Choosing to study at Garforth Sixth Form is a positive commitment, as it would be for any student continuing their education post 16. You are starting a programme of full time education, which needs your full support. If you are in receipt of an EMA, the College has to verify not only your attendance in lessons, but the progress you are making as a fulltime student. There is therefore a pattern of learning which fulfils this expectation, and which experience shows allows students to be successful at their studies.
Each course carries with a "learning time" expectation. This "learning time" is a combination of contact, taught time and non-contact study time. This study is done outside of subject lessons, but forms an integral part of the course In Year 12, for each AS subject there are 5 hours contact time. For each subject that you study we expect an additional 5 hours of individual non-contact study. Thus for a student studying 4 AS subjects, the total package of "learning time" would be 20 hours of taught time and 20 hours of non-contact study per week. ie. 40 hours of study per week.
In Year 13, there will be 4 hours of contact time plus one hour supervised study. The majority of students drop one AS subject and concentrate on 3 A2 subjects. Non-contact hours of study should increase to 7 hours per week for each subject and as such, the quantity of non-contact study should increase to 21 hours per week. There will, of course be tremendous flexibility and variability within these figures, but the basic rule is, the greater the commitment a student has, the more likely they are to reach their potential. The same situation applies to students following vocational courses. As an estimate, you should spend at least the same time for non-contact study as you receive contact time. For example, if your course has 12 hours of contact time, it is expected that you will spend at least twelve hours per week following independent study.
The above figures are a rough guide, but provide a useful overview of the level of commitment which will be expected from all students. This is important, as the biggest issue for most students is time management. Many students will take part time paid employment at this point. This can provide useful experience and necessary funds, but the danger is that the balance between the paid employment, study and social life can be wrong. If insufficient time is allocated for study, students will find themselves under stress and failing in their studies. There is also the danger that hobbies, voluntary work and work experience might be lost. All of these aspects can be vital when students are later applying for Higher Education or employment. What is needed is a realistic and sustainable balance which serves all the students' needs.