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.
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
- 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!
- 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.
- 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