Student Support & Monitoring
Information about how the College can help to support students and how it monitors attendance and punctuality can be found by looking at the relevant sections below.
The Chaplaincy is open to students and staff throughout the College day. It is a space where students can relax and hang-out in, a place to talk to friends, play cards, board games and forget about the stresses of College life. Everyone is welcome to use the Chaplaincy and enjoy the calm and welcoming atmosphere that it provides. Students are asked to help keep the space clean, calm and stress-free!
The chaplaincy strives to witness to the fact that “the person and teaching of Christ” is at the centre of college life, in keeping with the college’s mission statement.In living this out, the chaplaincy serves and supports the whole college community, regardless of individual’s faith background.
Meet the Chaplain
Ben Blanche is the a full-time Chaplain at St Charles. He is available to talk to anyone who needs an open ear; whether students have concerns about college, their home life, social life or spiritual life! Ben’s office can be found in the Chaplaincy and he is always available for students and staff who need somebody to talk to.
The Chapel is at the heart of the College campus and is open every day for students and staff who want some time for silent prayer and reflection
Activities in the Chaplaincy
Prayer is at the heart of life in the Chaplaincy and there is the opportunity for students and staff of all faiths to pray together in college each day.Morning Prayer takes place every day at 8.40am in the Chapel. This normally lasts around ten minutes and consists of reflection, scripture readings and silence. Mass is celebrated in the Chapel every Friday at 1.20pm. Larger celebrations and feast-days are celebrated throughout the academic year and always attract lots of student involvement.
Retreats and Quiet Time
Throughout the year, weekend retreats are organised to Kintbury. Meditations take place in the chapel during Advent and Lent. There is also the opportunity for students to go on pilgrimage to Lourdes, volunteering to help the sick and the elderly.Every year there is also a staff retreat which is held during the summer term.
Each year, a group of students are trained to be Eucharistic ministers, readers and altar servers in order to assist at the liturgies that take place in College
There is the opportunity for students to receive the sacrament of Confirmation in college. Preparation for this begins in the spring term and is done with St. Dominic’s Sixth Form College.
The Chaplaincy offers a wide choice of enrichment activities allowing students to support both local, national and international communities, as well as the opportunity to develop skills and UCAS personal statements!
1. Tutor Reps
Tutor Reps are students who would like to develop their leadership skills and take an active role in organising activities in tutorials, as well as helping their tutor with some of their workload.Tutor Reps meet on a Monday lunchtime and Ian provides leadership training along with activities and suggestions for things to do in tutor time.
2. Charity Committee
The Charity Committee is for students who would like to help organise charity work at college.Examples of projects that the committee have been involved in include a sponsored sleep-out for homelessness in support of the Cardinal Hume Centre, taking over the running of a local YMCA charity shop and organizing Fairtrade Fortnight events at college.The Charity Committee meets on Tuesday lunch times
3. Age UK Computer Classes
Every Wednesday afternoon Age UK computer classes take place in college.This is where students help to teach older people from the local community IT skills. This can include anything from how to use Skype, Google, email or even how to use mobile phones and tablets.
4. Age UK Lunch Club
On Thursday lunchtimes, students volunteer to help out at the lunch club for older people in the college canteen.This involves serving the older people their lunch with tea and coffee, and spending time talking to them over the meal.
5. Chaplaincy Committee
The Chaplaincy Committee consists of both students and staff and meets roughly every four to six weeks during lunchtimes to talk about Chaplaincy related issues in College.
Throughout the year there are many ways in which the college helps to fund raise for charities. In Advent, students and staff prepare Hampers for the Catholic Children’s Society. During Lent, Charities Week takes place. This is a week of focused fundraising and includes a College quiz, talent show, raffle and much more!
Pilgrimage to Lourdes
Every year, the Chaplaincy organises a pilgrimage to Lourdes in France. Since the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858, millions of sick people have visited Lourdes to pray. Students go to Lourdes as pilgrims, working as Red Caps, where they have responsibility to help older, more frail pilgrims, and assisting at the services and events that take place there.It is a fantastic opportunity meet people from all around the world, to help those in need and to find space to reflect on your own life.
For more information, please contact the College Chaplain, Ben Blanche
The College has a comprehensive network of support available to students as they progress through their learning programmes. We outline below the different sources of internal and external support that can be deployed to meet their diverse needs.
All students are attached to a Tutor Group. They meet with their Tutor every day, and this member of staff takes responsibility to monitor a students’ overall progress through the College, and to encourage them to take maximum advantage of all we can offer. They would normally be the first point of contact for parents/carers should there be any issues to address.
There are five Pastoral Managers, each managing a team of 10/11 Group Tutors. They deal with managing changes to students’ programmes, and support students who need intervention to get back on task with their studies, as well as act as problem solvers for any other barriers to students’ progress and eventual achievement. Their role is comparable to that of Head of Year in a school. They also work closely with parents when necessary.
Assitant Principal - Student Services
The Assistant Principal responsible for Student Services oversees all the student support services and is responsible for their co-ordination and development. He can also be contacted by parents if required.
Our full-time student advisor concentrates on the distinct needs of students who may be living independently, act as carers, or face unusually challenging external circumstances that require careful management to ensure that their learning progresses normally.
The careers advisor oversees all the College systems and events relating to university and job progression, as well as working to support individual students with customised advice and guidance appropriate to their plans and aspirations. Her work is supported by external contracts with advisers from Careers Management Capital, who often concentrate on the particular needs of students following one year vocational programmes.
Our full-time chaplain provides a source of personal support for individual students, and is available on a drop-in basis, as well as organising group activities that meet students’ spiritual needs through the liturgies, retreats and sacramental programmes
There is a designated member of the administrative team who can help students with the application process and resolve any issues with attendance records or payments
All these staff can refer students to a range of external specialist support services when needed.
Please see the Learning Support page
Although the college environment is one in which students are given more freedom in the management of their time, their study load, and planning for their next step, St Charles is an institution where student attendance and progress is monitored and supported very closely. This takes place in the following ways:
- Attendance at lessons is recorded electronically, together with any time lost through lack of punctuality. These attendance records can be accessed at any time through the College’s information systems, and the student can track their own records through their Profile page which they can access in College and remotely from a home computer.
- Students’ Group Tutors receive weekly attendance reports and follow up any issues with students in the daily tutorial sessions.
- Students in receipt of the Bursary have to reach attendance rates of 95% each week, with minimal lateness in order to qualify for their payments.
- For all courses students are given a target grade, based on an assessment of their prior achievement, and subject teachers make regular assessments of their current level of attainment against that grade. These assessments are entered in a students’ record, are used in the two sets of reports that we send to students’ families through the year, and can be viewed by students through their Profile page at any time.
- All teachers can write referral reports on their students at any time, both to applaud and challenge students’ progress, and these are picked up and responded to by Group Tutors and senior staff as appropriate. These are part of a students’ record at the College and, again, can be accessed and read by them on their Profile page.
- Pastoral Managers make regular checks on students’ attendance rates and progress, and respond to Group Tutor information, in order to intervene to challenge or support students when necessary. These interventions might subsequently involve contact with parents or referral to other sources of support and are always recorded as part of a students’ pastoral record.
- The College reserves the right to place students on probationary enrolment or short-term performance contracts whenever attendance or work submission has become very weak. These systems are run by senior staff, and students’ families are kept closely informed of these arrangements.