Hartlepool Sixth Form College


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English students visit Whitby

A-Level English literature and language students recently visited Whitby to help prepare them for an upcoming exam.

The literature students were set ‘The Whitby Challenge’ to hunt down and photograph the key, named settings of the novel ‘Dracula’. English Language students were tasked with tracing how language has changed from the Victorian period to the present day by analysing the inscriptions on gravestones.

The visit helped the students to visualise the main setting of the novel ‘Dracula’ to help prepare them for their upcoming exam where Dracula is the main exam text.

Lindsey Tennant-Williams Hartlepool Sixth Form English Literature Lecturer said: “The students were fantastic. They were set the challenge of finding ten key settings within Whitby that Bram Stoker used to create his terrifying novel, from the train station, to the whalebone, to St Mary’s Church and the gravestones. We are now going to read Chapters 6-8 that are heavily based around these settings.”

Shauna Winspear and Amy Lupton, A-Level English Literature students added: “The Whitby trip gave us a good portrayal of the scenes within the novel. We now have a deeper understanding of the layout of the town and its surroundings and how Stoker used them in his text. It was a great day.”

Andrew Rimmer of FutureMe continued: “The FutureMe team were delighted to be able to support these students in their trip to Whitby, giving them the chance to explore the town that inspired Bram Stoker to write Dracula. We hope this will have helped to raise student aspirations and look forward to seeing these students progress on to great things in the world of literature!”

If you are interested in studying English at Hartlepool Sixth Form, click here to find out more!

Students from Hartlepool Sixth Form College and Sunderland College collaborate for Global Game Jam Event

Students from both colleges recently took part in ‘The Global Game Jam’ (GGJ), which is the world’s largest game jam event taking place around the world at physical locations.

The students were tasked with creating games in teams, to the theme of ‘what home means to you’. They were given around 17 hours to take their game from inception to a playable product. The event allowed the students to develop their skills in teamwork, communication and time management. The event allowed them to condense projects that would normally span over weeks, or even months, into less than 2 days which is excellent to see.

Antony Cain, Hartlepool Sixth Form Lecturer said:

“This was our 4th Global Game Jam at Sunderland College and the students impress me more and more each time. We have fun, fully playable and animated games made in under 2 days! It’s great to see the students so invested in game development and creating together.”

Daniel Chapman, NextGen Level 3 Diploma in Games, Animation and VFX student added:

“The whole experience was fantastic. It was great working in a studio like environment to create something so quick. I’m super happy with what myself and the team created over the weekend. I look forward to the next one and pushing my skills even further.”

Marcia Deakin, Games Partnership Director - NextGen Skills Academy continued:

“I loved the games from the Global Game Jam. Having worked for games publishers and having judged game jams at a graduate level, I can say that the work from the students was of an amazing standard. Best of all, they looked fun and were actually playable! Good work all round.”

The college runs this event every year and are already looking forward to the next similar event taking place in July. If you are interested in studying NextGen Computer Games, Animation and VFX at Hartlepool Sixth Form College, click here to find out more.

College invests in staff to develop next generation of leaders

Sunderland College has launched an innovative programme to develop the next generation of leaders who will shape the future of the organisation.

Aspire is a two-year programme for staff at all levels of the organisation, across all of its campuses in Sunderland, Washington and Hartlepool Sixth Form College. The programme is designed to encourage, nurture and mentor the College’s leaders of the future.

The aspiring leaders will receive dedicated support from the College’s senior leadership team, governors, external stakeholders and expert trainers. They will gain the skills and knowledge to become successful and inspiring leaders within a rapidly changing and increasingly complex further education environment.

Ellen Thinnesen, Principal and Chief Executive, said:

“In recent years, the College has invested in leadership development at all levels. We strongly believe in empowering our staff to succeed. It is vital to our long-term success and will help to transform the College.

“We aspire to be the best in all that we do and to enable our staff to nurture their talents, reach their full potential and achieve their career goals.”

The leadership programme is as a result of the College’s new Strategic Plan, which was launched in November. It recognised that investment in staff is the key to success. Director of People and Development, Naomi Robson, said:

“This exciting new programme will develop people’s capabilities to be exceptional leaders of the future. We value and care about our staff and recognise the importance of leadership at all levels in achieving our strategic priorities. Aspire is one route of many that will support us in identifying and investing in our leaders of the future.”

20 members of staff have already started on their leadership journey, with an induction session last week. STEM Curriculum Manager, Mark Batey, who is among the first cohort, has worked at Hartlepool Sixth Form College for six years. He said:

“I wanted to develop my management skills through the Aspire programme, and also to develop my understanding of the wider issues that affect the College, such as the impact of political changes. The programme has a lot of very different modules so I will gain a huge amount of knowledge from these. It will take me out of my daily schedule and give me the time think clearly and focus on each module.

“The College’s investment in this programme shows that it is serious about developing the management skills of employees from all different parts of the college and the fact that the sessions are being led or delivered by the senior leadership team reinforces this.”

Aspire consists of seven modules studied in year one, which are delivered by a range of internal and external speakers including well-known leadership expert Larry Shulman. The eighth and final module is studied in the second year of the programme and includes an intensive leadership in action project. On completion of the programme, staff can gain an ILM Level 5 Diploma.

Sheree Rymer, Curriculum Manager for Creative Arts, who originally started working at Sunderland College in 2001 as a temporary member of staff, said:

“The Aspire programme is an excellent opportunity to develop myself, my team and our students to become high performing. It’s great that the College is committed to cultivating talent from within the organisation and demonstrates to those outside of the organisation that this is a fantastic place to work.

“The first Aspire session was creative, engaging and exciting. I’m looking forward to gaining new knowledge, and the confidence in knowing I can lead and make a change to students and my team.”

Basketball and Netball squad qualify for quarter finals of AoC National Cup

Hartlepool student athletes recently travelled to Huddersfield to take part in the final 16 game of the AoC National Cup.

Both teams were successful in qualifying for the quarter finals, a fantastic achievement to be down to the final 8 in the country. The netball squad will play Wyke College and basketball squad will play York College Team 1 in the quarter finals.

Ian Hewitt, Hartlepool Sixth Form Academies Coordinator said: “This is a great achievement and a credit to the students who dedicate their time and commitment to a high level of study and a high level of sport. To have both the netball and basketball teams in the last 8 of the country really demonstrates the quality of our academies here and the quality of our coaches. Danielle and Mark have taken the Netball and Basketball academies to new heights and I am looking forward seeing what the quarter finals brings us.”

Hartlepool Sixth Form Basketball Coach, Mark Elderkin added: “I am really proud of the maturity we showed in the fourth quarter to win this game. The squad have really taken on the challenge of improving and it is great to see their hard work rewarded by this win. Kas Grinius was outstanding and received MVP of the game.”

Danielle Smith, Hartlepool Sixth Form Netball Coach went on to say: “Greenhead were a very good team and for us to win by 1 point was excellent. Libby Skidmore really stepped up in this game and showed strength and skill throughout. I am very proud of the whole squad and we know we will continue to improve and get better!”

The whole college are behind both teams as they look forward to taking part in the quarter finals.

If you are interested in combining your academic studies with the sixth forms elite sport programme, take a look at the events page and pre-register for training events taking place on the 18th of February to get a taster of what the academies can offer you.

Sport Academy and TASS Athletes take part in sport psychology workshop

Hartlepool Sixth Form College sport academy and TASS athletes have recently been involved in a sport psychology workshop with Newcastle University’s Dr. Gary Robinson.

Gary, is the Senior Lecturer in Sport & Clinical Psychology at Newcastle University and his workshop was centred around peak performance, confidence and mental health in sport. This was a great chance for students to gain a more in-depth insight into sport psychology.

After the workshop, Gary then advised students on the current courses available at Newcastle University which they may want to progress onto. The courses discussed in the workshop included degrees in Psychology, Sport and Exercise Science and a joint honours in Sport Psychology and Sport Science.

Ian Hewitt, Hartlepool Sixth Form College Elite Sports Academy Co-ordinator said:

“I am delighted we could offer this opportunity to our current academy and TASS athletes. We hope to develop more partnerships like this so we can continue giving our student athletes the best possible opportunity to succeed academically and athletically.”

If you are looking to combine your studies with an elite sports academy, click here to take a further look on our website or pre-register to attend our next open event to find out more!

Science students take part in the leading Chemistry competition for students in secondary education across the UK.

Eight year 12 students and one year 13 student recently took part in round one of ‘Chemistry Olympiad’. The competition is purely voluntary and not only raises the awareness of Chemistry, but gives the students an opportunity to develop and showcase skills they would need to progress to University and beyond.

Round one involved a two hour examination, the questions really tested the student’s chemical knowledge and their ability to apply what they know about the subject to real-world chemistry problems.

James Donkin Hartlepool Sixth Form College Tutor of Science said:

“The Olympiad is a great way to get students used to different, harder ways of asking questions. It also provides valuable preparation for the Chemistry A-Level exam.”

Daniel Liddell A-Level Chemistry student added: “I’m really pleased I gave it a go! I found it interesting and insightful. It will definitely help me in the future.”

How the students score in the first round of Chemistry Olympiad will determine whether they move onto round 2. If they are successful in the second stage, they will be among the top 25 students in the country who are selected to attend a residential weekend hosted by the University of Cambridge where they take part in the second round.

If you are interested in studying Chemistry at A-Level, click here to take a further look at what the course involves.

Sixth Form College celebrates outstanding student achievements

Outstanding student achievements were celebrated at a prestigious awards ceremony at Hartlepool Sixth Form College last night.

A number of students who had left Hartlepool Sixth Form College this summer, following successful completion of A-Level and BTEC qualifications, returned to be presented with prizes of achievements and other special awards.

Over 50 awards were presented to the class of 2017/18. Among the award winners was 23-year-old A-Level student Niloufar Saffari, who is now at the University of Bath studying a prestigious engineering degree.

She scooped an impressive four awards - A-Level Physics Prize for Achievement, A-Level Further Mathematics Prize for Achievement, the Dorothy Lownds Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement and joint winner of the Principal’s Award for Academic Excellence.

Originally a refugee from Iran, Niloufar was excited to be back at College. She said:

“I came to Hartlepool from Iran and the support of my teachers at College was fantastic. I was really excited to catch up with them and let them know how I’m doing. It was great to see my old classmates too!

“I am so happy about winning these awards and really proud of myself. I had a great experience at Hartlepool Sixth Form College. It has completely changed my life and given me the foundation to get into university.”

Anna Acey, aged 18 from Hartlepool, was awarded the A-Level Biology Prize for Achievement. Anna, who is now at the University of Birmingham studying medicine, said:

“I was delighted to be nominated and to win an award. I feel very humbled and grateful. I want to express my thanks to the teaching staff for all the support they have given me. They made my transition from A-Level to degree level study so much easier.”

Reflecting on her college experience she said:

“There is an extremely supportive environment at Hartlepool Sixth Form College. The teachers gave me the confidence to take on A-Level exams, which initially seemed very daunting to me. They were always on hand to help me when I needed it and supported me in developing my independence to prepare for university.

“It was so nice to come back and see my college friends and teachers, and to look back and think how far I have come already.”

20-year-old Adam Radwan, a former student of the College who is now playing rugby for Newcastle Falcons, was invited back to present the awards to the students.

Mark Hughes, Head of Hartlepool Sixth Form College, said:

“Our annual awards ceremony gives us all an immense sense of pride and achievement as we recognise and celebrate individual student achievements. It was great to see the students again, and to welcome back Adam, and to hear how they have all progressed since leaving us.

“Our students who left in the summer are now studying at 50 different universities across the country and even overseas. We were delighted that almost 20% of our students secured places at Russell Group universities, which is testament to the hard work and dedication of both staff and students. We wish all of our students every success for the future.”

For more information about courses at Hartlepool Sixth Form College, visit the next open event on Tuesday 15 January 2019, 4pm to 7.30pm or contact 01429 294444 / hsfc@hpoolsfc.ac.uk

Sport students visit Teesside University to examine contemporary issues related to football

A2 PE students recently visited Teesside University to attend a conference examining the contemporary challenges in football culture.

The conference brought together social science researchers and football practitioners to explore the contemporary challenges facing the people’s game and the opportunities to address these challenges. Guest speakers included the chief executive of ‘Show Racism the Red Card’, chief operating officer of Middlesbrough FC and a Premier League and Championship football agent.

The visit was a great opportunity for students to experience a university campus and the teaching style they would receive. The conference allowed students to gain an up to date understanding of issues faced in the industry which can be used within assessed work the classroom.

Tom Heselton, Hartlepool Sixth Form Tutor of Sport and PE said:

“The trip itself allowed students to gain an up to date idea of the contemporary issues faced in female football and the initiatives that being put in place to hopefully help deal with and overcome these problems.”

Teesside University also expressed their thanks:

“Thank you to all participating colleges. We hope you enjoyed the conference and gained valuable information from the guest speakers at the top of their field.”

To find out more about our courses in Sport, click here.

College students take part in Christmas Wintertide Festival

A2 Performing Arts students have recently had the opportunity to perform to the public at Hartlepool’s Wintertide Festival.

The second year students of Hartlepool Sixth Form College Performing Arts department were invited to take part in the event, creating original work from a commission brief for the festival. The final piece performed was a multidisciplinary piece called What Lies Below based on the theme of Myths of the Sea.

Being a part of the festival meant that students were able to work with a professional company on a professional event and gain invaluable experience in the industry they are studying. Rebecca Brierley, Hartlepool Sixth Form College Tutor of Performing Arts said:

“I am really proud of the students and the young adults they are all starting to become. Although there were a few small hiccups and the weather conditions were cold and wet too yet they all battled on and handled the situation with complete professionalism. They are a great bunch of students and I can’t wait to see them all flourish throughout the coming months.”

The performance at Wintertide Festival was a real taster for an upcoming Winter Showcase at the college taking place on the 19th of December at 6:30pm. The performance is open to the public at £5 per ticket and the show will celebrate the work and talent of the performing arts students in the college.

If you are interested in attending the winter showcase, please contact us.

Hartlepool Sixth Form College supporting talented athletes

Hartlepool Sixth Form College has been awarded TASS Dual Career Accreditation. This prestigious accolade recognises the College’s commitment to the academic support it provides for talented young athletes.

The Sport England-backed scheme supports rising sporting stars to gain qualifications alongside their sport and have the chance to follow other interests and personal development.

TASS (Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme) has formally recognised Hartlepool Sixth Form College’s commitment to supporting talented athletes to reach their potential both on and off the field by awarding TASS Dual Career Accreditation.

The status of being a TASS Dual Career Accredited Site shows that the College has the ability to support students following a dual career route, providing athletes with the opportunity to pursue an education and enjoy a more well-rounded approach to life. Ian Hewitt, Elite Sports Academy Co-ordinator at Hartlepool Sixth Form College, said:

“I’m thrilled with our TASS Dual Career Accreditation. It is a reflection of the hard work of our staff in supporting our talented athletes to compete at an elite level, alongside gaining recognised qualifications.

“Hartlepool Sixth Form College has a reputation for sporting success and with our TASS accreditation we can further support young people, who are at the top of their game, to achieve both their academic and sporting ambitions.”

As a Dual Career Accredited Site, Hartlepool Sixth Form College will be an important extension of the network of universities that already partner with TASS, delivering core support services to more than 400 student athletes each year.

While some of the existing services delivered focus solely on developing the young person’s sporting performance, a dual career support structure and academic flexibility policies will be central to the help available to athletes based at an Accredited Site.

A designated Dual Career Co-ordinator at Hartlepool Sixth Form College has completed a Talented Athlete Support in Transitions and Education (TASTE) course, to gain the skills required to offer a dual career approach.

Additionally, all Dual Career Accredited Sites are supplied with a toolkit of resources to help provide practical dual career support and bring together all parties who work with the athlete.

For student athletes, the increased academic flexibility may mean they have the opportunity to access online notes or resources, have a choice of assignments, or even reschedule deadlines or exam dates in exceptional circumstances. Meanwhile for Hartlepool Sixth Form College, the recognition of becoming a TASS Dual Career Accredited Site is expected to be beneficial by attracting a greater number of talented athletes and building connections with other local sporting institutions. TASS National Director, Guy Taylor, said:

“We’re delighted to be awarding TASS Dual Career Accreditation to colleges and universities across England.

“Dual career support is at the forefront of what TASS does and that’s why the Accreditation Scheme is so important for us in recognising those institutions who place precedence on their athletes’ education too.

“We hope that the academic flexibility policies put into place for the Accreditation will begin to develop an effective and lasting dual career structure within each institution.”

For more information contact sport.academies@hpoolsfc.ac.uk or ring 01429 294444.

Image, taken by Chloe Walker A2 Photography student, shows (from l-r): Mae Rackstraw (Women’s Football Academy), Hannah Gillies (Women’s Football Academy), Joe Ross (Rugby Academy) Ian Hewitt (Elite Sports Academy Co-ordinator).