Forget long hours in classrooms with textbooks – think practical skills applied in high-quality, career-specific surroundings.
Exciting work experience and projects in the community will help link what you learn at college to real working environments.
94% of our students go on to positive destinations once they leave us, whether it’s university, an apprenticeship, a higher-level course with us or their career of choice.
We have some of the highest achievement rates for colleges in England - over 90% for 16 -18 year-olds.
There's more to just being a student, with trips in the UK and abroad; you could be exploring art galleries in London, hiking and canoeing in France or watching musicals on Broadway in New York. There are projects in the community too, through our nationally-recognised social action projects, and work experience with local businesses.
These all help to build up those important soft skills. Communication, teamwork, self-confidence, resilience – employers and universities are increasingly looking out for these skills and more, and it’s a vital part of what students learn with us.
This presentation is aimed at school leavers and parents/guardians of school leavers looking to apply to Abingdon & Witney College for September. It outlines the difference between college and school and shows some options available should you not gain a pass in English Language or maths.
It has been developed by Marea Brown, Events and Schools Liaison Co-ordinator.
Didcot Girls School
Although originally I was planning to go to sixth form, my parents told me to check out all my options first, so I came along to an open day at the college. I had the tour, spoke to tutors and fell in love with it – before I had left, I'd made my decision!
The main reason I'd recommend coming to college is that you're studying the one subject you really want to study and you're passionate about.
I started my course as a strong singer but in time I discovered my true individuality in detail. I worked on weaknesses and developed my acting and dancing, turning one strong talent into a triple threat.
Henry Box School
Even though it was a huge change coming here from school, everyone has been so supportive, and I’ve changed for the better.
The campus is amazing and I’ve always wanted to work with animals – being here has really helped me focus on what I want to do in the future, which is to follow the conservation career path.
Having just finished my course, I’m going on to study for a degree in animal behaviour at Hartpury University.
King Alfred's Academy
I wanted to push myself on from after school and sixth form, to do something interesting and get out there, and this college was recommended to me.
The Public Services course has ticked those boxes. I started at Level 2 last year and by the end I had received a Distinction.
On the Level 3 course I'm gaining more knowledge on my possible career options. When I finish, I'm going to look at joining the Marines or the Royal Navy.
I'd 100% recommend the experience, as I started off not knowing my direction but since doing this course I know a lot more about what public services is and what careers I can do.
I tried sixth form and A levels and it didn't fit for me, so after trying an art and design course for a year, I made a career-driven choice to move towards becoming an early years practitioner.
The experience from the placements and volunteering I've done at local nurseries and schools, like volunteering during children's activities at St Peter's Church in Wootton, showed me what life is like in the early years industry.
We've also been learning about how to help people with additional needs, and putting that learning into practice.
After my course, I’ll be looking at apprenticeships or university to study childhood studies.
Henry Box School
There are significantly less students here compared to school, so there's more one-to-one time with the tutor and I can get individual support.
It's definitely a good challenge. There are units that focus on the jobs that are in demand like coding, and units that branch off into different subjects like business and sport, so not just computers!
I find that best of all, I'm focusing on one thing at a time, which is different to studying A levels and I'm glad I've gone for something more practical.