CIFE is the professional association for independent sixth-form colleges.
This page tells you something about CIFE and its members. Colleges belong to CIFE to share experience and ideas on getting the best out of students in the final years of pre-university education. For more information about what CIFE does look at the FAQ pages or CIFE's Wikipedia entry. You can also download a pdf of briefing notes about CIFE.
All CIFE colleges share the belief that students come first and that education should adapt to the individual rather than the other way round. That belief is made real by staff who have the time to get to know students fast and to tailor their approach to each individual. This makes CIFE colleges particularly good at helping students change school successfully.
In CIFE colleges you can expect:
CIFE college classes generally have fewer than ten students, even at GCSE level. Everyone can ask and answer questions. That deals with problems on the spot and makes concentration easy. There's no such thing as sitting at the back of the class!
CIFE college staff are chosen because they like their subject and love teaching it. Making students actively involved in class and building positive personal relationships are as vital as well-planned and properly-resourced teaching. We know that trust and confidence are key to learning success.
Honest and constructive communication is essential to making the relationship between staff, students and parents clear, positive and productive. CIFE colleges take a great deal of trouble to get this right.
Effective pastoral support
Supporting and guiding without dictating can be a difficult balancing act, but doing it effectively helps students develop independence and confidence without compromising well-being. Good relationships with teaching and pastoral staff are all-important, and CIFE colleges' capacity to talk and respond to students on an individual basis is central to getting support right.
CIFE colleges know the exam and university entrance sytems inside-out. Using that knowledge to help students achieve the right results to get into a well-chosen university is colleges' top priority. Colleges are particularly good at helping students make the best of themselves in exams.
CIFE colleges build as much flexibility as possible into programmes and approaches. Subject choice is generally wide, with minimal or no restricted combinations, and students often take courses at different levels. This can be particularly helpful for students joining the final year, who may want to pick up new subjects, or for lower-sixth students who need to strengthen GCSEs