"Support for students is excellent. The well-planned and detailed care and support plans in place for students have a strong beneficial impact on ensuring that they make excellent progress and achieve their qualifications."
Ofsted report, January 2017
We are extremely proud of the wide range of support that we provide to help students whilst they are at Birkenhead Sixth Form College.
The following services are available to all students:-
- Personal development and help in making informed lifestyle choices
- Up to date and independent careers advice
- Help and guidance with university and job applications
- Enrichment opportunities such as volunteering and the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme
- Support in developing study skills
Below is an overview of the following support available:
- Tutorial Programme
- Support & Preparation for Higher Education
- Careers Education & Guidance
- Learning Support
- Designated Mental Health Lead
- Advanced Academic Writing Programme
TOP ROW FROM LEFT: Nicky Stanaway, Tom Reilly, Mike Crosby (Second in Student Development), Jo Wood (Head of Student Development), Jade Powell, Jen Foden, Jack Millington, James Corrigan, Andy Farnan
BOTTOM ROW FROM LEFT: Jane Cotterill (Student Development Coordinator), Christina Johnson, Kirsty Thornton, Anna Rees, Tom Walker
All students have their own specialist Student Development Tutor. Tutors have the most important role in Student Development.
- Help you make the transition from school and settle in to College
- Answer any questions and help resolve any problems
- Work with you to set stretching targets that will allow you to achieve your full potential
- Regularly review your progress during one-to-one reviews
- Monitor attendance and work with subject staff to ensure you are up to date
- Help you develop views about yourself, your future and your place in the wider world
- Cover topics that are relevant to you such as health, finance, careers, personal safety
- Allow you to contribute and take part in activities with others
- Help you to make new friendships
- Learn about opportunities in College and beyond to improve your skills and knowledge
- Examine current affairs and how they might impact on you
- Help you to make the best of your time at College
Support and Preparation for Higher Education
We have outstanding support and preparation for Higher Education and we have an excellent record of preparing students for higher education and beyond. The following support is available:
- Help is available for personal statements, student finance options and the application process
- Trips to university open days and talks from external speakers about HE and careers
- Help with employment options if applicable
Careers Education & Guidance
To support all our students in developing their ideas for what they want to do after College, we offer the following :-
- An up to date and well stocked Careers Library in The Hub
- Sessions on careers and options throughout the year during the tutorial programme
- Careers news and opportunities regularly posted on the Careers notice board and Moodle (VLE)
- Industry approved careers software to assist with your research
- Regular visits from professionals to discuss their work and advice for those interested
- The opportunity to observe a professional at work through the Work Shadow programme
- Advice and guidance on the different types of apprenticeship and how to apply for them
- Work experience
- Opportunities to gain experience through volunteering
- Enhancing CVs through enrichment opportunities
The College has outstanding Learning Support and we are proud of the dedicated learning support we are able to offer students during their studies. If you need extra support you can benefit from support that can include:
- A dedicated team of specialist support staff
- Help with study skills, e.g. essay writing, maths and literacy support, revision skills
- Targeted help with a specific learning need, e.g. dyslexia, English as a second language
- Support during examinations
- Emotional support
The support team liaises with pastoral tutors, senior management, curriculum teams, external agencies, parents and partner schools to provide effective seamless transition. Support is available for study skills, grammar, coursework, exam technique, essay writing, note taking and emotional support; one-to-one support is available for students with specific needs. We work in partnership with teaching staff to provide a holistic approach to supporting students, which is regularly reviewed and our aim, is to raise aspirations and guide you towards independence.
There are lots of ways that we help support students at College. Other support includes:
- Specialist youth workers visit the College every week for someone to talk to in confidence
- Help with external bodies - tutors can assist you if you need to contact an agency or external body and help support you in your dealings with them.
You can view our Learning Support Offer here for more information and our Learning Support FAQs.
In line with the government’s green paper on young people’s mental health in education, the College has a Designated Mental Health Lead member of support staff.
Designated Mental Health Lead
Tutor Jen Foden offers support by signposting students in need of help to relevant local and online services outside of the College, working closely with both mental health services and charities.
The College also offers three listening services, including with a trained in-house College councillor and a visiting staff member from Health Services in Schools.
Watch and listen to Jen explain more about her role:
Academic Writing Programme
Birkenhead Sixth Form College offers two dedicated specialist support tutors whose role is to assist students with academic writing. This skill is one expected of all students who are applying to University and involves being able to interpret a task effectively and providing a coherent and professional response.
Academic Writing is a skill which develops over time, and with the specialised support given by our support tutors students' confidence and grades increase.
The support that the Academic Writing Programme offers includes;
- help with planning assignments and examination essays
- help and support with timing in examination essays
- help with understanding structure required in academic essays
- help with using and spelling subject specific terminology correctly
- help in proof reading skills
- help with referencing, citations and constructing a bibliography within assignments