Covid-19 Update: 28 January 2021

Dear Students / Parents / Carers I hope that you are all managing to stay safe and well during this latest national lockdown, and that you are successfully accessing your normal college timetable remotely. Following yesterday’s announcement of an “earliest” date for return to college of 8th March, I wanted to write and update you as best as we currently can ahead of more concrete information in the weeks to come.

As a college, we have worked hard to help all our students have meaningful and positive engagements with the College. We have loaned 170 laptops and provided mobile data access to many students so far this term. If you are still experiencing difficulties with online lessons, please discuss this immediately with your personal tutor or PTL who will provide the necessary support.

Teacher Assessed Grades

Following the announcement that the A level and GCSE exams are cancelled this summer, and the continued uncertainty over BTEC and UAL assessments, the College is still waiting to receive the latest guidance on how student grades will be calculated. The Government is still running a consultation (closing on 29th January) on this and we should know more after half term. However, all indications are that teachers will need to provide evidence of judgements. Evidence is likely to come from a mixture of classwork, homework, tests, coursework, project work, mocks and exam board assessment tasks. Therefore, it is in the interest of all students to generate as much good evidence as they can.

It is crucial that you continue to attend and participate fully in all online teaching and complete all work to the best of your ability. This will ensure that any awarded grades using any variety of methods reflect your full potential. Work you do during this lockdown period can be used as evidence to produce your grade. The more evidence you produce, the easier it will be for teachers to justify grades. So, meeting deadlines and completing work to the best of your ability will only help secure the grade you deserve. More importantly, by following the guidance of your teachers, you will build the skills and knowledge that will help you seize opportunities in your future.

What does successful remote learning look like?

Setting up
Find somewhere that is as comfortable and uncluttered as possible. Try and work at a regular workstation that doesn’t feel like being at home. Sitting at a table and being somewhere that you don’t normally associate with relaxation will help. Be prepared 10 minutes before your lesson with everything you will need.

During the lesson
Log-in to your session and don’t leave your College account open if you’re away from your computer. Your camera should be on during the lesson. Wearing headphones during lessons and tutorials will help you concentrate. You should participate fully in all online teaching, completing all work to the best of your ability. Ask questions during the session if you have them and interact with your lecturers and classmates as much as possible. Students who fully interact with the online learning materials gain more benefit than those who are passive.

Attendance
Attendance will be recorded and monitored daily. Please keep us up to date with any absences via attendance@callywith.ac.uk or 01208 224490. It is vital that you maintain a very high rate of attendance at all remote lectures. Attendance is just as important for online learning as it is for normal college days. It is very likely that you will be less productive when working from home so missing sessions will not be helpful. We will be chasing up non-engagement just as we would if you didn’t attend college normally. If you have barriers to attendance, we will work with you to support you to engage, but you must try your best and discuss problems honestly.

Mindset
Be kind to yourself. Accept that you can’t control so much of the current situation. The things you can control are your actions and the effort you can put into your studies. Trying your best, given your circumstances, should be your aim each day. Accept that doing your best may not mean that you can do the same amount of work each day. Do as much as you can today just in case you can’t do as much as you want to do tomorrow.

Ask for help
All staff at the college are here to support you to achieve your goals. Therefore, if you need help or advice with anything, please contact your tutor, your PTL, Learning Services or Student Services. We are here to help you.

Re-opening college to all students

We currently do not know when the government will permit all students to return to college. After yesterday’s announcement, we know that this will not be before the 8th March. The Education Secretary has stated that all schools and colleges will get two weeks’ notice of re-opening. As soon as any instruction is made, we will communicate this to you.

With a successful roll out of the vaccine planned, we anticipate that current year one students on A-levels and Extended Diploma courses will return to full examinations in summer 2022, so it is vital that you also maximise your learning opportunity through this lockdown period and beyond. The achievements you are currently making are remarkable. You are facing a challenge which no-one has ever faced before. I am confident that if you continue to try your best, then the excellent teaching and support staff at Callywith can help you keep moving towards your goals.

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 enquiry@callywith.ac.uk

Stay safe and enjoy learning.

Yours sincerely
Dr Jon Grey
Principal
Callywith College