Careers Team Update (Autumn 1)

At the beginning of term the careers team visited all first year tutor groups to introduce ourselves and explain the support we offer all students.  The impact of this has seen a great number of students seeking us out, (even in their early days of FE) for information on careers, universities, employability skills and work placements.

Safe Drive Stay Alive Tour November 2018

All First Year A Level and Btec students Safe Drive Stay Alive performance at the Middleton Arena in the coming weeks.  Young drivers are much more likely to be involved in a crash on the roads, often due to inexperience and a lack of knowledge of the risks. Around 1 in 4 deaths on the road are drivers and their passengers aged 17-24.

Safe Drive Stay Alive is produced by a road safety partnership including local Police forces, local councils, and emergency services. Each partner has been working for years to reduce the number of people dying on the roads and by the end of this year we will have welcomed over 220,000 young people through the doors of a Safe Drive presentation. The good news is that since 2004 the number of under 25’s killed in car crashes has fallen by nearly three quarters, but there is still more to do.

Through a combination of roads policing, road safety education, engineering measures and speed enforcement local areas have seen road casualties who were killed or seriously injured fall to an all-time low by the end of 2013.  However, a disproportionate number of these remain young, inexperienced drivers and their passengers; sometimes they don’t help themselves.

The Safe Drive Stay Alive campaign will reach new and pre-drivers in an emotive and hard-hitting way, influencing behavior and attitude on the roads.  This is a free trip for all students and will take place at the Middleton Arena in Manchester. Every first year student will attend one of the events, the coaches are all booked and paid for by the SafeDrive team and each coach will be accompanied by several teachers.  The coaches will leave and return to the College, students are to attend lessons before and after their return to minimise disruption to lessons. These events will take place throughout November 2018 so students are to check their portal for details of the session they will be attending

http://www.safedrive.org.uk/

College wide assessment windows.

The College operates a series of common assessment windows for A Level subjects and GCSE Maths and English. The table below shows you as parents when each year group are set their assessments and when their grades become available. You can track their progress via the Parent Portal.

Assessment Dates

Year 1

Assessment Dates

Year 2

10th Sept 18

24th Sept 18

Assessment 1 undertaken

Assessment 1 grades available

24th Sept 18

8th Oct 18

Assessment 7 undertaken

Assessment 7 grades available

29th Oct 18

12th Nov 18

Assessment 2 undertaken

Assessment 2 grades available

12th Nov 18

26th Nov 18

Assessment 8 undertaken

Assessment 8 grades available

14th Jan 19

28th Jan 19

Assessment 3 mid-year progress

examination undertaken

Assessment 3 grades available

14th January 19

14th January 19

Assessment 9 mid-year progress

examination undertaken

Assessment 9 grades available

18th March 19

1st April 19

Assessment 4 undertaken

Assessment 4 grades available

4th March 19

18th March 19

Assessment 10 undertaken

Assessment 10 grades available

13th May 19

10th June 19

Assessment 5 end of year progress

examinations undertaken

Assessment 5 grades available

29th April 19

20th May 19

Assessment 11 end of year

progress examinations undertaken

Assessment 11 grades available

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 Green learning that a student has a good grasp of, Amber or Yellow learning that is causing some concern and Red flags 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.

VESPA

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 workexp@bolton-sfc.ac.uk 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. https://www.headstogether.org.uk/

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. http://www.youngminds.org.uk/contact

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.