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Partial Reopening Plans

By | News, News for Parents, On Campus

As I am sure you are aware, the Government are encouraging all schools and colleges in England to prepare for a limited opening from early June, provided that it is safe to do so (and that the number of coronavirus cases continues to fall).

We have now received further guidance and clarification from both the Government, and from our professional associations, both of which will help us create an action plan for the phased and limited opening of the College.

Our plan will be tailored to the needs of our students and our community, and will be put in place with the safety of our students, their families and our staff as paramount. We would appreciate your support at this most challenging time.

All schools and colleges face different challenges, and each will develop approaches that they believe work best for them. As a member of the Venn Group, a federation of the five sixth form colleges in this region, Wyke Sixth Form College is able to draw upon the considerable expertise and experience of our colleagues as we develop our plan. In this way we hope to be as well prepared as possible so that our students can access the support and guidance they need in a way that is both safe and effective.

As you are aware, we are already working closely with our students using on-line and other remote learning. This is proving to be very effective for most young people in keeping them on track, and ensuring that they make the progress they are capable of. Our plans for limited reopening in June will in the first instance focus on those students who have found it difficult to engage with on-line learning, as well as those students who could benefit most from some additional support.

Our plan is, from week beginning 15th June 2020, to invite in students that fall into the above categories for a discussion / support with a named member of staff. We will then roll out invitations to wider groups of students in small numbers who are able to get into College for specific support and/or catch-up discussion in the weeks commencing 22nd and 29th June. This will include those students making early UCAS applications to medicine, veterinary science and Oxbridge.

This is a very unsettling time for us all, but rest assured that we will be doing everything that we can to ensure that our building, and our ways of working are as safe as we can make them. As Principal, I will only reopen the College if I (with the support of my staff and Governors) believe it is safe to do so.

Rest assured that we will not be placing pressure on students or their families to attend College at this time, although we do expect all young people to continue to engage with their teachers using the online learning systems we have provided. The situation and guidance is subject to change, so we will keep you informed about our preparations for the limited reopening so that you can make an informed decision.

I will be in contact again shortly with further details. On behalf of all the staff, and our Governors, may I thank you for your continued support in helping our students learn from home. It is likely that these extraordinary circumstances will be with us for a while to come, so please continue to do what you can, and stay in touch with us if you are concerned about the progress that your son or daughter is making.

If you have any questions about the preparations we are making, please see our website for relevant contact details or if you have anything urgent you can contact us on urgent@wyke.ac.uk. We will get back to you as quickly as we can. Unfortunately, we are unable to respond to telephone calls at the moment.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Britton
Principal

Welcome back

Welcome Back to Work

By | Community, Course News, On Campus

I hope you have all had something of an Easter break.

Here are a few things that are relevant to our return to work on Monday:

  1. Back to work

We are all back to work fully on Monday 20th April. For those of you whose courses are continuing I want to remind you of our expectation that you will be completing as much work as you would be in any normal week at college. That amounts to 4 hours and 40 minutes of lesson time plus about the same amount as ‘homework’ per subject. Your teachers will be setting you the work from Monday and there will be tasks that need to be complete by the end of the week. We will be recording your engagement with these remote working tasks and feeding back to students, parents and all college staff via the RAG ratings on Ontrack (see below). If you are unsure about what you need to be doing, do contact your subject teams.

Our pastoral support will all be back to work too. So, if you need any help, do get in touch with them. I have attached the contact sheet if you need it.

The position will be a little bit confusing for some of you with some courses having finished and others continuing as normal. I hope this table helps explain what is happening:

Course Continuing (20/3/20)
A level year 2 No
A level year 1 Yes
GCSE No
BTEC year 2 Yes (until final grading details are clear)
BTEC year 1 including Engineering Yes
BTEC Firsts (Foundation year) Yes (until final grading details are clear)
Criminology year 1 and year 2 Yes (until final grading details are clear)
EPQ No
Core maths No

If your course is finished you do not have to complete tasks and teams will not be recording levels of engagement using the Ontrack system. However, we still want to support you. The team are working on plans for the following groups:

• 2nd year students

• 1st year students enrolled to one year courses but who will be progressing onto the second year

• Foundation year students wanting to progress to level 3

We will share details of our support for these groups by the end of this week. For now, do get in touch with your teaching teams if you want to keep working.

  1. Lockdown to continue for at least 3 more weeks

The government announced on Thursday 16th April that lockdown measures would continue “for at least” another three weeks. This means that schools and colleges are very likely to remain closed for at least that amount of time. At college we are not expecting to return to the campus until after the half term break (i.e. June) at the earliest. Curriculum teams will be sharing plans for this half term as they are developed.

  1. Reminder re. tracking

The RAG tracking system using Ontrack will resume this week. The latest set of marks will all be in place by 12pm on Tuesday. These marks will represent your engagement in remote working task for both the teaching week before the Easter break and for Easter homework tasks. Do ask if you need any help around accessing these marks. Our pastoral team will be following up students where there are concerns.

  1. Consultation on grading

For those of you who were expecting to complete GCSE, AS or A level courses this summer, Ofqual has published a two-week consultation on some of the key issues concerning the process for awarding grades. These include:

  • How to address external candidates and other external candidates who have no evidence and for whom Centre Assessed Grades are not possible
  • How to address candidates scheduled for early entry exams, especially in Y10 and Y12
  • The principles underpinning the statistical standardisation model
  • Appeals and challenges
  • Autumn exams

You can access the consultation on Ofqual’s websitehere:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/exceptional-arrangements-for-exam-grading-and-assessment-in-2020

It will be open until23.59 on Wednesday 29 April 2020. Ofqual asks that all responses are made through the survey platform and says it is also essential that survey respondents complete the initial information about who they are, and that they complete and submit the survey (“Even if responses are not provided for all questions, respondents should ensure they do press submit as we will not be able to take account of incomplete responses”).

The guidance for the consultation is a very large document and much of the detail is of a technical nature but some aspects of this novel process may apply to you so I suggest you have at least a skim through it. I will be submitting a response so, if you would like me to present your ideas, do let me know. You are very welcome to complete a version for yourself though, you only need to answer the questions you are interested in.

  1. Exam results days

The normal dates have been confirmed for the release of exam results:

  • A levels – Thursday 13th August
  • GCSEs – Thursday 20th August

I think that is it for now. Thank you again for all the excellent questions, suggestions and support that you have sent to me through this process. I remain extremely proud of the students and staff at Wyke. You have all responded with such maturity and focus to what has been a completely unprecedented challenge. Do keep working! You will need all of this learning and, as I have said before, I am sure you will find these independent learning skills invaluable in future.

Do ask if you need any help and do stay safe,

Paul Britton

Principal

MP Letter

Keeping the Show on the Road

By | Community, News for Parents, On Campus

Wyke has received a supportive letter from Gavin Williamson MP, Secretary of State for Education.

An extract from his letter reads, “I am aware of the challenges that everyone in the further education sector and all those educating young people and adults over 16 years old are facing. I want to express my deepest gratitude for the absolutely vital service that you are providing to young people, adults, and of course your local communities – for which I know colleges and further education institutions play a central role.

In a week of unique circumstances, one thing that hasn’t surprised me is the resilience, resourcefulness and real commitment of you all. Your sector has not only risen to the challenge, its expertise and ingenuity has shone through – using creativity and technology to keep the show on the road for the thousands of learners who rely on you.

On behalf of the Prime Minister and the entire Government, thank you once again for all your work.”

World Book Day

Leave A Book You Love

By | Course News, English, News, On Campus

The English department at Wyke are encouraging students to share their passion for reading.

On World Book Day which take place on Thursday 5th March, students have been asked to bring in a book they have loved, add a note saying why they love it (either written inside the front cover or inserted on a slip of paper), and leave it somewhere in college to be found by someone new.

Jenny West, Head of English Literature, said, “Finding a real book, left by a real person who loved it, could really make someone’s day, or more.”

Discover more about our excellent English department at the next open event, Saturday 29 February, 9.00am-12.00pm.

Diana Johnson

Diana Johnson Returns to Wyke

By | Community, Course News, Government & Politics, History, News, On Campus

We would like to thank our local MP Diana Johnson for visiting our College this afternoon.

During her visit, Diana spoke to our A Level Government & Politics students about her journey to becoming Hull’s first woman MP, her involvement in campaigning for issues such as the contaminated blood scandal which was then followed by a Q&A session with our students.

Pete Carpenter, teacher of History and Politics said; “thank you Diana for your time today and for discussing a wide range of political topics with our students from the impact of protest groups to Donald Trump! What was discussed today will really benefit our students in their study of both UK and US politics.”

Radio 1

Let’s Talk About Sex

By | Media, News, On Campus

Today BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat’s Nesta McGregor visited Wyke to interview students about their experiences of sexual health education in school.

The news programme, which is aimed at a target audience of 16-24 year olds, is broadcast worldwide via BBC Radio 1 and Radio 1XTRA and the BBC Sounds app.

Six students, Joe, Arthur, Tyler, Ryan, Nadia and Meg, were interviewed about their thoughts on sexual health education lessons and what they think could be done to improve them.

Nesta’s visit comes after a joint report by the Terrence Higgins Trust and the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, claimed that spending on sexual health education in England has been cut by 25% since 2014.

It follows on from the announcement that sexual health education will become a statutory feature in all schools and colleges in England in September 2020, in accordance to the proposals made in March 2017 by then Education Secretary, Justine Greening.

We would like to say a huge thank you to Nesta for taking the time to come and speak to our students.

flyers forum

Flyers Forum

By | Course News, News, On Campus

The next whole Flyers’ meeting is on Thursday 13th February at 12:40pm in the Theatre. Attendance is compulsory for all Flyers’ students.

Topics to include; deeper reading, raising aspirations, aiming for high grades, applying to Russell Group universities & Oxbridge, amongst other relevant topics.

We look forward to seeing you all there.

Make It Happen!

German students speaking

Study German at Wyke

By | Course News, German, News, On Campus

Here at Wyke we have an excellent Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) department, offering A Levels in French, German and Spanish.

Studying an MFL is a hugely rewarding experience which will seriously broaden your horizons, whether you choose to study at university, undertake an apprenticeship or progress straight into employment.

So why choose to study A Level German at Wyke?

We’ve compiled a list of the top five reasons to select German as one of your A Level options:

  1. DESTINATIONS: Did you know that 91% of our A Level German students’ progress to university? Studying an A Level in German gives students the opportunity to study a vast array of university subjects, such as: Law, Maths, Primary Education, Engineering, Dance, Politics and Journalism. Two of our students even went on to read both German & French at the University of Cambridge.
  2. RESULTS: Our A Level German students achieve fantastic exam results. In the last seven years we have had a 100% pass rate. In 2019, 91% of our students achieved A*- C grades, with a further 74% achieving A* – B grades.
  3. EMPLOYABILITY: Studying German opens up a huge range of employment opportunities. Languages are important to businesses and they also show that you can demonstrate your ability to perform under pressure, as well as highlighting that you have great listening and multi-tasking skills and a sense of cultural awareness. Previous students have gone on to work at large-scale companies such as Barratt Homes, as well as a major FTSE 200 company in their internal and external marketing department.
  4. ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES: The A Level German course offers a fantastic range of enrichment activities to support your studies, from the option to apply for the 2-day Linguastars residential university visit, to our annual inter-departmental trip to Berlin. Both visits are always a huge success, giving our students the opportunity to hone their language skills and experience the culture and history of modern Germany.
  5. TOP TUTORS: You will be guided through your studies under the fantastic tuition of Heather Lorch. Heather has 20 years of teaching experience and has been with us for seven years. She is hugely popular with our students and particularly enjoys teaching German grammar and discussing German history. Heather is aided in the classroom by Language Assistant Gabi, who is a native speaker of German and has been with us since 2014. You will attend a 30-minute session with Gabi each week in order to help you practice your German speaking and listening skills, therefore allowing you to expand your vocabulary.

Ready to find out more?

Why not visit us on our next Open Evening on Thursday 23rd January 2020 5:30pm – 8:00pm?

We look forward to meeting you!

#MakeItHappen

Welcome Back Students

Top 5 Reasons to Visit our Open Event

By | Course News, News, On Campus

Our next Open Evening takes place on Thursday 23rd January 2020, 5.30pm-8.00pm.

If you have not applied yet, or need a bit of extra help in making a decision regarding your next steps here are our Top 5 reasons to come along;

  1. Visit our beautiful university style campus
  2. Visit our wide variety of subjects and speak with specialist A Level and BTEC teachers
  3. Catch one of our Principals Welcome Talks
  4. Chat with current students about their experiences at Wyke
  5. Feel well prepared to join us in September 2020!

#MakeItHappen

Dr Nick Long

Wyke University

By | Community, Criminology, News, On Campus, Physchology, Sociology

A diverse array of visiting speakers, together with a modern campus and a growing notable alumni, are offering current Wyke students a slice of university life whilst studying for their A levels.

Recently, the Sociology and Psychology departments have welcomed some renowned academics to the college. Dr Nick Long of the London School of Economics, and Ben Ambridge from the University of Liverpool, have both recently delivered lecturers as part of the student’s course enrichment.

Dr Nick Long’s talk referred to his own research in an exploration of anxiety and depression across global cultures. Ben Ambridge, author of “Are you Smarter than a Chimpanzee?”, held an entertaining session linking aspects of popular culture to A level psychology theories. Throughout both sessions, students took notes, participated in experiments and questioned the academics directly.

Both, Nick and Ben’s lectures are now available on the college YouTube channel, Wyke TV.