Sixth form colleges’ success celebrated at Royal Holloway

June 22, 2017

Collyer’s teachers journeyed to Royal Holloway, University of London to take part in the 2017 ‘S7’ Teaching and Learning Conference.

The ‘S7’ (originally the ‘Surrey Seven’) is a consortium of sixth form colleges in the south east who invited Collyer’s to join in 2013. The S7 group comprises Bexhill, BHASVIC, Collyer’s, Coulsdon, Esher, Godalming, Reigate, Varndean and Woking sixth form colleges.     

The conference was hosted by Sally Bromley, Collyer’s Principal and Chair of the S7 Consortium, and included keynote speeches from some of the country’s leading educational consultants. Grace Barrett from the Self Esteem Team spoke about ‘Three Teachable Skills for Good Mental Health’ and Bob Craig’s keynote address focussed on ‘Cultivating Curiosity’.

Sally Bromley’s welcome included exciting news from the Sixth Form Colleges Association (SFCA), who have released figures showing that ex-sixth form college students significantly out-perform former State, Independent and General FE College students at university.

Sally Bromley said: “I was delighted to receive this superb news from the Sixth Form Colleges Association, which reflects the wonderful work sixth form colleges are doing in preparing our students for their academic journeys.”

The SFCA figures also show that ex-Collyer’s students graduating in 2016 significantly out-performed State, Independent, General FE and Sixth Form sectors. 83% of ex-Collyer’s students received First or Upper Second Class honours degrees, 7% higher than other Sixth Forms, 9% higher than State Schools and 3% higher than the Independent sector. Collyer’s students who graduated from Russell Group universities achieved a stunning 90% first Class or Upper Second Class honours degrees, 8% higher than other Sixth Forms,10% Higher than State Schools and 7% higher than the Independent sector!

Collyer’s Subject Leader for Maths, Hannah Page said: “The opportunities offered to students at sixth form colleges are excellent, least of all that their teachers are given opportunities to develop and bring new ideas into the classroom.”

Hannah, who led a fascinating session ‘Comparing the English and Finnish Education Systems’, added: “It was a pleasure to run a session at the conference. Everybody I spoke to had picked up something interesting or thought-provoking from the day.”

Workshops on the day also included: ‘Teenagers: A Natural History’, ‘Supporting Trans-gender Students’, ‘University Admissions in light of GCSE and A-level Changes’; ‘Making Marking Manageable, Meaningful and Motivating’ and ‘Getting Students Talking’.  

Melanie Russell, Vice Principal at Collyer’s, was thrilled to be involved: “Our second conference as fully fledged members of the S7 group has been a huge success and it has been fantastic to be so warmly welcomed by our colleagues at other colleges.”  

Collyer’s Senior Tutor, Ian McAlister was delighted: “Membership of the S7 group enables some tremendous staff development across the academic year and I found the S7 Conference to be an inspiring experience. We’re hugely grateful to the Royal Holloway, which was a great venue.”

Sally Bromley added: “The key note speeches were insightful and certainly provoked some debate; the workshop sessions will be hugely beneficial as we plan for next year. Massive thanks to S7’s Anna Loveday and Sharon Kemp for arranging this fantastic conference.”