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									June 2009
Letter from the Principal
Dear Parents This is my final Newsletter to parents of students who leave us this year. My staff and I wish your son / daughter all the very best in their examinations and in their future university / further education or careers. We look forward to being with them in August when they receive their examination results. This is an exciting time and can sometimes be a stressful one for young people. After 26 years of working with sixth form students myself and as a parent of children going through the process, I am acutely aware of all the ‘highs and lows’ that young people experience at this time. I am sure that your son / daughter will receive the best personal support from College staff and from yourselves, at home. It is also a time of celebration of all their hard work and achievements. Please put in your diaries the date of our Presentation Evening for the ‘Class of 2009’ – Wednesday, 16 December 2009. This is a wonderful event in the College calendar. It is not as formal as many school events of this type and enables ex-students to meet up with ‘old’ friends and staff and also gives you, as parents, the opportunity to celebrate with the College, the achievements of your son / daughter. I look forward to seeing you there.

Jane Machell Principal MA, BA (Hons), PGCE

Printed copies are available from the Student Services Help Desk for those who do not have access to the Internet. Please direct any feedback on this newsletter to pam.goff@altoncollege.ac.uk.

Message from Alison Cliffe, Parent Governor
I have recently been involved in an Alton College Governors’ event. One of the questions we were asked was ‘What difference does a Governor make?’ This event gave us a chance to reflect on this and realise the importance that an outside perspective has in establishing the vision for the College and how, working in close collaboration with the Senior Management Team, this vision can be achieved. The College has so much to be proud of and so much to offer in the future and I am pleased to be able to give back to it through my role as a Governor. Alison Cliffe

For Parents of all Students
Examination Results: AS/A Level, IB and Level 3 Vocational Courses
A level and AS level results are published on Thursday, 20 August. Second year students may collect their results from the Forum Hall between 10.00am and 12.00noon, and first year students can collect their AS level results between 12.00noon and 2.00pm. Alternatively, students should be able to view their results on-line via their ILP from 6.00am on 20 August. However, we hope that students will still come into College on the day to share their excitement with friends and teachers. If students have applied for Higher Education it is extremely important that they follow the advice from UCAS and are not away from home on 20 August and for the following few weeks, so they can deal personally with any issues concerning their application. For students on BTEC National Diploma courses, we will post results to them once we receive them from the awarding bodies. There is no set day. IB students can collect their results from Student Services between 9.30am and 11.00am on Monday 6 July. Students on the CACHE Diploma and Art Foundation will also receive their results before the end of term.

Examination Results: GCSE and Level 1 and 2 Vocational Courses
GCSE results are published on Thursday, 27 August and can be collected between 10.00am and 11.30am from the Exams Office. Alternatively, students will be able to view their results on-line via their ILP on the morning of 27 August. Level 1 and 2 Vocational course results will be posted to students as soon as the College is notified by the exam board. There is no set day.

Post Results Guidance
First Year Students: Help will be available from Monday, 24 August. Students who are concerned about their results or wish to discuss changes to their programme for next year should telephone for an appointment to see their Student Services Manager. Students will be given a booklet in their PLD session with contact details and further information. Second Year Students: Student Services staff will be available from Thursday, 20 August to offer help and guidance on results, appeals and university entrance. Students have been given a ‘Leavers 2009’ booklet, which gives further information – please ask your son/daughter to show it to you. We would ask that students make particular note of the deadlines for results enquiries and appeals as we will be unable to take any action if these dates are not met.

For Parents of First Year Students
Progress Reviews and Decisions about Next Year
Progress Reviews for first year students on a 2 year course will take place on Wednesday, 24 June. At this Progress Review, students will agree with their Tutor their course for next year. Students should bring a copy of the Progress Review home with them following their review meeting to show their parents, before filing it for future reference. Parents are asked to sign the card and add any comments when they have read the Progress Review and ask their son/daughter to return this to their Tutor. First year students will begin the 2nd year of their course on Tuesday, 9 June and they are expected to attend all lessons. However, students who are 100% sure that they wish to drop a subject should discuss this with their Student Services Manager on Thursday, 11 June or Friday, 12 June who will issue a ‘Course Change’ form if this seems appropriate. This form will need to be signed by yourselves and teachers of the subject. However, we strongly advise students to continue with all of their subjects until the end of term because once they have dropped a subject they will not then be allowed to change their mind in August/September, even if examination results suggest this might be sensible. This is because they will already have missed five weeks of the course and, in some cases, the completion of important coursework over the summer break. It is not normally recommended that students start a new AS level in the second year unless there are good reasons for doing so, such as a change of career direction, university entrance criteria or where a student has a light timetable. Students on a vocational course who are attending a work experience placement in June/July and who wish to continue an AS subject to A2, must make sure they catch up with any A2 work missed by the end of term.

Consultation Evenings
On Thursday, 2 July there will be a Parents' Evening for all students in the first year of a 2 year course. Students will be asked to arrange appointments with the relevant subject teachers. The evening starts at 6.30 pm.

Higher Education 2009/2010
Higher Education Information Evening Over 450 parents attended this event on Thursday, 7 May. If you were unable to attend, the PowerPoint presentations are now available to view on Moodle (Student Support / Higher Education / HE Information Evening) and copies of the information packs can be collected from Student Services. These packs also contain a promotional leaflet from Totman’s Publishers offering the chance to buy Higher Education related reference books at a discounted price. A second information evening focussing on the support available for students who are presently in receipt of EMA will take place on Tuesday, 30 June, starting at 6.00pm. Parents and guardians of such students will receive an invitation through the post. Progression Fair This will take place in the Refectory between 11.45am and 2.00pm on Tuesday, 30 June. Over 30 universities, local employment providers and Gap Year organisations will be present to give information to students and answer questions on progression routes. Students will have an extended PLD session enabling them to visit the fair and spend time with their tutor focussing on their future plans, whether they are down the Higher Education, employment or Gap Year route. UCAS Application Procedure Students have already been receiving guidance on researching their Higher Education choices during PLD Group sessions and, once their examinations are over, they should continue this research and work on

their Personal Statement. Whilst predicted grades will not be finalised until September, the Progress Review on 24 June will give students a good indication of their predicted grades. Taking these into account, students should try to arrive at a short-list of course choices over the summer. A very good starting point for doing this is to consult ‘Heap 2010’ (formerly known as ‘Degree Course Offers’ by Brian Heap), copies of which are located in Student Services. Students are encouraged to register at www.yougofurther.co.uk (a community website run by UCAS) for information on all aspects of applying and going to university. Parents should also be aware that there is a designated parent space on the UCAS website. The student’s reference is written by their Tutor, based on material provided by their subject teachers, including predicted grades. The reference is checked and authorised by a Student Services Manager. Predicted grades form only a part of the information used by Admissions Tutors. The whole of the application form, in particular the GCSE results, the Personal Statement, the College reference and possibly an interview all play their part. UCAS applications can be submitted from 1 September. The College aims to dispatch all applications within 15 term days of the correctly completed application being submitted to Student Services (details of what this involves are available on our internal UCAS checklist which students will be able to access from Moodle). Applications are processed in the order in which they are submitted. Students applying to Oxford or Cambridge universities, or for medicine, dentistry or veterinary science at any university, must submit their application to Student Services by 24 September in order to be sure of meeting the 15 October UCAS deadline. We strongly encourage all other applicants to complete their UCAS application by Friday 16 October. The recommended internal final date for submitting the UCAS application to Student Services is Tuesday, 1 December. Open Days Students are encouraged to attend Open Days for those universities they are likely to put on their UCAS application. They should, of course, excuse themselves for any lessons missed, provide a note in advance of their absence and catch up on any work.

For Parents of Second Year Students and those completing One Year Courses
Students have been given a booklet about leaving College (‘Leavers 2009’) and a Leavers Form which should be handed in to Reception or the Help Desk in the Student Services Centre, when completed. Three set days are allocated for students to get forms signed and return books to departments and the Library. Staff will be available on the following dates between 10.00 am and 2.00 pm:    Thursday 25 June Tuesday 30 June Monday 6 July

Please remind your son/daughter to return all College property for the benefit of future users. The Leavers’ Booklet also gives details about collecting exam results and related matters.

UCAS Clearing
Whilst the overwhelming majority of our students who have applied to university continue to secure places at their first or insurance choice, it is important that students are aware of the process of ‘Clearing’ should they miss out on their required grades. If students narrowly fail to get the grades required for their First Choice or Insurance university, they should at once contact the university concerned in order to get a firm decision about whether they will be offered a

place or not. If it is confirmed that they have not been offered a place by either university, they will be placed in ‘Clearing’. They should immediately start thinking about alternative places to study, particularly to universities which regularly make offers at around the level of the student's actual results. Students may have done some research into this prior to their results coming out and can call into the Student Services Careers area to use the facilities there. Brian Heap’s ‘Heap 2010’ (formerly known as ‘Degree Course Offers’) is an excellent source of help and advice – copies of which can be found in Student Services. Once students have researched possible universities they should start the process of contacting universities to see if there are vacancies. UCAS report that every year more than 30,000 students secure a place though ‘Clearing’ and whilst it can be a difficult time for students (and parents!) it is worth remembering this. However, you may have seen reports in the press that there has been an 8% rise in applications to university this year and that many universities will be unable to exceed their allocated ‘quota’ of places – so it is possible that there will be fewer places available in ‘Clearing’. Our advice to students who find themselves in ‘Clearing’ is to act quickly, but not rashly. Whilst it is clearly important that students do not jump at the first place offered to them, it is also very important that they act swiftly and talk through their plans with us. Please remind your son/daughter that their Student Services Manager will be available to guide them through this process.

UCAS Adjustment
‘Adjustment’ is a new feature being introduced this year. The aim is to give students the opportunity to ‘trade-up’ should they exceed the grades required by their firm offer. Students will have a 5 day ‘adjustment period’ from 20 August in which they may approach new universities whilst keeping their firm offer on hold. We would ask that students consult with us if they wish to take advantage of this. Students will have spent many months researching their original choices, will have attended Open Days and may have sorted accommodation – so they should weigh all this up before deciding to apply to a new university. UCAS will be writing to all applicants in July with further information on both ‘Clearing’ and ‘Adjustment’.

Applying to University during A Gap Year
Last year over 140 students made UCAS applications during their Gap Year and we are more than happy to give advice and guidance on such applications. To ensure that students follow the correct procedure they should visit the ‘Former Students’ section on the College website and complete the help form. We will then send all the information needed, including, very importantly, the College’s “buzzword” (password). Students should register on the UCAS website as a former student and not as an independent candidate as this will cause a delay in the College processing their application.

Bus Passes and Train Tickets
Information about bus passes for 2009/10 is now available and is being distributed via PLD Tutors. It is also available from the Student Services Help Desk or from the College website. If your son/daughter intends to apply for a grant towards the costs of a bus pass, they will need to provide a copy of a Tax Credit Award Notice for 2009/10, so please ensure that Tax Credits are applied for in good time. Information about grants is also being distributed via PLD Tutors and is available from the Student Services Help Desk or from the College website. Information regarding discounted student train season tickets is available on the College website, Moodle or from Student Services.

Students intending to apply for EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance) should send off their applications as soon as possible. They will need to send the Tax Credit Award Notice for 2009-10 with their application, so please ensure that Tax Credits are applied for in good time. Application packs will be sent direct to students currently in receipt of EMA or are available from the Student Services Help Desk. Please note that for legal reasons the College is unable to advise on eligibility or completing the EMA application form. However, your local Connexions service or the EMA Helpline (0800 121 8989) will be able to assist you.

Students on a BTEC National programme in Health and Social Care; ICT; Engineering; Business and Sport or Child Care Learning and Development will be out of College for their two week Work Experience Placement from Monday, 1 June to Friday, 12 June.

For the academic year 2009/10 the organisation of the College day will be structured as shown below which can be accessed through your son/daughter’s log-in: http://moodle.altoncollege.ac.uk/mod/resource/view.php?id=24779 Please note that the start and end of the College day remains the same as for 2008/09.

College News and Events
One Year Leavers’ Presentation Ceremony
A special presentation ceremony took place on Thursday 14 May for our Entry, Level 1 and Level 2 course students. Awards were presented in the following categories:       Recognition Achievement Excellence in Work Placement Endeavour Success Students’ Student

Work experience providers Rawles Motorsport; Kinetika Farnham Sports Centre; DC Leisure Taro Centre; Alton Police; ATC Lasham; Alton College Child Care Centre, Chartwells and Sainsburys, together with the Chair of Governors, Ian Taylor, presented certificates and prizes, culminating in those of ‘Overall Success’ won by June Perrone (BTEC First Health & Social Care) and ‘Overall Endeavour’ - won by Kim Lofts (BTEC Introductory Diploma). Entry students also received awards but were not present at the ceremony as they were in London at the time, on a College trip.

Key Skills ICL Level 3
On-line Portfolios Pilot Alton College has piloted on-line portfolios for the first time with Level 3 Key Skills ICT candidates (AS students not taking ICT as a main subject). This has proved to be very positive in terms of both tracking students’ input and assessors’ feedback and assessment decisions. As far as both internal and external moderation were concerned, all portfolios were easily accessible and trackable. Both logistically and financially this has been a very positive experience for the Centre. Students have become more

independent learners having access at home and have shown an improvement in the standard of work produced for appropriate activities.

‘Crime and Deviancy’ Morning
The Government and Politics, Law, Sociology and Psychology Departments are planning a ‘Crime and Deviancy’ morning on 19 June when outside speakers will be coming in to College to take questions from students on crime and its causes. It is expected that professionals such as a Magistrate, a Police Officer, a Criminologist and a Probation Officer will be attending.

Alton Family Festival
The College is hosting Alton’s Family Festival on Saturday, 11 July. This will be an enjoyable event for all the family with activities, stalls and information from a wide-range of clubs, societies and associations in the local community. The event takes place from 11.00am – 3pm. Everyone is very welcome.

Green Week
During the last week of April the College held its ‘Green Week’. Over the five days there were displays and stands including the Environmental Centre, where students could receive a free energy saving light bulb and have a 1 in 10 chance of winning an energy saving gadget for the TV or PC; Baxter Environmental (our paper recycling contractors), Chartwells (our catering contractors) and Greening Alton Campaign. East Hampshire District Council were represented with a stand giving information about the ‘Love Food, Hate Waste Campaign’. The Refectory courtyard was filled with chicks, ducklings and goslings, plus a Brahma cockerel and a Peking bantam and there were plants and free range eggs for sale. There were no cups at the water coolers and students were supplied with Alton College water bottles to fill and re-use. Friday was ‘Wear Green Day’ where staff and students came dressed in green and donations were collected to buy a plot of rainforest. A competition for students was held to produce a new environmental statement with the winner receiving a prize of an acre of rainforest.

The College Jazz ensembles have already started their summer tour. On Sunday, 10 May they played in the Town Gardens in front of an appreciative audience. On 11 May, The Jazz Factory played a ‘Kinda Blue’, a tribute to Mike Davis, at the Hen and Chicken in Froyle.

Alton College Jazz Band in the Town Gardens Forthcoming concerts include:  7 June – Alton College Jazz Bands at Hawkley Beer Festival, plus special guests (12.30-3.00pm)

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14 June – Alton College Jazz Bands at The Hen & Chicken, Froyle (12.30-3.00pm) 23 June – Open Mic Nite, The Forum, Alton College (from 7.30pm) 1 July – Summer Pops Concert in The Forum, Alton College (from 7pm) 5 July - Alton College Jazz Bands at The Hen & Chicken, Froyle (12.30-3.00pm) 9 July – Alton College Jazz Bands at Treloar’s Arts Week (from 2.00pm) 11 July – Alton College Jazz Bands at the Swanage Jazz Festival (all day)

Alton Area Wind Orchestra On Sunday, 17 May, the Alton Area Wind Orchestra, a community ensemble for school/college age musicians, started in February 2009 by the Music Department’s Pande Shahov and Martin Read, gave its first performance at the Watercress Festival in Alresford. Due to the pressure of summer exams, the ensemble will be taking a break, but will start rehearsing again in September. Contact Pande Shahov for further details (pande.shahov@altoncollege.ac.uk).

Alton Area Wind Orchestra’s first ever concert at the Watercress Festival in Alresford

Rock School Between 6.00pm - 7.30pm on Tuesday, 23 June there will be an Open Evening to launch Rock School at Alton College – a Saturday School for local young people starting at College from September 2009. Exam Results Congratulations to the following students on their exam successes: Merit Grade 6 Piano: Grade 8 Singing: Grade 7 Violin: Grade 5 Singing: Music Department Staff Music Teacher Pande Shahov's ‘In Struga’ was premiered by pianist Simon Trpceski and the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra in Skopje on 16 May, a glittering occasion that was headline news on the Macedonian 10 o’clock news, and was featured in all Macedonian newspapers. The Times also covered the concert: Emily Myles and James Golborn Lydia Pearson Sophie Wort Becca Dawkins

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/live_reviews/article6306319.ece Pande's ‘Songs and Whispers - Suite for Piano’, also by Simon Trpceski, will be premiered on 13 October in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London. Singing teacher John Lofthouse is taking the role of John Styx in Holland Park Opera’s ‘Orpheus in the Underworld’ through June and July. Accompanist Barbara Henvest – in her role as orchestral pianist for the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, will be playing music by Katchaturian at this Summer’s Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.

Pande and Simon at the Wigmore Hall in 2007, with a group of students from Alton College Head of Department Martin Read’s opera ‘Rainforest’ - commissioned by Opera Minima with funding from the Arts Council England and HSBC, and premiered in 2007, is being revived this Summer with a further eight performances. Two of the closer venues to Alton are Stamford Arts Centre - on 10 July, and Little Dalby Hall, Melton Mowbury - on 11 July. At the same time as these performances the Hampshire County Youth band will be performing Martin’s ‘Fanfare for David’. The piece can be heard in Winchester on 12 July, as part of the Winchester Festival and at the end of July in Croatia, as part of the band’s touring programme.

Cricket The College’s Cricket team reached the final for the third consecutive year when they beat Farnborough in a league game. They remain unbeaten this season and will now play at Hampshire’s cricket ground, the Rose Bowl, on Thursday, 2 July. Along their journey of success they have beaten Queen Mary’s, Peter Symond's and The Sixth Form College, Farnborough. The squad members are:                Jack Bland Sam Bruin Ian Carpenter Alex Cooper Rob Goldsworthy Elliot Hawkins George Hellyer Tom Hughes-Stanton Billy Maisey David Oliver Tom Paul Jonathan Pryce Oli Williams Chris Wood Joe Yendell

Trips and Visits
Cuba Trip After last year’s successful visit, Alton College students returned to Cuba in 2009. The trip, organised by the Spanish Department, included students from the International Baccalaureate programme, the AS Spanish and the AS Government and Politics courses. Jenny Buckland from the IB programme commented: “The culture was so different and fascinating and the people were so open and friendly. Music and salsa seemed to be an important part of their lives and the fact that they were so keen to teach us and get us involved meant that we could really experience it first-hand”. They visited the cigar factory, “one of the most amazing places I have ever been to”, according to Dan Ashby in the AS Spanish course; Ernest Hemingway’ s house on the outskirts of Havana and his room in The Ambos Mundos Hotel and, of course, the famous Museum of the Revolution where the boat “Granma”, used by Castro and Che Guevara to launch their attack against the Batista Regime, is exhibited. After Havana, they went to the city of Trinidad, on the South East of the Island. The organiser of the trip, Olga Culebras, said: “The purpose of this visit was also to establish a link with a secondary school in Cuba and to be able to share their culture and their love for education. We took with us more than 500 pens donated by the College, writing paper from a local company and stationery, toys, toiletries and medicines we purchased ourselves. Everything was welcomed and we were all given a copy of ‘Pasajes de la Revolucion’ by Ernesto Che Guevara”. Jo Cooke commented on the visit: “For me, the highlight was the day we spent at the school. Although we were all nervous on arrival at the school, they welcomed us and we soon relaxed. We were able to talk about the differences in our lifestyle but still get on. They taught us their dances and we taught them the hokey-cokey. They really appreciated all the resources we gave them and it felt good to know we had made a difference.” On the way to Trinidad, students stopped in Santa Clara to see Che’s mausoleum and, in the Romantic museum in Trinidad, they bumped into the parents of some ex-students of Alton College, a very interesting coincidence on the other side of the world! They enjoyed the sun, the sea and went on the stage to dance salsa with local people. Once again our students were wonderful ambassadors for the College and they were taken by the warmth, friendliness and sense of humour of the Cuban people. Other trips included:    46 Drama students visited the Theatre Royal in London to see Steven Berkoff’s ‘On the Waterfront’ 50 English students attended ‘Othello’ at the Rose Theatre, London 17 students carried out their Duke of Edinburgh activities at Longton

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10 Entry students visited London and Portsmouth 28 Business Studies students visited Pizza Express in Alton 8 Music students attended a Philip Glass concert in London 16 Entry students enjoyed a trip to Thorpe Park

Marathon News

Congratulations to Kathryn Barwick who ran the London Marathon in “an exhausting 6 hours 50 minutes”, raising nearly £2000 for charity. After putting her name down 4 years in a row Claire Williams, a member of the Sports Department, finally made it to the London Marathon this year and completed it (her first ever) in just over 5 hours, raising over £500 for the Anthony Nolan Trust.

“Best Job in the World” Ex-student, Ben Southall, has been awarded the ‘best job in the World’. Ben, from Petersfield, now 34, who studied Engineering at the College, will be the caretaker of Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays, off Queensland, Australia. Ben beat 35,000 people who had applied from all over the World. Hats for Headway On 14 May, students on the BTEC National Diploma Sports course raised £259.60 for the charity Headway which supports people with head injuries and their families.

Moon Walk On 16 May, Anita May, Lesley Barrett, Jenny Meachem and Kim Small (all members of staff in the Student Services Department), walked 26.2 miles over night in 7.5 hours for Breast Cancer Research. They raised over £1,280.

Left to right: Kim, Jenny, Lesley, Anita

2009 Important Dates for all Sixth Form Students
1 – 5 June Study Leave / Revision Support for all students not on work experience. Students will not be expected to be in College during this time, unless they are using the Learning Resources Centre or attending arranged subject revision sessions. End of year progression exams for first year IB students. 1 – 12 June BTEC National Diploma courses – work experience. Students taking an additional AS or GCSE exam during this time should arrange a ½ day (morning exam) or 1 day (afternoon exam) absence in order to sit the exam. Staff Training day (College is closed for Sixth Form students with the exception of AS History exams) Lessons resume for the start of A2 teaching, i.e. those students moving from the first year to the second year of a two year course. Students should attend all lessons for all subjects. Progress Review Day for First Year students (TG 201 - 280) (focussing on choosing courses for Year 2 and reviewing subject references). Alton College Progression Fair for students (11.45am-2.00pm) Representatives from local universities, employers and Gap Year organisations will be exhibiting at this event in the Refectory.

8 June

9 June

24 June

30 June

2 July

Parents’ Consultation Evening at 6.30pm (students in the first year of a two year programme). Last day of term (teaching ends at 12.40pm). AS level Health & Social Care work experience week.

10 July 13 – 17 July

20 August

A / AS / Advanced Vocational results published. Advice and guidance available at College for students progressing to HE. Please note that advice for AS students is NOT available at College until Monday, 24 August so that priority can be given to students progressing to HE.

20 Aug – 4 Sept

Advice and guidance available at College following A level / Advanced Vocational results for those progressing to University. First Year students confirm their choice of course for Year 2. Advice and guidance available at College. Results published for One Year Vocational courses and GCSEs. Enrolment interviews for those students applying to progress on to a higher level course. Autumn Term starts for students on new courses at 8.50am. Autumn Term starts for Second Year students at 10.25am. (All students to go to the Sports Hall)

24 Aug – 4 Sept

27 August 3 September

14 September 15 September

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