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How to improve 16+ recruitment and retention - sixth form buildings

Posted by Melissa Quinney on May 22, 2024 10:57:00 AM

For schools and academies with sixth form centres, retaining existing students or recruiting new students can be tough once students have a plethora of options post 16. It's important that your sixth form provisions stand out from the crowd of other providers and give your young people what they really want and need. Read on to find out how we can help you to develop your sixth form provisions with an additional building for your centre's requirements.



How to improve your sixth form centre provisions

For secondary schools, high schools and academies looking to improve or expand their internal sixth form centres and improve their 16+ recruitment and retention rates. 


Stand out from local competition

Post 16, pupils typically have a wide range of options available to them. It’s likely that your school sixth form centre will be competing with the sixth form centres at other local schools and academies, as well as dedicated local sixth form colleges within the wider community. Having old or simply a lack of sixth form facilities isn’t going to position your school very highly against your competitors. To help improve your retention rates, you want to give your current year 11s every reason to stay on for their post 16 studies at your school rather than going elsewhere. By creating additional modern spaces, you will show just how much your sixth form has to offer and will be a far more attractive establishment for students (and parents) deciding which provider to go for. 


Improve Pupil Satisfaction 

Pupil satisfaction has a HUGE impact. When pupils are satisfied with their learning environments and overall experience at your sixth form centre, their educational attainment levels and your school's outcomes will reflect this. If your sixth formers are happy with the facilities available to them, they will be more likely to attend sixth form! If they have plenty of space available for independent work, they will be more likely to knuckle down and do their independent work. If you provide them with group working spaces, they will have those additional opportunities to branch off into pairs or small groups and have their own revision sessions or group working sessions. When considering improving your 6th form facilities and provisions, put student satisfaction at the heart of your project. What you put into them is what you will get out of it as a school and as a community. 

An important point to remember is that if you create an aspirational sixth form, your centre will 'sell itself'. Give young people and parents something to talk about! Impressive, modern facilities will get people talking. Never underestimate the power of word of mouth and how it can affect your recruitment and retention rates!

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School Multifunction room_b_compressed


What do your sixth formers or prospective sixth formers want?


Typically, your older students will want a space of their own. They will want to feel like although they are a part of the wider school community, they have their own set of privileges and their own facilities or provisions to use which sets them apart from their younger secondary school peers. They need a space which feels like sixth form and a true bridge between school and university life, rather than what feels like just another two years at school. At Cabins for Schools, we design bespoke school buildings ideal for developing your sixth form centres or for expanding capacity. With our free design service and free site surveys, you can make the most of your budget or funding and give your students what they want and need while remaining cost effective. 


Quiet study zones or Independent Study Rooms

Perhaps you want to offer additional study rooms for your 6th formers but just don't have the space. We can create extra space with additional buildings on your grounds! Detached from the main school build, these self-contained quiet study rooms or independent study rooms will be perfect for silent or quiet study. Give your sixth-formers a quality, purpose-built study space where they won't be disturbed by the noise from the rest of the school. They will be able to concentrate fully and engage wholeheartedly in their studies, enjoying bright, modern and airy facilities free from distraction and noise. 

Cabins for Schools - Billesley Primary School (7.5m x 4m Redwood)_6_sml


Common rooms and chill out spaces

Your sixth form common room acts as a central hub, the heart and soul of your post 16 centre. It's a place where all of your sixth formers can come together, feel like a part of a community and therefore reinforces a community ethos within your school. Having a modern common room provides your students with a space where they actually WANT to be. 

Your sixth formers will appreciate a space where they can get some much needed downtime in between classes or independent study periods. You might like to give them a space with a pool or snooker table or a board game corner. Provide your 6th formers with comfortable seating options like bean bags and really give them a space to unwind and recharge, to put them in the best possible headspace for their studies and examinations. Make the process of improving your existing common room or adding a chill out space easy by choosing Cabins for Schools to design and install your extra building. 


Games Room Montage 1

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What other buildings can we design to improve your 16+ recruitment and retention rates and improve your sixth form experience?


  • Pastoral Support Offices
  • Additional course classrooms
  • Additional multipurpose classrooms
  • Break out spaces
  • Tutor group rooms
  • Meeting rooms
  • Designated library spaces
  • Group working rooms
  • SLT / staff rooms

    Cabins For Schools - The Priory - 6m x 3.5m - Marley_23-1


The list goes on! If you require a cost-efficient building to improve your secondary school or academy's sixth form provisions, we can design and install a building ideal for your requirements. We create high-quality, inspirational areas where students can flourish and reach their full potential. Our buildings are bespoke to meet your sizing/capacity needs and while we offer timeless redwood or stunning cedar cladding, we even have a zero-maintenance option available too with our Marley board cladding. 

Whether you're starting up your internal sixth form centre or you wish to upgrade your existing provisions to cater for a larger capacity and improve your recruitment and retention rates post 16, our design team can bring your project to life with a free design. Our experts will survey your site and help you to choose the best location for your additional sixth form building(s) and provide a tailored quotation. Let's transform your offerings for your present students, prospective students and staff, to provide them with the facilities they expect and deserve! 


Chat to one of our experts today. 

0800 0448 418


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Topics: schools, outdoorlearning, forestschools, cabins for schools, Multi-Function Space For Schools, Log Cabin, Inclusive Spaces, library, Funding