Covid-19 update: 5 Jan 2021

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.

College opening:

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

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.

Bus passes:

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 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

Stay safe and enjoy learning.

Yours sincerely
Dr Jon Grey
Callywith College

For the latest Covid-19 updates and guidance, visit