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Taster Days Prove Popular As Students Prepare To Take Their Next Steps

Prospective students take part in a Taster Day at Tollbar MAT Sixth Form College in preparation for September.

More than 100 prospective students have been taking part in Taster Days at Tollbar MAT Sixth Form College this week, as they prepare to receive their GCSE results in August.

Many students have already decided on where to study next, but some have yet to make up their minds and the Taster Days give them a feel for life at the college.

The layout of facilities at Tollbar has allowed tutors to allocate a whole teaching block to the Taster Days, allowing students to visit the college while still maintaining social bubbles to comply with Covid restrictions.

Simon Ritchie, Head of Tollbar MAT Sixth Form College, explained the importance of the Taster Events. He said: “The Taster Days are important for the students and important for us. They give an opportunity for people who are considering joining us here at Tollbar to experience the facilities, meet some of the staff and try out some of the lessons at A Level standard compared to GCSE, and to see if the subjects and the level of study is what they are looking for.

“It is also very important to spend some time to feel the atmosphere of the place, how conducive it is to learning, and the style of what we offer. We try to make a really honest taster event that is so similar to what we offer for our existing Year 12 and 13 students that when they leave here they are empowered to make the right decision for them with confidence.”

Year 11 student Ben Cain is planning on joining the college in September. Like many students the option to study Academic A Levels at Tollbar is what attracts him. 

He said: “A Levels allow me to keep my options open. They are a back-up in case I change my mind on what I want to do in the future. At the minute I am hoping that after A Levels I can get a higher apprenticeship, but whether that is in Accountancy or Surveying I am not sure yet.”

Year 11 student Lydia Gabbitas said familiarity has played a part in her choice to join Tollbar Sixth Form College, but the opportunity to study Academic subjects at A Level has persuaded her to choose the college over others.

“Having spoken with lots of teachers in lessons about what it will be like at Sixth Form and who will be teaching the subjects, I think I will receive a good higher education here over going somewhere perhaps more unfamiliar.”

Student Simphiwe Ncube added: “Tollbar is a smaller college and I think you will get more attention from teachers and it is easier to get help because of that. Also the subjects are more academic, and I want a career in Medicine so academic subjects will really help with that.”

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Tollbar MAT Sixth Form College Interim Principal

Victoria Watts