Parental Update Letter 26/02/2021 – Returning to College March 2021

Friday 26th February 2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

Returning to College March 2021

We are delighted to be planning the safe return of all students and staff to college from the 8th March. Staff have been briefed and are excited to welcome students back and to begin a really important process of socialisation again for everyone, placing wellbeing at the heart of everything we do. The learning will come naturally after that. I would like to reiterate the messages sent by Sarah Busby in our MLP Newsletter earlier this week. We are not going to worry about gaps in learning. There will be some gaps and misconceptions and not all students will have coped with the demands of the work during lockdown but these things can be overcome in time. S6C staff are passionate about supporting every student to  build strong relationships and connections again, and find a positive working rhythm that all young people will feel is manageable and effective. 

Year 13 students will return to college on Monday 8th March.

Year 12 students will return to college on Tuesday 9th March. 

Students will be contacted individually next week to confirm when they are scheduled for their first  voluntary lateral flow test, but students should expect to arrive at college for their normal timetabled lessons on either the Monday or Tuesday. 

Personal Safety 

Students became very accustomed to the safety procedures we have in the building and these will continue on our return.   Our processes continue to be:

  • On arrival to the building, including on the forecourt,  students will be required to  wear a face mask. They should use hand sanitiser  on entry.
  • The one way system around the building is to be respected and used at all times by all members of the community. Signage has been refreshed for clarity.
  • Hand sanitisers are on each floor of the building to be used and sani wipes are in classrooms for students to clean their hands. Hands should be washed before entering a classroom. Students are reminded of the combined importance of hands, face and space. 
  • The lift is only to be used by members of the S6C community that have a medical reason. A lift pass can be agreed by Nicky Miller with confirmation from parents/carers where appropriate.
  • Year group bubbles still apply and the allocated zones for Year 12 and 13 are still signposted for breakout spaces and the cafe area. For this term,  we have swapped the lower ground floor cafe area to be year 13 break out space and the ground floor for year 12.  All other spaces remain the same. 

Our important message that we will be reinforcing is that we expect all of our community to be  ‘socially distanced at all times where possible’

The government has made an exception to the ongoing strict lockdown so that young people can access the very clear benefits of onsite education as we enter phase 1 of moving out of lockdown. Students need to be vigilant and cautious even when they may have a negative lateral flow test – it is an indicator that you are unlikely to have COVID, but the risk is not removed.  

Wearing of face masks

As a Trust we have made the collective decision that we are following Government guidelines that schools and colleges are strongly recommended to wear face masks as at all times on site

This recommendation will remain in place at S6C until further notice and we are anticipating that we will review this at the end of Term 4 at Easter. 

This means that students will be expected to wear a mask at all times in the building. The only exceptions are :

  • physical exercise during sports lessons or actively exercising in the MUGA at break or lunchtimes
  • when students are eating or drinking 
  • If a student is able to work in the study centre where desks are 2 metres apart, a small office space for individual study,, or doing self directed study in an empty classroom where there is no other student within 2 metres of them. Study space lists are posted around the building.
  • Nicky Miller can agree to a personal exemption based on an individual’s medical needs with confirmation from parents/carers where appropriate.

It is important that all students have a spare mask in their bags in case their mask becomes soiled or damp during the day.  They should have individual, sealable plastic bags for safe storage of masks when not in use.

Staff will continue to wear face masks in all  communal areas and where they cannot maintain physical distancing of 2 metres from students or colleagues in offices or classrooms. Where staff can maintain a 2 metre distance in a classroom to teach, they will be able to teach with their mask removed.  Any movement in the classroom will require the teacher to keep a mask on and they are reminded to socially distance.  

Adjustments to the college day 

The wearing of masks for a prolonged period of time is not going to be easy for any member of our community. We all know the discomfort it can create, but we also know that this is a short term expectation that increases our safety. With that in mind, for the remainder of the term until the Easter break, the college day will be adjusted to allow for more opportunities for students and staff to go outside, get fresh air and remove their masks.  We will be actively encouraging students and staff to do so for their wellbeing. 

The college day therefore for Term 4 will be scheduled as:

Period 19.00  – 10.15
Period 210.45 – 12.00
Period 31.00 – 2.15
Period 42.45 – 4.00

Morning and afternoon break times have been extended to 30 minutes, allowing sufficient time to leave the building and be punctual again for the next lesson. Lunchtime has been extended to an hour and we will be actively encouraging our community to take fresh air and exercise.   Staff may set Spring wellbeing activities on some days for students to participate in if they wish. 

Students are reminded that once they have left  the  college premises – strict national lockdown rules apply, which, at the moment, mean that they can meet with one other person for exercise and recreation outdoors.

Exemptions 

Please can you contact nmiller@salisbury6c.ac.uk if your child has a medical exemption or may have difficulties with wearing a mask all day.  If you feel that your child might have difficulty learning if the teacher is wearing a mask please also let us know.

Safe Travel to and from College 

Masks continue to be mandatory when using public transport unless you have an exemption.  Students using public transport to get to college will need to follow the guidance detailed at; https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#public-transport

Students should be rigorous about hands, face and space when travelling, in order to protect themselves and others.

Registration for lateral flow testing

The Government is actively encouraging all students to participate in the voluntary lateral flow tests, which can help identify cases of asymptomatic covid. Students that have attended the Hub weekly have completed these with ease and no discomfort.   Students will be required to undertake three lateral flow Covid tests on their return to college, 3 – 5 days apart. After these tests have been completed, students will then be provided with test kits to complete at home.   In order for us to process these, we need to ensure that students are registered on the testing system. 

It would be really helpful for ALL students to register for their lateral flow testing before arriving on site for their first day back.  

Below is a step by step process in registering:

  1. Go to https://www.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/report-result/login-choice
  2. Click on ‘Sign In or Create An Account’
  3. Add in email address (students need to be able to access this to confirm their email address by responding to an email sent immediately)
  4. Create a password and confirm
  5. Enter their mobile number (students will need to submit the authentication code sent to them)
  6. You should then see ‘Welcome to Your Test and Trace Account’
  7. Make sure you know the password you have set up,  you will need it to register your first test.
  8. Do not go any further until you attend your first test.
  9. If you experience any problems with registration, don’t worry, Staff will be assigned to help with any issues with registering when you attend your first test.

As I am sure you will appreciate,  the required testing is a massive undertaking for the college,  so we would appreciate it if students could make every effort to attend their designated slot.  These slots will be communicated to students in the next week.

We really look forward to all students returning back on site and getting back to more normal patterns of working and interacting again. 

Yours faithfully.

Louise Henderson

Vice Principal

Weekly College Update

Friday 26th February 2021

The days are getting longer and the weather a little warmer and hope is in the air of enjoying our summer holidays this year.

Lessons have resumed online as normal this week, after what I hope has been a restful half term for you and your families.  Year 13 students have been hard at work doing their subject mocks remotely. 

Many students may be feeling anxious at this time due to government announcements about the impending return to college life and the media frenzy that has followed. Let me assure you, we are looking at all the guidance and formulating a plan to ensure the safe return of students to the S6C campus.

We  will also be analysing the formal reports from OFQUAL and the Department of Education that have been released regarding how Teacher Accessed Grades (TAGs) will work in the summer.  The role of a teacher is to inspire, motivate, encourage and educate learners and to ensure progression to the next stage of a young person’s career and while TAGs are not the norm for teachers; assessment and fair grades are part of everyday life and our teachers  are well equipped to carry out any requirements.

We will write to you with further information about how S6C will proceed later in the year. For now, please do not worry about stories or scaremongering in the press.

Best regards,

Craig
Assistant Principal

Pastoral Update – Rebecca Anderson, Pastoral Lead

We are aware that the easing of lockdown to allow for onsite education will be received in different ways – some students, and their families, will be relieved, others anxious, some with mixed feelings. We are here to make sure this transition is as safe and as smooth as possible for all, but we are also here to support individuals. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions or concerns – we can listen, advise, encourage, and work with students to make sure they are able to access a full education in a safe and settled way. We are aware from the press, and from our S6C students, that this second lockdown has been very hard for some young people, with a number struggling with anxiety, low mood, bereavement, disrupted sleep and other issues, including a rise in self harm, eating issues, and unhelpful coping strategies. We can offer self help resources in all these areas, with support sessions from the pastoral lead, and we can refer to our qualified counselling team, and external agencies as needed. Tutors are on hand to listen and support. We want our students, and their families, to feel fully cared for at this time and will do all we can to help.

Life Skills Programme

Having covered a number of covid related topics in recent weeks – online safety, managing lockdown, physical/emotional/mental wellbeing, and bereavement – and having previously celebrated Black History month, LGBTQ+ History month, British Values, and the wealth of documentaries and online resources available to us as cultural capital – as well as initial study skills advice and the science behind how we learn – this week’s resources aim to develop personal skills moving forwards. Students have all been asked to cook a meal during the week, using the tips and recipes for Cooking On A Budget. We have shared recipes for £1 meals, and for Eat for £1 A Day, for meals made in mugs, batch cooked dinners to freeze (or for large families), an adaptable curry and chilli, and lots of hints and tips for eating well at low cost. Do ask them to share the recipes and tips with you – and get them cooking! Here is just one of the links we shared: https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/budget

Budget recipes and advice

www.bbc.co.uk

Humanities Faculty Update – Sally Tye, Faculty Lead for Humanities

This week the Humanities Faculty has been delighted to welcome Taisha Picking, a trainee teacher currently working at the Trafalgar School. She has been observing lessons from RS, History, Business, English and Film and will finish the week by teaching a year 12 RS lesson on religious experience and Emmanual Kant’s central argument ‘that the finite cannot experience the infinite!’

S6C is all about learning and that includes teachers as much as students. 

STEM Faculty Update – Kirsty White, Faculty Lead for STEM 

As part of LGBT history month, Psychology students talked about the importance of acceptance, tolerance and rule of law as part of our Fundamental British Values and examined both the positive and negative impacts that psychology has had on the LGBTQ+ community and associated views and legislation. Students have explored this as part of their course, such as looking at the changing view of homosexuality as a mental illness in Psychopathology (in Year 12) and how psychological theories like classical conditioning have been used in harmful ways to create ‘conversion therapy’ in Issues and Debates (in Year 13). This activity enabled students to go beyond this and allowed students to produce a huge range of content; the mental effects of coming out, the mental effects of homophobia, the removal of homosexuality from mental health diagnostic manuals, the work of Evelyn Hooker, the neuroscience of LGBT, animal studies of homosexuality, psychological ‘therapies’ and much more. During lessons, students presented their findings to each other, demonstrating excellent communication and employability skills.

Careers – Rosie Roberts, Careers Lead

We are actively encouraging our students to use Careerpilot to support their Career Education and help them become managers of their own careers. Careerpilot have a dedicated Parent Zone where you can watch videos and find all you need to on your young person’s Career choices. You can also take-a-look around the Careerpilot website and encourage your young person to take part in the many free to use activities. We encourage parents to explore Careerpilot and the other websites listed above to look at all post-18 options and see up to date labour market information on career options. You can read more about what labour market information is on the careers page of our website https://www.salisbury6c.ac.uk/students/careers/   If you would like any further advice directly, please contact rroberts@salisbury6c.ac.uk

Weekly College Update

Friday 12th February 2021

It has been an extraordinary term and one that none of us are ever likely to forget. The uncertainty of remaining closed and not having face to face teaching and contact has meant that staff have taken new steps into the unknown and tried with great enthusiasm and nerves in creating more collaboration with our students in lessons.  We know from our drop ins to live lessons this term, that students are really embracing the opportunity to share their knowledge and understanding with others,  and are enjoying the software they are using, like breakout rooms in Google Meet allowing them to work together.  Has it all run smoothly? No, but students have supported staff and remained well humoured when at times reminding us to turn our microphone back on, or waited whilst our pets stop barking or someone has arrived with a delivery at our door.  Never would we have imagined that education would have looked like this. 

Remaining connected is important to us – it reflects the ethos of our community of ‘togetherness’  and I am truly grateful for everyone’s commitment which extends to our wonderful parental community. Thank you for your support in keeping our community safe and connected. 

Staff and students are tired, but I hope that everyone can get the well deserved rest needed over the February half term.  I will write to parents and students on our return as the Government announces their decisions around the reopening of college and details about the Teacher Assessments for the summer term. 

With very best wishes,

Louise

Pastoral Support – Rebecca Anderson, Pastoral Lead

Pastoral and Safeguarding Support over Half Term. We would like to wish everyone a safe and happy half term break. Year 13s especially may have some study to do but we would also like everyone to be taking time for exercise, family, relaxation and lockdown-friendly activities. We have shared some ideas for viewing, creating and engaging with interests, for students who may be at a loose end. Students are reminded to stay safe online, and to be kind to themselves, those around them, and each other.

Wellbeing

A reminder that although the site is closed, and our Learning Hub will not be running during the break, information on Wellbeing – physical, emotional, and mental, can be accessed on the Information Classroom by all students; these resources include contact numbers for support lines and messaging, both in crisis or just in need of some contact – support can be accessed 24/7 using these services. Anyone can contact the specially trained safeguarding team with a concern about an S6C student, and these emails are checked even when the site is closed. Please do email safeguarding@salisbury6c.ac.uk if you have any concerns about the wellbeing or safety of a young person.

Life Skills 

We are aware that members of our S6C community have lost loved ones in recent times, due to covid or other illness, and we offer our sympathy and best wishes. This week we shared practical resources for times of bereavement, or for supporting others through grief, and encouraged all students to take a look.  This presentation is available here.

It contains resources for people of all ages and walks of life and may be of some help to our wider S6C community.

LGBTQ+ History Month

S6C are proud to support LGBTQ+ history month and have shared some resources with students to help educate and celebrate.

Take a look at this history teacher explaining the importance of awareness months for LGBTQ+ and BAME history (he suggests that under 18s should ask for parental permission) https://youtu.be/QS0Ny1wf_74
And here is the link to the LGBTQ+ History Month 2021 website with links to resources for students, parents and community. https://lgbtplushistorymonth.co.uk/

Year 12 Business – Catherine Pennington, Teacher of Business

Year 12 Business students have been learning about Marketing, sustainability and online shopping. A fun task this week was to style Catherine Pennington for a cold weather day, for less than £100, online shopping only, recycled if possible. `The class voted on the best outfit. Catherine bought her favourite outfit put together by Jess Billington. Catherine would like to send a thank you  to Jess and confirms she will wear the outfit on the return to college. 

£98.44 Hat, scarf, gloves, boots, coat, jumper and trousers.

Psychology – Kirsty White, Faculty Lead for STEM

In Psychology, we have been exploring Issues and Debates and how they relate to the wider world. Year 13s recently watched ‘Three Identical Strangers’. Louise Pharo, who is going to University to study Psychology next year, summarises how we used it in class. “Recently in psychology we looked at the case of ‘Three Identical Strangers’, which is something you may have seen or heard about from the media (if you haven’t I’d definitely recommend the documentary as it’s so interesting!). They were identical triplets, separated at birth when they were adopted and raised by different families in different cities. We discussed it in class and linked it to the nature-nurture debate, looking at how different the twins were and how much of an influence our environment and nurturing has on our behaviour or whether it is controlled more by our biology and genetics. It was amazing being able to see and apply what we were studying to the outside world and to real life. Applying psychology to the real world is good because wherever there are people you’ll be able to see what you’re studying, perhaps even in your own lives. This not only makes the subject all the more interesting and makes you more eager to learn, but also gives a greater understanding on something as complex as the human mind and why we behave and in the ways we do, which is fascinating.”

Baking club – Dr Sally Tye, Faculty Lead for Humanities 

In the baking club this week we made Cherry Bakewell Cupcakes – something creative to relax our minds and keep our loved ones happy with everyone working from home. With the club running online, we actively encourage more students to take part with Sally’s guidance to create some family favourites.

Salisbury Journal Article – Richard Eno, Faculty Lead for Creative Faculty

If you haven’t had the opportunity to read this article, Rich Eno was interviewed by the Salisbury Journal about S6C’s online provision and adapting to lockdown.  

https://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/19069066.salisbury-college-adapted-online-learning/

If you would like to read last week’s update, click here: https://www.salisbury6c.ac.uk/weekly-college-update-2/

Weekly College Update

Friday 5th February 2021

I hope that all families have had a good week and are enjoying the lighter nights as we say goodbye to January. Our opportunity to exercise daily has also allowed us to see some wonderful sunrises and sunsets and the early signs of spring as many plants are already blooming in our gardens and local parks. There Is much to hope for in the weeks to come, as the national vaccination programme has marked the significant milestone of vaccinating more than 10 million people. With many of our most vulnerable in society becoming protected with their first vaccination, there is great expectation that society will begin to return to something that resembles a more normal pattern by early March.

The Government is still anticipating that schools and colleges will begin to reopen in England from 8th March, and we are awaiting guidance that is likely to come in the next few weeks. Until that point we will continue to support, challenge and guide all students in their remote learning, pastoral care and careers guidance.

We are awaiting the decisions of the consultations about the awarding of GCSE, A Level and Vocational and Technical qualifications. The clarification and decisions about how teacher grades will be calculated is likely to be a number of weeks away yet, but I would like to reassure all students, parents and carers that staff are ensuring that we are tracking student progress diligently and are working towards the preparation of the summer ‘Tests’ that students will sit. We are confident that students are working hard and staff are making good progress in delivering the curriculum content.

Wishing you all a restful weekend. I hope the updates provide interesting information to parents and carers and allow us to celebrate some great opportunities occurring in the curriculum.

Louise

Online Working  – Rebecca Anderson, Pastoral Lead

  • We have reminded students of our Guidelines and Expectations for Safe and Effective Online Learning at S6C.  By using the college systems to collaborate together, we know students remain in a safe environment  – please do take a look. Guidelines and Expectations for Online Learning at S6C
  • Life Skills

In Life Skills this week we encouraged everyone to settle in for the afternoon and watch one of our recommended documentaries – a wide range of platforms and subjects, recommended by staff, so everyone should have been able to find something.  This is part of our shared cultural capital – resources that help us understand and engage with the world around us – which should be an element of any education.

  • Mental Health  Awareness

We are very pleased to be able to share a selection of information leaflets provided by the new early intervention Mental Health Support Team (MHST). S6C is part of a trial for this new scheme and we are very glad to be able to offer our students this 1:1 support and additional advice. Please get in touch with any pastoral concerns and we will offer support via tutors, pastoral lead, our highly trained independent counsellors, or external agencies. Do take a look at their top tips for parents navigating lockdown and for getting good sleep.

Parents support guide for Lockdown

Sleep Hygiene Leaflet

Humanities Faculty Update – Sally Tye, Head of Humanities Faculty

Speaker Programme 

  • As part of our Speaker Programme throughout the college year which bring ‘real life’ experience’ to the classroom for our A Level and BTEC Business students, we were joined by Beth Harris, a Bournemouth University Student Ambassador, studying a BA(Hons) in Marketing Communication. Beth led a workshop on Wednesday discussing careers in marketing and university life. She took us through the key principles of marketing, discussed the importance of the creative element of business, outlined her course and then gave the students a view of the real ‘nitty, gritty’ of university life. A real ‘force of boundless energy’, she made us think about the decisions that need to be made over the next 18 months. Beth was clear about the importance of not being afraid to take a risk, change your mind and gave us advice on making the best of university, even during a pandemic!

Revision Blast

  • Year 13 Business students joined a live Revision Blast on Tuesday with over 250 other business students around the country at a Tutor2U event.  The chat was fast and furious, students responding to questions on YouTube.  Our students will also be able to use this as a revision resource when they watch back. Louis Saunders, year 12 told us that it was great fun because it was LIVE.

Discussing Philosophy

  • As part of children’s mental health week, Year 12 RS students put down their pens for an hour this week to do some ‘real’ philosophy. We took advantage of the online experience, to sit in a comfy chair with a coffee, tea or hot chocolate and discuss an extract on the ‘Mind’ from an amazing little book called ‘Think’ by Simon Blackburn. This is one of the recommended reading choices from Oxford University to prepare for philosophy interviews. Our students were incredible, we had a whole hour of amazing thoughts and insights with hardly any teacher input. I have already noticed such a difference in this week’s essays!

ARTiculation – Laurence Rushby, Teacher of Art

Laurence Rusby has been working hard with her students this week on various projects, in particular  ARTiculation which is explained further here: ARTiculation Workshop Evidence

Apprenticeships Week – Rosie Roberts, Student Liaison Officer

  • It’s National Apprenticeships Week next week so lots of materials will be shared on the Google Information Classroom for students to engage with in their independent study period. Year 13s who are interested in securing an apprenticeship should regularly check the Information Classroom for apprenticeship vacancies and sign up for alerts from the Find an Apprenticeship website (https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship) as some employers are recruiting now for summer/September start dates. All Year 12s should also take some time to look at the Apprenticeships material being shared in the Information Classroom from 8th – 14th February.
  • There are two options for students interested in securing an apprenticeship: 1) complete college courses in year 13 and then find an intermediate apprenticeship by regularly looking on https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship and work up from there 2) use the coming weeks to look for an advanced or higher apprenticeship using the apprenticeship fair and opportunities shared with students on the Information Classroom during National Apprenticeship Week.

If you would like to read last week’s update, click here: Weekly College Update 29th January

Weekly College Update

Friday 29th January

I would like to thank all our Parents / Carers and students for their participation in last week’s surveys. We have reflected on your comments and we hope that you have found us responsive in addressing any points that you may have raised that will ensure that the learning experience is good for your son / daughter.

Here is an overview of the results of the survey:
99% of parents are happy with communication being clear about how remote learning is accessed
95% of parents are happy that Personal Wellbeing support has been accessible when needed or available if required
99% of students are either fully engaged (83%) or partially engaged (16%)
89% of parents believe teaching has been excellent

Although we are very pleased with how most of the lessons are being delivered and engaged in, we all know there is no substitute for face to face lessons. This along with another period of isolation at home is having an impact on student wellbeing – including creating a lot of anxiety for some. The pastoral team will have been in touch to help identify further support we can offer for those that have reached out to let us know.

Unsurprisingly, families are facing greater pressure on their broadband as more families are now working at home. The Government IT support schemes have now extended to college students and we have been able to distribute SIM cards to students to help improve their access.

We now know that we will not return until March 8th at the earliest, and although that is disappointing, we want every family and every student to know we are here to support in any way we can. The college remains open to receive emails and telephone calls to maintain contact and to be able to stay in touch if you need us. No issue is too small, so please let us know if you think we can do anything else to help.

Wishing you all a restful weekend,

Louise

Pastoral Updates – Rebecca Anderson

I was really pleased that this week I was messaged with a number of questions from students, which had actually already been answered in the previous weeks’ Life Skills sessions on Wellbeing and on Next Steps – this shows that our Life Skills programme is covering information that students need and want. It does also show that not all students are engaging with the material – so tutors are working hard to encourage all students to stay connected online. We are making some small changes to our messaging, to help students follow the stream in the Information Classroom. It is really important that students have their notifications on – we only post high quality, relevant material – they should make a habit of scrolling back every Monday to check they haven’t missed anything. No one ever regrets being really well informed.

All S6C lessons are live, but Life Skills material is posted every Wednesday, for both year groups to look at, usually with a small task so they have to get their head around it and we can follow up. This week we are running a live tutor session so students can catch up in virtual breakout rooms and chat about how their lockdown is going. We are suggesting they share tips for relaxation and unwinding – books, films, tv, games, apps, free courses and activities, exercise programmes etc – and that they look at this excellent guide for young people about managing lockdown. Some will be flying and others really struggling – or experiencing a bit of both – as will their families, along with staff, and the rest of our communities. This resource contains some excellent advice for lots of different possible feelings about lockdown – we are all in this together so do take a look yourselves and pass the link on to anyone that may find it helpful. https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/for-children-and-young-people/coronavirus/managing-feelings-about-changes-to-lockdown/

As ever, if students are struggling, or are concerned about a friend, they should get in touch with their tutor or myself, as the pastoral lead. We can offer support for emotional, mental and physical wellbeing, financial concerns, help with managing stress/identity/emotions/confidence, study skills support, eating, sleep, drugs & alcohol, consent, online safety – all sorts of things – either through 1:1 chats, resource sharing, self help sessions, or referrals to our amazing counsellors, the early intervention mental health team, Camhs, or a variety of specialist services. It’s good to talk.

Psychology students were invited to attend an optional day-long seminar on ‘ – Kirsty White, Faculty Lead for STEM

Psychology students were invited to attend an optional day-long seminar on ‘Your Future in Psychology’, hosted by the British Psychological Society (BPS). The day included webinars from specialists in numerous fields in Psychology. A number of Year 12 and Year 13 students attended and found the day to be exciting and insightful. Year 13 student Hannah Coleman, who has applied to study Psychology at university, has written the following review: After attending the BPS ‘Your Future in Psychology’ webinar, I am genuinely inspired by the passion of the members of the BPS. As I am studying A level Psychology, and planning to go to University to study a degree in Psychology, I thought after Kirsty mentioned this event, it would be a good idea to attend, and it certainly did not disappoint! The day involved several different talks from experts in the field of Psychology, as well as a talk about transitioning to degree level and a Q&A session at the end of the day. Each of the speakers gave insightful talks about topics they are involved in, such as Dr Robert A. Nash’s talk about why false memories stick around, linking nicely with the topic of Memory in Paper 1. Professor Matt Field spoke about addiction, which I am looking forward to studying later in upper sixth, as well as Professor Veena Kumari’s talk about Schizophrenia, and myths that schizophrenics are aggressive, but in fact, much of their behaviour is as a result of feeling threatened. Dr Nikhil Sengupta spoke about large scale panel studies of the Psychology of inequality, how we perceive our communities to be equal, and how this has an effect on our self esteem. Overall, the event gave me some great insight into Psychology at a degree level, and I cannot wait to be part of the BPS community! I would definitely recommend this event to those of you who are interested in Psychology post college, a really interesting and thought provoking event, likely to get you even more excited about studying Psychology!

Students continue to collaborate with peers and teachers –  Rich Eno, Faculty Lead for Creative

Staff have been producing many  interactive and engaging lessons during the current lockdown. Our Art and Photography teacher, Laurence Rushby, has produced some exciting lessons where students are busy making a variety of art based pieces whilst at home.  In addition, we’ve all been using a wide range  of Google Education apps to ensure our lessons are engaging. For example, many of our staff use a Google Jamboard where students share ideas in a visual manner. The larger image of the Jamboard is a dialogue of feedback of what students have completed in self directed study since their last lesson.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Business – Steve Price – Teacher of Business and Sally Tye Humanities Faculty Lead

S6C began delivering the newly reformed BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in September 2019. Equivalent of 3 A Levels, it is often seen as a route to apprenticeship and employment. However Thirteen of the cohort of fifteen have made applications for University places, all have offers, one of them unconditional. Amongst them we have three students with offers from Cardiff and Exeter, Russell Group Universities. All have offers from universities with strong reputations for business, including Portsmouth, Royal Holloway, UWE, Winchester and Bournemouth.  

The BTEC Business Level 3 Extended Diploma has offered our students a new pathway and opportunity to achieve, whether at college or learning through the medium of ‘live’ online lessons. As we see the arguments of the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on what is defined as ‘a lost generation’ played out in the national media, we would argue that S6C students are special.  Despite the significant challenge and  disruption the education system and S6C have faced, as with all our  students, the Year 13 BTEC cohort have shown real resilience, desire and drive to achieve. We are immensely proud of their efforts, aspirations  and quality of work achieved so far and we feel it is fitting to highlight to our community  how well they are doing.

Careers Update – Rosie Roberts – Student Liaison and Publicity Officer

  • Local apprenticeship vacancies that Year 13 students may be interested in are being uploaded in the Google Information Classroom. Go to the Classwork tab at the top of the page > Careers > Apprenticeships Vacancies.
  • New Virtual Work Experience opportunities have been added in the Google Information Classroom in Classwork > Careers > Work Experience.
  • There are a range of live online careers talks on offer every week and links to these are being posted every Monday in the Google Information Classroom message stream.

We would like to get in touch with S6C alumni to be able to share their career journeys since leaving S6C with our current students. If you know someone who studied at S6C who would like to update us on what they’re doing now please ask them to email Rosie: rroberts@salisbury6c.ac.uk This month we are particularly looking for Alumni who have completed or who are completing apprenticeships ahead of Apprenticeship week 8-14 February 2021 and also female Alumni who are studying or employed in a Science area or a STEM related field ahead of International Day of Women and Girls in Science on 11 February 2021.

If you would like to read last week’s update, click here: Weekly College Update 22nd January

Weekly College Update

Friday 22nd January

It’s been a really busy week of learning at S6C and we have been so impressed with the efforts of the students and the staff.   

I would like to thank both parents and carers, and students for their responses sent in already to our remote learning survey. We have received 60 parental responses already and the vast majority of students are having a successful learning experience. It is wonderful to read the positive feedback and once the survey is closed on Tuesday we will share with the staff. I know it will be uplifting for them to hear the difference they are making. 

A small number of concerns have been raised regarding IT needs, pastoral support or delivery style. These have already been noted and the team will work quickly to resolve these and help improve the experience we want for all our young people. 

If you have not already completed the survey, please do let us know how well we are doing, and how we can help so that we can try and improve the learning experience.

Parent Survey January 2021
Student Survey January 2021

Wishing you all a restful weekend,

Louise

COVID Vaccination Volunteers Support Mass Testing – Jo Mason, Teacher of Health and Social Care

The Salisbury Medical Practice contacted S6C to ask for student volunteers to help on Saturday 16th January with the Covid vaccination process. This was a very exciting opportunity for our students, particularly those who intend to progress in careers within Health and Social Care. 

There were limited places so it was a race to see how quickly the students could confirm that they would be able to commit their time. Nina Dyson, Assica Thapa, Megan Wilde, Sukriti Gurung,  Mere Makasiale and Ashleigh Cutler jumped at the opportunity.  Following a training day at Salisbury Cathedral the students met with the organisers on Saturday morning to begin assisting with the vaccination process.

Sky news broadcast of vaccinations in Salisbury

Our students had an amazing experience- which they have shared here – S6C Covid-19 Information

Testing

Lateral Flow Testing has started at S6C with students and staff. Here is a short video of the testing process with Craig Chambers,  Assistant Principal having his twice weekly test and Lisa Rodway our Science Technician carrying out the process.

Lateral Flow Testing at S6C

Enrichment  –  Luke Muchmore, Teacher of Sport Studies and Clubs and Societies lead

S6C continue to offer a range of Clubs and Societies to all students each week.  Are you aware that we are focusing a number on wellbeing? We have Yoga with Hanna,  Creative with Rebecca, and Online baking with Sally. As these are running online, there are not limited spaces and we encourage students to participate, have fun and learn some new skills.  Contact Luke for further details. 

All sports students are partaking in a weekly fitness challenge – 100 burpees last week, circuit training this week and 5km run next week – the results of the winners can be found on the S6C Sport Instagram Sport@S6C.  For the  Duke of Edinburgh,  activities are still going ahead with some of the sections such as skills (cooking, guitar) and physical (running, personal fitness).

Life Skills – Rebecca Anderson,  Pastoral Lead

This week in Life Skills we shared some important careers notices with Year 12 and 13 and would really appreciate parents/carers taking a look at the information so you can support your young person. Year 12 had a few tasks regarding Thinking about Next Steps – and most importantly, a link to a virtual University and Apprenticeships Fair next Wednesday.

Students need to register and we expect everyone to attend. Parents can register separately if they wish. Year 13 had notices about Current Info on Finding Apprenticeships, and, Accepting Uni Offers, Student Finance, Accommodation etc, and a reminder that it isn’t too late to apply. Again, please do take a look. All the links you need are in the presentation.

Life Skills 20th January Presentation

Supporting Student resources – Sally Tye, Faculty Lead for Humanities.

It is important to us that we continue to support all students regardless of circumstances. There are a number of students that have been given the option to come into college to the Hub. However beyond this, if financial situations have changed and students require new or additional equipment please get in touch with subject teachers. This may include copies of textbooks, books for further reading and coursework (their NEA), calculators and art equipment. We can arrange COVID secure collection.   Similarly, if you need help with wifi pressures at home we can allocate SIM cards to students in need to provide additional data. If you are struggling for any reason please let our subject teachers, tutors or Rebecca Anderson  know and we will do our best to support you.

Work Experience for Year 12s – Rosie Roberts, Student Liaison and Publicity Officer

All students are tasked with sourcing and participating in the equivalent of three day’s Meaning Employer Engagement (otherwise known as work experience) before the end of the Autumn term of their second year. This will allow evidence of experience of work in an area relevant to a students  career aspirations or, if they are undecided on their career goal.  

We will support students to source work experience placement by sharing all the placements in the Student Information Classroom.  If they would like work experience in a particular sector that they cannot find in any of these links listed here or in the Information Classroom then please contact Rosemarie Roberts and we will help  search online for other opportunities. January updates of opportunities can be found here

Parental Letter 18/01/21

Dear Parents / Carers,

Exams update for A level and Vocational Technical Qualifications

In previous letters we said that we would keep you fully informed of developments, in relation to exams and assessments as they became available to us. On Friday,  details were released by the Department of Education regarding a suggested set of approaches for assessment  that will be put forward for consultation. 

Both the GCSE and A  Level Consultation and the Vocational Technical Qualifications (VTQ’s) Consultation closes at 11:45pm on 29 January 2021.

In summary, these suggestions include:  

  • A confirmation that grades will be based on teacher judgements.   These judgements must be based on evidence.
  • Grades need to show what students know, understand and can do, so  internal exams are most likely to be used to assess the  standard of students’ work
  • Teacher assessment is most likely to take place during May and late June; students are encouraged to continue with their learning in full as far as possible till then.
  • Teachers should base their judgement on a range of evidence: eg mocks, NEA, substantial candidate work  and externally-set tasks
  • Non Examined Assessments should be taken into account (such as the coursework students complete in a range of subjects)
  • Quality Assurance will be done internally by college leaders AND also externally by the exam boards such as  sample marking to check grades awarded.
  • There will be no algorithm used to determine grades.  
  • The date for submission of grades by colleges will be made as late as possible.  
  • Grades should be derived from content taught and not from the entire course. There may be advance notice of exam content to address lost learning time in college
  • Vocational qualifications such as Cambridge Nationals and BTECs, will be awarded in a similar manner to GCSE qualifications
  • Results may be issued as early as July 

Now we know this, we need to be absolutely clear that it is vital that students keep working to their full potential. Whilst exams are not running in the usual way, students may be assessed on course material that they have been taught when they have been at college, and also when they have been learning remotely. 

The decisions made from the consultation process are important, so the responses are also welcome from students,  and parents and carers. 

Please find links to the documents that have been summarised: 

Consultation on how GCSE, AS and A level grades should be awarded in summer 2021

Online response to the GCSE and A Level consultation

Alternative arrangements for the award of VTQs and other general qualifications in 2021 

Online response to the VTQ consultation

Please be aware that these are only broad proposal guidelines at the moment and will be going through the consultation process and are subject to change. We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that students have the best quality of provision possible and that they are well supported over their final months at S6C. 

Thank you for your continued support and as soon as we know more we will again get in touch.

Yours sincerely,

Louise Henderson

Vice Principal

Parental Letter – 15/01/21

15 January 2021

Dear Parents / Carers,

I would like to start by thanking you for your ongoing support through such difficult times. For many parents / carers you will be feeling such disappointment in the way your son / daughter’s education has been affected by the lockdown in March and subsequently this academic year.   The decisions around the colleges opening and learning experiences have been put through incredible pressure this term by rapidly changing government decisions, and we know this can be unsettling to everybody.  I would like to reassure you that at S6C, comes the most dedicated and passionate staff that want to fulfill their roles in being the best educators that they can be. 

Remote learning

Our students are now very familiar with our Google Classroom resource area and Google Chat function to participate in live lessons.  We are delighted by the level of engagement we are seeing in our online classes this term.  Most students are able to connect to lessons and are participating with enthusiasm. 

Staff are planning to deliver engaging lessons that stretch and challenge students, and allow students to build on their previous knowledge and understanding gained.  Work is being marked online, mainly through Google Classroom and students are able to receive feedback on their progress and their next steps for development.  All staff will continue to set self directed study to allow students to be actively engaged in their independent work. A copy of our remote learning expectations linked to the Department for Education guidelines can be found here.

In weekly online faculty meetings, staff are working collaboratively to share good practice in their delivery of lessons.  Staff are reviewing how we can make lessons more interactive and how we can increase collaboration and discussion.  We feel this is an important area that we want to continue to develop; it is so important working from home that we stay connected to each other and are not working in isolation.   This works best when students are at least able to have a working microphone ideally on a computer or laptop so they can engage more easily in discussions.  It is important to let us know if there are concerns about accessing lessons and we will endeavour to try and help.  The college has applied for SIm cards that we will be able to distribute where broadband is being stretched to capacity at home whilst multiple devices are being used by the family. We may also be able to support the access of devices, so please do get in touch with Rebecca Anderson  if you need help.  Alternatively,  the government guidelines have been updated to allow  students to attend college if they have IT issues. Please let us know if this is something you wish to discuss.

Next week we will be sending out a survey to gather your views about the learning experience each young person is getting. It will help us to review what we are doing well and to look at adjustments we may need to make.

GCSE results

Despite the disruption to learning between March and the end of the last academic year, we entered our students in the GCSE English and Maths classes for a November entry.  With only a 6 week window of intensive work we hoped to provide an important experience for the students to at least aim to match the centre assessed grade they were awarded last year. This was an important foundation milestone to build on.   I am delighted that all students did achieve that, with a number of students getting their grade 4 pass and some achieving a grade 5 pass, which shows exceptional progress. One year 13 student also sat their GCSE Maths from an entry grade of a 5 to aim for a university entry that required a grade 6, and we are incredibly proud that this grade was achieved. Well done to all our students for their hard work.  

Lateral flow testing

The college has been busy training staff to participate in the testing of lateral flow tests for students attending the Hub and for the staff present on site.  The process has been led very efficiently and competently by our support team, and I would like to publicly thank them for undertaking such an important role in safety for our college community.  We will put together a short video next week to demonstrate the process and will share that in our news feed for you. 

Pastoral and Life Skills: 

Students and parents/carers are reminded to keep in touch with us and update us if there are any changes in your young person’s wellbeing (physical, mental, emotional, or family). We can offer support if we know. 

We’d also like to remind parents/carers to let us know if your young person has tested positive for covid, or is self isolating at the request of the test and trace system – we have to send these details to national data reporting, and we’d also like to know so we can offer support and take it into account in your studies. Please call the college on 01722 597970 or email office@salisbury6c.ac.uk. 

We know that some students are facing difficult times with family illness or financial worries – please be quick to let us know if we can help. This week in Life Skills students were asked to take a tour of the Wellbeing section of our Student Information Classroom and identify where they’ find info on 24/7 support, college support, physical exercise programmes, help with sleep, tips for mental and emotional wellbeing in lockdown, online safety, and other issues. We think that knowing where to find high quality information could change lives – either theirs or that of a friend/family member, now or in the future. We’d really appreciate it if you could remind your young person to take a look and fill out the form that shows they’ve engaged – it’ll only take them half an hour and no one regrets being well informed! 

There are so many sources of excellent support on the internet – this one is great for young and old and reminds us how we can look after ourselves and others in this difficult time.

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus-covid-19-staying-at-home-tips/

I would like to wish you all a very restful and safe weekend. 

Yours sincerely,

Louise Henderson
Vice Principal