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Friday 7th May 2021

Dear Students and Parents

A brilliant well done to all of our students who have completed their assessments this week. I know that many of you will have been working incredibly hard towards these, especially if you are doing your GCSE’s, Applied Generals or A-levels this year, well done on all your efforts thus far.

Next Friday we will be launching an event on our website for all students who are leaving us at the end of this academic year on the 28th of May, however, their last day on-site will be Friday 14th of May. There will be a special assembly, a message from me, some prestigious awards and messages from staff. We know it won’t be the same as our usual Leavers’ Fest but we really wanted to mark the end of an era for our Year 13 students. Teachers and Support Staff will be giving out awards throughout the week in classes to celebrate all of the wonderful efforts and achievements of students over what has been quite an incredible two years.

On Friday 14th, we will also be celebrating St Brendan’s day with ice-creams at lunchtime! Hopefully, we get some good weather too. St Brendan, the voyager, speaks to us all during this time navigating uncertain waters as well as travelling into the future, one that is filled with hope and aspiration. Whilst celebrating this day, our thoughts remain with those who are being severely impacted by the covid crises in India. Our chaplaincy team at the college continue to provide reflection for both students and staff, if you need a moment of quiet you can use the chapel.

On Thursday 13th we see the end of the holy month of Ramadan for our Muslim staff and students. The period ends with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr (the festival of breaking the fast), a festival of prayer and celebration. On behalf of the whole community at St Brendan’s, we would like to wish a happy Eid Mubarak to all who are celebrating.

Thank you to all our students for continuing to follow our covid safety precautions by using face coverings in lessons and communal areas, hand sanitising, desk wiping and handwashing. We continue to collectively keep our campus safe for both students and staff.

Marian Curran (College Principal)

Teaching Learning and Assessment

Special Considerations Update - confirmation from JCQ about the arrangements for Special Consideration and the associated timeline.

A reminder to students who are completing their studies this year that the deadline for advising us of any mitigating circumstances (special considerations) is Monday 10th May.

The TAG Quality Assurance team will then work through each request and confirm consideration is valid in line with the JCQ guidelines (sent out to students in last week's bulletin) or not.

After this process is complete the TAG queries team will write to you to confirm your personal basket of evidence to be used to assign a grade.

Students are reminded to read last week's update about special considerations from JCQ, here it makes clear that consideration can only be made when there is a significant adverse circumstance on the day of/around assessment that has had a significant, material and demonstrable impact on performance. This guidance will be always followed by the quality assurance team.

Students are also asked to ensure they keep an eye out for emails over the weeks of 17th and 24th May as the TAG Queries team will be requesting important information from you all that is needed to support the assigning of grades and completion of the TAG process.

Careers News

Welcome to Careers News!

Featuring the latest apprenticeships, university and college opportunities, career-related events and much more. Highlights of the 5th of May edition include:

  • Virtual International Day of the Midwife
  • Paid work experience for Year 12s with EY
  • Deloitte Bright Start Apprenticeships applications now open
  • Opportunity to apply for Free textbooks and laptops if you are an aspiring solicitor or law student
  • Cyber First Summer School from the National Cyber Security Centre (a part of GCHQ)
  • And much more!
This Week's Careers News
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St Brendan's Day

We will soon be saying goodbye to our Year 13 students, and would like to wish you all good luck in your future endeavours and hope that you have enjoyed your time at St Brendan’s.

Wherever your post-college journey takes you, we hope that you will remember your former college with fondness, but also remember the adventures of our college patron saint.

St Brendan was a fifth-century priest who was also a sailor, a voyager and a navigator. He set out on a journey into the unknown, sailing across the Atlantic looking for the fabled ‘Land of the Blessed’. Whether he discovered it or not is down to interpretation, but he was certainly brave and made a leap of faith into the waters of an uncharted sea.

As the world is an uncertain place at the moment, there are parallels between St Brendan’s story and our Year 13 leavers, who are about to journey out into the world. As we celebrate your time at college on Friday 14th May, we also celebrate the feast of St Brendan which falls on the 16th May. In honour of both these dates, we will be offering free ice cream to all students on Friday, as a treat, a thank you and goodbye. Look out for an email with further details coming soon!

In the meantime, we wish the very best of St Brendan’s luck to all our leavers, we know you will set out on your journey into adult life and navigate any difficulties with the same courage and resilience you have demonstrated during your time here. We will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers and hope that you will keep in touch!


Overdue LRC Items

Before the Easter break, we sent out several reminders to students who had overdue LRC items asking them to return them. We would like to thank all the students who have returned their overdue items, however, some students have failed to return their LRC books or equipment.

Kindly take note that the LRC will start deducting the cost of the items that you’ve failed to return via your Papercut Account (printing credit account), starting 28th of May 2021.

Moving forward, the LRC will start deducting the cost of items borrowed from us a week after three overdue reminders have been sent to you.

If you have any questions regarding the items you have borrowed, please send an email to:


or come visit us in the LRC (Learning Resource Centre - located on the top floor of building B)

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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.

BAME at St Brendan’s

An unashamedly personal one this week, a childhood hero of mine, Bristol rugby legend Ralph Knibbs.

He made his debut as a seventeen-year-old against Pontypridd RFC in 1982, scoring with his first touch of the ball. Knibbs had a repertoire of running angles and scored many individual tries in his Bristol career which lasted until 1996. He played in the winning 1983 cup final team as an eighteen-year-old and represented Gloucestershire in all their games in the 1982/83 championship-winning campaign. He played for the South West Division, England under-23s, and the England Sevens.

He turned down the chance to go on the 1984 England rugby union tour of South Africa, because of his opposition to apartheid. He also declared himself unavailable for the 1988 England rugby union tour of Australia and Fiji, due to work commitments, making him one of the only players ever to turn down the England national rugby union team twice. Despite this, Knibbs made 436 appearances for Bristol, scoring 123 tries, and was vice-captain during the centenary season.

As a young boy, he was my favourite player because every time he got the ball you expected him to do something with it. He combined pace and power, grace and grit. He could drift through gaps that weren’t there, break out of tackles, and had the softest of hands with which to give and receive a pass. But don’t just take my word for it: No better judge than Bath rival Jeremy Guscott, the Prince of Centres himself, described Knibbs as being "silky and absolutely superb" and said it was a "crying shame he never won an England cap".

Geoff Pugh

Click here to read interview with Ralph Knibbs
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Opportunities with NCS

NCS have finalised their summer programme, and are offering cost reductions for eligible students through a Bursary scheme, so the opportunity is heavily subsidised. Make sure to check out this affordable and exciting development programme open to Year 12 students!

For parents/carers, NCS are hosting a virtual NCS parents evening on Tuesday 11th May - 6:30 pm until 7:30 pm via Google Meet on:


This is a perfect opportunity to ask any questions you or your child may have before signing up.

Info on the Bursary scheme and the planned activities, see links below:

NCS Leaflet 2021

NCS Bursary Parent Letter

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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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Key Contacts

Marian Curran Principal

Svetlana Bajic-Raymond Vice Principal

Vicki Haigh Head of Teaching, Learning & Assessment

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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