BSix – a proud partner of the Hackney 14-19 transition project!
BSix Sixth Form College has always worked closely with schools in Hackney and surrounding boroughs to ensure there are appropriate post-16 progression routes for young people. The College was awarded two separate London Education Partnership awards in 2010 and 2012 which recognised the College’s work and success supporting student progression.
More recently, the Hackney Learning Trust, having identified in schools a lack of relevant 16-19 progression routes for learners working below level 2, and in particular for those with special educational needs, has worked to support and facilitate a 14-19 transition project with interested schools and colleges in the borough. This has resulted in a productive collaboration between BSix Sixth Form College, Clapton Girls Academy, Hackney Community College, Skinners Academy and Stormont House School with a number of exceptional projects being developed.
The BSix projects were with Clapton Girls and Skinners Academy and both involved a tailored transition programme during which Y11 students were able to attend BSix once a week to taste different vocational subjects. The launch of each programme included a meeting with parents of the school students involved to introduce them to the aims and objectives of the transition project. Feedback from staff in all three institutions as well as from the students themselves has shown that the dual aim of helping these students to feel comfortable in a college environment whilst still being supported by their school and opening their minds to alternative course options at post-16 has been achieved. Many of the Y11 students have since applied with confidence to BSix and have been made offers to study here in September.
Laura Thackaberry, Head of Progression at BSix and the lead within her organisation on the transition project summed up the work from this year saying, ‘This was a fantastic start and we have seen week by week the Y11 students we have taught gain in confidence. It has been particularly interesting with the students from Clapton girls who were initially quite anxious about entering a mixed gender environment. I feel this has been effective in breaking down barriers which might have caused students to travel out of borough or to drop out of education completely.’
On Wednesday 3rd June BSix College were also proud to host a special Hackney Learning Trust borough wide event. The purpose of this was to share the findings of the work from the different transition projects with the aim for other schools across the borough to engage and plan in a similar way from September 2015. Haggerston School have already expressed a definite interest.
The College was also asked by the Learning Trust to host a visit for 5 managers working in German schools. This was part of an exchange following on from 20 sector leaders and practitioners across London visiting North West Rine urban conurbation in Germany. The intention was to see how schools, colleges and employers work together, how successful routes to work were defined and delivered and how the challenges to success were addressed. As part of the project colleagues from the German institutions involved visited London to see examples of similar work in Hackney and a report From School to work in London was produced to allow learning from the visit to be shared more widely. The German visitors visited Stormont House and BSix Brooke House Sixth Form College in Hackney and were particularly impressed with the 14-19 Transition work taking place there.
Jo Margrie, 14-19 Programme manager at the Hackney Learning Trust thanked BSix saying: ‘Thank you so much for hosting our two events yesterday. Our German visitors were impressed by their tour and particularly enjoyed the unexpected Portuguese day celebrations! The launch event itself was even more successful than we had hoped and we were very pleased that so many stayed to the well catered networking opportunity.’