Dear Students / Parents / Carers,
I hope that this letter finds you safe and well and that you are coping with the continued challenges of remote learning. I am sure you will have seen Boris Johnson’s announcement on Monday and will have questions about returning to college; how exams, assessments and grading will actually work and what college will be like when you return. I hope to answer some of those questions below.
Since the 17 December, the college campus has only been open for small numbers of staff and students to work, with the vast majority of students and staff working from home. As part of the Government’s roadmap, all schools will begin to see all students return to face to face teaching and learning from Monday 8 March (full details can be found here). The return of students is to be accompanied by the offer of asymptomatic lateral flow testing for all students before they resume full face to face teaching. To ensure that all students return to college as quickly and safely as possible, and to reduce the risk of within college transmission, we will bring students back into college in phases with their first day of attendance being combined with a lateral flow test. In line with government guidance all students will be offered 3 tests, spaced by 3-5 days over their first few weeks at college. All students and staff will then be offered home testing kits for use at home in the weeks leading up to Easter (in the first instance).
We are encouraging all students to take lateral flow tests (full details are attached to the email). If students (without symptoms) are tested on return, we will reduce the amount of transmission within our community and minimise the impact of Covid-19 on our return to college. This means that more students and staff can spend more time in college, and we can reduce the risk of transmission between members of our college community and their families. Lateral flow tests aren’t a pleasant experience, but for the sake of 10 seconds of uncomfortable nose and throat swab they can protect other people. Staff have been offered twice weekly testing since January and I can promise you that you soon get used to the process.
Below is a plan of how the phased return will work:
Monday 8 March - Only Second Year Extended Diploma, Level 2 and Level 1 Students who have consented to testing to attend on-site. Your tutor will confirm which room your tutor group will be using, the plan for your day and what you need to do before attending. Students who have borrowed College IT equipment must return it to their tutor. All other students to continue timetabled remote learning.
Tuesday 9 March - Only First Year Diploma Students who have consented to testing to attend on-site. Your tutor will confirm which room your tutor group will be, the plan for your day and what you need to do before attending. Students who have borrowed College IT equipment must return it to their tutor. All other students to continue timetabled remote learning.
Wednesday 10 March - Only A-level students who have consented to testing to attend on-site. Your tutor will confirm which room your tutor group will be using on the day, what the plan for your day will be and what you need to do before attending. Students who have borrowed College IT equipment must return it to their tutor. All other students to continue timetabled remote learning.
Thursday 11 March - ALL students to resume normal onsite lessons. All lessons will run in the normal timetabled rooms at the normal times. All students with borrowed College IT equipment must return it to a Learning Resource Centre (LRC).
Friday 12 March - Lessons in college until Easter holidays.
Please complete a testing consent form by Friday 5 March. Students over 16 can provide informed consent can complete this online form themselves, having discussed participation with their parent / guardian if under 18. Students who do not wish to consent to testing should return to college from Thursday 11 March.
- All college buses will run as normal from Monday 8 March and catering facilities will be open in Temple Refectory.
- A face covering must be worn at all times when on a bus or inside a college building except when eating or drinking. Students who are exempt from wearing a face covering must instead wear a clear plastic face shield (these will be provided by the college). Face coverings must be worn outside where social distancing is not possible.
- Temple LRC will be open for first year students and Garrow LRCs will be open for second year students as normal.
- Staff and students must sanitise their hands using the sanitation stations provided when entering any building and room.
- Students must wipe down their workstation before and after use.
- Any staff or students who experience Covid symptoms or test positive without symptoms must follow government guidance on self isolation, the completion of a PCR test and engagement with NHS Track and Trace (full guidance here).
Teacher Assessed Grades
Following the Education Secretary’s previous announcement that A Level and GCSE exams are cancelled this summer, it has today been announced by him that students will receive grades awarded and determined by lecturers, with students only assessed on what they have been taught. No algorithms will be used. Lecturers will submit grades to exam boards by Friday 18 June.
The college expects to receive further detailed guidance from exam boards to support lecturers to make their judgements before the end of the spring term. A copy of the Education Secretary’s letter to Ofqual can be found here. During your first days back in college, we will explain what evidence we will use to generate your grade in each subject.
Results days for GCSE, A level and some vocational qualifications will take place in the week beginning 9 August – moved forward from the week beginning 23 August. These earlier dates provide additional time for appeals to be completed, so students reliant on those outcomes to achieve their university offer have the best chance of accessing a place.
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 at WWW.CALLYWITH.AC.UK/COVID-19
Alternatively, if you have any questions you can call us on 01208 224000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Jon Grey
Previous letters and COVID-19 Advice and Guidance:
Letter to Students / Parents / Carers - 28 January 2021
Letter to Students / Parents / Carers - 5 January 2021
Letter to Students / Parents / Carers - 1 January 2021
Letter to Students / Parents / Carers - 8 December 2020
Letter to parents - 19 November 2020
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.