• Police HQ Visit

    On the 25th of January, we were excited to take 14 students (Y12 &Y13) to visit the Nottingham Police HQ in Nottingham.

    Students met with 2 current Business Administration apprentices, PC Karen Crane and had a chance to talk about various career paths, apprenticeships, application process and all things  careers in the Police Force. Students also spent time in the control room where they could see the teams handling the calls and experience this busy and important part of police work.

    Thank you to Nottingham Police for enabling these students to learn more about Police work to help them plan their next steps.


  • Bilborough College is a “Good” College – latest OFSTED report

    Bilborough College Ofsted report Jan 2024 –press release

    OFSTED judges Bilborough College ‘Outstanding’ for Behaviours and Attitudes of students.

    Students at Bilborough College are “enthusiastic and curious, with exceptional attitudes to learning” according to its January 2024 Ofsted report which rated the college as ‘Outstanding’ for student Behaviours and Attitudes and as ‘Good’ for Overall Effectiveness.  Staff and governors were delighted that inspectors praised the college for fostering, “a nurturing and aspirational culture in which students, from many different backgrounds, flourish together” benefiting from “a vibrant, purposeful environment and the diverse and positive culture”.

    David Shaw, the college’s Principal, was keen to compliment the role of the “dedicated” staff team and also had high praise for the students who he said conducted themselves “brilliantly”.

    He said, “I am thrilled that the inspectors recognised our college for treating “students as adults [expecting them] to be self-motivated and autonomous in their learning” and how students responded in a “mature” way, describing themselves as “extremely proud to be Bilborough students”.  It was rewarding to read how our carefully planned curriculum, skilful teachers and effective assessment has led to improvements in attendance, achievement, and high grades and we are committed to ensuring that the very small minority of courses which are not yet at this standard, catch up quickly.

    “I am also proud to be part of a college where everyone can succeed, where students with special educational needs and/or disabilities are very well supported and where personal growth and skills development are highly valued alongside academic achievement.  The Ofsted team were very impressed with our “rich and varied programme of extra-curricular activities” and our “extensive range of progression and work-related activities” which build skills including “problem-solving, resilience and digital literacy” and we are already taking further steps to strengthen guidance for those who aspire to employment at the end of their studies.  This all encourages us to continue our mission ‘to develop confident, curious, happy students, ready to change the world for the better’.”

    Nicky Harrold, Chair of Governors commented, “I am very pleased with the outcome of our recent OFSTED inspection, which was an in-depth four-day visit by seven inspectors.  I am especially proud of the fact that Behaviours and Attitudes of students were found to be “Outstanding” as this is something that every student contributes to, and it results in making Bilborough College a great place to study and work.”

    To view the full report please click here. Applications remain open for September 2024, but a waiting list will be in place once target application numbers are met.

    Notes to editors: Bilborough Sixth Form College is a member of Better Futures Multi-Academy Trust, located on the west side of Nottingham. It draws students from over 80 schools and has grown by over 300 students since 2019. In 2023, a new DfE-funded Technology Block was added to increase capacity to over 2000 students for the first time and it now has approximately 2050 students aged 16-18 studying either a full A Level programme, or a mixed programme of A levels and vocational courses.  Approximately 70% of its students go on to university – a large proportion to research-intensive universities such as the Russell Group – and the remainder into higher level Apprenticeships, employment or further training.

  • Tom Blyth – from Bilborough to Hollywood!

    The Hunger Games franchise, from the books by Suzanne Collins to the films starring Jennifer Lawrence, has a huge following around the world.  Coriolanus Snow, the main antagonist of the Hunger Games Trilogy is now the protagonist of, ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ and the star of this $300 million global box office smash is none other than former Bilborough College student Tom Blyth.

    Tom studied at Bilborough College from 2011-2013, taking courses in Drama and Theatre Studies, Business Studies, Media Studies and Music Technology.  At the age of 21, Tom was offered a spot on one of the world’s most sought-after BA actor training programmes at the Juilliard School in New York, which has trained a host of famous actors and musicians including Robin Williams, Jessica Chastain and Yo-Yo Ma.

    Sharon MacInnes, who taught Tom’s A level Drama class said, “Tom was an exceptionally talented student, who was completely focussed on his goal to become a professional actor.  We always knew that he would go on to have an amazing career in the industry.”

    David Shaw, Principal at Bilborough College said, “Every year an impressive number of our students progress to world-class drama schools and go on to work in the theatre, film and TV industry.  As well as Tom, we have recent alumni in lead roles in productions of both Hamilton and Sunset Boulevard on the West End and we see this as an ongoing pipeline of talent from Nottingham to the world. I’m proud to be associated with Tom’s achievements and delighted that his talent and hard work is paying dividends.  I’m also very grateful to our Performing Arts staff, whose commitment to industry standards and whose ability to instil confidence and self-belief in their students, hugely boosts their chances of success, whatever they go on to accomplish in the future.”

  • Former Bilborough student awarded MBE in Kings 2023 New Year’s honours

    Anisah Osman Britton, who studied at Bilborough from 2009-2011, is one of the youngest people to be awarded an MBE in this year’s New Year’s honours.  She received her award last week from King Charles for services to diversity in tech.  Anisah is also a Forbes 30 under 30 honouree and is listed in the Financial Times’ 100 most influential BAME leaders in tech.

    After completing her studies at Bilborough College, Anisah decided to intern in small to medium sized businesses around the world as an alternative to university. Following that, she started an online freelancing business for students, winning Young Entrepreneur of the year 2012.  Subsequently, she launched a coding school for women where, for every paying student, the school teaches a disadvantaged woman in India.  Anisah said of her time at the college, “your ability to make learning fun, your belief in students and the way you treated us like adults gave (and I’m sure still gives) students that little bit of extra confidence to achieve whatever it was we wanted to achieve”.

    Bilborough’s current Principal, David Shaw, who taught French to Anisah when she studied at Bilborough College, is extremely proud of her achievements.  He said, “I’d love to express my surprise that Anisah has been honoured, but my only surprise is that it has taken 10 years!  Anisah always had a desire to make a difference, and she has maintained that drive in all she has done.  She is a perfect role model for our current students who, like her, are encouraged to believe that anything is possible with the right knowledge, skills and mindsets.”

    Anisah is currently a reporter at Sifted, where she writes the Startup Life newsletter and is the author of ‘Brown Bodies’ where she explores sex in the South Asian diaspora.

  • Eduqas Psychology Research Poster Challenge

    One of our students Nate Smulska has been selected as the winner of the Eduqas AS/A Level Psychology Research Poster Challenge.

    The Eduqas poster competition was used as part of WREP week in June 2023. It was to boost students’ research communication skills. Psychology students across the UK were invited to create academic posters to showcase their research ideas. The poster had to explain what the student’s psychological research idea was, how the research could be conducted and why they think it would be a valuable addition to psychology. Every entry was excellent and the Psychology subject team had a very challenging time selecting a winner. Nate and Bilborough College won £500 worth of prize vouchers each. Below are the judges comments:

    Judges’ Comments

    Eduqas Psychology Subject Officer Rhiannon Murray commented:

    “Nate’s entry was considered to be a well-thought through methodology for an under researched, yet important area of psychology. Although much is known about some eating disorders, it seems clear that we have much more to learn about the impact of gym culture (which encompasses a supposedly healthy activity) and its potential negative impact on psychological wellbeing.”


  • Business Delivers on Green Pledge Made to Midlands Students

    For the last 2 years our Geographers have been involved in the excellent Midlands Engine Young Peoples Green Growth Assembly working to secure pledges from local businesses to do more on the environment. One interesting outcome already has been the development of a Hedgehog House by a local firm to help improve the plight of wildlife. The programme has been amazing to see the students involved going from strength to strength, even very shy students making powerful speeches to rooms full of local business leaders and politicians, we are very proud of them all!

    Read the full article here



  • Gecko’s production of Kin

    We took 140 Drama and Performing Arts students to see Gecko’s production of Kin at Nottingham Playhouse on 12 October.  The piece explores migration, racism and family.  Our students were extremely positive ambassadors at the theatre and gave insightful contributions to the post show Q&A where Gecko’s artistic director Amit Lahav asked the audience to share what they had connected with (most of the voices were our students!).  Here are a sample of some of our student responses:

    “I really connected with the part where the performer painted themselves white and it reminded me of how I, as a black person, or person of colour, has to whitewash myself or code switch to fit into society and feel like I matter.  It made me feel seen and understood in that moment.”

    “I connected with the fact the puppets were their ancestors because I was born here but my parents weren’t, so I feel disconnected from my culture back home, because I have my culture here.  It felt like they were a part of me.”

    “Your piece was really inspiring.  I didn’t think I had experienced racism directed at me, but now I’m thinking at a deeper level it has made me go back to certain parts of my life to see if I was treated differently because of how I looked or how I behaved.  Now I think of it I think that has happened.”

    “I think what really spoke to me was the idea of family as a whole, no matter what culture you are from, or what time period, there is always this idea of family and community.  The fact it was stripped away from these characters, whether that be from immigration borders, or people being taken away to camps, it made me take a step back and realise how lucky I am to have the family I have.”

    “I connected with the moment when they had to change their clothes or how they looked to fit in with other people.  Even outside of other cultures, within one culture, everyone has to change themselves in some way to not stand out of be different.”

    “I feel connected because it shows no matter what colour, what gender, or whoever you are, you should be accepted for who you are.  For me, I was born in Poland and left when I was 2 months old to come to England.  It has been hard for me to find my own culture in this English culture.”

    Another audience member said this in response to our student’s insights:

    “I have been feeling really depressed about everything that is going on around the world, but after hearing these marvellous young people speak tonight, I feel there is hope.”


  • Rolls-Royce Schools Prize for Science & Technology – Special Merit Award Winner

    We have been awarded the Special Merit Award for Science and Technology 22-24 from Rolls Royce. As part of this we will join their School Prize Alumni which will allow us to mutually benefit from a working relationship with the company.

    Our project we are going to conduct over the course of the year will be based around “Solving real-world sustainability problems using artificial intelligence and machine learning”. We have been awarded £1000 as part of the award and we intend to use this money to set up a small robotics team based at Bilborough. We are hoping to buy-in new equipment which we can use alongside the technology we already have to work on programming and coding skills as well as team work and research based learning. We also intend to equip our team with the resources and knowledge needed to showcase what they have learned and accomplished to other students during open evenings and outreach events, in conference style presentations and hands-on workshops.

    We are hopeful that this new enrichment will be launched to students starting college in September 2023 and we will be able to encourage a new group of experts in programming and robotics within the college. The potential connections we can establish as part of our programme makes this a really exciting time for us in our outreach with industry and our local schools.

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