Letter to Year 12 – Welcome to the S6C Community

Dear Parents,

Welcome to the S6C Community

I hope that your son or daughter has enjoyed the first few days here at S6C. We are delighted to have been able to fully open college and run a normal timetable. We recognise that this is a ‘new normal’ and some adjustments have been necessary to keep everyone safe. However, it has been wonderful to see the smiling faces of students returning to our building. The years 12’s have made an excellent start and have adjusted quickly to the Covid protocols and being back in a learning environment.  I met many of the students yesterday and they were an absolute delight, and the staff had a fantastic day stating that they are a really special group of young people. 

It can be hard letting go and seeing our children develop into young adults. I found this difficult myself 3 years ago when my eldest child joined S6C.  We can’t underestimate the role parents and siblings play in their success until now. You helped them manage challenging classes, helped them with their homework, supported them through their schooling, guided them through friendship issues and even asked the questions they were too embarrassed to ask themselves when they needed advice.  

Students will develop a new level of independence at S6C and over time will learn to master the balance of study in and out of class and how to maintain a good wellbeing.  This doesn’t happen overnight! Despite now being a college student, your son/daughter will still want you involved in their progress, development and career planning. Many parents can be unsure about whether they should be hands on and involved in this journey, or whether they need to take a very different approach to school.  Our view is that communication with parents is really important to us, and is probably really important to your child as well. What we would ask of you is to not be strangers, please do reach out and contact if you have a concern or query, we are always here to help. A calendar of key dates will be issued to you next week and we will actively encourage you to stay involved in your son/ daughter’s academic and personal progress. 

It may appear rather strange that timetables are now so different to a school timetable that was filled every session of the day with taught lessons.  Post 16 studies require a significant amount of time for students to consolidate their learning and build on taught content out of lessons, after all the courses are challenging and require a lot of thought for students to succeed. At S6C we take this responsibility very seriously and operate a 50:50 Curriculum, preparing students for the next step of their education at University but also for all learners to be prepared for the world of work that requires them to work independently and with resourcefulness.  The independent study time on timetables therefore is a compulsory element of the timetable, and students should be completing 4-5 hours of study for each individual subject they study each week.  If students are studying a diploma or extended diploma then this time doubles or triples for out of class work to be completed.  Initially students will be fully guided on what to  complete as a series of  activities set by their class teachers.  Over time, and certainly by year 2 of their courses, we would hope that all students would manage this time effectively, requiring less guidance on activities they need to do out of the classroom, and build autonomy to their learning.  From next week, please do expect your son/daughter to be set a range of activities to complete.  There are many workspace to complete this in college. 

Over the summer we have changed IT providers. This has caused a delay in getting all student accounts functioning as we need to provide full access to all the communication services the students need. We anticipate this will be resolved early next week and then students will have full access to their chat functions, emails, and their separate google classrooms where they can access resources and collaborate with their teachers. 

If you have driven past our building recently you will see that we currently have scaffolding covering the front and side.  Rendering work has to be completed, and although this is unsightly it is work that needs completing.  It will not affect the student experience in any way or health and safety on the site.    Inside the building we have a lovely community atmosphere.

In any normal year, we would be inviting you into college to meet us and the tutor team. We have made the decision to host a Tutor Evening virtually on Tuesday 28th September 6 – 7pm. Please save the date so we can interact online. Details about the event will be sent out in the coming weeks. 

Attached is also a copy of our  Parent’s Handbook with information that you should be aware of.  We hope you find it useful as it provides key information for parents including many aspects of keeping your young person safe. Link to Handbook

Every Friday you will receive an email with a link to our News section of the website with a Head of College weekly update for the week. Here we share key messages and celebrate the success of our students across their curriculum and clubs and societies. We hope you find this informative.

If you have any queries in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact us here at the college on 01722 597970 or office@salisbury6c.ac.uk .

I hope you have a lovely weekend,

Kind regards

Louise Henderson
Head of College