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your Parent Guide to College 2014/15

Like you, we want the best for them too... As parents, we know you want the best for your son or daughter. At the College we believe that young people need to learn to manage their own time, explore their options and find out what they are really good at. The College works to inspire young people to develop a passion for their subject in an awardwinning environment that makes a real contribution to students’ aspirations. Students are supported through their studies by a combination of subject and personal tutoring with regular feedback. Evidence that this approach is working is available through our excellent student results, Estyn inspection reports and a strong but supportive student disciplinary strategy. In this section, we hope to provide answers to some of your questions and reassure you that the College is one of the best places in the county for post-16 education.

Experienced tutors

The College has an enthusiastic and highly qualified team of tutors and lecturers. We pride ourselves on the professionalism and expertise of our staff. They are drawn from many occupations and professions and bring with them a wealth of experience from industry in addition to their qualifications. Teaching methods are based on sound, evidence-based research and are regularly appraised by a process of internal and external quality control.

Parent-tutor communication

We aim to keep the parents of our students as well informed as we can about their children’s progress through parents evenings, letters and regular reports. We are always happy to answer parents’ queries and parents are welcome to contact course tutors to discuss any concerns. We recognise and welcome the contribution parents can make to their children’s success. We constantly monitor student progress, attendance, motivation and general wellbeing. Based on this monitoring, we periodically produce a detailed report for each subject studied and send it directly to the parent or guardian, not the student. In addition, once a year we organise a Parents Evening where parents have the opportunity to speak to tutors. Students aged over 18 receive their reports directly.

“The College has been really supportive of my son. The environment has made a positive impact on him.” Mrs Humphrey “Jacob has received fantastic support pre and post the Paralympic Games 2012.” Mrs Thomas.

College life The environment in the College is much more akin to that of university, giving our students some experience of adult independence but in a supportive and controlled way. Students are encouraged to develop their learning skills and become better managers of their own time and work. Deadlines are set and expected to be met to ensure that all students achieve their qualifications.

Award-winning support

During the first week at College, all first year students attend a comprehensive induction programme that will help them become successful learners and make the most of their time at College. The induction programme includes details of the tutorial system, timetable, College rules and discipline, the library and resource centre, computer facilities, course content and how it is assessed, careers information and routes, the UCAS (university) entrance process and student support. Students have two tutors: a class tutor and a personal tutor. Each student regularly meets their personal tutor on a one-to-one basis. These meetings monitor attendance and progress and set targets. A copy of the agreed outcomes can be accessed online by the student and act as a steering and monitoring device prior to the following meeting.

Support for all our learners

Pembrokeshire College was awarded the highest judgement by Estyn for student support. All students have an initial assessment to identify if extra support is needed with literacy or numeracy. Support given could include: • One-to-one specialist support sessions • Help with assignment planning

Support for students with Specific Learning Difficulties

Students with Specific Learning Difficulties, physical disabilities or sensory impairments are provided with support, specialist advice and resources to help them achieve their best. The College is able to offer one-to-one specialist tuition for dyslexic learners and those with other Specific Learning Difficulties on both further and higher education courses as well as putting in place access arrangements for exams. The College also has three specialist courses for people with a range of learning difficulties who need a supported environment. The courses are focused on life skills, vocational skills and basic skills. Extra help includes: • Learning support assistant or communication support worker in class • Help with appropriate assistive technology • Basic Skills taught by specialist tutors • Extra pastoral support or special careers advice • Multi-agency reviews

Specialist courses:

• Cornerstone (SVT) – 2 years • Bridging Vocational Preparation (Entry Level) – 1 year (This course includes sport and fitness activities by The Prince’s Trust)

Equal opportunities for all

Financial support for learners*

The College has a dedicated Head of Safeguarding and Learner Services to ensure the wellbeing of all learners. In addition to learning support the College is also able to offer the following support facilities:

For those over 18 and living in Wales, an Assembly Learning Grant (ALG) is available. These funds are designed to help support students who might otherwise experience financial difficulties whilst studying. The funds are means tested and students whose family’s net income is less than £18,370 per year may receive between £300 and £1,500 for an academic year.

The College is an equal opportunities organisation and welcomes all members of the community. We aim to give everybody the same chance to succeed regardless of their race, religion, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, disability or age.

• Financial support • Welfare and wellbeing • Counselling • College nurse

All our courses for under-19s are fully funded. Furthermore, 16-18 year olds may qualify for an Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) of up to £30 per week, based on a household income of £23,077 or less per year.

The Financial Contingency Fund is administered by the College and is designed to support those who may require financial assistance to complete their course. The fund covers additional costs like buying specific equipment, uniforms, books, etc. Household income must be £23,000 per year or less. *All grants and funding is dependent on government policy and support and may be subject to change (figures quoted are for academic year 2013/14).

Q&A Q. Will my family continue to receive benefits if my child leaves school to attend the College? A. Yes, if your son or daughter is in full-time education whether in school or the College. Students can also apply for assistance through the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) to provide some support during their studies. Apprentices may be considered to be employed, rather than have student status, therefore, if your son or daughter is considering an apprenticeship scheme, you would need to discuss the possible impact on benefit entitlement. Q. What sort of disciplinary and behaviour rules exist in the College? A. Students are encouraged to obtain 100% attendance at the College and be punctual at every timetabled session. Registers are taken every session and students with unauthorised absence are automatically contacted by our attendance trackers. Any student whose attendance drops below 85% is subject to disciplinary procedures. The College encourages all its students to take personal responsibility for their learning and to adhere to the College’s code of behaviour. The College offers an opportunity, particularly for young people, to develop their behaviour and time management skills that are so critical for success at university or in the workplace.

Q. My child is high achieving and has done well in school. Will my child have the same academic opportunities in the College as if they had stayed on in school sixth form? A. For many years College students have been progressing to top universities throughout the UK including Oxford and Cambridge. If a young person has the ambition and aptitude, we will provide the support to ensure they reach their potential. Q. We live outside Haverfordwest, what transport is available? A. There is an extensive transport system in place which is free for full-time College and Federation learners aged under 19 (on 1st Sept 2014) wishing to attend the College. Transport is provided from nominated pick-up points for students meeting the distance criteria of three miles or more. The routes cover a wide area of the county, however, due to Pembrokeshire’s rural nature it is not always possible to arrange a pick-up close to the homes of all learners. Students are required to make their own way to and from the nearest pick-up point. Q. Will a BTEC Extended Diploma allow my son or daughter to progress to university? A. Yes, in fact many students comment that having completed a BTEC Extended Diploma in the subject area they are pursuing makes the first year of a degree much easier.

Please contact the Learner Contact Centre on 01437 753 133 if you need further information or would like this brochure in large format. Text phone (minicom) 01437 753 000 Admissions 0800 9 776 788

2014/15 Parent Guide  
2014/15 Parent Guide