Sixth Form or College?

Should I go to John Port Sixth Form or College?

John Port School has its own sixth form, offering courses which are designed to follow on from your GCSEs. In the surrounding area are Burton and Derby colleges which provide a different range of courses at different levels.


What’s the difference between sixth form and a further education college?

A college will offer you a different learning environment to that experienced at a school’s sixth form.

This is why some students choose to take their A levels, or vocational qualifications, at an FE college rather than stay on at their local school after taking GCSEs.

This section outlines the main differences to take into account when deciding whether an FE college is your preferred option.


Types of courses

One of the first things you will notice at any further education college is that the range of courses is different and usually of a more vocational nature.

Not all colleges will offer the same ‘mix’ of subjects so it’s very important to check carefully what is available locally.

  • Level 1 qualifications are fairly basic, building confidence and providing an introduction to a subject, industry or area of work. They include, for example, NVQ Level 1, BTEC Introductory Certificates and OCR Nationals which are roughly equivalent to GCSEs gained at grades D to G. You would need qualifications at this level before progressing to level 2.
  • Level 2 qualifications (eg. NVQ level 2 and BTEC First) give a deeper understanding of a subject or area of work and are roughly equivalent to GCSEs at grades A* to C. Many employers like young people to have a level 2 qualification as a minimum.
  • Level 3 qualifications include A Levels, NVQ Level 3, BTEC Nationals, Advanced and Progression Diplomas. This level is almost always required for entry to university and many employers will be looking for Level 3 in applicants for more technical or supervisory roles.
  • Levels 4 to 8 may also be available in your local college but are classed as ‘higher’ rather than ‘further’ education. They include Foundation degrees, HND/HNC courses, Honours degrees and postgraduate or professional qualifications at a high level.

Why Choose John Port Sixth Form?

“John Port Sixth Form offers one of the widest range of subjects in the area.”

  • Biology
  • Business Studies
  • BTEC Business Studies
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Drama & Theatre Studies
  • Design and Technology
  • Economics
  • English Literature
  • Environmental Studies
  • Fine Art
  • French
  • Further Mathematics
  • Geography
  • German
  • Government and Politics
  • Health and Social Care
  • History
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Spanish