Frequently Asked Questions

What GCSE results do I need to get offered a place at College?

Are there any compulsory courses at College, like PE or Learning to Learn at school?

Why don’t you do practical courses like catering or hair and beauty?

Can I take more than 3 A Levels?

When will I know if I have got a place at College?

What happens at enrolment?

What else can I do at College?

What if I don’t like my course?

What happens if I feel sick while I'm at College?

Are we allowed to go to town during the day?

Can my friends come and see me in College?

Can you get a detention at College?

Can we wear what we like to College? Is make-up/piercing/coloured hair allowed?

 

 

What GCSE results do I need to get offered a place at College?

We offer a range of courses that suit students of all abilities – from no GCSEs to lots of A*s. Please see Choosing the Right Course which will give you a guide to the study programme you should apply for based on your predicted GCSE exam results. There may also be specific entry requirements for courses in certain subjects, so see the individual course leaflet information for full details.

Are there any compulsory courses at College, like PE or Learning to Learn at school?

As well as your chosen programme of study you will be required to take part in our tutorial programme ‘Personal Learning and Development’. This consists of one timetabled hour a week with your Personal Tutor who will share general information with you, conduct one to one meetings with you to help you plan to achieve your goals and will oversee your academic and general welfare at College. All physical activities and clubs are optional; we have a great range of activities and encourage all students to take part in something. 
If you have not achieved a grade C in English or Maths at GCSE you will be required to take a course that will help improve your skills to this grade.


Why don’t you do practical courses like catering or hair and beauty?

As a College we try to serve the demands of our community. For example, over recent years we have established a thriving and well-resourced dance and drama department in the Wessex Arts Centre. The Sonardyne Centre for Engineering and Technology was opened by Sir Robert Winston in 2013 and houses state of the art technology and equipment. In planning our courses we also look at subjects that are provided by other local Colleges. The cost of putting on some practical subjects (including specialist buildings and equipment) makes it impossible to do so for the small number of students that request these courses.

Can I take more than 3 A Levels?

If this is right for you then it is a possibility. However, we always remind students that employers and universities only ask for 3 A Level grades – it would be better to have three A grades than two A grades and two B grades (for example). Sometimes students who are studying Maths and Further Maths might take a 4 A Level programme but most of our students study 3 A Levels. Many of our high achieving students will take the Extended Project Qualification alongside their A Levels which is a qualification both universities and employers highly value. 

When will I know if I have got a place at College?

The majority of students will be offered a place on an agreed course of study at their initial College interview. This place will be subject to the entry requirements for that programme of study – if you do not gain the grades required we will always do our very best to find you a programme that will allow you to enjoy, achieve and progress.

What happens at enrolment?

Enrolment takes place after you have received your GCSE results from school. You will be sent an appointment date and time for the end of August and will come in to meet a member of the Enrolment Interview Team. If you have achieved the qualifications you need for the courses you have applied for, you will complete an enrolment form; if not, you will receive further advice and guidance on what alternative choices might be available to you. If you have Additional Learning Support Needs, you will be able to meet someone from this team in order to set up the right support as you start at Alton. Following on from this, you will have your ID card made and you will be given all your access details for the College computer network and email system. We also give you advice on what text books you should purchase and you will be able to access some work to do ready for the start of term. This process takes around an hour, depending on your individual circumstances.

What else can I do at College?

There are a wide variety of additional (enrichment) activities on offer at College and we strongly recommend that you get involved in activities other than just your subjects. There are many sports clubs, both competitive and for leisure; music enrichments have a high profile both within College and the local community; special interest groups meet and put on different events and a huge amount more.

What if I don’t like my course?

We work very hard to help all of our students choose the right course first time round. However, if you start a course and you don’t like it you should talk to your teachers and personal tutor straight away. There is a two week course-freeze period at the start of the Autumn term and in the third week there is an opportunity to request a change to another course. However, you must have the entry requirements needed, it should fit in with your programme and future aspirations and there has to be space on the course requested. 

What happens if I feel sick while I'm at College?

If you are feeling poorly during the day and can either get home safely or have someone collect you, then you should sign out explaining the situation at the Student Hub. If you have had an accident, or are feeling very ill, you should ask a member of staff to call a First Aider, or dial 200 for reception (333 in an emergency) on any College phone.

Are we allowed to go to town during the day?

You must attend all of your lessons, ensuring that you arrive on time. However, students are allowed on and off site during the College day. You do not need to sign in and out to do this. 

Can my friends come and see me in College?

If you have friends that are not currently studying at College, they are not allowed on College site. The College is private property and for health, safety and insurance purposes any visitors must have an official staff contact and sign in at reception.

Can you get a detention at College?

At College we don’t have detentions. However, we do have high expectations of students with regard to attendance, additional personal study and attitude. If any of these areas are not as we would expect we have a great deal of support services that we will use to help each student learn the skills to succeed in the independence of the College environment. If there has been a serious issue of misconduct we may use the College Disciplinary Policy, which can ultimately ask a student to leave College.

Can we wear what we like to College? Is make-up/piercing/coloured hair allowed?

There is no uniform at College, however we do expect you to dress in a way that avoids offending others. That means no rude slogans and no beachwear! Make-up, piercings and any hair style is fine – just relax and be yourself.