Welcome

A very warm welcome from the College to the parents of returning students and parents of our new students. We hope that you have seen the information in the press and on our website about the fantastic results achieved by this year’s leavers. They were outstanding. As a College we are very proud of the work our staff do to support our learners in their studies and of course the effort, hard work and commitment shown by our students themselves. We look forward to meeting with you over the course of the year. Please make sure that you check out the calendar for the year which you can find in the electronic version of the Parent handbook on this page.

Second year parents will be invited in to our follow up Higher Education evening on 19th September 2018. Some parents attended the first session in march. This session is a new event and has different contributors to the previous one, so is still suitable for all parents. Please look out for the booking options in the following weeks.

We also have the opportunity on this evening, prior to the meeting to attend a workshop with Bob Craig. Bob is a specialist consultant who delivers a range of training for organisations on Mindset, mental health and wellbeing, coaching and related training. As a College we are pleased to work with him. Some parents attended his workshop last term on the ‘Workings of the teenage brain’. Bob will be delivering this session once more, but also a follow up workshop looking in more depth at some key themes. Details of the workshops will be published shortly as well as the opportunity to book onto each one.

For the parents of your new cohort, we have Welcome Parents meetings for all parents on Wednesday 26th September 2018 and Thursday 27th September 2018.  The first evening is for the parents of students who are on the A level programme and a mixed programme of BTEC certificate courses and the second evening on Thursday is for the parents of students on the BTEC Extended Diplomas. Much of the information delivered is the same but there are some subtly different messages dependant on the programme of study. Please come along, meet the senior management team, your son/daughter’s progress tutor and other key key staff.

Sandra McManus
Vice Principal

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   ‘headstoghether’ 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.