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 Afjal thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

We caught up with student Afjal Rahman, who studied Business Studies, Economics, Maths, Politics, Psychology and Sociology at A-Level.

Afjal

The Bedford Sixth Form was an obvious choice for me because it offered a broad range of A-Levels.  I attended an Open Day and got a great feel for the place straight away.  The tutors were friendly and treated me as an adult, which was a big change from school.

I have enjoyed the social science subjects that I have taken and in particular the theory and opinion based subjects such as sociology, psychology and politics.  I liked the way that we worked together as a group in class – we were like a big family helping each other out and expressing our different points of view – it really was great.

Some of The Bedford Sixth Form teachers were outstanding and would go out of their way and be there for you when you needed them.  If there was something that I didn’t  understand, they would work with me and support me until I got it.  They genuinely want you to be successful.

I enjoyed most of the A-Levels I studied so choosing what to specialise in at university has been difficult!  In the end I have got a place at the University of Kent to study Accounting and Finance.  I have always wanted a career in finance so I am very excited. A-Levels are not easy and the journey can be a rollercoaster but the tutors have stuck with me and I have worked really hard to get the grades that I needed and I am delighted with my results.

» 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 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 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 Hanna thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

We caught up with student Hanna Richardson, who studied A-Level Law, Maths, Sociology at AS Level.

Hanna

My sister took her A-Levels at The Bedford Sixth Form and she really enjoyed her time there so it seemed natural for me to follow in her footsteps. 

I’m so happy that I chose to go there.  It made a massive difference to me that I actually wanted to go into Sixth Form every day – it wasn’t a chore and it made studying and learning so much easier. 

The facilities were good, the Learning Resources Centre was always well stocked with the books I needed and between lessons I could catch up with friends in the Hall or the Hub. 

I was interested in all the A-Levels I took but I guess Law was the most interesting of them all.  We had a great teacher who was committed and helpful and had actually worked in the Law profession so she was able to pass on her real-world experience to us, which enhanced the theory we learnt.  

I got the grades that I needed to go to the University of Bristol in September to study Law and I’m very excited about it.  I’m sure that A-Level Law has given me good insight into what the degree will offer.  The Bedford Sixth Form also helped me to enhance my UCAS application by giving me opportunities to be a paid Student Ambassador.  I can’t wait to go to uni but I really enjoyed my time at The Bedford Sixth Form and I’ll miss it!  

» Find out what Hayley thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

We caught up with Hayley, who is studying Health & Social Care Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma.

Hayley

I want to become a primary school teacher and originally thought about studying A-Levels.  However, at The Bedford Sixth Form open day I heard about this Extended Diploma course and I was really impressed with the amount of work placements and practical experience it offered so I chose this route instead.

I’m really glad I chose sixth form.  After GCSEs everyone needs to consider all their options. For me, because I want to go into primary teaching, I felt it was more important to get practical, hands on experience that I need for the job, rather than sitting in a classroom and learning subjects that may not be directly related to the job. It’s about understanding what suits you best.

Our teachers arrange for guest speakers to come in and talk to us.  We’ve had presentations from midwives, complementary therapists and charities such as the Samaritans about the health and social care work they do. 

I’m currently on a placement at Shortstown Primary School helping with the after school club, so I’m involved with activities for lots of different age groups.  I have appraisals, just like with a real job, so I receive feedback about how I’m getting on and what I can improve.

I’ve got one more year of my course left. Then I’m planning to go on to university to study primary education at degree level, and then become a teacher. 

» Find out what Holly thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

We caught up with student Holly Butteriss, who studied Communication & Culture, Psychology, Sociology at A-Level.

Holly

I chose to study at The Bedford Sixth Form primarily because it had a range of A-Levels that I couldn’t study at my old school and I felt that the Sixth Form had better resources.  I was also looking for a more grown up environment to study in, where the teachers treat you like adults.

The teachers here expect you to work hard and they challenge and push you but they also provide you with lots of help and support when you need it – it’s a very mature set up.  I also like the modes of learning, we do much more group work than I did at school so it’s more interesting than individual study and you develop other important skills such as team work.

I’m going into my second year now and sociology is my favourite subject at the moment.  It has made me think about the world in a different way and look at other perspectives – it’s really opened my mind.

I think it’s great that the Learning Resources Centre is always open so you can go there whenever you have free time and there are lots of computers available in the open access suite.  I also like to meet my friends at the Hub or the restaurant.

» 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 Kelsey thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

We caught up with student Kelsey Robb, who studied A-Level Art & Design (Graphic Communication), Economics, English Language & Literature and Maths at AS Level.

Kelsey

I had been at a private school before I decided to go to The Bedford Sixth Form. I was looking for more flexibility and independence and wanted to be treated as a young adult, which the staff at the Sixth Form seemed to understand.

Out of all the A-Levels that I am taking, I enjoy economics the most.  It’s a completely new subject for me and has opened my eyes to the world and the huge impact that economics has on everyone’s lives.  The class has had some interesting debates about issues such as the recent recession and the economic impact of limited world resources such as oil.  It also helps that the economics teacher is extremely passionate. She has a strong structure to her lessons, gives us what we need, and then encourages us to go out and research topics ourselves. 

I still have another year left but I’m already preparing to go to university.  The Bedford Sixth Form provides enrichment opportunities which are great for enhancing the personal statement part of the UCAS form. Along with being part of the Sixth Form magazine I am also Vice President of the Student Council which has developed my communication skills significantly in the last year and helped me to adapt quickly to new situations and events as they arise.

» 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 Liam thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

We caught up with student Liam Matthews, who studied English Literature, Maths, Psychology and Sociology at A-Level.

Liam

I was over the age of 18 when I applied to do my A-Levels so I was really pleased that The Bedford Sixth Form provided opportunities for mature students like me.  I had reservations about going back into education after two years of working full-time but it has been so worthwhile – I definitely made the right decision.

In particular I have found the English literature course enjoyable. We’ve been focusing on World War I which has opened up my eyes to a whole host of topics including the rise of the women’s movement and Irish independence.  We’ve also spent time studying the work of poets such as Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen.  I have developed my analytical and writing skills significantly since I started the course, which is also helping me with essays in other subjects such as sociology.

The Bedford Sixth Form has good facilities, not just the Learning Resources Centre which is packed full of books but also facilities for the enrichment programmes. I have been playing football and badminton regularly at the Trinity Sports Hall which is part of the Sixth Form and there are often qualified coaches running the sessions.  It has also got a swimming pool that students can use at certain times of the day.

» 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 Ryan thinks about The Bedford Sixth Form

We caught up with Ryan, who is studying A-Levels in Business Studies, Chemistry, Economics and Geography

Ryan

When I attended The Bedford Sixth Form open day, I really liked the feel of it, plus I knew that a few of my school friends had chosen to study here.  The course I enjoy most is Business Studies as I have a real interest in this subject and when I’m older I’d like to set up my own business.  In particular, I really enjoyed the topic on human resources which covers management, motivating staff and leading teams.

The work we have to do is more challenging than at school, but the teachers here are very supportive and have helped to make the transition from GCSEs to A-Levels go well.  The lessons are really interesting and the teachers get you involved by asking lots of questions.  Plus, they are always willing to go over a topic again if you need them to.

The Sixth Form’s facilities are really good, particularly the gym and swimming pool that we have access to at Trinity Arts and Leisure, just next door to the Sixth Form.

I’m now thinking about whether to go to university and study business or apply for an Apprenticeship and work my way up that way. The courses I’m taking at the moment keep these options open to me, which is great.

» 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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