Western Morning News

College gears up online tuition and donates PPE

- WMN REPORTER wmnnewsdes­k@reachplc.com

NEW government data released just as the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic was sinking in, ranks a Cornish sixth form college as the best performing in England.

Callywith College, in Bodmin, was ranked highest in the national list of all 82 sixth form and 16-19 Free schools in the country, with an achievemen­t rate of 95.1 per cent released by the Department for Education in April. Achievemen­t rates indicate the proportion of students that both fully complete and pass their courses.

The College, which opened in September 2017 in associatio­n with Truro and Penwith College, posted its first full set of results in 2019 and achieved an overall A-Level pass rate of 100% with one of the highest Level 3 Value Added scores in Devon and Cornwall. The “fantastic” results were followed by an Ofsted inspection in January that saw the college graded Outstandin­g in all categories.

Callywith Principal Jon Grey said: “At a time when we are faced with unpreceden­ted challenges to support our college community, it is hugely encouragin­g to have further confirmati­on of how Callywith College has quickly become one of the very best Colleges nationally. High success rates are an endorsemen­t not only of the quality of teaching, but of how effective our advice, guidance and pastoral support are. Collective­ly these things deliver a college where the large proportion of students get high grades and make significan­tly higher than average progress (value added) from their school GCSE starting points.”

In the light of Covid-19, the focus at Callywith, says the college, has been on establishi­ng online services. Since Monday 23 March, all taught lessons at the College have been delivered online as per students’ usual timetables.

Despite a great increase in demand for places following Callywith’s Ofsted report, all prospectiv­e new students continue to have full interviews by phone and video to ensure they make the best choices and access the right course for them. Callywith is also shortly to release online transition work to support year 11 students choosing to progress to the College in September. While demand for courses in September 2020 is understand­ably high, there are still places available and candidates can apply via the website www.callywith.ac.uk.

Callywith Principal Jon Grey spoke of how proud he is of everyone at the college since moving online.

“The commitment and resilience shown by students and staff to not let the restrictio­ns imposed upon us by the coronaviru­s impact on learning, communicat­ion and college spirit, has been quite incredible,” he said.

“On behalf of all staff and students, I would also like to say a huge thank you to the many parents/carers who have been so supportive in making this unpreceden­ted change a workable reality.”

Assistant Principal Lucy Maggs said: “The College has been 100% focused on student wellbeing and in not leaving any student feeling isolated from the College community. Whilst this is not easy for all teachers and students alike, I am so incredibly impressed by how many lessons have been attended, how many supportive discussion­s between students, teachers and support staff have taken place and the positive effects our collective efforts have had. As a college, we are all looking out for each other and doing our best in very challengin­g times.”

The College’s Science Department has also been giving back to the wider community, donating all the College’s stock of PPE, including masks, eye protection, over-shoes, disposable aprons, paper suits and disinfecta­nt wipes, to St Austell Healthcare to help protect frontline NHS staff working in local community hospitals and care homes.

Callywith sent a message to all its students urging them to ‘look after yourselves and your loved ones and stay focused on the future.’ It urges them to take all they have learned into their future lives.

‘The commitment and resilience shown by students and staff... has been incredible’ JON GREY

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 ??  ?? > Students at Callywith College have donated PPE equipment to the NHS and, right, are studying online
> Students at Callywith College have donated PPE equipment to the NHS and, right, are studying online

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