- BOARDING COLLEGE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
BOARDING COLLEGE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
The ideas that people conjure up when you mention British boarding schools will vary from visions of Hogwarts, to green expanses with cricket fields and the sounds of bat hitting ball. Cardiff Sixth Form College is different – it is not part of the established heritage – what it offers instead is an urban setting with purpose-built accommodation, furnished tastefully with a contemporary feel. It has an inclusive, internationalist outlook that values student autonomy and academic success.
Located in the heart of Cardiff, the capital of Wales, Cardiff Sixth Form College students are able to access the amenities of a city while being guided by qualified, caring staff. One of the benefits of the college’s city location is the opportunity it provides for students to access a range of work observation placements, which are either essential or highly desirable for their university applications. Students of medicine, engineering or law, for example, can be helped to find useful placements within a reasonable travelling distance. The same considerations apply to those who wish to undertake voluntary work, with the city providing a range of options, from helping out in schools to working in charity shops.
Cardiff Sixth Form College is more than an educational establishment – it’s a home. Our curriculum demands a lot of our students. It is important for them to relax and unwind at the end of the day. Good rest makes good work – and our state-of-the-art accommodation complex is designed to aid just that.
Students live together in modern, purpose-built accommodation. All necessary resources are provided and as the accommodation is situated just a 10-minute walk from the college, educational resources and administrative assistance are never far away.
We have three different room types: cluster rooms, apartments and studio flats. Cluster rooms are shared by 4-6 students, with single bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms, in addition to a shared kitchen and lounge. Meanwhile, apartments feature two single bedrooms and have a shared bathroom, kitchen and lounge, while studio flats feature a single room with an en-suite bathroom and a kitchen, but do not include a lounge.
All rooms are comfortable and self-contained, providing independence but also a sense of community. Students have their own space but have the opportunity to get to know their talented peers from all over the world, giving them a global perspective while forming friendships which help promote greater understanding. The allocation of cluster rooms, apartments studio flats is made on a first-come, first-served basis.
One of our boarders Ikenna said of his experience: "I miss certain things about Africa: the food, the temperature, and of course my family (I have three siblings back home). However, I have really enjoyed boarding and it being so close to the school. Living here means that you are always surrounded by friends and can live independently."
It can be tough moving to a new place. Anxiety is natural. For most students, it will be their first experience of living away from home with its attendant hopes, fears and challenges. They will have a new sense of freedom, having to effectively manage their own work and leisure schedules. The responsibility of getting themselves up in the morning and ensuring that they have clean clothes to wear may be new to them. Students will have to deal with the ups and downs of life, without the immediate help and support of their family.
However, students quickly find common interests - sports, shopping, science or even something completely different! We encourage our students to participate in communal and extra-curricular activities. Many students enjoy unwinding by participating in sport or working out in the gym. Shuttle-buses travel to and from the Sports Centre throughout the evenings to facilitate this. For more information on our extra-curricular programme, please see our Enrichment section.
Our pastoral team
We understand, though, that some students may need some extra help. Cardiff Sixth Form College employs a professional pastoral team to aid students with the difficulties of living away from home. Students share their accommodation with a House Master or Mistress, a matron and a team of Student Support Officers. Together, the team provides pastoral care and stability around-the-clock, and is trained to be alert to students' physical and emotional well-being. It is important to us that students feel they are cared for and part of a community. Our pastoral team plays a large role in the warm, accepting environment we strive to promote.
While there is considerable emphasis on security to ensure the safety of all, the aim is to be as unobtrusive as possible and give students their independence. It is these pastoral elements that make the difference between the college accommodation and that of university students. In all other aspects, it is identical to the kind of living arrangements that they will encounter in a university setting. The confidence gained from becoming friends, and working with their peers from around the world, will help students cope with each step towards an independent future.