On 2nd October at 7pm, Sarah Grove, Project Officer for the Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Community Rail Partnership attended the Post-16 Open Evening at Melbourn Village College.
Melbourn Village College (https://www.melbournvc.org/) is the local secondary school for the villages of Melbourn, Meldreth, Shepreth, Foxton and Barrington. It also has pupils attending from Harston, Hauxton and Royston. Pupils can study up to GCSE level at Melbourn, after which they must choose where to continue their Post-16 studies.
Around 100 year-11 pupils and their parents first had a talk from Mr Reynolds, Head of Year, about their options at Post-16 and the UCAS Progress application process. After which they were free to roam the stalls to ask questions of the various institutions present. The Open Evening was attended by many of the Sixth Form Centres available to pupils in this area, including Comberton Village College, the College of West Anglia, The Oakes (formerly Netherhall School), Parkside Sixth Form, Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology (CAST), Cambridge Regional College, Long Road Sixth Form and Hills Road Sixth Form. Additionally, the Army and Navy had stalls for those pupils considering a career in the Armed Forces.
One of the things that Mr Reynolds pointed out was that pupils need to consider their transport arrangements and costs for going to Sixth Form. Sarah Grove was on hand to explain how many of the Sixth Form Colleges are accessible by train and to discuss the Cambridgeshire Student Connect Card. This Card, offered by Great Northern, entitles students between the ages of 16 and 18 in full time education a discount of 50% off season ticket prices on the Great Northern Route between Royston and Cambridge. Sarah handed out leaflets explaining the process for applying for the Cambridgeshire Student Connect Card, and had a presentation showing typical annual and monthly prices for season tickets, and train times for students from the villages starting their day at 9 and finishing at 4.
Some parents were already aware of the discount available, having older children already attending Sixth Form Centres in Cambridge, but others were delighted to learn about the discount, and very interested in the prices of season tickets. The initial prices can seem daunting, but it’s good to remember that the season ticket can be used in the evenings and at weekends for travel between Cambridge and the villages for students visiting their friends.