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Friday 8th October 2021


Dear Students, Parents and Carers,

A huge thank you to our student ambassadors who were fantastic during our Open Day. Your time, commitment and effort were really appreciated, especially during a rainy Saturday. Our prospective new students and their parents were full of praise for you and the time you took to chat to them about the college and the courses you study. Thank you for being superstars.

Kind regards

Marian Curran

College Principal


Settling in Review Day for ALL students

A reminder of our upcoming 'Settling In Review' day on Friday 15th October from 9am - 4pm.

The purpose of this event is to allow parents & carers to talk with subject teachers and academic mentors to discuss how their young person is settling in at St Brendan’s College, whether they are ATL3, in year 12 or in year 13.

Read more about the Settling In Review day and how to book appointments here

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Exams/Assessment 2021-2022 Update (for attention of all students sitting external assessments this academic year)

Last week the Department for Education (DfE) provided guidance on their plans, and contingencies, for exams and assessments taking place in 2021-22. The key headlines from this can be found below:

  • The commitment remains that exams and assessments will go ahead in 2021-2022 as planned.
  • Results dates have been moved back to the pre-pandemic schedule: 18th August (A-Level/Level 3) and 25th August (GCSE).
    • A range of adaptations have been put in place for subjects, where appropriate, to ensure exams and assessments can go ahead as planned, these include:
    • Adapting the way in which practical endorsements are assessed in subjects such as sciences.
    • Adapting the range of content to be assessed in applied subjects (BTECs and OCRs).
    • Creative Arts students have adapted assessment in terms of what will be assessed.
    • Exam boards will provide advance information about the focus of the content of the exams for all GCSE, AS and A level subjects for the summer 2022 exams.
    • The current commitment from the DfE is that this advanced information will be released to centres no later than February 7th 2022.
      • There will then be a short period of consolidation and planning by the teaching teams to ensure this information is released to you alongside a comprehensive topic & assessment plan that will take you up to the exams.

The DfE have also announced the contingency that, whilst their position remains firm that exams and assessments will take place in 2021-22 they withhold the right to exercise judgement, should need arise, and replace exams/assessments with Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs), as they did last academic year.

What might Teacher Assessed Grades mean for me?

Whilst the prospect of Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) at this stage appears to be low, we know from experience that things can change rapidly.

It is for this reason that we have already mapped out a range of Key Assessments, which you will know about from your Topic & Assessment plans, which could be used in the event we are asked for TAGs and/or any process requested of us that uses evidence of your performance.

With this in mind, whilst the core purpose of our Key Assessments is to inform us and you about your progress and support our planning of curriculum, it is vital that you take each assessment seriously and ensure you apply yourself at all times so to ensure we are able to support you and your progress.

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Actions you can take to aid with your success:

  • Attend all lessons - this seems obvious, but every lesson counts. You risk missing vital information if you are not present.
  • Participate in your home learning which should include at least one hour of revision & review work for each subject, each week. This website is useful for tips on active revision: https://www.learningscientists.org/downloadable-materials
  • Ensure you keep a weekly check on your Topic & Assessment plan so you are aware of when key assessments are taking place and you prepare accordingly
  • Complete and do your best in all Key Assessments
  • Act on feedback from your teachers/support staff
  • Attend Wave 2 or timetabled Wave 3 subject support sessions
  • Request support with the Academic Coaches (who can help you with study support, structuring your work and general study skills amongst many other areas).

Your teachers will continue to be working with you over the coming terms and, as any more updates are released, we will be sure to communicate these to you in a timely fashion.

Learning Agreements – Urgent action needed

All students have been sent their Learning Agreements via email in September. This confirms that students are enrolled at college and the courses they are studying. It is a binding document that all students must sign in order to be funded to attend the College. Please can all students check for an email from ‘St. Brendan’s College via Signable’ and follow the link to sign this document electronically by Friday 15th October at the latest. This is compulsory for all students.

Black History Month

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Black History Month with the Student Union

The Student Union have put together a series of activities and events to celebrate Black History Month. Find out more about these below and keep an eye out for activities happening around the college!

Check out the St Brendan's Student Union's Instagram for a spotify playlist to celebrate Black History Month which will be up all month.

  • 8th Oct: Café Max will be selling jerk chicken and chips at lunchtime so go grab a bite there for a Caribbean taste.
  • 11th Oct-15th Nov: LRC competition. Borrow a BHM related book and post a review in the Library Catalogue to win a £20 Amazon gift card. Winner announced 19th November. Find out more about this below.
  • 12th Oct: Favourite BIPOC characters in film list dropped on Instagram sourced by students. Check this list out to share your love for characters, find new films, and to recognise black talent in film.
  • 13th Oct: Look out for something special showing on the Café Max screens.... A big thank you to the members of our SU Teya and Ashya.
  • 15th Oct: Jerk chicken Friday again, for those who loved it and craved more! (Or anyone who missed it this week)
  • 15th Oct: Wear black for BHM this day to celebrate diversity and show solidarity

21st Oct: THE BIG DAY. What to expect:

  • Speeches taking place at lunchtime on site from students, staff members, charities, and outside college speakers, talking about their experiences.
  • A new meal on the menu picked out by you through polls.
  • Money for charity SARI being raised all day.

Tutor programs and RPE sessions will be covering Black history briefly in these lessons.

LRC Book review competition

To celebrate Black History Month we have added several books to the library collection around this subject. We're sure you will agree this subject is extremely important for all of us, and these books will give you a deeper and broader understanding.

To encourage you to pick up a book and read more widely we are running a book review competition; the best submission will receive a prize voucher of £20. Find out more about the competition and how to enter here

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BAME History at St Brendan's

During Black History Month and the run-up to Remembrance Day we are taking the opportunity to look at the stories of some of the black men who fought for Britain in the two world wars. This week we are focusing on George Arthur Roberts.

George Arthur Roberts left his home in Trinidad in 1915 and joined the Middlesex Regiment & becomes Sergeant. This would have been very unusual at the time. He served in the Battle of Loos, and the Battle of the Somme.

He was a Battalion Bomber & he gained a reputation for his ability to throw German bombs back over enemy lines at a distance.


He remained in Britain post-WW1 and in 1938 volunteered for the Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS). He was based at New Cross Fire Station, in Lewisham & promoted to Section Leader. The fire service played a vital role on the Home Front, tasked with tackling thousands of fires during periods of enemy attack. In 1944 George received the BEM medal for his duties at New Cross Fire Station. He was painted by fellow fireman, and Official War Artist at the National Fire Service, Norman Hepple. George also played an active role within his community, championing the rights of ex-servicemen and fighting for racial equality. He achieved this via his work with the British Legion.


He helped to found local branches and promote the org. He formed the League of Coloured Peoples (LCP), which centred upon fighting racism and supporting black rights. In 2016 a blue plaque was unveiled outside his Camberwell home to recognise his contribution to the area.

In 2018, a red plaque was unveiled outside New Cross Fire Station to commemorate his life and work for the service. He died in 1970.

Find out more about George in an interview with historian Louise Raw you can listen to here

Careers and progression

Careers News

This week we've included our careers update from last week, which still includes key information about:

  • UCAS drop in support sessions
  • Futures for Y12 and Y13
  • Virtual Law Fair
  • HSBC Investing in your future - free webinars
  • National Apprenticeship Show
  • Currently on Work Experience Teams.
  • Work Experience Exclusive to careers news section!
  • University Open Days
  • Thornbury Horticultural Society - Volunteering Opportunity
  • Bright Green Future - free environmental training programme

And much more! Explore now!

Look out for our next careers newsletter which will be published next week.

This Week's Careers News

UCAS dates and deadlines:

See below for some key dates for UCAS (university applications)

Closed - Submission of 1st draft of personal statement

22nd October - Submission of 2nd draft of personal statement

19th November - Submission of Final Draft of personal Statement

3rd December - Internal deadline to pay and send UCAS application (to guarantee application is checked and sent by UCAS deadline.)

Clubs, groups & activities


Interfaith Dialogue and Multi-faith Prayer

Are you interested in sharing some time to explore Interfaith dialogue? An opportunity to lead/share a time of prayer together? To meet visiting speakers from our faith communities to understand more about their faith journey? To have an opportunity to visit communities and places of worship? To develop experience and leadership in Interfaith Dialogue and Multi-faith Prayer?

It would be great to meet with you and explore ideas about how we might support sharing and leadership. Pop in to C105 at lunchtimes (12:10pm and 1:00pm) on Fridays to share your interest and discuss what you would like to see develop in college.

College information & news

College Bursary

It’s not too late to apply for a College Bursary. If the adults you live with earn a combined income of less than £27,000 per year you could qualify for help with the cost of travel to college and compulsory course costs. You might also qualify for Free College Meals if your parents are earning below £7,400 and receive either Universal Credit or Child Tax Credit but do not receive Working Tax Credit.

For more information and a link to the online applications system visit our website

Hello Yellow 2021

Hello Yellow 2021


Ahead of World Mental Health Day (Sunday 10 October), St Brendan's staff and students came together all sporting their finest shades of mustard, banana, and neon to raise funds in support of YoungMinds #HelloYellow campaign, to show young people they're not alone with their mental health!


We have been contacted by our colleagues within the Bristol Vaccination centre to disperse the following information regarding a new vaccination trail they will be completing. Please note that St Brendan's Sixth Form College will not be hosting these vaccinations but just highlighting awareness of this research.

‘The vaccine company Valneva is starting a Phase 3 clinical trial in adolescents aged 12-17 years to test a new candidate vaccine against COVID-19. Participation involves three dosing appointments and four follow-up appointments over the course of 12 months. Initial visits will be taking place in early October. Selected study participants will be compensated for their time and participation. To sign up and find out more information, visit the study website.’

*Please note, the website includes references to participants being allocated to receive a placebo. We are currently recruiting to the “sentinel cohort” part of the study in which all participants will receive the Covid-19 vaccine. The placebo-controlled portion of the study is not due to begin until the sentinel cohort has been completed.

If after reading the information you still have any questions then please contact them via Valneva-study@bristol.ac.uk or 0117 342 0160.



You can find our College Chaplain Ann Morgan in room B209, all faiths & no faiths welcome!

If you would like to follow any of the Chaplaincy social media accounts - the links are below.

Chaplaincy Twitter

Chaplaincy Instagram

Chaplaincy Youtube

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Key Contacts

Marian Curran Principal

Svetlana Bajic-Raymond Vice Principal

Vicki Haigh Head of Pedagogy, Professional Development and Innovation

Kerry Mullinder Head of Learning Development & Safeguarding

Sue Rees Head of Data and Exams

Laura Howe-Haysom Head of Support Services

Sarah Hinder Finance Manager

Alison Rayner Exams Officer

Claire Woodhouse Attendance Officer

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