South Devon College launches new Head Start programme via exclusive student app

South Devon College 2019
Photography by Roy Riley

South Devon College is preparing to welcome a new cohort of school leavers in September, but this year, things look a little different. Early summer is usually a time for taster days and welcome sessions, where students visit the College’s Vantage Point Campus in Paignton to get an exciting sense of what’s to come in the next stage of their education. This year, these preparations will happen online, during an innovative programme called Head Start, which will be delivered via the College’s exclusive app, SDConnect.

Traditionally, taster days have an important role to play in easing the transition from school to college; providing reassurance to young people by answering questions and keeping them focused on their goals and ambitions.

Whilst the College is currently unable to open its doors to this new generation of students, Head Start will enable the team to maintain its usual level of support to a new cohort of school leavers.

Head Start is an online programme which will take place throughout the next few months, with meaningful course related activities and suggested preparations, the opportunity to get to know your tutor, and receive pre-enrolment information. Then once your course starts in September you be able to communicate with friends and collaborate with classmates through the app.

This online programme allows transitioning students to dip in and out of the content that would normally be available on a taster day and take this stage of the journey at their own pace instead of attending College at fixed times.

This flexibility has been enabled by the College’s app, SDConnect, that’s free for students and staff. Since its soft launch earlier this year, the app has been used for real time class schedules and has provided a secure space for classes and their tutors to communicate about their studies. More functionality is planned for release over the coming year.

Head Start and the SDConnect platform will allow for improved monitoring of progress and additional support for students that are struggling with getting to grips with the next stage of their studies at the College.

Get a Head Start on the next stage of your journey. It’s the best place to be right now if you are going to be studying at South Devon College in September 2020.

To find out more, visit the College website at If you have any other questions about Head Start, please contact 08000 380 123 or email

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