Equality and diversity at Blackpool Sixth
2015 - 2016
Blackpool Sixth is committed to ensuring the promotion of equality of opportunity for all members of the college community. It is seeking to create a climate where all forms of discriminatory behaviour are challenged, differences between individuals celebrated and generate a culture where all staff and students are encouraged to achieve their full potential. The college is keen to ensure that equality of opportunity underpins all policies, valuing all members of the college community equally.
Equality policy and core values Promoting, celebrating and valuing diversity is at the heart of the collegeâ€™s core values, and will benefit the college in all aspects of its membersâ€™ performance.
Respect - College will undertake to ensure all individuals and groups are treated fairly,
Excellence and High Aspirations - College will ensure that all members of the community are encouraged, supported and have equal opportunity to achieve their full potential. Pride will be taken in all achievements, and celebrated where appropriate.
Support - All members of the college community will be given equal access to support in
their work or studies. College will make all reasonable adjustments to ensure individuals are given assistance and help where appropriate.
Inclusion - Diversity is not only valued by the college, but also celebrated and promoted. The college will seek to ensure that individuals understand differences in others and that activities and opportunities are adjusted where appropriate to ensure equality of access for all groups.
Global Citizenship - The college celebrates and promotes understanding of international
Enthusiasm - Blackpool Sixth is a passionate place to work and learn, and will seek
Integrity - All inappropriate behaviour and actions against the spirit of the Equality Policy
courteously and with respect. Beliefs, values and religious views will be respected and tolerance encouraged where individuals or groups may have differences.
differences, encouraging all members of the college community to develop a better appreciation, tolerance and respect for global issues.
to nurture a positive attitude amongst all of the college community towards diversity, celebrating and exploring differences and valuing all individuals.
will be challenged and not tolerated. Members of the college community are expected to act with integrity at all times in recognising and respecting individualsâ€™ differences.
CRY walk On Wednesday 2nd September 2015 over 200 staff from The Blackpool Sixth Form College completed a sponsored relay walk to raise funds and awareness for the charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young). At least 12 young people die suddenly each week in the UK of previously undetected heart problems. Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) has been working to reduce the frequency of young sudden cardiac death (YSCD). CRY supports young people diagnosed with potentially life-threatening cardiac conditions and offers bereavement support to families affected by YSCD. Staff from Blackpool Sixth walked 28 miles in total around the Fylde Coast, split into 18 relay teams, each walking 1.5 miles. The walk route included a visit to the Cardiac Unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. The aim of the walk was to help raise £7,000, which allowed 200 students at the college to have ECG and Echocardiogram screening. £3,500 was donated by the Trustees of the Blackpool Grammar School. Event organiser Alex Gardner, commented, “There has never been a screening of this kind in the Blackpool area before. The importance of this for our students is to try and pick up conditions in seemingly ‘normal’ ‘healthy’ students with the chance to save lives.”
International Evening Blackpool Sixth’s annual ‘International Evening’ rolled around again for a showcase of culture, delicacies and fun. The evening was organised by the Blackpool Sixth’s ‘International Society’, international and language studying students, and in partnership with Rotary Club of Blackpool Palatine. Senior student, Murat Cobandag, who’s in his second year at Blackpool Sixth and studies; A Level Economics; A Level Modern History and A Level Religion, Ethics and Philosophy, hosted this year’s ‘International Evening’. Throughout the evening students delivered presentations on their homelands, a buffet of international delicacies was provided followed by a round the world quiz. Upper Sixth student, Grace Cook said, “I thought tonight’s ‘International Evening’ was a great event and a really nice feeling to have such a sense of community and shared interest in languages and cultures. I enjoyed representing the college and felt proud to explain why we were all there to the guests.”
Peace Pole re-dedication and art/poetry for peace Blackpool Sixth students delivered a call for peace in March in eight different languages. This happened as part of an event to mark the re-dedication of the college’s ‘peace pole’, a prominent part of the college’s main courtyard. The event took place on the day after the terrorist attacks in Brussels had killed 31 people and injured hundreds. Victims of these atrocities were remembered by those in attendance. The event was held in partnership with Rotary International in Cumbria and Lancashire with leading Rotarians attending from across the Fylde Coast, north Lancashire and the Lake District. At the event the pledge for peace, “May peace prevail on Earth” was read by students in eight different languages: Arabic, English, French, German, Hungarian, Russian, Spanish and Shona. Artwork was also on display from a primary “Art for Peace” competition. Event organiser, Jon McLeod, Head of Admissions, Liaison and Marketing at Blackpool Sixth, commented, “We feel that as a college we have a duty to promote peace and develop our students’ understanding of different cultures and ways of life. Their keenness to participate in the event is very moving. We were also hugely impressed by the quality of the poetry and artwork submitted for the competitions.”
Students with identified learning difficulties and students with identified mental health needs had higher pass rates (96.3% and 97.1% respectively) than the general college average for all level three qualifications (95.5%).
Sport relief ‘135 miles bike ride’
Sport Relief came to Blackpool Sixth on Friday 18th March for a day that didn’t just feel good, it did good.
Each year Blackpool Sixth hosts a major event to celebrate Diwali. Diwali is one of the most important religious festivals in the Hindu religion and is marked by many millions of people across the globe. The festival, sometimes referred to as the ‘Festival of Lights’, is believed to mark new beginnings. It also represents the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness, with the word Diwali, or Deepavali, meaning ‘a row of lamps’. This 2016 Diwali celebration, organised in partnership with the Fylde Coast Hindu Society, was held at the college on Sunday 1st November. The event began with a short ‘lighting of the lamp’ ceremony followed by a dance and music show, including a performance by some of our performing arts students. This was then followed by a delicious Indian meal. In attendance at the event were over a hundred local people including Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard, and Park Ward Councillor, Maria Kirkland. During the event a raffle was held to raise funds for the Nepal earthquake appeal. Over £300 was raised.
At Blackpool Sixth, Steve Legge, the college’s Sport and Enrichment Development Officer organised a ‘Coast-to-Coast’ bike ride, from Blackpool to Scarborough, a whopping distance of 135 miles. To achieve this challenge, a spinning bike, equipped with an odometer was be placed in the college foyer all day. The challenge was for a rotation of staff to cycle the distance to raise money for Sport Relief 2016. Staff and students encouraged one another to show their support and donated what they could! In total, staff managed to cover a staggering 267km, a whopping 48.2km over their target. The total raised from the Sport Relief fundraiser was £104.96.
The proportion of students with disabilities who achieved upper high grades (A*/A at A level or Distinction Star in BTEC) was 33.3% this was 0.5% higher than the college average for all level 3 qualifications.
Memorial Lecture - Medicins sans Frontieres surgeon Blackpool Sixth students heard from a surgeon who has worked in some of the most challenging and dangerous locations around the world. Dr Reg Kingston delivered the annual Memorial Lecture in November in the Blackpool Sixth theatre. He told students about his work across the globe for the medical and humanitarian organisations, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and Merlin (Medical Emergency Relief International). Dr Kingston talked movingly of his work in major conflict zones such as Ethiopa, Sri Lanka, Rwanda, Liberia and Sierra Leone as well as in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake of 2010. He described some of the extremely difficult conditions under which he carried out emergency surgery, such as in Haiti where the earthquake had destroyed all the hospital operating rooms. He also told students how infections and injuries which are easily treatable in our country take thousands of lives in war-zones, such as epidemics of the bone infection, osteomyletis, or untreated burn injuries. He gave students a wider insight into the vital work of medical and disaster relief organisations such as MSF, stressing that they rely on experts in many fields such as logistics and water sanitation. He also praised the local staff he had worked with in many countries whom he said were doing a brilliant job with very few resources. He added that he had seen many examples of people coping with difficult situations in ways which we in our country have much to learn from, “It makes you think about whether we always do things in the right way.”
Boccia Young Officials Award On Tuesday 15th December, 8 Higher Sports Leader (HSL) students from Blackpool Sixth, along with students from Highfurlong took part in a ‘Boccia Young Officials Award’ organised and delivered by the Youth Sports Trust. The aim of the course is to introduce the necessary skills and knowledge required to be an effective Boccia official. The course has been designed to cover the important elements of refereeing a game of Boccia within schools and the community. Hatham Mili said, “The course provided a good insight into the sport of Boccia and has equipped me with a knowledge of the rules and regulations. I now feel confident about umpiring a game.”
The overall level 3 achievement rate for female students (96.6%) was 2.5% higher than for male students (94.1%). However, the gap was much narrower on the upper high grades measure - only 0.2% fewer males achieved these grades in level 3 qualifications than did female students.
Get set training Blackpool Sixth get set training took place for Community Action on 4th February. Get Set for Community Action is a brand new programme that aims to strengthen relationships between young people and their local communities through the Olympic Values (friendship, excellence and respect) and the Paralympic Values (courage, determination, equality and inspiration). Thousands of 14-19 year olds – ‘Action Leads’ – worked in teams across the UK, building relationships with local community groups to plan and deliver at least two projects each, in the run-up to the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. ‘Action Leads’ told of the importance of communication and provided some tips for planning their own projects in the community. Students from Blackpool Sixth, Millfield School, Aspire Academy, Park Community Academy and Highfurlong attended the Get Set training which broadened links and strengthened relationships in the community across schools and college. The day was a success and was made even more so by the presence of Paralympic Fencer and former Blackpool Sixth student, Justine Moore. Her inspiring words, encouragement and demonstration were fantastic. Justine was first introduced to Wheelchair Fencing three years ago when she attended a Junior Camp at Stoke Mandeville. Justine made her Paralympic debut at London 2012, where she competed in the preliminary rounds of the Individual Epee and Foil events. Additionally, she fenced as part of the women’s Team Epee alongside Gemma Collis and Gabi Down. The trio finished in 8th place.
LGBT+ History Month As part of LGBT+ History Month, on Friday 12th February Blackpool Sixth students were treated to informative and engaging talks by Carolyn Mercer and PC Ian Ashton. LGBT+History Month is celebrated in February in the UK to work to challenge homophobia, bi-phobia and transphobia. The first talk at 9am was delivered by Carolyn Mercer who came to speak on the subject of transgender. Carolyn has held many leadership positions that promote LGBT+ equality, she is also the current Chair of Lancashire LGBT. Carolyn is a retired secondary school headteacher and is passionate about education, equality and diversity. Carolyn spoke about her upbringing and her life since 2002 when she decided to present as a woman. She was a very inspiring speaker and was keen to promote the fact that just because you aren’t average does not mean you are not normal. The second talk was by PC Ian Ashton who is the West Division Cohesion Officer for Lancashire Constabulary. Ian spoke to students about hate crime and his work within the local community. He said “Lancashire Constabulary value differences and encourage people to be who they are and report any hate incidents to us.” The talks were also attended by 24 Blackpool Aspire Academy students. The Blackpool Sixth LGBT+ committee have been working with Margaret Adereti and the pupils at Aspire to start their own LGBT+ group at the school. Julie Halliwell who arranged for the speakers to attend and runs the LGBT+ group at the sixth form said “I am delighted to have had such good attendance for the talks. The whole day has been amazing and it is great we have such positive links with Aspire Academy. Carolyn’s talk was so inspirational”
Visual arts visit Morocco A group of Blackpool Sixth visual arts students sampled the sights of Morocco recently. Both Upper and Lower Sixth students (studying photography, graphics, art and textiles) have immersed themselves in the Moroccan culture, gathering inspiration for their studies, exams and final projects. During the visual arts visit to Morocco, staff and students were led by a tour guide, Hassan. Hassan ensured that students enjoyed some key cultural highlights that Morocco had to offer, including a night-time horse and carriage ride through Marrakech, climbing the 2000m Asni mountain, located in the Atlas mountain range and indulged in the traditional Moroccan cuisine, with a tagine lunch overlooking the mountains. The visual arts students also got the opportunity to hold baby goats and learnt about the production of aragon oil. They then explored the souks and saw monkey trainers and snake charmers plying their trade. The students then enjoyed a well-deserved ice cream treat, whilst visiting the white and blue fishing port of Essaouira, and exploring the town’s array of tiny streets. Finally, the trip’s biggest highlight was a chance to ride on camelback through the palm trees of Morocco. The fashion students visited Yves St Laurent’s house and soaked up the opportunity to see the fabulous sparkling jewellery, whilst the photography students strolled and photographed the beautiful yellow and blue Jardin Majorelle gardens. Blackpool Sixth staff member, Sabina Wray said, “What a fantastic experience for our students, we could not have been prouder with how they conducted themselves and how they represented Blackpool Sixth.” Our Moroccan guide, Hassan, said, “The group was the best I’ve ever had and Blackpool Sixth should be so proud of its students!” From the visual arts trip to Morocco, all Upper and Lower Sixth students have gained some vital life skills, that will reach further than their A levels qualifications and will stay with them for a lifetime.
Students write for rights A group of students from The Blackpool Sixth Form College have been busy campaigning for the rights of political prisoners. The students, who are all studying humanities subjects at Blackpool Sixth, are taking part in Amnesty International’s ‘Write for Rights’ campaign. One aspect of the project involves writing to various political prisoners, sending a card directly to them Students with in their prisons so that the prisoners know that people in other parts of the world ethnicities other than are concerned about them. The students have also written to the relevant heads 'white' had an upper of state and ambassadors to request that the prisoners are treated fairly and justly high grade according to international conventions on human rights. achievement rate of The cases the students have focused on are those of Phyoe Phyoe Aung, a 35.1% which was student arrested for protesting against the Burmese government; Waleed Abu 2.3% higher than the al-Khair, Saudi human rights lawyer; and Zunar, a Malaysian cartoonist, jailed for college average for all tweeting cartoons about the Malaysian government. level 3 qualifications. The students are part of the 6Advance programme at Blackpool Sixth which provides extra-curricular activities linked to students’ studies. The programme is especially tailored to the needs of academic high fliers, building their skills and knowledge on areas beyond the exam syllabus. This will help them with applications to top universities and assist them in developing ideas about their future career direction. One student who has been involved with ‘Write for Rights’ is former Aspire Academy student, Chloe Adshead, age 17 from Layton. Chloe commented, “It’s great to actively be participating in something which could potentially be making a difference to those in awful situations.” Peter Wright, a Classical Civilisation teacher at Blackpool Sixth who co-ordinates the 6Advance group in for the Humanities department, added, “Given the current troubled international situation, we thought that it was a particularly appropriate time to talk to students about human rights issues around the world. The students have really shown a strong interest in the campaign and are hopeful that their letters, along with those from many thousands of other Amnesty supporters will lead to fairer treatment for these prisoners.”
Streetlife - homeless young people In 2015, Blackpool Sixth’s humanities department encouraged fellow staff and students to donate food to ‘Street Life’. Street Life provide support, shelter and direction to help vulnerable young people to find their way. Head of Humanities, Tracy Lowe said, ” It was a fantastic effort from staff and students to donate as many items as they did. It really demonstrates the generosity of people at Blackpool Sixth.”
Nepal Christmas Quiz The Nepal Team 2016 organised a very successful Christmas quiz on Wednesday 9th December. Staff and students in the team have been working hard organising this event, creating all the questions, organising decorations, putting together some wonderful raffle prizes and running the event on the night. The event raised a grand total of £722.61. The money raised helped in the teaching of English to students in a Nepal school in July 2016, providing essential support and resources to those affected by the earthquake in 2015.
Mission Christmas Students and staff from the department of Social Sciences at The Blackpool Sixth Form College were busy making sure that local children in need had at least one present to open for Christmas 2015. They supported the Rock FM ‘Mission Christmas – Cash for Kids’ campaign. Blackpool Sixth was registered as a ‘drop off’ point for Christmas gifts so that members of the community could leave gifts at the college. In addition to this each class within the department raised money to buy gifts. One group in particular really got into the spirit of the mission and collected over £100. Many students were so inspired by the campaign that they brought in gifts as well as raising money. The department managed to collect an amazing 328 toys and raised over £300 to buy further gifts. First year student, Jonathan Barnes, who studies sociology said, “We’re really happy to be helping underprivileged children who aren’t getting any presents for Christmas this year.” Fellow sociology student, Chloe Pearson, commented, “Our class did so well as a team to raise over £100 to buy presents. I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved.”
Chinese New Year and Shrove Tuesday Blackpool Sixth celebrated Chinese New Year and Shrove Tuesday on Tuesday 9th February. Taylor Shaw, Blackpool Sixth’s catering providers, hosted a spectacular display of food to celebrate ‘Chinese New Year’ and ‘Shrove Tuesday’. Cafe Six had queues out of the door with hungry and excited students ready to enjoy the day’s special menu. The menu included Chinese speciality dishes such as; salt and pepper chicken, ding po pork, homemade spring rolls and dan dan noodles, with an additional choice of garnishes, either sweet chilli or hoisin sauce. Alongside the Chinese specials, there was live theatre cooking on the pancake station. Students were able to customise their pancake toppings with a wide selection of fruit and sweet treats, including; strawberries, bananas, chocolate, lemon juice and maple syrup.
Students in the 'closing the gap' cohort (CTG) based on social deprivation measures had very similar overall achievement rates to those students who are not part of that cohort: 95.4% for CTG students compared to 95.6% for non-CTG students.
Equality and diversity at Blackpool Sixth
2015 - 2016
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