Welcome to our College prospectus for 2014. As you read it, I hope you will find it useful and informative, but it is impossible to tell you all about the College in a few pages, so please do visit during one of our Open Evenings andsee the place for yourself. There is a tremendous rangeof opportunities on offer here and you have some very important choices ahead of you.
You have probably heard good things about Symonds. Weare very proud of our excellent reputation. A brilliant mix ofmotivated students, dedicated staff and fantastic facilities makes Peter Symonds a vibrant and positive place to study. Ofsted rate us as “Outstanding” in every respect.
Even so, we see each year as a fresh challenge and arealways looking for ways to improve.
With sixth form students from some 150 schools, Symonds is a sizeable community and we work hard to make this afriendly and supportive place to study with every student treated as an individual. Our unofficial College motto has long been 'we count in ones'.
I very much look forward to welcoming you to the College in September.
Why Choose Peter Symonds?
Excellent Exam Results
Once again the College’s exam results exceeded national averages with pass rates of approximately 99% at A Level, 93% at AS and 100% for National Diplomas and Certificates in 2012.
With 100% passes in 40 courses, it’s not surprising the College has featured in the top ten of the national college league tables for A Levels every year since they were first published in the early 90s.
A comprehensive network of support lies behind much of the success of our students. This takes many forms, depending on individual need. For example, regular lunch time workshops are offered in virtually every subject, as are individual meetings with a member of the Study Support team.
Unusually for a sixth form college, we have a large on-site Careers Service with qualified advisors who provide help with students’ choices about their future. In addition, our friendly Student Services department aims to help students cope with the pressures they feel or any problems they may have.
Counting in Ones
We have a personal tutor system which values and encourages every student. We give each of them a target minimum grade to aim for and exceed. Symonds is in the top 10% of colleges nationally in terms of adding value; most of our students achieve far better at A Level than would be expected from their entry grades at GCSE.
Opportunities to be Stretched and Challenged
Peter Symonds offers many opportunities for students to be stretched and challenged. There is extra support available for students wishing to go on and read medicine, veterinary science or dentistry. There are many opportunities for students to stretch themselves mentally including taking part in Olympiads for Mathematics and Biology, competitions such as the Target 2.0 Bank of England Interest Rate Challenge, as well as taking part in the Authentic Biology Research Symposium, which enables students to carry out genuine academic research projects with the support and guidance of university researchers from the University of Southampton.
Gifted and Talented
Many Symonds students fall into the ‘gifted and talented’ category. We believe that none of our students should be corralled into special groups, but we do provide a number of opportunities to maximise students’ potential.
Virtually all of our academic courses run lunchtime workshops in addition to timetabled lectures. These give you an opportunity to investigate your subjects in more depth.
All applicants receive one to one support including mentoring from current Oxbridge students, practice interviews and application advice.
53 Oxbridge offers
Fifty three Peter Symonds students, from twenty-nine different secondary schools, have received conditional offers of places at Oxford or Cambridge Universities for September 2013. Also a very high proportion of our students have been offered places at Russel Group Universities; twice as many as the national average for sixth form colleges.
HE+ and The University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge has nominated Peter Symonds as the hub college for its HE+ Project in Hampshire. Currently in its pilot phase, the HE+ Project is designed to encourage Lower Sixth students studying in state schools and colleges to apply to Cambridge and other top universities, as well as to provide them with academic and application support.
The newly-launched HE+ Project in Hampshirecaters for two hundred and fifty sixth form students from four local colleges: Brockenhurst, Itchen, PeterSymonds and Richard Taunton. This programme offers students a real insight into university style learning and what is available to them once they have completed their A Level studies.
Extended Project Qualification
An A2 Level qualification offered in the second year, this is an opportunity to develop an idea or interest beyond chosen subjects. Staff supervisors support students who choose to undertake a project and guide them through the process of planning and producing the final product. This may take the form of a written report or an artefact such as a piece of music, a play or a computer program. The Extended Project provides excellent preparation for the research skills required at university and has been described by students as ‘very worthwhile’ and ‘a great experience’.
Ensembles, orchestras, choirs and jazz bands provide a tremendous range of opportunities for talented musicians. Symonds also hosts the Hampshire Specialist Music Course. Dance and Drama productions showcase other talents.
Talented Sports Performers
This scheme is aimed at supporting gifted students by helping them to manage and balance sporting, personal and academic demands. Current students on the scheme include Adam Knott (Paralympic goalball), Xanthe Weatherhead (rowing), Georgie Wingrove (diving) and Sarah Hill (judo).