Dear Students / Parents / Carers
Following the announcement made by Boris Johnson yesterday evening (Monday 4 January), I am writing to you with an update on the college’s response to the new national lockdown. Once again, the college buildings are closed but the college community is fully accessible and active online. Therefore, we expect that all students attend all timetabled sessions during the coming weeks.
In line with government guidance we will be teaching remotely this half term. The College campus will have skeleton staffing for the remainder of this week to facilitate the collection of any items you will need to learn and study at home. Please contact your tutor as soon as possible this week to coordinate any essential visits. There will be no catering available onsite from Monday 11th January until onsite delivery resumes.
Online teaching and learning
From 9:15 this morning (as planned) all lessons and tutor sessions will take place via Microsoft Teams in line with the normal college timetable. Our excellent teaching staff will deliver live content, pre-recorded activities, independent work, group activities and projects. We are confident that we can offer high quality teaching that will ensure students who engage with the delivery will not be significantly impacted by the loss of in-person contact. In line with government guidance, we are planning to deliver in this way until at least February half term (15th-19th February).
Any student who cannot connect to online learning due to lack of appropriate IT equipment or poor internet connection must contact their tutor as soon as possible to ensure that the college can offer as much support as possible. The college is open for EHCP/high need students who cannot access online teaching and learning from home. The on-site provision will facilitate students to access their remote learning from the college site. Please contact Jen Brown, Assistant Principal for Student Experience, if this applies to you on firstname.lastname@example.org.
January BTEC exams **UPDATED**
Following the late guidance from the Department of Education this evening (Tuesday 5 January), the Government have given schools and colleges the responsibility of choosing if they run BTEC national exams during January rather than taking a national decision, as they have in GCSE and A Level qualifications. Therefore we have taken the very difficult decision not to run the January BTEC exams at Callywith College. I know this will be disappointing for some students, but in order to protect the physical and mental well-being of all students and staff at the College, we have been forced to make this late announcement.
We will provide more details as soon as possible on how grades will be awarded in the absence of January BTEC exams. This has been a very difficult decision but the safety of our student and staff is our highest priority.
All students who have paid for an annual or spring term bus pass on the portal will automatically receive a 50% refund on the cost of the spring term pass. Refunds will be actioned over the next two weeks.
Free School meals
Free school meal allowances will continue to be paid directly into bank accounts of eligible students on a weekly basis. If you are eligible for free school meals and have not received this payment over the Christmas holidays it is likely we do not have your bank account details. In this case please email email@example.com with details as soon as possible.
We are desperately sad to not be welcoming students back on site this half term, but we are determined to provide the very best remote education and pastoral support possible. Entering a third lockdown phase during the winter months will present its challenges and the College’s Student Services department and our Health, Wellbeing & Sport teams will still be available to offer support to all members of the college community over the coming weeks.
I know that it can be hard to remain focused during this time of fluctuating uncertainty. However, if you can build a new routine at home based around your online learning and integrate good, healthy behaviours and habits you can still focus on your long-term goals. Not knowing how and when qualification assessments will take place is hard for all of us, but what is of real value is what you learn, not just about your subjects but about yourself. Aiming towards a future goal by working hard to do the best you can today is a brilliant mindset to take into the coming weeks. By working hard you will ensure that when things are better and when new opportunities come your way you will be ready to seize them.
If you have any Covid-19 related concerns or questions, please refer to the guidance at WWW.NHS.UK or WWW.GOV.UK for the most up-to-date information and advice.
Further details on how the College is responding to the challenges posed by Coronavirus and the latest advice and guidance can be found below and by following us on social media.
Alternatively, if you have any questions you can call us on 01208 224000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay safe and enjoy learning.
Dr Jon Grey
**Updated 1 January 2021** COVID-19 Advice and Guidance:
COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection
Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection who do not live with the person.
Other Covid-19 Advice and Guidance:
Course and Qualification Information
Guidance for year 11 students
Year 11 students preparation work
Online Safety and Advice for Students
Online Safety and Advice for Parents/Carers
Higher Education/UCAS Information for Parents/Carers
Mental Health Advice and Guidance
Remote Learning Guide
Covid-19 safety measures in place – Updated 27 August 2020
In response to the guidelines published by the government, we have measures in place and are ready for the safe return of students and staff.
Find out more about these safety measures below:
Space - Our current campus buildings are spacious, modern and well ventilated (including automated fresh air replacement system). For September 2020 we are constructing a new building to allow us to spread out further. The new building contains 7 classrooms, toilet facilities, a new study centre and offices. This will add to our existing communal spaces and allow reduced classroom changes for staff and students.
Bus travel - All students will be expected to follow the bus company rules for wearing face coverings when travelling on college or public buses. Face coverings will be required on buses. Fresh face coverings should be used for each journey. College buses will run as normal.
Bus passes will be contactless utilising a mobile app.
Students will be able to track GPS location of buses via the app to reduce waiting times at bus stops.
Buses will undergo rigorous, daily cleaning procedures.
All Callywith bus services will be for the exclusive use of Callywith students with no members of the public having access.
General - **All staff and students must carry a face covering in a plastic bag whilst at College.**
Face coverings must be worn around the College, particularly when moving through corridors and other communal areas, students are also encouraged to wear them in classrooms and study areas. Those who are exempt from wearing a face covering are advised to carry or wear their exemption certificate, to avoid misunderstanding.
Regular hand washing and/or hand sanitising is required throughout the day. Sanitising stations are present in the entrance to all buildings, all classrooms, all learning centres and refectories.
We recommend that all staff and students carry personal pens, sanitiser and wipes, in case of unexpected shortages.
Timetables will be issued on 3rd September 2020 and be available online via our Student Advantage app.
At the time of writing, we plan to follow the government guidelines and support all students to attend classes in College. We have contingency plans to utilise remote delivery and online learning should the situation change.
All buildings have one-way systems in operation.
The College operates a cashless catering system. You can use debit cards and contactless payment Apps for contactless payment, or you can load cash onto the ID cards by using the on-site cash loading machines.
Catering – all areas will be open for takeaway food only, with one-way service systems, socially distanced standing use of catering areas for consumption of food available.
Additional, covered outside seating has been installed around the college site for use where possible.
Classrooms have been modified with all seats facing forward and tables spaced appropriately.
Learning centres have been adapted to create socially distanced workstations. Desk cleaning and hand cleaning stations are installed in all areas.
Day-time cleaning has been increased to ensure high frequency cleaning of touch points such as toilets, door handles and handrails around the campus.
“Catch it – Bin it – kill it” and “effective hand washing” posters and strategies have been installed.
Sneeze screens have been installed in all areas where support staff have high frequency of engagements with individual students and Microsoft Teams will be used for some aspects of 1 to 1 support.
Visitors have restricted access to site and will only normally attend the campus outside of normal teaching hours.
The College has a roaming Wi-Fi system which you will be able to log into for free access. Whilst it is not essential, we encourage students to have and use their own mobile computing devices (e.g. laptop, tablet or netbook) where possible to aid with their studies on campus and engage with online learning. On campus, we have open access study centres equipped with computers for student use which due to Covid-19 will be spaced further apart and cleaned more frequently.
Any student who has Covid-19 symptoms should not attend College, but should immediately arrange a test on-line by going to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/. This must be notified to your tutor and the College through the students’ curriculum secretary by calling 01208 224490 or emailing email@example.com. You should then follow the track and trace advice given by the NHS Test Centre.
Any student who finds they have developed symptoms whist in college should immediately contact a member of staff who will advise of the nearest isolation room to await collection by a family member. These rooms will be located in the most convenient position to avoid contact with others.