Welcome Back to Year 13 – Sept 2018

September 2018

Dear Parent/Carer,

I am pleased to report that Year 13 students have settled back into their studies very well; the atmosphere around college is a very studious one.

Students are focused on their academic studies and, in their independent study periods, they are revising and consolidating lessons. I have enjoyed catching up and talking with the students during these sessions and it has been pleasing to witness the independent learning taking place.

In addition to working towards their exams next summer, our students are also thinking about their exciting futures, be that university, apprenticeship or employment. In preparing for next steps, subject staff are currently deciding upon predicted UCAS grades for students wishing to apply to university.  Staff have been told to be realistic, yet enabling, when deciding upon a predicted grade, therefore allowing students wider scope of choices when applying for undergraduate study.

We have some staffing changes this year. Donna Partridge is our Student Support Mentor who will be available for students in our Study Hub. We also have Claire Philpott who is our Student Learning Mentor.  In addition, we would like to welcome Michael Buckley, a Maths and Further Maths teacher, who also joins the Form Tutor team.

UCAS – University applications

Many of you attended our University Information Evening in July which I know you found useful in giving you the knowledge to help your son/daughter make decisions about undergraduate study. Our internal deadline for UCAS applications is 30th November. If this internal deadline is missed, students can still apply, but we need a fortnight to allow for references to be written and checks to take place. The official UCAS deadline is 15th January 2019. Late applications are still considered by UCAS, but not until after they have processed those that have met the deadline. It is possible to submit the form without all five choices of courses/universities – these can be added at any time up to 15th January.  We would urge students to keep working away at their personal statements and to scour the pages of www.ucas.com to find degree courses which excite and inspire them.

As you will know, this week, we held a Personal Statement workshop for all of Year 13. Tutors are poised and ready to advise and guide students as they draft their UCAS applications.

If students are planning an early application, for Oxbridge or Medicine, their official deadline is 15th October.


Before half term, students will be mentored by their Form Tutors, discussing study patterns and plans for the future. We pride ourselves on our IAG (Information and Guidance) for life after A Level study and students will, undoubtedly, benefit from their tutor’s expertise and experience.

Liam Allen is planning to target those students who are not choosing undergraduate study as their next path. Please email Liam (lja@thomasadams.net) should you wish for any advice on apprenticeships.


As you will no doubt agree, attendance at college is essential.  I would ask you not to book holidays in term time, and to note that, this year, should a student’s (unauthorised) attendance level drop to below 90%, they will be responsible for the costs of exam entries. Days off for authorised reasons, such as medical appointments, interviews and illnesses will, obviously, not affect the attendance level.

Part-time work

Part-time work will inevitably have a negative impact on students’ performance in their studies – could I ask that you join me in urging students to put college work first? I have grown increasingly concerned about a few students who are, already, devoting excessive hours to part-time work.  Whilst it is thrilling to be earning extra money, I must stress that academic study should not be compromised.


Parental access to Go4Schools will re-open during the week commencing 17th September. In addition, students will also be able to access the website soon, which should help them to keep a close eye on their progress and attendance data.

Here are some of the key dates for your calendars for this academic year…

22nd October 2018 – Test Week

Students will have formal tests in their lessons this week.

16th November 2018 – College Study Day

Both Years 12 and 13 will have a Study Day on Friday 16th November when we have a Taster Day for prospective Year 12 students. I will be impressing upon all students the need to use this time wisely to complete college work.

16th November 2018 – World Skills UK

This annual convention, happily coinciding with our Study Day, is the Skills Show at Birmingham NEC. We are encouraging all students to look at their options in the world of employment, as well as university. Covering all main career areas, employers and apprentices are available to guide students and offer more information about application and selection processes. Students should see Liam Allen to secure a ticket.

27th November 2018 – Year 13 Consultation Evening – 4.30-7.30pm

At the Year 13 Consultation Evening, you will have the opportunity to meet teaching staff to discuss progress and strategies for success. We will send a letter home nearer the time with arrangements for the evening.

12th December 2018 – Senior Citizens’ Christmas Party

This annual event sees students and local senior citizens get together for a party, organised entirely by our College Committee. We would be grateful of any raffle prizes or food donations to help make this party, for over one hundred guests, go with a bang! Please contact Donna Partridge (dxp@thomasadams.net) if you can help in any way.

21st December 2018 – End of term We finish the term with a celebration briefing, where we congratulate students on their successes. We also enjoy our legendary ‘Quizmas’, a general knowledge quiz for students and staff, before the Christmas holidays begin. Term starts on Monday 7th January 2019.

14th February 2019 – Mock Exams

Students will have mock exams in their subjects in February, allowing them to see any gaps in their knowledge. Therefore, over Christmas, you should see your son/daughter revising and consolidating more than a year’s worth of subject knowledge!

26th February 2019 – Career Focus Day

On Tuesday 26th February, we will be holding a series of workshops for students who are planning to apply for apprenticeships and jobs after their time with us. Our college LinkedIn page has over two hundred alumni in various fields of occupation, who I am sure would be willing to connect with any students interested in work experience or internships.

17th May 2019 – Exam leave begins

Year 13 students leave Adams College on this date.  Students will be given their examination timetables by Rebecca Kinnon (Examinations Officer) in due course, but it is worth mentioning that the exam boards have introduced a contingency day this academic year, should sustained national or local disruption arise during the June 2019 examination series.  This date will be 26th June, so students are advised that if they are planning to go away, they do not make any arrangements before this date.

Thank you for your continued support and please do not hesitate to get in touch should you have any concerns, on 01939 237000 or email college@thomasadams.net.

Best wishes,

Julie Squire
Key Stage 5 Manager

The Thomas Adams School
Lowe Hill

01939 237000