A day in the life of…

Rahila Rafiq

Want to know what a typical day at Barnsley Sixth Form College is like?  Second year student Rahila tells all….

Rahila Rafiq

Before starting my A Levels at college I was a pupil at Horizon Community College and was Head Girl there. Sixth Form is different from school as you have more freedom but you still have to be focused and complete all your work on time. I really like the atmosphere here at Barnsley Sixth Form College. My typical day starts at about 8.00am when I get up and get ready for Sixth Form. I live in Gawber, about a ten minute walk from college and I’ll either walk or get a lift.


My first lesson starts and on a Thursday it is Business Studies. I chose this subject because I’m interested in owning my own business one day and the things I’m learning on this course will help me. We usually start the lesson with a quiz to check on our previous learning, then move into content work and touch on exam techniques. I enjoy Business Studies and am learning lots of new things.


All our lessons are an hour and ten minutes long and we have 15 minute breaks in between to allow us to get between classes.


After Business Studies finishes I make my way to my next lesson, Chemistry. Currently this subject is taught in the SciTech building so I have to walk across from the Eastgate building. It’s only a two-minute walk but soon this will be a thing of the past as all lessons will be in one building when the new campus on St Mary’s Place opens early in 2016. I’m really looking forward to studying in the new building.

My ambition in life is to become a Dentist and I plan on studying Dentistry at university when I finish my A Levels. I’ve always wanted to work in the medical field but after doing work experience at a dental practice in Year 10 at school, I decided this is what I wanted to do. My ambition is to qualify as a dentist and then open my own practice.

Chemistry is one of the A Levels I need to get on the degree course so I know how important it is that I do well. We usually start Chemistry by going through our notes from the last class and then do new work, such as experiments, exam practice or content work. In one experiment we made silver – that was pretty cool!


After Chemistry we have a short break and I catch up with some friends to make plans for lunch before going to my next class.


This is my Tutorial session with my Personal Progress Mentor (PPM), Carol. Each student is allocated their own tutorial group and PPM at the start of term and it gives you a ready-made group of friends! Carol begins the Tutorial by telling us any important messages and then we can have 1:1 sessions if need be. These sessions are really useful if you are having any worries about classes, or have questions about university applications or anything else.

I definitely want to go to university, I think I will be applying to the University of Leeds, University of Sheffield, Manchester and Glasgow.


It’s time for lunch. I meet my friends and we usually go to the refectory at the Old Mill Lane campus or the social area at Eastgate. It’s great that we can also use the facilities at the Barnsley College campus and I know the facilities in the new Sixth Form will be amazing.

It’s good that Sixth Form is so close to town so if I ever need to go and buy something I know I can fit it in on my lunch break.


Afternoon classes start and on a Thursday I have Information and Communication Technology (ICT). ICT is a subject that really interests me. We usually go through new things as a class and then work on computers while our tutor comes round to check on progress.


After ICT, I’ll go and get a quick drink in the break before going on to my final class of the day, Biology. This is another subject I need for university. We’ll do a mini-quiz, learn new content, consolidate and review.


I finish Sixth Form at 4.25pm and walk home, or get a lift! We get four pieces of homework each week, one for each subject, and it’s easy to stay on top of if you try and do a piece each night.

I’m in college five days a week but I start later on Monday and Tuesday and finish early on Wednesday and Friday. On some days I have free periods between classes and when this happens I go to the study base to do homework or read a book or I meet friends in the social area.

I’d recommend coming to Barnsley Sixth Form College to any students interested in studying A Levels. There is a wide variety of subject options, the tutors are great and the new campus will be fantastic.