THE SIXTH FORM COLLEGE COLCHESTER - PROSPECTUS 2021 - The Sixth Form College, Colchester

THE SIXTH FORM COLLEGE COLCHESTER - PROSPECTUS 2021 - The Sixth Form College, Colchester
THE SIXTH FORM COLLEGE COLCHESTER - PROSPECTUS 2021 - The Sixth Form College, Colchester
THE SIXTH FORM COLLEGE COLCHESTER - PROSPECTUS 2021 - The Sixth Form College, Colchester

Write to us at:
Admissions Co-Ordinator
The Sixth Form College
                                    WHAT’S INSIDE
North Hill
Colchester                          Welcome                                                                        4
                                    What does the College offer?                                                   6

                                    Study Programmes and Courses                                                   8
Call us on:                         College Life                                                               14
Tel: 01206 500743 or 01206 505595
                                    College Support                                                            24

                                    College Application Process                                                30
Email us at:           Your Programme of Study at the College                                     34

                                    Programme 1                                                                36
                                    A Level Programme
Find us online at:                  Programme 2                                                                96
                                    The Advanced Foundation Programme (AFP)

                                    How to Find Us                                                             98

                                    Key Dates for your Diary                                       Back cover

                                    At the time of writing (Summer 2020), the College is working hard to deal
                                    with the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and related government
                                    guidelines upon our provision. Clearly, at this point, it is impossible to
                                    predict the extent to which such factors will continue to have an impact
                                    upon courses starting in August 2021.
                                    This prospectus is written on the presumption that we are in a position to
                                    put in place a ‘standard’ college timetable. As, in the current academic
                                    year, some aspects of our courses and other activities may, however, have
                                    to be somewhat delayed, modified or suspended if we are unable to
                                    deliver them safely.
                                    We can, however, assure you that EVERYTHING WE DO WILL BE
vegetable oil based inks on FSC®    TO BE SAFE.
certified paper. The Sixth Form     We will work closely with you and your family, the Government and others,
College Colchester supports         to do all that we can to ensure that this is the case and will advise you of
environmental publishing            possible changes as they arise.

THE SIXTH FORM COLLEGE COLCHESTER - PROSPECTUS 2021 - The Sixth Form College, Colchester

Thank you for your interest in studying at The Sixth Form College from
September 2021.

                                             The decisions you make for the period after
                                             Year 11 will shape the next few years of your
                                             life and influence your preparations for success
                                             in continuing study in Higher Education, future
                                             employment and, more widely, your adult life.
                                             We strongly advise you to take the necessary
                                             time to explore your range of post Year 11
                                             progression options properly and to think well

                                             If you decide to apply to the College, your
                                             application will be for a programme of full-time
                                             general education focussed on academic
                                             study – including provisional choices of
                                             specific academic courses that have been well
                                             considered and fit in with your talents, interests
                                             and future aims. There is, of course, a jump in
                                             the academic level required to be successful for
                                             study at A Level from GCSE and it is important
                                             that prospective students are aware of the need
                                             for academic interest and consistent focus and

                                             We believe studying a full-time sixth form
                                             programme of continuing general academic
                                             education at the College represents an excellent
                                             choice for a good proportion, but certainly not
                                             all, Year 11 students, following the completion of
                                             their GCSEs.

                                             In your considerations and when you are
                                             undertaking your research please do talk to our
                                             current and former students and their parents as
                                             this will provide much useful insight. In addition
                                             to information provided in this Prospectus, our
                                             website and the Open Evenings or Information
                                             Mornings will provide much valuable information
                                             and perspective.

                                             All applicants will be helped in their
                                             considerations, including through a one to one
                                             interview and advisory meeting.

                                             We look forward to helping you find out
                                             more about the exciting and flexible range of
                                             opportunities at the College.

                                             Ian MacNaughton

4   The Sixth Form College
THE SIXTH FORM COLLEGE COLCHESTER - PROSPECTUS 2021 - The Sixth Form College, Colchester
THE SIXTH FORM COLLEGE COLCHESTER - PROSPECTUS 2021 - The Sixth Form College, Colchester

The Sixth Form College, Colchester provides prestigious continuing
full-time academic education opportunities for 16 – 19 year olds,
combined with excellent pastoral care, personal development
programmes and a fantastic range of wider activities. The aim
is to enhance your future progression opportunities – university,
employment and life.

There are two alternative academic          and engage in demanding programmes            range of learning support opportunities,
programmes of study: A Levels or the        of sixth form study to support their future   either one-to-one or in small groups, and
Advanced Foundation Programme (AFP).        progression and to develop a good             help with study skills is also available
                                            range of skills.                              from our Learning Support team.
A wide range of academic course
choices, together with options from the     Additional support is offered to students     Our Tutorial programme and review
large number of Additional Studies and      including those who wish to stretch           systems enables students to set
other extra-curricular activities, enable   themselves, for example, help with            themselves challenging targets and to
our students to devise personalised         preparing for Oxbridge entrance and           take responsibility for their own learning.
programmes that suit their individual       university applications. All students are     Students are expected to have, or to
needs and aspirations. The College          encouraged to use the support and             work to develop, the resilience and
continues to work to provide a broad        extension activities run by academic          skills required to complete their courses
and relevant curriculum for its students.   departments, together with the wide           successfully, so that they can move on to
We encourage our students to set their      range of resources available on the           the next stage of their young adult lives
sights high and expect them to study        College intranet (Moodle). There are a        with confidence.

6    The Sixth Form College
THE SIXTH FORM COLLEGE COLCHESTER - PROSPECTUS 2021 - The Sixth Form College, Colchester
THE SIXTH FORM COLLEGE COLCHESTER - PROSPECTUS 2021 - The Sixth Form College, Colchester

                    ?                                                                          a
There is much to consider when you are planning for further academic
study and we hope that the following ‘question and answer’ section will
help you in making the decisions that are right for you:

Will I be able to study                        on prestigious degree courses, are              Many visitors to Colchester will be familiar
                                               advised to include at least one ‘facilitating   with the iconic view of the main building,
the combination of                             subject’ (these are effectively the “English    sitting on top of North Hill, which can be
academic courses                               Baccalaureate Diploma” subjects) within         seen when arriving at the south of the
                                               their programme – and a good proportion         town centre – including the huge windows
that I want?                                   of students will include two or three such      of the Art Department that span the top
Yes. The College timetable will enable         subjects in their choices.                      of the entire building. Less immediately
any combination of A Level subjects                                                            visible are the range of other modern,
to be taken, and this is also generally        All provisional course choice considerations    purpose-built buildings and facilities.
the case on the Advanced Foundation            will be discussed with you at your interview    There is the Syd Kent Pavilion, with its
Programme (AFP).                               and then again at Induction. They will          ‘living roof’, student social and study
                                               then be finalised at Enrolment in early         spaces, as well as the specialist buildings
Maintaining coherence, breadth and             September, after your GCSE results have         for Languages, Performance and ICT.
balance when making choices is important.      been received.
The College also offers one of the widest                                                      A tour of the College might include a visit
selections of A Level courses in the country   Will all my courses be                          to: a sound studio, a student run charity
(including, for example, three different                                                       café, the fitness centre and astro turf
History A Level courses) thus providing        taught on one site?                             pitch, science laboratories, the visual arts
excellent options. Given the size and          Yes. At The Sixth Form College, we              areas, an electronics workshop, the radio
breadth of our provision, we are able to       teach all of our courses in specialist sixth    station and dance rehearsal rooms or any
ensure that you can select the combination     form accommodation on one purpose-              of the seventeen specific departmental
of subjects that you want without worrying     built site, located in a very accessible        teaching or learning areas.
about whether they conflict with other         central area of Colchester. Those of you
choices on the timetable, nor will they be     who have passed the entrance on North           Students may find themselves spending
withdrawn due to low demand. (Please           Hill, but have not yet visited our site, may    time in vibrant social spaces one minute,
note that there are a small number of          be surprised to find that there are seven       or seeking out a quiet area for study or
‘disallowed’ course combinations – usually     separate buildings, all specifically focused    support facilities the next. Apart from
to ensure that you do not narrow your          upon the academic teaching, learning and        those who choose the options of sports,
course choice too much).                       wider experiences appropriate for 16-19         work and community placements, or field
                                               year olds – and without the distractions        work and visits, all our activities take place
Students taking an A Level programme           of other activities applicable to younger       within the ease and security of one site in
of study, especially those seeking places      or older age groups.                            the heart of Colchester.

8    The Sixth Form College
THE SIXTH FORM COLLEGE COLCHESTER - PROSPECTUS 2021 - The Sixth Form College, Colchester

THE SIXTH FORM COLLEGE COLCHESTER - PROSPECTUS 2021 - The Sixth Form College, Colchester

Will I be able to change                       available regarding provisional course      the individual courses that they have
my provisional course                          choices and we are in a position to help    enrolled upon.
                                               you review your options at Induction and
choices?                                       Enrolment in order to ensure that your
                                                                                           How well do College

Yes. The provisional choices that you          choices match your skills, interests and
make during your application are only the      aspirations. At Induction in June, there    students achieve?
beginning of a process of getting you onto     is the chance to meet members of the        Examination results in College have
the right courses.                             different departments and think potential   been consistently excellent. Over the
                                               options through before you firmly commit    years, our students have consistently
If there are particular courses that you       to a course.                                achieved results which are much
very much wish to study, it is important                                                   higher than the average level of student
that you make this clear at your interview     At Enrolment a good deal of time is spent   achievement in schools and colleges
as a very small number of courses each         on a one-to-one basis getting the course    in England, including many of those
year are declared ‘full’ after the interview   choices right. Even in the early weeks of   in the independent school sector. Our

process has been completed and a               teaching we can explore the option of       students’ package of results consistently
waiting list system then commences.            making early changes, although once         represents a high degree of ‘value
                                               the teaching year is fully underway, we     added’ in terms of progress from their
There is usually a great deal of flexibility   do expect all students to complete all      GCSE backgrounds and have been
                                                                                           approximately 20% higher than the
                                                                                           national average for all schools and
                                                                                           colleges in England, including those in
                                                                                           the independent and grammar school

                                                                                           To provide a little more detail: in summer
                                                                                           2019 our cohorts of approximately 1,300
                                                                                           upper sixth students achieved a pass
                                                                                           rate of over 98% in their A Levels and
                                                                                           other Level 3 courses – and 90% of our
                                                                                           upper sixth students achieved 3 or more
                                                                                           A Level (or equivalent) passes (compared
                                                                                           to the national average of less than 80%).

                                                                                           The examination results achieved by
                                                                                           college students in a range of other
                                                                                           qualifications, such as GCSEs and a
                                                                                           wide range of other certificated courses
                                                                                           have also been excellent.

                                                                                           The issue of A Level and qualifications for
                                                                                           2020 was, of course a very challenging
                                                                                           consideration, arising from COVID 19 and
                                                                                           throughout the ‘lockdown’ of spring and
                                                                                           summer 2020, but we would like to pay
                                                                                           tribute to our students, who, throughout
                                                                                           a difficult period, impressed us with their
                                                                                           resilience, humour and determination. It is
                                                                                           important to remember that beneath the
                                                                                           statistics and the politics, the outcome
                                                                                           was that, finally, a huge number of
                                                                                           students achieved excellent grades which
                                                                                           reflected their high levels of skill, hard
                                                                                           work and tenacity.

     Dan, who joined us from East Bergholt High School, is currently                       A full range of results from 2019,
     studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at The University of                      regarding results gained under more
     Manchester, having achieved two A’s and a B at A Level, alongside                     conventional exam arrangements, are
     an A in his Financial Certificate                                                     available in the ‘Results’ section of our

10     The Sixth Form College

Ismay, who joined us from Thomas Gainsborough
School, is now studying Medicine at Sheffied,
having achieved a stunning four A* grades!


What academic                                passes at grade 4 or higher, ideally          What if I do not
grades will I need?                          including English Language (or                achieve the GCSE
                                             English Literature) and Mathematics,
The Sixth Form College is a relatively       but students must also satisfy the            grades that I need?

inclusive academic institution that          minimum entry criteria for each               During the application process we will
welcomes students from a wide variety        individual A Level subject (or                work closely with you to ensure that any
of educational backgrounds, who bring        equivalent). Entry onto certain subjects      academic courses offered to you are
with them a broad range of academic          will require a specific GCSE subject at       realistic and in line with your plans and
skills and prior achievements. Our           grade 5 or 6, or, in a small number of        aspirations, in the sense that you should
published entry criteria for the different   cases, a grade 7 or 8. For example, A         be able to manage each course and
academic programmes of study and             Level Biology and Chemistry require           succeed if you work hard.
individual courses ensure that we are        GCSE grade 6 in two GCSE sciences
able to offer appropriate courses,           and Mathematics. In the same vein,            We will also be clear about the grades you
which meet the needs and capabilities        many ‘written’ subjects such as A Level       need to achieve for each course choice.

of students. Sixth form academic study       English Literature or Philosophy require      Sometimes students are unable, for a
builds upon knowledge and skills             one (or two) GCSE grade 5’s in those          variety of reasons, to achieve the grades
gained at school and moves students          GCSE subjects that demand a high              that they need and in this case we will be
through academic programmes, which           level of written ability (English             available, on GCSE results day and beyond,
normally culminate in written                Language, English Literature, History or      to discuss further options. Students are
examinations. This is why your               Religious Studies).                           expected to achieve the minimum GCSE
performance in GCSE examinations is                                                        grades required for each individual subject,
a key interest to us, as we need to          Full details of all entry criteria for each   but adjustments often only require some
establish that a foundation of               of our courses are published in the           amendment to your course choices. If there
knowledge and skills is in place for us      second part of this prospectus and it is      is a significant likelihood that you will not get
to build upon.                               really important that you check these         the grades that you need to achieve your
                                             before making any provisional course          initial goals, please discuss this at your
For an A Level programme of study,           choice decisions and that you are             interview. We offer a very wide range of
we normally require students to have         aware that these are very much                courses and it is often the case that a range
a range of at least five to seven GCSE       ‘minimum’ expectations.                       of possible alternatives can be considered.

                                                                                                      Jemima is now studying
                                                                                                      at Exeter reading
                                                                                                      Business Economics,
                                                                                                      having achieved an
                                                                                                      excellent one A* and two
                                                                                                      A grades – all alongside
                                                                                                      her achievements as a
                                                                                                      published poet!

12    The Sixth Form College

How will College be                           and your parents if needed. You will find     to be involved in between 17.5 and
different to school?                          that the way you talk to and work with
                                              staff will reflect a more adult approach.
                                                                                            22 hours of timetabled classes each
                                                                                            week, depending upon the specific
First of all, compared to Year 11, you        Students call all staff by their first name   choices that each individual student
will study a smaller number of subjects       and work closely with them in such a          makes. Alongside this there will be an
but in a more specialist way and at a         way that they increasingly take more          expectation of approximately 16 hours
higher academic level. Otherwise, many        responsibility for their own learning.        per week of individual study.
of the familiar aspects of school life
carry on in a similar vein at the College,    What will my weekly                           You will be given an individual timetable
but in a specialist young adult sixth form                                                  after your enrolment. Your timetable
environment. You will join academic
                                              timetable be like?                            will be unique to you, based upon the
subject classes, on average, of 17            The College only offers full-time general     specific course choices you have made
students in size (with nearly all classes     academic education programmes                 at the conclusion of the Interview,
in a 15 to 20 range). You will regularly      of study. As a student enrolling at           Induction and Enrolment process. It is
meet with your teachers for a pattern         the College, you are committing to            important to highlight that all students
of 4 double lessons per week in each          participate in a full five-day timetabled     are expected to fully attend and
A Level subject. You will also have a         week of varied activities including           complete every course upon which
Personal Tutor who you will see every         timetabled academic lessons, a daily          they enrol.
day. The College timetabled day for all       tutorial and any Additional Studies or
academic classes is from 9am to 4pm           other wider activities that you have          Any flexible time during the college day
and all academic classes are held on          chosen. There will also be a need for         (9am – 4pm) will need to be carefully
the excellent college campus.                 regular independent study. The College        managed, including use of a proportion
                                              academic day starts promptly at 9am           of this time spent on independent study
The routines of registers, target grades,     and runs until 4pm (Monday to Friday).        to complete assignments, as well as
homework, mock exams, etc. will all           A good number of students travel              recreational and social time.
seem very familiar to you from school.        from a considerable distance to study
                                              with us and we therefore work hard to         You do not need to be present on
Your work in the classroom will also          ensure that all academic lessons and          the College site when you do not
build upon and extend the style of work       many of the choices of other activities       have timetabled commitments. This
that you adopted for your GCSEs. You          take place within the main 9am – 4pm          means that you may not always be
will have more need for independent           college day. However, a wide range of         required in college for the start of each
study – this will include you organising      optional extra-curricular activities, such    day at 9am and you may have an
some independent study time outside           as sports and performing arts (including      afternoon when you can leave before
of term time – particularly in the periods    residential fieldwork and evening             4pm. Effective use of time is a key part
ahead of coursework deadlines or              events) will also be offered outside of       of becoming an independent learner
public exams.                                 the timetabled framework to those who         and the journey towards developing
                                              wish to participate.                          the skills necessary for university or
College is a young adult environment                                                        employment.
experience, providing a maturing              Lessons are 70 minutes in length (these
transition from school onto the worlds of     are ‘doubles’) but, for some courses,         It is not permissible for students
higher education or employment at age         there are also some single lessons. On        to engage in any part-time paid
18. As part of this journey it is important   any given day, students are likely to         employment before 4.30pm Monday to
that we adopt a more ‘adult’, organized       attend lessons in three, possibly four,       Friday in term time periods. If students
and self-motivated approach to your           of their different subject areas and on       have non-timetabled flexible time
learning. Staff will make clear demands       some days students will participate           before 4.30pm they should be using
of you in terms of attendance and             in their chosen Additional Study. In          this time for wider college activities or
achievement and work closely with you         total, most first year students are likely    independent study.

14    The Sixth Form College

Will I make friends?                          determined by many factors, including          moving to a different venue each year.
One of the very positive aspects about        the demands of your academic                   An Annual Sports Award event helps us
joining the College is that, on your first    programme, together with your particular       to celebrate the tremendous
day, everyone else in your year group         interests and career aims.                     contributions and achievements of our
will also be starting on that day – so                                                       individual sportsmen and women and
everyone starts on an equal footing and       You are advised to choose one                  our successful teams.
everyone is keen to make new friends.         Additional Study course in the first
The College offers an excellent               instance, although you may choose to           There are a wide range of excellent
opportunity to make an exciting fresh         take part in further activities if these are   Performing Arts facilities, and
start in a new environment and, as part       available and fit into your overall            opportunities for students to create
of this, the opportunity to widen the         programme. Personal Tutors will help           music, or perform in dance or drama at
group of friends from those made at           with advice and guidance in this area.         the College. Whatever your current level
school.                                       Additional study courses normally run for      of performance, and whatever type of
                                              two terms. Most involve a commitment           music, dance or drama you are
Students attend the College from a            of one or two periods per week. There          interested in, you should be able to find
variety of backgrounds with different         are also a broad range of clubs,               ways of taking part. You do not have to
skills and experiences and there are          societies, field trips or expeditions and      be an A Level Music, Dance, Drama or
bound to be others that share your            extracurricular activities.                    BTEC Performance Studies student to
interests and outlook. Of course, it will                                                    become involved in one or more of the
take a little time in the autumn for people   In addition to the option of studying an       wide range of Performing Arts additional
to get to know the College and each           academic sports courses (A Level Sport         studies. All who are interested and
other, this is why we organise a number       & PE or Applied General Certificate or         enthusiastic are welcome.
of activities during Induction and            Extended Certificate in Sport) and the
Enrolment; we will work hard to ensure        Coaching Sport and Physical Activity           Examples of Additional Study performing
that you will soon feel at home. Change       (Level 2) a range of sports options open       arts choices available include:
is an inevitable part of life and students    to all students include:
who attend sixth form colleges generally                                                      Band  Choir  Contemporary
develop very good skills which help them       Badminton  Basketball Academy               Dance  Dance Choreo Lab  Drama
deal with the changes that lie ahead.         (men’s and women’s squads)                     Clubs – Shakespeare and
                                               Equine Studies – theory options              Contemporary
The College aims to provide a                 and Equestrian events  Netball                 Music Instrumental Tuition
supportive inclusive environment for all       Rugby (men’s and women’s squads)              Orchestra  Performance Activities
students qualified to undertake the            Running  Soccer (men’s and                   Productions  Rock Music
programmes of study we are able to            women’s squads)  Table Tennis                 Workshop  Theory of Music
offer. The College has a strong                Tennis  Trampolining  Volleyball
commitment to, and an excellent                Weights and Fitness                          The wide range of college concerts,
reputation, for its pastoral care and                                                        productions and plays are not the only
guidance systems. Maintenance of a            Whether you just want to try to keep fit       opportunities for you to perform:
friendly and happy atmosphere is valued       and have some fun, or you take your            ‘Unplugged on the Concourse’ events,
as an important part in contributing to       sport very seriously and compete at a          the annual Battle of the Bands
our students’ success.                        high level, we have something to suit          competitions and a series of student led
                                              you. On-site sports facilities include         activities have also continued to
                                              asports hall, fitness centre and               produce student performances of a very
Will I be able to carry on                    all-weather pitch. For sports requiring        impressive quality.
with my other interests                       specialist sports fields or other facilities
                                              we will continue to provide free transport     A good audience is important, so even if
or add new experiences?                       to a range of high-quality sports venues       you don’t feel you have the skills to take
Yes. A very wide-ranging programme of         around the town.                               part you will be very welcome to attend
Additional Studies and extra-curricular                                                      these events.
activities is available. Students should      There are regular Wednesday afternoon
make decisions based upon their own           matches for our teams in all the major         The Performing Arts Department
individual needs, interests, skills and       sports and the College enters teams for        organises a good number of visits to
aspirations.                                  local and national competitions in many        productions, hosts external productions
                                              other fields, including cross-country and      and has significant levels of
You should look upon the College as           volleyball.                                    engagements and support from former
providing an opportunity to develop and                                                      students now working professionally in
broaden skills and experiences but also       A wide range of sports teams take part in      the field of performing arts. The
to develop some new skills. The number        the British Colleges Championships with        department also organises an annual
and type of courses chosen will be            regional events followed by national finals,   Performing Arts Awards Evening.

16    The Sixth Form College

The range of clubs and societies give you    represents a major consideration. For        What are the
a chance to spend more time on
activities connected with your studies or
                                             many the ‘travel to learn’ journey to
                                             Colchester, from a different part of the
                                                                                          class sizes?
to follow interests that are outside your    local area will represent an exciting        The average academic class size at the
main timetable.                              first step in their journey towards the      College remains at an average level of
                                             young adult world of work or university      17 students. This will, of course, vary
Examples of Additional Studies or clubs      in a large town or city. It is a chance to   a little by subject and specific class,
and societies (other than those previously   broaden horizons. For some this must         but it is rare for any individual A Level
mentioned) include:                          of course be balanced against practical      group size to be less than 12 or more
                                             and financial considerations.                than 21. Indeed, nearly all academic
 Arts and Culture Committee                                                              teaching groups are between 15 and
 Ceramics  Charities Committee             A range of transport advice, guidance        20 in size in the autumn period.
 Christian Union  Conservation Group       and support is available for students
 Creative Writing  Debating Society        and their parents. The railway operator      What will the
 Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award               and many local bus companies offer
 Financial Studies Certificate              our students relatively low cost (heavily    teachers be like?
 Friends not Foes Group (Citizenship)       discounted) termly season ticket             The College focuses upon the delivery
 Introduction to Japanese or Mandarin       concessions. During our Open Evenings        of A Level courses specifically
 Chinese  Lawyers  Medics                 and our evening meetings for parents         designed for 16-19 year olds. We
 Russ Fair Trade Coffee Shop                at Induction, staff are available who        have been able to build up a teaching
 Signing  Storm Radio                      can advise upon transport issues –           team of staff who are specialists in
                                             alternatively they can be contacted via      16-19 education and in their subject
The College is a vibrant young adult         the College switchboard. There is also       areas and are able to concentrate
community and there is a great deal          a regularly-updated ‘Transport’ page         exclusively upon their field. For
going on. If your particular interest does   accessed via the ‘Parent’ section of the     example, an A Level teacher in any
not seem to be offered then you could        College website. We would certainly          of our departments is likely to be
get together with others who share your      advise that students and their parents       working just with this one qualification
ideas and start your own society. Full       take the opportunity to further consider     type and with just the 16 – 18 age
details of the wide range of Additional      any travel arrangements.                     group.
Studies courses for 2021/22 will be
provided at the Induction Day in June        For those who make an application,           Across all of our departments, it is
2021 and a copy of the Additional            Induction Days in June give students         highly likely that the team will include
Studies Handbook for 2020/21 (and in         the chance to give their proposed travel     staff involved in examining and
due course 2021/22) is posted in the         arrangements a ‘test run’. They also         moderation for exam boards and there
documents section of the website on an       provide parents with the opportunity         are also staff who have responsibilities
ongoing basis.                               to discuss the matter further with staff     in areas such as textbook writing and
                                             during the meetings in the evening,          staff training in other schools and
How will I get                               before any final decisions are made.         colleges. The fact that there are large
                                                                                          teams of staff involved in teaching
to College?                                  In terms of financial support, the           areas provides excellent opportunity
The College is located in central            College is not able to directly subsidise    for exchange of ideas and methods,
Colchester and benefits from very            transport. However, there are bursaries      and enables students to benefit from
good bus and rail links, which enable        available to those on a low income.          a range of skills and perspectives.
students to travel to the College from       These can amount to several hundred
a range of areas in much of Mid and          pounds of annual support and some            All teaching staff take part in a regular
North Essex and South Suffolk. There         families have made the decision to use       programme of personal training and
are two railway stations within easy         such bursaries to help with transport        development, as well as an ongoing
walking distance as well as a large          costs (further details of the bursary        process of lesson observation, where
network of buses to central Colchester       award scheme can be found on our             everyone across the College can
which bring students in from a range         Parents Page on the College website).        observe everyone else teach and work
of locations. Every year we are pleased                                                   to suggest improvements.
to see a significant number of students      In addition, the College does regularly
join us from areas including Ipswich,        negotiate preferential discount rates        As one of the largest A Level centres
Braintree, Chelmsford, Witham and            for termly travel passes with a number       in the country, we have amassed a
Tendring - but a good number come            of transport companies and, in some          considerable amount of expertise and
from beyond.                                 cases, arrangements can be made to           influence with regard to curriculum
                                             pay for termly passes by instalment.         change and have played an active role
We recognise that, for some students,        In all cases, it is well worth further       in adapting to recent changes in the
travel to and from the College               discussion with staff here at the College.   A Level curriculum.

18    The Sixth Form College

Where will I work                                  Centre, which provides a suite of eight           Stationery is not provided, but textbooks,
and socialise?                                     computing and ICT rooms and the
                                                   Language Centre, which includes six
                                                                                                     relevant equipment and apparatus
                                                                                                     are loaned for the duration of College
When not engaged in timetabled lessons             specialist teaching rooms.                        courses without charge.
our students are free to use their flexible
time across virtually the whole range of
facilities on the College site. There are
                                                   Where will I eat lunch?                           A learning resource/information
                                                                                                     technology/insurance contribution of £50
plenty of independent study facilities             The College has an excellent in-house             is requested – £25 of which is refundable
including the Library and the Pavilion             catering service and our staff provide very       on completion of the student’s course,
Study Area and a significant number of             good value, freshly produced healthy food         less the cost of any losses, damage or
other general or specialist study facilities       options for students, staff and visitors.         outstanding examination fees.
throughout the College. Some areas are
silent, others are quiet areas and others          We are committed to using, wherever               Parents/Carers are also invited to
are suitable for group or interactive work.        possible, fresh, locally sourced produce;         donate £10 to the College Fund for one
                                                   buying low salt, sugar and fat content            year, or £15 for two/three years. This
This includes a large number of ‘drop              ingredients; baking rather than frying,           fund is used throughout the year to
in’ areas for use of computers or a wi-fi          and reducing fat, sugar and salt in our           support student facilities and activities
system if you wish to bring your own               prepared dishes.                                  at the College.
tablet or laptop. In addition, the College
also has comfortable social areas which            We offer breakfast, snacks, vegetarian and        Some courses will involve students
offer more relaxed accommodation where             meat main courses, plus a homemade                providing appropriate materials. Please
students can meet and chat, alongside              selection of salads. Freshly baked and            consult individual subject information
quieter areas for pair or group work.              filled rolls are also available - filled to the   details in this prospectus and on the
                                                   customer’s own requirements. We offer a           College website for details of any
The Library is well stocked with both              selection of hot and cold snacks, including       additional expenses that may be involved
physical and online resources selected             filled jacket potatoes and toasted paninis.       when studying particular subjects.
to meet students’ requirements and is a
pleasant working environment for silent            A group of volunteer students also run            Is there financial
private study. The library staff are helpful,      Zero, an environmental hub that promotes
experienced and well qualified.                    sustainable living, providing an ethical,         support available?
                                                   contemporary and lively space for students        The College receives Government
Where will my lessons                              to work together in an effort to improve          funding to support both a bursary award
                                                   the world we all live in. Students work in        and a contribution to food costs scheme
take place?                                        the space to sell sustainable stationery,         for eligible students from families on
The College is situated on a very historic         swap goods such as books and clothes              low incomes (generally those receiving
site just inside the Roman wall. The               and collect for charities. As a group, your       a means tested state benefit). A
important heritage of the site has been            creativity and enthusiasm will help steer the     discretionary award scheme for students
preserved whilst still delivering superb           approach and direction of the enterprise          in extreme financial hardship is also in
facilities for our students. The College           by encouraging imaginative and innovative         place.
has a range of specialist teaching                 use of the space. So, if you are ethical,
facilities, specifically geared towards the        principled, big-hearted, responsible,             Evidence of family financial circumstances
provision of one of the broadest ranges            work well as part of a team and enjoy a           will be required to access these funds.
of A Level provision in the country; as an         challenge, then sign up and be a part of
example, the main South Site building              Zero! Volunteering in Zero can count as           Further details of support arrangements
has specialist facilities for science,             part of your Volunteering section of Duke         for 2021/22 year will be published online
mathematics, art, performance, etc.                of Edinburgh.                                     for Induction 2021.

The Mid-Site area provides us with sporting        What are the financial                            Students may also be eligible for some
facilities, including: a state-of-the-art sports                                                     support towards travel costs to attend
hall, fitness room, all-weather pitch and          costs of College life?                            HE and employment interviews - see the
lecture theatres, as well as a restaurant and      There are no tuition fees for enrolment at        ‘How will I travel to College’ section for
thirty-three humanities teaching rooms. A          College (for those who meet the criteria          further details regarding transport costs
key feature of the Mid- Site building is the       outlined in the College Admissions Policy).       and support.
energy efficiency and recycling facilities,
which are a high priority.                         As with any other state sector school or          Will I be able to learn
                                                   college, there are a number of other costs
Also, on the lower portion of the site,            that need to be considered (The figures           outside the classroom?
close to the Mid-Site building, is The             below represent the current levels of charge      Yes. You will need to undertake a good
Pavilion study and social area, the ICT            and may be amended slightly for 2021):            deal of independent learning and study

20     The Sixth Form College

to succeed at A Level. All students          use of our town centre location to study         study of specific subjects. For example,
will need to be regularly involved in        traffic and pollution, English students          there are annual field trips organised
independent study outside of their           writing creatively about locations in            by the Biology, Environmental Studies,
timetabled courses. A guideline of 15        the town and the Biology Department              Geography, Geology, Art, Music, Drama,
hours a week independent study is            fieldwork day at Colchester Zoo.                 Art History, Sociology and English
appropriate for most students. Students                                                       Departments. The Modern Languages
have a number of opportunities to            We also aim to promote work-based                Department regularly offers Spanish
become involved with learning activities     learning, giving guidance on applying for        Exchange visits.
outside the classroom: In addition to a      and undertaking placements for students
range of outside speakers, use of the        of all abilities and interests, such as in the   In recent years, groups have visited
onsite research facilities and practical     field of Health and Social Care, Teaching,       Arizona, Hawaii, France, Ecuador, India,
workshops, academic departments are          Sport and Medicine.                              Belgium and Germany. All departments
encouraged to make use of the whole                                                           build visits into their programmes
college site as part of their schemes of     There are a range of trips and visits,           of study and there are many more
work. Recent activities have included        some connected specifically to the               general opportunities for theatre,
students using their mobile phones to        curriculum and others aimed at                   sport, dance and music trips. These
measure optic flow in Psychology, the        broadening student experience. In                do involve students making a financial
“Modern Foreign Languages Got Talent”        previous years, these have included              contribution, but for families receiving
show and the recording of spontaneous        Stratford Shakespeare weekend,                   benefits and those with difficult financial
conversations in the refectory for English   the India Expedition, the Paraguay               circumstances a subsidy from the
Language.                                    Expedition, Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold             College may well be available.
                                             Award, departmental visits to places
Departments are also encouraged              such as Arran, Arizona and New York, a           The College aims, where reasonably
to engage with the local area and            series of language exchanges and visits          practical, to enable those with financial
businesses, with a wide range of learning    and many more besides.                           hardship or accessibility matters to
taking place within Colchester itself;                                                        participate in learning outside the
these have included: The Sociology           Most students will have opportunities            classroom and students should, in the first
taster day at the University of Essex,       to participate in residential field trips        place, discuss any difficulties or concerns
the Environmental Studies Department’s       and day or part day visits through the           with their Personal or Senior Tutor.

22    The Sixth Form College

Will I have my own                             also has its own counselling team and          the context of the resources that
                                               health workers and can help you gain           the government makes available.
Personal Tutor?                                access to outside support services where       Students with learning difficulties can be
Yes. When you enrol at the College in          appropriate.                                   assessed at College. Previous reports
early September, you will join a tutor                                                        or assessments will be updated and
group of around 25 students and you will       What if I need extra help?                     arrangements for exams put in place
see your Personal Tutor every day. There                                                      as necessary. The transfer from GCSE
                                               Most subjects offer support classes and
will be group activities but there is also a                                                  to sixth form study at age 16 can be
                                               workshops for A Level students, as well
considerable amount of time spent with                                                        really exciting, but some initially find it
                                               as teachers providing some individual ‘out
Personal Tutors on a one-to-one basis.                                                        a bit of a worry. It is important that we
                                               of class’ support. In addition, the Learning
                                                                                              work together to try to get this right
                                               Support Department supports students
Your Personal Tutor, who is responsible for                                                   for all students, particularly those with
                                               with higher learning needs and offers
your group, will guide and advise you and                                                     learning support needs / exam access
                                               drop in support classes to any students
help you to settle down quickly and enjoy                                                     arrangements.
                                               who could benefit from some extra
your time with us. Your Personal Tutor
                                               help with study skills or getting started
also helps you to plan your programme of                                                      We welcome applications from all
                                               on homework. The drop-in support is
study and is responsible for your welfare                                                     suitably qualified prospective students
                                               student driven and areas covered could
throughout your time at the College.                                                          including any student with learning
                                               include essay planning, proofing, literacy
Regular individual reviews of progress are a                                                  support needs, as long as the student
                                               skills, exam revision, research skills and
key element of this support. Your Personal                                                    meets the academic entry criteria for
                                               note taking. Other possible support
Tutor also ensures that you receive the                                                       their chosen programme of study and
                                               includes the provision of equipment where
necessary specialist advice, when the                                                         other criteria as laid down in the College
                                               appropriate, academic mentoring and
time comes for you to consider your                                                           Admissions Policy. We will work together
                                               one-to-one support.
second-year programme of study, career                                                        to ensure that we anticipate any support
choices and applications for places in         We recognise that many students will           needs and exam access arrangements
higher education or employment. Normally       need some extra support with welfare           so that, wherever possible, arrangements
students have the same Personal Tutor          issues or their emotional wellbeing. In        are ready and in place for enrolment.
throughout their time at the College. Tutor    addition to the help and advice available
groups are organised into nine ‘Divisions’,    from Personal Tutors and Senior Tutors,        There are a number of opportunities
each of which is led by a Senior Tutor. If     students can drop into the Welfare Hub to      for you or your parents to provide
any problems arise or you need advice,         seek support or request an appointment         relevant learning support/ exam access
both your Personal Tutor and your Senior       with a counsellor. We will always aim to       arrangements information, including on
Tutor are available to help you.               work with you to overcome or manage            the College application form, then at the
                                               any difficulty.                                admissions interview, at the Induction
Those following the Advanced Foundation                                                       Days, at Enrolment, and in the autumn
Programme will be catered for in specialist                                                   term. We cannot help if we do not know
tutor groups made up only of students
                                               Will the College                               of a learning support need or an existing
following that programme.                      cater for my learning                          exam access arrangement - so please
                                                                                              ensure we are kept updated.
The excellent College Careers Department       support needs?
will also provide important further support    Yes, the College will aim to meet your         For more information please email:
for individual students. The College           learning needs as far as possible within

24    The Sixth Form College

Where do students                           summer term, drop-in support, facilities      a huge number of representatives from
move onto after                             guidance and support through the
                                            tutorial programme and the ongoing
                                                                                          higher education providers –these come
                                                                                          from local universities, including the
College?                                    services of the Careers Department and        University of Essex, but also from further
Most of our student leavers directly        senior tutors.                                afield, including Dundee!
progress to university or specialist
continuing education or employment          There is specific support for different       To give an idea of the scale of the event,
with training – but some choose to have     groups of students such as aspirant           there are usually 44 sessions purely
a ‘gap year’ prior to progression to a      teachers and lawyers, or for medics           devoted to the completion of university
degree course or a career opportunity.      through the ‘Medics Course’ or those          application personal statements, delivered
Each year approximately 1000 of our         seeking to apply to Oxbridge or other         by representatives from more than nine
students, upon completing programmes        Russell Group universities or even to         different universities. In total, over the two
of study at the College, proceed to         organise a gap year.                          days, the overall number of progression
study at a university or medical school                                                   sessions available for students to choose
before entering career pathways. This       The College has links and relationships       is in excess of four hundred.
includes several hundred students           with a wide range of universities in
who, each year, achieve places on
prestigious degree courses such as
                                            the UK, including Emmanuel College
                                            and Christchurch College Cambridge,
                                                                                          Will I get help in aiming
Architecture, Economics, Engineering,       Hertford College Oxford as well as most       for aspirational courses
English, History, Law, Mathematics,         universities within a 100-mile radius of      or careers?
Medicine and Sciences and gain places       the College.
at Cambridge and Oxford or other top                                                      Yes. The College recognises that all
‘Russell Group’ universities or medical     We are pleased to have particularly           of its students with varying individual
schools. There are other students who       strong links with the University of Essex     circumstances, talents and potential
successfully achieve places on more         and we work with them, for example, to        will at times, require additional and
specialist or vocationally focused degree   deliver conferences, extension facilities     specific one-to-one support. A
course areas including computing,           and support to our Extended Project           range of specialist programmes and
creative arts, education, environmental     Programme.                                    activities are provided to suit each
science, finance, management science,                                                     individual student; this includes
media, nursing and performing arts.         The College Careers Department                guidance for those students with
                                            organise a range of events throughout         very high academic potential and
Other students will progress to study       the year to help students decide upon         aspirations, and those who are likely to
specialist non-degree courses in            their future options for careers and          be pursuing applications for the most
the visual arts (art schools etc) or        further study. As an example, they            competitive academic courses. This
performing arts (drama, dance or music      oversee the ‘Two Day Programme’ of            will involve those applying for places at
colleges), or finance courses (e.g.AAT).    careers events that takes place towards       Oxford, Cambridge and other ‘Russell
Approximately 200 students each             the end of a student’s first year of study.   Group’ universities and for the most
year will progress to employment with       There are also activities throughout          competitive degree courses in the fields
training – locally, nationally and, for     the year such as briefings for students       of law, medicine, veterinary medicine,
some, internationally.                      and parents about Oxbridge entry and          dentistry, physiotherapy, architecture,
                                            higher education finance.                     mathematics, science, engineering,
                                                                                          English, history and languages.
Will I get help moving                      The ‘Two Day Programme’ involves
on to university or                         students taking part in a structured          Support available to students with high
employment?                                 programme of sessions to help them
                                            develop their career and academic
                                                                                          academic aspirations will include:

Yes. There is considerable help and         aspirations. Sessions, mainly provided        • One-to-one academic mentoring
support for each individual student         by specialists, include guidance              from a senior or specialist member
regarding future employability-whether      regarding progression beyond college.         of staff.
it be from a university degree course       Presentations, workshops and activities       • Individual guidance regarding
or directly after completion of a           involve a huge range of visiting              all aspects of the university
programme of study at the College. For      speakers. These include professionals         application process, with specialist
most students, the two years will seem      talking about their career paths and          programmes for potential applicants
to pass quickly and there is much to        advice ranging from banking, finance          for Oxbridge, medicine and law.
consider during this time. Our students     and accountancy to engineering,               • Specialist advice regarding
benefit from a rolling programme of         computing, fashion, media, sport, law,        university admissions requirements,
support for university and employment       food, hotel management, journalism,           and a carefully tailored programme of
applications, including higher education    physiotherapy and the armed forces. A         study with regular target setting and
fairs, the ‘Two Day Programme’ in the       key part of the event is the input from       reviews.

26    The Sixth Form College

• Formal guidance and preparation            by students on their application form        matters of concern to students.
for university interviews, including         and again at enrolment. We would be
practice sessions.                           grateful if parents and carers could         The Council has six main sub-
• Support to help students in                ensure that the College is informed of       committees: the Social Committee,
preparation for relevant university          any changes of email address, postal         Arts Committee, Charities Committee,
entrance exams or extra tests                address or other relevant details.           Sports Committee, Environment
including STEP, BMAT, UKCAT, LNAT                                                         and Science Committee and Culture
and the range of Oxford subject                                                           Committee. All of these are very
tests.                                       Who should I contact                         involved in encouraging student
                                             if there are any queries                     activities.
The opportunity to pursue an individual
‘university style’ Extended Project
                                             or concerns, especially                      The College Council works to:
Qualification (EPQ), in an area of           those linked to a                            organise social events for College
particular academic interest for degree
level study, often with full support
                                             particular student?                          students; provide good facilities in
                                                                                          the student social areas; control
from an appropriate academic mentor.         For all enrolled students, the first point   College Council finance and decide
EPQs are very favourably viewed by           of contact should be the student’s           on the use of the money to benefit
competitive university courses.              personal tutor, who can be contacted         students; represent student views
                                             via email or the College switchboard on      on various College administrative
Opportunities for visits, lectures,          01206 500700.                                committees; promote good relations
discussions and support sessions                                                          with the people of Colchester; support
together with specialist careers             For students yet to enrol, all queries       a range of international, national and
guidance. This includes opportunities to     should be directed to the Admissions         local charities.
discuss career choices with university       Team on 01206 500743 or 01206
admissions staff and other practising        505595.                                      Events organised by the College
professionals.                                                                            Council have included a large range
                                             More general queries can often be dealt      of theatre and concert visits, charity
Opportunities to participate in a variety    with by the College General Office Team      fund-raising events and a variety of
of accelerated specialist one-year           on 01206 500700.                             College sports tournaments. The
academic courses to support and                                                           College Council makes an important
extend an individual student’s academic      Details of all forthcoming events can        contribution to College life and
portfolio relevant to specific progression   be found in the Principal’s Newsletter       provides students with a number of
pathway.                                     which is prepared for students and           lively and interesting opportunities, as
                                             their parents and carers and aims to         well as offering the chance for students
How does the College                         provide important information, guidance
                                             and advice, review recent activities
                                                                                          to take on posts of real responsibility.
                                                                                          New ideas are always welcome.
work with parents                            and highlight a number of forthcoming
and carers?                                  events and dates.                            What are the values
The College seeks to work closely with       The College provides regular                 of the College?
parents and carers in order to ensure        opportunities for parents and carers to      We want everyone feel welcome, safe
the success and wellbeing of students.       meet with teaching staff, normally in        and supported throughout their studies.
                                             November and July.                           The College is proud to be designated
A Parents’ Handbook is made available                                                     a “College of Sanctuary”: a safe and
to parents and carers at the start of the    Students are asked to make                   welcoming place for all, especially those
academic year – it provides parents and      appointments on behalf of parents and        seeking a place of safety. It is also a
carers with much confirmation and            carers at such events.                       college that helps its students, staff
guidance useful to them. Our Parents’                                                     and wider community understand what
Page on the College website is updated       How does the College                         it means to be seeking sanctuary and
periodically and provides information                                                     to extend a welcome to everyone as
and guidance useful to parents and           work with and listen                         equal, valued members of the College
carers of students currently enrolled at     to students?                                 community. These principles inform the
the College, as well as those of students                                                 work of our staff and the activities of our
considering making an application. The       Student activities are organised by the      students in a number of ways, including
College also seeks to keep in touch with     College Council, which consists of an        our applications and admissions
parents and carers of students and           elected student representative from          processes, our tutorial programme and
prospective students via email.              each tutor group as well as members of       the activities of student groups, such as
                                             the College teaching staff. The Council      the award-winning college ‘Friends Not
Parental email addresses are provided        provides a focus for discussion of           Foes’ group.


We appreciate that some young                 • Be committed to providing a safe        We place a high priority on keeping our
people experience difficulties and face       and secure environment for all its        students safe. All our staff are trained
challenges in their lives at times and any    members and visitors. Students and        to spot the signs of a young person at
one of us may find they need to seek          staff have a right to expect protection   risk, and take action to protect them.
support or sanctuary.                         from harm.                                Safeguarding includes adhering to the
                                              • The College will not tolerate           Government’s “Prevent” strategy.
Please let us know if your parents or         bullying, victimisation and
carers need help communicating with           harassment, including hate speech.        All educational establishments must
college or accessing parents’ evenings.       • Value diversity in respect of           promote values which are opposed to
We will do the best we can to support         race, ethnicity or national origin,       extremism. These “fundamental British
them and make them feel comfortable           gender, religion and belief or            values” are:
and welcome here.                             none, socioeconomic background,
                                              gender variance, marital status or        • Democracy
The College is committed to taking            family circumstances, pregnancy           • The rule of law
account of the diversity of the               and parenthood, political opinions        • Individual liberty
communities it serves, advancing equality     and affiliations, physical attributes     • Mutual respect for, and tolerance
of opportunity for everyone, using positive   or appearance, disability, sexual         of, those with different faiths and
action where necessary and providing          orientation and age.                      beliefs and for those without faith.
support and sanctuary on an individual        • Educate students and staff on the
basis. To this end, within the context of     importance of equality and human          These values are also College values.
the resources available, the College will:    rights, fostering good relations          We promote them in many different
                                              between individuals and groups            ways including our work on equality
• Treat students, staff, applicants,          within the College.                       and diversity, College elections and
parents, carers and members of                • Welcome applications from all           student voice, a classroom culture
the wider communities with dignity,           students, including those with a          of intellectual curiosity, questioning,
respect and fairness.                         disability or learning support needs,     freedom of expression, tolerance and
• Provide an inclusive, personalised          providing that students meet the          respect. We also offer enrichment
learning environment in which                 admissions criteria. (In order to help    activities that promote the development
students are treated solely on                the College to provide students with      resilience, determination, self-esteem,
the basis of their merits, abilities          appropriate support it is helpful if      and confidence, which will enable
and potential and are valued as               relevant information can be provided      students to engage positively with the
individuals.                                  at the earliest possible opportunity).    wider world.

28    The Sixth Form College
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