Guide for Parents & Guardians

WELCOME to Brockenhurst College

We are pleased to welcome your son or daughter for the next stage of their education. At Brock we strive to create the ideal study environment and aim for your young person to enjoy a pivotal learning experience that primes them for success going forward.

Parents and guardians have a key role to play in supporting students, and we look forward to working with you to ensure the success of your son or daughter. This guide has been created to give you all the important information you need about the College.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns or if you need any further information. You will find a contact list at the back of this booklet.

 

Brockenhurst College main enterance

COVID-19 Response

Despite the general easing of restrictions, we anticipate some restrictions or additional actions will be required in the 21/22 academic year in respect of COVID-19. As you will be aware, change can occur quickly, and we will keep you updated whenever there are changes required that might affect your son or daughter.

The College policy has always been to follow Department for Education (DfE) and Public Health England (PHE) guidance and implement any additional local measures where we consider these to be appropriate.

At the time of writing, the position regarding additional DfE COVID safety measures for September remained unclear. However, we expect new guidance will be issued. The DfE has so far indicated that students should ideally complete two on-site lateral flow tests upon their return to college during the first two weeks of term. This should ideally be followed by ongoing home testing during September.

Your son or daughter will no doubt be used to testing by now, having completed this over the last few months at school. Testing is a voluntary activity and if your son or daughter is new to the College, they will be asked to opt-in or opt-out out of testing as part of the Enrolment process. Once they are 16 years of age, they may make this decision themselves and do not require parental permission. We appreciate that families may have different views and opinions with regard to testing, and for some this will not be appropriate either on medical grounds or due to beliefs and values. Where appropriate we would ask that you encourage your son or daughter to opt-in to this process. We had an overwhelmingly positive response to our testing programme during the Spring Term, which helped keep our community safe.

The College day and timetables

The college day will run as follows:

  • Brockenhurst Main Campus: 9:00am – 4:20pm
  • Marchwood: 9:00am – 3:30pm
  • Ultima Beauty Academy: 09:30am – 3:45pm

Timetable

The timetable is set up to provide the widest range of choice for our students. As a result, almost every student’s timetable is unique. The elements that make up a timetable combine to form the overall Study Programme. A typical Brock student will have between 15 and 18 timetabled sessions of 65 minutes per week, depending on their programme. Timetables will include the following types of engagement:

 

  • Main academic programme (A Levels or Vocational programme)
  • Tutorial Session
  • Enrichments (Curricular and Extra Curricular)
  • Directed Study
  • English and/or Maths (if grade 4 GCSE has not already been achieved)

 

Students should expect to attend college every day, although sometimes individual subject choices mean Study Programmes fit into fewer days.

It is likely that within each week your son or daughter may have a later start or an early finish to their day, or perhaps have free periods during the day. The College expectation is 100% attendance at every lesson. As a parent you will also have access to live attendance information. However, we do not require students to be on campus if they are not in lessons. Therefore they are able to arrive later or leave earlier if they do not have a lesson. They may also leave campus during their free periods.

Blended learning

We successfully operated a Blended Learning programme last year using Microsoft Teams. This provided excellent opportunities for students to benefit from a different style of learning and develop essential digital skills. As a result, we will schedule TWO Blended Learning weeks during the academic year when students will study from home and attend live sessions online. These will be the first week of November and the first week of June.

Main programmes

There are two main types of programme, Academic (A Levels or A Level equivalent), or Vocational (typically BTEC qualifications or similar).  These are outlined below and you can find full details of individual courses at www.brock.ac.uk or in our prospectus.

Academic Programmes

A Levels

A Level students normally study three subjects. A Level courses are two years in length, with exams at the end of the second year. We recommend students study three subjects unless they are academically very strong or need to study four subjects for a specific reason.

A Level equivalent BTEC programmes

The College runs a number of smaller BTEC programmes that are the equivalent of one A Level. These are typically run where there is demand for a subject but no suitable A Level option available nationally. Examples include Criminology and IT. These are designed to be taken as part of an A Level programme and carry the same UCAS point value as a conventional A Level.

Vocational Programmes

Level 3 Extended Diplomas (BTEC and OCR Cambridge Technical)

These are advanced level Vocational courses that make up all or the majority of a student’s timetable. Depending on the subject area, the College offers either the BTEC Extended Diploma or the OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma. These are equivalent to three A Levels and will be accepted for entry to Higher Education with equivalence to A Levels. Vocational qualifications differ from A Levels in that they are based on continuous assessment across the programme. Some, but not all, programmes have externally assessed modules.

Level 2 Extended Certificates (BTEC and OCR Cambridge Technical)

These are one-year Level 2 vocational courses. Depending on the subject area, the College offers either the BTEC Level 2 Extended Certificate or the OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate. Both are equivalent to two GCSEs and will form part of a Level 2 study programme, which will also include work experience, Enrichment and in many cases GCSE English and/or Maths.

Other Vocational qualifications including NVQ Levels 1 & 2

These courses may be taken by students studying Marine Engineering, Construction, Catering, and Complementary and Beauty Therapy. They are practical training courses and must be studied in a work environment.

Foundation Learning and Level 1 Courses

Foundation Learning and Level 1 courses are for students who have lower grades at GCSE and who need to develop their skills in literacy and numeracy alongside their main course.

Continuing Education

This programme is for students with specific learning difficulties. The course aims to develop students’ skills and support their learning to enable them to progress onto other courses at Brock or into employment.

Supported Education

At Brock we are committed to maintaining access to our courses for all learners and will offer the level of additional support necessary to make this possible. If your son or daughter has additional needs, please ensure we aware of this so we can make suitable arrangements for support.

Please contact Tracey Miller, our Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Manager, using tmiller@brock.ac.uk  if you have information about your son or daughter’s needs that you feel may not have been flagged during their interview.

If you have questions about your son or daughter’s course choice(s), please contact the relevant Head(s) of Curriculum by phoning 01590 625555 or emailing enquiries@brock.ac.uk

Additional timetable commitments

Tutorials

There will be a weekly tutorial where students will meet with their Student Support Manager and follow a programme of tutorial activities as well as obtain important information. Student Support Managers are also students’ first point of contact for any pastoral issues or queries. There will be remote tutorial sessions in addition to the face-to-face session for every student each week.

Enrichment

We offer over 40 different Enrichment activities. These include team and individual sports, outdoor pursuits, charity work abroad, volunteering and performing arts activities such as music, drama and dance. Students can access details of Enrichment opportunities via our e-learning platform, eBrock. Enrichment is fun, helps students meet new friends and can add significantly to a student’s profile for pursuing Higher Education or employment. The full list of Enrichment opportunities is available at www.brock.ac.uk/enrichment

The College also has a Students’ Union, which students can join to help steer the direction of college life.

English and Maths

Any parent will be aware of the importance of English and Maths for future employment prospects. It is mandatory that students who have not achieved English and Maths at grade 4 or above at GCSE continue to study towards these qualifications while in education. We assess all students who have not achieved grade 4 in English and/or Maths when they join us. We offer a variety of English and Maths programmes including Functional Skills and GCSE. Learners will be placed on the most suitable programme based on their prior achievement and our assessment.

 

Next Steps

We have an extensive Next Steps programme of events throughout the academic year, which provides inspiration for students to maximise their achievement and plan their progression for when they leave college. Students keep track of their skills and achievements through a personalised portfolio, which helps them assess what employability and study skills they have developed.

Events include audiences with visiting speakers from local companies and universities, trips to university open days and local employers’ open events. Larger scale events for students include a Higher Education Fair, an Apprenticeship Fair, a Gap Year Fair, a Volunteering Fair, and a Work Experience and Recruitment Fair.

Our Progression Day in March will feature over 100 speakers from companies and universities, among other organisations, who visit to inspire students about the opportunities that lie ahead.

Next Steps sessions will be advertised in the student newsfeed and during tutor periods. Students for whom an event may be particularly beneficial will be emailed directly, and parents will be kept up-to-date by email and via Parent Portal.

Keeping you informed

We are committed to keeping you informed about the progress of your son or daughter and about any problems that may arise. You can expect regular contact about current grades and attendance figures, plus information regarding any problems with attendance or performance.

Parent Portal

Parent Portal – www.parents.brock.ac.uk

You can find key information relating to your son or daughter’s progress on Parent Portal. Login details will be sent to you soon after Enrolment and we urge you to use this platform to stay up to date.

Parent Portal contains the following information:

  • Parents’ Guide.
  • Contact details for your child’s lecturers and also other key personnel.
  • Your son or daughter’s timetable.
  • Live attendance information.
  • Progress information such as target checks, performance dials and testimonials.
  • Performance agreements and letters.
  • Exam entries and results.
  • Access to Brock Shop for paying for travel/trips/equipment.
  • Key dates and upcoming events.

Email communication

We prefer to communicate with you via email. Email contacts for all staff associated with your son or daughter’s programme(s) will be available through Parent Portal. If you are trying to contact a teacher, email is often the most effective tool.

Target grades

All students have target grades agreed at the beginning of their course, usually based on their prior achievements at GCSE. Students’ levels of performance will be assessed regularly and compared with their targets to monitor how well they are doing.

Progress Checks

We will send you progress checks every half term.

  • Students studying A Levels will complete around eight formal progress tests per year, and you will be informed of all historic results each time we send you a progress check. This will vary depending on the exact timing of the assessments.
  • Students studying on Vocational programmes complete units throughout the year that contribute towards the final grade. You will be informed of the unit grades to date each time we send you a progress check. Please note that no units are normally completed before October half term.
  • You will also be provided with target grades and up-to-date attendance data at each progress check, as well as notifications of any performance agreements.
  • At October, February and May half terms, lecturers will also provide an ‘effort and attitude’ grade.

Parent/Teacher meetings

At Brock we hold two parent/teacher events a year, normally in November and February, when you will be invited to discuss your son or daughter’s progress with their lecturers. We very much hope you will be able to attend these events because very useful information is often exchanged.

These are conducted through video calls online using the SchoolCloud system. Full details on how to use SchoolCloud and how to book will be sent out a few weeks before the event.

Written reports

Every student will receive an annual written report detailing performance on each of his or her courses. These are sent out after term finishes in July. They will include exam results and academic achievements, plus lecturer testimonials that will form the basis for college, university, or employment references.

Keeping us informed

We expect 100% attendance from students for all timetabled classes, and we expect parents to authorise any absence, just as you will have done throughout primary and secondary school.

Should your son or daughter be unable to attend due to sickness or other reasons, please report this as soon as possible through our Absence Line, which is 01590 625530, or by emailing attendance@brock.ac.uk

The College does not advocate students taking holiday in term time because evidence shows this will adversely affect their learning and may impact on their final grades. College terms are normally slightly shorter than school terms, and the end of year is normally the first week of July, giving you scope to take advantage of cheaper holiday offers.

Please ensure you inform us of any changes that might affect your son or daughter’s progress or wellbeing so we can support them effectively.

This might include:

  • Changes relating to medical conditions.
  • Any new diagnoses of learning disabilities, or changes that might require additional support.
  • Bereavement or family issues.
  • Changes to address, telephone, or email contact details.

 

Please contact your son or daughter’s Student Support Manager about any changes. Their contact details can be found on Parent Portal.

Support for students

Staff/student relationships at Brock are generally less formal than school, and students normally address staff by their first names. Subject lecturers are responsible for the learning, progress and attendance of their students. Your son or daughter should be encouraged to initially discuss any problems they may have on their course(s) with their subject lecturer. Parents are welcome to contact lecturers directly via email. Contact details for all staff teaching your son or daughter will be available on Parent Portal.

Student Support Manager

Every student has a Student Support Manager and will meet with them weekly for a tutor period. This staff member performs a similar role to that of the personal tutor at secondary school. He or she represents the first point of contact for any issues, and will deliver a pastoral tutorial programme along with important information and notices.

We run a comprehensive weekly tutorial programme of activities, which seeks to ensure students are developing the skills and knowledge to achieve their personal and academic goals. The Student Support Manager will also work with your son or daughter to help them make the most of their time at Brock. This might include working with them on wider issues that may arise outside of classes.

If your son or daughter is in the final year of their programme and is applying to university via UCAS, their Student Support Manager will guide them through the process and assist them in putting together their application. They will also take subject references written by lecturers and develop these into a formal reference from the College.

Skills Development

Skills Development is based in our STEM building.  Additional learning and support needs will be discussed during admissions interviews and it is important that the College is made aware of these so we can continue to provide support. Skills Development will normally be in touch in the first few weeks of term to discuss further and/or put arrangements in place. Where appropriate, a further assessment might be arranged before suitable support can be implemented.

Learning difficulties and disabilities and intensive support

The College has a range of support available for students with additional learning needs. We work with you and your son or daughter to apply for additional learning support through the Local Education Authority, which will report back with a proposal for support, known as a Local Offer. Details of the Local Offer system can be found on our website at www.brock.ac.uk/localoffer

We also have an Inspiration Room, which is specially designed for vulnerable students who might require a quiet space. In addition, there is an Intensive Support Officer who supports vulnerable students.

Tracey Miller is our Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Manager. She can be contacted on 01590 625586 or by emailing tmiller@brock.ac.uk

College Counsellors/Emotional and Wellbeing Support Officer

A free and professional counselling service is available to help students with emotional or personal challenges. Bookings can be made through Student Services. The College also has an Emotional and Wellbeing Support Officer who is available for students who may need more informal emotional support.

College health services

A Nurse is available to see students either by appointment or on a drop-in basis in our Medical Room. We also have a qualified team of first aiders on-hand throughout the week.

Importantly, the College needs to be aware of your son or daughter’s individual health needs, so we will ask you to complete a medical form. Please keep us updated about any changes that may occur during their time at college. All personal information will be stored securely and treated as confidential.

Student Services

Our academic staff are backed-up by a range of support services. These services are based at the Student Services area next to Main Reception, and advice and guidance will be available throughout the college day.

Student Helpdesk

The Student Helpdesk in Student Services is open between 08:45 and 17:00 every day to assist students with general enquiries, as well as matters relating to financial help, travel, lockers and appointments to see specialist staff.

Travel

There is an extensive bus network providing travel to and from the College across our catchment area. Meanwhile, the mainline railway station is around a seven-minute walk from the Main Campus, enabling students to travel in from both the Bournemouth/Poole and Southampton areas with ease. Students can purchase bus and rail passes from us. Full details are available on the travel section of our website – www.brock.ac.uk/travel

Our Student Finance, Travel & Facilities Manager, Ben Thomson, can assist with any guidance required on travelling to Brock. He can be contacted on 01590 625533 or by emailing travel@brock.ac.uk

Student finance

The College may offer financial support to students in the form of bursaries where there is a low household income or students face challenging financial circumstances. There is no automatic provision, so students need to apply and provide appropriate evidence to enable the College to draw on bursary funds. In general, financial support is available for learners where net household income is below £21,000 excluding benefits. There is sometimes flexibility, and if household income is a little over this figure, we may still be able to help. Support comes in the form of assistance with travel and essential course costs.

Free meals on campus may also be available. There are separate qualification criteria for this. There are also additional bursaries available for vulnerable students such as those living in or leaving care, or those living independently.

Full details and bursary application forms can be found on the Financial Support page of our website- www.brock.ac.uk/bursaries

Our Student Finance Advisor, Debbie Griffiths, will be available to offer advice and practical assistance with any financial issue related to attendance. Debbie can be contacted on 01590 625328 or by emailing dgriffiths@brock.ac.uk

Careers advice

Our Careers Advisor, Alistair Lambon, will be available for appointments, bookable through Student Services. He can help students identify job and career opportunities, as well as help plan and explore Further Education and Higher Education options. Alistair can be contacted on 01590 625463 or by emailing alambon@brock.ac.uk

Other IMPORTANT information

Equal opportunities

At Brockenhurst College we are committed to fair and equal treatment for all students. We always challenge discrimination and work hard to promote equal opportunities.

 

The College Charter and policies and procedures

The College Charter outlines our commitment to your son or daughter. The Charter is available on our website along with a full list of policies and procedures, plus details about how to make a complaint. All of this information can be found at www.brock.ac.uk/collegecharter

 

Safeguarding

The College is committed to ensuring your son or daughter remains safe while studying with us. We are also committed to the Government’s Prevent Duty, which protects students from the risks of radicalisation. In addition, we actively promote British values of tolerance and fairness as part
of the College’s ethos. Importantly, we have a dedicated Safeguarding Team, which includes a designated Safeguarding Lead who has deputies across the College’s functions. These comprise a Prevent Coordinator, a Health & Safety Officer, and a Student Liaison & Security Officer.

We will work to ensure your son or daughter is knowledgeable about how to stay safe across every aspect of their life. Education on important issues will be delivered at Induction and then through our tutorial programme. Throughout the year the College will host events to promote safety, wellbeing and equality and diversity. This includes All-ways Safe Week, which covers topics such as drugs and alcohol, relationship safety, sexual health, online safety and the risks of radicalisation.

 

Please visit our website www.brock.ac.uk to view a wide variety of further information – policies and reports are available for browsing and/or downloading.

Contact Details

01590 625555