5 Minutes with Gareth Collier at Cardiff Sixth Form College

Gareth Collier, Principal of Cardiff Sixth Form College. Gareth tells us about the variety of summer schools on offer and how your children can make the most of them…

In your opinion, what are the benefits of learning an additional language?

Nelson Mandela said “If you talk to a man in a language he understands it goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language that goes to his heart”. What better reason can there be for learning another language than to reach the hearts of those with whom we communicate? Gaining empathy and appreciation from those we speak with leads to greater understanding and more positive outcomes.

How important do you think summer school education is for children of all ages?

Having been responsible for summer schools in previous roles and being a parent who sends his children on summer schools every year, I am a strong believer in their value. Not only in the content of the course, but the social interaction with like-minded young people from other cultures and the potential for new and exciting friendships.

There is a vast variety of summer school courses available and there is something for everyone, of all ages. This year, one of my daughters will take part in a horse riding summer school and return for the third year to a residential sports camp. It is here that she has friends from a great range of schools and backgrounds, all of whom help to give her a different perspective on life.

At Cardiff Sixth Form College, we offer targeted high level academic summer courses for aspirant medics, Oxbridge applicants or students looking to discover what it is like to work intensively in the UK’s highest achieving academic environment.

If you could offer any advice to students looking to study overseas, whether it be year round or on a short course, what would it be?

Be clear about why you wish to study internationally. Make it your decision and not your parents’. Do your research into the type of course which fits your aim and once booked, commit fully to the experience.

When on the course, take advantage of every opportunity available and look for reasons to engage in the course content, rather than hold back because it is unfamiliar or something that you haven’t liked previously.

What makes Cardiff Sixth Form College different to other Colleges?

Everyone is focused on excellence; staff on delivery and students on achievement. It is OK to be the person who wants to be the best and if you are not, to work hard at trying to become it. There is an air of excitement about studying and an acceptance that hard work is a foundation for success. The buzzwords are Passion and Resilience!

If you could pick 3 dinner companions, who would they be and why?

I would choose Michel de Nostredame (or Nostradamus) to help predict my future. Secondly, Gareth Edwards; the greatest rugby union player of all time. And lastly my Dad; because without him I wouldn’t be at the table at all!