Support and guidance are offered in many different ways, not least in the contacts and conversations which take place each day between staff and students both in and outside lessons. As well as these informal contacts, tutorial guidance is designed to enable you to make wise choices, discuss career plans, assess your own progress and seek help if problems arise.
At the heart of support and guidance in the College is the relationship between each student and their tutor. You will be a member of a tutor group of about twenty four students in the same year group as you. You will meet your tutor most weeks for a weekly tutorial period in which a programme of activities will enable you to acquire information, develop skills and engage in discussion about a wide range of issues such as career planning, higher education application, financial planning, time management, study skills and health issues.
Your tutor will also be available to meet you individually on a regular basis to discuss issues which either of you may wish to raise. Your tutor will help you to settle into College, encourage you to take responsibility for your own learning and to participate in the wide range of opportunities available outside your examination courses. Within the partnership between student and tutor, you will discuss your course and personal timetable, as well as evaluating your progress through the Progress Review process. Your tutor will also provide appropriate references for progression to higher education or employment.
The Director of Student Support is also available to provide support where necessary. The Student Guidance Officer offers initial, short-term counselling and can refer students to external counsellors as required.
Every student at Hills Road is involved in Progress Review. This will enable you to assess your progress, establish action plans and record activities you are involved in outside the classroom. Structured discussions about your progress are held with your subject teachers and tutor two or three times in each year, but more informal discussions may occur at any time.
Supported Independent Learning Service
One of the biggest challenges in moving from GCSE to Advanced level study is coping with the high levels of personal organisation and communication that are needed to make a success of sixth form life. We recognise that not all students can adjust to these demands as quickly as others; so, in addition to the support provided by personal tutors, we also have a dedicated Student Support Officer. The Student Support Officer provides timetabled supervision and support for students who are finding the expectations for completing independent study outside lesson time challenging, working with them to prioritise their learning more effectively.
Study Skills Centre
The Study Skills Centre is available to all students throughout their course. Trained staff will help you analyse your individual learning needs and plan support. Individual and small-group support is available for a variety of needs. Assessment for specific learning difficulties can be arranged by the team.
Library & Resources Centre
The Library and Resources Centre is staffed by an experienced team. It is open Monday to Friday 8.30-16.30. The Library and Resources Centre provides access to a wide range of resources.
The government’s 16-19 Bursary scheme will be available to provide financial help for students in financial need, depending on family income. Students eligible for free school meals at their current school are also now entitled to free school meals for their two years at College too. The criteria for allocating money for both these schemes will be communicated to students during the application and enrolment process. For students entitled to free school meals, lunches will be provided through the cashless catering system that all our students use.
Students living within the Cambridge Area 14-19 Partnership area may be entitled to subsidised transport through the Local Authority. (Subsidised rail travel may be available to students, subject to annual review by the relevant rail company. Details of travel schemes will be sent to all students who receive an offer of a place.)
The College recognises that parents have a major part to play in supporting students throughout their time at the College. In September, parents of new students are invited to the College to meet tutors and other senior staff. This provides an opportunity for parents and tutors to discuss how students are settling into College and to look forward to further contact. Parents’ consultations with subject staff are held in both Year 12 and Year 13. Parents are welcome to contact tutors at the College at any time if they have any cause for concern. Please see the following page for Parents.
They are also invited to join the Association of Parents and Friends.