Frequently Asked Questions A-LEVEL - What are reformed A-levels and how many can I take? Reformed A-levels are those where all the public examinations are now taken at the end of the two-year course. Nearly all universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, only require 3 A-levels and it is better to gain high grades in 3 A-levels than lower grades in 4 A-levels. However, if you gained many A*s at GCSE and are determined to take four in Year 12 you can do. APPOINTMENTS - How can I notify you of a doctor/dentist appointment? Our Sixth Form office will need to be notified so that it can be marked down as an authorised absence. You will need to get a Request for Absence form from the Sixth Form office. You can find out more information on our Reporting an Absence page. BTEC - What are BTECs and what is the difference between Level 2 and Level 3? BTECs are qualifications that are similar to GCSEs and A-levels. They tend to be more linked to real-life, specific careers and areas of work. They also involve ongoing coursework completed on computers. BTEC Level 2 courses are one-year courses equivalent to GCSEs. If you show both commitment and ability on these Level 2 course they can lead onto Level 3 BTEC courses or A-levels the following year. BTEC Level 3 courses are two-year courses equivalent to A-levels. If you gain high grades on these courses they can lead to a variety of university courses, apprenticeships and career paths. CAFE - When is it open and how do I pay? You will need cash to pay for the Sixth Form Cafe which is open most days from 8am – 2pm. COURSES - Can I change my course? If in the first two weeks you find that the course is not as you expected you can change to a different course if there is space. After this you are committed to continue for the rest of the course if you want to stay at college. FIREFLY - What is Firefly and how do I log on? Firefly is our Communication Portal for Staff, Parents and Students. It provides a wealth of information including timetables, good letters, reports, trip forms and key information. If you are logging on for the first time, please read: Firefly – Logging on for the first time If you have any problems with Firefly please take a look at our: Firefly Portal User Guide and FAQs FREE SCHOOL MEALS - How do I apply? You can find out if you are eligible for free school meals and how to apply through the Brighton and Hove Council website. GCSE - Do I have to attend Maths and English Language GCSE classes? If you have not yet gained a C-grade GCSE qualification it is now compulsory that you must attend and improve your grade. HOLIDAYS - When are the college holidays? Our term dates showing College Holidays can be found on the Key Dates page. ID BADGE - Do I have to wear this? Your Newman College ID Badge must be worn at all times – this is a security/health and safety requirement. If you forget your badge please go to Reception to borrow a temporary badge and then return it. LOST PROPERTY - Where can I look for lost property? If you find any lost property please hand it into the Sixth Form Reception. Please go to the Sixth Form Reception if you are looking for lost property. MEDICINE - How are these administered during the college day? We have a nurse on the premises who is located by the Main School Reception. The nurse can look after any medicines during the college day that need to be administered. PARENT PAY - Who can I speak to about a parent pay query? Most parent pay queries can be dealt with using the parent pay help guide on the website. There is a wealth of information available to you when you have your account page up such as past payment history and what you need to pay for. If you cannot find the answer here, technical queries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org and financial queries can be directed to email@example.com PARENTS' EVENING - How do these work and how do I book an appointment? Parents’ Evenings take place throughout the year. If you would like to know the dates of your next parents’ evening please view the Key Dates page. When a parents’ evening is coming up, students will be given an appointment card and will book directly with their teachers. SPORTS FIXTURES - How do I know what is taking place and where? All Sports Fixtures are placed on our PE board outside the PE Office. We also have an Online Sports Fixtures Calendar available for you to view on Firefly. More information on our Sports Fixtures and Results can be found on our Sports Fixtures page. STAFF - I need to contact a member of staff. Can you give me their contact details? You can find key staff information on our Staff Details page.