Covid-19 Update: Friday 26 February 2021

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 enquiry@callywith.ac.uk.

Yours sincerely
Dr Jon Grey
Principal
Callywith College