“I couldn’t be happier here,” she told us. “I looked at a lot of Sixth Forms before finally settling on Candi. It’s a great balance of study and social life here, and the opportunities to go overseas really sold the college to me.”
Over the last 24 months, Alex has taken her education to the next level, opting to take English Literature, History and Politics at the City and Islington Sixth Form College in Angel. The Sixth Form College offers a choice of 35 A Levels – the largest provision in London – to help young people into Higher Education, an apprenticeship or employment. Coming from Walthamstow School for Girls, Alex said she was looking at traditional Sixth Forms in the beginning before finding CANDI.
“In the end, it was a better choice for me to come to City and Islington College. You have the same structure that you need in your lessons but get that social aspect, too. It’s really important to get the balance right, I think.
“I wanted to do this interview to share my experience with other people perhaps in the same position. You have more options than you might initially think. I was very hardworking when I moved here and was concerned that a college might do things differently to a Sixth Form. But I’ve had a really good education here. The teachers care and they give good answers. There’s opportunities to do extra learning outside of the classroom, which you might not get elsewhere.
“Obviously, everyone’s different, but this is a college with so many people – you’ll always find a community you can fit into. Also, there’s a really dedicated careers team and teachers if you need them. If you slip up, you get help. I guess one thing to consider is that you need to be quite self-disciplined, but people want to help you, not let you fail.”
Alex is planning to go on to university after college, studying “something around History, or possibly Politics and International Relations.” It’s an exciting prospect, life after college, and one that Alex now feels prepared for, having had two years to practise her independence.
“For me, university is the best choice. The college experience has prepared me for that. It’s a little closer to the freedom of university than school is. I’m looking forward to it.
“The Careers team at CANDI have given me a lot of information on enrichment and helped me broaden my skills and interests. Get Ahead News is a good example of that. It’s about the Youth Dialogue Programme, which I’m really happy I got onto. It’s learning about other communities and how you can implement positive change in your own community, and results in going to America, which is going to be a life-changing experience for me. This is something I found out about here.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at City and Islington College. Not only am I enjoying my education, but I have access to all these great experiences that support my learning. I’m ready for university, and that’s because of what’s happened here.”