A warm welcome to this first newsletter of 2013/14. We were especially delighted by the tremendous A level and BTEC results achieved by our students in August. These results will ensure that the vast majority of our students secure their first choice of places at university or have the qualifications they need to enter employment and further training. It is such a pleasure for all staff at Blackpool Sixth to see our students progress so successfully to the next stage of their lives. This term we welcome our largest ever intake of new students and we know that they will take inspiration from the achievements of the upper sixth of 2012/13. We are also working on some further enhancements to our facilities with the re-building of the Ribble block. We particularly look forward to the creation of a brand new centre for engineering. With warm wishes to you all, Felicity Greeves, Principal
The Blackpool Sixth Form College is celebrating an excellent set of A level and BTEC results this year. The A level pass rate has risen to 99%. With a record number of candidates (926), this extremely high level of achievement is all the more remarkable. Blackpool Sixth is particularly delighted by the increase in students attaining the top grades in their courses
â€“ nearly 60% of entries resulted in a top grade. More details of our results are on Page 2
Twenty-eight of the sixth form’s A level courses had perfect pass rates of 100% in addition to fifteen of its BTEC Level 3 Diploma courses. Many courses recorded exceptionally high levels of achievement such as English Literature with 16 students obtaining an A* grade. In Economics and Business Studies 23 and 36 students respectively achieved A* or A grades. In Further Maths, Art,Textiles and Graphic Design, all students achieved one of the top grades of A*, A or B. Five students secured places at Oxford and Cambridge universities. One student gained a place at Yale University in the US, one of only a handful of UK students to do so.
Jack Renshaw, formerly of Collegiate High School, Martha Hirst, formerly of St. Aidan’s Church of England Technology College and Sarah Caulfield, formerly of Cardinal Allen Catholic High School are all heading to Cambridge University after achieving a total of 6 A* grades and 6 A grades between them. They will be joined at Cambridge by Caitlin Mackridge formerly of Highfield Humanities College who has been on a gap year in France.
Chloe Wakelin, formerly of St. George’s School, achieved two A*s and an A. She will read Biological Sciences at Oxford University. Chloe said, “I want to thank Catherine who has been my personal tutor and Biology course teacher, for her continued support and for the guidance she has given me. I couldn’t have got the grades I did without her.”
This term the sixth form is introducing three new advanced course programmes. All three are BTEC Subsidiary Diploma courses, each equivalent to one A level. Applied Law offers an excellent grounding in both civil and criminal law, with the emphasis on real life legal work. Personal and Business Finance covers skills and knowledge needed in the financial services industries. Musical Theatre is a practically-based course developing performance skills in singing, acting and movement. We have also launched a brand new study programme for those who need a foundation year before moving onto advanced study, 2Plus. The programme gives students the opportunity to acquire those all important GCSEs in English and Maths as well as building skills for future study and work through well regarded BTEC qualifications.
With ever increasing competition for university places and careers, we recognise that university admissions staff, and workplace recruitment officers are looking for more from our students. The new 6Xtra programme provides opportunities for students to stand out from the crowd. From Sports Academies, to Sign Language; Code Breaking to Japanese, there is a huge variety of activities on offer. New additions this year include Creative Writing and Sports Journalism. With 50 activities to choose from, 6Xtra is a great way for our students to enjoy new challenges, and pursue their interests in preparation for university and careers.
Over the last three years, Blackpool Sixth has offered a Summer School for prospective students to help them with their transition into college. The event, held in July, used activities to help with transition, confidence, team building, motivation and building friendships before the start of term. This induction to the college was a perfect opportunity to get new students thinking about their future prospects enabling them to start building their career path, together with developing new skills. This year alone 100% of the 54 students attending the event rated their overall experience as “highly satisfied” or “satisfied”.
New building has engineering at its heart Following the completion of the £23.7 million re-development of the Blackpool Sixth site and the refurbishment of our sports hall, additional work is now underway to further enhance our modern campus. The £1.6 million project, which started in August, will create a new three storey building to replace the old Ribble block. On the ground floor will be a centre for our popular and growing BTEC Engineering course, including excellent workshop facilities. The first and second floors will house eight new classrooms. The building, which is due to open in April 2014, will connect to the Calder block, ensuring ease of movement through the campus.
Blackpool Sixth was delighted to once again feature in the national Good School Guide for having the best results in the country. A particular success featured in the most recent edition of the guide was for having the best UCAS point score for both male and female students studying BTEC Level 3 Musical Theatre (Performing Arts). The sixth form is rapidly developing a top-level reputation at a national level in the performing arts. Several students from the department have recently secured highly sought-after places at some of the leading stage schools in the country. Laura Head has accepted an unconditional place at Guildford School of Acting to study Stage Management and Professional Production Skills, Amber Martin has accepted a place at the Academy of Live and Recorded Art (ALRA), and Peter Rugman has a place at The Central School of Speech and Drama.
In July the sixth form held its annual Student Awards ceremony in our theatre. Over 90 awards for academic achievement and for contributions to the sixth form community were handed out. The guest-of-honour was Dawood Fard, a former student who is now managing director of Centurus - an international education recruitment consultancy. Dawood gave an inspiring talk to the award winners based on his own experiences since leaving Blackpool Sixth. The coveted Student of the Year Award went to Bradley Everied (top right) for his consistently high levels of achievement in his BTEC Travel and Tourism diploma and his dedication to building up a huge portfolio of work experience with the Virgin group of companies.
Making it Count! In July, Blackpool Sixth welcomed over 1000 Year 10 students from six local high schools to the college for this year’s “Make It Count” days. Held over four days, the programme provides the youngsters with a chance to develop their practical maths skills through innovative and exciting activities. This year had the theme of the Fylde Coast in 2033 and the students used their maths skills to help plan the future of their region. Blackpool Sixth A level maths and statistics students worked as mentors for the day, helping to inspire and encourage the Year 10s.
2012-13 was another successful year for students engaging in work experience and voluntary roles to help build their skills for future employment. 830 opportunities were taken up in the community and workplaces, with individual take-up of opportunities increasing by over 25% compared to the previous year.
Jenna Whiteley formerly of St George's School who has just finished her first year of the two-year programme, said of her internship with the Progress group, "This internship helped me improve my communication skills enormously, as I worked with lots of different departments and service users. It gave me a greater understanding of the housing industry as well as enhancing my events management skills, which is what I want to pursue in the future. I really enjoyed this internship and will be working with New Fylde Housing again on future events which I am looking forward to." Jenna is pictured above helping with activities on a Youth Away Day.
Blackpool Sixth’s golden award The Blackpool Sixth Form College has achieved a major accolade for its work as an employer. It has retained its “gold” status in the prestigious Investors in People (IIP) award scheme. IIP is the UK’s leading accreditation for employer performance and recognises achievement in employee engagement, leadership, innovation and contribution to the community. The sixth form, which employs 220 people, was inspected over six days in April and May and was judged to have met 178 separate evidence requirements, well above the minimum required for the Gold Investor in People standard. The IIP inspection report praised Blackpool Sixth for its ‘can do’ culture. It noted how staff came across as “fervently committed to enhancing the student experience” and how “they supported the students at the college by creating a positive atmosphere.” Blackpool Sixth was also praised for its “dynamic and inspirational leadership” and its commitment to social responsibility, sustainability and the wider community.
Some notable placement providers in the summer term included Cuffe & Taylor Events, Lancashire Museums, Aegon, Marketing Blackpool and Oxford Archeology. Cyprian Krajewski formerly of Arnold School worked at Hewlett Packard during July. He commented, "This placement showed me that if I do take this career on, I will enjoy a lot of variety in different teams, and this is something I definitely want to pursue." Our Career Academy students also enjoyed keeping up the hard work by undertaking a variety of business placements to support their two-year programme. Companies offering students internships of between three and six weeks included Blackpool Carers Centre, Halifax, NST Travel, New Fylde Housing and Danbro. These internships allowed our students to build employability skills, improve workplace etiquette and seek business advice.
In June and July the department of Performing Arts, Music and Media held a summer festival of dance, drama and music. Audiences enjoyed a feast of excellent performances and plans are already afoot for next year’s festival. In the meantime, there will be plenty of great entertainment in the Blackpool Sixth theatre over the next two terms. Keep in touch with upcoming performances at blackpoolsixth.ac.uk/theatre. You will also be able to buy your tickets on-line.
Sport Maker programme brings new opportunities Last year Blackpool Sixth was selected as one of a small number of colleges in the North West to receive Sport England funding for a College Sport Maker post. The programme, co-ordinated by our Sport Maker, Christopher Abbott, links Blackpool Sixth with community sport opportunities and national programmes in order to widen the offer for students. Its key aim is to raise student participation in sporting activities and reduce the drop out of young people from sport, especially at 16 - 19 years old. New activities which have been introduced to Blackpool Sixth so far are American Football, Handball, “Body Attack” and Short Tennis. The response has been very encouraging and in 2013-14 we are adding Futsal, Boxercise, Quick Cricket, and Pilates.
Thirty-five students from the Blackpool Sixth Form College celebrated their musical talents and yearly successes by travelling to Italy to perform three magnificent concerts. With the Big Band, choir, rock bands, soloists and theatrical performances, they gave an impressive show that attracted many locals and tourists. The college later received emails of thanks and praise sent by Britons on holiday visiting Lake Garda who were overwhelmed by the students’ professionalism, talent and enthusiasm. A particular highlight for the students was the opportunity to perform a classical concert in a cathedral in Venice.
The students soaked up the Italian culture and atmosphere whilst they visited some of the regions most famous landmarks including a trip to the Colosseum in Verona and being chauffeured down the Grand Canal in a gondola. They experienced local Italian cuisine and even found time to enjoy the rollercoaster rides at GardaLand. The college would like to pay tribute to Sarah Pegg and Clodagh Nelson at National Schools Travel (NST) for coordinating such an amazing tour experience for our students.
At the start of the new academic year the college welcomed 29 new members of staff: 20 tutors and 9 support staff colleagues. The sixth form is delighted to be expanding our staffing. In our role as a lead partner in the Fylde Coast Teaching School Alliance, we are fully committed to providing excellent training and development for our new colleagues.
Learning Mentors, English, Law Business Studies, Geography & Economics
Applied Science, Physics, Biology Mathematics, Health & Social Care
Jackie Ainsworth, Elizabeth Connor, Robin Smith, Sol Ougradar, Daniel Wilson, Emma Williams, Rachel Wolstenholme, Rebecca Chisholm, Rebecca Lawn
Gareth Lapsins, Jillian Seed, Anna Foreman, Laura Sheppard, Laura McGuirk, Eleanor Benson, Kerry Creegan
PE / Sports, Public Services Performing Arts, Music & Media
Progress Co-ordinators & Support Staff
Rebecca Clark, Michael Handley, Daniel Holland, Stephanie Chunger, Joanne Bradley, Charlotte Moore
Nicola Kelly, Colette Dunn, Kate French, David Morton, Chelsey Dufour, Thomas Holland
Amongst the staff moving onto new jobs outside the sixth form at the end of the academic year was Andrew Boden. Andy, a former Blackpool Sixth student, was one of the longest serving members of staff, having worked here for 22 years. He had achieved great success in a number of roles including most recently as Director of Teaching and Learning. Andy now takes up the post of Deputy Principal at Sir John Deaneâ€™s Sixth Form College in Cheshire. We wish him all the very best in his new role.
Blackpool Sixth’s excellent modern campus is attracting increasing interest from community groups and other organisations looking to hire our facilities. Our 300-seat professional standard theatre has been particularly popular, hosting a wide variety of performances, talks and conferences. We also have our fully re-furbished sports hall as well as a wealth of space for smaller scale events using our committee room and classrooms. Newly appointed Events Co-ordinator, Nicola Kelly, can provide more information and discuss availability. You can contact her on 01253 394911 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fylde Coast Teaching School continues to go from strength to strength developing new opportunities and initiatives to support the development of teaching and learning across the Fylde Coast. A new cohort of trainee teachers will begin their training in our Alliance schools in both primary and secondary phases. This unique programme allows training to take place 'on the job', ensuring teachers of the future are able to teach to the very best standards. Last year we welcomed Roseacre and Breck primary schools into the Alliance and this year we look forward to Norbreck primary joining. Successful projects in leadership, business management, coaching and governance have taken place and have supported staff at both local and national levels. This staff development will expand further with leadership courses at both middle and senior levels and a substantial twilight programme will be run by Alliance schools and open to all local educationalists. The Fylde Coast Teaching School will also continue to provide school to school support to local institutions in order to improve outcomes for all young people in the area.
Welcome Evening - 18th Sept Open Day - 5th Oct Open Evening - 16th Oct Half Term - 28th Oct - 1st Nov Autumn Music Concert - 13th Nov Open Evening - 14th Nov Level 2 Parents’ Evening - 27th Nov Lower Sixth Parents’ Evening - 4th Dec Christmas Showcase - 12th Dec Festival of Lessons and Carols - 19th Dec End of Autumn Term - 19th Dec
College Re-opens - 6th Jan Upper Sixth Parents’ Evening - 22nd Jan Half Term - 17th - 21st Feb Open Evening - 26th Feb Preparing for University Evening (Upper Sixth) - 13th Mar Cross College Musical - 18th - 20th Mar HE Information Evening (Lower Sixth) - 27th Mar Easter Holidays - 4th - 21st April
Key Dates 2013/14
Bank Holiday - 5th May Variety Show - 14th May Battle of The Bands - 21st May Half Term - 26th May - 30th May Progression Evening (Upper Sixth)- 18th June Celebration Evening - 23rd June Art Exhibition - 23rd June Awards Ceremony - 25th June Summer Music Concert - 1st July PAMM Oscars - 4th July End of Summer Term - 8th July
Blackpool Sixth, Blackpool Old Road, Blackpool FY3 7LR
Tel: 01253 394911 • Fax: 01253 300459 Email: email@example.com
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