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Bristol parents - St Brendan's Sixth Form College

(10 Posts)
errorofjudgement Sat 01-Oct-16 22:30:06

Anyone know this college? DD has it on her list for 6th form as it offers the mix of BTEC and A levels she's interested in.
But.... we're about 25 miles away and know nothing about the Bristol colleges/6th forms! Would really appreciate any views

catslife Sun 02-Oct-16 13:29:48

Which BTECs does she want to study? We looked round sixth form colleges in the Bristol area last year and there were a few that offered a limited number of BTECs but they also operate distance criteria, if you didn't attend the linked secondary school from Y7, so I doubt if your dd would qualify for a place from 25 miles away.
At some sixth forms only A levels are possible and at the FE colleges, students either take a full-time BTEC or A levels, but not both.
St Brendans is the only sixth form college in Bristol and does take students from quite a wide area. It's reputation and results appear to be improving. There is an Open Day next Saturday morning. We looked round last year and were very impressed.

errorofjudgement Sun 02-Oct-16 16:31:43

Thanks Catslife.
DD looking at Performing Arts, but we're finding it difficult to judge the standard they are teaching at. DD already does a lot of extra-curric PA & has been advised that a lot of courses will take you and teach from GCSE drama/dance level. Ideally we are looking for a course that has a strong reputation and attracts a cohort with more experience.
Plus DD is as smart as all MNetters DC smile and with high GCSE predictions, it would be daft to close the door on A-levels at this point.
Hence St Brendan's which allows both, but are not responding to my request for a breakdown of the A level results by subject, so alarm bells are starting to ring!

catslife Mon 03-Oct-16 09:42:00

Not a subject area we looked at unfortunately. When we looked round sixth forms last year, only one state sixth form provided a full breakdown of A level results by subject. The others provided some indication at the Open events and there were also more details about work covered / displays of work etc.
Personally I would say with high grade GCSEs, your dd really needs to be taking A levels rather than BTECs. I think that would be the case at college for most students with high grade GCSEs.
Are you also considering independent school sixth forms? Some of these have very good facilities for PA.

errorofjudgement Mon 03-Oct-16 21:30:33

Thanks for responding.
I'm really surprised you found it difficult to get the A level results, our local options all report their results, perhaps it's less usual in Bristol.
The BTEC v A level is complicated by DD struggling with panic attacks in tests, so may not do herself justice in exams - pretty ironic given she will happily act or dance in front of several hundred people without a worry!

elephantoverthehill Mon 03-Oct-16 21:36:10

I worked there 20 years ago. Our department got 100% pass rate one year.
Absolutely completely irrelevant

errorofjudgement Mon 03-Oct-16 22:12:00

Oh. Ok
Just the one year?

catslife Tue 04-Oct-16 14:37:11

I think results have improved significantly in all schools and colleges in Bristol over the past 20 years!
Am sending you a pm.

errorofjudgement Tue 04-Oct-16 19:14:08

Thank you, have replied to your pm

errorofjudgement Sat 08-Oct-16 13:41:28

Just for the benefit of any parents researching this in the future, I just want to say that we visited on the open day and were amazed at how good the college looks. The day was really well organised, specialist teachers who were passionate and inspiring, lots of information up about guest speakers and lectures across a huge range of topics, and staff seem really geared to making the 2 years a real stepping stone between school and university.
Lots of student ambassadors helping out, live demonstrations etc. And the A2 results are up on the walls for each subject, split by grades. And they are very good results!

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