Weekly College Update

Friday 14th May 2021

The weather may have been miserable all week, but our students have been a real pleasure to teach and support through their assessments.   Year 12’s have been doing some amazing work this week and it is truly wonderful to see and hear the range of talents and passion they have for their learning.  

Working in a college environment is a true privilege, and we are so proud of how Year 13 have shown resilience and commitment to their final assessed work.  Today marks  the end  of the formal window of the Year 13 assessments that supports the evidence for their Teacher Assessed grades.  We want to congratulate each and every student in how they have supported each other and committed to doing the best they can.  

A letter about the continued attendance for year 13’s until May half term has been sent separately to parents today. A general letter about changes in the Government roadmap for  face coverings in college has been sent to all parents. 

Best wishes,

Louise
Vice Principal

Mental Health Awareness Week – Nicola Miller, Designated Safeguarding Lead  and SENDCo  

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

The theme for this year’s mental health awareness week is ‘Nature’.  With increasing hours of daylight and more sunny days it is a great opportunity to go out and enjoy nature.  The National Trust has published their research on Noticing Nature.  Please see below 15 activities from the report that you may wish to try with your family this week.  For the full report from the National Trust please go to https://nt.global.ssl.fastly.net/documents/noticing-nature-report-feb-2020.pdf?mc_cid=b4af0a6e6b&mc_eid=c7e3458e3a 

STEM Faculty – Kirsty White, Faculty Lead

In lessons with Year 12s this week, teachers have been carrying out folder checks to help students identify gaps in learning and to celebrate all of the excellent work they’ve done over the last year. This is essential preparation for the end of Year 12 assessments in June and students have presented their notes with pride. In Psychology, I have been thoroughly impressed by the sheer amount of revision some of the students have done – a key component to doing well at A-Level is consistent revision. In addition to the revision students do (flash cards, mind-maps etc.), I would also advise them to engage in exam skill practice – a great way to prepare for an exam is to do it! Teachers can provide past paper questions or resources for students to access that help them apply what they’ve revised to the exam that will evidence what they know. This will really help students to understand what examiners are looking for and to hone those skills.

Humanities Faculty – Catherine Pennington – Teacher of Business and Economics


Catherine Pennington challenged her A Level Business students to create Mocktails as inspired by The Cosy Club. The students had been looking at how businesses have adapted through the pandemic, in particular the hospitality industry.  The Cosy Club diversified and launched online Mocktail courses for small groups, so the students looked into what it takes to become a Barista and a Mixologist. In a follow up practical class there were some very tasty mixes being served by the students.  Catherine served up Lattes to some of her students and role played some customer service scenarios. Great fun learning. Below are some of the beautiful creations from the session.

Creative Faculty – Luke Muchmore – Teacher of Sport and Health and Social Care

In year 12 sport, students have been getting outside a lot and taking part in regular practical sessions three times a week to help boost activity levels and mental health after the most recent lockdown. The onus has been on the students to get outside of their own comfort zones and build their own confidence and leadership skills as part of the sports coaching unit. All students are planning and delivering three coaching and activity sessions for their peers, so far we have been very impressed with what we have seen!

In class, we are progressing with sports psychology, having looked at personality and motivation within sport, we now are moving on to stress and  anxiety in sport and exercise. This ties in nicely with mental health awareness week as we will begin to look at stress and anxiety management techniques for athletes, these will be valuable skills that the students can use in their own sporting performance and personal lives.

Careers – Rosie Roberts, Careers Lead

Swindon and Wiltshire Careers Hub have an upcoming careers event for students and their parents on the 26th May 2021 – Your Choices (Post 16 and 18 options) as a Learn Live Broadcast. The Careers Hub will be broadcasting between 11-2pm during the day for schools/college to access and 5-7pm for parental/carer engagement.

It will be a fantastic opportunity for students and/or parents, carers, teachers etc to engage with a range of learning opportunities available to them. This will include academic and vocational routes and learning in schools, colleges, universities, training providers and local workplaces on a digital platform. 

There is a timetable of broadcasts throughout the event which will be advertised closer to the event. The time slots are up to 5 minutes per institution, allowing time for a short presentation with additional and longer videos added On Demand from various partners and stakeholders, you can also take advantage of the LIVE CHAT features on the Learn Live Channel to ask any questions to the providers. The event will run on a one hour loop so students can watch it in different lessons if this suits your needs, the same will happen during the twilight session.

Please register here: https://learnliveuk.com/your-choices-event/

Introducing the MLP CAREERS Instagram account.

Find out about careers events going on in College and across the Magna Learning Partnership.

Plus, don’t be the last to know about other exciting careers events and initiatives taking place across Salisbury, Wiltshire and the whole of the UK.

This may include:

  • Apprenticeship / job opportunities
  • Work experience placements
  • Free online courses for all ages
  • Talks and workshops happening online and in person
  • Advice about all aspects of education, training and employment

We recommend that all students are following this new account and welcome parents to follow it too. Download the Instagram app if you don’t already have it and add MLPcareers to your favourites

Weekly College Update

Friday 7th May 2021

We have had a very calm and purposeful week in college in the final phase of the Year 13 assessments. Students have conducted themselves with integrity and with maturity. There has been a studious atmosphere around the college and during revision lessons with their teachers. We have been impressed with the level of focus shown by our students and are proud of how well they have accepted so much disruption; they’ve taken it all in their stride! Now that the first week of the May assessments is over, we look ahead to the final assessment week. We would encourage our students to seek support if they need it (not just for the academics, but also wellbeing); to get enough sleep; to eat well; and to dedicate some time to relax! Sessions of 15-20 minutes of concentrated revision on areas to improve on have been found to be much more effective than hours at a time – the brain cannot possibly work hard for extended periods of time. Students should spend 20 minutes on one area, take a break, and then move onto another area – psychology has shown this to be an incredibly effective tool for revision. More information can be found here.

Over the next week there will be a targeted focus in class time on the quality of student folders in all year 12 lessons. To support student progress, staff will be setting time aside to check and discuss the organisation of classwork notes, self directed study work and ongoing revision of work. Students should have detailed and well informed notes that support all areas of their course either delivered face to face or online. Some students may have a hybrid of written and typed work and may need some support in ensuring the work is organised so that it can be used in this important phase of consolidation to prepare for the summer assessments. Staff will also be doing a further check by getting students to RAG rate their understanding of each topic, and this will allow for more personalised and targeted work in self directed study in the coming months.

Best wishes,

Louise
Vice Principal

Pastoral – Rebecca Anderson Pastoral Lead


We are aware that there has been a national rise in mental health issues in young people and are doing all we can to support and encourage those in need. Parents can also support at home by promoting positive mental wellbeing and responding to any issues. Young Minds run a helpline and are an excellent source of information and support. We are also very happy to be contacted and can signpost a range of resources for various issues as we all work together to take care of ourselves and each other.
https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/for-parents/parents-helpline/

https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/

Here is the excellent NHS guide to promoting mental wellbeing:

https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/guides-tools-and-activities/five-steps-to-mental-wellbeing/


Humanities Faculty – Dr Sally Tye, Faculty Lead

In philosophy we have moved to the Christian theology unit where primary school Bible stories are coming in useful. For those that didn’t go to Church primaries, we had a Bible ‘story time’ in the breakout area, with hot chocolate, to develop knowledge. It turns out primary story time at A level leads to some pretty intense philosophical debate; about the meaning behind Noah’s Ark! Did the people who washed away go to hell? Is this the part of the Bible which suggests purgatory exists and have the Anglican Church missed a trick? Why does an all loving God not forgive? Historically is this a metaphor for the thawing of the last ice age?

Enrichment – Baking Club with Dr Sally Tye


This week the baking club made strawberry ripple ice cream in anticipation of some hotter weather! Below is Rebecca and Megan Cowdrey’s Ice Cream. It looks yummy!

Weekly College Update

Friday 30th April 2021

We have sent  home two important letter to parents this week – which indicated the preparations for end of year assessments  for Year 12 and have also launched our Sexual Health and Wellbeing online materials. Please do let the office know if you are not receiving letters as a parent/carer and we will check your details on our system.

We held 2 student forum groups this week to understand better the student experience of teacher feedback and how it is helping students make the progress they are happy with.  Students were represented from all areas of the curriculum in A Level courses and Vocational courses.  A clear message that was presented was about how intuitive staff are about when students need help in class, and all staff are very supportive and accessible for further guidance out of lesson time. Many subject areas were cited as offering additional submissions of work and extra feedback on essays, and students found this highly motivating. 

The students presented a range of examples across the whole curriculum of how the feedback, both verbal and written is enhancing their learning.  All students indicated the value of regular feedback and really value both whole class feedback and 1:1 feedback they get that is personal to their development areas. In some subjects, students value the discursive style of feedback in a collaborative way that allows for deeper understanding.   It was also very pleasing to hear that students are also starting to benefit from more support in self marking and use of mark schemes.  This style of marking with clear teacher guidance is allowing students to think like an examiner and recognise what examiners value and award marks for.  

There was some discussion about returned work – sometimes with marks and other times with grades, depending on the subject, and which is more valuable and supportive in truly understanding where the individual student is on their journey.  We agreed that a student survey would be issued to get a collective view and to help review our reporting of their attainment grades. 

We know our Year 13 students are working hard and preparing well and the whole of the S6C community wants to wish them well for the next 2 weeks of their final assessments.  We want every student to shine and allow themselves the opportunity to demonstrate that they can achieve  the very best that they are capable of.  

With best wishes,

Louise
Vice Principal

Creative Faculty – Rich Eno, Faculty Lead

Media

Creative Media students have been busy on a new project where they are making their own Adam Curtis style montage documentary. Faculty Leader, Richard Eno, said, ‘This project is my attempt to politicize the students so they can intelligently respond to the inequalities we are faced with in the modern world. The project is inspired by both Adam Curtis but also the book, Amusing Ourselves To Death, by Neil Postman.” FInd out more about Adam Curtis here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis and Neil Postman here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amusing_Ourselves_to_Death

Art

A Level Art students presented an impromptu exhibition last week where they showcased their response to the COVID pandemic and how it affected them. Faculty Leader Richard Eno said, ‘it was lovely to get an invitation to visit an exhibition as I’ve really missed visiting galleries and museums. What I loved about the work was that it wasn’t obvious or cliched. They had clearly thought quite deeply about their art and demonstrated their confidence by allowing the work to speak for itself’.

Life Skills – Rebecca Anderson, Pastoral Lead

Pastoral Care

The talk and materials for our online Sexual Health and Wellbeing Development ‘Day’ are designed and selected from trusted sources and should be safe and inclusive, promoting positive actions for emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. Topics include, but are not limited to: sexual health ; contraception; consent; sexual assault and harassment; harassment in the workplace; FGM; healthy relationships; toxic masculinity; Criminal Sexual Exploitation; pornography; mutual enjoyment of sexual activity; domestic violence; sexting laws; online safety; and a range of other useful and practical links. Our aim is that students are well resourced, well informed, equipped with skills to navigate any difficulties, and uncompromising in their commitment to build a kind and respectful society.

If any of these materials raise issues for students then they have been encouraged to contact a member of the safeguarding team here at S6C, who are specially trained to offer and arrange support. Students also have the details for the NSPCC, Childline or the Samaritans, all of whom can offer support and advice for a range of concerns 24/7.


Humanities Faculty – Dr Sally Tye, Faculty Lead

Promotion of the Hay Festival – Wednesday 26 May to Sunday 6 June

With the reduced opportunities to be able to have cultural experiences during the last year we want to highlight a great opportunity for parents and students to take part in a digital event later in May.  Our curriculum  in college is enhanced by wider exploration of learning, and we hope the lectures and discussions available here are pertinent and useful in widening students’ knowledge and understanding of literature and of global issues.

The HAY Festival will again be a digital event providing a fantastic opportunity for staff, parents and students to enjoy a wide range of lectures and discussions free online.The 34th Spring edition, brings writers and readers together for an inspiring array of conversations, debates, workshops and performances online, Wednesday 26 May to Sunday 6 June.  Festival goers can explore the programme and register for free now at hayfestival.org/wales.  Over 12 days, more than 250 acclaimed writers, global policy makers, historians, poets, pioneers and innovators will take part in this year’s Festival, launching the best new fiction and non-fiction. It will interrogate some of the biggest issues of our time, from building a better world post-pandemic to tackling the compound crises of climate change, inequality, and challenges to truth and democracy.   Landmark Festival conversations will consider a series of momentous anniversaries and ongoing global issues:   One year on from the killing of George Floyd, poet Lemn Sissay presents a three-part series in his name, exploring racism and the systemic changes we need to see in the UK and around the world   300 years since Great Britain appointed its first prime minister, a series of PM300 panels explores issues of leadership and the global crisis of democracy ahead of COP26, the Festival’s Hay-on-Earth programme spotlights what’s at stake  Everyday Sexism founder Laura Bates leads a trio of discussions on gender equality.

If you would like to read last week’s update, click here: https://www.salisbury6c.ac.uk/weekly-college-update-9/

Letter to Year 12 Parents – Assessments & Progress

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Re: Year 12 Assessment and tracking of progress

I am writing to update you about decisions on formal assessments we have made to support your young person in their progress in the first year of their courses.

Our original assessment plan for the academic year was to have 5 key assessment points throughout the year,
where fuller examination papers are sat in A Level subjects with a different rhythm taking place appropriate for
unit competition in the vocational courses.

These dates scheduled were:

Data Capture 1 14th – 18th September
Data Capture 2 16th – 20th November
Data Capture 3 1st – 5th February
Data Capture 4 10th – 14th May
Data capture 5 21st – 25th June – Year 12 assessment
week

We have taken the decision to remove Data Capture 4 from the assessment plan in the week of the 10th May. Our approach in lesson planning since returning from lockdown has been focused on consolidation of learning
to ensure that students are building confidence in knowledge retrieval. Staff are marking work regularly and providing feedback, and students should understand where there are gaps in knowledge and understanding that need to be addressed in their self directed study. It is not uncommon for lessons in all subjects to have regular ‘low stakes’ tests where staff are testing students on key vocabulary, processes or concepts through
quick fire tests or quizzes to develop this confidence and highlight the importance of this information. We feel this is the right approach to support our students.

If any subject teachers have a concern about the progress of any student then we have a clear process that an action plan is initiated with the student to prioritise areas to work on – and parents are informed to provide
support from home and to ensure you are informed. If over time the gaps are not closing then this process will become more formal and we may request a meeting so we can formulate a more detailed plan to help close gaps in performance. If you have not been contacted, then your son / daughter is working well currently and not showing a drop in their performance. Staff may also request support for a student with our learning mentor who can support and guide improvements in all areas of our curriculum.

We are very aware that most Year 12 students have not sat any formal exams for their GCSEs, and with further disruption because of COVID we have decided to start preparations towards the Year 12 end of year
assessments earlier. Starting this week, students are being provided with guidance from their tutors in their Life Skills session to support their revision and exam preparation (plus there will be a reminder that a little bit of pressure can spark productivity but that stress should never be overwhelming). Support is at hand from tutors and our pastoral lead, and resources will be available in the Information Classroom in Google.

Staff will increasingly focus in the summer term on revision preparation for the summer assessments, including practice on timing, managing workload and preparing for full A Level papers. The Year 12 assessment week will follow an assessment timetable where lessons will be suspended during the week, allowing for a real ‘practice’ experience for students that was missed last summer. The assessment week will include assessments in most of the vocational subjects as well, with the exception of Creative media and Software Development where external exams are not applicable in the courses, so the timetable will continue in these courses only. Art and Photography assessments will take place in the week of the 28th June.

The assessment timetable will be planned and issued before the May half term. Results will be issued in the week of 5th July and reports including working at grades will be shared with parents. The results will be
discussed individually with students and all students will then be provided with very clear guidance of next steps including summer tasks to support a really successful start for year 2 of the courses. Students will be
enrolled into Year 13 on Friday 9th July and will be able to discuss any further support they feel would be useful to help their progress. Parents are welcome to attend these meetings with students.

If you have any specific questions you would like to address please can you message the appropriate Faculty Leader who will be able to respond and assist you.

Rich Eno – Head of Creative reno@salisbury6c.ac.uk
Dr Sally Tye – Head of Humanities stye@salisbury6c.ac.uk
Kirsty White – Head of STEM kiwhite@salisbury6c.ac.uk

Yours sincerely

Mrs L Henderson
Vice Principal
email: lhenderson@salisbury6c.ac.uk

Sexual Health Development Day 2021 Letter

Dear Parents/Carers,

In Life Skills today we launched our Online Sexual Health and Wellbeing Development module – students watched a short talk from myself with some key messages about safety, wellbeing, healthy relationships, consent, respect and kindness, harassment and assault, FGM, CSE, the law regarding sexting, and the fact that no one should ever be made to feel uncomfortable in college, at home, in public, at parties, or at work.

The overarching message is that no one is ever alone and no one should ever feel no one is listening.

We reminded students that they can talk to the NSPCC or Childline about any concerns, and that the safeguarding team in college is trained to talk about issues with students, and we are always available. We can be contacted by anyone that is concerned for the wellbeing of one of our students by emailing safeguarding@salisbury6c.ac.uk or asking to speak to Louise Henderson, Nicky Miller, or Rebecca Anderson.

Students now have a week to explore the videos and links from professional external agencies and trusted sources of support. They have been reminded that some of the content is unsuitable for younger siblings and so they should think about when and where to access the material.

Our aim is to encourage the young people under our care to be kind, independent, resilient, well informed – to know the facts, where to find the facts, and where to find support.

Students were reminded to take care of themselves and each other.

Year 12s are being guided through the material but it has also been shared with Year 13s, who should remind themselves of key messages and resources as they move onto their next steps.

Please do contact me if you would like a copy of the presentation and materials, including the talk, and get in touch if you have any questions. And, as ever, please do keep in touch if you have any concerns about your young person or if we can help in any way.

All the best,

Rebecca Anderson
Pastoral Lead

Weekly College Update

Friday 23rd April 2021

I hope you have had a lovely Easter break and students have had an opportunity to take some rest from their studies before a very busy term ahead. 

It is wonderful to have started the summer term together in college, with a lovely atmosphere of our amazing young people interacting with warmth and care towards each other, but simultaneously respecting the need to manage the covid restrictions we have to maintain.   The guidance for covid measures in college has not altered and  we continue to work to the ‘strongly recommended use of face masks’ in all areas for now.  What I would say is that students do need to make the most of their break and lunchtimes outside  as we have resumed the normal timetable. Students and staff should also continue to focus on their wellbeing and take some time during self directed study to go for a walk. 

I have spoken to many year 13 students this week about the college approach to teacher assessments. All students have expressed their appreciation of  the guidance they are receiving and the measured approach we are taking to ensure we can reduce stress in what is a difficult time (Rebecca highlights this further in the update).  If you feel your son / daughter is not getting this support or clarity of preparations needed then please do not hesitate to let us know and we will ensure that support is provided straight away. We want every student to feel confident about the preparations needed for their final assessments in May. 

After our return from lockdown, staff have focused on knowledge retrieval and understanding in lessons to support students’ knowledge and skills  in their courses, and to aid  the curriculum planning for the remainder of this year and the next.  I will be writing to year 12 parents next week with final decisions on assessment schedules for the remainder of the year.   

With  best wishes,

Louise
Vice Principal

Creative Faculty – Rich Eno, Faculty Lead

S6C Media & Business student, Andrew Foord, has used his passion for his subjects to create his own business in https://www.salisburyfilmmaker.co.uk/ Andrew has already booked his first client! Head Of Faculty Richard Eno said, “I am incredibly proud of Andrew for the phenomenal media work he’s produced and to see him taking this to a professional standard is simply amazing”.

Life Skills – Rebecca Anderson, Pastoral Lead

Year 13 had a live online session on Living More Independently, with resources for those heading to uni in halls or private rental, those moving away for apprenticeships or employment, and those staying at home as young adults but taking some more responsibility (inc contributing financially if they are working full time, and helping out where they can). They may like to show you some of the resources in the presentation.

We also shared resources with both year groups with the following message:

An additional Life Skills activity that could save lives. There has been an increase in traffic accidents as lockdown eases and local Fire and Rescue services have produced Back on The Road resources (which are really good and well worth your time). There are practical resources for new drivers (who have not been used to busier traffic or the importance of regular car maintenance), older drivers (to pass onto grandparents who may have been shielding and would benefit from a refresher), two wheeled vehicles (again, the roads are suddenly busier and this changes the driving environment) etc. There is also a series of four modules you can take, for drivers and passengers, with quizzes to check your knowledge. We can’t make you look – but we want you to be safe, and we know you to be responsible and intelligent young people – so find half an hour and read through the info which is most relevant to you.

https://www.dwfire.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/DWFRS-Back-on-the-Road-2021-3.pdf

https://www.dwfire.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/DWFRS-Back-on-the-Road-as-a-New-Licence-Holder-2021-3.pdf

https://www.dwfire.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/DWFRS-Back-on-the-Road-as-an-Older-Driver-2021-3.pdf

Road safety education – Dorset & Wiltshire Fire Service

www.dwfire.org.uk

Pastoral Care

We are aware that some Year 13s are feeling the pressure of final assessments after a number of twists and turns in their education. Students are encouraged to look at the resources on the Information Classroom > Classwork > Wellbeing to help them manage any stress. They can also talk to their tutor, or the pastoral lead, who will be happy to share some self help tips for both academic preparation and personal wellbeing. All students are encouraged to keep in close contact with their teachers and tutor and let them know if they need any support.

NCS

The National Citizenship Scheme is hoping to run this summer for 16 and 17 year olds. Students are encouraged to take this amazing opportunity to access up to £1500 of activities for £50 on either two week or three week programmes. It could provide some welcome structure to a summer which is unlikely to include much travel, and the scheme is known to build confidence, practical and organisational skills, resilience, community spirit, friendships and wellbeing (and is excellent material for personal statements and applications, especially if taken at this stage in their education).

https://wearencs.com/summer

Introducing the MLP CAREERS Instagram account – Rosie Roberts, Careers Lead

Find out about careers events going on in College and across the Magna Learning Partnership.

Plus, don’t be the last to know about other exciting careers events and initiatives taking place across Salisbury, Wiltshire and the whole of the UK.

This may include:

  • Apprenticeship / job opportunities
  • Work experience placements
  • Free online courses for all ages
  • Talks and workshops happening online and in person
  • Advice about all aspects of education, training and employment

Download the Instagram app if you don’t already have it and add MLPcareers to your favourites

Enrichment, Baking Club – Sally Tye, Humanities Faculty Lead

Online baking has continued over Easter with Creme Egg Brownies and a healthier Mexican bean dip this week! Photos: Sally Tye. 

College building update

Due to some damage caused by high winds and storms a number of weeks ago, we have had to take some safety precautions by removing the panelling on the outside of our building. This has left the College looking a little ‘worse for wear’, but this will improve over the coming months as we work on a new facade.

Final Day of Term Announcement

Dear Parents,

As a Trust, it has been decided that the College will be finishing at 12 noon on Thursday this week, for the last day of term. Students are expected in for periods 1 and 2 and will need to be off-site by 1pm.

On our return after the Easter break, the normal timetable will resume, and we are awaiting a further announcement from the Government regarding mask-wearing in College – when we hear we will of course communicate this to you as soon as we can.

I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing Easter break and we look forward to welcoming students back on Monday 19th April.

Louise Henderson
Vice Principal
S6C