Meet our students

The Bedford Sixth Form is a great place to study, but don't just take our word for it – view our videos to hear first hand from our students or read interviews from past alumni below...

» Find out what Adam thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

Studying: A-Level Geology, Geography and Biology
Previous school: Bedford Modern School
Next destination: University of Leicester to study BSc Geology

I wanted to study Geology at A-Level and The Bedford Sixth Form is one of the only schools in this area to offer the subject. When I came to an Open Day, I had a positive feeling about it offering a mature learning environment and I felt that I would be fully supported to achieve my best.

I have enjoyed Geology since I was 14 and ultimately, I want to become a petroleum geologist, someone who locates oil within the earth and plans for its removal. I like the fact that this career path involves a lot of travel as well as mixing Geology with Business. A-Level Geology is directly related to this career path and it put me at an advantage. I’m now looking forward to going to the University of Leicester to study BSc Geology.

My Geology teacher has an astounding amount of specialist knowledge and he manages to teach it in a way that’s easily understood. I like the small class sizes and we get a lot of one-to-one support. I’ve been on some interesting coursework trips to local rock exposures in Biddenham and Potton where I took samples and measurements so I could determine how they were formed and under what conditions.

» Find out what Amber thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

Amber

Studying: A-Level English Language & Literature, History and Sociology
Previous school: Hastingsbury Business & Enterprise College

I’ve had some really good experiences during my time at The Bedford Sixth Form, which I wouldn’t have had at other sixth forms. It was a huge step but it was surprisingly easy to settle in and I’ve developed so much as a person.

I hadn’t studied Sociology before starting here, but the course content really appealed to me when I was applying. I have found the Crime & Deviance unit particularly interesting; reading case studies and developing different perspectives. All of the teachers are fantastic and they are all different in the way they teach their subject. My Sociology teacher tells us anecdotes to link in with what we’re learning so it makes more sense.

I enjoy playing devil’s advocate and there are plenty of debates to be had in Sociology. I’ve also joined the Debating Society and we’ve competed against other local schools, as well as teams from as far afield as Oxford. Being here has really opened up my mind. I love the Creative Writing element in English and although it was the Nazi Germany paper that initially drew me to choose History, I enjoyed the Stuarts more and even found myself debating over Charles I!

I am now going on to the University of Birmingham to study Law & Criminology, which I feel combines everything I’ve learnt both here and at school. My ultimate aim is to become a barrister. 

» Find out what Aoife thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

Studying: AS-Level English Literature, Art & Design, Psychology and History
Previous school: Barnfield South Academy
Next destination: Progressing to A-Levels at The Bedford Sixth Form

When I came to the Open Day at The Bedford Sixth Form the teachers were very friendly and offered a lot of advice about which subjects would be suitable for me and my future aspirations.

I enjoy English Literature and my current topic is ‘The Struggle for Identity in Modern Literature’. I’m currently reading the drama texts Educating Rita and Top Girl in addition to analysing the prose text The Colour Purple. I’ve been encouraged to undertake wider reading outside of the classroom and link it to what I’m reading in class. I have been on trips related to what I’m studying, for example my class went to the Northampton Derngate Theatre to watch an adaptation of ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time’ which is about a character who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome.

In my experience, the teachers at The Bedford Sixth Form are very approachable and there is a mutual respect between students and teachers – they trust you to get on with the work. My personal tutor is great and I can book a meeting when I need to discuss something with her. I’m looking forward to coming back next year to continue with my studies and to apply for a course at university.

» Find out what Atu thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

Studying: A-Level Psychology, Sociology and English Literature
Previous school: Hastingsbury Business & Enterprise College
Next destination: Nottingham Trent University to study BSc Psychology

I love learning about the brain, human behaviour and the different fields of Psychology including cognitive, biological, social and developmental; they are all very interesting and relevant to our everyday lives. What I like most about the course is the way that it’s taught – the teachers are very passionate and they specialise in Psychology. When I was choosing where to study my A-Levels, I wanted to be taught by subject specialists, which is what The Bedford Sixth Form offers for all of its courses.

The facilities and equipment are very good and help make the learning experience better than at school. I regularly borrow a netbook from the library which I can use to take notes in class or finish coursework in the Grand Hall. I save all my work on to a memory stick so I can bring it home to finish off. I also find the virtual learning environment, Moodle helpful as I can access all my class notes and homework remotely.

I am going to university in September to continue studying Psychology – I love the subject and I want to learn more and eventually become a Clinical Psychologist. I’m looking forward to starting my degree in Psychology at Nottingham Trent University.

» Find out what Bethan thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

Bethan

Studying: A-Level Dance, Health & Social Care and Sociology
Previous School: St Thomas More

When I think about what first attracted me to The Bedford Sixth Form, I can say it was being able to study subjects not available at school, the teachers and the atmosphere.  

I have danced outside of school since I was young and it was great to be able to extend this passion into my A-Level choices. There is a dance studio on site and assessment is via a practical and a written exam, which breaks down the exam pressure a little.

I am also studying Health & Social Care, which I took at GCSE and is also coursework based. My third subject is Sociology and I’ve particularly enjoyed the Crime & Deviance unit this year.  I have a place at the University of Nottingham to study Sociology with Criminology when I finish here.  

My teachers are really nice. They are there to support you and they care about your success. You are also allocated a Personal Tutor when you start and they hold one hour weekly sessions which you can go along to if you feel you need to talk about anything.

Finally there is a very nice and calm atmosphere here. It’s an independent learning environment but with the support there if you need it.

I am glad I came here. If I had stayed at school I think I may have regretted it. The Bedford Sixth Form has in no doubt set me up for university.  

» Find out what Cashal thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

Cashal

Studying: A-Level Maths, Physics, Chemistry
Previous school: Bedford Free School

I have always had a passion for science and when I came to visit The Bedford Sixth Form at an Open Day I really liked the traditional look of the labs, but with all the modern facilities and equipment you would expect.  I also had the opportunity to meet the Physics teacher who I got on well with.

Physics is my main passion, particularly astrophysics; it’s the unknown end of it, the ability to push boundaries and discover new things. Of course, if you want to be a physicist you need Maths as well, and I also chose to study Chemistry as I thought it would complement the other subjects.

All of my teachers are great, and you can go to any of them if you have a problem or need something explaining in more detail. You also have everything you need here – I’ve never looked around and thought, ‘I could do with that!’ It’s such a friendly place and you feel comfortable, which makes it all a hundred times easier!

I love learning about space and am looking forward to going on to the University of Hertfordshire next year to study Aerospace Engineering. I want to be a rocket scientist and my ultimate goal is to work on a rocket that goes to Mars. It’s an area I’ve always been fascinated by.

» Find out what Charles thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

We caught up with Charles, who is studying A-Levels in English Literature, Film Studies, History and Drama & Theatre Studies

Charles

I've been very happy here. People tried to convince me to stay at my previous school, but I had a gut feeling when I came to the open day at The Bedford Sixth Form – it just felt right, and I revelled at the thought of the freedom being offered.  I think it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made - I love studying now and being onsite, whereas before going to school was a chore. 

I like the fact that all the subjects I’m taking interlink with each other.  For example, in Film Studies we watched the Invasion of the Body Snatchers and I enjoyed learning about the context of the film, the Vietnam War, Watergate and communism.  I was also studying communism in History and Drama & Theatre Studies, so I was able to get a broad understanding of the topic from a variety of perspectives.

In my experience the teachers have been amazing; they really care about each student as an individual.  They’ve certainly seen the potential in me and encouraged me to achieve the best grades I can.  I don’t think I would have been as enthusiastic about my grades anywhere else.

The Sixth Form offers lots of enrichment activities and I’m part of the student council, which will look great on my UCAS application and CV.  I’m also attending the six week London in Literature course as part of the Summer Challenge at the University College London (UCL). I’m studying Chaucer, Shakespeare and Dickens (to name but a few) and it’s giving me a taster of looking deeper into English Literature and preparing me for studying the subject at university.

» Find out what Chloe thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

Chloe

Studying: A-Level Biology, Sociology and Textiles
Previous School: Mark Rutherford

There is no doubt I was outgrowing school when it came towards the end of my GCSEs. I was ready to meet new people and even though it was scary starting somewhere new at first, everyone was in the same boat.

Initially I tended to keep to myself, however volunteering as a Student Ambassador really helped me to come out of my shell. I took prospective students on tours around the building on Open Days and accompanied them to their subject taster sessions at the annual Welcome Day. It was nice to be able to answer their questions and share my own experiences. 

Throughout my time here I always felt as though I could go and see my teachers about anything I wasn’t sure of, and my Personal Tutor was excellent at arranging both study support and extra support for exams, due to a medical condition I have which causes migraines.

I love studying Biology. The teachers are really enthusiastic about the subject and I particularly enjoy human biology because it helps me to understand myself. Textiles, on the other hand, is very creative and helps to give me some breathing space.

I’m looking forward to going to the University of East Anglia to study Biological Sciences, although my time at The Bedford Sixth Form has gone too quickly. I want to go back and do it all over again!

» Find out what Ellen thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

Studying: A-Level Physics, Maths and Geology
Previous school: Redborne Upper School
Next destination: Cardiff University to study Civil & Environment Engineering

Ellen

When I was looking at where to study for my A-Levels I knew I wanted to go somewhere independent so that I would be treated as an adult. The Bedford Sixth Form has provided me with a better learning environment than school and a halfway house to university. I’ve met lots of new people and learnt to study independently within a supportive environment.

The tutors here are very good. They are easy to talk to and able to spend time with you during lessons because the class sizes are small. The Geology classrooms are stocked with a good range of specimens and the science labs are also well equipped. The fact that there are lots of different study spaces on campus is perfect for me, as I can’t work in total silence.

I enjoyed studying the land side of Geography at school so Geology was an obvious choice for me. There is an engineering element to the course, which fits perfectly with my future plans. I’ve always loved Maths and Physics and will be able to draw all three subjects together when I go to study Civil & Environment Engineering at Cardiff University after finishing here.

Not only have the tutors here helped greatly with my UCAS application but also with some of the finer details of going to university such as sorting student finance. Coming to The Bedford Sixth Form is the best thing I could have done and I would definitely recommend it. 

» Find out what Jo thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

Studying: A-Level Art & Design, English Language & Literature and Sociology
Previous school: Sandy Upper School
Next destination: Loughborough University to study BA Textiles Innovation & Design

I love the freedom that Art & Design gives me to explore and experiment, and in the second year I was given my own desk and wall space in the studio. I also have frequent one-to-one tutorials both formal – focused on what you need to improve and progress in terms of school work – but also informally, I know my teacher is always there to help me on a day-to-day basis.

I’ve been on some exciting trips which have brought art history to life and inspired some of the work I’ve produced back in the studio. Last year I went to Barcelona and saw a lot of Gaudi’s work, including visiting the infamous Sagrada Familia. This year there was the option to go to Paris and I’ve been to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and the Tate Modern in London. In fact, whilst at the Tate Modern, I was inspired by a Tracey Emin piece and it influenced my final exam piece that I had to complete in timed conditions.

The Bedford Sixth Form was good at supporting me with my UCAS application. I was encouraged to start preparing before the summer holidays and, even though the UCAS deadline wasn’t until January, the Sixth Form had an earlier deadline of October. This ensured there was enough time for my application to be reviewed by teachers and it was submitted to UCAS early. It also meant that I received decisions from universities before some students had finished applying.

I’m delighted that I’ve been offered a place at Loughborough University to study Textiles Innovation & Design. I definitely feel more prepared for my next steps after studying A-Levels here at The Bedford Sixth Form.

» Find out what Kelly-Ann thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

Studying: A-Level English Literature, Psychology and Sociology
Previous school: Bedford Academy
Next destination: Nottingham Trent University to study Sociology

Kelly-Ann

I chose to study A-Levels at The Bedford Sixth Form because I preferred the environment here compared to school. There is a mutual respect between tutor and student, which was apparent from when I first visited at an Open Day.

I particularly enjoy studying Sociology as I find it so interesting. I’ve spent a few years volunteering in the social work sector so already had an insight into it before I started A-Level study. The course has been very varied covering areas from families and education to crime, deviance and beliefs.

We’ve been on a few trips as part of the English Literature course. We went to see the stage production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time at the Royal Derngate Theatre in Northampton and also attended a conference to help with exam technique.

I didn’t know anyone when I started at the Sixth Form, but I settled in quickly because everyone is so welcoming. The staff in the Learning Resources Centre will do all they can to help you and it’s great to have lots of spaces like the Hub and the Grand Hall to study in, alongside the library.

My teachers have been brilliant; they are very friendly and approachable and also spent time to help me with the UCAS process. After a successful application and interview I am now going to study Sociology at Nottingham Trent University.

» Find out what Kristina thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

Studying: A-Level Art, Geography and Geology
Previous school: Sandy Upper School
Next destination: Aberystwyth University to study Geography

Kristina

I chose The Bedford Sixth Form as it was somewhere new and completely different to school. I had completed a year studying Hairdressing beforehand, but realised that it wasn’t the right path for me and that I wanted to study for A-Levels instead.

I enjoyed Physical Geography at school, so it was great to be able to study both Geography and Geology at the Sixth Form, and then combine this with Art, which is obviously completely different.

My Art teacher has been fantastic. She has supported me with whatever projects I have chosen to take on and helped me to take my own ideas forward and express them in my own way. The Art rooms are really good compared to school and have plenty of resources, from computers with Photoshop to lots of different materials to experiment with.

We had the opportunity to go on a four day trip to Barcelona this year as part of the course. We visited galleries, studied some of the architecture and I used much of what I saw as inspiration for my final coursework piece.  

Geology was completely new to me when I started here and although it has been a challenge, I’ve really enjoyed learning about the earth’s processes and how the planet was created. My favourite part of Geography has been globalisation, looking at how this links to current world situations.

I am looking forward to going to Aberystwyth University in September to study Geography. 

» Find out what Martha thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

Martha

Studying: A-Level Art, French, Spanish
Previous School: Bedford Girls School

By the time I had finished my GCSEs I knew I wanted a change; I just wasn’t in the right mindset to stay on at school.

I’ve always had an interest in film and photography, and I come from a very creative family. My dad works in the film industry and my mum is a textile designer. Choosing to study Art here at The Bedford Sixth Form has provided me with a broad spectrum over all the different aspects of creativity that interest me, and which I have grown up with.

The Art rooms are much larger than at school and we also have a photography studio. The teachers all bring their own experiences into lessons; one has worked as a photographer and another as a graphic designer. Last year I really enjoyed looking at individuality within small groups in society and was inspired by the work of artists such as Martin Parr, who I got to meet on a recent enrichment trip.

I am very interested in different cultures and like to be able to communicate with people; hence French and Spanish were my other two choices. Once I finish my A-Levels I am taking a gap year to travel around South America and Asia. After that I have a place at Oxford Brookes to study Fine Art.

I would like to get into the film industry eventually. I’ve been organising my own work experience placements outside of studying and have worked in production, editing and animation. 

» Find out what Nathan thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

Studying: A-Level Government & Politics, History and Law
Previous school: Home educated
Next destination: The University of Nottingham to study Law

Nathan

I had been home educated my entire life, but when it came to studying for my A-Levels I felt that I would benefit from specialist teaching and more learning resources. The Bedford Sixth Form was an excellent move for me; because it is independent and not connected to a school, it meant that everyone was starting with a clean slate and I wouldn’t be joining an existing group of friends.

There’s no time to get bored outside of lessons. I have joined plenty of lunchtime clubs during my time here including dodgeball, basketball, football, volleyball and the debating society, which helps me gain the skills I need to study Law and Government and Politics A-Level.

I’ve really enjoyed my time here; I’ve made numerous new friends and shared some unforgettable moments with them. The opportunities open to me have been first class. I now feel ready to move on to more focused study and will be going to study Law at The University of Nottingham. I chose Nottingham because it’s a renowned international university and will give me the opportunity to study a year abroad.

Eventually I would like to become a solicitor or a barrister. Alternatively, having been an Air Cadet for four years, I’d be keen to enter the military as a pilot if I decide to move away from Law in the unforeseen future.

» Find out what Oliver thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

Studying: A-Level Economics, Maths and History
Previous school: Mark Rutherford School
Next destination: University of York to study BA Economics

What I found particularly fascinating about A-Level Economics was learning about development, in the second year of the course. I learnt about global inequality: how some countries are poor and others are rich, how this is measured and how individual country’s policies can affect this. I’ve found it fascinating and it’s definitely an area I want to explore in more detail.

I’m looking forward to expanding my knowledge and being at a university that offers me opportunities to learn from global experts. My aim is to be able to take this knowledge forward into a career, perhaps working for The World Bank and giving advice to people in developing countries, to help bring change to their lives, particularly those people stuck in poverty.

I was older than the average student when I started my A-Levels, as I had to retake my GCSEs, so The Bedford Sixth Form was a natural choice for me as it provided a supportive learning environment and focused on achieving good results. I do not regret it because most of my teachers have been very good. In fact it’s a direct result of their support that I’m now going to study at the University of York. I would not have applied without my teachers’ belief in me.

» Find out what Rajbir thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

Rajbir

Studying: A-Level Economics, Maths, Further Maths
Previous School: Bedford Free School

When I was looking at where to study for my A-Levels I visited a few places, but the teachers were so much more passionate about their subjects here at The Bedford Sixth Form. I also enjoy how the courses are taught here and the independent learning style gets you into gear and makes you work hard. When you do need help, the teachers are always on hand to encourage you.  

The Learning Resources Centre (LRC) offers very good working spaces. I know I wouldn’t have done as well as I did last year without having the LRC there to study in. 

I have always taken advantage of the enrichment activities on offer at lunchtimes, such as badminton and table tennis. I do believe you need a balance and it’s a great way to relax between lessons and studying.

I love statistics because it’s a part of maths you can use in the real world. I have an offer from Warwick University to study Statistics & Economics and am waiting to hear back from an application to Cambridge. When I finish university I would like a career in investment banking, which I hope could lead to me starting up a business of my own, preferably in a service area where I can help the most people.

I’ve had a really good time here. It’s helped me to progress and I can go on to university knowing I’ll do well.  

» Find out what Shiv thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

Studying: A-Level Economics, Government & Politics and History
Previous school: Mark Rutherford
Next destination: Aston University to study Economics

Shiv

The best thing about The Bedford Sixth Form is that I have been able to study new subjects that wouldn’t have been available to me if I had stayed on at school. Here you really can focus on what you want to with the support of your teachers.

When I came to visit at an Open Day I was struck by how large the building was, but you soon find your way around and it’s a very inspirational space to work in. It’s good that we have a canteen on site and a choice of study spaces from the Learning Resources Centre to the Grand Hall and the Hub.

I’ve really learnt to love Economics during my time here – I enjoy it as a subject but also like the fact that you can apply it to everyday life. For instance, I’ve enjoyed studying the national economy and understanding what objectives the government have.  Moreover you can go into almost any field with an Economics qualification. This year I had the opportunity to enter a competition run by the Bank of England where we had to prepare a presentation to deliver to them.  

Overall I’ve found my time here very productive; it’s been easy to get my head down and work. I’m now looking forward to going to The University of Manchester to study Economics and would eventually like to move into financial services, perhaps as an investment banker or stockbroker.

» Find out what Tara thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

Studying: A-Level Business, History and Psychology
Previous school: Mark Rutherford
Next destination: University of Leicester to study Law

Tara

When I started at The Bedford Sixth Form, I knew I wanted to eventually study Law at university. My cousin works in law and I used to attend events with her, which is where my interest began.

Although the Sixth Form offers Law as an A-Level, I chose to study a combination of Psychology, History and Business, which has given me the skills I need. I have now gained a place to study Law at the University of Leicester. I’ve had the opportunity to choose from a wide range of subjects to fit in with my plans.

All of the subject teachers are very good at what they do and their knowledge goes above and beyond the basic curriculum. They are also very approachable if you need help or have any questions. A-Level study is certainly a step up from GCSE. For instance, in History we don’t look at basic events but rather at the personalities of key figures.

We have regular sessions with a one-to-one tutor and I have had the opportunity to go on revision trips, including one to Cambridge for Business. I’ve also had lots of support from staff with my UCAS application; my personal statement was checked six times to make sure it was just right and what universities are wanted. 

» Find out what Tom thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

Studying: A-Level Chemistry, Biology and Psychology
Previous school: Bedford Modern School
Next destination: Gap year, then university to study a Science degree

Chemistry is one of my favourite subjects and The Bedford Sixth Form has plenty of up-to-date chemistry equipment that we use to conduct experiments in class. I particularly like the analytical and problem-solving aspects of the subject, understanding concepts and practically applying them rather than just learning facts. In addition, there are the practical elements, such as conducting experiments, analysing data and presenting results which I enjoy.

The teachers have been very supportive. There is always someone I can talk to and they offered a lot of help when I was completing my UCAS application. They ran lunchtime sessions where students could drop in and speak to someone and get advice about what things should be included in the personal statement section of the application form.

I was on the Student Council last year, which meant that I discussed issues on behalf of students relating to our courses and extra-curricular activities. It was a chance to represent students and speak directly to the teaching staff and I felt that they did care about our opinions.

I’m now looking to take a gap year and then go on to university and study a Science degree. London would be a great city to study and live in, but it’s very expensive!

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