8. Moving On From School to College to Adulthood
Each student who applies to Ashton Sixth Form College attends a guidance interview with an experienced member of staff to make sure they enrol on the most appropriate course for their ability and aspirations. Where a student discloses a support need a member of the Inclusive Learning team holds this interview to learn more about these needs and to ensure support is put in place.
All students are invited to a Taster Day at the end of the summer term so that they can find out what it is like to be a student at Ashton Sixth Form College. If a student has a particular need we invite them to attend individual visits to help with the move from school to college.
The Inclusive Learning team have close links with the secondary schools within the area. Each year, a member of the team meets the school SENCO or Head of Year 11 to identify students who may have support needs and to find out the best way to support these learners. If it is needed each of these students is contacted and invited to an individual guidance visit where they can meet their new teachers and learn all about the college environment.
We invite all students who have told us that they have a support need, along with their parents or carers, to our Inclusive Learning Open Evening where they can learn about the support which we provide, visit the Inclusive Learning area, and meet staff and current students who receive support.
The college has a Peer Mentoring scheme. Under this scheme, second year students are encouraged to apply to take on a role as mentor for new students who may be feeling alone or isolated. They will help new students to become integrated into college, make friends and take an active part in college life. The college Chaplaincy offers a quiet place for anyone who may be overwhelmed by the new experience of being in college.
As part of the college tutorial programme, we provide advice and guidance on preparing to leave college. We help students who want to go on to further study to select the right course and university. We also provide comprehensive support with applying for places. The tutorial programme also offers guidance on how to apply for student loans and other sources of finance.
The college has a Careers team made up of professional, dedicated careers professionals, who offer guidance on apprenticeship and careers opportunities and advise students on how to apply for these. Throughout the year the team arranges outside speakers from universities and employers to advise and guide students on the next steps towards progression. We hold a Progression Month each June where the focus of tutorials is on helping learners to prepare for the next stage in their lives.
Throughout the year the Careers team are available for one to one appointments with students to make sure they are aware of their career opportunities. They also provide guidance on completing job applications, CV writing and preparing for interviews. A member of Positive Steps, an external careers service, spends one day a week in college also preparing students for the move from college into work.
Our Employment and Enterprise team also provide guidance on employability skills to help ensure a young person is fully prepared to move on from college.
Furthermore, for those learners who are hoping to go to university, we have a Raising Aspirations programme. We have links with a wide range of universities, giving guidance on a variety of courses. This is designed to give students an insight into student life and help them to make informed decisions regarding university and courses.