Frequently Asked Questions

When did Abbeygate Sixth Form College open?
We welcomed our first students in September 2019 and achieved some incredible A level results with students progressing to University and high level apprenticeships. We are currently in our third year and the College continues to grow year on year; next year we will be a college of 1,000 students.

Is there a deadline as to when I can apply?
There is no deadline, however we would urge you to apply early to secure your place and subject choices at Abbeygate SFC. We have a huge number of applicants every year and we do restrict the number of students who gain entry to the College, so applying sooner rather than later will likely guarantee your chosen subjects. Once you have applied you can concentrate on getting the best possible GCSE grades. Applying online is simple, but if you have any problems please email or phone the Admissions team on 01284 636501.

Will there be an interview?
You will have a 1:1 meeting with a member of Abbeygate SFC staff to discuss your options, your future plans and aspirations and help you work out the best plan to help you achieve these. The interview is nothing to worry about. It is your opportunity to ask questions and seek advice and guidance to ensure you make an informed decision about your future and a chance for us to get to know you.

What support will be available at Abbeygate SFC?
Abbeygate SFC staff will support you every step of the way and we want to make sure there are no barriers stopping you from being the best you can be. Every student will have a PPT (Personal Progress Tutor) who will support you with transition, progress and career choices and applications to HE, apprenticeships or meaningful employment. Whatever issues you are facing, you can always talk to your PPT and they will help you or arrange for you to see the right person to support you. We also have a dedicated welfare team who are there to support you with all your welfare needs. We know everyone can have difficulties and require different levels of support at different times in their lives – we’re here for you.

I’m relocating to the area and am worried about moving to a new college, how will Abbeygate SFC help me settle in?
One of the many benefits of going to a Sixth Form College is the opportunity to meet lots of new people from different schools. We have students from over 40 different schools joining the College every year. Everyone will be new and you will be in classes with other people who are in exactly the same position as you. This is great practice for when you start a job or University, an opportunity to meet new people and to be independent. If you need help, our teachers are incredibly friendly and supportive and you will have your own dedicated PPT who will help you settle in. Abbeygate SFC has an impressive choice of extra-curricular activities and clubs for you to choose from and we would encourage you to get involved. These will help you meet students with similar interests to you.    

Who will be teaching me and how do I know the quality of teaching?
The results at Abbeygate SFC are incredible because our teachers are enthusiastic, motivated and hugely committed to their subject and their students. We have the very best teachers at Abbeygate SFC who come with an outstanding reputation and have consistently achieved excellent results for their students. Our recent Ofsted inspection stated that many aspects of teaching and learning were excellent.

What is the structure of the day?
The College is open from 7.45am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday. You will study three A Levels with 4.5hrs of directed teaching per week. In addition to the standard teaching hours for each A Level you study, you will also have one hour of Directed Independent Learning (DIL) time on your timetable for every subject you study. This is a time dedicated to completing specific tasks that your teacher has set, such as reading academic articles, watching a specific YouTube clip or TED talk, reading a newspaper article or following a specific twitter feed. When you are not in lessons, you can spend time studying individually, with friends or just relaxing in the common area spaces. You will also have the opportunity to participate in the range of additional opportunities such as sports team, clubs and societies. You will need to complete 5 hours of homework and preparation per subject per week.

Can I go home in a study period?
We are lucky to have a range of incredible study areas available to our students as well as an excellent LRC facility. However, if your lessons finish before the end of the College day and it is more convenient for you to go home, you are able to do so, but if you wish to stay on site and study you are more than welcome. Outstanding A level students dedicate much of their time outside of the classroom to their studies, so getting the balance right is so important – and we can help you with this. 

Is there a dress code?
We ask all our students to dress respectfully. We understand that everyone is individual and we celebrate this, Sixth Form College is a great opportunity to be who you want to be. All we do ask is that you are aware of your surroundings and you are respectful of those around you. 

What extra-curricular activities will there be?
We offer a range of extra-curricular activities that we call additional opportunities. You can see the list in the prospectus and on our website. If there is something that you are interested in that you can’t see, then why not start your own club! We would encourage you to get involved as, not only does this enhance you Sixth Form College experience, it helps you meet new people, develop or learn new skills as well as enhancing your personal statement in readiness for University or work.

What trips are offered?
We know educational visits and work with employers is vital and these activities will be an integral part of your A Level studies. A range of trips and education visits take place throughout the year and your subject teachers will give you all the information you need as the year progresses. We have a dedicated International Committee at the College and this group work tirelessly to provide opportunities to our students. In the last year, despite all the challenges relating to Covid, students have benefitted from educational trips to South Africa and over 100 students have visited Thailand and Nepal.

How can I can get to Abbeygate SFC?
Find out more about how to get here on our Travelling to Campus page.

What are the entry requirements?  Do I need to have passed Maths and English before I can start my A-levels?
All the entry criteria can be found on our website. In summary, you are required to achieve a minimum of five GCSEs grade 4-9. However, there are certain subject specific entry criteria that must be achieved if you are to study that subject at A Level. Our advice is always to do the best you possibly can to give you lots of options when deciding which A Levels to study. Don’t worry, we will advise you every step of the way to make sure you make the right decision.