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Friday 21st May 2021

Dear Students and Parents/Carers

Now students are back in College every week, it is so important that they are attending all timetabled lessons and support sessions. We have unfortunately seen some Year 12 students’ attendance drop over the last few weeks, and this will already be having a detrimental effect on their progress. We will be addressing non-attendance as a priority over the coming weeks and will be contacting the parents and carers of students we are concerned about.

We appreciate your support in the measures we are taking, and you can log in to Parent Portal to view attendance. Please can we also remind you to notify us if your young person is unwell using the ‘Report an Absence’ function on the website. If your young person is experiencing barriers to attendance or is experiencing any difficulties, please do contact their Academic Mentor to discuss this, as there is a range of support available to students in College from bursary to welfare support. We do recognise that this has been a very difficult year for students and their families, and we are keen to support students in any way we can.

Please can students continue to adhere to our safety measures here at the College. Students should continue to use hand sanitiser on arrival and departure, wipe down their desks and workstations. Face coverings still need to worn on all forms of public transport.

I would also like to remind students that you still need to keep testing twice per week. If you do test positive for Covid -19 please can you inform the College by emailing info@stbrn.ac.uk and we will contact you. You will then need to follow Government guidance with regards to isolation.

Marian Curran (College Principal

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Teaching Learning and Assessment

FAO YEAR 13 and Access to Level 3 Students - Update for Summer Grading

Special Consideration update:

Last week our panel of specialists met to discuss all requests for special consideration. These discussions were based solely on the updated JCQ guidance, communicated to you two weeks ago. Over the coming days we will be writing to you from TAG Queries email to confirm whether we have been able to apply special consideration, in line with JCQ requirements or not.

If your special consideration has been accepted, you will then receive a further email after half term to confirm. As per the guidance, evidence will only have been removed if the adverse circumstance has had a significantly adverse effect on your performance in one or more assessments. In all other cases, the teachers of course will take the situation in to consideration when making their judgement.

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Teaching Learning and Assessment

Authenticating Work Form

In next weeks bulletin, there will be a form that ALL students completing and certificating this year will be required to complete as part of the summer grading process. This will also be sent via email to ensure we reach all students. Completion of the form is non-negotiable as it contains confirmation from you about work authenticity which we must provide to the awarding bodies if asked.

FAO YEAR 12 students

Hot off the heels of your recent progress assessments, students will be aware of the additional 'skills boost' sessions teaching teams are starting to put together. These sessions are designed to help students across the board, such as, those who perhaps didn't perform as well as they would like, to those looking for support to develop their skills and/or knowledge in particular areas to help boost their grades.

It is really important that you attend these sessions if you are invited to them. They are designed for you and to help you as we move through the rest of this year and prepare you for Year 13. Make sure you ask your teachers about the sessions available.

Careers News

'Careers News' - featuring the latest apprenticeships, university and college opportunities, career-related events and much more. Highlights of the 19th of May edition include:

  • Crucial Work Experience Project Information for ATL3 students
  • Pathways into Medicine Conference with North Bristol NHS Trust
  • Audio Industry Careers Event
  • Exclusive Work Experience Opportunities (not posted in Teams)
  • Bristol-based Apprenticeships with Professional Services Firms and Channel 4
  • UWE Bristol Open Day
  • Burberry Creative Challenge
  • And much more!
This Week's Careers News

End of Year Survey

It’s the time of year where we ask students to reflect on your experiences at College and tell us what you think we’ve done well and what we could improve on. It’s completely anonymous and will only be used to help improve services for future students.

Obviously, this has been far from a usual year for year for you but your feedback is still really important. There are questions on your general College experience, some specific questions on teaching and learning, as well as some questions on the support available in College.

It should only take about 5 minutes to complete. Click this link to start the survey.

If there is something in particular you’d like to discuss or feedback, feel free to email lhh@stbrn.ac.uk


Year 12 Progress Review Meeting

Dear Student and Parents/Carers

The booking system will now open on the 20th May at 9.30am for Year 12 Progress Review meetings - please see below details on how the event will run and how to book.

Follow the link to book your Year 12 Progress Review Meeting

Lilly Lycett

Congratulations to our German A level and Goethe-Zertifikat B1 students for a set of amazing results!

Huge Congratulations to our Year 13 German A level and Goethe-Zertifikat B1 cohort who sat for the Goethe-Zertifikat B1 examination on Friday 30th of April and have just received a wonderful set of results.

All the students did brilliantly and reached the B1 level , which is comparable to the AS level in the UK. A special word of praise goes to Lily Lycett (GZ B1 group) who obtained a 100% in three of the skills namely reading, listening and speaking and 95% in the writing examination.

St. Brendan`s is very proud to be the only Sixth Form College in the UK currently offering the Goethe-Zertifikat qualification. We are thrilled to be able to offer our students the opportunity to be able to continue with their German studies alongside their A level programme, if they wish to do so and benefit from the variety of opportunities that this qualification brings with it. If you would like to know more about this qualification please look at our prospectus or get in touch with the MFL Department at the College.

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Wheelchair Rugby with Bristol Bears!

Fancy A Go?!

We have a great opportunity over the next few weeks for any students who fancy trying out Wheelchair Rugby – right here in our Sports Hall at College.

Bristol Bears Wheelchair Rugby Club is coming to St Brendan’s for the next four Wednesdays from 2:30 – 3:30 pm to run taster sessions. The club has been established in Bristol for many years and offers social sport for disabled and non-disabled people as well as running competitive teams for classified players.

The sessions are open to all students, male or female – and you don’t have to have ever been in a wheelchair before – you will be shown how to use one by Head Coach Ian. The students who took part in the first session this week loved it!

If you would like to have a taster session in this action-packed sport, that was originally known as ‘murderball’ according to Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby(!) - email Sports teacher, Paul Ryan and he will book you in.


There are places for nine students in each session – which will be given out on a first-come-first-served basis.

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Café Max and Café Min - Important Information!

Good news - both cafes are now open!

Opening hours are 8:30 am - 3:30 pm Monday- Friday.

Whether it's breakfast to kickstart your day, a snack at break time or a tasty lunch, the Cafe Teams will be happy to serve you.


Have you been using the Learning Resource Centre (LRC)? Let us know what you think of it!

You may have noticed the general atmosphere of the LRC is recently much quieter, and is hopefully a space where you can concentrate and have quality study time.

Keeping the LRC as a valuable study space is something we will continue to preserve, so it is really important you come in for quiet, individual study only.

In practice, this means the LRC is not to be used as a social space, somewhere to eat or use your phone. If you need to carry out collaborate study we ask you to keep discussion quiet, or we can signpost you to a host of available rooms across the college.

We would be grateful if you could share your feedback about the LRC with us so that we can make sure it meets your needs, please complete this brief questionnaire to let us know your thoughts.

Thank you,

The LRC Team
Nina, Monica and Andrea

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BAME at St Brendan’s

Black Tudor pt.2

This week we continue our look at ethnic minority people in Tudor times.

Click the link to find out more - Black Tudors pt2

Kind regards,

Geoff Pugh & John Chescoe

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Get Involved!

The Hay Festival

As in 2020, the HAY Festival will again be a digital event providing a fantastic opportunity for students to enjoy a wide range of lectures and discussions free online. The 34th Spring edition brings writers and readers together for an inspiring array of conversations, debates, workshops and performances online, Wednesday 26 May to Sunday 6 June. Over 12 days, more than 250 acclaimed writers, global policymakers, historians, poets, pioneers and innovators will take part in this year’s Festival, launching the best new fiction and non-fiction.

It will interrogate some of the biggest issues of our time, from building a better world post-pandemic to tackling the compound crises of climate change, inequality, and challenges to truth and democracy.

Festival-goers can explore the programme and register for free now at www.hayfestival.com/wales

Over 12 days, more than 250 acclaimed writers, global policymakers, historians, poets, pioneers and innovators will take part in this year’s Festival, launching the best new fiction and non-fiction.

It will interrogate some of the biggest issues of our time, from building a better world post-pandemic to tackling the compound crises of climate change, inequality, and challenges to truth and democracy.

We would recommend all students register for this event and choose which sessions they wish to attend hayfestival.org/wales

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Get Involved!

Medical Schools Council Summer Schools

Medical Schools Council is working with four leading medical schools across England to offer a series of free summer schools. The initiative is funded by Health Education England and is aimed at young people from areas of England where few students apply to study medicine. There is a particular focus on reaching young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

At an MSC Summer School, students can learn about becoming a doctor or health care professional and whether it would be the right career for them. They will receive the information, skills and above all the confidence they need to submit a strong application to medicine. The summer school will take place during the week of 5 July 2021. Applications for this summer are now open and can be made here

Improving Wellbeing – A self-study course for students

Dr Iro Konstantinou at The Tony Little Centre for Innovation and Research in Learning (CIRL) has created 8 x 10-minute well-being sessions for school students to do in their own time and at their own pace. The link to the sessions is here

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Student Personal Development - Think 2021

Think 2021 is a one-day conference especially for students between the ages of 16 and 25. For more details visit http://thinkiea.com/. This year’s speakers include Vince Cable, Tim Harford, Ruth Kelly, Bill Easterly, and Matthew McCaffrey – and new speakers are being announced every week.

You can register to attend online for free here.

Best wishes.

Bill Watkin

Chief Executive

Sixth Form Colleges Association

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Climate Change Research

Researchers at UWE really want to hear your views on climate change to ensure that enough young adults are represented in a national survey. Please ensure that you have watched the video below and then with parental permission, you can make sure your voice is heard by completing the survey (2nd link).


Click here for the survey

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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 Facebook

Chaplaincy Youtube

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Steve Clayson
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Key Contacts

Marian Curran Principal

Stephen Clayson Vice Principal

Svetlana Bajic-Raymond Vice Principal

Laura Howe-Haysom Head of Support Services

Vicki Haigh Head of Teaching, Learning & Assessment

Kerry Mullinder Head of Learning Development & Safeguarding

Sue Rees Head of Data and Exams

Sarah Hinder Finance Manager

Claire Woodhouse Attendance Officer

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