Weekly College Update

Friday 12th November 2021

As the nights start to draw in, exams are once again being completed at S6C. This time it was the turn of the GCSE Maths students. On the week starting Monday 29th November, Year 13 will be completing their Mock Exams and planning is now underway for this and students will shortly receive the timetable. 

We are in the process of getting our new prospectus and course booklets delivered to the local Secondary Schools in readiness for our second Open Evening on Tuesday 23rd November

Thank you in advance to parents for agreeing to let your young person take part. This is an integral part of the evening with prospective students being able to get relevant information from peers that have lived through the transition to sixth form. Following the last open evening, we had some wonderful feedback from attendees about the exceptional work the student ambassadors did and we look forward to the same for this open evening. 

We received the final report from our external quality assurance reviews and further details can be found below from Louise, along with pastoral, enrichment and faculty news.

Have a great weekend. 

Craig Chambers
Assistant Head of College

External Quality Reviews – Louise Henderson, Head of College

Behaviour and Attitudes

On the 4th and 5th November we had visiting reviewers to validate the quality of behaviour and values in the college.  They visited lessons, met with staff and interacted with students in forum groups, in lessons and in different communal areas of the college, talking to nearly 100 students over the 2 days.  The feedback we have received has recognised how exceptional S6C is as a community, and how the culture and ethos of the college is student centred – that every student’s experience really is ‘All about them’.

Key highlights identified

  • ​​High expectations are clearly set out to learners at the start of the academic year in terms of behaviour. This is evidenced by exemplary behaviour in lessons where learners are respectful to staff and their peers. Learners can articulate that expectations are set in an initial induction period.
  • Learners can articulate clear new learnt behaviours such as independence, confidence and self-led study skills. They articulate that they feel as if they are treated as young adults and note the difference between the sixth form college and school.
  • Students are proud of the work they produce, are able to articulate the work they had created and can explain how they had been encouraged to try new skills.
  • Learners are polite and respectful in both the classroom setting as well as in the communal areas.
  •  Learners in a number of lessons and the focus group articulate that they feel supported well and believe the provider’s mission ‘It’s all about you’ flows through. 
  • Learners provide evidence that the programme of learning they received during lockdown was excellent. Staff were ahead of the game and Google Classroom was set up pre-lockdown so that all lessons were able to continue following their curriculum plans and attend lessons remotely.
  • The enrichment programme has seen development over this year, more learners are engaging and the programme is adapted to meet the learners needs
  • The majority of learners can articulate their progression plans. For example, many of the learners are planning to go to university, take a gap year or complete a higher apprenticeship.
  • Learners feel that the staff care about them and feel very well supported from personal tutors and the pastoral lead. This results in learners getting the support required in most cases. Staff show genuine care for the learners and are proud of what they achieve. Staff highlight examples such as learners volunteering in the community, working confidently with peers and producing high level work.

Areas for development

  • Attendance and punctuality of some learners is not in line with college expectations. As a result a newly appointed attendance officer will be working with teaching staff on improving accountability with students. This will be launched with students in the weeks ahead.
  • The 1:2:1 tutor meetings held termly need to be reviewed to incorporate the same experience for all learners which is currently not consistent. Some students are also receiving an academic review so the process will change to provide a holistic experience for all students. This will include a review of attendance, engagement,  progress and barriers in learning and progression planning.  

To be told by the reviewers that the behaviour seen was better than any other college they had visited makes me incredibly proud, and I hope it makes you feel the same way.  

Governor visits

We have had three  Governor visits in college in the last few weeks, having the opportunity to review teaching and learning and the personal development of our students, as well as joining the senior leadership team in strategic planning and discussions. Governors have reviewed our action plans and spoken directly to students about their learning experiences.  They are delighted that students are enjoying being back in college and enjoying their learning experience, and  they are confident that we have a strong focus on the areas we are targeting.  Across the MLP Trust we have a commitment to work with our young people on ‘Closing the gap’, and staff are working with ALL our students to support the identification of learning gaps that have come about from the impact of Covid.     

Armistice Day – Rebecca Anderson, Pastoral Lead

S6C paused for a two minute reflection on remembrance and peace at 11am on the 11th, with a series of images supporting this important moment of stillness.

British Values – Rebecca Anderson, Pastoral Lead

Year 12 and Year 13 tutor groups have been considering fundamental British Values in Life Skills – it is so easy for us to take these global values for granted if we live in one of the many countries that offers the protections of the rule of law, democracy, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of each other’s protected characteristics (such as faith, belief, age, gender, and sexuality).

We considered the nature of regimes that do not hold these values, and reasons why refugees might flee to countries that uphold them, and also the way the values interact with each other. We also talked about the importance of being able to identify extremist beliefs, and arrange support for those who might be in danger of holding damaging views, such as anti semitism, Islamophobia, or white supremacy.

Year 13 extended last year’s reflections with discussion on the danger of extremist views such as the anti-vax conspiracies, and considered whether the word ‘tolerant’ is adequate to describe the acceptance we should have towards the faith and beliefs of others.

We were very proud of the insight and maturity of our young people in their consideration of these key elements of society and citizenship; we are committed to a college ethos where these values are not just understood, but lived out, by all members of our S6C community. 

Psychology – Kirsty White, Faculty Lead for STEM

On Wednesday 3rd November, we were lucky enough to welcome back Dr Alex Corcoran from the NHS. He delivered a similar talk on NHS careers and basic medical skills to Year 12 students that Year 13s experienced before half-term.

The session provided excellent advice and guidance on how to enter careers in the NHS, the different routes that students can take and the types of job roles (all summed up in a wonderful booklet – copies can be found in the Health & Social Care and Psychology classrooms, and the Study Centre). The Year 12s were dynamic and enthusiastic and wrote excellent questions to ask Dr Corcoran. We hope that this experience will continue to drive students’ aspirations!

Health & Social Care – Jo Mason, Teacher of Health & Social Care

Starting from December, when Rachel Fernandez turns 18 or possibly sooner, she has been offered a position at Salisbury District Hospital within the obstetrics theatres. She will be  required to work full days during the week which would be Wednesdays and Fridays.

This will be invaluable in helping Rachel to gain experience in a hospital setting and will have the opportunity to be able to observe operations and possibly births which will help towards her university application. We are delighted to celebrate this news with our college community. 

ESports enrichment – Nathan David, Teacher of ESports

This past Wednesday saw the mid-way point for our Esports Students in their British Esports Association Champs competition for the Winter, and what a Wednesday it was!

The teams produced the ‘perfect Wednesday’ as our Rocket League team beat Newcastle-under-Lyme School 3-0, whilst the Valorant team beat Llandrillo College 13-0.

This leaves the Rocket League team top and unbeaten of their group and the Valorant team with a respectable W2-L2 Record. Fixtures take place immediately after Esports Enrichment (3-4pm) until 6pm in TF02 – please do come up and join in!

Baking Club – Dr Sally Tye, Faculty Lead for Humanities

This week Baking Club made Jamaican Beef Patties, as well as getting their mincemeat ready for making mince pies.