Grace Tims, aged 18, completed the Bridging Course at Barnet and Southgate College and is now studying A Levels in Sociology, English Literature and Language and Film Studies
"A Bridging Course is a great opportunity to retake qualifications to improve your grades, to get into higher education or achieve a better job than you would have before. I’d finished school with 4 GCSEs and needed 6, plus I wasn’t very happy with my English and Maths GCSE grades so I was looking for somewhere to retake them. Barnet and Southgate College was the only college offering me the opportunity to do that at that time.
The students on the course were all very friendly and nice, and the teachers were really supportive and caring. They supported me throughout the course with my personal needs, keeping up with homework and classwork and they just made sure I knew how to do the best I could do.
Work experience was part of the course and it was really valuable. I worked at Cancer Research UK and it was really interesting and a good learning experience. I was working in the shop and learned how to deal with customers, plus I learned all the things you need to know to work well in the shop, from organising stock to helping them prepare and run a fundraising event. As well as it being very useful if I ever want to work in retail, I also learned communication and organisational skills, which I’ll be able to use later on, and I got to meet new people and learned how to deal with customers well.
It wasn’t just all about coursework, either; we were given help on what to do next. The Careers Advisors spoke to us all about possible courses we could progress on to, about Apprenticeships and what you should put in your CVs. There was lots of useful advice.
I’m also going to be doing work experience in the summer holidays as part of my A Levels, which is really good. It’ll be for two weeks and it will be linked to my course and my future career plans. I’d like to do something in the film industry – directing or editing, which are the part of my course I really enjoy – or become a teacher, I’m not sure yet, so hopefully the College will be able to help me find a work placement that’s linked to those.”