The Head of College Reports
30th September 2021
This month the college has been a hive of activity with our students settling into the new academic year. It was a joy to welcome the class of 2021 at the start of the month with a full year group induction in our large and airy atrium. Students were arranged in a conference style and embarked on team building tasks to 'break the ice' and get to know each other. The activity where students had to work collaboratively to build the largest spaghetti tower was surprisingly competitive but also very entertaining. It was great to see them conversing at ease whilst also finding imaginative ways to be the most successful. This is definitely a skill we want to see our young people embrace as they move into their future studies and the competitive world of work.
Our year 13 students have returned with a renewed sense of purpose, ready to embark on the final year of their A Level and Applied Level studies. In our first assembly we looked at our new Academic Mentoring Programme which are small group or 1:1 sessions that will take place each morning before lessons to support students with any gaps they may have in their learning. Our subject specialist mentors identify students based on recent assessments and their knowledge of the individual. Despite the slightly early start for some, this was well received by students and they have been engaging with the programme, it has also been an opportunity for them to discuss any concerns they have and to help us identify any additional support that can be put in place.
A number of our year 12 students are now out on their one day a week work experience placement and are having a wonderful time exploring the world of work. Students are supported by their mentor and work experience coordinator in finding a high-quality work experience placement. This increased self-understanding, maturing and independence compliments their studies and future career prospects. Along with our enrichment curriculum in year 12 we have been encouraging students to engage with 'super-curricular' opportunities to enhance their college experience. 'Super-curricular' is a popular term used in higher education to describe activities that go beyond course content. These activities range from being involved in our extracurricular clubs to writing a sixth form blog about a topic. We have explained to students that involving themselves in activities outside of their normal school work whilst still related to their academic studies, will make them stand out from the crowd during university or work interviews.
This week students received their first relationships and sex education talk from the RAP foundation. The organisation has been set up to empower students by educating them on UK laws and defining consent and sexual offences. Students were attentive and engaged during the mature talk, learning valuable information about a very relevant and current topic, with a real focus on ‘consent’. We are committed to helping students develop as individuals ready for life in the wider world and this is the first of many sessions that will be provided during the academic year.
Thank you for taking the time to read our Sigma Sixth blog, I look forward to sharing more stories about college life in the coming weeks.
Sarah McKarry, Head of College