Hello, I’m Simon Firth, Principal of S6C. I’ll update this blog with a combination of news, celebrations and information about life at S6C and the wider community.
3rd June 2020
Message from the Principal
Everyone at S6C is excited about having many of our students back in next week. It’s been a while and we’ve missed having them around.
The programme is as follows:
Tuesday 7th July
Students have been informed which sessions to attend.
- A level Physics practical – 9am to 11am with Chris Papp
- A level Biology practical – 9.30am to 11am with Nicky Miller and Chris Forster
- A level Chemistry practical – 12pm to 2pm with Chris Papp
Subject reviews will also be happening during the day. For those coming into college, subject teachers will have been in touch to agree times.
Wednesday 8th July
- BTEC Business with Steve Price is running between 9am and 2.30pm – Students have been invited in for small group sessions throughout the day.
Pastoral interviews and year 13 enrolment will take place during the day for those students who have opted to come into college. Tutors have been in touch to agree times.
Thursday 9th July
- BTEC Business with Steve Price – 9am to 10.30am
- A level Physics practical with Chris Papp – 9am to 11am
- A level Biology practical with Nicky Miller – 9.30am to 11am
- A level Chemistry practical with Chris Papp – 12pm to 2pm
For those students who have opted for subject reviews or pastoral meetings online, they will be conducted at some point between Tuesday and Friday. If they haven’t done so already, Teacher and Tutors will be in touch.
This Monday the 6th July is year 12 Development Day, a letter was sent out on Thursday to parents with details of the day, a copy of which is enclosed. There is a full day programme of talks and meetings for students and that parents have been invited to join talks from 4pm onwards.
Our very first online Freshers Day was incredibly successful. It was all designed for students to access Q&As with their subject teachers as well as videos, information about starting college such as travel and IT devices. Of course, we would have preferred to have had the students in but we are getting so good at adapting to any situation which comes our way! Here’s the video welcoming students to S6C.
Raising money for Alzheimers
Jake McNickle has been taking part in a charity event to raise money for Alzheimer’s please see the link below if you wish to donate and congratulate Jake for such an amazing effort. This is an incredible challenge to take on and we are very proud of him. Check it out here.
Last week Baking Club made Butternut Squash Curry, this week was Custard Tarts
26th June 2020
Important message for year 13 parents
Parents will have received a letter last week from our Exams Officer, Lisa Lucas. It is important that your son/daughter is aware that we will be using their College email address for communication. College emails should now be accessed using Gmail and not Office 365. All students have been sent a test email to ensure we know that the communication is being received. If that is not the case, please can they make us aware at email@example.com
Preparations for returning to College
The support staff have been very busy over the past couple of weeks preparing the college for staff and students towards the end of the term. Here are just some of the images of the work they have done
You will be aware that lessons next week will be ‘Project Based’ so not online as we have been doing until now. This allows our staff to come into College for training and to run an online induction day for our new intake.
Important dates for parents and students – Monday 6th July to Friday 10th July
Destinations day for year 12 students
All day Monday 6th July. Our annual Destinations Day is a highlight of our S6C Careers Programme and is going ahead online using a mixture of live and recorded presentations.This full day event will provide students with everything they need to know about planning their next steps to university, apprenticeships or employment. External academic and industry specialists will share expertise in Employability Skills, Choosing a University, Getting the Most from University, and Apprenticeships. Students will register with UCAS and explore a vast bank of links to academic and industry-led resources. In the afternoon, staff have invited guest speakers in their subject fields, and students can choose from a menu of live and specially recorded meetings in areas that interest them. We will make content available to parents and there will be dedicated parent talks from the University of Bath and ASK Apprenticeships – details to follow by email. The regional careers service would like to use S6C as a case study for what can be achieved in lockdown. All Year 12s should link in, and Year 13s are more than welcome. We are excited to be able to provide this opportunity and look forward to seeing you (virtually) on the day.
Tuesday 6th July – Student subject reviews
Our staff are delighted that most students were able to successfully complete their mock papers and students are working incredibly hard on their vocational units as well. Therefore we now feel we are in a position to be able to report back progress that your son/daughter is making through the summer term and at the mid point of their courses. A personalised end of term letter will be sent home in the final week of term to all parents to share the guidance that staff will be giving to the students in their subject 1:1 reviews.
The information shared with parents will indicate how students can further close gaps in their knowledge, understanding or skills as specific summer work tasks. The report will indicate the students progress in the summer term against their minimum target, a mock grade for A level subjects, levels of engagement in lessons and the work required to be submitted.
Wednesday 7th July – Pastoral meetings
All students will have a meeting to discuss returning to College. Most of these meetings will be with Tutors. We will also complete the year 13 enrolment process so it is essential that all students engage with these meetings.
We recognise that some subject review and pastoral meetings may not be completed on the 6th and 7th July, so these may take place online later in the week. Practical sessions will also be running on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Students attending these sessions will be contacted directly.
In Economics Catherine has been interviewing her students to review their progress in year 12 and discusses with them how they can move forward into year 13 with confidence . She highlights their successes and celebrates how well they have done. All her students will have a recording of their interview to share with their parents if they wish followed by a central letter from college detailing summer work and extension tasks. Libby has agreed to share her interview with you.
Our social media on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook has been really busy lately sharing images, vidoes and storis of life at S6C. But did you know we also have a LinkedIn account you can also folow? Click here.
17th June 2020
Our return to college is getting closer. Staff and contractors will be onsite next week putting up the signage, protective equipment in reception and hand sanitiser dispensers around the building. I’ll upload some pictures to my blog so you can see the progress.
All our staff will return to College from the week beginning Monday 29th June. We will run through a series of workshops on social distancing, health and hygiene protocols, and classroom organisation. A copy of our risk assessment will be posted here before the students return.
Last week, we published a survey to students regarding the return to College. We’ve had 106 responses so far. For parents reading this, please ensure your son/daughter has completed the survey by 4pm on Monday 22nd June.
Media and Film students have been helping teacher Richard Eno to make a new video for the college’s upcoming Fresher’s Day for our new students joining us. Here are some sneak peaks on what’s going on.
June is Pride Month and S6C encourages students to support equality, embrace diversity, and stand alongside all those seeking to protect their rights.
We have shared links to a history of the LGBTQ+ movement, an article on the intersection between these rights and BLM, and an article on the importance of marking Pride this month even though parades have been cancelled. Students and their families may wish to take part in the Salisbury Virtual Pride Event on 27th June and the Amnesty International Pride celebration online.
Catherine Pennington has certainly been busy with her A Level students during lockdown, have a look at this short video learn about all the amazing work her students have been doing!
Year 13 students who had extra time in the exams will have an email sent to their college google mail account which will have their access arrangement paperwork attached which should be saved and may be useful at university.
There will be a letter coming out shortly from Lisa Lucas the Exams Officer, to the year 13 students explaining how their results will be released on results day which will be on Thursday 13th August.
Art and Photography
The Art and Photography students sat a 4 hour practical mock this week. In such unusual circumstances it was a real pleasure to see the students achieve such great results. Huge congratulations to all of the students!
Here are some examples of the students work
13th June 2020
As you know, the government has started to relax lockdown measures. A useful BBC article can be found here (published on 10th June)
The latest government advice can be found here (updated on 12th June)
Last week, I posted our plans for reopening and the latest announcements haven’t changed our position. We are fortunate to have amazing students who have risen to the challenge of online learning and continued to make progress throughout this period. I am proud of them all. Our staff have also had to adapt to the new normal and develop new ways of teaching through video and audio conferencing whilst balancing young children and families at home. It hasn’t always been easy and I am also incredibly proud of our staff.
Whilst we have adapted to the challenge of online learning, we are keen to get back to normal when it is safe to do so. As you can imagine, we are thinking about September and how the first few weeks back are going to look. We can tell you that the start of term for year 13’s will be Tuesday 8th September 2020. Plans for that day will be sent out to students and published here in due course. Your views will be welcome.
Students will be sitting their mock examinations next week. A timetable is below.
We know that this may be a stressful time, but we want to emphasise these exams are not just about the grades. They are about identifying gaps in knowledge so we can plan summer work and interventions at the beginning of next term.
The last few months have been challenging for everyone and we want all our students to know that we are here to support them. We are all in this together.
Wiltshire Council are now offering a 24/7 mental health support line for young people and parents, and a self referral counselling service: as well as a website with advice and help across a number of areas including sleep, coronavirus, anxiety, LGBTQ+ support, bereavement, trauma, and drugs/alcohol. https://www.onyourmind.org.uk/
We are looking for the new Student Union!
The S6C Student Union is appointed by an application/interview process. They liaise between students and the college leadership team and represent you as Student Voice for S6C. They are given responsibility, with support, to arrange events, fundraising and awareness days. They help ensure that S6C is diverse, equal and fair. And they promote sustainability and ecological care. We will be looking for a President, Vice President, Events Manager, Equality & Diversity Representative, and Eco Representative. Further details of roles and the application process will be shared with students shortly.
S6C on Instagram
There is another excellent opportunity for students to partake in some virtual work experience.
In response to the current situation Jacobs has developed a virtual work experience programme. The programme will centre around the design of a Coronavirus vaccine research facility. Students will be introduced to the wide range of people within the STEM fields that come together to make this project a reality from architects and engineers through to project managers and safety specialists. In addition to focussing on the technical skills, Jacobs are also aiming to introduce students to some of the key skills they will need in the workplace in the 21st century such as creativity, team work, leadership and resilience.
The programme has been rated to the Silver Level by Industrial Cadets. This means the students will have about 30 hours of structured work experience. It will allow the students to use this experience on their CVs going forward as they apply for universities or an apprenticeship.
The proposed start date is Monday 22nd June, subject to demand. Jacobs are also looking at offering the programme as a one week “intensive” programme in the summer holidays period after the 22nd of July if there is sufficient demand.
More information about Jacobs can be found here www.jacobs.com. If you have any questions about it or would like to sign up, please email Rosie Roberts firstname.lastname@example.org
5th June 2020
We have now agreed on a plan for reopening the College over the coming weeks. The timeplan below is similar to the one published before half term but there are some minor changes. I do want to be clear that whilst we will be inviting students into college for one to one meetings and in small groups, this is not compulsory and students will be able to engage online through Google Meet.
Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter and we should all be committed to challenging racism and prejudice wherever we see it, whenever we see it, every time we see it – peacefully but actively. Students have been encouraged to look at resources, including a link to Trevor Noah’s explainer and facts about inequality in the US and UK. In Life Skills students watched a compassionate, powerful and inspiring Speakers for Schools livestream discussion on Challenging Inequality. We encourage everyone to take time to listen.
|The killing of George Floyd and the riots in America – click to find out more|
Film Studies discussed how they explore racial tension in cinema by revising their work on the Spike Lee film, Do The Right Thing.
ASK (Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge for schools and colleges programme) have agreed to do a bespoke session for any Year 13s who are interested in applying for an apprenticeship or who have started the application process for an apprenticeship. They will cover how to search for jobs in the current market, preparing for digital/online recruitment processes and practical ways to boost your employability skills at home. We’re looking to hold this session in the week beginning 6th July.
Please email email@example.com if you’re interested in the session.
(There will be a separate session for Year 12s interested in Apprenticeships as part of the Development Day)
There is an opportunity for students to take part in a type of virtual work experience. It is called the Crest Award and can lead to a certificate which is recognised by employers and universities, however, students can complete the individual online projects without paying for it to be certificated and still gain valuable knowledge, experience and an insight into careers. Projects could also be entered into competitions for additional recognition (such as the Big bang Young Scientist/engineer)
Please check out this website for more information
Local STEM Ambassadors have created videos with ideas for CREST projects (https://www.crestawards.org/) for students to do at home. Some relate to the Ambassador’s job and some to the current situation, but all of them are real projects students can use as inspiration or a starting point for their own investigation.
The Project Inspiration videos can be found here. Please take a look at the projects and decide which one you’d be interested in completing.Interested students need to email firstname.lastname@example.org with some details (name, project title, name of STEM ambassador etc) and we will then be put in touch with the Ambassadors who can be light touch mentors for the projects.
Catherine Pennington challenged her students to develop a Business Plan for a new start-up firm and then face her in The Den for some gruelling questions. First Year student Thomas Green said ‘’ I loved doing this task, as it just helps bring out the creativity in people and I want to be able to express myself through my subjects. I’ve learnt a lot about building a business over the past few months so it was nice to be able to put it in an actual plan’’
The students worked with business partners of their choice to create a plan worthy of potential implementation. Catherine felt it was an awesome way for young people to express a ‘’CAN DO’’
Attitude, and encouraged her students to use the recording of their Business Plan Review in a digital CV when they are ready to find work or put their plan into ACTION.
Term Dates 2020/2021
The Magna Learning Partnership has changed the date of the Staff INSET Day next academic year from 9th October 2020 to the 28th June 2021. Please seen the new Terms Dates 2020-2021 on the Term Dates section of our Website
After a number of weeks of students joining Dr Tyes Baking Club, one student really took the baking to another level. Megan Streeter’s red velvet chocolate cake with cream cheese butter cream and fresh raspberries was completed on Wednesday.
Be sure to follow us on Instagram for regular updates!
23rd May 2020
Many thanks to our year 12 parents for completing our survey. It’s good to hear our online provision is well received. Here is a brief summary:
- All parents felt there had been sufficient communication regarding our online provision
- Most parents stated they were happy with the online provision
- All parents agreed that feedback on work submitted was being provided by Teachers
- Most parents agreed that our online provision is excellent
- Most parents felt that we provided excellent guidance about personal wellbeing
With regards to our provision after half term, here is what you said:
- More than half of our students use Public Transport to get to college
- 20% of students need to stay home to shield either themselves or member of their family
- 35.6% of parents think the college should continue to teach online until the end of the academic year and should remain closed to students
- 42.5% of parents think the college should continue to teach online until the end of the academic year and should open for small groups of students
- 23% of parents think small groups of students should be allowed to come into college for practical subjects such as Science, Art and Photography
- 21% of parents think small groups of students should be allowed to come back into college for one to one support.
In the light of your comments and feedback from staff, we are proposing the following arrangements after half term:
As you would expect, our focus is the health and wellbeing of the students, staff and the wider community. Should you decide to keep your son/daughter at home in July, don’t worry, we will deliver the sessions online. If you would like to share any comments or concerns, please email me at email@example.com\
We look forward to welcoming students back on Monday 1st June (online).
Update from OFQUAL regarding awarding of grades this summer
Click here for guidance for teachers, students, parents and carers
World Mental Health Week
Rosie Roberts has started to compile a list of virtual Open Days at universities over the coming weeks – this list is not exhaustive, more events are listed on the UCAS events website but many more may only be advertising their events on their website so I’d encourage you to check the websites of the universities that you’re interested in. This list is only online open events and does not include online webinars giving advice and subject information – check the UCAS events website or the universities’ websites for online webinars. I will add to it if any more events get sent to me. Please see the list here
Student information on the Google Migration
Please click here to download our guidance on our move to Google.
30 Day Health and Fitness Challenge
The S6C 30 day Health and Fitness Challenge is still going on the Sport Instagram account
16th May 2020
Year 12 parents will receive a letter from me and a link to a survey regarding our current online provision and some questions about our provision after half term. We would like to ensure that whatever onsite activities we do offer are done so with your support and as safely as possible.
You can access the survey here if you are the parent of a Year 12 student.
Our Premises Team will be working hard to ensure the building is ready when we do invite students in.
In Business, students have been developing their own business plans for potential implementation in the future… Catherine Pennington has been interviewing people in business to help students understand how theory can differ from practice in business and would like to appeal to any parents who are in business themselves and would be willing to appear in a short video chat.
We have reminded everyone that the slightly amended lockdown rules still emphasise the importance of staying at home and maintaining strict social distancing to save lives – but we do encourage everyone to make the most of longer periods of fresh air and exercise.
This is a time for patience, as well as being careful, calm and kind – and it remains a difficult time. We are able to offer a range of support options for Year 12, and Year 13 students, including a new option to refer for some introductory CBT (a very effective mental health programme which promotes healthy patterns of thought and behaviour).
Students can get in touch with tutors or Rebecca Anderson for support or information.
Tutorial for Year 12s has been continuing and this week the students and teachers focused on Discrimination and Prejudice. You can access the material here.
Students have recently had information on Grayson Perry’s Art Club.
Be creative during Lock Down and follow Grayson Perry and take part in challenges with your family, whatever your experience of art is – Everyone is an artist!
You can contact our art teacher, Laurence Rushby by email.
UCL have created a free online course to help students prepare for university study – it’s open to all students in Year 13 regardless of which universities they’ve applied to and Year 12s who are considering university and would like to prepare. You can access it here.
We are keeping the University, Careers and Apprenticeship channels topped up with the latest information.
Stuart Halford’s YouTube Channel
English and Law teacher Stuart Halford has started a YouTube Channel to help his students and their parents get to grips with subject content. Check out the channel here and below is one of his videoes.
Life Skills ideas for eating on £1 a day – useful for meals at home or university. We recommend #jackmonroeslockdownlarder for tips and recipes for healthy cheap meals while everyone is at home and there are still gaps in supermarket stock. Check it out here.
50 things to do in Lockdown
FutureLearn have published a new list of things to do in lockdown which we have shared with Students this week – Have an open mind and scroll through all 50 ideas! Check it out here.
S6C Year 13 Baking
Year 13 RS did another baking lesson with banana muffins.
These are Megan Streeters, she added chocolate chips!
Beat ingredients and divide equally between 12 muffin cases. Bake at 180c for 20-30 mins.