Student Services Team
The Student Services Team provides information, help and support at every stage, sensitively and in confidence. The team works closely with teaching staff and personal tutors to ensure an effective support system for each student, according to individual needs.
The Student Services Team include:
- Additional Learner Support Services
- Careers/Higher Education Advice
- Counselling Services
- Guidance & Central Interview Services
- Multifaith Chaplaincy
- Student Involvement Liaison.
Student Services Office – F146
Transition Support available for students with or without EHCP prior to starting college course
- Visit to college site (as many visits as necessary up until a year prior to starting course)* These visits may need to be tailored due to COVID 19 restrictions.
- Initial meeting in confidential space to discuss transition support available and agree a plan of action for what each individual wants to do. On offer is; tour around college, visit to areas of college where course will be taught, access to classrooms to familiarize student, visit to library, Quiet room, canteen, student lounge, Students headquarters, walk round college, introduction to key teaching staff. *During these uncertain times and COVID 19 restrictions, contact will be limited and may be held remotely.
- Regular visits and meeting as required to make student comfortable with college environment *Remotely until COVID restrictions are lifted
- Establish contact via text and/ or email with student
- Discussion around travel to college / bursary/ ALS/ first day and meet and greet
- Support during enrolment and interview process / smaller room arranged and time when quieter if needed
- Summer Activities programme *depending on COVID 19 guidelines
- Sharing information confidentially with the appropriate staff (teaching, ALS, support staff, welfare, safeguarding, bursary, exams) and updating college systems.
Support for students starting college and whilst they are here is varied and put in place according to individual needs. For example, we offer transition support for new students who may be feeling anxious or nervous about college life as it is a very different environment from schools. Some of our students may not have been in mainstream schools and have additional needs or an EHCP and may need some extra support to help them feel comfortable and confident about starting college. We have found that this works best when we give students the option to come in and meet a welfare team member prior to starting college and to have a key point of contact. A number of options are on offer such as; meeting with welfare staff, planned regular visits (up to a year prior to starting college for some students), tours round college to become familiar with classroom, canteen, quiet room, library, student HQ and many more places that students utilise once they are at college. We also discuss the interview, enrolment and induction process and adjust anything that might seem too difficult or daunting. We also find students like to have a clear plan of what to expect on the first day, for example, where to go, break times, timetables etc and we can ensure a plan of action is in place so students feel more prepared and know what to expect.
Support available once enrolled and course starts
- Meeting place and action plan in place on first day to cover things like break times, lunchtimes etc.
- Plan in place for emergency situations (panic attacks, illness, non attendance)
- Introductions to Support Staff on course (if in place)
- Daily check in available if needed
- Regular 1:1 weekly appointment made as required
- Attending /organizing reviews with relevant organisations, parents, carers as required
- Sign posting to other agencies as required
Once students are on course we offer various types of ‘out of class support’ for example, daily or weekly meetings on a one to one basis which gives individuals a chance to talk about anything they are finding difficult. Often these sessions highlight a specific need for more support and we will make referrals when appropriate to other agencies as required for example; CAMHS, CMHT, REACH, Social care or voluntary sector charities, and we also refer to our own college support services such as; access to a Peer Mentor, access to the Quiet room, Tea and Toast, Additional Learner Support, and access to our confidential counselling service.
We have found that a large majority of students we work with have real difficulties understanding all of the college procedures, settling down, making friends and managing peer relationships and communicating with staff, so we always do our best to ensure students are listened to and that they have a voice.
Student HQ – (Formally Student Lounge)
Start of Term
Student HQ will be open during breaks and lunchtime for anybody who is struggling with how large and daunting the new college environment can be during break times. There will always be a cup of tea for anybody who would like the opportunity to spend their breaks in a safe and friendly environment without the huge numbers of students that they might find in the canteen, reception area or College Square. During the first 2 weeks of the new academic year Tea and Toast will be offered daily, this is then offered twice a week during term time on Mondays and Thursdays where a cup of tea and a slice of toast will be waiting for you. Here you will have the opportunity to socialise in a quiet and relaxed area free from the noise of the larger student areas and with a member of the Safeguarding and Welfare Team present to help facilitate the session. Students often find this is a great way to make new friends and meet people. It is aimed at those students who find socialising difficult and need the extra support to do so. Games and activities will be organized and usually prove very popular. *Please note that all planned sessions will be subject to social distancing and COVID regulations compliant. Please be prepared to be asked to wear a facemask in this communal area.
Charity - Weymouth College's Therapy Dog & Young Health Champion Programme
Student HQ/F146 is also the working home of our very own assistance dog, Charity. Charity can help calm a stressful situation in seconds and, as well as being our most popular member of staff with students, helps with all sorts of difficulties and anxieties. Charity can help students overcome exam anxieties and her record for supporting anxious students to sit exams is second to none.
As well as Charity, Nola Smith – Student Welfare Coordinator- is also based in F146 and will work with students who are experiencing emotional issues and who might even be thinking of leaving college or dropping out of their course. Nola runs the very successful Young Health Champion Programme which is a full level 2 Royal Society for Public Health qualification and specifically highlights the support and resilience building needed for improving your own emotional wellbeing. Those who find this is an area they wish to explore further can then go onto become Peer mentors with additional training and support from Nola and her team.
Learning Facilitator Team
The Learning Facilitator team also reside in F146 and deliver a timetabled one-hour session across college which explores subjects such as British Values, online safety, knife crime, budgeting and many more interesting and valuable topics.
They have expert guest speakers who are invited in to speak about their subjects and share their knowledge. The facilitators can also help with course work and assignments during their allocated hour’s session. *Guest speaker workshops are subject to availability during COVID restrictions.
Further Information & Services
Support sites, tips and coping strategies
Guidance & Central Interviewing
We offer free, impartial information, advice and guidance to all those thinking about or currently in learning at any level.
Assistance and support is available on a broad range of issues, including:
- Accommodation Bursaries
- Careers Advice
- Course, Study & Training Options
- Financial Assistance
- Higher Education
- Personal Issues
Additional Learner Support
We offer a wide range of support to all learners with an additional need, from learning difficulties to mental health issues, dyslexia to special examination requirements, etc.
Services offered include:
- Transition support from school to college
- Classroom Support
- Learning Resources
- Loan of specialist equipment
- Personal Mentoring
- Support for Mobility or Sensory Requirements
- Quiet rooms and lunch area
- Sensory garden
- Health Champions
- Medication and Personal Care assistant
- Exam access arrangements
- Person Centred Reviews
- Charity – our assistance dog who is trained in calming highly anxious or distressed students.
You will have a minimum of one hour tutorial session per week where you will be able to discuss your progress and achievements in a one to one with your personal tutor who will review and set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) targets with you.
Individual Learning Plans
All full-time students will have an Electronic Individual Learning Plan (EILP) which will monitor progress across the course(s) and set targets to help them successfully achieve their qualifications.
Charity - Weymouth College Therapy Dog
Learning Facilitator Sessions – British Values, Social Emotional Well Being, Healthy Lifestyle and Work Skills
During weekly Learning Facilitator sessions, you will have the opportunity to discuss and explore current topics and raise awareness of what it means to live in modern Britain. In addition, learn how to access support when needed while in a safe environment and become equipped to develop well rounded independent living skills. Expert guest speakers are also invited o share their knowledge and experience with you, making sessions even more relevant and engaging.
- Acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of: democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. You will develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow you to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.
- British Values are embedded into the curriculum as well as being delivered by the Learning Facilitators.
Social Emotional Well Being/ Healthy Lifestyle/Work Skills
- Learning Facilitator sessions include topics chosen to best fit your curriculum area, level and ability.
- Sessions include, but are not limited to, Black History, Time to Talk about Mental Health, Emotional Resiliance, Hate Crime, Knife Crime, Domestic Abuse, and Healthy Relationships.
- Breast and Testicular Cancer Awareness, Organ/Blood Donations, Road Safety, Sexual Consent, Sexual Health will also be included.
- Finally, you will have the opportunity to undertake activities to assist with job applications, CV writing and interview preparation.
Looked After Young People and Care Leavers
At Weymouth College we are 100% committed to supporting Looked After Young People and recent Care Leavers. Our dedicated Student Services team offers practical help will all aspects of college life, from your first point of contact with us to your future employment.
Beverley Bull – Beverley_Bull@weymouth.ac.uk – is our Safeguarding and Welfare Officer with responsibility for Looked After Young People and recent Care Leavers
Prejudice Free Dorset - 3rd Party Reporting Centre
Kooth.com - A web site to use when the college is shut, but you need to access well-being support
An exciting new FREE online counselling, information and support service, called Kooth.com, available to all young people aged 11-18 (up to 19th birthday) in Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole.
Kooth.com is a fully commissioned service from Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, in Partnership with Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust; Dorset County Council, Bournemouth Borough Council and the Borough of Poole, Kooth.com is a free, safe, confidential and non-stigmatised way for young people to receive information, advice and counselling on-line.
This popular service is used by large numbers of young people across the UK, and delivered over 28,000 counselling sessions last year alone. Their BACP accredited service, staffed by fully trained and qualified counsellors, is available until 10pm each night, 365 days per year, provides much needed out of hours support.