Welcome to our Spring Half Term 2021 newsletter!

Happy Easter to everyone. Let’s hope that the sun stays shining for the holidays.

Latest News

Ofsted Inspection at Dv8

We are delighted to start by giving an update on our most recent Ofsted inspection. We had a monitoring visit in March and we are proud to announce that we received a grading of “significant progress”. This is the highest grading that Ofsted can award for a monitoring visit.

You can read the full report here. It is really positive about how the Dv8 team and our students work together. Statements from the inspectors include, “Leaders and managers have an accurate understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the provision and use this to bring about improvements” that “staff know their students well” and “students benefit from high-quality teaching”.

Re-opening to our students

After a lot of hard work and planning, we were able to welcome back our level 2 vocational students and all English and Maths students to on-site, face-to-face delivery. The centre teams successfully rolled out a number of measures to ensure all student and staff health and safety.

We are now working on the plans for increased on-site delivery after Easter and reassessing our
safety controls in line with Government guidance. Please keep an eye out for the next update on the website. We understand that this has been a turbulent time and always want to make sure that our students feel safe in college, so please let us know if you have any concerns or queries in regard to the reopening of the centres.

For any further information on re-opening, health and safety, or campus-specific issues, please contact:
For Bexhill: Shani Roger (shani.rogers@dv8sussex.com)
For Brighton: Kerri Jones (kerri.jones@dv8sussex.com)

Celebrating Careers!

Here at Dv8 we take our students’ future pathways and careers seriously and like to give of opportunities to explore, investigate and be inspired. So, this term there has been a really exciting focus on careers.

The first week of March was National Careers Week and during PSD sessions students took part in a range of activities specifically tailored to their vocational area. Students had the opportunity to get a real overview of the creative sector, take online workplace tours for example at Pinewood Studios, take part in industry Q&A’s and hear real industry professionals talk about what it is like to work in media and film and see what it takes to be a tour manager, sound technician or work for a record label.
There’s plenty more to check out here.

Games students undertook an online course called ‘How to start your career in Games development’, as well as having the chance to explore different roles in the industry from concept artist and animators, to programmers and narrative writers, through browsing the video library of ‘One Minute Mentors’.

Doing Work Experience Virtually!

Last week has been work experience week for the Level 3 students studying Games Development. Due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, it is very difficult to place students with real employers, so instead this year they are doing it virtually.

Dv8 has teamed up with IntoGames – an organisation committed to opening up pathways into the Games industry for young people – to come up with an immersive experience that allows students to simulate as close as possible to a real-life work experience opportunity. IntoGames has successfully engaged lots of big Games Studios including Ubisoft, Creative Assembly, Hangar 13, BlazingGriffin and more to be involved in this. 

Dv8 Sussex has been lucky enough to be matched with Hangar 13! Students were mentored by employees from Hangar 13 as they worked on real game design briefs using industry-specific tools like Discord, Slack, Miro and Trello.

Students have found it a really inspiring week and a useful experience feeling a step closer to the world of work. All seven teams did fantastically well and really impressed the mentors who gave some really constructive feedback. 

Following on from that exciting event it is Games Careers Week this week, so to find out more take a look at Into Games and Games Careers Week.

Updates From Our Teams

English and maths team

For our students that are currently on the GCSE pathway, it has been confirmed that Teacher Assessed Grades (TAG) will be adopted again this academic year. To support this and help us demonstrate students’ in-year progress, we will be asking our students to complete a “mock” paper (both English and maths) after the Easter break, week commencing Monday 17th May.

For students currently on the Functional Skills pathway, it has been confirmed that we will need to continue with the examination process this academic year. To help us ensure that our students achieve the grades they deserve, we are currently planning to put on extra sessions/ 1:1 support after the Easter break. Students will be contacted individually either via their tutor or the Learning Support team, and our bursary scheme will support students with any extra travel expenses that this may incur.

Your help and support in both of these matters would be greatly appreciated and if you do have any questions regarding this or English and maths in general, please do not hesitate to contact Dave Pine (dave.pine@dv8sussex.com).

Vocational Team

It has been another interesting term, within a challenging twelve months. It is therefore especially pleasing to report that our vocational courses have stayed on track for really strong student outcomes.

This is a huge credit to the adaptability, resilience and commitment of our students, teachers and curriculum leaders. We are also delighted that the vast majority of our students have committed to continuing their learning journey with us next year.
We will imminently be receiving the final guidance from our exam board on how teacher-assessed grades can be offered where the circumstances of this year have disrupted the assessment process. Be assured that we will make sure that no learners are disadvantaged and are appropriately assessed based on their efforts.

If you do have any questions regarding any aspect of our vocational courses, please do not hesitate to contact Kieran Faulkner-Mahon (kieran.faulkner-mahon@dv8sussex.com).

Learning Support Team

Hello from the Learning Support Team, it has been great welcoming our students back on site. We are always looking at new ways to help the students of Dv8 with their academic progress, to this end we are currently running 2 sessions of Structured Support to further support our students’ progress. The details are as follows:
 Bexhill – Tuesday lunchtime (12:40-13:20)
 Brighton – Thursday lunchtime (12:40-13:20)

If you would like more details, about this or any other aspect of Learning Support, please get in touch with Simon Morley (simon.morley@dv8sussex.com).

Similarly, we are excited about helping our students reach new levels of creativity. Some of our students are working on their skills with the help of Project Lookout. More details of Project Lookout can be found here.


Project Lookout pairs students with mentors in an area of creative interest to help develop them further with their expert knowledge. We look forward to seeing what is created and showcased at the Brighton Fringe Festival this year!

February & March Students of the Month
Huge congratulations to all our students of the month

February

PSD – Willow
Willow has done a huge amount of online material and has gone above and beyond. She got and up and running with the PSD platform really quickly with minimal input or prompting. Well done Willow!

Maths – Megan
Megan is a great student; she is always contributing to the class and on Google Meet. Even if she is not sure she will always give answering a question a try. Megan consistently completes her maths independent learning on time and is showing really good progress. She is a pleasure to teach!

English – Eva
Eva has excellent attendance, a focused attitude, and a willingness to learn and improve. She completes tasks promptly with maximum effort and takes on her teacher’s feedback to develop her English skills. She also makes excellent contributions to class discussions. She is also a pleasure to teach.

Media – Archie
Archie is passionate about his work and always strives to achieve the very best. Well done Archie!

Music – Arwen
This award is for attendance to all lessons, doing extra work and even asking for work on her days off. Arwen just has an excellent commitment to the course and has worked so hard over lockdown.

Games – Hannah
Hannah works exceptionally hard in every single element of the Games course. She has a work ethic that cannot be matched, and a varied skill set that is ideal for work in the games industry. Always willing to talk about work, share work for feedback and ask for help when necessary, she embodies the engagement and commitment needed to succeed in highly creative fields such as games development. Well done!

March

PSD – Tyler
Tyler consistently turns up to every PSD session on time and engages and contributes to discussions. He has done a lot of work on the Essentials website (265 minutes) and this should be celebrated as he demonstrates perseverance and resilience when things aren’t always easy and is also very supportive to his peers. Well done Tyler!

Maths – Holly
Holly attended every lesson during the lockdown and has made tremendous progress towards her Level 1 – she even got 100% in a 17 question Kahoot recently. She is always bright and friendly and helps make a really positive atmosphere in class, whether that is onsite or remote.

English – Alfie
Alfie has been nominated for English student of the month for his sheer determination and positive attitude. Alfie continually strives to always do his absolute best; he is willing to persevere with an activity in order to improve his work and never appears to be disheartened or lose enthusiasm for learning. Alfie has an extremely positive attitude and a cheerful disposition, making it a real pleasure to have him in the class. Well done Alfie! You deserve this award.

Media – Blake
Blake has gone over and above the project brief to create a full sequence of detailed and beautifully digitally drawn comic pages. He has sourced his own programs and taught himself new skills having had very little previous computer experience before. He has problem solved and shown independence and a very dedicated attitude to his work. Well done Blake!

Music – Melissa
Melissa’s excellent attendance and effort are showing through in the quality of work that she has produced this month, as well as the great work she does supporting and collaborating with others in the group. Well done Melissa!

Games – Kyle
Kyle is an enthusiastic learner who has engaged in every single activity since the start of the course, submitted all work on time and is consistently progressing on both his Vocational program as well as English and Maths studies.

We would like to finish this month’s newsletter with another massive thank you to all our staff, students, their parents/carers, employers and other stakeholders for continuing to work brilliantly with us during these extraordinary times. We are hopeful of supporting all our students in person very soon (as long as it is safe to do so!) but we remain here as and when you need us.

From everyone at Dv8, we wish you all a very happy Easter, we hope our students have a well-deserved rest and we look forward to seeing you on Monday 19th April.

Kind regards,
Dv8 Sussex Team

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