College update - 04.02.21

4 February 2021

Dear student

I hope all is well with you and your families this week. The weather has been a little variable, but I hope you are managing to get a little fresh air and exercise when you can. Spring will soon be here- something to look forward to! Here are a few messages for you regarding college and arrangements over the next few weeks.

Assessment week (1st -5th February)

Assessment week has now taken place, with the last of the assessments scheduled for this afternoon. Considering that we have never carried out assessments in this way before, your teachers are reporting that this week has gone smoothly, the system has worked well and attendance has been high. We realise that it probably felt a little strange, but well done and thank you for your part in this. Hopefully, A Level and Mixed Programme students have been able to catch their breath a little today and maybe catch up on a few tasks while your teachers have been marking and standardising. The grades for these assessments will be your latest ‘working at’ grades that we make available to parents. For vocational courses where you did not sit an assessment this week, your teachers will make a rounded judgement as to your current working at grade.

Next week is a ‘normal’ remote learning week, with all lessons taking place as planned. We will finish at 4pm on Friday 12th February for a well-deserved half term break. You will return after half-term on Monday 22nd February for a day with a difference (see below) and timetabled lessons will begin on Tuesday 23rd Feb.

For the small number of students who have missed one or more of their assessments this week, we are arranging an opportunity for you to sit these assessments next week. Further details will follow on Monday, but you will sit these on Wednesday if you are an A1 student and Friday if you are an A2 student. The days chosen are your study days to ensure that no further learning in lessons is missed.

Monday 22nd February

The Spring term is where we would normally put on lots of careers/UCAS and employability sessions in a month known as “Imagine Your Future Month”. We are keen that you have access to the same help and support as usual, but of course this year it will be organised a little differently.

So, Monday 22nd February will be “Imagine Your Future Day”. We are delighted to say that we have secured speakers from a range of universities, employers and apprenticeship providers to contribute to this day and there will be something that is relevant for all students.

This is a day that you would normally attend college, and the day will benefit you in in terms of your future planning, so attendance is compulsory for all A1 and A2 cohorts - whether

you are A Level, Vocational or Mixed Programme. You will each attend three sessions on a carousel basis, and you will be registered in each session by senior tutors. Timings are below – we will let you know in the coming week of further details and, for A1 students, whether you have been allocated to the morning or afternoon cohort.

· A2 Employability - 9am-11.30am

· A2 UCAS - 9.30-12pm

· A1 AM - 10-12.30pm

· A1 PM - 1.30-4pm

Future assessments

We are unsure at the present time what the final assessment arrangements will be in the summer. The government consultation is now completed and we are expecting to be told in early March what the final decision is. Once we know this, we will inform you and your parents as to any changes we may make to our planned assessments. In the meantime, continue learning, following the advice of your teachers and practicing in the style of assessment that is normal for your course – then, whatever is to come, you’ll be prepared as best you can be. Please be assured that any decisions we make will be made with fairness and consistency in mind and we (again) ask for your patience so that we can make decisions which are fully informed.

Online learning and acceptable behaviour

While the overwhelming majority of students are showing a great deal of maturity, respect and professionalism in the current remote learning environment, we have been made aware of a small number of incidences of unacceptable conduct. I do not believe in “telling off the whole class” for the behaviour of such a small number of students; that is never fair. Students who have behaved in a way that falls short of our expectations have been dealt with individually, but I wanted to re-issue our Acceptable Use Policy as it is some time since we last sent this out, and so that our expectations are clear.

And finally…

Thank you all for another great week of learning. We know you’ll be tired and missing human contact, but we’ll soon be on a path back to normal. Keep up the energy for next week, and you can look forward to a little more ‘down-time’ the week after.

All the best to you and your families and please stay safe.