Welcome to South Devon College.
We are here to help support you and your young person throughout their time at South Devon College, as well as answer any questions you may have as a parent of a prospective student. We want to work with you to support your young person with their transition to a young adult.
The 16-18 study programme explained
A full-time study programme can be between 2.5 days to 5 days in College (or in placement) depending on the programme.
All study programmes contain the following:
Core – this is the main formal qualification your young person will be working towards and will form the largest part of their timetable. If studying on an A Level programme this will consist of up to 4 separate subjects.
Personal Development – Our diverse programme covers 4 main themes:
- Careers – Getting students ready for the world of work and support them to plan their next steps, be that an apprenticeship, Higher Education or employment. This is supported by level 6 qualified Careers Guidance professionals, who provide impartial and personal advice and guidance, which is something all young people are entitled to for free.
- Cultural Capital – Encouraging students to develop interests and knowledge beyond their core qualification. Helping them to be more curious about the world and supporting greater social mobility. There is a termly enrichment offer available to all young people to support this.
- Health and Wellbeing – Supporting our students to look after themselves and develop healthy and fulfilling lifestyles conducive of a happy and rewarding future, which also enables them to deal with whatever life may throw at them.
- Citizenship – Helping students to identify and model what it is to be an active and successful member of any community, prepared to make a difference that has a positive impact on others around them.
We focus on developing 5 key personal development skills:
Students keep an individual record of their progress using an online platform called Navigate. Your young person will have a named personal tutor who will meet with them individually at least once a term to monitor their progress and set targets.
Work Experience – Every young personal will be supported to undertake work experience. The amount of work experience will depend on their core qualification. For some qualifications work experience or placement is a fundamental element of the course. For others work experience will be encouraged as part of enrichment time or a dedicated week set aside. Students will record their work experience outcomes on their Navigate account.
Maths and English – recognising the importance of a good level of literacy and numeracy skills for future employment opportunities and lifelong application, your young person will continue to work towards achieving at least a grade 4 or level 2 in both. Those who have already achieved this will still have elements of maths and English embedded throughout their core curriculum to ensure these skills continue to be applied and maintained. We also have a dedicated English and maths HUB for students to drop into, either virtually or in person for additional support from our coaches.
Accessing the Parent and Carer Portal
Support for your young person
As a College we are particularly proud of our outstanding support services, which fully compliment the academic support provided by tutors to provide a wraparound to meet the individual needs of everyone.
SEND – If your young person has any learning difficulties or disabilities our SENDCOs will work with their personal tutor to agree a support strategy, which will be reviewed termly. If you would like to contact a member of the team at the College to discuss learning support, please email [email protected]
Positive Intervention Team – Our PI team are available to support students with their pastoral needs. They are highly trained and experienced at supporting young people to cope with issues that may affect their emotional and mental health and wellbeing. Students can refer themselves by visiting the PI office opposite the Helpzone on level 3.
Careers and Employability Centre – Offering a free recruitment service for local employers, promoting part time and seasonal vacancies. The team also offer practical advice on CV writing, self-promotion, making applications, interview techniques and self-employment. This service operates both through a physical space, in the Street and an online platform. If you are a local employer who has work experience opportunities, please contact us directly [email protected]
Funding and Transport – This service is available through the Helpzone.
The Pay Index
The decision whether to go to university, take an apprenticeship or go straight into the workforce can be a difficult one for students.
Access to accurate and timely information is a critical part of this decision making process. However, information like this is difficult for schools and teachers to find, and hard to interpret.
This is where The Pay Index comes in.
The Pay Index is driven to provide useful real-world information about salary and employability prospects for young people and their parents to aid their decision-making process at such a crucial time.
Keeping in touch
If you are named as your young person’s parent or carer in our student records system, and your young person is under 19, we will happily discuss their progress and support need with you.
We will automatically notify you if your young person is absent, whether they have notified us or not.
You will be given opportunities during the year to meet with your young person’s tutor, however please feel free to contact us directly at any time if you have any concerns.
For important College updates please monitor our social media channels:
We will be communicating with students mainly using our SDConnect app, at present this is solely for students and staff, however there is development work ongoing to make this accessible to parents and carers.
We will also be posting termly newsletters on this page which will provide you with an update on college life, personal development themes and recognition for those students who have made significant achievements and progress. These newsletters will include a parent survey to collect your views on a range of college topics to help identify any areas for development and highlight things we are doing well from your perspective.
We welcome feedback at any time so please email [email protected] if you want to make us aware of an issue or recognise something we are doing well.
Safeguarding and PREVENT
The Home Office has published advice and online resources for parents, children and teachers explaining what schools and colleges can do to support people affected by terrorism. Click here to read more.
(There are also many resources available in respect of the radicalisation and extremist agenda on the website Educate Against Hate)
Keeping your child safe on TikTok:
Parents’ Ultimate Guide to TikTok (Commonsense Media)
TikTok app safety – What parents need to know (Internet Matters)
Post 18 Advice
South Devon College’s main aim is to prepare our students for whatever their next step is, this includes:
- A robust careers programme that raises aspirations and exposes students to a range of possible destinations after college.
- Supporting student’s personal development to build their character making them more independent, resilient, confident and ready for whatever life brings in the future.
- Personal guidance with Level 6 qualified careers professionals and access to employability skills development through our Careers and Employability Centre.
- Engagement with Next Steps Southwest to help students overcome any barriers to accessing Higher Education.
We know that being a parent or guardian to a young person in our current educational climate and job market can be daunting, particularly in light of recent economic challenges and in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore we want to help by sign posting you to the most up to date information, support and resources related to your young persons next steps.
Parents & Carers (nextstepssw.ac.uk)
Stepping Up to Higher Education
Advice For Parents And Guardians | UCAS | Parent Guide To University
Resources for parents and guardians (apprenticeships.gov.uk)
Careers advice – job profiles, information and resources | National Careers Service
Not Going To Uni: Apprenticeships & Work Experience in the UK
If you want further support or information please do not hesitate to contact our Careers Guidance team.
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 08000 380 123