December 2016 Newsletter
December 2016

Dear Parents/ Carers
The autumn term is always the longest and demands great energy from us all as students get used to new teachers, systems and more challenging courses and staff get to know new students. I hope that you and your families find time to relax during the Christmas festivities to recharge your batteries ready for the spring term which, for students, begins on Wednesday 4th January.

January Examinations
Many Year 2 students will be taking practice examinations in their classes to help them prepare for their final external examinations. For A level students  these will take place over 2 weeks beginning 23rd January  and for Year 2 IB students, these will be January 9th-13th

What Next?
In Core Studies over the next half term the focus will be on helping students decide ‘what next?’
  • Pre-advanced students will be applying to move on following their year-long courses. Core Studies teachers will support students’ choices wherever they choose to go next. Progression forms to return to Varndean College will need to be completed online by 24th February.
  • Year 1 Advanced level students (whether studying A levels, Level 3 BTECs or the International Baccalaureate) will be completing progression forms with their Core Studies teachers to confirm their continuation  into Year 2. All students are expected to be full time and continue with their existing courses. Progression forms need to be completed online by 24th February.  
  • All students who have not yet achieved grade C or above in GCSE English and/or Maths will need to take them or a course leading towards them; this is a government requirement and may restrict the number of courses which can be taken. More details will be available through Core Studies.
  • Year 2 Core Studies will include activities to help students approach their preparation for examinations with confidence. They will also receive information about applying for financial support at university and about employment and apprenticeship options.
  • Any year 2 students hoping to return for a further year of study at Varndean College should discuss this with their Core Studies tutor in the first instance. This is only considered in exceptional circumstances.
There will be support available in the Careers department and from Heads of School should students want advice on their courses.

A Few Reminders:
Absence Procedures:
Students or parents are expected to inform the College if they are unable to attend on the first day of absence and on any subsequent day of absence. The College should be contacted by 10am. Notifications received after this time will not be registered and absences will remain unauthorised. 

The College can be contacted in the following ways: 

Contacts for absence (this can be done by students or parent/carers)
Tel:         01273 546645    (telephone calls only - texts to this number are not recognised)
Text:       07537402048

Parents/Carers are informed by email of absences, whether or not we have been notified of the absence. 
Parent Portal
In addition to real time attendance, our Parent Portal provides access to the report card and a day by day account of what is happening in the student’s academic life through ‘Collective’. You can register using your unique login through our website or request help from the IT team from the same page.

Over 90% of parents and carers now receive communications from us by email and we would prefer to use email for all our communications: it is more reliable, faster, cheaper and greener; if you are still receiving this as a hard copy and would like us to use email please respond to:   Elaine Thompson

Dates for Your Diary
I have attached (click here) an updated list of important dates for the year, including term dates.
It is essential that all students attend fully, maintaining our 95% target  in order to be able to progress to Year 2 in September. Please do not book holidays during term time.

Parent Governor Elections
Following the recent Parent Governor election process, we are delighted to announce that Jane Farrell and Robert Bridges have been elected as Parent governors for a two year term of office.   

And finally
On behalf of the College I should like to wish you all a happy festive season and a peaceful new year..

  Yours faithfully
Phil Harland
©2018 Varndean College, Brighton, United Kingdom

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