COLLEGE UPDATE (June 24th)
From: Dr Paul Phillips CBE, Principal and Chief Executive
We know that this is a difficult time for many of you. So, I wanted to personally reassure you that the health, welfare and safety of our students, staff and partners is still the number one priority for the College.
While online learning will continue for all students, the College now has a phased reopening plan, which follows the advice and guidance from both the Government and the Department for Education to minimise the risk of infection as much as possible. This started from Monday 15th June.
Here’s our current plan with some useful FAQs:
Remainder of 2019/20 Academic Year (June 15th – July 3rd 2020)
What have you done to prepare the campuses for re-opening?
Your wellbeing and safety are our absolute priority, and no-one will be required to come onto campus if they feel unsafe.
Here’s what we have been doing to make our campuses safe for your return:
- Social distancing: we have put in place a number of measures, including a one-way system in corridors and classrooms/workshops have been redesigned.
- Cleaning regimes with cleaners on site all day.
Take a look at my announcement which will help give you the full picture (Add Film) Who’s coming back to campus first?
The College will be adopting a phased approach with only parts of specific campuses being opened.
The first phase will be:
- Vulnerable learners and the children of critical workers.
- Learners/apprentices who need to complete assessments to achieve the key qualifications they need to progress to their next stage.
We will contact learners directly should they fall into one of these priority groups. This contact will come from the learner’s faculty and will include helpful guidelines and details on what the learner will need to do when on a learner campus. Please do not attend college unless specifically invited to do so and if you have been asked to attend, please only do so on the day/s time/s you have been given.
Find out about specific programmes here:
Full-time ages 16-19 and adult learners - with adapted or delayed assessments
You must continue to engage with your online learning sessions up to and including the date of your final assessment.
We will be contact you to provide a date and time for your onsite assessment.
Part-time 16-19 aged and adult learners - with adapted or delayed assessments
You must continue to engage with your online learning sessions up to and including the date of your final assessment. You will be contacted by us to provide a date and time for your onsite assessment.
Level 3 final year full time students (other than A Level) - with calculated centre assessments (e.g. BTEC Extended Diploma etc.)
You will receive an exit tutorial with us. Some curriculum areas may continue with online tuition and support where it is felt that this is important to your forward progression. If you have no progression plans you will receive further Information Advice and Guidance from your Personal Tutor and this can be supported with a referral made to the careers team where necessary.
Please remember you can still apply to Higher Education programmes at the College via University Centre Weston www.ucw.ac.uk.
Sixth Form (A Level)
Current Year 13 students
Following the cancellation of summer exams, the Government has asked schools and colleges to use their professional experience to make a fair and objective judgement of the grade they believe a student would have achieved had they sat their exams this year. We have been asked to take into account the full range of available evidence when we grade students - including non-exam assessment; the results of any homework assignments or mock exams; and any other records of student performance over the course of their study at the Sixth Form.
A Level results day will be Thursday August 13th 2020. The College will be sending emails to all learners via their Weston College e-mail address. There will also be an opportunity to visit the college for advice and guidance if required, however the traditional A Level results celebration day unfortunately cannot be held this year.
We have created a Sixth Form Newsletters which summaries what we have been up to since lockdown began and what’s happening over the coming months – you can view this here.
If you have any questions regarding this information, then please contact a member of the Sixth Form by emailing Sixth.Form@weston.ac.uk.
Current Year 12 moving to Year 13 in September 2020
All learners are currently continuing their studies via Microsoft Teams and the Sixth Form Hub. The below details some key dates for our year 12 students as they progress to the final year of their sixth form programme.
w/c 22nd June – our end of year exams for Year 12 students took place at the beginning of June. The Year 12 exam results will be distributed to learners via phone by sixth form staff
w/c 22nd June - the final week of directed lessons for year 12 who have been following a structured programme of virtual learning following ‘normal’ lesson times ceased when lockdown was introduced in March.
Monday 29th June is our virtual careers progression day. We have a comprehensive virtual programme in place to take year 12 learners on a journey to explore their options for when they complete their studies at the Sixth Form. The day will see learners
- Engage virtually with several universities from across the UK
- Begin their UCAS applications
- Find out about options such as apprenticeships, degree apprenticeships and employment opportunities
w/c July 1st is the Weston College Creative Arts Show where A Level learner will have their work on show. The event itself will run throughout July with links to the show website being posted on Weston College website, Facebook accounts, Twitter and Instagram.
w/c July 6th provides an opportunity for us to invite year 12 learners to the sixth form for some face to face contact on exam feedback and progression to year 13/support etc. This is optional and will be conducted within the sixth form in a safe and secure COVID 19 environment based on guidelines from the Department of Education.
Summer work has been created for each subject and provided to year 12 learners progressing to year 13 through their Microsoft Team. This work will need completing before they return to college for the 20/21 academic year.
We have created a Sixth Form Newsletters which summaries what we have been up to since lockdown began and what’s happening over the coming months – you can view this here. If you have any questions regarding this information, then please contact a member of the Sixth Form by emailing Sixth.Form@weston.ac.uk.
Students with SEND/Additional Needs
In response to government advice that learners can start to access the College from the 15th June 2020, we are considering the individual needs of learners with SEND and will be in contact to arrange, if appropriate, a face to face meeting for learners with their tutor or specialist practitioner.
Remote education will remain the predominant mode of learning during this time in order to help reduce the transmission risk of coronavirus (COVID-19).
If you have any questions, please contact us on email@example.com or telephone the faculty office on 01934 411513.
Level 1 and 2 one-year full-time students - with calculated centre assessments
Most learners in this group will be progressing onto a higher-level programme or apprenticeship with the College. If not already, wou will be interviewed for your next programme/ apprenticeship ahead of completing your programme exit tutorial with your Personal Tutor.
You will then need to access your bridging work online through MS Teams as part of the preparation to get you ready for your new programme starting at the College in 2020/21
Level 3 (other than A Levels) in the first year of their full-time two-year programme
You will be taught up until the end of the academic year (3rd July 2020). Where calculated grades have been used to help determine your year 1 Unit outcomes, you will start your year 2 learning.
Where appropriate and if part of your programme in year 2 you will complete any relevant preparation tutorials for industry placement.
You will be re-enrolled for the 2nd year of your programme from week commencing the 8th June. Personal Tutors will provide guidance on the process that will be completed online.
You will also be set bridging work for the summer to help you ‘get ahead’ in your studies prior to the start of your second year.
GCSE maths and English resit
Calculated grades have been submitted and these programmes will complete on the 8th June in line with their planned end date. Learners will be completed and are not required to attend any further lessons or tuition online.
Functional skills maths and English
These programmes will continue up until the end of the academic year to support you with the skills you need to make your progression. This applies to adults and 16-19-year-old learners. Apprentices who need functional skills and are not due to finish in the current academic year will continue to receive tuition online as part of their agreed learning plan.
Adult part time learners with calculated centre assessments
You will continue to receive online tuition and training until the course content has been delivered in full. You will then receive support and guidance regarding your next steps and progression from your Subject Tutor.
Apprentices due to complete their EPA or final framework assessments in the current academic year
Apprentices will complete their EPA as scheduled where proxy or adapted assessment arrangements are available from the EPAO. You will be contacted by the College giving you a date and time for your onsite assessment (should this be required).
The College will work closely with you and your employer where a workplace observation is still required for you to successfully achieve and complete your apprenticeship. In some cases, this may lead to their completion and final achievement going beyond the end of August.
Apprentices due to complete their EPA or final framework assessments in the next academic year
Apprentices will continue to receive any learning and training online. In a minority of areas apprentices will receive some face to face tuition at College. The College will communicate these arrangements to the relevant apprentices and their employers.
What if I am not in phase 1?
For all other learners, if you have not been invited into college by your faculty please remain at home and continue with your online learning via Microsoft Teams.
Please ensure you have regular contact with your tutors, assessors and support staff and continue to engage with online learning to ensure you successfully complete and achieve on your programme. If you need any help, please get in touch with us.
I feel anxious about coming back to campus, what can I do?
We understand that many of you will be feeling anxious. Please do reach out our student support services, who remain available to all members of our community.
For more information on what support is available and access to a wide range of wellbeing resources please click here
When will I receive my results?
A Level student - will get results on 13th August (as originally planned). The College will be sending emails to all learners via their Weston College e-mail address. There will also be an opportunity to visit the college for advice and guidance if required, however the traditional A Level results celebration day unfortunately cannot be held this year.
GCSE students – will get results on 20th August, (as originally planned).
Other qualifications - the dates have not yet been announced, but as soon as we know we’ll update it here and we’ll let you know via email and Microsoft Team.
We are currently working towards releasing all results digitally and will update you on how this will take place when we have confirmation on the process.
New learners joining us in September 2020
I have been offered a place for September, what happens next?
We have written to all applicants asking them to enrol online to secure their place with us for September 2020. Once you have done this you will be given access to our Microsoft Teams community for our new starters.
If you are having any trouble enrolling online or have not received or misplaced your enrolment details then please contact our admissions team on 01934 411481 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
How will I receive information about college and my programme?
Once you have enrolled and secured your place with us, you will receive an email to your college email inbox confirming your place. Your college email address will then act as our means of communicating with you. We will use this email address to:
• Invite you to a pre-induction appointment at the end of August
• Keep you informed of key news and information that will help you before you start your programme.
Staff will also communicate with you through a Microsoft Team for new starters.
What is Microsoft Teams and Virtual Bridging Programmes?
Microsoft Teams is a communication and collaboration platform that enables us to deliver an innovative and exciting learning experience for you. Microsoft Teams is used by our current learners every day during their college programme and this year we have been able to offer it to new learners too, before they start their programme with us.
Once you have enrolled you will be sent your joining code for your Microsoft Team to your college email address. Here you will be able to:
• Access their Virtual Bridging Programme and checklist (this helps get you ready for September)
• Engage with your tutors and fellow learners
• Find out what has been happening in your subject area this year
• Receive invites to specific events that will help you when you start
The virtual bridging programme has been released to all those who have completed their online enrolment and will support your child to develop their knowledge and give them an understanding of some of the techniques and skills they’ll need to be successful as a learner at Weston College.
When will I start at college?
We will continue to monitor Government guidance, but we are currently working towards the following:
• Pre-induction appointments will begin the week beginning 24th August 2020
• Induction will then be a blended approach of online and elements of face-to-face delivery
• The academic year will officially start of Monday 7th September 2020
All information including specific appointment details and information on induction and start of term will be communicated via your college email address.
Specific update for those joining the Sixth Form (A Levels) in 2020
The Sixth Form Bridging Programme is available on Microsoft Teams and is a great way to start to develop the skills and knowledge to be a successful learner. Bridging work for every subject offered is uploaded fortnightly for year 11 learners who are joining the Sixth Form in September 2020. Any year 11 learner who has enrolled for sixth form can access all subject work to enable them to have an experience in any subject they choose prior to September.
Current year 11 students will receive their GCSE results from their school on Thursday August 20th. Weston College will be holding virtual and face-to-face GCSE Guidance Surgeries on Thursday 20th and Friday 21st August. Details of these will be emailed to learners Weston College email address, as well as details published on our website.
What will the College learning experience be in September 2020?
On return to college in September learners will follow a mixed face to face/virtual induction and enrolment period. There will also be in place a full support programme providing learners who require it to help bridge the transition from year 11 to 12 and year 12 to 13.
The nature of teaching from September will depend on the current government advice but it is anticipated to have year 12 and 13 learners attend for at least 50% of their lessons face to face in college supported by continuation of some virtual learning.
We will provide further clarity on this as soon as we are able to do so.
We have created a Sixth Form Newsletters which summaries what we have been up to since lockdown began and what’s happening over the coming months – you can view this here
If you have any questions regarding this information, then please contact a member of the Sixth Form by emailing Sixth.Form@weston.ac.uk.
Students with SEND/Additional Needs
For new learners with SEND or additional learning needs who have applied to Weston College and are due to commence their programme in September 2020, we will be in contact with you over the coming weeks to arrange a ‘virtual’ transition programme to begin to familiarise you with the college environment and provide an opportunity to meet the staff teams.
Please contact us on email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns. You can also telephone the faculty office on 01934 411513 and will we will arrange a remote meeting through Zoom, Microsoft Teams or by telephone.
New academic year: 2020/21 Academic Year (September 7th – July 9th 2021)
The College is very much planning to be fully open in September providing an environment that has the health and safety of our learners and staff as its highest priority.
We will continue to follow government guidelines and maintain robust and rigorous measures an environment that not only meets guidelines, but that feel safe, happy and supports learning.
We are in the process of finalising our curriculum delivery model, but we anticipate it to:
- Have a focus on blended learning (split of classroom and online learning)
- Learners to be in college as much as is feasible and safe to do so with class sizes smaller than previous
- Continuous access to support services both face-to-face and online.
More information will be released soon, but we can assure you that we are extremely confident that we will continue to provide the outstanding learning experience Weston College is associated with.
And finally, I would like to thank everyone for their continued hard work and dedication to their education.
Via its digital infrastructure Weston College has remained ‘open’ during this difficult time and that unlike some other schools and Colleges across the country we are seeing extremely high-levels of attendance and engagement.
I am extremely proud of you all – it still continues to be our mission to provide you with the essential skills and qualifications to create your brighter future….
Take care and stay safe.
Dr Paul Phillips
Principal and Chief Executive, Weston College Group