Please find below our online handbook for students and parents
The handbook is divided into four sections (please click on links below) :
A quick overview of the content of each section can be found in the table below:
EXPECTATIONS AND GUIDELINES
CARE FOR STUDENTS
COLLEGE STAFF, RESOURCES AND FACILITIES
EDUCATION AND PROGRESSION
EXPECTATIONS AND GUIDELINES
The College Charter outlines what you can expect from the College and what the College expects from you as a student.
COLLEGE MISSION AND VISION
The College’s mission is to provide suitably qualified 16 to 19 year olds wishing to pursue full time academic general education in the Colchester area with a supportive and inclusive environment, in which they are able to acquire the necessary qualifications, talents and skills vital for success in their adult lives. Our vision is to be the first choice for these students and to deliver to them the highest quality educational experience, the broadest possible curriculum and the strongest pastoral and enrichment support within the resources available.
The College will support these aims by offering you:
- A broad and balanced educational experience
- A high-quality teaching and learning experience, which allows each individual to fulfil their academic potential
- A structure of tutorial and pastoral support for the individual that encourages all students to realise their potential, cope with difficulties, and develop their talents fully.
- A lively and stimulating student community with which students can identify and in which they are encouraged to participate.
- An inclusive, mutually respectful environment where diversity is celebrated
- High quality accommodation and a well-kept environment specifically designed for sixth form study.
- High expectations from staff of all students.
COLLEGE EXPECTATIONS OF ALL STUDENTS
As well as appreciating your rights and opportunities, it is important that you have a clear understanding of our requirements and expectations, which will enable you to make a success of your time with us.
We expect that you will:
- Engage with your programme of study and accept responsibility for your learning, with the support of your Personal Tutor and Subject Tutors.
- Engage with the College community, which consists of all students and all staff and volunteers, and be respectful, tolerant and courteous at all times
- Ensure that your behaviour, both in person and on-line, promotes equality, diversity and inclusion and never has a detrimental impact on other members of the community
The principles above should guide your attitude and behaviour at College. It is important to recognise that, unlike at school, we do not have a set of rules and we do not have sanctions such as detention or isolation or fixed term exclusion. However, if your behaviour or your level of engagement falls short of expectations, you risk losing your College place. Details of student disciplinary procedures can be found here
Some students need help to adapt to the more mature environment of College, and staff will outline expectations in lessons and other contexts, giving advice and warnings where necessary. There are some behaviours, however, which are not tolerated at College. Incidents involving violence, intimidation, bullying, harassment, stealing or possession of illegal substances are likely to result in expulsion even following a “first offence”.
Further information and guidance for parents and carers
The College is a “young adult” environment, which aims to be a stepping stone between school and the wider world, of employment or higher education. We help students to become independent, and to take responsibility. Therefore, the College’s primary relationship is with students: if an issue arises, we will initially discuss it with the student. If your child is eligible for a bursary, any cash or bank transfer will be paid directly to them, in line with the government rules that govern our management of the bursary fund. When students enrol, we ask for their permission to share educational information with you. You should be aware, though, that we are not allowed to share other, personal information about your child without their consent, except in an emergency or when not sharing the information would put the student at serious risk. The framework which governs our information sharing policies is different from that which applies to schools so some information, which schools would always share with parents, cannot be shared by the College, unless we have the student’s consent.
We fully recognise that they still need you, however, and we will work in partnership with you to support their wellbeing and their progress. You will receive regular updates via progress reports, reviews and parents’ evenings. If an issue, such as unexplained absence or non-completion of work, is not resolved after discussing it with the student, parents/carers will be informed and invited to help us get your child back on track. If your child is experiencing personal difficulties that they have not told you about, we may not be able to tell you (except in the case of a serious safeguarding risk) but we will certainly stress to them the value of sharing problems and worries with those that know and love them best.
College students are expected to be increasingly independent during their time with us, but there are things you can do to help them succeed:
- Provide a space where they can study at home, with access to the internet and word processing facilities. If this is not possible, ensure they can arrive at College early or stay later to make use of College facilities for private study
- Ensure they have enough time for study, by limiting paid employment and other commitments. Their workload will vary throughout the year but, as a rough guide, each A level subject will require 4 – 5 hours homework and private study per week.
- Some students still need a bit of extra help to get organised and manage their time when they join us. If your child sets off for College without a bag/file/paper/pen, or they never do any college work at home, please do ask questions!
- Tell us about any difficulties they may be experiencing outside college, so that we can offer support, or just understanding
- Support them to attend every lesson – even if they are finding things difficult. Absence will usually only make matters worse. Full attendance will ensure the positive benefits of support, structure and community
- Encourage them: their college courses will be more challenging than the work they did at school. They may not get the grades they are expecting, at first, and they may need to develop their resilience and confidence
If you are concerned about your child, please email or ring and ask to speak to their Personal Tutor. If the concern is more serious or urgent, ask to speak to their Senior Tutor or the Safeguarding Lead.
Further safeguarding information for parents can be found on the College website
The information below gives further guidance about expectations of students, and about practical matters.
If you know in advance that you will be absent from College, you must notify your Personal Tutor. If you are absent without knowing in advance please telephone the College by 10am so that the message can be relayed to your Personal Tutor in time for registration. The College is a full-time establishment and you are required to attend every week day for registration, all timetabled lessons including weekly tutorial and to attend exams. Absence must always be explained. Failure to attend without good reason will indicate a lack of commitment to study. Parents will be contacted and continued absenteeism can result in students being asked to leave programmes of study. If you leave the premises during your lesson time, you must complete an Exeat form at the General Office. If you have any problems locating a class or tutor group base, please go to the General Office.
Accepted Absences – foreseen in Advance
- Medical appointment which cannot be arranged outside College hours.
- Occasional care for a person if student has definite caring responsibilities
- A religious holiday
- Visit to a university to attend an open day/interview; a career related interview or audition
- Appointment with Careers Advisor (should avoid disruption to studies if possible)
- Unwaged work experience placement relevant to course
- Occasional extra-curricular activity giving significant personal achievement, including field trips and visits related to areas of study; sports fixtures and expeditions
- Attendance at a funeral
- Severe disruption to transport
- A driving test
- A College representatives’ meeting
- Study Leave
Acceptable Unforeseen Absences – If College Notified on the Day
- An emergency family situation
- Transport problems with no alternative solution
- Isolated short periods of genuine sickness. Up to 3 days with details furnished by student or parents, between 3 and 7 days with parental or medical practitioner support.
Absences not Generally Acceptable
- Part or full time work which is not part of the student’s programme of study (including staff training sessions)
- Leisure activities
- Birthdays or similar celebrations
- Babysitting younger siblings
- Driving Lessons
Accident or Serious Illness
If there is an accident or someone is suffering from illness, please call for any member of staff to attend. They will call trained staff or Emergency Services as they feel appropriate. If you are involved in an accident, even if it is relatively small, please fill in an accident report form, available from the General Office.
Alcohol and Illegal Substances
Students should not consume, possess or be under the influence of any alcohol on the College site during the College day or when involved in College activities. Where students have clearly consumed alcohol they will be sent home, parents will be informed and disciplinary measures will be taken (which may result in a Formal Warning, or even expulsion)
No one is allowed to consume or possess or supply illegal substances on College premises, or at any stage during the College day or during any College organised activity whether on or off site this includes lunchtimes. Any student suspected of possessing or using or dealing in illegal substances will be suspended pending an investigation. Where students have been found to be involved they will be asked to leave the College and where appropriate the police will be informed to fulfil our legal obligations. In certain circumstances, a student may be asked to turn out pockets and submit to a search of their bag and/or locker, to establish whether they are in possession of an illegal substance or other item.
Students are expected to wear clean, safe and functional clothing which is always appropriate to the study you are undertaking.
Racks are provided for student bicycles. You are strongly advised to security code and insure your bike before bringing it to College and to lock your bike securely using a D-lock and to remove easily detachable items
Books and Learning Resources, Information Learning Technology, Personal Accident Insurance
Books are issued on loan to students for use at College. Other specialist resources such as cameras and past papers are also issued on loan to students as appropriate. When loaned, these are your responsibility and they must be looked after with care. You will have to pay the replacement cost of any books or learning resources issued to you, which are lost, not adequately secured or excessively worn or damaged. College information and learning technology facilities are made available to all College students including workstations, networked software, and internet and email facilities. You will be asked to pay a contribution of £50 for books, learning resources, Information Learning Technology and Accident Insurance when you join the College. £25 of this is refundable when you return books and other resources in good condition.
Care of the College and its Environment
We are very keen to maintain the excellent physical environment and pleasant atmosphere of the College for the benefit of all students and staff. A good physical environment promotes a positive approach and supports student development and success. You are asked to help keep the College and its grounds clean and tidy by placing litter in the litterbins provided. Please do not eat or drink in Reception or carry hot drinks around College. Please do not chew or deposit chewing gum within College at any time. You are welcome to use your tutor base or general teaching rooms at break or lunchtime to consume snacks but please always place rubbish in the bins provided including recycling bins wherever possible. Fast food packaging should always be taken to outside bins. The College is implementing changes to become more environmentally friendly by recycling more and using less disposable material. We ask students to be mindful of their use of paper, plastics and other materials.
CCTV is installed on the College site in order to safeguard both individuals and property. Images will be viewed by named individuals, who have been trained in their use; images will normally be retained for two weeks only and will not be shared with third parties, unless the College is legally required to share such images. Individuals have a right to access personal images (applications to view images should be made in writing and may require a payment of £10).
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are entered for the correct public examinations and that you check the entries and supporting detail when distributed. Entries will be made by teaching departments and the examinations team. The College will pay the entry fees for you to take a public examination provided your attendance and commitment to study have been satisfactory. The College will, normally, only pay the cost of the first subject [or modular] entry. Students or their parents must pay any re-sit entry. If you withdraw from a subject after an entry has been made or fail to complete practical examinations or coursework or do not attend an examination, you will be required to pay the full cost of the entry.
Some financial help is available to students who qualify for a College bursary, and for students whose parents are experiencing financial difficulties. This funding is available only for meeting needs directly related to studying at College e.g. transport costs, books and essential trips. Further details are available on the College website. Parents are able to continue claiming child benefit for 16-19 year olds in full time tertiary (sixth form/FE but not HE) education. Any student or parent who faces a change in financial circumstances or a sudden need for financial assistance should contact the relevant Senior Tutor.
Fire and Emergency Procedures
In the event of a fire or any other emergency, an alarm will sound and you should leave the building immediately, using the nearest exit. Evacuation practices will take place periodically. Evacuation notices with maps of fire assembly points are displayed in every room in College. Please ensure that you have read these carefully in each room you regularly use.
Health and Safety
Health and Safety is very important. Everyone should help to establish and maintain a safe environment. Students are expected to take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others. You are asked to bring any hazard to the attention of staff. College safety rules and procedures should be observed at all times, including procedures established for specialist activities e.g. Sport, Science, and staff instructions must be followed at all times. You must not wilfully misuse, neglect or interfere with any item provided for safety. If you have an accident or a near miss in College, no matter how trivial and even if it was your fault, please see any member of staff who will help you complete an Accident Form so that the College can monitor accidents and investigate causes
The College Health and Safety policy is issued to all members of staff and is available from Graham Rayner (Assistant Principal) or the Health and Safety Officer, both of whom have roles to support students on Health and Safety matters. Students who are not willing to cooperate with Health and Safety requirements established by staff will be immediately excluded from activities.
Health, Wellbeing and Mental Health
The College works to make the health and wellbeing of staff and students an integral part of all aspects of life in the College. We adopt a “whole College approach” to mental health, for our whole community. Further details of extra help for those who need it can be found. The Tutorial programme also addresses aspects of health and wellbeing.
There are healthy food options in the College refectories; water is available from water fountains around College and there is a broad range of facilities and activities to increase physical fitness.
Holidays/Leave of Absence in Term Time (please avoid!)
Sixth Form programmes of study are demanding and the teaching time available before exam commitments can be very short. Students should not take holidays in term time. Students who are unable to commit to full time attendance should not enrol at the College and would be advised to seek alternative means of completing sixth form qualifications, for example via an online provider. If students need ‘leave of absence’ during term time, parents need to contact the appropriate Senior Tutor.
All first year A level students will be required to attend College throughout the summer term, including days devoted to career and higher education progression in early June, followed by approximately 4 weeks of teaching for their A Level courses, through to the end of July. Holidays should not be taken at this time and absence during this time, which will involve covering about 15% of the A level syllabus, may prejudice a student’s chances of progressing to Year 2. Term dates have been published in the Prospectus and are posted on the College website.
Punctuality at Registration, Tutorial and all timetabled lessons is essential. Lateness must always be explained and if known in advance communicated to the Personal Tutor and subject staff.
Persistent late arrival at lessons will be discussed with you by your relevant Subject Teacher, Personal Tutor or Senior Tutor and where an unsatisfactory pattern exists, disciplinary procedures will be initiated and parents will be contacted.
Mobile Phones and other devices
We recognise that most students will carry a mobile phone. We do, however, expect that phones are switched off during lessons, unless a teacher has directed otherwise, and we would also point out that under no circumstances should a mobile phone or other internet-enabled device be taken into an examination room.
You are welcome to bring your own laptop or tablet to College (see Personal Property below), for use during private study time. Some study facilities around College provide charging points and free Wi-fi is available to students throughout the College. Loan laptops are also available from the library. Students who do not have access to computing facilities at home may make a request to their Senior Tutor for a long-term loan of a laptop (but we have a limited number and cannot guarantee availability)
If students are to make the most of their academic potential, it is important that they maintain sufficient time for their studies. In general, the College would support students working a few part-time hours in evenings or at weekends during term time, provided the number of hours involved is not excessive. Some part- time employment experience can help develop skills and levels of young adult maturity. However, it is important that levels of part-time work are considered carefully and excessive levels are not sustainable during a full-time programme of academic study. (The College only provides for full time students).
The maximum number of hours of paid employment a student can realistically undertake while maintaining effective study may vary, since individual students differ in their ability to organise their time and have differing travel, family, social and recreational commitments. However, past experience has certainly shown that where students undertake more than 8-10 hours of part-time employment per week, their work and academic progress do suffer, sometimes very significantly. It is College policy, where students do not have teaching classes during the College timetabled framework, they should undertake academic study either in College or at home and should certainly not be engaged in paid employment Monday to Friday before 4.30pm at the earliest. Training linked to part-time employment must always be organised outside College timetabled time.
The College cannot accept responsibility for the security of personal property brought on to the premises. If students choose to bring items of value to College, they should make their own adequate insurance and security arrangements. Bags, money and valuables should never be left unattended. Students should ask staff to secure those valuable items that they need to bring in if they cannot be kept on their person. This includes personal laptops, except in cases where these are supplied by College or are required in order to meet the students designated exam access arrangement.
Photographs and Results Data
Students should be aware that, during their participation in College activities, photographs may be taken and subsequently used online or in published form for various promotional purposes, alongside details of achievements in College.
Plagiarism and Malpractice
Copying of original sources, text books, web sites, etc. is expressly forbidden by examination boards and therefore by the College. Any student found to have plagiarised or copied from another student will be asked to withdraw this work and may forfeit all or some of the A level, Applied General and GCSE grades. Exam boards take severe action against students identified as involved in plagiarism or any other form of malpractice. All students should familiarise themselves with the content of the College Assessment Malpractice Policy which can be found on the College website at https://www.colchsfc.ac.uk/policies/
Private Study Time
All students will have some time on their timetable for private study. There are numerous areas around College where students can work, either individually, or collaboratively. Generally, you will be free to decide how to manage your non-directed time. Successful students devote much of that time to study.
Progression from Year 1 to Year 2
Students studying the Advanced Foundation Programme (AFP) or A level subjects will not have automatic progression to Year 2. AFP students will be asked to re-apply to College for their second year of study and will need to meet A Level entry criteria if they wish to continue their studies. Year 1 students will need to satisfy their staff as to their commitment and to pass the internal spring assessment in their subjects in order to progress to the second year of A level.
You should go to Reception or to the General Office if you are feeling unwell. A member of staff with first aid qualifications will be called to attend to you if necessary. The College has a room for students feeling unwell. They must be accompanied by a member of the College team of qualified first aid staff who will authorise the use of the room. If you need to leave College you will be asked to complete an Exeat form. Parents may be contacted depending on the nature of the medical issue.
Smoking and vaping
Students are strongly advised not to smoke as it is very harmful to their health. Also, please recognise that there are potential risks to others from the effects of passive smoking. In the interests of hygiene and the health of all, smoking and vaping are only permitted in one external (red concrete) open section of the College, located in a designated area outside the back of main building. Smoking and vaping are not permitted within College buildings or any other part of the College site. Rolling or conspicuously carrying unlit cigarettes or vapes is also not permitted outside of the smoking area. Persistent failure to follow the rules of the smoking area will result in removal of the privilege. Any students choosing to use the College smoking area should bring an umbrella, as there is no covered area available to them during rainy or inclement weather.
Student Card/Library Membership Card
After enrolment you will be issued with a College Student Card for the period of study at College. The card will be used as a means of checking unauthorised entry. Students must keep their card with them at all times and be ready to show it to any member of staff upon request. Also, this card may be required for examinations and purchase of tickets for social events. If you lose your College Student Card applications for replacements can be made at the Library Desk. A charge of £5 will be made.
STUDENTS – TIME ON SITE
Students are permitted to study on site from 7:30am to 5:30pm, unless involved in an authorised activity (e.g. Sports competition or performance) which extends beyond this deadline. In all other circumstances, students must leave the building immediately if still on site when the 5:45pm alarm bell sounds. Details of study areas available to students before and after the standard College day can be found on Moodle. The College is not available for socialising beyond 4pm.
Outside of Term Time
On a number of days, the college is closed completely to students (even if the reception area is open for other visitors), but wherever possible, designated areas of the college (such as the library and some study areas) will be open for quiet study – usually 08:30-4:00pm. Students will be informed of opening times (including those relating to specific authorised activities) before each holiday period and should take careful note of these.
Summary of Key College Policies
Key College policies can be found on the College website here
All visitors to College must sign in at Reception. Students MUST NOT bring friends who are not College students onto the College site. Students should report to a member of staff immediately any young person who should not be on site or any adult not wearing a College lanyard.
CARE FOR STUDENTS
College of Sanctuary
We have been recognised as a “college of sanctuary”, and we aim to make everyone in our community feel welcome, supported and safe. Please tell us if you have extra challenges or needs.
These could include:
- Additional learning needs
- English as a second or additional language
- Past or present involvement with social care (do tell us if you have been “looked after” at any time, as you may be entitled to bursaries, and extra help accessing higher education)
- Health difficulties, whether physical or mental
- Caring responsibilities
- Anything else that might affect your ability to engage with College life.
Please also let us know if your parents need help communicating with College or accessing parents’ evenings. We will do the best we can to support them and make them feel comfortable and welcome here.
Who can help in College?
You meet with your Personal Tutor each day. If you have any queries or problems about your course or any other aspect of College life the first person to consult is normally your Personal Tutor. They will also review your progress regularly with you, based on assessments received from your subject tutors, and will guide you on course choices, Higher Education and progression matters. Your Personal Tutor will put you in touch with more specialist advice if it is needed.
You are also supported by a Senior Tutor. You may need to see your Senior Tutor about such matters as a change of course, applications for jobs or Higher Education or significant personal issues. You may be referred to your Senior Tutor for advice and guidance by your Personal Tutor. You can make an appointment to see your Senior Tutor via our Senior Tutor Support Staff. Their office is on the third floor, main building (Room 337). Make sure that you know the name of your specific Senior Tutor and the location of his/her office. Each tutor group has a number and the first digit indicates your Division, e.g. Tutor group 209 is in Division 2.
Mid Site Building
Mid Site Building
Mid Site Building
Mid Site Building
If you have a problem relating to a course, remember you can talk to your subject tutor, your Personal Tutor or your Senior Tutor, the relevant Head of Department or the Assistant Principal in charge of pastoral support (Jo Cadman).
Many of us will need a little extra help at one time or another, and the College has a range of services available to you. Your Personal Tutor can signpost you to the most appropriate support, or you can refer yourself to the following people and places:
The Wellbeing Hub Room 125 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Wellbeing team provide drop-in support and scheduled, usually weekly, appointments to support your emotional health and help you build your resilience. Andrew Durling, our Wellbeing Coordinator, can also help you to access additional help with mental health, either within College, for example with our College counsellors, or by making external referrals.
The College is fortunate to host an educational mental health support team, employed by MIND and known as the WARMS team. The WARMS team runs groups providing support with various issues, and also one to one programmes.
Number 58 is the lovely old building, reached through its own garden, where our learning and study skills centre resides. You can get help with your studies here (whether or not you have recognised additional learning needs), either on a drop-in basis or as part of a pre-arranged programme of support.
Child Protection and Safeguarding
The College has a legal duty of care. This duty includes ensuring that students have a safe environment and highlights a need to be aware of any possible ‘child abuse’ and take action to keep all our students safe. A child in this context is defined as any young person under the age of eighteen but we treat all our students equally, including our 18 and 19-year-old students. “Safeguarding” involves not just protecting students from harm but also promoting wellbeing, giving students the ability to keep themselves safe as they reach adulthood. College also adheres to Government guidance on the Prevent strategy, as part of its Safeguarding (See section on Prevent below).
Please share any safeguarding concerns you may have, to help yourself, a friend or another student if you are worried about them. You should talk to your Personal Tutor, Senior Tutor or to the Operational Safeguarding Lead, Sarah Prince (room 220).
Section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (2015) places a duty on schools and Colleges to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”, otherwise known as the Prevent duty. This is part of our safeguarding responsibility.
Key to this is to ensure that young people become valuable and fully rounded members of society and treat others with respect and tolerance, regardless of background. We promote the “British Values” of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance. These values are also College values. We promote them in many different ways including our work on equality, diversity and opportunity; College elections and Student Voice; a classroom culture of intellectual curiosity, questioning, freedom of expression, tolerance and respect; and enrichment activities that promote the development of positive character traits, such as resilience, determination, self-esteem, and confidence.
We hope that you will be happy and successful at the College. However, we wish to listen carefully to any criticisms or complaints which you may have about your experience at the College and particularly in relation to the commitments we make in the College Charter. Initially you should express your dissatisfaction to the member of staff concerned. It may be that the matter can be resolved relatively easily at this stage. If this is not possible, or your dissatisfaction remains, then you should contact your Personal or Senior Tutor who can look into the matter on your behalf. Hopefully this informal approach should be sufficient to settle the matter to your satisfaction. If it does not and you wish to take the matter further then the College does have a formal Complaints Procedure. You may like to discuss this course of action with your Personal or Senior Tutor or a member of senior staff. Further details of the formal Complaints Procedure can be found on the College website.
Data Protection Act
A copy of the College Student Privacy Notice can be found at www.colchsfc.ac.uk/GDPR. This outlines the ways in which data about students is processed and distributed by the College.
Ensuring that the College is a fair and safe place
The College is committed to creating a teaching and learning environment that is free of harassment and which protects the dignity of all students, staff and visitors. We will respect each other and value the differences between us. The College will not necessarily treat everyone the same but instead we will meet people’s needs in different ways to ensure fair outcomes for everyone. We all take responsibility for making sure that students, staff and visitors are protected from harm, including bullying and discrimination. Students and staff all contribute to making the College an enjoyable, inclusive and personalised learning environment.
We will treat students and staff fairly and solely on the basis of their merits, abilities and potential. The College values diversity in respect of race, ethnicity or national origin, gender, religion and belief or none, socio-economic background, gender variance, marital status or family circumstances, political opinions and affiliations, physical attributes or appearance, disability, sexual orientation, age, pregnancy and parenthood. The College is a diverse, international and multicultural community. We are developing a teaching and learning environment in which each and every member has an equal opportunity to participate. Supported by the public sector equality duty of the Equality Act (2010), the College is working to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations.
Protection from Bullying, Victimisation and Harassment
The College is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all members of the College. We do not tolerate bullying, victimisation and harassment, including hate speech. Our Protection from Harassment and Bullying Policy can be found on the College website.
In order to ensure that we remain a very successful College, it is important that you have the opportunity to provide feedback on all aspects of College life.
We hope that you feel sufficiently confident to inform us of your feelings about, and experiences of, College. You have a number of ways in which your views can be heard:
- through a tutor group representative on the College Council.
- through direct access to your Subject Tutors, Personal Tutor and to senior staff to discuss issues of concern.
- through the College Governors either directly or through elected Student, Staff or Parent Governors.
- through the annual student questionnaires and department surveys.
Over the next year we shall continue to monitor our performance in these areas and ensure that we meet our commitments outlined in this Charter. Government organisations also monitor the quality of the College and actively seek the views of students. A copy of the latest OFSTED Inspection report is available in the College Library or on our website or from www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspect/index.htm.
College Council Executive
The work of the College Council is supported by the following staff:
Chris Throup - Responsibility for promoting representation and participation with the College Council and Liaison with the Social Committee
Michele Perrin – Liaison with Charities Committee
Lewis Berale - Liaison with the Environment and Science Committee
Olivia Browne – Liaison with the Culture Committee
Bel Hathaway - Liaison with the Arts Committee
The Social Committee organises a number of events every year. The Arts Committee also puts on events in College such as Henna workshops, Karaoke, photography exhibitions and trips to places such as Harry Potter Studio tours. The Charities Committee works to raise money to support a variety of charities and every year the Charities Committee also organises activities for Children in Need, Red Nose Day and Pink Day. The Culture Committee is keen to reflect the diversity of students at College and add a cultural and international dimension to social events in the College calendar, for example Black History Month and Chinese New Year and the world heritage quiz. The Culture Committee works alongside the Arts Committee to co-ordinate the summer Arts and Culture Festival.
The College is very keen that students have the opportunity to play a full part in determining how the College is run. The College ensures that students have their own organisation, the College Council, to represent student views and ensure that students’ needs are met. You have the right to vote in the elections for the College Council Executive Committee roles: Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary. These are supported by the committee chairs from the Social, Arts, Culture, Environment and Charities Committees. You are represented by your Tutor Group representative on the College Council, which holds the Executive to account and meets about five times each academic year. To keep you informed of its work, an agenda is published at least one week prior to the meeting and copies of the minutes from that meeting are circulated to Tutor Group reps. The Chairperson of the College Council joins the Governing Body of the College as a member and is supported by the Vice-Chairperson who is an observer. Members of the Executive also sit on other committees such as the Healthy College Committee and Library Committee to ensure that your views are being properly aired. They report back regularly to College Council meetings and answer any of your questions.
If you have any queries about the role of Tutor Group representatives, the College Council, the College Council Executive, or any Committees, then please refer to the College Council Constitution, or its Code of Practice, or see Chris Throup (room 209)
College Council Executive members until November 2022 are:
Chairperson Boakye Ansah Quentin
Vice Chairperson Damian Rusecki
Students with Additional Learning Support Needs or Disabilities including Fitness to Study
The College welcomes all students including those with a disability or learning support need providing that you meet the normal admissions criteria and that we can offer an appropriate programme of study, for which you are qualified, together with the right facilities and support. It should be noted that the College is an open site in a town-centre location. An offer of a College place is based upon the understanding that the student can cope with working in an independent manner and is able to manage their own non-contact time without staff supervision; the offer will therefore be based upon whether the College is an appropriate learning environment for the individual concerned. At times it may be necessary for us to meet with students and parents/carers to ensure, through our Fitness to Study protocols, that we are fully aware of the needs of the individual, and can take appropriate steps to support and safeguard the student.
The Learning Support Department is based in Number 58, which includes student independent study facilities. We offer a range of additional support options including:
- Drop-in Study Skills Support – available in Number 58 (The Learning Hub)
- One-to-one support
- Support groups
- Assessment for Exam Access Arrangements
What to do if things go wrong
If you feel that you have experienced unfair treatment, discrimination, harassment, bullying, intimidation or abuse then please raise the matter with a member of staff e.g. your Personal Tutor or Senior Tutor, or other trusted member of staff.
COLLEGE STAFF, RESOURCES AND FACILITIES
The Principal, Assistant Principals and Senior Tutors are always very willing to help you or talk to you should you wish to discuss anything with them. Photographs of all staff are to be found in College – ask at Reception for details. The senior staff are as follows:
The Principal – Ian MacNaughton
If you wish to see the Principal, please go to his office on the Concourse (1st Floor) in the Main Building. If he is not immediately available, you can make an appointment via Fiona Weston, his PA, located in the adjoining office or on extension (01206) 500754.
Adrian Frost (Assistant Principal) – ST for Division 1, and responsibilities include Admissions, Schools Liaison and Marketing
Jo Cadman (Assistant Principal) Responsible for Quality and Pastoral support, Mental Health and Student Welfare, Financial Support, Learning Support and Tutorial Programme, Designated Safeguarding Lead.
Graham Rayner Assistant Principal Responsible for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment, Health and Safety, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead, and Communications
Scott Townshend (Assistant Principal) responsible for Teaching and Learning, Moodle; ST Division 8
Sarah Prince (Assistant Principal) Operational Safeguarding Lead; ST for Division 5 and Director of Learning Support
Ian Fraser (Assistant Principal) ST for Division 10; data and information systems; College processes including enrolment and leavers’ procedures
Mark Griffin-Sherwood (Senior Curriculum Manager) – Senior Tutor for Division 3, and responsibilities include Timetable and Rooming.
Sarah Palmer (Senior Tutor) Division 6
Andy Hathaway (Senior Tutor) Division 2
Emily Cheffins (Senior Tutor) Division 9
Jo Lawrence (Senior Tutor) Division 7
Evette Hawkins Head of Careers and HE Guidance
Clarissa Ford Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator
Tim Harrison (Senior Manager) Director of Premises, Equipment, Estates, MIS/ICT
Sarah Williams (Senior Manager) Human Resources and Administration Manager
Naomi Goldsmith (Finance Manager) Financial Management Systems and Procedures
MEMBERS OF THE CORPORATION (Governing Body)
Members (governors) can be contacted via the Clerk to the Corporation Johnsont@colchesfc.ac.uk or by leaving a message at the College office.
Parent Governor – Joanna Tallentire
Principal – Ian MacNaughton
Teaching Staff Governor – Dan Stebbings
Joanna Johnson (Safeguarding)
Support Staff Governor – Hayley Hallworth
Boakye Ansah Quentin - Student Council Chairperson
Damian Rusecki - Student Council Vice Chairperson
Clerk to the Corporation – Tina Johnson
Chair: Kevin Finnigan
Co Vice-Chair Mike Atherton & David Morran
Audit Committee: Mike Atherton
Remuneration Committee: June Leslie
Search & Governance Committee: Chair of the Corporation
ROOMS IN THE COLLEGE
The number denotes the first digit of room numbers in each location; please ask any member of staff if you cannot find a room.
Ground Floor (0)
First Floor (1)
Admissions Office Drama Rehearsal Area Examinations Office First Aid Room General Office
Main Refectory Adrian Frost’s Office
Assistant Principal (ST Div 1) Reception
Premises and Facilities Office
Evette Hawkins (Head of Careers) Careers Department
Jo Cadman’s Office Assistant Principal Library
Storm Radio Station
Human Resources Department Office Principal’s Office
PA to the Principal Reprographics (Room 135) Welfare Hub
Second Floor (2)
Third Floor (3)
Finance Office IT Technicians
Sarah Prince (Operational Safeguarding Lead, Director of Learning Support and ST Div 5)
Mark Griffin-Sherwood’s Office (ST Div 3)
Senior Tutor Support Office
Cock and Pye Building (5)
Performance Studio & Stage
Mid Site Building (6..)
Andrew Hathaway’s Office (ST Div 2)
Roman Bath Restaurant
Lecture Theatre (610)
Jo Lawrence (ST Div 7)
Multi-Purpose Hall (Sports Hall)
Lecture Theatre (630)
Graham Rayner’s Office Assistant Principal (ST Div. 4)
Sarah Palmer’s Office (ST Div. 6)
IT Centre (7)
Learning Support Department
Tim Harrison / IT Systems Office
58 North Hill (8)
The Languages Centre (9..)
The Syd Kent Pavilion
|Scott Townshend's Office Assistant Principal (ST Div. 8)|
Maps of the College campus are issued at Induction and Enrolment; however, the following gives a quick guide:
All rooms in College have three figure numbers and are individually numbered. The ‘Main Building’ (entered from the drive) is numbered by floors, the first number denoting the floor; for example, Room 213 is on the second floor.
The ‘Performance Studio’ and ‘Stage’ on the drive are numbered 516 and 517 and other performance room are numbered 510 and 511
The ‘Cock & Pye’ buildings just inside the College gates on the left of the drive have room numbers starting with a ‘5’ as well.
All the rooms in the ‘Mid Site’ building start with a ‘6’ and the rooms in the ‘IT Centre’ on the lower (North) part of the site start with a ‘7’.
The Learning Resource Centre (58 North Hill) is the building to the left of the Cock and Pye has room numbers starting with an ‘8’.
The ‘Language Centre’ at the far north of the site contains rooms beginning with the number ‘9’. There are also student and social facilities available in The Syd Kent Pavilion
COLLEGE RESOURCES AND FACILITIES
Car Parking in College
There is no student car parking on the College site, with the exception of disabled students where arrangements will be made on a case by case basis. The College advises students to use public transport although the College Council can give advice on local offsite parking if required.
Food and Drink
Food and drink are available from the Refectory on the ground floor in the Main Building, from 8.00am to 2.45pm and the Roman Bath Restaurant in the Mid Site Building, from 8.00am to 2.00pm, including a sandwich bar operating throughout the morning and lunchtime period. Meals and snacks are of a high quality, with much ‘home cooking’ using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients wherever possible, and offer exceptional choice and value for money. Vending machines for drinks and snacks are also available in the College Refectories and elsewhere across the campus.
Drinking water is available throughout the College. Students are advised to keep well hydrated and it is a good idea to bring your own bottle into College and fill-up from the facilities available.
Refectory opening times are posted at their entrances and students will be advised of any changes to these times via the daily bulletin.
Please follow the catering’s Intsagram page @therefectory2020 for latest menus, daily specials and to see how our food is prepared.
These are not for general use by students. The four College lifts (two in the Main Building and two in the Mid-Site Building) enable those with permanent or temporary disabilities, and technicians moving equipment to access all levels of the main College buildings. Students with permanent or temporary physical disabilities needing to use the lifts should obtain permission and a lift pass from their Senior Tutor.
Location of Computers and IT Facilities
Machines are located throughout the College and laptops are available for loan from the Library. Students are free to use the machines in any of the rooms, between 8.00am and 5.00pm from Monday to Thursday and between 8.00am and 4.30pm on Friday unless they are being used for teaching purposes. Students who wish to arrange to use machines outside these times can do so by consulting their Senior Tutor.
Lockers are available for the storage of inexpensive property. A charge of £10 is required for the use of a locker for a 2-year period. Lockers are of light construction and you are advised not to leave expensive items in them. Should you have any problems with your locker, please contact Premises, Room 6 in the main building. Students must clear their lockers before leaving College, any belongings left will be disposed of.
Moodle gives you access to a variety of resources, including Library and Careers information, study materials, as well as an excellent range of academic subject materials and general information about your life at College. Moodle is available to all students and you should access it every day to check the current notices. Within College you will automatically log onto Moodle when you go to the site. From outside the College, you can log in via a link at the bottom of the College’s main web site. The same logon and password are used as for the College Network, allowing remote access from any location where you have access to the internet.
Multi-Faith Prayer Room
The Multi-Faith Prayer Room is a College space dedicated for prayer and quiet reflection. It is intended to be a welcoming and accessible space for all people regardless of what their faith may be, and is situated in the Performing Arts Building in Room 520 on the second floor, above the performance stage. The Multi-Faith Prayer Room is a bookable room; to use the room and obtain the key to the door please ask at reception. We would ask people to familiarise themselves with the guidelines for use of the room and to remember that at certain points in the year some religious groups may need more use of the room than others. More information can be found on the Chaplaincy site on Moodle, however if you have any further questions or queries please feel free to contact the College chaplain on email@example.com or Helen Tucker.
Photocopying and other services
A photocopier for student use is situated outside Reprographics. Reprographics also provides facilities for colour copying, scanning, binding and laminating.
Resources and Facilities
Academic departments within the College have various resources, which are available for students to borrow or to use in College or at home. All departments are willing to lend subject related reference materials such as books, videos, etc. Each department has its own system and you should ask subject teachers if you need help. The College has very good links with the University of Essex and arrangements can be made for you to use the University Library. You can also use Inter Library Loans.
Stationery items can be purchased from the General Office from 8.30am – 4.00pm. We stock a small variety of basic items.
The College Library
The College Library has a huge selection of books related to your studies and beyond into general interest, fiction and engaging non-fiction reads. We also supply students with free access to a huge range of online academic resources to further your research beyond online search engines.
The Library is one of College’s main study areas, offering you the choice of student computers, group study tables and silent study. There is the opportunity to borrow physical books, magazines, eBooks and audio books, as well as access to utilise a wide variety of online resources. Library staff are available throughout the day to assist you, just ask for help at the front desk. We also offer tailored 1-1 sessions for students to help you with your research and find relevant academic material for your coursework.
Your Student Card will be issued to you after enrolment and is managed through the Library. It is important to carry your Student Card with you at all times as it serves a number of functions, acting as ID, your Library card and your Wisepay card.
There is the opportunity to volunteer in the Library via the Library Champion scheme, which is open to all College students. See the Additional Studies Guide for further information.
The Internet and Wi-Fi
The College Network is connected to the internet and students can connect their phones and other devices to the College Wi-Fi. These facilities are provided to aid your studies. All students have a College email account and email is an important means of communication between College staff and students, so students must check their email frequently. All students should be aware that abuse of e-mail or internet systems can lead to College disciplinary action or even criminal prosecution. Students are required at all times to act in a way that does not compromise the comfort and wellbeing of fellow students and staff at the college and this includes online activity, whether accessed via college systems or in some other fashion. Students are wholly accountable for their ‘online behaviour’, for example, cyber-bullying and harassment or illegal, immoral or intimidating behaviour such as the posting of inappropriate messages, images or video content on social media. Students should also be aware that unauthorised filming or photography within lessons is strictly forbidden. In such circumstances the College will take strong and appropriate action, which can include withdrawal of facilities, suspension or exclusion. Students are expected to use the College systems for their academic studies only. The College E-safety Guidelines and Acceptable Use Policy can be found in the Student Information block on the Moodle front page
Use of the College Network
At Enrolment, you will be given a “User ID” and password that will allow you to access the College network. You should change your password as soon as possible. It should be noted that this password is secret and should not be revealed to anyone; this is the only way that your work can remain totally protected. Once you have been given a User ID you will be able to use any machine in College. Students are reminded that food and drink are not permitted in computer areas and that students who break this rule will have their access to such facilities withdrawn without notice.
What to do if you have problems using IT
If a machine will not work or you are having problems with your user identity or e-mail, please contact the IT Support Officers based in Room 224. More significant problems and issues should be referred to Tim Harrison, Director of Information Systems.
Wisepay (to be checked)
The College has introduced the “Wisepay” payment system to facilitate cashless payment for meals, trips and other College expenses. Instructions for signing up to the system will be available at enrolment.
There are female, male and gender-neutral toilets situated on every level of all the College buildings. There are accessible toilets located throughout the campus.
The main sources of information and channels of communication are listed below.
College External Website
The College Home Page address is http://www.colchsfc.ac.uk. A large amount of information, relating to the College and updated regularly, is posted on the web pages, including student briefing information, The ‘Parents’ Page’ and ‘College in the News’. Other communications are sent to parents and/or students, usually via email. These include communications regarding residential and non-residential fieldwork, expeditions, trips and visits, parents’ evenings, HE briefings and other opportunities including music lessons, performances, arts activities and health issues. It is therefore important to ensure that you inform College if your parents’ email address changes. In exceptional circumstances e.g. severe weather, updates will be posted on the College Website and Moodle.
Principal’s Termly Newsletter
Produced in the first half of every term, this newsletter will be emailed to the parents of all students, published on the College Website and paper copies can be obtained from the General Office. The newsletter aims to keep students and their parents informed about what is going on in the College and provides key dates, advice and guidance.
Storm Radio is run by students and broadcasts daily. To find out how to get involved or to request a song, visit the radio station on the Concourse.
Student Bulletin – Daily
The Student Bulletin contains important notices and is updated daily. It is emailed to students and may be located on Moodle so you can access it on your phone or computer. You must make sure you check it daily. Your Personal Tutor will also draw your attention to it in registration and key message are displayed on information screens.
Use of College Notice Boards
Numerous notice boards are located around the College. You are asked to see Graham Rayner (Assistant Principal) in room 642 before putting any poster on a notice board. Posters are not permitted anywhere other than on display boards.
Weekly and Daily Calendar of Events
These are notified in the daily bulletin and the notice board in Reception. A Careerscope bulletin is produced by the Careers Department, containing news and help for your future plans. A regular College Sports News Bulletin and Library bulletins are also published.
EDUCATION AND PROGRESSION
COURSES AT COLLEGE
Choices from A Level, GCSE and Additional Studies courses allow students to develop a programme and timetable which best suits their needs, interests and aspirations.
Advanced Foundation Programme students will normally be studying 4 academic courses plus one Additional Study or Activity, alongside Registration and Thursday tutorial requirements.
A Level will normally be studying 3 academic courses plus one Additional Study or Activity, alongside Registration and tutorial requirements.
All students will normally be expected to continue with each of their courses, chosen at Enrolment, for their entire time at college. It is therefore important that students do their best to make the right choices by the end of Enrolment. The College system of Open Evenings, Initial Interviews, Induction Days and Enrolment Interviews should help students enrol for appropriate courses. After Enrolment and subject to availability, slight changes to programmes may be considered until the end of September but any change of course must be discussed with academic staff and Personal and Senior Tutors. After this, any change will be strongly discouraged as this may jeopardise a student’s College programme and his/her potential for further progression. Where consideration of a change of course is necessary, students should consult with their Senior Tutor.
Some minor adjustments to course choices can sometimes be considered for year 2. This is first considered in January, reports referral in June and then finalised in late August.
Generally, teaching periods per week are as follows:
A Level/AG courses - 8 periods (4 “doubles, 70 minutes in length) Other Academic Courses (vary) 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 periods
GCSE/L2 courses – usually 5 or 6 periods Additional Studies – (varies) 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 periods
Please note that A Level/AG and GCSE/L2 programmes will also have set a broadly equivalent amount of ‘personal study’ time outside of classes per week – an approximate average of 15-17 hours per week in total. In recent years, the Government has placed much greater emphasis on the importance of independent learning and study within sixth form education.
During Your Course
Throughout your time with us your Personal Tutor offers guidance and support and works closely with your Senior Tutor. If we feel that we need to consult your parents, we will, wherever appropriate and possible, discuss matters with you first, keep you fully informed and involve you in the interview. We value our contact with parents and we will continue to keep them informed of a student’s progress in College and to seek their support regardless of the age of the student. Students give permission for the College to share information for reference purposes and with their parents/guardians when they sign their enrolment forms and their learning agreements.
If you feel that you have any difficulties related to studying at the College, you should approach your Personal Tutor or Senior Tutor or any other member of staff. Jo Cadman and other senior staff are also available to see students when appropriate. There are a number of support opportunities that are available to students including mentoring, one to one support and counselling. Staff will be able to give further advice on the most appropriate support to meet your needs.
If you are a Year 1 or Year 2 full-time student, you meet daily with your Personal Tutor at Registration and also weekly for a Tutorial period where you take part in tutorial activities, review your personal targets and action plans, receive Careers guidance, and complete administration. You are able to evaluate your academic progress through our regular reviews, reports and parents’ consultation evenings. If you experience academic difficulties, we discuss these fully with you and set up guidance procedures. You will receive full help and advice on employment/higher education at the appropriate times. The College has an excellent Careers Department. If you request an individual careers interview, you normally receive an appointment within ten working days. If you are following the Advanced Foundation course, we give you guidance about other courses and future employment and in the Spring Term advise you about the procedure for applying to continue your studies at College. If you are applying for HE or employment we provide a full and fair reference when required, acknowledging your positive qualities and achievement.
EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AND ADDITIONAL STUDIES
As well as a very broad range of options from the Additional Studies programme, there are a wide range of clubs, activities and societies at College. The more you get involved, the more you will enjoy your time with us and the more skills and abilities you will develop.
There are excellent performing arts opportunities at the College. We have music ensembles, a band, an orchestra, a choir and a ‘rock workshop’. There are trips to concerts and recitals and you do not have to study a music course to join in. Many students take part in productions either as members of the cast, in stage management, costume and set design. You do not have to be a Theatre Studies student to be involved. You will also be able to join dance and drama clubs and to take part in other performance opportunities.
Over 70% of our students at College participate in some form of sport each year, many on a regular basis, and there are excellent opportunities in both high level competitive sport and recreation sport for fun and fitness.
Other clubs and societies include Amnesty International, Christian Union, Debating Society and Chess Club. Please see the Additional Studies Curriculum Handbook, on the public website, for greater detail.
Trips and Visits
The College is committed to providing a range of experiences of ‘Learning outside the Classroom’ to all students, in order to develop skills and knowledge related to academic courses and also to promote personal development. During your programme of study, you will have the opportunities to learn outside the classroom, some close to College and others further afield, ranging from less than an hour to up to three weeks! Where a cost applies, we endeavour to keep it to a minimum in order that, where possible, no-one is excluded for financial reasons.
Staff are encouraged to take students outside the standard teaching environment during the course of the College day when opportunities arise to do so. At enrolment in September you will be asked to take home a TV1 form for your parent or carer to sign, which gives authority for staff to take you into the Colchester area during the normal College day.
Student and parents are asked to disclose, in confidence, physical and mental health conditions so that we can ensure that they can participate fully in all aspects of any trip.
Proposed Key Dates for Students 2023/2024
Term dates are published on their own page on the college website
Students and parents should consult the Newsletters, College Website, and can telephone the College General Office or speak to a senior member of staff to ascertain proposed key dates.
Students should note that there will be four formal occasions for them to review their progress, drawing upon grades on our Go4Schools system, with their Personal Tutor. At the start of each year, there will be an interview to discuss initial action planning and this will be followed by three further formal reviews during the year. Targets from these review sessions should be recorded so you can refer to them and reflect on progress.
END OF YOUR PROGRAMME OF STUDY
Examination certificates for Year 2 ‘leavers’ will be available at the Reunion and Awards evening in December or for personal collection from the Examinations Office during January. If they are not collected during January, they will be posted to the home address on the system. Certificates for any external examinations taken in Year 1 will be issued via tutors (or posted if students have left College).
We are interested to know what our students do after leaving College which career path our students choose, whether a course at university or apprenticeship or job etc. Former students may receive a telephone call from the College Careers Department in September/October to confirm destination details. Information can also be provided by students through the Former Students page on the College Public Website. Student destination information is published in a booklet for our annual Reunion and Awards event, which is held in December for all A level summer leavers. This event also provides a chance to collect examination certificates.
On the completion of your course, we give clear instructions on the required leaving procedure, including the return of your book/learning resource deposit, opportunities for HE guidance and post- examination counselling and further contact with College.
The leavers’ process is normally completed on Leavers’ Day in early July, when students have completed their courses and public examinations. If you think you might want to leave during the course of the year, you should discuss this with your Personal Tutor. It is essential that you then see your Senior Tutor before taking a final decision.
Post Examinations Support
Examination results are normally published in August. At the time of release of A Level and GCSE results, a team of staff will be available to help you decide the most appropriate steps to take. If you require further Careers/HE advice immediately after your final examination results, you will be able to access an individual interview at College. Further details can be obtained from Evette Hawkins, Head of Careers.
YOUR PROGRESSION BEYOND COLLEGE
The Careers Department has a specialist team of staff and many resources to help you to make decisions about your future. Resources are used in the weekly tutorial programme and special events are planned throughout the year to ensure you make informed choices about your future. A Careers Bulletin is produced and is available via MOODLE which details any information received from Employers and Universities. You may also book careers appointments regarding advice and guidance, on a one-to-one basis, at any time.
Higher Education (HE)
Students wishing to go to university or other Higher Education institution, are supported in this by a range of activities. Personal Tutors write references for students’ UCAS applications. A large amount of support is available throughout the application process (for example, every application form is reviewed by four members of staff before it is sent).
Employment, Apprenticeships and Training Schemes
Increasing numbers of students are choosing to undertake opportunities offered by Apprenticeships, including Higher Apprenticeships and Degree Apprenticeships. We have links with local businesses as a result of their attendance at our annual Careers events (see below). e.g: BT, Essex Police and Grant Thornton.
A number of our College students have started their own businesses after College and the Careers Team can provide guidance and support in this area.
Careers Interviews and other Specialist Activities
We have an established careers team and can provide careers interviews for students who need impartial information, advice and guidance. Students sign up for interviews in the careers department, in room 113, with each interview lasting about 30 minutes. You may book as many interviews as is necessary during your time at College.
Employability Skills and Work-related Experiences
You naturally have skills that will help you during employment but we feel you need to be made more aware of skills you have and how to develop skills to show examples for future employers. You can develop skills across a wide range of activities some of which might include: Paid work; Volunteering; Work for family/friends; Work experiences; Community projects; Hobbies; Clubs and societies; Sporting activities.
Students will receive support and guidance in seeking opportunities that exist for them and developing openings for themselves. For example, Journalists can start by writing articles for the college magazine, writing a blog, offering to write articles for local/club newsletters or just getting involved with these groups.
Increasing your employability skills is a vital part of education. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to develop and improve skills whilst contributing to the local community. In this context we have a range of links with organisations such as St Helena Hospice, Community 360, Larchwood and NCS (National Citizen Service).
At the Careers Fair every February we welcome over 100 exhibitors. This event is aimed at first year students as a means of encouraging to begin thinking about their options after College. Second year students looking for employment opportunities or who have Higher Education queries are also encouraged to attend. A range of Higher Education representatives, employers and Year Out providers attend. The event takes place in the Multipurpose hall where representatives are able to display marketing materials and answer students’ queries. The event is run alongside the student progress review process, therefore ensuring that you have free time to attend.
Career Progression Event.
The highlight of the careers programme is the Career Progression Event. This takes place in May when first year students return after their Spring assessments. You have a choice of over 300 30minute talks and workshops, from which you choose 12 to attend. A number of the sessions are organised and delivered by College teaching staff, with other presentations being offered by employers, Higher Education representatives, Year Out providers and former students. The programme gives you a real insight into your options and choices for the future after College.
Specialist Support for Oxbridge Applicants
In the Autumn Term, an initial introduction to Oxbridge meeting is held to explain what Oxford and Cambridge universities are like and what the College does to support applicants. In January, the Principal has individual appointments with those students who have outstanding GCSE results and advises them on potential Oxbridge applications. An open meeting is held in February for students who may have missed the November session, and in March former students who are now at Oxford and Cambridge return to brief our students on their experiences. A trip to Cambridge is organised in March to Emmanuel College, our link College in Cambridge, where students have the opportunity to talk to admissions tutors. In the Summer Term, potential applicants have one-to-one meetings with one of the Oxbridge team to discuss next steps. This is followed by a session in the Careers Progression Event with detailed advice on preparing personal statements, and each student will be advised to make appointments with appropriate subject staff to help them work on Personal Statements. Applications are sent off to UCAS in September. Mock interviews are organised in November and December, and where written tests are required, College subject departments advise and help students to prepare. There is an Oxbridge site on Moodle with more detailed information, and is regularly updated about taster days and other opportunities available at both universities.
Specialist Support for those applying for Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine
The Medics Programme is a comprehensive two year programme of activities for students applying for medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine. It covers the application process for these highly competitive courses as well as the necessary skills for interview and for the UCAT and BMAT examinations. We assist students in preparing an individual personal statement, which reflects their strengths, and advise them on the necessity of appropriate and extensive work and volunteer experience. We provide one-to-one advice on the best Universities to apply to based on their personal profile. Ex-students now studying these courses or having completed these courses at university often return to share their experiences. We also involve qualified outside speakers, visit the local hospital for a medical careers day and a taster day at ARU Medical School and ensure students are well-informed on other available opportunities and resources.
Weekly meetings in the second year involve discussion of topical news items, ethical issues and comprehensive guidance on interview techniques. Many college staff give up their time to help with both one-to-one and MMI mock interviews. Students are given feedback on their performance and advice on interview dress.
Specialist support for Teaching
The ‘Pre-Teaching’ Additional Study is a means by which year 12 students who are considering a primary school teaching career can gain work experience in a primary school, especially if they are considering studying Primary Teaching/Education with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) at university. At the end of year 12, an information pack regarding the Primary Teaching degree application process is provided for all Pre-Teaching students, plus further support as required. Work experience will take place as and when Covid-19 restrictions allow. In the meantime, this has not prevented students from undertaking Primary Teaching (with QTS) courses for entry to university. Interviews have been held online and Literacy and Numeracy Skills Tests have been replaced by universities’ own tests
Specialist support for Lawyers
Lawyers is a programme of learning and activities designed for students who are interested in a career in law. It is mainly aimed at student who are not studying A-level Law or BTEC Applied Law. The course will cover the basics of the English Legal system and looks at how the law is made and used. Core skills such as debating and public speaking will be covered via activities such as mock trials and presentations and participation in national competitions such as “The Bar Mock Trial” and “The Legal Apprentice.”
Career paths will be considered including looking at the variety of legal professions and the availability of alternative training paths such as apprenticeships. Guidance will be given on personal statements, interviews and, where appropriate, the LNAT examination. A range of speakers will be invited, many of whom are former college students, to talk about their jobs and routes to their careers.
‘Year Out’ Advice
The College has a Year Out Adviser who offers 1-1 appointments for students on request. These meetings are tailored specifically to meet each student’s interests, budget and aims for a gap year experience. Traditionally, we have advised upon volunteering (UK and abroad), working (UK and Abroad) and round the world travel experiences. We aim to help students have a fulfilling and meaningful gap year, and can recommend companies that tailor their experiences specifically for student gap years.
Moodle – VLE (Virtual Learning Environment)
Moodle gives you access to a variety of resources, including Library and Careers information, study materials, as well as an excellent range of academic subject materials and general information about your life at College. Moodle is available to all students and you should access it every day to check the current notices. Within College you will automatically log onto Moodle when you go to the site. From outside the College, you can log in via a link at the bottom of the College’s main web site. The same logon and password are used as for the College Network, allowing remote access from any location where you have access to the Internet.
Every Thursday students are with their personal tutor for a 40-minute tutorial session. Some sessions during the year offer information on careers and progression. Personal Tutors can offer guidance and advice to students about their future plans and can refer them to the Careers Department.
Work related learning takes many forms and is both implicit and explicit in your individual programme of study and curriculum areas.
Subject lessons will all have elements of employability skills within them. E.g. Law explains how courts are structured outlining a number of careers opportunities. Business looks at the recruitment process, including the application process and legislation around recruitment and selection which assist students in their own employment.
External speakers for subjects provide opportunities for careers advice and information, as well as delivering a subject specific topic.
The 2-Day Career Progression event external and internal speakers provide information on career progression from subjects, as well as information about alternative routes into careers.