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The Student Support Team

At Comberton Sixth Form we believe in supporting each individual student to achieve their best. During the two years with us students may at times need some extra support, either with their studies or personal issues. The information below outlines the many support services available to you and how to access them.

Students with identified special educational needs

Students who identify SEN needs on their application form will have their application interview with the Deputy Head of Sixth Form (support). Some students will also be invited to the college for a pre-visit in the late summer term to meet the support team and become more familiar with the college buildings if this is thought to be helpful. Students with high levels of identified SEN will have a named contact within the support team who will keep in regular contact with them, their tutor, subject teachers and home. 

The support team

The support team for the sixth form is led by the Deputy Head of Sixth Form (support), Mrs Irayna Owen. Mrs Owen’s office is on the left hand side of the lecture theatre on the first floor. You can contact Mrs Owen by email (iowen@comberton.cambs.sch.uk) or by calling personally at her office.

If you feel you would like to discuss support of any kind please contact Mrs Owen, who will then discuss your needs with you and arrange who would be the best person from the team to work with you.

Study support

We have an excellent and highly skilled team of Teaching Assistants (TAs) assigned to the sixth form, led by Mrs Janet Tanburn. Between them the TAs have a wide range of subject specialisms and are very highly qualified to give A level support. The sixth form TA team is based in the staff workroom on the top floor of the sixth form building, opposite teaching room Six 10.

The TA team provide some limited in class support for students with identified SEN needs and also run a wider range of support sessions for all students. These run after college hours in the Independent Study area from Monday to Thursday and include one to one work and group sessions on topics such as time management, study skills, essay writing, general organisational skills and work prioritisation. The timetable for these sessions will be published early in September via the college TV screens, by email to all sixth form students and on Moodle. Students can refer themselves for support and tutors and subject teachers also have the option of referring students they feel would benefit from the support. Support can range from one or two sessions to several times every week, depending on individual needs at any particular time.

Exam support

If you had special exam access arrangements at GCSE, or feel you may qualify for them, please see Mrs Owen. Where necessary an external assessor will carry out testing for this. Access arrangements such as extra time, the use of a laptop in exams or the use of a smaller venue are given only for a specific diagnosed and evidenced need. Laptops can only be used in exams if this is your usual way of working in the lesson concerned.

Emotional support

Sixth form can be a highly stressful time for some students and we offer a range of emotional support options, both short term and long term, according to individual need. In the first instance students should talk to their tutors, who have an overview of the student’s life at CSF and welfare and can provide some excellent general support regarding for example exam induced stress and workload management.

All requests for more intensive, individual support need to be made by contacting Mrs Owen who will then make suitable arrangements, either through in college support (as detailed below) or through a range of external agencies.

We are lucky to have dedicated time for the sixth form for one to one intensive support from the a qualified counsellor who sees students weekly or bi-weekly for a defined period, usually six weeks.

Outside of sixth form there are other organisations that can help students during stressful times.

Kooth

Kooth is a free online counselling service with live chat. This is available from 12pm-10pm weekdays and 6pm-10pm at the weekends. The website also has guided self-referrals along with articles and forums to help you with your emotional well-being.

 CHUMS

CHUMS is a service that aims to help you when things get a bit difficult to handle on your own. There is information on how to help with specific issues like anxiety, bullying, dieting, self-harm and feeling low. There is also the opportunity to visit their centre and speak to a counsellor face-to-face.

Self-care for stress information sheet.