FAQs

My School has a sixth form, do I have to stay there?

Although you now have to stay in full-time education until the end of the academic year in which you turn 18, it's your choice where you want to study.

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Why should I choose Truro and Penwith College?

There are many reasons why both Truro College and Penwith College are great places to study after you have finished school. You will be studying at one of the best non-selective Colleges in the country when it comes to academic achievement.Click here to find out about our outstanding results.

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Can I have a look around the college?

Of course. Both Truro and Penwith College run a number of Open Events throughout the year. You can meet the staff, see the fantastic new facilities and find out about your life as a student. See our events page for more details.

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I can't decide what type of course to take; what might help me choose?

The 'Options Explained' section in our prospectuses give details about the types of courses we offer and what they entail. You can also visit our 'What Qualification' page for more information. There is a huge choice at both colleges, from A Levels and the IB to vocational courses and Apprenticeships, so there is bound to be something to suit you here. Visiting the colleges at one of our Open Events is highly recommended to help you make this decision.

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Can I go to University if I don't take A Levels?

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is recognised by universities as an increasingly popular, challenging alternative to A Levels. Many good Higher Education institutions respect the IB for its high standards and broad yet detailed approach. Vocational courses also provide a proven route to university providing the subjects are compatible. College Open Events are a great opportunity for you to find out whether the course you want to follow is suitable for applying to university, as is your interview.

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Do courses have entry requirements?

Yes, most courses do, though we do offer courses for those with no prior qualifications and we always treat everyone as an individual. Please refer to the course information page for details of what grades you need to start your chosen course.

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Can I just enrol in an academy?

No. Academies are offered only in conjunction with a full-time programme of study. They are intended as a supplement for, and not an alternative to, the qualifications the colleges run.

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How do I apply for a course?

The application process is covered fully on the How to Apply section of the website. You firstly complete an application. This can be done online or an application form can be obtained from schools in Cornwall. You can also telephone either Truro College on 01872 267000 or Penwith College on 01736 335000.

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When can I apply and when will my interview take place?

You can send in your application from January onwards. Interviews take place at different times for everyone; this is because each application is looked at and assessed individually. Don't panic if your friend has an interview date sent to them before you do - you can't been forgotten!

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What questions will I be asked at my interview?

Your interview is not a pass/fail test. It is a consultation where you discuss your plans for your future both in and beyond education. Your course choices for your future are looked at relative to your own aspirations, to ensure that the two things match up reasonably well. Parents or carers can attend their child's interview if they wish. At the interview, once a suitable course has been agreed, you will be given an offer card. You need to fill this our and return it to us as soon as possible.

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What if I don't get the GCSE grades I was expecting?

Firstly, don't panic! There's a course available for everyone at both Truro College and Penwith College - not attaining your expected GCSE grades does not mean your offer to study has been withdrawn. You will be asked to attend an advice session, to discuss whether pursuing your selected course is the right choice for you, or if another course might suit you better in light of your recent results.

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How will I get to College?

Subsidised travel is available to full-time students under the age of 19 who live further than three miles from the College. A College transport system is also available for those who do not qualify for this; a bus pass can also be arranged for First routes. Buses on a direct pickup route should run to the College daily.

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What is Study Plus?

Study Plus is an opportunity to further your current interests or develop new ones. Courses on offer can assist you in gaining further qualifications such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award, or they can simply by a way for you to enjoy your hobbies.

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What is a PTL/DTL?

PTL stands for Programme Team Leader. This is the person who is in charge of curriculum and pastoral needs.

A DTL is a deputy to the PTL.

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What is a Personal Tutor?

A personal tutor is a bit like a form tutor at school. They are the main point of contact for you and your parent/carer. You will have a tutorial session each week with your personal tutor where a tutorial programme will be followed. The tutor will focus on academic and personal issues, including two formal reviews of progress in November and February/March.

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What are the timings of the College day?

Monday, Tuesday & Friday

P1 - 9:45am - 10:45am
P2 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
P3 - 12:35pm - 1:10pm
P4 - 1:10pm - 2:05pm
P5 - 2:05pm - 2:40pm
P6 - 2:45pm - 4:15pm

Wednesday

P1 - 9:15am - 10:45am
P2 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
P3 - 12:35pm - 1:15pm
P4 - 1:15pm - 1:55pm
P5 - 2:00pm - 2:40pm
P6 - 2:45pm - 4:15pm

Thursday

P1 - 9:15am - 10:45am
P2 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
P3 - 12:35pm - 1:35pm
P4 - 1:40pm - 2:40pm
P5 - 2:45pm - 4:15pm

(Lunch is generally taken during Period 3 or 4)


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What are study periods?

Study periods are sessions during the day which are non-timetabled. We expect you to use these sessions wisely for private study in one of our libraries or study centres.

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How can I get extra help with my work?

You can get extra help with your work by speaking to your subject lecturer about any difficulties, by using the College's Moodle (virtual learning) site and also by dropping in and making an appointment at one of our Study Centres across the College where staff are available to help with study skills, English and Maths.

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How much time should I be spending on Private Study?

This will vary at different points in your course, but on average we expect that students should need to work for at least an additional 15 hours per week on top of their attendance in lectures. Sometimes this will be devoted to a written homework assignment or coursework. Other our of class work might include research, wider reading, revision and consolidation, etc.

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Do you have progress (Parent/Carer) evenings?

Yes, we do. The dates are on our Parent/Carer Page on the website. An appointment system operates. We expect students to make appointments on the behalf of their parent/carer.

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How do we know when to apply to University?
We will start the process with students around Easter time in Year One (some will start even earlier). You will be invited to a Higher Education Information Evening in April/May to learn more. Applications are sent off from early September of the second year of study. Generally, once students have researched their options and made their choices, the earlier they apply for university the better.

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What to do if we have a question or a problem with the bus service to College?

Please contact the Transport Desk at the College for enquiries regarding bus passes, routes and timetables (contact number 01872 267003).

For concerns or complaints about reliability, lateness or missed stops please contact Wayne Bennett, Manager for first Buses, via wayneb@truro-penwith.ac.uk or 01872 308202.

Issues regarding student passenger behaviour on buses should be referred to the Personal Tutor, PTL or Respect Coordinator on 01872 308251.

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How can I receive extra personal support?

Sometimes the Personal Tutor or the PTL may be the first port of call when a student needs help on a personal matter. However, Welfare & Personal Advisers are always available in the Student Services department found in Mylor.

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Where can parents/carers find out ongoing information?
What happens if I have a problem at College?

Either you or your parent/carer should contact the Personal Tutor or PTL in the first instance.

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Will parents/carers receive reports?

Reports on progress are sent home in December and at the end of March. These are followed by Progress Evenings which provide an opportunity for parents and guardians to talk to subject lecturers.

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What are the rules about GCSE Maths/English?

Any student who is yet to achieve a grade 4 in Maths and/or English (either Language or Literature) will be required to retake these qualifications. for those students who achieve a grade 3, this will be GCSE. For those who achieve a grade 2 or below this will be either GCSE or Functional Skills and will be determined by previous qualifications and an intial assessment.

For students who have already achieved a grade 4 there are opportunities available to improve to a higher grade. In many cases progression opportunities will be dependent on achievement of English and Maths. Students can access this type of programme by speaking with their Programme Team Leader (PTL).

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Do we have to pay anything for books?

Students are asked to pay a £30 College deposit at the start of term. This is refundable if all texts and materials are returned at the end of the course.

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What if I lose my swipe card?

You need to purchase a new one as a matter of urgency. This also has the bus pass on the reverse side and is a very valuable item. It also acts as a payment for our food outlets. It is essential that all students have their swipe ID cards with them at all times.

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Where can I get food during the day?

There are a number of food outlets available across the College throughout the day. We operate a cashless catering system. Students need to top up their ID cards at machines situated throughout the Campus.

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Is smoking permitted in the College?

Smoking is not permitted on the College campus. This rule is strictly enforced to protect the health of the vast majority of members of the College who do not smoke. There are dedicated smoking areas provided.

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Are lockers available?

Lockers are available to students who require them. Keys may be obtained from your Curriculum Secretary on the basis of a key deposit of £5 per annum. It is each student's responsibility to ensure that books, personal belongings etc. are reasonably secure. The College can accept no liability for losses.

Students are asked not to bring valuable items or large sums of money into the College; if this is absolutely necessary, ask the Finance Office (A101) to lock any such items in the College safe. (NB: this facility is only available in certain circumstances.)

At the ed of each academic year, students must clear their locker, return the key and reclaim the deposit. All lockers will be emptied by a member of staff at the end of each summer term and any remaining contents will be disposed of.

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Is there a code of conduct for the students?

Yes - it can be found in the student diary.

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