Welcome to our Spring Half Term 2021 newsletter!

I would like to extend a huge thank you to our students, parents/carers and staff for their efforts over this last half term. It has been a challenging time, but it is great to see progress being made by students in their learning and continued engagement with teaching. We continue to develop our approach to remote learning and this will stand us in good stead for now and beyond the lockdown, making learning at DV8 as flexible and accessible as possible.

Thank you to all the students and parents/carers that took the time to complete our “lockdown survey”. We appreciate that there are always things that we can do to improve, but we’re delighted that the overall feedback was very positive. It is clear from parents and students feedback that DV8 has had a positive impact on young people’s wellbeing at this time.
We are in the middle of destination and progression 1:2 meetings right now and by the end of the first week back after half term, all learners will have a signpost towards what comes next for them, with an offer of a place on the next level of their course, or the start of an action plan towards other options.

Potential re-opening

We are expecting announcements to be made by the Prime Minister on the 22^nd of February on the plan for relaxing the current national restrictions. In the announcements we expect reference to be made to the wider reopening of education settings and it feels that currently momentum is building towards a full or significant wider opening from 8th March.

The DfE are clear however that this is dependent on (both national and possibly regionally) data around rates of case, positivity rates and pressure on hospitals.

Therefore we recognise that we need to wait until at least the 22nd February until detailed plans for full or wider opening can form. However, we wanted to reassure you that we are having detailed discussions on what the wider reopening of education sessions means for Dv8 staff and students and how we need to work to support everyone involved. We will obviously keep you updated, as more information becomes available.

English and maths

With regards to English and maths all our students have recently completed assessment work/ tasks, which will be used towards any predicted grade process implemented this year. We are still awaiting guidance from the Department for Education (DFE) as to how GCSE and Functional Skills English and maths will be assessed this year, and we will endeavour to keep you all updated on any guidance we receive.
In the meantime, we will be making extra English and maths sessions available after the half term for learners requiring extra support/ booster sessions to achieve the grades they so rightly deserve.

If you have any questions regarding this or English and maths in general please do not hesitate to contact Dave Pine (dave.pine@dv8sussex.com (mailto:dave.pine@dv8sussex.com) )


Learning Support

Within the Learning Support Team we have been looking at how we can support learners best and have come up with a few plans that will be launching after the half term. We fully appreciate the work that our students have been putting in as remote learning has presented its challenges to us all. We are excited to be able to offer more support outside lessons soon and share our updated offer with the learners at DV8.

We would like to give a special mention to our Learning Support Assistants, they have been flexible in meeting the needs of our learners and helping delivery. Some of the team have been coming on site and supporting as they can. The LSAs have been at the front line and we want to recognise their efforts and show them some much deserved appreciation.

Personal & Social Development & Careers

This term saw the launch of a new online Personal and Social Development programme called ‘Essentials’. Essentials is a web-based programme which enables students to learn at their own pace and more flexibly. Whilst students have dedicated timetable sessions for PSD, with Essentials they can undertake this work at a time which suits them.
Essentials covers all the key areas of the PSD curriculum and has assessment processes built into it as well as a facility to enable staff to monitor their progress and to keep in touch with students. The focus for this term has been on Online Awareness, in line with Safer Internet Day on February 9th, covering topics such as Online Safety, Awareness of Social Media and Awareness of grooming and exploitation. The next unit they will be doing covers Common Mental Health problems helping students understand more about how to deal with stress, depression, anxiety and specific issues like eating disorders and body image.

Once we return to college, learners will still experience face to face PSD sessions on specific topics during the year to complement the online programme.

Last week students have also been celebrating National Apprenticeship Week, finding out about the work based training route, and taking part in online Virtual Interactive Workshops run by the National Apprenticeship Service. There was also some valuable information about the local labour market and in particular opportunities within the Digital Skills sector.

Check out https://amazingapprenticeships.com/faa/ to find out more!

January Students of the Month
Huge congratulations to all our students of the month

Games – Rio
Rio is a hard worker, incredibly creative, strives to be the best and responds to teaching so well.

Music – Joshua
Having been moved up from L2, Joshua is consistently producing the high quality work in the Level 3 group. He continues to be involved and well engaged in group sessions and always finds the time to send in tracks he’s been working on for feedback.

Media – Ellie
Ellie has gone over and above this term, working independently to create a fantastic array of assets for her digital art project. She rises to any challenge and produces work with creative flair and individuality.

English – Jack
Jack has gone from strength to strength in his English. He takes all feedback on board in an effort to improve the quality of his work and has an extremely positive attitude to learning. Jack is always willing to initiate, contribute and share his ideas with others which has benefited many of the less confident students.

Maths – Thomas
Thomas came to Dv8 with no prior qualifications in maths and his dedication to the subject has seen him move from Functional skills to GCSE within the summer term. In addition, he contributes strongly in lessons and is also very supportive of his peers.

PSD – Arwen
Arwen has completed ALL of her online PSD learning on Essentials by working hard in session, as well as continuing to do it in her own time during lockdown.

We would like to finish this month’s newsletter with another massive thank you to our students for engaging with us. We are hopeful of supporting you in person very soon (as long as it is safe to do so!) but we remain here as and when you need us.

Kind regards,

Dv8 Sussex Team

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