The government has now published clear guidance for schools and colleges on maintaining provision for young people in certain categories from Monday 23rd March.
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30 March 2020
All of our staff are still working hard to provide teaching and learning to students and to continue to provide services to apprentices and employers. We know this is a difficult time for everyone and maintaining a routine and a clear focus on achieving your goals is a positive way to stay optimistic about the future.
We are providing students with access to remote learning during the closure period to ensure all students can continue to work towards achieving their qualification or to enable them to progress further in their studies. The government has committed to ensuring all students in the current academic year do not miss out and we are awaiting confirmation on what this will mean in terms of individual qualifications. It will therefore be important for individual students to ensure they continue their studies and are able to evidence they have reached the required level to achieve their qualification or in order to progress their studies further.
The College is taking the following actions to help students to progress in their studies:
- All students will have been set work by their tutor to complete remotely, either online or paper-based activities.
- Teachers are available during the normal timetabled hours to direct learning and provide support. Teachers will check to see if each student is engaged in the activities during each session. Teachers can also be contacted online via Microsoft Teams, email or telephone. Students can download Microsoft Teams on to their phone or other devices.
- For those studying English and/or Maths, teachers will have set tasks to be completed on a weekly basis by 12 noon each Friday and are available throughout the week to answer queries and provide help.
- If you do not know how to contact your tutor or are not sure what tasks you are required to complete please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- In addition, teachers will contact students on a weekly basis for a short academic tutorial to check on your progress and general well-being.
- The Student Services team will also be contacting students to offer general support and advice including for Bursary. You can also contact them at any time via email@example.com.
- Students in receipt of Free College Meals will receive an equivalent payment directly into their bank account to contribute towards the cost of meals while studying at home.
- We have developed a short guide to help students engage in online learning. Parents and carers may also want to read this to help them understand how they can support to help ensure learning remains productive.
- We have also collated a range of well-being resources to help students and their families while they are based at home. This includes inspiration and advice on activities anyone can try while at home to help keep them feeling positive and motivated.
- If parents or carers have any questions or concerns about work that has been set for students then they can contact the tutor, or if you have any general questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will reply as soon as possible, Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:00pm.
I hope everyone keeps safe and well in these difficult times and please be assured the College will continue to do everything we can to support students and to help them to achieve their goals.
You may have seen this in the media and if not, it is available on the www.gov.uk website.
The guidance provides a clear directive from the government that from Monday, young people should remain at home, if at all possible.
The purpose of school and college closures is to further limit the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, if your child can safely stay at home, then they should do so to limit the chance of the virus spreading. This is how everyone within our community can and should play their role to help minimise the spread of the virus.
It is not the Government’s intention that schools and colleges will continue to provide the normal curriculum or programme of study that students would have received. The College will only remain open to provide care and supervision for the children of parents/carers who work in the critical sectors and whose children cannot remain at home.
Supporting Vulnerable Children
The Government have also asked that schools and colleges remain open to vulnerable children (including those with EHCPs) but again only those who cannot safely be cared for at home. Parents and carers should also follow government guidelines to self-isolate at home those students who have an underlying health condition and who therefore should not attend College, as they are more vulnerable to contracting the virus.
The College, like many schools, will be providing all students with online learning activities. Those students who do come into College, as they meet the government criteria will be provided with opportunities to complete this online learning during their normal timetabled slots, as well as being able to participate in a small range of other extra-curricular activities.
Eligible students will be able to attend College between 9:00am and 4:00pm, Monday to Friday. Students should arrive at College via the main reception each day. They should not go to their normal building or classroom as the limited provision is likely to be based in a central location in the College campus.
The College is also seeking to minimise the number of staff required to travel and attend work. In addition, a significant proportion of staff are required to self-isolate due to the virus. Therefore we have a very limited number of staff available to us. This means that it is unlikely that young people attending College next week will be supported by their usual teacher. Also, if a young person normally receives specialist or additional support, it is highly unlikely that we will be able to meet this requirement in these exceptional circumstances.
Keep In Touch
Finally, if your child is currently unwell, with or without Coronavirus symptoms, then they should remain at home. Where it is Coronavirus symptoms households should follow the government guidance on self-isolating for 14 days from the first symptoms.
If you feel your child meets the Government criteria and you require support with their care from Monday 23rd March please email email@example.com as soon as possible to confirm they will be attending.
If you have any general queries please also contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Principal at The Isle of Wight College.