April 2018 Newsletter
April 2018
Dear Parent(s)/Carer(s)
A new Dates for your Diary (click here) and this year’s Spring Update (click here) are attached, which give you a glimpse of some of the many activities which enrich students’ experience here at College and the ways in which staff  make learning fun and relevant.  
Support with University Applications (UCAS) and Employment
The college provides extensive support for students while they are here at College with the university application process. This begins in earnest with year 1 after May half term. It is important for students to attend Core Studies in this period when we will be covering completing the application form (which is very complex) and completing first drafts of personal statements. Personal statements can be as important as results in securing competitive university places and students need to take advantage of this support ahead of the summer holiday.
Students currently in year 2 who intend to apply to university in the autumn after they have left College can access help with personal statements from their personal tutors before the summer break. Students should apply as independent candidates and we will ensure that a reference is prepared for them by the end of the summer term which can then be updated rapidly with achieved grades by early September. Full details of how to apply as an ex-student are on our website.
To ensure that we are able to help all students get ready for the world of work and university after they leave us, there will be a day of talks on 21 June at Sussex University for all year 1. Students were also invited to an Apprenticeship Event at college on 13 March to meet employers and training providers in order to help them find out more about their employment options.
Study Leave and examinations
The summer term is dominated by examinations. However, despite their proximity I hope that your daughter/son/ward gives themselves some time to relax during the Easter break. Finding the right balance between revision and relaxation is important for success and well-being. Please encourage them to work hard, but also to take breaks.
  • Year 2 IB students begin their exams on the 30th  April continuing until 18th May.
  • BTEC  examinations and Art A level examinations take place throughout May.
  • Year 2 A level and Level 3 BTEC students have their final teaching day on Friday 25th May and A level examinations start in earnest after May half term, though some students may have examinations before this.
  • Pre-advanced students have their final day of teaching on Wednesday 23rd May and the first GCSE examination is on Thursday 24th May.
  • Year 1 Advanced students have internal examinations from 15th May to  23rd May. Level 3 BTEC classes continue during this period, but on a revised timetable. Monday 14th May is a study leave day and students return to classes on Tuesday 5th June. (Monday 4th June is a staff training  day).
We hope that all students taking exams have their revision plans in place and wish them all the best of luck.
Please do not hesitate to contact us over the next few weeks, if you or your daughter/son/ward have any concerns. We are aware that, even at the best of times, young people can become very anxious during examination periods and we have staff here to help.
Advanced level courses for year 1 students will carry on in this period and vital work is carried out until the end of the teaching term on Tuesday 17th July 2018. Please do not take your daughter/son/ward out of College during this time. Students will only be allowed to progress to year 2 if they continue to attend classes during this period.
IB results are available on Thursday 5th July and can be collected from 10.15-11.45. A Level results are available on Thursday 16th August and can be collected from the hall  9-11. On the same day most vocational (BTEC) certificates will be available for collection. GCSE results are published a week later on 23rd August and will be posted out, or can be collected 9-12 from reception. Advisory sessions run each day during the holiday from 17 to 24 August.
New management information system
The college will be moving over to a new management information system over the Easter holidays. Whilst we hope this will go as smoothly as possible, please bear with us if the processing of attendance information is slower in the first week or so.
Nut Allergy
We have a large number of students with nut allergies and some students with an airborne allergy to peanuts and groundnut oil. We would therefore ask parents and carers to remind their son/daughter/ ward not to bring in snacks or lunches containing peanuts or groundnut oil.
Contacting the College
It is my experience that many of the queries that parents have are addressed via the parent portal. However, if there are any unresolved queries, please do not hesitate to contact me at parents@varndean.ac.uk.  It is possible to contact teachers, via email, directly from your son/ daughter/ward’s timetable on the Parent Portal, but please remember that teachers are busy teaching, preparing lessons and marking and will be unable to respond immediately.
Please note that the College will be closed to the public for the period Tuesday 24 July to Monday 13 August. We will reopen to the public on Tuesday 14 August in advance of examination results and advisory sessions.
Finally, I hope you and your families managed to find some time over the Easter break to relax.
Yours faithfully
Phil Harland
©2019 Varndean College, Brighton, United Kingdom

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