Statement on remote/online study

Statement on remote study - January 2021

Introduction

The College moved to remote learning for most students on January 5th, excepting a small group of vulnerable students and young people of key workers, during this period of national lockdown.

We completely understand the uncertainty and frustration that many of our students (and the parents of our 16-18 students), are feeling at the prospect of an indefinite period of completely remote learning and with no clear examination and assessment process in place for the Summer as yet. Our primary considerations are: to ensure that we continue to provide effective and continuous learning; provide the best possible support, resources and encouragement for you all; and look after your health and well being. We are therefore committed to providing a full and engaging student learning experience whilst ensuring that we achieve a sense of balance for all students.

For our 16-18 students, we have already been delivering a Week A/Week B classroom/remote learning model since the beginning of September, so we have already expanded, improved and developed our online and remote teaching and learning provision over several months. We believe that we are therefore significantly ahead of other Colleges and 6th forms in this respect so moving to 100% online delivery is not a challenge for us. We are confident that our students will reap the advantages and benefits of this and will ultimately be in a very good place for achievement and onward progression after this academic year. We will continue to invest times, resources and effort into ensuring that we can deliver the very best provision for our learners.

Our statement

During the period of national lockdown we will remain open to vulnerable students and the young people of key workers. All other students will learn remotely until February half term at the earliest as they have been doing, according to their A/B timetable since September.

The definition of vulnerable students includes those who may have difficulty engaging with remote education at home (for example due to a lack of devices, connectivity or quiet space to study).

Clinically extremely vulnerable students are advised not to attend until it is safe to do so, as indicated by Public Health England and the Department for Education.

Exams

Where an awarding body continues to schedule exams and has not provided an alternative or contingency for assessment, we will continue to offer these exams and End Point Assessments as scheduled, in a safe and secure environment. Your lecturer, tutor or assessor will contact you only if this applies to you.

14 to 16, 16 to19, and students on Higher Education programmes

  • All sessions will be live streamed on TEAMS and recorded as per your published timetable.
  • You will continue to receive full access to your teachers for assessment, feedback and support.
  • Your teachers will use a combination of Microsoft Teams, SC Connect, the VLE and Moodle to communicate with you, deliver their sessions and for you to upload your work for assessment. Where there is a particular need to do so, your tutor may email you or post some resources to you, for you to work on.

Apprentices

  • Theory and practical skill demonstration sessions where possible, are running successfully via remote learning using TEAMS or Smart Assessor in line with current timetables.
  • During some sessions, tutors may set self-study work, but will be available during the lesson time to support and answer questions remotely via TEAMS or Smart Assessor.
  • Assessment is taking place within the workplace where possible, providing the employer has completed a Covid-19 risk assessment, and where apprentices and their assessors are able to attend. Where assessment in the workplace is not possible, it will be undertaken remotely or postponed until after lock-down. The assessment plan will be revised to allow progress to continue with elements of the apprenticeship that can continue remotely.
  • End Point Assessments at the College and at other locations will continue while national or local restrictions allow them to take place, and the End Point Assessment organisations permit.

Adult Part-time courses

  • In the vast majority of cases, courses are continuing to run successfully via remote learning, using a combination of Teams for live sessions and the VLE for assignments and additional resources.
  • Because of the breadth of programmes and delivery types offered to adults, the expectation for attendance at sessions and completion of work will be set out clearly to you by your tutor. We expect that learning will progress in line with the original start and end dates planned for the course, although there may be changes to availability and timings of assessments depending on the awarding body used.
  • In a small minority of cases where programmes cannot be delivered remotely, we will be in touch with individuals to outline the options.
  • For non-qualification ‘Leisure’ courses, we have a range of programmes that have been adapted for remote ‘live’ delivery via Teams. Where there is not a remotely delivered equivalent available, we will offer learners the chance to transfer or obtain a refund for their course if they have already paid.
  • Where the usual method of delivery is via distance learning, there should be no change to either the learning programme or the support available to you.

We will keep all learners updated about any changes to assessment plans as they are published. Where there are unavoidable delays to assessments, determined by the awarding body or by national guidance, we will ensure that learners remain ‘assessment-ready’ by providing continued support up until the point of the assessment, so that they are not disadvantaged.

We expect that all 16-19 students and apprentices:

  • Will attend all online timetabled sessions – a Teams invite or instructions will be sent to you.
  • Will take part in all the learning activities that have been set and will communicate regularly with your teacher or assessor.
  • Will let your teacher or assessor know if you are unable to take part in your online classes through illness, technical failure or any other reason.
  • Will inform your teacher or assessor if you are struggling to complete the work set or remote learning is affecting you in other ways which might prevent you achieving your qualification.
  • Will respond to feedback from your teacher or assessor so that you can continue to make good progress on your course.

Adult Part-time courses

Adult provision will continue to run with remote sessions in line with the advertised timetable, and therefore we ask that all learners continue to demonstrate appropriate commitment to attending virtual sessions, accessing resources, and the completion of assignments to published deadlines. If a change in personal circumstances means that adult learners need additional flexibility, we ask that they discuss this with their teacher as soon as possible to determine the best course of action.

Arrangements for students studying courses that require specialist equipment or facilities

  • Where you are on a course which requires specialist equipment, facilities or software to complete your work, your teacher or assessor will be in contact with you to discuss how we can support you. It is possible that this may need you to attend college in a safe way to access the particular resource.

Support for students without devices, connectivity or a suitable environment for learning

  • If you do not have access to a device, connectivity or a suitable environment for learning please let your teacher or assessor know immediately. They will seek to resolve any issues and in the meanwhile we may ask that you attend the Learning Centre on site to access your sessions.

Support for students with SEND Students with particular needs

  • We will discuss with each learner and their parent or carer where applicable the best course of action for study. We will agree a plan with you to ensure that you can access your teaching in a safe environment.

Mental health and Well Being

We understand that the current situation is a difficult one for all concerned, but while you may not be attending physically for the time being, you are still a New College student and you are entitled to all the support which you would expect to receive under normal circumstances. You are not alone and if you need our help, we are here for you.

Please use this link if you have any safeguarding concerns.