Keep up to date with important announcements from the College.
06/12/21: The For students who finished their studies with us last summer, exam certificates have now been received from the exam boards. To get hold of your certificates please visit the ParentPay website and pay a £3 postage fee and the Exams Office will send your certificates out by Recorded Delivery. If you have queries, please email the Exams Office.
06/12/21: The Head of Ofqual, on behalf of the Department for Education, has asked us to distribute a letter to all students due to take examinations or complete applied qualification in the summer of 2022. Please take time to read this letter and view the video on Instagram (click image below).
02/12/21: Solihull Sixth Form College supports the #ProtectStudentChoice campaign to ensure we do not lose BTEC qualifications. If you think young people deserve the choice that these great courses offer, why not make your voice heard by signing the petition, which is open until January.
23/11/21: Reminder that there are no lessons on Wednesday 24 – Friday 26 November inclusive. This is due to the College holding an Interview Day, Open Evening and Staff Development Day. Students have independent learning they can do and lessons resume on Monday 29 November.
22/11/21: The Learning Resource Centre’s book choices for this week include titles related to fiction, music and a biography. Current students can check out these and more or use the links below to check availability.
King City – Pennell, Stephen – Birmingham has a tradition of individualism and experimentation, giving rise to a fragmented but innovative culture. This applies to the city’s contemporary music scene just as it does to the rest of its cultural heritage, which explains why the Birmingham sound is hard to define. Whereas other cities are known for a certain sound, this city celebrates its diversity. In this book, Stephen Pennell’s reviews and musings shine a light on Birmingham’s finest up-and-coming performers playing the city’s most iconic venues, taking us on a unique journey around Birmingham’s music scene.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – Collins, Suzanne – The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes delivers a mesmerizing look into the life of Coriolanus Snow and the root causes of his villainous behavior. ‘Everything you would expect from Collins is here: fraught teenage love; plenty of violence Collins s themes of friendship, betrayal, authority and oppression, as well as the extra layers of lore about mockingjays and Capitol’s history, will please and thrill.’ –The Guardian
To Hell and Back: An Autobiography – Lauda, Niki – Niki Lauda drove a car for sport, but crossed the line between life and death and fought back to even greater glory. In To Hell and Back he reveals how he battled fear to stage a comeback that seemed beyond human endurance and looks back on the strict childhood and parental disapproval that he believes gave him an ‘addiction to excellence’.
15/11/21: The Skills Bill is being debated in the House of Commons for the first time today. We are supporting the Sixth Form Colleges Association’s campaign to #ProtectStudentChoice and ensure we do not lose BTEC qualifications. If you think young people deserve a wide range of study opportunities, why not speak to your local MP about the issue and sign the petition.
15/11/21: Here’s what the Learning Resource Centre is suggesting as their three book choices for the week. There’s an autobiography, a book on British Politics and some Manga literature included this week. More information and links to check availability can be found below.
More than a woman – Moran, Caitlin – The author of the international bestseller How to Be a Woman returns with another “hilarious neo-feminist manifesto” (NPR) in which she reflects on parenting, middle-age, marriage, existential crises—and, of course, feminism. This book is a hilarious memoir, a passionate polemic, and a moving manifesto on how to be a decent person and try, in the face of countless stresses, to live a full open-hearted, joyous life’.
Jujutsu Kaisen Vol 1– Akutami, Gege – Although Yuji Itadori looks like your average teenager, his immense physical strength is something to behold! Every sports club wants him to join, but Itadori would rather hang out with the school outcasts in the Occult Research Club. One day, the club manages to get their hands on a sealed cursed object. Little do they know the terror they’ll unleash when they break the seal.
Politics UK – Jones, Bill et al. – This revised and updated tenth edition of the bestselling textbook Politics UK is an indispensable introduction to British politics. It provides a thorough and accessible overview of the institutions and processes of British government, an excellent grounding in British political history and incisive introduction to the issues and challenges facing Britain today.
09/11/21: Students are being asked to complete a Subject Questionnaire for each of their courses by 19 November. There will be opportunities to complete these questionnaires in Supervised Study, EPQ lessons or in lessons and links to access these surveys have been emailed to students. Please make sure you complete the survey for each of your courses. This feedback helps us to anticipate student needs and support us to continuously improve.
08/11/21: Please note that all tickets for the Open Evening on 24 November have now gone. Tickets will only become available as and when current bookings are cancelled. Apologies for any inconvenience. Keep checking the Open Day information page or order tickets for our 24 January Open Evening instead.
02/11/21: Parents/Guardians of Year 12 students are invited to make online video appointments for parent-teacher meetings on Tuesday 9 November. There will be two sessions: 14:00 – 16:00 and 16:30 – 19:30. For details of how to book appointments and how to join the meetings, click here.
27/10/21: Please support the Protect Student Choice campaign to ensure that BTEC qualifications are not lost. Find out more about this campaign to keep these great qualifications, which combine the development of practical skills with academics at the Protect Student Choice website. If you feel as strongly as we do, why not sign the petition on there too.
26/10/21: Please be aware that lessons will finish early on Tuesday 9 November to allow teachers to take part in online parents’ meetings in the afternoon and evening. Lessons will finish at 12.15pm that day.
22/10/21: Happy Half-Term to all staff and students. We hope you have a good week off and we look forward to seeing you all on Monday 1 November, when lessons resume.
19/10/21: Interested in learning more about what it’s like to study A level Geography and/or Geology? Book your place at a twilight taster session on Tuesday 16 November (5.00 – 6.00pm) and you could find out. Bookings can be made online – click here.
14/10/21: After attending tomorrow’s Open Day, we hope prospective students will feel ready to make an application for a September 2022 start. You can do this online here. If you are not quite ready yet, don’t worry – the deadline is not until 31 March 2022.
14/10/21: All tickets for Saturday’s Open Day have now gone. A small number of tickets may become available if there are any cancellations, but we cannot guarantee this and we apologise to any prospective students or parents who have been disappointed. Tickets are available now for our next Open Evening on Wednesday 24 November (5.00 – 8.00pm). Check availability and book your tickets HERE.
13/10/21: For students in Year 11 who are thinking about applying to study a Visual Arts course in September 2022, a Visual Arts Twilight Taster session will be taking place on 11 November (5.00 – 6.00pm). Bookings are now open via Eventbrite.
07/10/21: For students in Year 11 who are thinking about applying to study A level Drama or A level Music in September 2022, a Performing Arts Twilight Taster session will be taking place on 8 November (5.00 – 6.00pm). Bookings will open on Monday at Eventbrite.
04/10/21: Interested in studying A level English Language? Want to know how it differs to A level English Literature? Why not book a place on our Twilight Taster session on Wednesday 3 November (5.00 – 5.45pm). Bookings are open now at Eventbrite.
04/10/21: Representatives from Aston, Birmingham, Coventry and Sheffield Universities will be present at Open Day on Saturday 16 October to advise Year 11 students from Solihull and Birmingham schools on which A level, BTEC or CACHE courses they should take if they have a particular university course in mind. Those interested in attending must book a timed entry ticket here.
27/09/2021: Every week staff in the Learning Resource Centre will be suggesting three books for you to read. This week, the LRC Team have chosen three different genres that they feel you should try:
Boris Johnson: the Gambler – Bower, Tom – An insight into Boris Johnson’s personal and public life that goes farther than any previous biography towards solving the enigma of his true personality.
Black people in the British Empire – Fryer, Peter – The story of Britain’s exploitation and oppression of its subject peoples in its colonies, and in particular the people of Africa, Asia and Australasia. Peter Fryer reveals how the ideology of racism was used as justification for acquiring and expanding the Empire; how the British Industrial Revolution developed out of profits from the slave trade; and how the colonies were deliberately de-industrialised to create a market for British manufacturers.
Fahrenheit 451 – Bradbury, Ray – Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. His wife spends all day with her television “family. Their dull, empty life sharply contrasts with that of his next-door neighbour Clarisse, a young girl thrilled by the ideas in books, and more interested in what she can see in the world around her than in the mindless chatter of the tube. When Clarisse disappears mysteriously, Montag is moved to make some changes, and starts hiding books in his home. Eventually, his wife turns him in, and he must answer the call to burn his secret cache of books. After fleeing to avoid arrest, Montag winds up joining an outlaw band of scholars who keep the contents of books in their heads, waiting for the time society will once again need the wisdom of literature.
20/09/2021: The College is holding its first Open event next month. Open Day takes place on Saturday 16 October 2021 (9.30am, 3.30pm, last entry at 2.30pm). Everyone must book timed-entry tickets if they wish to attend – CLICK HERE TO BOOK. No unaccompanied students will be admitted and groups of no more than three (student and two parents/guardians) are welcome so we can manage the number of people on campus for safety reasons.
14/09/2021: The way students can report an absence is changing. There is a new online form that students can fill in. All absences must be reported promptly on the first day of illness and everyday that a student is absent.
14/09/2021: We have university representatives coming into college on various dates over the next term (until the internal UCAS deadline) to offer 1-1 feedback to students on their personal statement drafts. Each appointment will be 15 minutes long and will take place in the Careers Area of the Learning Resource Centre (behind the screens). Students need to book their appointment via the link on the Careers Moodle page (available to students only via login).
13/09/2021: Welcome to all our new Year 12 students starting lessons today. If you have any queries, please go to Student Reception (next to Main Reception in Hampton building).
12/09/2021: Due to the significant number of students who have chosen to study with us this year, we have unfortunately encountered a brief delay publishing timetables. We are expecting your timetables to be available from 7.30pm on Tyber. Please login to Tyber this evening to see your timetable for the start of this week. We are continuing to work on our transfer from Tyber to Arbor and further information will follow in relation to this in due course. Thanks for your patience.
09/09/2021: New Year 12 students will be introduced to the VESPA Mindset when they start their lessons. VESPA stands for Vision, Effort, Systems, Practice and Attitude and adopting this positive mindset is key being successful in your studies. Learn more about this here.
08/09/21: A new outside social area has been created on campus, including a covered canopy area in case of wet weather. This area is located between Kitson building, the Art & Design School and the playing fields. Please stick to the canopy area and stay off the grass area for now while grass seed takes root.
07/09/21: Timetables will be available on Sunday (before 6pm). Look out for an email sent to your College email address (starting with your student ID number e.g. S21xxxx) to access your timetable. Induction for new Year 12 students will include accessing your College Outlook account to ensure you can get your timetable this weekend.
07/09/21: The College is now full for the 2021/22 academic year. We regret that we will not be able to offer places to any late applicants not already invited into College to enrol. Applications for a September 2022 start will open in mid-October 2021 and the deadline to apply will be 31 March 2022.
06/09/21: We are welcoming back Year 13 students tomorrow (Tuesday 7 September) for a lesson in each subject. The timetable for that day only is below. The letter refers to the block students had each course in for their Year 12 timetable last year – e.g. if you had Maths in Block A you will have Maths at 9.00am tomorrow. If you are unsure which block your courses were in click on Enrolment History on Tyber and the block is listed next to each of last year’s classes (see highlighted section below).
01/09/21: Welcome to all the new students coming into College to enrol into Year 12 today and tomorrow. For any students who want to enquire about financial support, see the criteria to apply here. You can also download our Bursary & Free Meals Guide and scan the QR code on the leaflet to submit an enquiry. If you have questions please contact the Bursary Office by email.
31/08/21: Year 13 students are back in College on Tuesday 7 September. Every student will have an hour lesson with each subject area and will be set a piece of work to be completed over the following week before lessons recommence on Tuesday 14 September. Students must attend the sessions which correspond to the lessons on their Year 12 timetable (i.e. if you have Maths in Block C, you will attend the Maths session at 11.25am). You should report to your normal classroom for each subject. Coaching will not take place on this day.
26/08/21: Timetables will be published for students on Sunday 12 September. Before then, anyone wanting to find out more about the new-look timetable can do so by clicking here. We are operating a two-week timetable this year, which will allow flexibility as to when intervention sessions take place, as well as allowing for staggered lunch breaks for Year 12 and Year 13 (to avoid congestion in the Refectory) and ensure all students can participate in enrichment activities. Here’s what they look like for Year 12 and Year 13:
24/08/21: The government have indicated that two lateral flow Covid-19 tests, at least 3 days apart, should be taken by all students before they start their learning for the autumn term. For new Year 12 students, this will take place on their enrolment day (1 or 2 September) and again when they attend for Induction (8 or 9 September). These two tests will minimise the risk of students spreading the infection to fellow students and stop disruption at the start of term. For Year 13 students, tests will be available when students start learning on Tuesday 7 September and second tests will be available on Friday 10 and Monday 13 September.
19/08/21: New students enrolling into Year 12 will be asked to hand in a piece of homework during their first lesson. Students can download this work here and hand it in during their first lessons in September.
18/08/21: Year 11 students looking to apply for September 2022 are urged to attend an Open Event during the 2021/22 academic year to get information about the courses we offer and how to apply. The dates for these events have been published now. Students are asked to attend with a parent or other adult and to book a place in order to attend. Pre-registration will open 4 weeks before each event.
17/08/21: Term dates and other key dates – college closures, parents’ evenings, open evenings, etc – have been added to the College website for the forthcoming 2021/22 academic year.
13/08/21: Our fantastic BTEC students achieved 100% pass rate this year and are off to fantastic destinations in the coming months. We support the Sixth Form Colleges Association’s campaign to #ProtectStudentChoice and keep BTECs going. If you agree, please sign their petition.
12/08/21: Students joining Year 12 this September are asked to book an enrolment appointment on 1/2 September by logging into Tyber and inputting their GCSE grades. If you have forgotten your Tyber password, you can reset it by clicking the “forgotten password” link on Tyber. For all other queries, please use our Enrolment Enquiry Form. This form will answer some of the most common questions and for any queries that it does not resolve, we will respond by email after 23 August. Please note, we will prioritise those who use the form rather than sending separate emails.
11/08/21: If you missed the College on Good Morning Britain yesterday morning, catch up now!
10/08/21: Students at Solihull Sixth Form College are celebrating outstanding A level, BTEC and CACHE results this year, with an impressive 1,031 starred grades achieved. A* grades are achievable at A level and CACHE, while BTEC courses have a top grade of Distinction*. As well as more than 1,000 of these top grades, 445 students achieved all A/A* grades at A level and CACHE courses or Distinction/Distinction* at BTEC. These students can look forward to progressing to some of the top universities in the country, onto highly competitive courses. Outside the very top grades, many other students have achieved above average grades, with 983 students getting all A*-C grades at A level and CACHE or Merit and above at BTEC. The pass rate on our BTEC and CACHE Diploma courses is 100% and at A level the pass rate is 99.7%. Read more here.
06/08/21: For students joining the College in September, remember to pick your enrichment option before you come in for enrolment on 1 or 2 September. Check out all the options in our Enrichment Guide.
05/08/21: A level results will be available on Tyber from 8.30am on Tuesday 10 August. Senior staff will be available in the Learning Resource Centre for those students who need advice and several universities will also be present.
04/08/21: Due to phishing emails doing the rounds, we have reset all student passwords. With results day fast approaching it will be necessary for students to reset their passwords on Tyber (using the “forgotten password” link) in order to be able to login next Tuesday. Please do this as soon as possible. If your registered email address on Tyber is incorrect, you will not be able to reset the password yourself – in this instance, please call the College on 0121 704 2581 (between the hours of 9.00am – 4.00pm) and IT Support will assist you.
13/07/21: A letter is being posted in the coming days to departing Year 13 students. Read the letter here.
13/07/21: A letter is being emailed out to all students moving between Year 12 to Year 13 about the progression into their second year of study. Read the letter here.
05/07/21: The UK Government have published an update on the guidance for parents and carers regarding early years providers, schools and colleges. Read it here.
05/07/21: The JCQ have published a one-page advice note, regarding appeals.
07/07/21: It’s the last day of term. Have a great summer all. Stay safe and we will see Year 12 students in September, when they progress into Year 13.
05/07/21: It’s the final three book suggestions of this academic year from the Learning Resource Centre… there’s a football book, a Health & Social Care book and a novel on the list. More information and links to check availability are below:
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.
The Secret Footballer’s guide to the modern game – The outspoken anonymous author is back with the ultimate book to challenge conventional footballing wisdom. With his trademark wit, intelligence and candour, the Secret Footballer will guide you through formations, tactics, mind games and everything else you need to know about what it takes to be a pro.
BTEC National Health and Social Care Student Book 1 – Tailored support for the new BTEC Nationals in Health and Social Care. Each Student Book has clearly laid out pages with a range of supportive features to aid learning and teaching.
01/07/21: 5 Year 12 Visual Arts students have had their artwork entered in to the SFCA National Art competition this year. View all the exception artwork here. Our students’ work is positioned towards the bottom of the page. Take a look and leave a message in the guestbook to show your support for the students and share your reactions to the exhibition.
01/07/21: A reminder that grades for A level, BTEC, CACHE and Criminology will be published on Tuesday 10 August. Remember, there is a Student Guide to Awarding Summer 2021 that has been published by Ofqual is available here and this document should answer any questions you have about how grading has been done this year.
29/06/21: A former student – Priya Joshi – has written about mental health support and how to ask for help. Priya is studying English at the University of Nottingham and has great advice for anyone who is struggling at the moment. Read more here.
28/06/21: The mandatory wearing of face coverings in College is being re-introduced with immediate effect. This measure is being taken at the direction of the Director of Public Health at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, who is instructing all school and colleges in Solihull to do this for Year 7 upwards in both lessons and in communal areas for the next two weeks. This is due to an increase in reported Covid cases in young people in Solihull. We are also reminding students to do lateral flow Covid testing twice a week. Testing kits are available from academic coaches.
28/06/21: It’s time for three new book recommendations from staff in the Learning Resource Centre and this week they are suggesting books about the Windrush scandal, the human body and a novel about a fictional pandemic. See more information and links to see the availability of the books below.
The Windrush Betrayal: Exposing the hostile environment by Amelia Gentleman – Amelia Gentleman’s exposé of the Windrush scandal shocked the nation and led to the resignation of Amber Rudd as Home Secretary. Her tenacious reporting revealed how the government’s ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy had led to thousands of law-abiding people being wrongly classified as illegal immigrants, with many being removed from the country, and many more losing their homes and their jobs.
The Body: A guide for occupants by Bill Bryson – Bill Bryson sets off to explore the human body, how it functions and its remarkable ability to heal itself. Full of extraordinary facts and astonishing stories The Body: A Guide for Occupants is a brilliant, often very funny attempt to understand the miracle of our physical and neurological make up.
Resistance: A graphic novel by Val McDermid – A heart-racing thriller, Resistance imagines a nightmare pandemic that seems only too credible in the wake of COVID-19. Number one bestseller and queen of crime Val McDermid has teamed up with illustrator Kathryn Briggs to create a masterful graphic novel.
24/06/21: The deadline to apply for a place in September 2021 was 31 March 2021. Although we are still accepting late applications, these applications are now being held on a waiting list and will not be processed until enrolment in September. Please note, we cannot guarantee that we will have places left for these late applications. We will offer enrolment interviews to late applicants during our late enrolment period from 3 September 2021, on condition of students meeting the necessary entry requirements and on there being space on the courses they want to do. Please note, if we are able to enrol late applicants, induction will then take place in College between 8 – 10 September ahead of the start of lessons on Monday 13 September 2021.
24/06/21: To give students joining the College in September an idea of what to expect from the catering services, watch the video below from Aspens.
22/06/21: Welcome to College Day take place tomorrow. This is an online taster day for students who have an offer to join us in September. Those students are asked to check their email for details of how to join the online subject taster sessions. The links will also be available here on the day.
As well as subject sessions, the Principal will be giving a talk at 1.00pm and Academic Coaches will be delivering support sessions at 9.30am, 12.00pm, 12.30pm and 4.00pm. Finally, students wanting to find out more about enrichment options are encouraged to join live presentations at 12.00 or 12.30pm. In support of the Enrichment sessions, students can download our Enrichment Guide.
21/06/21: Today we are celebrating student success with the launch of our 2021 Awards Video. Teachers have nominated a Year 13 student for every course and staff have put some students forward for extra-curricular prizes too. Principal Martin Sullivan has more information about who has won in the video below and you read the reasons why each student has been nominated here.
21/06/21: Staff in the Learning Resource Centre have another three brilliant books to recommend this week: “A Promised Land” by Barack Obama; “The Pull of the Stars” by Emma Donoghue; and “The Consolation of Nature: Spring in the time of Corona Virus” by Michael McCarthy et al. Scroll down to the comments to find out more and check availability.
A Promised Land by Barack Obama – A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making-from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy. In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency-a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil. Check availability of this title here.
The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue – In an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city centre, where expectant mothers who have come down with an unfamiliar Flu are quarantined together. Into Julia’s regimented world step two outsiders: Doctor Kathleen Lynn, on the run from the police, and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney. In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over three days, these women change each other’s lives in unexpected ways. They lose patients to this baffling pandemic, but they also shepherd new life into a fearful world. With tireless tenderness and humanity, carers and mothers alike somehow do their impossible work. Check availability of this title here.
The Consolation of Nature: Spring in the time of Corona Virus by Michael McCarthy et al – Nature took on a new importance for many people when the coronavirus pandemic arrived, providing solace in a time of great anxiety – not least because the crisis struck at the beginning of spring, the season of light, growth, rebirth and renewal. Three writers, close friends but living in widely separated, contrasting parts of the country, resolved to record their experiences of this extraordinary spring in intimate detail, to share with others their sense of the wonder, inspiration and delight the natural world can offer. Check availability of this title here.
17/06/21: Did you know anyone aged 18-39 can get a Pfizer vaccine without an appointment this weekend at Villa Park? A walk-in service is being offered from 10am – 2pm Saturday and Sunday. Services also available at Alum Rock and Small Heath on Friday and Saturday. More information here.
14/06/21: The Learning Resource Centre’s three Books of the Week are: “The Thursday Murder Club” by Richard Osman, “Fake Law: The truth about justice in an age of lies” by the Secret Barrister and “The Power of Geography: Ten maps that reveal the future of our world” by Tim Marshall. Find out more about them below and find a link to check availability.
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman – In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders. But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing 80 but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.
Fake Law: The truth about justice in an age of lies by the Secret Barrister – The law can often feel to the public like an alien and impenetrable world, linked to everyday life only by selective news reportage and artistically-licensed tv dramatisation. The Secret Barrister aims to bridge that gap by providing a candid, and hopefully accessible, explanation of our criminal justice system, of how it works, and of how, all too often, it doesn’t.
The Power of Geography: Ten maps that reveal the future of our world by Tim Marshall – The Power of Geography is Tim Marshall’s “ follow-up” to the 2016 Prisoners of Geography where he tries to unpick how geographical locations have influenced the power and politics of ten specific countries. In this revelatory new book, Marshall takes us into ten regions that are set to shape global politics and power. Find out why the Earth’s atmosphere is the world’s next battleground; why the fight for the Pacific is just beginning; and why Europe’s next refugee crisis is closer than we think.
14/06/21: Progression exams for Year 12 students are finishing today. Normal lessons resume tomorrow.
07/06/21: The Learning Resource Centre is recommending books about artificial intelligence this week.
My Brother’s name is Jessica – Sam Waver has always been a loner: bullied, struggling at school, with parents who have very little time for him. The one person he has always been able to rely on is his beloved older sibling – but when they announce that they are transitioning, Sam’s life is thrown upside down. He’s convinced nothing will ever be the same again – but as Sam is about to discover, nothing is more constant than love. Check availability here.
Miss Austen – Based on a literary mystery that has long puzzled biographers and academics, Miss Austen is a wonderfully original and emotionally complex novel about the loves and lives of Cassandra and Jane Austen. Check availability here.
Artificial Intelligence: How machine learning will shape the next decade – In this brilliant, one-stop guide WIRED journalist Matt Burgess explains everything you need to know about AI. He describes how it works. He looks at the ways in which it has already brought us everything from voice recognition software to self-driving cars, and explores its potential for further revolutionary change in almost every area of our daily lives and addresses the fundamental question: can machines become as intelligent as human beings? Check availability here.
07/06/21: Good luck to all the Year 12 students sitting progression exams over the next week.
28/05/21: Immediately after half-term, Year 12 Progression exams take place. Students can see their individual exam schedule on Tyber, but the full schedule is available to view here.
25/05/21: Immediately after half-term, Year 12 Progression exams take place. They will run for six days from 7 – 14 June inclusive. No Year 12 A level/A level equivalent lessons will take place in this window. However, CACHE & BTEC Extended Diploma lessons for Year 12 will continue during this period. Year 12 Parents meetings take place on Wednesday 30 June and further information will be sent in due course about this.
24/05/21: The Learning Resource Centre have chosen three books which we think you will love this week: The Prosecutor, Diary of a Young Naturalist and Execution. Click the links for each book for more information and a link to find out availability.
19/05/21: A recording of the Virtual Mental Health event is now available for students and staff within the College to view via Microsoft Stream. Click here to access this if you missed the live event.
18/05/21: A reminder that Year 13 students are required to attend a lesson in each of their courses on Monday 24th May (blocks F,B,C,D) and Tuesday 25th May (block E). This will provide an opportunity for teachers to direct you on remote study to round off specification coverage and set extension learning and for you to have a final in-college lesson and goodbye. For most students this will be the last time you will be physically in college, as you will revert to remote study from Wednesday 26th May to complete your studies. Please remember to return all of your college books and other resources. A minority of BTEC students may need to continue to complete work in college after this date. Remote learning, Academic Coaching and Careers support will be available to all Year 13 students up until Friday 25th June. The LRC will also be open to Year 13 students continuing with their extension learning.
17/05/21: Latest additions to the Library include The Booker Prize Winner Shuggie Bain, a book on the NHS and the COVID pandemic called Breathtaking and a history book by David Olusoga which accompanies his TV series Civilisations, called Cult of Progress. Happy reading!
13/05/21: This week Ofqual have published a Student Guide to Awarding Summer 2021. The guide outlines the arrangements in place for awarding grades in summer 2021 on A level, AS level, GCSE and Applied courses (BTEC, Cache and Criminology in our case).
10/05/21: This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. To show their support, staff in the Learning Resource Centre have chosen three books which they think are fabulous reads. These books are ‘Fingers in the Sparkle Jar: a memoir’, ‘RSPB Handbook of Garden Wildlife’ and ‘The Natural Health Service: How Nature Can Mend Your Mind’. Click on the title of each book for more information and availability. Please also check the LRC Moodle page for additional LRC reading lists to support Mental Health Awareness and Exam Stress.
05/05/21: The best way to ensure that no student is left behind by Covid is to boost sixth form funding to increase the number of hours delivered during the college or school day. We support the Sixth Form College Association’s #RaisetheRate campaign. Learn more here.
05/05/21: New books in the Learning Resource Centre this week include Understanding Evolution, Hamnet and Influence. Links in the comments to find out more and check availability. You can also view the Library catalogue to see what else is new. Happy reading!
29/04/21: The College’s Centre Policy for determining centre assessed grades in summer 2021 has just been published and can be downloaded here.
28/04/21: Student Council ran a poster competition recently, inviting students to get creative and design a poster on one of the following themes – space, mental health, current news/social justice. The winner of the competition, receiving a £20 Amazon gift voucher, is Mariem Iqbal, who created this poster about Space. The judges (from the Visual Arts department) cited its visually engaging characteristics and the useful QR code to enable people to go to the NASA website and learn more.
26/04/21: We are delighted to have installed our new Summit Equality and Diversity flags across all Summit Learning Trust academies. Below you can see a picture of our flag in place. These flags are an external symbol of the pride we have in our diverse communities, students and staff, and of our complete commitment to promoting equality and challenging discrimination wherever it occurs.
23/04/21: Message to all Year 13 students – Centre-Assessed Grading and End of Year 2021 for Year 13 Students:
As you are aware, the process for awarding grades this summer is to be determined initially by the college, subject to moderation from awarding bodies. As a college we will ensure that centre assessed grades are determined fairly, consistently, free from bias and effectively within and across departments.
We recommend that you view the Solihull Sixth Form College’s Centre Policy for determining centre assessed grades – summer 2021, which will be available on the Teaching and Learning section of the College’s website from 30th April.
For BTEC students, you have been completing assignments, contributing towards unit awards throughout time at college. This evidence, in addition to the work you are continuing to complete, constitutes the majority of your BTEC course and will determine your final overall qualification grade. You will not receive grades for individual units studied in Year 13. Further information about the grading process we are following is available here on Pearson’s website.
For most A-level and GCSE students each of the Key Assessments you have taken throughout your time at college will be considered in determining the level you have demonstrated you are working at. Where you have completed or partially completed non-examined assessments, these will also be used as evidence. We will use additional key assessments, to be completed over the next three weeks, to give you an opportunity to show improvement, to validate or replace an existing piece of evidence. You will be assessed on content which has been taught. It is important that you know where and when your key assessments are taking place, you must arrive 10 minutes before the start of the key assessment; if you arrive more than 15 minutes late you will not be permitted entry. The master timetable is on the College website so please check that and of course your subject teachers will keep you informed. Please note that the key assessments scheduled for Thursday 13 and Friday 14 May have been rescheduled so that our Muslim students can celebrate EID. Most have moved to Monday 17 and Tues 18 May and a few are slightly earlier.
For the creative arts students, your grade will be based on the portfolio of evidence you have built up throughout your two years at college. EPQ grades will also be based on the evidence provided.
Where there are reasonable adjustments and mitigating circumstances (special consideration) we will make every effort to ensure that these are in place, either at the point of assessment or taken into consideration where appropriate and required.
We will be conducting internal moderation processes prior to submitting grades to the awarding bodies. The work you complete will constitute evidence which can be reviewed by the awarding bodies as part of their external moderation process.
A-level students should continue to attend lessons until you have completed your final key assessment in that subject. All Year 13 A-level lessons will pause between Thursday 13th May and Friday 21st May inclusive – this will be a reading week for students. BTEC students will be advised at what point you are no longer required in College and can commence remote learning – this will be once you have completed all required teaching and assignments.
Year 13 A level lessons will take place on Monday 24th May (blocks F,B,C,D) and Tuesday 25th May (block E). This will provide an opportunity for teachers to direct you on remote study to round off specification coverage and set extension learning and for you to have a final in-college lesson and goodbye. For most students this will be the last time you will be physically in college, as you will revert to remote study from Wednesday 26th May to complete your studies. Please remember to return all of your college books and other resources. A minority of BTEC students may need to continue to complete work in college after this date.
Remote learning, Academic Coaching and Careers support will be available to all Year 13 students up until Friday 25th June. The LRC will also be open to Year 13 students continuing with their extension learning.
Results will be published on Tyber on Tuesday 10th August (A-level and BTEC) and Thursday 12th August (GCSE).
There will be an appeals process if you consider there to have been an error in the award of your grade. Appeals will initially be reviewed by the college and escalated to awarding bodies as required. You will need to provide written consent to appeal and will need to record your awareness that grades may go down as well as up on appeal. The process of how to appeal will be provided in advance of the publication of results.
23/04/21: Message to all Year 12 BTEC students (Both Foundation Diploma and Certificate):
Over the last few weeks, we have received further guidance from the BTEC exam board regarding the awarding of Centre Assessed Grades for BTEC courses.
In each of your Year 12 BTEC subjects teaching and learning has been continuing as normal. For internal units, you will have been completing your assignments and these will be marked and moderated in the usual way by your teachers. As you know there are no formal examinations taking place this summer in what would have been the externally assessed units. On most BTEC Year 12 courses you will be sitting one or two key assessments in the next few weeks relating to these. Arrangements differ by course but your teachers will keep you right.
All of the work you have completed in your BTEC course, key assessments and assignments, will be used as evidence to generate a Qualification-level Centre Assessed Grade (Q-TAG). This means you will receive a qualification grade showing your achievements at the end of Year 12. This grade will be banked and will contribute towards your final grade at the end of Year 13. You will not receive grades for individual units studied in Year 12.
Your teacher will guide you through what assignment work or assessments you need to complete over the next few weeks and deadlines you need to meet for your assignments. It is really important that you meet all deadlines set otherwise this will impact on your Year 12 grade.
Lessons will continue as normal between now and the end of the academic year on Wednesday 7 July as Year 12 units are completed and new Units are launched.
Further information about the grading process is available here on Pearson’s website.
22/04/21: Year 13 A level students and Year 12 BTEC students will be completing Key Assessments 9 and 10 between 23 April – 18 May. The timetables, including rooming, for these assessments are available. Please note this is subject to change, but your teachers will keep you informed where this is the case. Also please note that the assessments originally scheduled to take place on 13 and 14 May have been rescheduled to 17 and 18 May to allow students who observe Eid to do so uninterrupted.
22/04/21: A letter is going out to parents this week about the Everyone’s Invited website to keep parents and carers informed of the robust safeguarding procedures the College has in place to keep students safe. This letter can be viewed here.
19/04/21: Welcome back to all our staff and students as the Summer Term begins. Face-to-face teaching (with the same Covid safety protocols as before Easter) continue until Friday 28 May when we break for half-term. We start a three-week key assessment window from 26 April – 14 May (see posts below for more information).
01/04/21: The following messages have been sent out to students:
Message for Year 13 students on A level/Criminology/AS Level Programmes
To help you prepare for your key assessments in the upcoming key assessment window (26th April – 14th May 2021) you can now see a timetable of your assessments on the college website here.
Your teacher will have given you guidance on which topics to focus on, so combining this with the timetable will allow you to organise your study and revision effectively over the Easter Holiday and beyond. In order to do as well as you possibly can:
- You must attend all lessons for all subjects the first week after Easter. (W/c Mon 19th April).
- During the Key Assessment window you must attend all lessons unless you have a scheduled Key Assessment. (Starting 26th April*).
- Once you have completed your Key Assessments for a particular A level subject, you are not expected to attend lessons in that subject for the remainder of the key assessment window (i.e. until 14th May)
- You will resume your normal College timetable from the week beginning 17th May and more detail about what this will involve will follow
For now the most important thing is that you focus on your Key Assessments. Details of how your grades will be decided are still subject to guidance from the Government but will be made available to you as soon as possible after Easter. Whatever happens, it is safe to say your Key Assessments are sure to be a significant factor in determining your overall grade, and are the best chance we can give you to demonstrate the level of learning you have acquired. These are not exams but should be taken seriously, as you have taken all of your Key Assessments seriously.
* Criminology key assessments will take place on Friday 23rd April
** Year 13 students taking Core Maths and GCSE Maths will also have key assessments – please check the timetable
Message for Year 12 students on Applied Programmes (1 A level equivalent and 3 A level equivalent)
To help you prepare for your key assessments in the upcoming key assessment window (26th April – 14th May 2021) you can now see a timetable of your assessments on the college website here.
Your teacher will have given you guidance on which topics to focus on, so combining this with the timetable will allow you to organise your study and revision effectively over the Easter Holiday and beyond. In order to do as well as you possibly can:
- You must attend all lessons for all subjects the first week after Easter. (W/c 19th April).
- During the Key Assessment window you must attend all lessons unless you have a scheduled Key Assessment. (Starting 26th April**).
- After you have completed your key assessment(s) lessons will continue as normal up until the end of the academic year on 7th July 2021.
The most important thing is that you focus on your Key Assessments for what would have been externally assessed units, and on completing internally assessed coursework units. Details of how your grades will be decided are still subject to guidance from the Government but will be made available to you as soon as possible after Easter. Whatever happens, it is safe to say your Key Assessments will be important in determining your overall grade, and are an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the level of learning you have acquired.
* IT and Cache will undertake KAs in their normal lessons
** Criminology key assessments will take place on Friday 23rd April
*** Year 12 students taking Core Maths and GCSE Maths and English Language will also have key assessments – please check the timetable
30/03/21: Last day of teaching is Wednesday 31 March, as Thursday 1 April is a Staff Training day, as staff attend the Summit Learning trust’s Equality in Diversity Conference.
23/03/21: The College community will be observing the national minute’s silence at midday today to mark the one-year anniversary since the first coronavirus lockdown was announced. The bell will sound with a long ring at 12.00pm and a short ring one minute later. This is an opportunity to remember family and friends lost through the pandemic and to give thanks to all the front-line workers and community heroes who have helped, and continue to help, to get us through.
12/03/21: Message to all Year 12 Students on A Level/A level equivalent programmes – IMPORTANT INFORMATION:
We are really looking forward to welcoming you back into face-to-face lessons on Monday. For most of you, your engagement during this extraordinary period between 4th January and 15th March has been exemplary and from now it’s business as usual – whilst of course observing the Covid-safe rules.
In order for us to work with you on consolidating all that you have learned in Year 12 (knowledge, understanding, skills and application)) and to move on with the specifications, we have made the decision to postpone the progression exams planned for the week beginning Monday 26th April. These will now take place immediately after the May/June half-term in the week beginning Monday 7th June.
For students taking A level equivalent courses in Criminology, IT and H&SC, arrangements will be slightly different, but your teachers will take you through this when we have more information. We managed this very successfully last year and rest assured we will again.
So, keep going with your studies, homeworks and formative assessments as directed by your teachers, attend and engage in all of your lessons and prepare and work conscientiously for the progression exams in June. You are in more or less the same place as our Year 12 students would be in any year so well on track for the successful completion of your qualifications in the summer of 2022.
11/03/21: Message to all all Year 13 BTEC Extended Diploma and CACHE students – IMPORTANT INFORMATION:
Welcome back! We are delighted to have you here in College again after this period of remote learning. The focus for you for the remainder of your time at College is the same as it would be in any year. BTEC Extended Diplomas have always been internally assessed and externally verified by the exam board to check process and standards and this is what will happen this year. Cache is also predominantly internally assessed and externally verified with a little bit of external assessment.
It’s therefore very much business as usual and the important thing is that you keep going with your work and assignments and focus on completing units and assessments as directed by your teachers.
As we were last year, we are totally committed to providing fair and robust College grades for you that reflect the standard of all of the work you have completed and are continuing to complete with us in this academic year. We are waiting for some further guidance from the exam board and will keep you updated. You know that we managed this process successfully for you last year and we are absolutely confident that we can do so again. Having met with the Year 13 CACHE students this morning we also know that you know you are in safe hands and that you are confident that your teachers will guide you through.
The important thing for now, for all of you, is that you keep going with your studies and assignments as directed by your teachers and attend and engage in all of your lessons.
11/03/21: Message to all students on a 3 or 4 A level/A level equivalent programme – IMPORTANT INFORMATION:
Welcome back! We are delighted to have you here in College again after this period of remote learning. The focus for the remaining three weeks of this term and the first week of the summer term will be on consolidating your knowledge, understanding and skills in each of your subjects.
In subjects with coursework and practicals, your teachers will be working with you on completing this. They will clearly signpost to you what will be contributing to your overall College grade.
In most subjects you will be completing topics and revisiting content that you have covered during the course. You will also be practising your response skills so that you are able to apply your knowledge and think critically about what you have learned. During this period teachers will use formative assessment to check on your learning and direct the teaching and support. They will also be preparing you to take no more than 2 key assessments per subject in a three week window between 26th April and 14th May which will contribute to your overall College grade. The key assessments will be no longer than 75 mins in length.
We are working on the detail of the key assessments and the grading system for all subjects and ask that you be patient and give us the time to assimilate the information coming in from the Dfe and the exam boards. These decisions are being taken centrally and your teachers will not be able to tell you any more at this stage. We are totally committed to providing fair and robust College grades for you all and ask that you bear with us as we work to confirm the details for each subject. We managed this process successfully for our students last year and are absolutely confident that we can do so again for you.
The important thing is that you keep going with your studies and revision as directed by your teachers and attend and engage in all of your lessons.
10/03/21: We are undertaking a phased return to in-person learning this week. All students will be back on campus from Monday 15 March. It is important that all students abide by our Covid safety protocols in place to keep staff and students as safe as possible. These rules include:
- wearing a face covering (or white lanyard if you are exempt) when moving about the college and in lessons.
- washing your hands regularly (for 20 seconds or more) or use hand sanitiser.
- follow the one-way systems around College.
- keeping as much physical distance as is possible, including no hugging or hand shaking.
05/03/21: We are really looking forward to welcoming students back into College for face-to-face learning next week. We are starting Covid-testing for Year 13 BTEC students today in the Sports Hall, ahead of their return to in-person learning on Monday. Remote learning continues for all students until the date they return to campus.
05/03/21: Free data top-ups for students is now being extended from under-16s to those in sixth form with most mobile networks. Find out more here.
01/03/21: A letter is going out to students/parents/carers today to explain the return to College for face-to-face teaching this month – read the letter here. It explains how testing will take place, how to give consent for this testing to take place, when you should attend to have your test and when your in-College lessons will resume. Please note, while there will be no live lessons from 8 March 2021, teachers will be setting work for students to complete ahead of their return to College.
26/02/21: Update on Testing and return to College:
We are planning for students to return to face-to-face teaching at the College from Monday 8th March. This will be phased to allow us to carry out Covid testing of students prior to starting lessons with us.
In line with Government guidelines, you will be offered a test every week for the first three weeks, and then be issued with a test at home kit. You will also be expected to wear a face mask in class, unless you are exempt and are wearing a white lanyard.
In order to aid the transition, lessons will not be ‘live’ on Microsoft Teams on Wednesday 3rd March and from Monday 8th March.
The planned return dates are:
BTEC Year 13:
Covid Testing – Friday 5th March
Return to College Timetable – Monday 8th March
BTEC Year 12:
Covid Testing – Monday 8th March
Return to College Timetable -Tuesday 9th March
A Level Year 13:
Covid Testing – Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th March
Return to College Timetable – Thursday 11th March
A Level Year 12:
Covid Testing – Thursday 11th and Friday 12th March
Return to College Timetable – Monday 15th March
Further information and letter will be sent out on Monday giving details on consent and timings of the tests. Please look out for this important update.
26/02/21: The Summit Learning Trust have published their online Awards video, detailing the students who have won awards from across the Trust’s four primary schools, three secondary schools and ourselves. Well done to all the students and to the staff. Watch this celebration below:
25/02/21: Update on Testing, return to College and the awarding of qualifications in summer 2021:
In the last 24 hours we have received guidance from the Government regarding the return to College of our students in the week beginning 8 March 2021. We are really looking forward to welcoming our students back into the classroom and are working on a plan for the testing of students and staff and the return to face-to-face lessons.
You will also have seen and heard in the news and newspapers today the broad outline of how grades will be awarded this year for Year 13 A level students and for Year 12 and 13 BTEC, CACHE and Criminology students (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/teacher-assessed-grades-for-students). We are expecting more detailed guidance before the weekend and want to assure you that we are committed to developing a process for managing this in a fair and transparent way.
Details for the testing and return will be communicated to students and parents/carers tomorrow and we will update you on teaching, learning and assessment plans as we work our way through the information provided by the DfE and the exam boards.
We fully understand that this is a challenging time for students and parents/carers and thank you your patience at this unprecedented time.
24/02/21: Students will return to face-to-face learning during the week of 8 March 2021. More information will be communicated soon.
22/02/21: As a college, we have been given 60 BT Wifi vouchers to assist students who are struggling to get online at home for remote learning. These vouchers are only available to students who do not have fixed broadband at home, cannot afford additional data for their devices (usually on bursaries or in receipt of free meals) and who are experiencing disruption to their face-to-face education. They must also be within a BT wifi hotspot area. If this applies to you, please email the College. All the major mobile phone networks are running similar schemes – find out more here.
22/02/21: Parents and Carers are being asked to give feedback by way of the annual online survey over the next two weeks. Emails have been sent to all parents we have contact details for. If you are a parent and have not received the link to access this online survey, contact the Marketing Office.
10/02/21: Teachers are holding Parents meeting online this afternoon and this evening. Ahead of these meetings, it might help parents to know the current situation around calculating grades and the return to in-person learning. The current position is detailed below:
How will grades be determined this year?
As previously communicated, exams will not go ahead in the summer as originally planned. The Department for Education and Ofqual are currently working on putting in place alternative arrangements that will allow students to progress fairly. We are awaiting the outcome of their consultation but at this point in time we do not know how students will be assessed nationally. As soon as we receive further information about what will be replacing summer exams, we will communicate this to parents and students (tyber messages to students, on College website and social media and by email to parents for whom we have validated email addresses).
Obviously, January mock exams for Year 13 A level, AS and GCSE students were cancelled but they will be replaced, when students return, by whatever we need to do to help prepare them for whatever is agreed nationally. All students should continue to work as effectively as possible, so that they are prepared for whatever approach is determined.
We absolutely understand that this is a very unsettling time for everyone and want to assure parents and students that we are fully committed to providing all of our students with a quality teaching and learning experience and pastoral support, and to preparing them for whatever alternative arrangements are put in place. We are confident that we can guide them through this time positively.
When will students be returning to College for face-to-face lessons?
We do not have any other information than that which is already in the public domain. We are awaiting an announcement on 22nd February regarding possible reopening from 8th March. Again we will inform students and parents/carers when we have further information.
02/02/21: Many congratulations to Year 13 student Sakura Izaki-Lee, who has been offered a place at Selwyn College at the University of Cambridge to study Architecture. Read the full story here.
01/02/21: Ahead of the application deadline (31 March), we are holding a Spring Talks & Tours event on Thursday 4 March. Principal Dr Martin Sullivan will be giving online talks at 5.00pm and again at 6.00pm. There will be a virtual tour of the campus and a chance to ask questions. Book your place for this online event here.
28/01/21: Parents and Carers have been sent information about a Higher Education Finance Talk taking place on Thursday 4 February at 6pm. Tom Gregory, the Outreach Manager for Aston University Student Recruitment, will address an audience of parents/carers to look at topics such as tuition fees, student loans and budgeting for life at university. To access this event click here. Parents are advised to join the Teams Live event anonymously via a desktop or laptop computer (is using a mobile or tablet, the Microsoft Teams app will need to be installed). Although this event is for parents, students will get more information about Student Finance during their academic coaching sessions in the week beginning 22 February. These sessions will also be presented by university recruitment officers.
28/01/21: The Government announced on 27 January that schools and colleges will remain closed to all but vulnerable students, the children of key workers and students who do not have access to technology at home until at least Friday 5 March 2021 (inclusive). We urge all students to continue to engage with all remote provision and independent study. As soon as we have more information on opening and on the outcome of the government consultation on how grades will be awarded this year we will update you accordingly.
27/01/21: Information about Higher Education Finance Talks for Parents have been sent out this week. This message reads:
As part of our ongoing support for students who have applied to study higher education courses, we have invited an expert speaker to take us through the process of applying for student finance and the budgeting challenges that lie ahead for students and their parents / carers.
Tom Gregory, the Outreach Manager for Aston University Student Recruitment, will address an audience of parents/carers on Thursday 4th February at 6.00pm, to look at topics such as tuition fees, student loans and budgeting for life at university.
The meeting will take place on Microsoft Teams Live and a link to join the event will be circulated shortly.
Please note that this is an event primarily for parents/carers and ‘Student Finance’ will be coverer as an academic coaching topic week beginning 22nd February. These sessions will also be presented by university recruitment officers.
26/01/21: A letter from Summit Learning Trust Chief Executive Catherine Anwar is being sent to all parents. Read the letter here.
25/01/21: Following closure for inclement weather, the College will reopen on Tuesday 26 January for vulnerable students and those who do not have access to the necessary technology to complete their learning from home. For all other students, remote learning will continue. Thank you to the Estates Team for clearing snow and making the campus safe.
24/01/21: The College will be closed on Monday 25 January due to inclement weather. Remote learning continues, but the Learning Resource Centre will not be open to any students. An announcement about when the LRC will reopen will be communicated in due course.
15/01/21: Monday (18 January) is a non-teaching day, as teachers are conducting interviews with applicants. The Learning REsource Centre will still be open for vulnerable students and those without access to technology at home. Online live lessons resume on Tuesday.
14/01/21: We recently announced that two Engineering and Medicine online events were running in January. Payment for these can be made via ParentPay. Students who do not have login details will need to contact the Finance Office’s ParentPay email address.
07/01/21: Please be aware, students who have purchased Swift travel cards may claim for a refund or pause their pass during the Covid-19 lockdown. Find out more here.
07/01/21: We have been informed by UCAS that the deadline for university applications has been extended by 2 weeks from 15 January to 6.00pm on Friday 29 January. The reason for doing this is to allow support mechanisms to be put in place for students finding it difficult to access digital devices and internet connection. From a college perspective, our internal deadline for the submission of UCAS forms to us was 9th November and to-date 580 forms have been processed and sent to UCAS. We therefore strongly advise students who have not yet submitted their UCAS form to do so immediately and avoid being led into a false sense of security by the extension of the deadline. Please be aware that the Learning Centre is open every day 8.45am-4.00pm for all students experiencing difficulty in connecting to the internet.
06/01/21: Following the Department for Education’s confirmation last night that Schools and Colleges could decide themselves whether students can sit external exams in January or not, we have reviewed the risks associated with students taking the exams in the current circumstances. In light of this we have decided to POSTPONE the January Criminology exam sitting (for students who were unable to sit them in December) which were due to take place on 26th/27th/28th January The risk involved for some of our students of travelling a significant distance on Public Transport, is too great to allow us to continue. We know this will be disappointing for some of you, but we are sure you will understand the reasons why we have come to this decision. There is a window for the assessment to be taken so you will not be disadvantaged by this. Please rest assured that we will continue to work with you to support you towards the best possible outcomes on your Criminology course.
06/01/21: Following the Department for Education’s confirmation last night that schools and Colleges could decide themselves whether the January exam series could go ahead, we have reviewed the risks associated with students taking the exams in the current circumstances. We have also been communicating with Pearson, the BTEC exam board about the alternative ways that students can be awarded grades and have been assured that our students would not be disadvantaged if we chose not to run the exams. In light of this we have decided to CANCEL the January BTEC Science and IT exams. The risk involved for some of our students travelling a significant distance on Public Transport is too great to allow us to continue. We know this will be disappointing for some of you, but we are sure you will understand the reasons why we have come to this decision. Please rest assured that we will continue to work with you to support you towards the best possible outcomes on your courses.
05/01/21: Following the 4 January announcement of a new national lockdown, and the closures of Schools and Colleges, we can confirm remote learning will continue until February half-term. Your teachers will already have been in touch with regard to the plans for this week and teaching, learning and assessment will continue in this way throughout the period of College closure. Some of your classes (either full or more usually part) will be live lessons and these will take place in the scheduled slots on your timetable to make sure that you are able to attend across all of your subjects. Students will be expected to fully engage with these lessons and with all other reading, discussions, preparatory work, assessments etc. that teachers set. Registers will be taken.
The College has received confirmation from the Department for Education that BTEC Applied Science, BTEC IT and Criminology exams will be going ahead this month. Preparation for these exams will be completed online and will follow students’ usual timetables. These exams will take place in College and strict social distancing of 2 metres plus between all exam desks will be adhered to, to ensure these can be completed safely.
The Learning Resource Centre will be remaining open throughout this period of lockdown for children of key workers, vulnerable students and students who do not have access to appropriate technology at home. The opening hours are 8.45 – 4.00pm. Please note that that there will be no catering provision for students as the canteen is closed.
Remote support from Academic Coaches, additional Learning Support and Counselling will also be available for all students. Free School meals allowances will continue to be paid weekly into personal bank accounts (subject to government changes) and bursary payments will be made as normal in Feb half term.
The government have said that exams in the summer will not go ahead as originally planned. They are working with the Department for Education and Ofqual to put in place alternative arrangements that will allow students to progress fairly. As soon as we receive further information about what will be replacing summer exams, we will communicate this to you. Obviously January mock exams for Year 13 A level, AS and GCSE students are cancelled but will be replaced, on your return, by whatever we need to do to help you prepare for whatever is agreed nationally.
We absolutely understand that this is a very unsettling time for you all and want to assure that you that we are fully committed to providing you with a high quality teaching and learning experience and pastoral support, and to preparing you for whatever alternative arrangements are put in place. We are confident that we can guide you through this time positively.
05/01/21: Following Careers appointments are still available to Year 12 and Year 13 students via telephone. If you would like advice on your next step – Apprenticeship options, University options or you are just unsure of your future plans please book an appointment using this link. Staff will phone you at the time of your appointment for a telephone discussion.
04/01/21: Following news of a new national lockdown, BTEC IT and BTEC Applied Science students who were scheduled to come into College tomorrow (Tuesday 5 January) should not attend College. Further information about BTEC assessments next week will follow in due course.
04/01/21: In line with the current Government guidance, we are currently planning a phased return for students over the next two weeks. Year 12 students will commence remote learning tomorrow (Tuesday 5 January) and will return to College on Monday 18 January. Year 13 students will also commence remote learning tomorrow and will return to College on Monday 11 January. BTEC Students with January exams – Science (Year 12) and IT (Year 12), plus Year 13 Art students requiring a portfolio for university entry – will be contacted via Tyber regarding sessions taking place in College during this week. The LRC will remain open during normal College hours from Tuesday 5 January for any students who are unable to work effectively from home for any reason. Further information regarding lateral flow testing in College and any changes to this planned return, will be communicated via Tyber.
17/12/20: We are aware of possible legislative changes regarding the return to College in January. Currently, we plan to continue to provide face-to-face education to all. We are not wanting to be drawn into speculation at this time – we will communicate with you on Monday 4th January (Staff Development Day) via Tyber to confirm arrangements for the start of year. We hope you all have an enjoyable Christmas break and wish you have a happy new year.
17/12/20: For students who left College last summer, exam certificates are available. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, past students will not be able to visit the College to collect these certificates, but we can provide a postal service. To order these certificates please visit the ParentPay website and pay £3.00 via card payment and the exams office will post your certificates by first class recorded delivery when they return after the Christmas break. Alternatively, you can wait and visit the exams office when the pandemic is over. We hold certificates for up to 5 years from the year you completed your studies.
17/12/20: After the Christmas holidays, there will be a chance to hear from our Principal and pose your A level and BTEC questions to our teachers. Sign up for our Virtual Open Evening on Monday 18 January (5.00-7.00pm) – click here.
17/12/20: Students who sat delayed A level exams this autumn can get access to their results via Tyber from 8am today. Any queries should be sent directly to the Exams Office.
16/12/20: Watch our Music students performing for a bursary of £150 towards Music tuition from an eminent performer of their choice. We have recorded the Heartfield Wharam Scholarship Concert and put it online this year because we cannot have guests in College.
11/12/20: A letter from Principal Martin Sullivan is going out to parents today, updating them on the current situation with Coronavirus test and trace over the Christmas break.
11/12/20: It is Christmas Jumper Day and staff and students have been raising money for Save the Children by donating money and wearing their most festive knitwear. Here’s a selection…
08/12/20: A new group of Year 12 students have been appointed to the Student Council Executive. They will represent their fellow students to senior managers and the Board of Governors. Find out who they are here.
07/12/20: An IT upgrade has been taking place, which impacted on some access to Tyber last week. This upgrade has now been completed. Thank you for your patience while this essential work was completed.
04/12/20: A decision has been taken that the College, alongside all schools in the Summit Learning Trust, will close for the Christmas holiday at the end of Thursday 17th December. All lessons will continue as normal until that point. The College re-opens to students on Tuesday 5th January as planned. Year 13 mock examinations will take place in the week beginning Monday 18th January.
04/12/20: The Department for Education has released more information about exams next summer, including measures to support students taking A level examination. Read more about these measures here. We will ensure that students are kept up to date as more detailed information comes through from the exam boards.
01/12/20: Got questions about applying? Need advice on what subjects to choose at A level or BTEC? Admissions staff are running a short online Q&A to help. Click here to sign up for our Applications & Offers Workshop on Tuesday 8 December (5.30 – 6.00pm).
30/11/20: A message has been sent to all students regarding face coverings:
The expectation to wear a face mask in corridors and communal areas within College has been firmly established. We have been very impressed by the vast majority of you who have actively taken on our responsibilities to one another and have adhered to the national legal expectation to wear a face covering to limit the spread of Coronavirus.
It is a requirement for anyone coming into College to have a face mask with them. As students you are being asked to show your face covering, alongside your ID card, as you come through the gate. To help protect our community, if you do not have a face covering and your ID card with you, you will not be permitted entry to College.
From 2nd December we will no longer be providing face masks for free. If you do not have a face mask with you, they will be available to purchase from the Security Hut for £1. Please note that the security hut will only be able to take cash.
We strongly encourage you to purchase reusable masks which can be washed daily, or to bulk buy a large quantity of disposable masks which would be more cost effective – disposable masks need to be changed daily.
Exemptions: We recognise that a small minority of people are exempt from wearing a face covering. If as a student you are exempt, you should already have discussed this with your coach who will have provided you with a white lanyard and recorded this on Tyber. Please check your Tyber record – if the face mask exemption is not recorded on your record, your white lanyard may be removed from you – message / speak to your coach urgently if you are exempt but this is not recorded on your Tyber record.
If you are exempt, please wear a mask as much as possible, wearing a mask limits the spread of coronavirus and if you are able to wear your mask for brief periods of time then we request that you do so.
26/11/20: Please be aware we are upgrading our IT systems and as such, prospective students will not be able to complete or submit applications while this work is completed. We will be accepting applications again from 7 December 2020. We value your applications and apologise for any inconvenience caused. In the meantime, read our Frequently Asked Questions about applying.
26/11/20: Staff have been making offers to prospective students for September 2021 places this week. Check your inbox to see if you have been made an offer. If your application has not yet been processed, don’t worry as we will be processing more in the coming weeks.
25/11/20: It’s Virtual Open Evening tonight. Teachers will be available online from 5.00 – 8.00pm to answer questions – access these live streams here. Why not also watch subject presentations/videos for the courses you are interested in before the event.
17/11/20: College Principal Martin Sullivan has sent a letter to parents regarding Student Study Week during the week commencing 23 November.
16/11/20: The College has been given the Quality Standard Carer Support award for its work in providing care and support for Young Adult Carers. Read more about the award here.
16/11/20: The following message has been sent to students regarding a Student Study Week for 23-27 November:
Given the current circumstances we have taken the decision to make the week beginning the 23rd November a “Student Study Week”. You will not be expected to come into College during this week, work will be set for you to complete remotely.
We are taking this action now as it will provide a 9-day break from College through moving just two days of planned lessons in College to a remote provision (College was already calendared to close to students from the 25th – 27th November).
Teachers will be talking to you about the high levels of commitment and engagement that they will be expecting from you during the Student Study Week. On Monday 23rd November and Tuesday 24th November, teachers will be providing a week’s worth of important work for you to complete by your return to College on Monday 30th November. They will liaise with you regarding how this will be set, how to access it and how they will be in contact with you.
The LRC will be open on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for you to complete work if you do not have an appropriate environment to work at home. There will be a limited catering service available.
13/11/20: Exam certificates for 2020 leavers are now available from the Exams Office. Go to the Exam Service page and scroll down to the Certificates section for a link to ParentPay, where students can pay the £3 necessary for certificates to be posted out by first class recorded delivery. Students do not have to provide their candidate number.
06/11/20: Message sent to all students today regarding expanded social space:
During the week, all students share social time at breaktime every day and at lunchtime on Thursday. Following the national lockdown, impacting Solihull Town Centre, and with winter weather approaching, we are increasing the available social space at these Peak Times.
Refectory: At peak times the refectory is only available for purchasing food and for consuming this food. You should be seated in the refectory to consume food / drink. Entry is only through the exterior door opposite the Dance Studio.
Sports Hall: Seating is available in the Sports Hall, which is a relaxed social space. You may consume cold food and drink in this area. You should be seated whilst in the Sports Hall. This area is only open at peak times. Entry is through the fire exit opposite the refectory.
Dance Studio: The dance studio continues to offer a safe space, where social distancing is strictly enforced. This is a calm area where all are seated. Entry is through the Fire Exit at the side of the building.
LRC: The LRC is a constructive working environment and not a social space. This is a space where you can complete work on a PC or in a quiet area at a desk. The LRC staff can support you in accessing resources and studying effectively.
Reminder: You are always required to wear your lanyard when on the College site. You are required to wear a face covering in all corridors and indoor social spaces.
Thank you for your understanding and for adjusting your habits at these busy times.
05/11/20: In keeping with the government guidelines the College remains fully open. We are pleased to stay open for all of our students and to continue learning together and supporting each other.
03/11/20: Year 12 Parents Meetings on Wednesday 11 November are going online this year because of the pandemic. Parents should have received a communication about this last week. More information about how to book these online appointments is available here.
02/11/20: A group of eight staff that call themselves the Solihull Striders undertook the challenge of running a marathon in a month to raise money for Cancer Research UK. They ran 26.2 miles in October and have raised more than £370 for Cancer Research UK. They are still accepting donations via an online fundraising page.
23/10/20: If you missed the Open Day on 17 October, there is another chance to ask teachers questions – book your place at our Virtual Open Evening on Wednesday 25 November 2020 (5.00 – 8.00pm).
22/10/20: We will be closing for Half-Term slightly early on Friday 23 October – lessons will finish at 2.30pm.
21/10/20: Recordings of the presentations done by teachers at our Virtual Open Day on Saturday 17 October are available to watch back now. Click here to browse our extensive list of presentations.
21/10/20: As we approach the end of the first half of the Autumn Term, letters are going out to parents from College Principal Martin Sullivan and Summit Learning Trust Chief Executive Catherine Anwar.
14/10/20: There’s still time to sign up for Saturday’s Virtual Open Day. Taking place from 9am – 1pm, you can attend sessions on all of our A level, BTEC and CACHE courses, hear from Principal Martin Sullivan and find out about Support Services. Book your place now.
09/10/20: The government has announced that next summer’s GCSE and A level examinations will start later than planned. Rather than starting in mid-May, exams will instead start from 7 June. Results will be also be later, with A level results published on Tuesday 24 August and GCSE results on Friday 27 August. The schedule of exams has not yet been published.
09/10/20: Tour the campus with two of our students – watch the campus tour video now:
08/10/20: Have you downloaded a copy of our new Prospectus – click here to get your copy.
06/10/20: Reminder: Term Dates and Key Dates (including Staff Development Days, Parents’ Evenings and other events) are available in ParentZone – click here.
28/09/20: Meet The Russell Group Online Event takes place on Wednesday 7 October in association with UK University Search. It is a collaborative Virtual Event with all 24 Russell Group Universities. Registrations are now open. Students, teachers and parents will be able to explore all 24 Russell Group Universities, download documents, chat directly to staff and ambassadors and take part in live webinars led by university representatives.
25/09/20: Sign up for our Virtual Open Day on Saturday 17 October.
24/09/20: A letter from the Principal is being emailed out to parents today to update them on the current Covid-19 situation.
23/09/20: From next week, Blocks A & B on the timetable (Tuesday only) will be switching. This means that those who had lessons on 2.35pm on a Tuesday will now have that lesson from 12.20 – 1.50pm for Year 12 or 1.00 – 2.30pm for Year 13. This is to minimise the amount of time between lessons and reduce the time students have to spend on campus.
22/09/20: Get your copy of the new College Prospectus for September 2021 entry! Course information is on the website, with detailed information on A levels, BTEC & CACHE courses. Applications for 2021 will open in mid-October.
21/09/20: The College will be holding a Virtual Open Day on Saturday 17 October. Find out more and book your place.
14/09/20: Summit Learning Trust Chief Executive Catherine Anwar has written a letter to parents/carers of all students within the Trust.
14/09/20: Parents and Carers are asked to ensure that they have provided an email address to the College, as most communications will be sent out via email. Students can input these details on Tyber and parents will be sent an email to activate their account with a username and PIN. More information here.
14/09/20: A letter is being sent out to parents today – click here to see a copy – regarding a single confirmed case of Covid-19.
11/09/20: A letter is being sent out to parents today – click here to see a copy. In addition, a message being sent to students today is as follows:
Following the decision to implement local lockdown measures in Birmingham and Solihull, we have taken the decision that face coverings will now be mandatory for all students and staff when they are moving around College and between lessons. They are not mandatory in classrooms, but please let your teacher know if you would like to wear your mask in the classroom. If you are unable to wear a face covering due to medical reasons, please contact your Academic Coach.
For clarity – here are some FAQ’s:
When will I need to wear a face covering at College?
You’ll need to wear a face covering in College:
- In all buildings (coming into school buildings, leaving school buildings, and moving between lessons in College buildings).
- When you are outside AND can socially distance you DO NOT have to wear one.
- When you are eating/drinking you DO NOT have to wear one.
- Sat in your classroom, you DO NOT have to wear one.
What will I need?
All members of the College community will need to come to College with:
- A face covering. We’d recommend a reusable one so that you can use it more than once, as you’ll need to take it on and off several times during the day. If this isn’t an option, you’ll need to bring in several single-use face coverings each day. We do ask that any slogans, symbols or patterns on face coverings do not cause offence to other members of our community.
- A sealable plastic bag to keep your face covering in when you’re not using it, so that it doesn’t contaminate (or get contaminated by) other surfaces in College.
Where can I get a face covering?
Reusable and single-use face coverings are available to buy in shops or online. Here are instructions from the government on how to make a cloth face covering – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-facecovering/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering
How do we need to use them?
The face covering needs to cover your nose and mouth when you’re wearing it. You shouldn’t touch the front of the face covering or the part that’s touched your mouth or nose. You should wash / sanitise (if no washing facilities available) your hands before and after touching the face covering, including to take it off or put it on. Store it in an individual, sealable plastic bag between uses If it becomes damp, you shouldn’t wear it, and you should replace it carefully. You must throw it away in a bin (not a recycling bin) if it becomes damaged or is single use. If it’s a reusable mask, you’ll need to wash it at the end of the day before use the next day. Follow the washing instructions for the fabric. You can use your normal detergent, and you can wash and dry it with other laundry
What if I am exempt from wearing a face covering due ?
You won’t need to wear one in College. Please inform your Academic Coach if you are exempt.
10/09/20: Message being sent to students today is as follows:
You will be aware that Government legislation is changing from Monday in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases. In response to this, we have reviewed our measures within College and are making some changes to help keep all our community safe:
- We strongly encourage all members of the College community to wear a face covering when in corridors and communal areas of College wherever possible.
- All students are permitted to wear a face covering within lessons, but should discuss this with their teacher.
- In line with Government legislation you should be in a maximum group of 6 when travelling to and from College and you are required to wear a face covering whilst on public transport.
- Changes to the one-way system are being made to improve the flow of students through the College.
We would also remind you:
- To be responsible and avoid physical contact as much as possible (no shaking hands, embracing etc).
- To keep a sensible distance between yourself and other students.
- To remember that excellent hand and respiratory hygiene is important in preventing the spread of the virus. Use the hand sanitizers, soap and bins provided.
10/09/20: Key dates have been added to the Term Dates page, detailing the dates of parents’ evenings, Staff Development Days and much more.
09/09/20: Following a review of the one-way system we recognise the need to increase the flow of students into Hampton building. From tomorrow morning the door into the refectory will be for students using the refectory ONLY. To access a lesson in Hampton you should now enter through the main entrance to College, you will then be directed to turn left and proceed up the stairs to access your classes. The only access to the refectory will be through the door from the outside, as is the case with the current one-way system. Signage is being amended ahead of tomorrow morning.
08/09/20: Welcome back to our Year 13 students. Great to see you again.
07/09/20: Welcome to our new Year 12 students, who start lessons today.
06/09/20: Timetables will be available on Tyber from 6.00pm today. Check your timetable so you know when your first lesson takes place. You only need come in when you have a lesson. Please note intervention sessions will not run at the start of term.
02/09/20: New Year 12 students have a piece of homework to complete for each of their subjects before their first lesson next week. This was set at the end of last term when we held our Welcome to College Week online events. If anyone has misplaced the homework, it can be downloaded here.
01/09/20: Year 13 students have been set two Induction tasks, which must be completed by Tuesday 8 September, when Year 13 lessons start. One is a personal VESPA Progress review and the other concerns Personal Statements for UCAS applications and CV creation. Instructions can be found on Moodle (under Academic Coaching) or by clicking here.
01/09/20: All students must watch a brief slideshow from the Principal Martin Sullivan, which outlines the Covid-19 Safety Protocols we have put in place to keep staff and students as safe as possible. The includes some rules that everyone must abide by and the control measures we have put in place to limit contagion.
01/09/20: We are encouraging students to wear face coverings in corridors and other communal areas of the College. However, it is important that these face coverings are worn correctly and that they are put on and taken off safely. Here is a video video from the BBC that explains how to do this:
01/09/20: We are operating a different timetable for Year 12 than for Year 13 this term. This will enable us to keep each year group separate. Year 12 teaching starts at 9.00am on Monday 7 September and Year 13 teaching at 9.30am on Tuesday 8 September. We will not initially be using intervention slots to ensure that the two year groups have different start and finish times. Individual timetables will be available on Tyber from 6.00pm on Sunday 6 September. Students should aim to arrive 5-10 minutes before their start time and go directly to the room where their first lesson is taking place.