Alton College Prospectus 2018


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All you need to know about starting and studying at Alton College

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1 CONTENTS // WELCOME “Alton College is a jewel in East Hampshire’s crown offering first class tuition in an environment of great achievement and purpose. Alton College has taken an innovative approach and evolved their timetable to create more dedicated space to enable and encourage more employment placements to happen each year alongside students’ academic studies. Time spent gaining experience in the workplace is crucial for preparing young people for their future.” DAMIAN HINDS, MINISTER OF STATE FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF WORK AND PENSIONS AND MP FOR EAST HAMPSHIRE OPEN DAYS THURSDAY 5TH OCTOBER 3:30 – 8:00 PM TUESDAY 7TH NOVEMBER 6:00 – 8:30 PM THURSDAY 5TH JULY 3:30 – 8:00 PM CONTENTS 3. Why Choose Alton College? 5. New College Day 10. Travel is easy 11. Scholarships and Grants 13. Our Qualifications Explained 15. More Able and Talented Programme (MAT) 17. The Extended Project Qualification 19. How do I apply to Alton College? 21. After Alton College 23. Alton College Alumni 25. What’s extra at Alton College? 29. The Students’ Union 31. International Cultural Experience 33. STEM at Alton College 35. Music at Alton College 37. Trips at Alton College 39. Lifelong Learning at Alton College 41. Career Choices 45. Courses 97. Skills for Learning Programme 99. Further Information 101. Course Directory


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APPLY ONLINE ALTONCOLLEGE.AC.UK/APPLYNOW 2 WELCOME TO ALTON COLLEGE We are one of Hampshire’s top performing Sixth Form Colleges. We provide an inspiring and outstanding bridge between school and Higher Education or employment. You’ll gain excellent qualifications and we’ll prepare and support you for your next steps. As one of the first modern purpose built Sixth Form Colleges and the first to be awarded Outstanding Ofsted status in three consecutive inspections, we have decades of expertise in providing first class education for 16-18 year olds. Last year we continued our record of excellence in exceeding the national average in top grade qualifications. Three quarters of students achieved A*-C grades at A level and 70% of vocational students were awarded the highest possible grades. This prospectus gives you a flavour of the diverse and broad range of courses we offer. For more detailed information please go to or visit our universitystyle campus at one of our vibrant Open Days to meet our specialist and experienced staff and amazing students. We’re really excited to launch our new College day in September 2017. Our fresh, innovative approach to timetabling is grounded in academic research and follows international models to enable the best learning environment for young people. Read more on page 5. We start at 10am, provide up to 50 hours more teaching time per year than most other Colleges and School Sixth Forms and give students more scope for enrichment activities and work experience – all of which will give you a competitive edge with UCAS and employment applications. I’m always impressed and proud of the outstanding achievements of our students. Last year 92% went onto Higher and Further Education and employment. Nearly 14% of our students who continued to university went to top Russell Group Universities, including the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and 29% achieved a First Class Hons Degree compared to 22% at other Colleges and School Sixth Forms. I’m delighted that you’re considering joining us and I really look forward to meeting you. SARA RUSSELL PRINCIPAL


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3 WHY CHOOSE ALTON COLLEGE? 29% of our A level students achieve a First Class Hons Degree at university compared to the national average of 22% for Sixth Form Colleges and School Sixth Forms. (HESA.AC.UK) 10 We have a Starbucks on campus! WHY CHOOSE ALTON COLLEGE? Deciding where to study after you leave school is a big decision that will shape your future and we’re here to help you. 10 AM START AND 50 HOURS MORE TEACHING TIME We’ve evolved our timetable in line with academic research to benefit the health and learning capacity of our students and provide more opportunity for enrichment activities and work experience. Lessons start at 10am and finish at 4pm. Read more on page 5. SPECIALIST TEACHERS Our staff are experienced and you will call them by their first name. All are experts in their field with a wealth of industry experience and contacts or outstanding academic backgrounds. All students have a dedicated Tutor who will also teach them, see also page 8 on support. TUTOR We offer unique support at Alton College. Your dedicated Tutor will also teach you. They support your transition from school through your A level or vocational course and provide advice and guidance on applying to university, apprenticeship schemes or employment, using tools such as Kloodle a social network tool which evidences employability skills and achievements. Find out more at Going To Alton Parents’ Information Evening, see page 19.


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APPLY ONLINE ALTONCOLLEGE.AC.UK/APPLYNOW 4 91% of students feel that they are making excellent progress in their courses here. (2017) FORUM SESSIONS These informative group sessions focus solely on all aspects of student life and beyond, from academic to social and digital support and financial guidance to careers and work experience and British Values. MODERN FACILITIES In the last 10 years we’ve invested over £15 million in our campus. We are fully wireless, have hundreds of PCs, over 35,000 books and ebooks in the Learning Resource Centre, a modern professional theatre, the state-ofthe-art Sonardyre Centre for Engineering and Design Technology, two modern dance studios, three recording studios and a TV/Media film studio. We have a fully equipped gym and our Student Hub is a one-stop-shop for queries on College life. The Refectory serves delicious hot food and has a Noodle Bar. We have Starbucks and The Deli serves salads and sandwiches. DIGITAL PROGRESS MONITORING Our live online progress monitoring system, ‘Insight’, allows you and your parents to see exactly how you are doing in your studies. Your Tutor and teachers will discuss your progress with you during regular meetings and help you to develop an action plan to meet your personal targets. Every student attends a tutor session each week plus your parents will receive weekly College Notices to keep them up-to-date. SCHOLARSHIPS AND BURSARIES The Alton College Foundation (registered charity no. 1079285) provides a range of scholarship awards for academic excellence and offers development fund grants for students in need of help for specific activities. See page 11. Many students are also eligible for financial support through the 16-19 Bursary Fund. See more and apply: FIRST CLASS ENVIRONMENT We provide high quality academic education, full support and guidance and training in an inclusive and inspiring environment. We recognise that education is more than purely classroom based study. We also offer brilliant enrichment courses and exciting and educational trips in the UK and abroad. SUPPORTING YOU TO SUCCEED Our outstanding provision supports all students with a variety of needs. Individual specialist study support is available through flexible sessions during the College day. The Student Hub is a one-stop-shop for all student needs from courses and career advice to financial, chaplaincy and counselling support. To discuss individual needs or if you are a young care leaver or young carer, then please contact Through our work on British Values and the Prevent Duty we help prepare and support students for life at College and beyond.


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5 NEW COLLEGE DAY NEW COLLEGE DAY In September 2017 we launch the new College day which will benefit the learning capacity and health of our students. Lessons start at 10am and finish at 4pm, giving up to 50 hours more teaching each year and greater scope for enrichment activities and work experience. ‘The 10am start will improve learning, partly because students will be in better health, and partly because older teenagers learn better later in the day.’ Dr Paul Kelley of the Open University (formerly, University of Oxford) Better study time Better use of day Better preparation for the future


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APPLY ONLINE ALTONCOLLEGE.AC.UK/APPLYNOW 6 The fresh approach to timetabling is based on academic research into the optimum learning methods for teenagers. It provides: BETTER STUDY TIME • Up to 50 hours more teaching time each year • More in-depth study BETTER USE OF THE DAY • A later start means that students are ready to learn • Trapped time between lessons is removed • Blocks of time enable study, work experience, enrichment activities or part-time employment • Less ‘school-like’ ‘The changes the College has made to the timetable and the College day are creative and exciting. They have considered carefully how the students learn best and re-designed a new structure, based on some previous models which have worked very well. I think 16-19-year-old students will enjoy this new approach.’ Patrick Sullivan, Headteacher Eggar’s School BETTER PREPARATION FOR THE FUTURE • Longer lessons enable independent study skills and more support to better prepare students for life after College at university and employment ‘Alton College’s innovative adaption of the students’ day not only increases teaching time it will open up further opportunities for students to develop their skills both in and out of the College, which I think should suit older teenagers well.’ Elizabeth Wylie, Headteacher Amery Hill School THE THREE HOUR LESSON There is one 3 hour lesson from 10am – 1pm with a break. The afternoon lesson is 2 hours long. Longer lessons provide opportunities for more active and in-depth learning with lots of interesting activities and greater support. One lesson could also take place in two different types of room depending on the subject. WHAT OUR STUDENTS SAY ‘Lessons will be less rushed, and the longer session will really help give more time for science experiments.’ Andy Morrish, formerly Head Boy at Amery Hill School, next steps studying medicine at University of Exeter. The College is open as usual from 8:30am – 5:00pm for independent study and workshops. ‘Up to 50 hours more teaching time with even more support!’ #10amStart #MoreTeachingTime ALTONCOLLEGE.AC.UK/NEWCOLLEGEDAY


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7 NEW COLLEGE DAY EXAMPLE A LEVEL TIMETABLE: With staff that teach you 8:30 - 10:00 MON 10:00 - 1:00 ART 1:00 - 2:00 TUTOR SESSION (1:00 - 1:15) 2:00 - 4:00 TUES WED Such as Jazz Band THURS or MedSoc FRI BIOLOGY Information on work experience, employment and apprenticeships ENRICHMENT FORUM SESSION (1:30 2:00) ENGLISH LITERATURE Information from specialist staff on university, study skills EXTENDED PROJECT QUALIFICATION, MORE ABLE AND TALENTED ENGLISH LITERATURE ART BIOLOGY EXAMPLE VOCATIONAL TIMETABLE: With staff that teach you 4:00 - 5:00 8:30 - 10:00 MON 10:00 - 1:00 ENGINEERING TUES WED THURS FRI ENGINEERING ENGINEERING EXTENDED PROJECT QUALIFICATION OR LEARNING SUPPORT SPORTS TRAINING 1:00 - 2:00 TUTOR SESSION (1:00 1:15) Information from specialist staff on work experience, apprenticeships and university FORUM SESSION (1:30 2:00) 2:00 - 4:00 ENGINEERING 4:00 - 5:00 SPORTS FIXTURES Play rugby or football ENGINEERING ENGINEERING TUTOR AND GROUP SESSIONS Our 15 minute tutor sessions take place at the end of the morning lesson with the teacher who has just taught you. They will focus on your academic progress and development. You will also be in a group ‘Forum’ session each week covering a range of issues from UCAS to Apprenticeships and Resilience to Cybersafety. ‘Two topics per day mean fewer books to carry’


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APPLY ONLINE ALTONCOLLEGE.AC.UK/APPLYNOW 8 TRAVEL AND THE NEW DAY The College is open as usual from 8.30am-5pm for workshops and studying. Stagecoach buses ensure students arrive for 10am lessons and we welcome students earlier if they wish to complete independent study.* WHAT OUR TEACHERS SAY ‘Traditional one hour lessons waste so much time. Forever recapping and refreshing what happened last lesson, or students investigating something one lesson and presenting their findings the next, by which time the context and focus has been diminished. My team are really excited about teaching the new 2 and 3 hour lessons. Starting and finishing a topic in a session without students having to break off in the middle and coming back to it a day or two later, will mean even better learning.’ Nicola Kingsley, Director of Learning * Skills For Learning students will continue to start their day at 9am and finish at 3 or 4pm. The Skills for Learning timetable will remain the same. See more on page 97. OUTSTANDING SUPPORT UNIVERSITY: UCAS, OXBRIDGE AND UCAS CONSERVATOIRES We’ll support you applying to university, including Oxbridge and Russell Group Universities (see the Applying to Competitive Courses programme part of the More Able and Talented Programme page 15) and you’ll have the opportunity to visit a UCAS convention during your first year. We host over 90 representatives from universities, employers and gap year providers at our annual Progression Fair. We also have a strong track record of acceptance to top Music Conservatoires. WORK: CAREERS ADVICE Our dedicated Careers Advisor is available to help you make decisions on your next steps after College; from staying on at College to study for a Foundation Degree in Engineering or Early Years or Foundation Diploma in Art and Design to Higher Education, Apprenticeships or employment. Read more about choosing careers on page 41. EMPLOYMENT AND APPRENTICESHIPS We prepare students for employment and support students in making applications for apprenticeship schemes from law to construction to accounting with local, regional and national firms, using tools such as Kloodle, see page 3. Employers and Apprenticeship Providers attend our Forum sessions and annual Progression Fair and events. ALTONCOLLEGE.AC.UK/NEWCOLLEGEDAY


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9 #1 CHOICE FOR STEM SUBJECTS in East Hampshire 29% of A Level students ACHIEVE A FIRST CLASS HONS DEGREE AT UNIVERSITY OUR ALUMNI contribute £139MILLION to Hampshire’s economy each year (Independent Economic Analysts EMSI, 2016) STUDENTS 80FROM SCHOOLS* living across four counties ATTEND ALTON COLLEGE (*State and Independent) UP5TO0 HOURS more teaching time FROM SEPT 2017 92%OVER of students leave us for HIGHER AND FURTHER EDUCATION & EMPLOYMENT £O1V5ERMILLION spent on developing the campus in the PAST 10 YEARS 35,000 books and ebooks in the LEARNING RESOURCE CENTRE


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APPLY ONLINE ALTONCOLLEGE.AC.UK/APPLYNOW 10 TRAVEL IS EASY! Students travel to College from across Hampshire, Surrey, Berkshire and West Sussex. There are a variety of easy ways to get here. TRAIN The station is a short walk from campus and we offer discounted tickets. CAR There is some parking available to the rear of College off Edward Road. Car park permits can be purchased termly or annually from the Student Hub and must be displayed at all times. BUS We offer the brilliant annual UniRider ticket in partnership with Stagecoach which you can use to travel to College during the week, at weekends and throughout the holidays. #10amStart


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11 SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS THE ALTON COLLEGE FOUNDATION is an independent registered charity which rewards effort and excellence amongst students. There are two schemes: Scholarships for Excellence and the Development Fund. DEVELOPMENT FUND GRANTS The Development Fund aims to encourage and support activities that will enable the College and its students to succeed in a changing educational environment. Grants of up to £500 are available to hard working students in need of extra help for specific activities such as field trips, additional tuition or resource materials. SCHOLARSHIPS FOR EXCELLENCE Scholarships of up to £400 a year are offered in a wide range of subjects to those students achieving the highest grades in their GCSEs or those who show exceptional talent in Art, Drama, Music and Sport. Scholarships of £300 are offered by the Alton Decorative and Fine Arts Society (ADFAS) to talented artists applying for the post-18 years Foundation Diploma in Art and Design course. OUR SUPPORTERS INCLUDE: • The ABF Charitable Trust • Alton Chamber of Commerce and Industry • Alton College Foundation Alumni Scholars • Alton Decorative and Fine Arts Society • Alton Lions • Dischma Trust • Ellis Campbell Foundation • Mrs Merula Frankel • Mr Peter Gaffney • Mr George Heller • The Rotary Club of Alton • Sir James Scott Registered charity no. 1079285 Over the past 15 years the ACF has provided 273 students scholarships valuing nearly £220,000


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APPLY ONLINE ALTONCOLLEGE.AC.UK/APPLYNOW 12 ANDY MORRISH PREVIOUSLY AT: AMERY HILL SCHOOL STUDYING: BIOLOGY, CHEMISTRY, MATHS, EXTENDED PROJECT QUALIFICATION NEXT STEP: STUDY MEDICINE AT UNIVERSITY OF EXETER “I chose Alton College for many reasons. It has a great record in STEM subjects, a positive environment and knowledgeable staff. The College encourages me to work independently within a structured, friendly culture. It was an honour to receive the 2017 Richard Frankel Memorial Scholarship for Medicine. The award has helped me attend medical conferences in London and Manchester, as well as allowing me to travel to volunteer placements to help support my application to medical school.” APPLY NOW Visit and apply by 15 November 2018.


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13 OUR QUALIFICATIONS EXPLAINED OUR QUALIFICATIONS EXPLAINED Before you apply to study here, come to an Open Day: experience the unique Alton College atmosphere, speak to our specialist experienced staff and find out what it’s really like to study here from our amazing students. Keep up-to-date at and follow us on social media. You will discuss course ideas and preferences during your College Guidance interview. Final decisions will be made when you enrol after you’ve received your exam results. The following table outlines the type of study programmes we offer*: GCSE EXAM RESULTS+ Mainly 9-7 grade profile 7-4 grade profile Mainly 3 grade profile Mainly 3-1 grade profile or other achievements No formal qualifications (U) SUGGESTED STUDY PROGRAMMES++ • More Able and Talented Programme • 3 or 4 A levels • Full BTEC / Cambridge Technical • 3 A levels • Full BTEC / Cambridge Technical • Mixed A level and BTEC / Cambridge Technical • Level 2 BTEC / Cambridge Technical Programme • Skills for Learning Programme • Skills for Learning Programme *All other qualifications are taken into account when agreeing your study programme. +For GCSE Maths and English, where a new grading system has been introduced, a Grade 4 is equivalent to a Grade C. ++A resit will be required for those students who have achieved Grade 3 or below for GCSE English or Maths.


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APPLY ONLINE ALTONCOLLEGE.AC.UK/APPLYNOW 14 A LEVEL AND VOCATIONAL COURSES WHAT ARE LEVEL 3 QUALIFICATIONS? A LEVELS Since September 2015 assessment methods for A level subjects have changed in line with the Department of Education reforms. In 2017 all A level subjects became ‘Linear’ which means assessment takes place at the end of the two year course. BTEC / CAMBRIDGE TECHNICAL EXTENDED DIPLOMA Two year course which on successful completion is the equivalent to 3 A levels. BTEC SUBSIDIARY DIPLOMA / BTEC EXTENDED CERTIFICATE / CAMBRIDGE TECHNICAL INTRODUCTORY DIPLOMA Two year course which on successful completion is the equivalent to 1 A level. I’M THINKING OF STUDYING A VOCATIONAL COURSE WHEN I LEAVE COLLEGE... Are A levels a better choice than BTECs / Cambridge Technicals? It depends on what your next steps are. BTEC / Cambridge Technicals can be preferable especially if you plan on studying a vocational course at university. Do universities prefer A levels? It depends on the course. For example, the BTEC Extended Diploma is the equivalent of 3 A levels. A lot will depend on which course you may want to study at university. Can I study A levels and BTEC or a Cambridge Technical together? Yes. Mixed study programmes are a popular choice. Ask your Course Guidance Interviewer for more information. Find out more at WHAT ARE LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS? BTEC / CAMBRIDGE TECHNICAL These are one year programmes which after successful completion will allow you to move onto Level 3 courses or employment. WHAT ARE FOUNDATION QUALIFICATIONS? We offer a variety of Skills for Learning Programmes. Please see page 97 for more details. For more information visit or call the Student Hub 01420 592200 Tom Andrews, The Petersfield School, BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering D*, D*, D* now Foundation Degree in Engineering in partnership with the University of Portsmouth and Apprenticeship at Sonardyne International.



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