Parent Portal

We hope that students who joined us in September have settled into their classes and are making the necessary adjustments to College life.  We value your support as parents and encourage dialogue with you.

We have had a number of events in the past two weeks and the materials from the presentations are now on the Parent Portal.

The presentations from both of our Parents’ Welcome Events can be found in the tab at the top of the page titled Communication with parents. 

We have also hosted our second evening for Year 2 parents focussing on higher education, applications to University and alternative pathways post sixth form.  The presentations from this event can be found in the Higher Education tab at the top of the page.

We have just posted home a document for all parents of year 2 students who did not attend the Higher Education Evening.  This sets out our expectations for the students in year 2 and the systems in place in College to support their successful completion of their courses.  Please take time to read the information.

Staff Training

If your son/daughter usually has a lesson period 5 on Thursday (3.00-4.30pm), this class is cancelled on Thursday 3rd October only, for staff training.

All students will have been given independent learning to undertake for this session.

Red Flag Book and Online Specifications

In order to assist students on A Level programmes, they have been issued with a ‘Red Flag Book’. Students take this to all of their lessons and log important information, questions, problems and key terminology or methodologies. They can then colour code this using a traffic light system. Teachers can review student books, see Greenlearning that a student has a good grasp of, Amber or Yellowlearning that is causing some concern and Redflags that signify things that they are struggling with. As a student deals with each Red Flag, they can re colour it to signify they have overcome this obstacle.

The ‘Red Flag Book’ also operates in tandem with an online specification for each subject. All subject specifications are available for you on the tab on this portal.

Students are asked to RAG rate their coverage of the syllabus as they go, identifying topics where they need to spend more time reviewing their learning. They can also record how much time they have spent working on each topics. We typically find that students procrastinate the ‘Red Flags’ instead of addressing them. They often spend more time on green topics, even though they are secure on their topics. By asking them to RAG rate and detail their independent learning, teachers, progress tutors and yourselves can check what time they have committed to independent learning and where learning issues are emerging.

Please take some time to look through your Son/Daughters book.


To encourage students to undertake sufficient independent study, we use a system in College called VESPA. The information below shows what types of activity they can engage in to support their own self development. Students need to self-reflect, address their skills and knowledge gaps and make personal progress.




Work Experience

At Bolton Sixth Form we aim to ensure all Year 1 students undertake work experience in their first year of study in support of their academic achievement. Work experience is a vital part of a young person’s learning experience. It supports the academic skills they develop during their time at college and allows them to acquire skills that cannot be taught in the classroom, ensuring they are work ready when it comes to seeking employment. It also aids them in choosing an industry and career path to move forward in, enabling them to make contacts in that industry they would otherwise not be exposed to. ‘Real world’ experience can add considerable weight to a student’s CV, and for those applying to university, professional experience looks great on their UCAS personal statement.

It is the responsibility of the students to obtain a work placement we seek your support as their parents in helping your son/daughter to secure a placement that will support their career plans and develop skills that they will benefit from in the future. We have a new Work Placement Officer, Emily Dover who is on hand to support students in securing a work placement. Please encourage your son/daughter to book a 1-1 meeting with Emily if they are struggling to find a placement, or need some support in looking for one.

Students must give 6 weeks’ notice of a placement and complete the Work Experience Application Form available from their Course Leader or Student Information. If you are in a position to provide an experience of work to any of our learners to get in touch via the email address with any details.

There are dedicated Work Experience weeks listed below, we encourage students to arrange their placement in one of these weeks, however if you secure a placement on a different week then we can be flexible, please speak with Emily Dover.

Parent Portal Absence Reporting

You can now report student absence via the Parent Portal until 10am for each day your son/daughter will be absent from College. Select ‘Report An Absence’ and complete the online form with the relevant details. You will receive an email confirming your request and then a further email informing you the request has been authorised. We will contact you if we have a query regarding your request. Please note the following -

  Doctor’s/dentist appointments should be made when a student does not have timetabled classes

  Absence needs to be reported for each day your son/daughter will not attend College

  Online reporting will be open from midnight to 10am. If you need to contact the College regarding an absence outside of these times then please telephone Student Information on 01204 846215

Report an Absence

Timetable Changes

Please be aware that timetables will change at the start of term (as they always do) so please make sure that you check regularly to ensure that you have up-to-date information on when and where your classes are happening.

GCSE, AS and A level educational reforms in England

The rapidly changing landscape of education and the new grading of GCSE is quite a complex one to get your head around. If you click on the link below it might help to answer questions that you have about A level and also that might be relevant if you have other children still in school

More Details...

Mental health and wellbeing

I am sure you are aware of the growing issues and awareness raising of mental health and wellbeing in the UK and especially amongst young people. As a parent, I also understand that having a lack of information and support makes managing these issues for your own family sometimes difficult. You may be aware that today there was the launch of a campaign by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge called ‘heads together’ supported by frank and open videos by a range of celebrities. The web link can be found here.

In addition, the organisation has something called ‘youngminds’ offering support  and information. They also have information and a support line. You can find that information here.

Safeguarding including Prevent

As you know, safeguarding our young people and ensuring that we discharge our statutory duties is really important to us. We also provide a wide range of wrap around care, advice and guidance on a whole range of related issues throughout the year. If you are not aware, the PREVENT agenda is part of safeguarding and in December we had a British Values/Prevent day. As part of that day we practiced our Lockdown Procedure or Invacuation of the campus. Whilst students are very used to evacuating for fire, they have less exposure to the idea of Invacuating for certain circumstances when an evacuation could put more people in danger. Whilst the likelihood of such an event is very rare, even in a country like ours which remains on the alert of ‘severe’, we need to be prepared. We will be holding a further Invacuation drill before we break for Easter.

Important Policy Documents

Attendance and Punctuality

I am sure that you would agree as your sons and daughters become young adults that punctuality and attendance at College should be paramount. Lack of attendance means lost learning and makes fulfilling their potential more difficult. Whilst we have a system in place for students to repay lost time, this is no substitute to being in the class when the material is taught. Please support us in ensuring early buses are caught and that attendance is excellent.