In some ways there is little difference between a school sixth-form and Croydon College. The courses studied will be similar, although Croydon College is often able to provide a greater range of options. Students will be expected to attend lessons, complete all the work that is set and adhere to an appropriate standard of behaviour.
However there are substantial differences too. Croydon College is a much more adult and professional environment, with students having more responsibility to manage their time and whereabouts. There isn’t any school uniform, although that doesn’t mean that “anything goes”. Lecturers (not “teachers”) will be specialists in teaching post-16 classes and will often have greater practical experience in business and industry. They will often be known to students by their first names. The atmosphere will be more like that found at university or in the workplace than in a secondary school.
Each student will have regular one-to-one meetings with their personal tutor and take part in a variety of group sessions on a range of topics. The student and tutor will regularly discuss goals and targets for their learning and progression into work or further study.
Croydon College gives students a chance to make a fresh start and make new friends. This can be challenging, but it is also exciting and ultimately rewarding. Students really get out what they put in —and a huge range of extra-curricular activities gives them a great chance to take-up new hobbies, achieve personal goals and build-up skills that will be attractive to employers and universities.
Students are expected to experience:
1. Discussions and Debates: where the whole group or smaller groups discuss/debate a topic in a respectful environment.
2. Practical Demonstrations: where the lecturer/other group members demonstrate a practical activity.
3. Using Technology: a range of technology is available to manage studies and provide access to a world of online resources.
4. Lectures: a formal session with the lecturer (or students) delivering the appropriate theory/content.
5. Questions and Answers: sessions where students ask (or answer) questions from, or to, the lecturer/other group members.
6. Seminars: guest speakers from, for example, businesses or other colleges delivering seminars on relevant issues and topics.
7. Self-study: where students will work independently, often using learning resource materials or recommended textbooks from the dedicated college library.
8. Multimedia: lecturers often use up-to-date multimedia to assist their teaching (students can also access multimedia from the library).
9. Visits: often visits to businesses and places of interest are offered during qualifications and there are sometimes opportunities for trips abroad.
10. Workshops: small groups working together with the lecturer supporting the learning.
At Croydon College there are fantastic opportunities to get involved in a range of fun activities to suit every student‘s particular needs and career aspirations. They can pursue new interests, meet other students and develop skills that will help them to get a job, gain entry to university or help them with whatever their next step will be.
Once a year an Enrichment Fair is held where students can find out more about what is available and how to sign up for activities. Some students choose sporting activities, others choose to learn a new skill like photography, speaking another language or using a computer.
Many of the activities lead to an extra qualification or award, such as Citizenship, Youth Work Awards or Duke of Edinburgh, and many activities also involve working in the local community. In addition, cross-College events are organised including: Cultural Awareness Month, International Women’s Day, Red Nose Day, Refugee Week and World AIDS Day.
For more information about Enrichment activities and an opportunity to get involved you can find more here.