to take drama until about a week before coming in and I had never taken it before, but I am so glad that I did. While I have loved English literature from high school, photography and drama were scary in the fact that I hadn’t studied them at GCSE level.
Despite this, the teachers at Marple are so understanding and there to help you along the way. Communication goes a long way, and no one thinks any less of you for emailing for help! Don’t be afraid to look outside of what you know.
I never knew what I wanted to do after college and figuring it out this year has been particularly challenging for me. I know loads of people who aren’t looking at universities and the college is supportive of that, for example helping students to find apprenticeships that fit their interests. From my point of view, looking into universities, there has been so many resources that helped me find the right courses and universities.
Eventually I settled on film studies and have found incredible places that I would not have discovered otherwise. My choices reflect myself and I am now incredibly excited for the future. Now I am wishing you all the best for your future.
- Amelie Commins