Sigma Sixth College Blog

The Head of College Reports

26th January 2022

Amazingly how fast time flies, we are now over half-way through our first half term of 2022, but before we leave January, I wanted to update you on some memorable events I wanted to update you on some memorable events that happened on campus during the autumn term.

On the 1st November we welcomed over 600 year 11 students to Sigma Sixth Tendring for our Open Evening. During the Open Evening, parents, carers and students had the opportunity to explore our campus and facilities, meet with our teaching staff and students and find out about our enrichment opportunities. Throughout the evening, current Sigma Sixth students were on hand to help our visitors, guiding them around the site, showcasing typical sixth form lessons and providing an invaluable insight into college life. They contributed to an exciting and vibrant evening where students felt informed and supported in making decisions about the next stage in their education.

Later in the same month we hosted a three-day experience event where we not only welcomed students from Clacton County High School, but also, The Colne Community School and College and Harwich and Dovercourt High School. Year 11 students from these Sigma Trust Schools have the opportunity to access courses from our campus to extend their curriculum offer.  

It was wonderful to meet and speak with so many prospective students from both CCHS and across Tendring and to discuss with them their plans for post-16, the subjects they wish to pursue and their future career aspirations.

Throughout the autumn term, year 12 and 13 students continued to be busy as they prepared for their mock examinations. Whilst year 13 have previously had a number of assessment opportunities this was year 12’s first experience.   In preparation, they attended a revision strategy session prior to their study week. During this session they participated in a range of activities and were provided with resources that they could use to construct their own revision material. This was well received by our students and many proudly presented their resources to teachers and peers.

Mock exams took place at the end of November and into December and once they had finished the College Council, made up of sixth form councillors, felt that the college community needed to feel the festive buzz!  Overnight our council members transformed the campus into a winter wonderland.  The final week of term provided much diversion for everyone after the intensity of the mocks and the college hosted a Sigma Sixth Christmas Bazaar.  The council organised a number of classic games such as ‘hook a duck’, ‘hoopla’ and ‘splat the rat’.  There were also cake stands, a penalty shoot out competition with Mr Crabb and ‘Pie the Teacher’ with me as the member of staff to aim for! As you can imagine, no-one wanted to miss out on this opportunity and the queue was quite long for target practice at the Head of College!  All in good humour and for a good cause, and overall the College Council raised £132 for Essex Age UK.

Following the return in the new year, as with all schools and colleges, students once again made adjustments to meet the government guidelines.  As they have for almost 2 years now, our students showed their resilience by positively responding to the mandatory changes, with masks on in lessons and communal areas, showing their commitment to protecting our college community.

Early January was a particularly exciting time for many of our year 13 students who were eager to share news about university interviews and offers, whilst others continue to work on their UCAS applications. With a mid-January deadline, Ms Locksmith and Mrs Reed are working tirelessly to provide guidance to assist students meet the UCAS deadline and we are delighted that so many more of our students have made the decision to move on to higher education.

Sigma Sixth students have been aspirational in their choices of universities and so far 20% of our students have received offers for Russell Group Universities.  University is just one career pathway available for post-18 options and, as we move into the next half term, we will be providing support with apprenticeships and employment opportunities.

Finally, last week, I had the pleasure of attending a song writing and musical composition workshop, which included our year 12 students working collaboratively with younger year groups to write and present a song within a day!  It was wonderful to observe their leadership and communication skills as they tackled this rather challenging task. They were perfect role models and I was extremely proud of their attitude, patience and encouragement towards their lower school peers.

As ever, the Sigma Sixth calendar is very busy for the rest of the year and I look forward to keeping you updated on events and activities as we progress through the spring term.

Sarah McKarry, Head of College