Keep up to date with important announcements from the College. We have a separate Closure FAQ for the most frequently asked questions.
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.
29/08/20: Applications for September 2020 are now closed. The Admissions Office is working through the last few late applications received and will be in touch if we have spaces available.
28/08/20: Compulsory Induction for all Year 12 students takes place on Wednesday 2, Thursday 3 and Friday 4 September (each student is in one day only). The session is approximately 2½ hours long and during this time you will learn about college systems, support and expectations. There is more information, including where to go on arrival in our Year 12 Induction page.
21/08/20: Check out our revised results statistics for 2020. Well done to all our staff and students for your achievements in this most challenging of years. Join a rapidly improving sixth form by booking your enrolment appointment today.
20/08/20: Solihull Sixth Form College is celebrating more than 680 starred grades in 2020, following the government’s decision to accept centre assessed grades. The College saw over 1,000 downgraded results re-instated this week. Find out more.
20/08/20: We are aware that BTEC results scheduled to be announced today have been delayed. When booking an enrolment appointment on Tyber, those students should enter their expected grade instead and book an appointment as normal. We anticipate your final grade will be released before enrolment appointments take place on 25/26 August. Please bring any communications you receive about your BTEC results when you attend your enrolment appointment next week so we can verify those results.
18/08/20: Following yesterday’s U-turn by the government to accept teacher Centre Assessed Grades, emails have been sent to departing Year 13 students to confirm A level grades. Please check your email.
17/08/20: Correspondence have gone out to all students progressing from Year 12 to Year 13 to explain automatic re-enrolment for most – download a copy here. It also explains how all Year 13 students will start their studies on 2 September, when students will be set an independent study exercise, to be completed at home, prior to the start of formal teaching on 7 September.
13/08/20: Now that results have been published, you are entitled to access the Centre Assessed Grade which the College submitted to the exam boards. For information only, we will send these grades to you in an email on Wednesday 19th August, these will not be available prior to that date. If you require additional support, please contact your academic coach from Monday 17th August. You should not contact your teachers at this time.
13/08/20: There will an opportunity to sit exams in October, if you wish to do so, and further information will be provided in due course.
13/08/20: As a College we are in the process of submitting an appeal to the awarding bodies who have downgraded a proportion of the centre assessed grades which we submitted. As a rapidly improving College we are confident that the appeals process will lead to an increase in outcomes for some students.
13/08/20: The College will be open from 8.30am to offer support and guidance in the LRC. We are prioritising those students who have not got a university place, so students who have got their place are asked to contact their academic coach on Monday to discuss any appeals they want to make.
13/08/20: Please note a change in strategy was announced by the Government yesterday, introducing an opportunity to appeal in the event that a mock outcome was higher than the grade awarded. We will be writing to those students eligible for this appeal tomorrow with information on what action is required to process this. If you are in this category and have failed to attain a place at your chosen University, we would advise you to contact them immediately prior to contacting the College. We have already been contacted by Universities who have informed us that they will be accepting mock exam grades.
13/08/20: A level and BTEC results are out at 8am today. Students are encouraged to login to their UCAS account and check the status of their application. They should be able to see if they have got their first choice or not. Please do this before trying to make contact with the College to query your grades.
29/07/20: A level and BTEC results will be announced at 8.00am on Thursday 13 August via Tyber. Students needing any support on this day – including assistance in securing a university place via Clearing – can come into College to see a senior manager in the Learning Resource Centre. GCSE results will follow on Thursday 20 August and after this applicants will be able to input their GCSE results to their Tyber account and book an enrolment appointment on either 25 or 26 August.
21/07/20: Key dates for the 2020/2021 academic year have been added to the website. This includes Staff Development Dates, Parents’ Evenings, Interview Evenings (for applicants for 2021), UCAS deadlines and events at College.
13/07/20: An email has gone out to all Year 13 leavers with important information about Results Day on Thursday 13 August and the support available from senior staff in the Learning Resource Centre that day. Please check your email or download the letter here.
07/07/20: The 2019/20 academic year ends for students on Wednesday 8 July, as Thursday and Friday are Staff Development Days. After a highly unusual and difficult few months, we want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all our students who have continued to engage with their learning, both online and more recently in the classroom, despite significant challenges. Thanks also to our staff, for their dedication and adaptability. Everyone deserves a rest over the summer. Details of term dates for the 2020/21 academic year are available here.
02/07/20: Welcome to College Week for applicants hoping to join the College in September, took place from 22-26 June. We ran live streams for all our courses and lots of enrichments too. Principal Martin Sullivan also ran two sessions on setting expectations and answering questions. If you missed any of these sessions, we have added Recordings to the website. Please watch any sessions related to subjects you want to study, particularly if you wish to request a change of subject. Changes can be requested via our Subject Change Request Form.
01/07/20: As we approach the summer break, we are unfortunately no longer able to complete interviews with applicants ahead of enrolment. Please note, all applications received from 1 July 2020 onwards will be classed as “Late Applications” and will be held on a waiting list until enrolment, which takes place towards the end of August (after GCSE Results are known). We will endeavour to invite late applicants in for an interview during our late enrolment period at the end of August, though you should be aware that, whilst we will aim to meet your preferences, some courses or course combinations may no longer be available at that stage.
30/06/20: BTEC results for both Year 12 and Year 13 will be released on Tyber at the same time as A level results – Thursday 13 August 2020. BTEC certificates will arrive along with A levels and GCSE certificates by the first week in November.
29/06/20: The College is holding a ‘Next Step HE’ Evening for Parents on Tuesday 30 June at 6.00pm – emails have gone out to all parents of Year 12 students for whom we have email addresses.
25/06/20: We’ve updated our Admissions FAQ with all the most frequently asked questions. If you have questions about your application for this September, check here before contacting the Admissions Office.
24/06/20: We’ve been hosting prospective students in live stream subject sessions this week as get Year 11 students with offers ready for College with Welcome to College Week. We are setting summer homework for those who are joining us in September, which can be downloaded here. Try your best and hand it in during your first lesson in September so teachers can see what level you are working to at the moment.
24/06/20: The Class of 2020 has been revealed. See what Principal Martin Sullivan has to say about this year’s Curriculum and Extra-curricular prize winners, as our 2020 Awards are announced.
22/06/20: Due to Covid-19 restrictions, past students will not be able to visit the College to collect their certificates. If you’ve completed your studies between 2015 – 2019 and have not collected your certificates, we can provide a postal service. Visit the ParentPay website and pay £3.00 via card payment and the exams office will post your certificates by first class recorded delivery. You will also need to email the Exams Office and provide staff with your full name and address. 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.
18/06/20: We’re gearing up for Welcome to College Week next week. This is when we invite applicants hoping to join us in September to attend live stream subject sessions in the courses they hope to study. Applicants with offers are asked to check their email for an official invitation.
16/06/20: Enjoy the Creative Arts Online Show 2020 – open now. Enjoy the work of our A level Drama, Fine Art, Graphics, Music, Photography and BTEC Art & Design students over the 2019/20 academic year.
15/06/20: Message for Year 13 students Re. UCAS 2020:
We would like to remind all Year 13 students that the UCAS deadline for accepting university offers is 18th June and is fast approaching. This deadline applies to all applicants who received decisions from all of their choices by 4th June. Exceptions to this deadline will be those of you who have not yet received decisions from the universities and anyone using UCAS Extra.
As a College, we strongly advise you to make a firm choice backed up by an achievable insurance offer. This will give you a purposeful sense of direction and allow you to plan accommodation etc. The universities intend to make results day (13th August) as normal as possible and you will be able to monitor their decisions via UCAS Track. Please be assured that there will be a team of senior college staff on hand to help you with any queries you may have.
This year UCAS will be offering a new system called ‘Clearing Plus’. This will run alongside ‘Clearing’ and applicants without a university place, who sign up for this system, will be approached by universities to offer suitable courses based on their requirements and academic achievement. It is anticipated that this will provide an additional safety net.
If you have any questions relating to university applications, please contact your academic coach or alternatively email Trevor Irving our UCAS Co-ordinator.
12/06/20: Message to Year 12 Students considering applying to University for 2021/22:
We want to reassure students and parents/carers that the UCAS process and the support for applications continues in “virtually” the same way as previously and within the same time frames. This has involved an Introduction to UCAS coaching session (w/b 11th May), Guidance on how to write personal statements (w/b 18th May) and setting up a UCAS form on UCAS Apply (w/b 1st June). If you missed any of these sessions, the resources are on Moodle . Next week (w/b 15th June), in the Careers and Stretch and Challenge Week, look out for the Higher Education and virtual open days and for the support for students applying to competitive courses. There will be lots of opportunities to ask questions about UCAS and HE so it’s worth preparing in advance.
On Thursday 18th June, there is a Microsoft Teams event HE Next Step meeting for Parents. In response to parental requests, a second session will be put on later in the month to allow parents returning from work to join later in the evening.
To date we have 266 forms on the UCAS site for 2021 entry. As in previous years, predicted grades and references will be provided for all applicants. The internal deadline for submitting applications for Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science and Oxford and Cambridge is 21st September 2020 and for all other applications 9th November 2020. If you have any queries about UCAS please contact the relevant academic Coach.
11/06/20: Principal Martin Sullivan has a message about what staff and students need to do to stay safe on their return to College from 15 June. The video below explains the measures that have been put into place.
10/06/20: Timetables for the period 15 June – 8 July are now available on Tyber. If you go to the Classes tab you will see when you have been scheduled for a support session for each of your courses. It will read something like Class AL/POL/GP19/Y12/E02/4. The letter and number at the end provide the reference, in this case Block E and Group 4 (week 4). This calendar shows you what date each reference refers to. You will receive an email and Tyber message with further details regarding the time and room for the sessions, this information will also appear within your Tyber timetable, but only one week prior to the session. Sessions last for 90 minutes and start times are staggered to facilitate social distancing so even if you are coming in on the same day as a friend, the chances are you will have a different start time.
09/06/20:Our CACHE Childcare & Education results are out and we’re incredibly proud to announce all A and A* grades this year. Read more about this success here.
08/06/20: Summit Learning Trust – Black Lives Matter Statement
Summit Learning Trust is appalled at the murder of George Floyd in the United States of America on May 25. We support the peaceful protests that so many have taken part in to show solidarity with this cause. We recognise that racism is not just an American issue.
Our Trust is entirely committed to fighting racism and prejudice in all and any of its forms, and to the active promotion of equality for all. We recognise the heightened distress caused directly to so many of our colleagues, pupils, families and communities in the current situation. We are with you. We are determined to work together to make positive change and to create a just society for all. Without justice there will be no peace.
Through education, humility and open mindedness we will strive to raise the levels of understanding and knowledge of the inequalities in our society to better challenge and fight against them. It is vital that we work together as a community to support each other, and to say:
Black Lives Matter.
05/06/20: We’ve created a Frequently Asked Questions page about the partial re-opening of College to limited students from 15 June. Please take the time to read it so you know how we are ensuring we are Covid-ready and maximising everybody’s safety.
22/05/20: Message to all Year 13 BTEC and CACHE students:
In line with the government and exam board guidance, teachers are now working on inputting grades for internally assessed completed units and centre assessed grades for units which you been unable to complete due to these very unusual circumstances. These will then be subject to Examination Board and Ofqual standardisation. In light of this and in order to protect the integrity of the process, the government have stipulated that schools and colleges do not share provisional grades with students or parents and carers.
BTEC teachers have set you some broader, extension reading, tasks or projects to complete independently. The aim of these is to keep you stimulated and academically challenged over the longer than anticipated break before you move on to university, apprenticeships or into employment.
Pastoral support through Academic Coaches will continue to be available to all Year 13 students until 30 June 2020 and those of you who receive financial support (bursary and meal allowances) will also continue to do so up until 30 June 2020.
21/05/20: Following guidance from the government about re-opening schools and colleges from 1 June, the College is working on a strategy to deliver some contact for students with teachers from Monday 15 June for a 4-week period, however, the main method of support will continue to be through remote learning. The aim is to provide 1 session in each A level/A level equivalent subject and two sessions for BTEC Extended Diploma and Cache students by the end of term. Students will be invited into specific sessions in small groups, and can only attend during these sessions to ensure we can keep the numbers of people on campus to a manageable level. Further detailed guidance about how we will be maintaining social distancing and keeping staff and students safe will follow after half-term. The health and safety for our entire community will remain our top priority.
18/05/20: It’s Mental Health Awareness Week this week. Check out this great video on the 5 Ways to Wellbeing during this Covid-19 pandemic.
13/05/20: A letter from Catherine Anwar (CEO of the Summit Learning Trust) to all parents and carers about the College re-opening in June following the announcement on Monday 11 May by the government. While the government are developing more detailed guidance, we have starting to work on a plan to provide Year 12 students with some face to face contact with teachers prior to the end of the summer term, to supplement students’ remote education. We will communicate with you further on this when we have more detailed plans. In the meantime, Year 12 students are urged to continue to engage with ongoing online learning to ensure they are ready to move into Year 13 in September.
12/05/20: Following the government’s announcement on Monday 11 May regarding the roadmap ahead to ease lockdown restrictions, they have published advice for schools and colleges and advice for parents and carers.
05/05/20: We’ve updated our Bridging the Gap page with some resources for Year 11 students who are thinking about taking on the challenge of an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) when they join us this September. Scroll down to the end of the list of A level subjects and click on Extended Project to find out more about this qualification, which allows students to boost their university/apprenticeship applications by doing a piece of private research.
30/04/20: Calling all Year 11 students! Our teachers have put forward some brilliant resources related to all our A level, BTEC and CACHE courses to help students bridge the gap between GCSE and advanced level study. It includes suggested reading, podcasts, videos and online activities to help ensure students are ready to start their studies with us this September. None of it is compulsory, but we hope it will keep students academically stimulated during this time of school closure and we really think it will help prepare you for the next stage of your education.
30/04/20: Are you aware of the mental health services available in Birmingham and Solihull? Visit the Birmingham & Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group website for more information.
28/04/20: The government have released more information on Supporting Children & Young People’s Mental Health & Wellbeing. There is more useful advice on the Rise Above website.
23/04/20: The Summit Learning Trust has put together a document detailing Financial Support available to families during the Covid-19 pandemic.
22/04/20: The Summit Learning Trust has issued a statement regarding the provision of laptop computers for students.
20/04/20: UCAS update for Apply 2021 – for Year 12 students and Year 13 students taking a gap year: UCAS have announced that Apply 2021 will run as normal, with the following key dates:
• 19 May – Apply 2021 will go live allowing students to register and start their applications.
• 8 September – completed applications can be sent to UCAS.
20/04/20: UCAS update for Year 13 students for 2020 entry: The deadline for students holding five offers to make a decision has now been moved to a single deadline of 18 June.
17/04/20: The Department for Education have confirmed that results for A levels and GCSEs will be released on the same dates as originally planned – 13 August for A levels and 20 August for GCSEs.
17/04/20: We are delighted to do our small bit to help in the fight against Covid-19. One of our Science technicians Svetlana took Science goggles and other items of personal protection equipment from our Biology and Chemistry departments to Anita Stone Court, one of the nursing homes run by charity BCOP (Broadening Choice for Older People) yesterday. Find out more here.
16/04/20: Message to Year 13 BTEC and CACHE Students: Ofqual published its latest guidance about Applied General qualifications (in our case all BTECS, Cache and Criminology) late on Friday 3rd April. They have said that, “As far as possible, such qualifications will be treated in the same way as GCSEs, AS and A levels, with learners receiving a calculated result. Calculated results could be based in part on teacher, trainer or tutor judgements of what result each learner would most likely have achieved had they been able to complete their assessments in summer 2020. This information will, where appropriate, be combined with a range of other evidence held by the school, college or training provider and/or by the awarding organisation offering the qualification. Depending on the structure of the qualification, schools, colleges and training providers may be asked to provide an estimated result for the whole qualification, or for uncompleted components. There might be some instances where they are asked to provide a rank order of learners (as with GCSEs, AS and A levels).”
Ofqual have confirmed that they will be giving further guidance on this after the Easter break and we will keep you updated. In the meantime, we would encourage you to work with your teachers to complete the theory elements of units already started but you will not be starting new units. We will update you on the processes when we have further information.
16/04/20: Message to Year 13 A Level Students: Remote learning will restart on Monday 20th April for all Year 13 A level and GCSE Specifications which have not yet been been completed. The subjects which fall into this category are: Chemistry, Drama, Film Studies, Fine Art, Graphics, Maths, Further Maths, GCSE Maths, Media, Music, Law, Photography, Psychology and Religious Studies. The aim is to make sure you have completed the specification so that you are fully prepared for your next steps and we urge you to engage for your own academic gain. It is anticipated that all teaching will be completed by at the very latest the middle of May if not before. You will be guided in this by your subject teacher.
Teaching of the following A level and GCSE specifications has been completed: Ancient History, Biology, Business, Criminology, Computer Science, Core Maths, Economics, English Language, English Literature, French, German, GCSE English Language, Geography, Geology, History, Philosophy, Physics, Physical Education, Politics, Sociology, Statistics, Spanish and Russian. Now that teaching of the specifications has been completed, by the end of the first week back, teachers will be setting you some broader, extension reading, tasks or projects to complete independently. The aim of these is to keep you stimulated and academically challenged over the longer than anticipated break before you move on to university, apprenticeships or into employment.
Pastoral support through Academic Coaches will continue to be available to all Year 13 students until 30th June 2020 and those of you who receive financial support (bursary and meal allowances) will also continue to do so up until 30th June 2020.
16/04/20: Message for all Year 12 students: An important reminder to you that remote learning will restart from Monday 20th April. It is vital that you keep engaging with your teachers across all Year 12 A level and BTEC courses so that you continue to make progress and submit and receive feedback on your work. On your return to College (date yet to be confirmed by central Government) A level students will sit an in-class assessment based on revision of everything up the point of closure and a check on work completed at home so we can identify gaps going forward. BTEC students will continue with the learning and assessment of individual units. Our aim is to make sure you are as well prepared as possible for the final assessments of 2020/21.
14/04/20: There is support for parents and children with dyslexia during the school closures in the form of an online Q&A at 7.30-8.30pm on Wednesday 15 April. Ambassadors Mollie King (singer and BBC Radio 1 presenter), Lee Byrne (former Welsh rugby international) and Adelle Tracey (Team GB athlete) will be taking part. Register for free.
07/04/20: The Government has updated its information for parents and carers about the closure of schools and colleges.
07/04/20: We are experiencing very high volumes of emails to the Admissions Office regarding applications and enrolment this September. As a result, there is a backlog and there may be a delay in our response. Rest assured we are working through the queries as quickly as we can. In the meantime, you may find out Admissions FAQ useful.
03/04/20: Ofqual have today provided further guidance on how GCSE and A level grades will be calculated. Find out more about this and read the statement from Principal Martin Sullivan here.
31/03/20: Remote Learning will continue for all students up until close of play Thursday 2 April when we break for Easter. At this time of distance learning, communication is vital. Students are urged to check their Tyber messages every day for important updates from their teachers, coaches and college leadership. We are still waiting for details from the government on how Year 13 grades will be calculated.
31/03/20: Learning is currently taking place at the College and at schools across the Summit Learning Trust. Please take a moment to read the statement that the Trust has issued about this home learning.
31/03/20: Due to these unprecedented circumstances, our application process for study in September 2020 will remain open until further notice. Please keep checking back for further updates.
30/03/20: Please note, the College is continuing to deliver our safeguarding duty of care during this time of College closure because of the on-going Covid-19 situation. Read more information on how we are dealing with Safeguarding here.
27/03/20: Prospective students awaiting interview for their September 2020 place with us have been contacted with an email from the Admissions Office. The Interview Evenings scheduled for Wednesday 25 March, Thursday 22 April, Wednesday 29 April and Wednesday 13 May will not be taking place. Instead, interviews will take place by telephone and those who were scheduled to attend Interview Evening on Wednesday 25 March will be contacted first. Offer letters will be sent out via email. We will get to those scheduled for interview at subsequent dates as soon as we can and look to schedule those without a specific interview date as soon as possible. Students interviewed at a later date will not be disadvantaged. We do not yet know if the Interview Evening on Wednesday 10 June will go ahead or not; we will update prospective students as soon as we know more.
All the offers we are making are conditional offers, which means we need students to achieve certain grades to study A level, BTEC or CACHE courses with us. In light of the government decision to cancel GCSE exams, we await confirmation of how GCSE grades will be awarded and we will abide by the grades they are awarded by the exam boards. Please be reassured that we will follow all government advice with the aim of ensuring that every student with an application is treated fairly. Further information about this and the enrolment process in late August/early September will follow when the government has clarified the position. We thank all our applicants for their patience.
27/03/20: Message to all Year 13 students: The government and Ofqual are delaying their announcement on how GCSE, A level and Applied vocational courses’ grades will be calculated until next week. Read the government/Ofqual statement on this. We understand that is an anxious time and we will update you all as soon as we have more information. We want to reassure you that we will do everything we can to make sure you are not disadvantaged by these unprecedented circumstances.
26/03/20: Here’s a reminder of Public Health England’s advice on Covid-19.
25/03/20: Finding it difficult to cope with the current uncertainty because of the Covid-19 situation? Here are some useful tips for coping with that anxiety.
25/03/20: Supplier relief due to COVID-19:
The current outbreak of COVID-19 is unprecedented and will have a significant impact on businesses of all sizes. Many suppliers to public bodies will struggle to meet their contractual obligations and this will put their financial viability, ability to retain staff and their supply chains at risk. As a Contracting authority, Summit Learning Trust (which the College is part of) are required to support suppliers at risk so they are better able to cope with the current crises and to resume normal service delivery and fulfil their contractual obligations when the outbreak is over.
All suppliers will be paid as quickly as possible to maintain cash flow and protect jobs. The Trust will also take action to continue to pay suppliers at risk due to COVID-19 on a continuity and retention basis. As Trust staff are working remotely, please email invoices to: PurchaseLedger@summitlearningtrust.org.uk. If you have recently posted an invoice please send it again by email as not all offices are being attended and therefore mail may not get opened as quickly as normal.
The Trust will be contacting suppliers who provide the goods or services that are critical to the functioning of our Educational establishments. We are complying with fresh Government instructions and will continue to do so as they are updated throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. If you are a contracted supplier who is at risk of not being able to resume normal service delivery after the outbreak is over, you will continue to be paid as normal until at least the end of June, even if service delivery is disrupted or temporarily suspended. The Government will review this date in due course. If you have not been contacted by Friday 27th March and your financial stability will be significantly impacted as a result of the loss of our business during the COVID-19 outbreak, please contact us at: SupplierEnquiries@summitlearningtrust.org.uk. We will focus our greatest effort on those suppliers that are impacted most by our temporary closure.
For further information and to keep up to date, please visit the Gov.uk websites:
(N.B. this policy note is for Contracting Authorities only, but to be transparent with all you may access it should you wish to). Summit Learning Trust values your business and endeavours to support you throughout this difficult time.
24/03/20: Solihull Sixth Form College will be closing to all staff and students from Wednesday 25 March until further notice. This follows the UK Government’s advice on Monday 23 March for everyone to stay home unless absolutely necessary. We have spoken with our most vulnerable students and determined that we can offer the support they require remotely. Those in receipt of bursaries and Free School Meals are continuing to be supported financially and remote learning is up and running for all students (Year 12 and Year 13 in A level, GCSE, BTEC and CACHE courses). Students are urged to carry on with the work being set by their teachers and to keep in touch with their academic coaches for support. As we get updates, this will be communicated to students and parents by email and Tyber message and added to the website on this page.
24/03/20: Important Message regarding UCAS applications:
We have been informed by UCAS that following a government announcement asking Universities and Colleges in England to hold back from making unconditional offers or amending existing offers to students for up to two weeks, UCAS have taken the decision to extend May’s ‘decision and reply’ deadline by two weeks. UCAS will email further details to all applicants shortly.
The extension will give you and your chosen universities extra time to fully consider any decisions and offers and ensure fairness in admissions is maintained. It also gives more time for further information to be shared on the awarding of grades for examinations and assessments that have been cancelled.
When results are confirmed, UACS intend to run a clearing process to give applicants the flexibility to make further choices during the remainder of the application cycle.
We will update you if we are informed of any further development.
23/03/20: Important Message for Year 13 BTEC students:
Some of you have been inquiring why you are still being asked to continue with your assignments whilst you are working from home.
Our answer is this. The government have indicated that all Year 13 BTEC and CACHE students will get a calculated grade and that teachers will be involved in supplying information that contributes to that grade. We do not yet have details of how the grades will be awarded. However, as non-exam assessment is a fundamental element of BTEC and CACHE, it is vital that you continue to work on this as advised by your teachers. The Government have made it clear that they will not simply be using predicted grades.
Therefore, all student work, including work that is currently being set and assessed remotely, will be taken into account as we strive to ensure that as much of your qualification as possible is covered and that the awarding of your grades is fair and robust.
In addition, we have a duty and a commitment to ensuring that you complete as much of your BTEC/Cache course as possible and teachers will continue to set and assess work which helps you to do so. Your teachers will be working with you to complete units that are already in process. You may also for example be working on units that have theory and practical assignments. Teachers will keep assessing the theory assignments so that the unit can contribute to the information we pass on to the Awarding Body. Until we hear further, we will not be starting any new units.
Our aim is to facilitate your progression to university, apprenticeships and employment and to ensure that you have no knowledge gaps. Should you be unhappy with the calculated grade awarded to you, you will have a right of appeal to the Awarding Body.
Details of how grades will be awarded have yet to be finalised by the government and we will let you know as soon as we know. This link summarises the Government’s current position.
23/03/20: Important Message for Year 13 A level students:
Some of you have been inquiring why you are still being asked to continue with your remote learning, even though there will be no exams.
Our answer is this. The government have indicated that all Year 13 A level students will get a calculated grade and that teachers will be involved in supplying information that contributes to that grade. We do not yet have details of how grades will be awarded but it is clear that it will take into account a range of evidence (non-exam assessment, mock results, standardisation of student marks, teacher assessment and prior attainment) and that the Government will not simply be using predicted grades.
Therefore, all student work, including work that is currently being set and assessed remotely, will be taken into account as we strive to ensure that specifications are covered and that the awarding of your grades is fair and robust. Non-exam assessment, where applicable, is also very important so students should be continuing to work on this as advised by their teachers.
In addition, we have a duty and a commitment to ensuring that you complete your A level specifications, and teachers will continue to set and assess work which helps you to do so. Our aim is to facilitate your progression to university, apprenticeships and employment and to ensure that you have no knowledge gaps. Should you be unhappy with the calculated grade awarded to you, you will have the opportunity to sit the exams once schools and colleges are open again.
Details of how grades will be awarded have yet to be finalised by the government and we will let you know as soon as we know. This link summarises the Government’s current position.
23/03/20: Distance learning can take some getting used to. Here are our tips on how to work effectively from home.
23/03/20: Here’s a link to a British Dyslexia Association free webinar aimed at parents of children who have dyslexia, to support the education of your children at home. Click here for further information and to book your place.
23/03/20: Starting from today (Monday 23 March) the frequency of train services will be reduced across the country. New timetables are available online over the weekend from train operating companies. In addition, between Monday (23rd March) and Wednesday (25th March) most bus operators will reduce the frequency of the services they operate in the West Midlands. New timetables will be available online today. West Midlands Metro services are expected to remain as normal this week but do check for updates in case the situation changes. Everyone will still be able to get to where they need to go, however, the time at which you normally travel may need to change. West Midlands Network are encouraging everyone to plan ahead. See their website for more information.
20/03/20: The Summit Learning Trust Chief Executive Catherine Anwar has issued a letter to parents and carers of all the Trust schools and the College.
20/03/20: Year 13 students and parents of Year 13 students: Please be aware that the Government has just published a broad brush update on how grades will be determined for GCSE and A level subjects this year, in light of the decision to cancel this summer’s exam series. Teachers are going to be asked to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead. Performance in mock exams and non-exam assessment will be considered and clear guidance on how to do this fairly and robustly will be provided to schools and colleges. The exam boards will then combine this information with other relevant data, including prior attainment, and use this information to produce a calculated grade for each student, which will be a best assessment of the work they have put in. For vocational courses where work has already been completed and assessed, these grades are likely to form part of the judgment. Grades will be available hopefully by the end of July, and have a similar distribution as in previous years. Students who wish to will be able to sit exams early next academic year if they wish or in summer 2021. Read the full statement from the Government.
19/03/20: We have created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page to address many of the questions we have been getting today from students and parents. Please note this is a rapidly evolving situation and changes are coming regularly. As such, we will update the FAQ when we have more information. There is a date and time stamp at the top of the page, which will show you when it was last updated.
19/03/20: A letter to parents regarding the suspension of all Year 12 and Year 13 lessons from 4.00pm on Friday 20 March until further notice is being sent out today – download it here.
19/03/20: The following statement has been released by the Summit Learning Trust, which the College is a member of, regarding recruitment of staff:
19/03/20: Despite the move to distance learning from Monday 23 March, continued provision is being offered for some students. To this end, the following message has just been sent to all students via Tyber and to all parents for whom we have an email address:
Following the guidance provided by the Government on 18th March, the College will be closing to the majority of students from 4pm on Friday 20th March. We will maintain a provision for students, whose parents are key workers as identified by the Government, who have an EHCP, who have a Social Worker, are a Young Adult Carer or who are in receipt of a Full Bursary. The provision will be limited to providing a working environment in the LRC for students to complete the remote learning work which will be set for all students throughout the period of closure. Only a small number of staff will be available to supervise students as they need to minimise the risk to themselves and their own families. it is important that we have information regarding the number of students who will access this provision as quickly as possible so that we can put in place a viable plan. To this end, we have sent a link to a form to all students via Tyber to gather the required information. We ask that students requiring access to College after this week please complete the survey by 9am on Friday 20th March. If we do not receive a response, we will assume that you will not be accessing College from Monday 23rd March.
18/03/20: Important Message from the Principal, Martin Sullivan: “The College will be following the advice given by the government about closing the college for most students from next week. However, we are still committed to making sure that all students are safe and well during this challenging time. Teachers, academic coaches and other support staff will continue to be available to support you while the college is closed for most students. We will also aim to complete the syllabus and fully prepare Year 13 students for their progression to University, Apprenticeships or Work, and to enable this to happen, Year 13 students should continue to attend College until Friday at 4.00pm. We will give more information on how your grades will be awarded as soon as we get the details from the government in the coming days. Year 12 students should monitor Tyber and continue to work with their teachers through distance learning to ensure you make the progress that will enable you to be successful in the end of Year 12 assessments which will take place on your return and in 2020/21. Year 12 students should also maintain the contact with academic coaches who will support you during this period of closure.”
18/03/20: A letter to parents and carers has been sent out explaining the reason for suspending Year 12 lessons for the next 14 days.
18/03/20: Following yesterday’s decision to suspend Year 12 lessons for the next 14 days, the College wants to clarify the reasons for this, in light of some misunderstandings raised on social media. This decision was taken for staffing reasons. Read the full statement here.
17/03/20: Message to Year 12 students and Parents of Year 12 students: Due to staff absence resulting from the government’s recommended measures for self-isolation, we have regrettably made the difficult decision to suspend all formal year 12 lessons (subject lessons, supervised study, enrichment and coaching) for the next 14 days. Year 12 students may come into College on Wednesday to pick up any resources they might need during this period and are welcome to use the LRC facilities for as long as the College remains open. During this period of suspension, Year 12 teachers will remain in touch with Year 12 students to guide their study and provide support. Any specific enquiries should be addressed to each student’s Academic Coach. Year 13 lessons will continue as normal, preparing students for the successful completion of their courses here at the College.
16/03/20: There is a letter from Summit Learning Trust CEO Catherine Anwar going out to all students and parents today.
16/03/20: Our upcoming Easter Concert on 1 April and the Childcare Taster on 24 March have been cancelled due to the developing Coronavirus situation. Apologies for any disappointment.
12/03/20: A letter regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19) is being sent out today to students and parents, reminding students what action to take if they feel unwell and asking students to ensure their personal and College email addresses are working and being checked, should we need to communicate with students in this way.
26/02/20: In light of recent reports in the media, the College has sent a letter to students and parents with some public health advice concerning coronavirus. Rest assured there is no cause for concern at the College, which remains open.