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Information for parents of new students

22 July 2019

Your child is starting at college with us in September, so we wanted to get in touch and make sure you have everything YOU need ahead of this.

Starting college is an exciting time but it can also feel like a leap into the unknown for you and your child. 

A fresh start

When they arrive on their first day, your child will have to report to reception. Their tutor will then meet them there. They should bring a pen and notepad, a packed lunch or money for food – we have canteens onsite at all our colleges.

Your child will receive a lanyard and ID badge, which they need to wear at all times while on campus.

A change in routine

College timetables (or learning schedules as we call them) are significantly different to school. Consequently, your child may not need to attend college every day and their day will be longer, with some classes ending in the late afternoon.

Your child will have free periods to complete coursework, research and revise and we encourage them to manage their time appropriately. However, there is also time for volunteering, part-time paid work or for interests such as sport, drama or music. Our colleges offer Students’ Unions, Duke of Edinburgh Award schemes, charity work opportunities and other clubs and activities. 

New freedoms and responsibilities

Our students continuously tell us how they appreciate being treated as adults.

Your child will take responsibility for their own learning. They can call tutors by their first name and no longer have to wear a uniform. Overall, they will be given more freedom than they experienced at school.

But with freedom comes responsibility! Your child will be asked to sign our code of conduct to help ensure that our core value of respect is upheld by everyone. Students need to display the behaviour you’d expect in any workplace.

Places to recharge and relax

All our colleges have onsite cafés and coffee shops with hot and cold options for breakfast and lunch, healthy snacks, hot drinks and freshly made cakes and pastries.

Additionally, our college shops sell drinks, snacks and stationery as well as other everyday essentials.

Faith rooms are available for prayer, meditation or as a quiet zone for reflection.

Unique opportunities to develop professional skills… 

As an award-winning education group, we offer real world opportunities that schools can’t. We partner with businesses, from tech start-ups to global corporations, to take learning out of the classroom. And guest speakers from industry and top universities regularly visit our colleges to share their knowledge. 

… and skills for life

With our support, your child will develop the core attributes that form the foundations for a successful start in life. For us, these are: professional, enterprising, confident, self-aware and resilient.  

Consistent and supportive teaching

Unlike schools, we do not hire supply teachers to cover classes. Designated tutors will stay with your child throughout the academic year to help them achieve their objectives.

Our teaching goes beyond the curriculum to develop the skills your child will need to put their learning into practice. This includes help and information with note taking, essay writing and revision planning.

Our colleges do not close over the summer months, with facilities like libraries remaining open for our students to use.

Support for you and your child

If your child needs additional assistance because of disability or educational needs, our learning support team can help. We also offer free confidential counselling for all students who need it.

More information for parents of new students

Further details of our student support services, and more information for parents of new students, can be found here.

We look forward to welcoming your child to Activate Learning!