Year 13 Attenborough College Update

Three female Leigh Academy students sitting at a table, working together.

Dear Parent/Carer

I am writing with important information for parents of students in Year 13.

Futures Programme

I am delighted to report that 72% of the year group have now applied for university as their preferred option for the end of Year 13. They need to be alert to emails from UCAS, as universities will notify them of their decisions via UCAS and students will need to confirm their firm and insurance places by 8th June at latest (though students will be given individual deadlines by UCAS). Students going to university will also need to apply for student finance, which opens in March. Students, parents and carers can sign up to be notified when student finance opens here.

The other 28% of the year group all intend to take a gap year, go straight into employment or undertake an apprenticeship. We will begin to proactively support them from Monday 1st February, led by the Coordinator of Post-16 for Year 13, Miss Marshall. We will be offering students guidance in:

  • Searching for employment and apprenticeships
  • Compiling a CV
  • Writing application letters
  • Preparing for interviews

If you have any questions about our Preparing for Employment or Apprenticeships Programme or need support yourself in helping your children with the process of applying for employment or an apprenticeship, please contact her by email:   

Module 3 Reports and Parent-Teacher Evening

At the end of this module, we will issue each Year 13 student’s final school report via My Child at School. If you need to get your login details for this platform, please email the Attenborough College Administrator: The report will provide you with predicted grades and a grade that indicates how hard your child is working in the final countdown to public examinations, as well as a comment for each subject. Please use this report to aid your motivational conversations with your child as they prepare for the end of their Post-16 education with us. Your final Parent-Teacher meeting before your child takes their public examinations will be with all of your child’s teachers on site from 4.00pm till 7.00pm on Thursday 30th March

Preparation for Public Examinations

To aid Year 13 students in their preparations for taking final examinations this summer, we have engaged an external provider, Learning Performance, to come into school and run three sessions with students. We have used the services of Learning Performance before and they have been exceptionally well received by students, as the sessions are led by recent university graduates who were in the same position as Year 13 students just a few years ago. The sessions will cover practical strategies of improving memory and recall, planning time wisely, managing the stresses of exam season and much more. They will all take place within the academy day in the lecture theatre on these dates:

  • Session 1 – Thursday 2nd March
  • Session 2 – Tuesday 7th March
  • Session 3 – Monday 13th March

Examination Day Protocols

We would like to remind you that students are expected to be especially punctual on exam days. Students need to be in the Attenborough Study Room a minimum of 30 minutes before the published start time of their exam. They must hand in all electronic devices, such as smart watches, iPads, chromebooks and laptops and be registered as present for the exam. It is each student’s responsibility to ensure they have all the required equipment for each exam they take, to have eaten before they register for the exam and to ensure that they take a clear and unlabelled bottle of water into the exam room with them.

For UK exam board qualifications, such as A levels, BTECs and LIBF courses, morning exams usually start at 9.00am, so students must be in Attenborough College by 8.30am.  Afternoon exams start at 1.30pm, so students must be in Attenborough College by 1.00pm

Students taking IB examinations must adhere to the earlier start times of public examinations that the IB has introduced this year. For morning exams, students must be in Attenborough College by 7.45am, as students must have handed in all electronic devices and be in supervised isolation from 8.00am, prior to the exam start time at 8.30am. For afternoon exams, students must be in Attenborough College by 11.45am with all electronic devices handed in and in supervised isolation from 12.00pm, prior to the exam start time at 12.30pm. 

If students have clashes between exams, we will have arranged special start times for exams with the relevant exam boards and students will need to be kept in supervised isolation between exams. Students must be prepared for this, by bringing in sufficient food and drink, as they will not be allowed to mix with other students between exams.

IB students must ensure that they have submitted all of their coursework (known as Internal Assessments or IAs) by Thursday 9th February.

Punctuality Drive

We aim to ensure that every student who completes their Post-16 education with us is ready for the adult world, which is why we hold them to account against our PARADE Standards (Punctuality, Attendance, Role-modelling, Attitude to Learning, Dress Code and Equality).

Unfortunately, some Attenborough students fell into a pattern of arriving late to the academy in Module 1, so we introduced a trial system in Module 2 to more closely monitor punctuality and issue warnings to students when a pattern of lateness began to emerge. As this trial was so successful, we have made this system part of our everyday practice from this module. The system works as follows:

  • When a student arrives late (after the start of tutor time at 8.30am if they have a 9.00am lesson or after the start of period 3 at 11.30am if they do not have lessons beforehand) 3 times in a module, I send them a warning email and ask them to correct their lateness
  • If a student is then late a 4th time in the same module, I send them a second warning email but copy parents in to remind them of the consequence for being late a 5th time
  • If a student is then late a 5th time in the same module, I send an email to the student and their parents to inform them that we have added a compulsory 2-hour Directed Study session to their timetable, requiring them to work in the Attenborough Study Room and register with Miss Maxwell

This system is designed to remind students of employer expectations when they enter the world of work, as no employer would allow continued lateness to carry on without a sanction being imposed. So far, the system has been very effective in helping students to recognise patterns of lateness into which they have fallen and most students take corrective action to prevent any change in their timetable. Student lateness is reset to zero at the end of each module and, if students do not flag up on the punctuality tracker by the end of the next module, the Directed Study sessions will be removed at the end of that module.

If you have any questions about this system, please contact the Coordinator of Post-16 for Year 13, Miss Kirsty Marshall: 

As always, we are grateful for all the support you provide to ensure our students continue to perform with the excellence we expect. If you ever need to, please contact me by email or by phone: & 01322-620521.


Mr Lee Forcella-Burton

Director of Post-16, leading Attenborough College