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Sixth Form Colleges offer a unique opportunity for young people to develop from pupils into students, and here at Hartlepool Sixth Form College we pride ourselves on our support and guidance programme which promotes this successful transition.
At the age of sixteen students have many distractions to deal with such as:
- Part time employment, which is usually a good thing as long as they do not work too many hours, particularly late at night
- Social life which as they get older becomes more important
The College’s staff are experienced in dealing with students of this age and we know that success depends on students getting the balance right between work and leisure.
- As a result of the changes introduced by Curriculum 2000, all students take external examinations and assessments in their first year with us, and we have developed our tutorial and curriculum support which, when combined, ensure that each student is well prepared.
- When students first start at College they need a similar type of support to that which they received in school. Gradually they are encouraged to take a greater level of responsibility for their learning which will help to prepare them for Higher Education or employment.
The staff with particular responsibility for students’ development include:
Each student is assigned to a tutor group with a Personal Tutor, who, wherever possible, also teaches him/her. The Personal Tutor is often the first member of staff whom students approach for advice or guidance. It is the Personal Tutor who co-ordinates the progress reports which are sent out to parents and who draft references for students. Parents are invited to meet Personal Tutors shortly after the start of term to discuss any issues or concerns.
Written reports to parents will be sent out via Personal Tutors. Students taking AS/BTEC/A2 courses will receive three reports during the two years at College. Those students on one-year courses such as GCSE, AIDA and the Certificate in Child Care will receive one report. Parents’ evenings follow each reporting session.
Fulfil a similar role as that of year heads in school. They monitor the progress of the students for which they have responsibility and meet regularly with Personal Tutors who keep them up-to-date with students’ achievements.
All staff receive a daily bulletin which lists the names of students who have informed College that they are going to be absent. Students who are absent, but who have not telephoned College are tracked each morning and the results of these calls are also included on the daily bulletin. In this way Personal and Senior Tutors can quickly identify persistent absenteeism and arrange to see a student to discuss any problems. Initially, Senior Tutors deal directly with students who are not fulfilling their Learner Agreements either in terms of work or attendance, however, if the problem reoccurs, parents are informed and consulted on the best way forward.
When a student enrols at Hartlepool Sixth Form College on an advanced course, his/her GCSE grades are used to calculate their potential A-level grades. These grades are used by departments to evaluate, on a termly basis, whether each student is on, below or exceeding their target grade. In addition, Personal Tutors hold individual interviews each half-term to compare homework grades with target grades and to identify ways in which improvements can be made. Students on one-year courses such as GCSEs will have the target of improving by one grade in each of their subjects and Personal Tutors will provide appropriate guidance and support.
Students who are enrolled onto Child Care courses are taught by their Personal Tutors and they receive regular progress reviews based on their written assignments and work placement reports as well as the standard College reports.