College update - 14.05.21

14 May 2021

Dear student

I hope this email finds you well. We know that students up and down the country, with ASFC students being no exception, are at the peak of their work-rate in mid/late May, with final assessments taking place or being just around the corner for all courses. Vocational students will be busily completing the last of their assignments, while GCSE and A Level students will be preparing for final assessments. You are almost there….we are so pleased and proud of your efforts and achievements this far, you just need to keep up those energy levels for a short while longer before a well-deserved summer!

I have a few messages and updates for you today:

TAGs document

Firstly, I hope that all students completing their qualifications this summer have found the information document we sent to you last week relating to TAGs understandable and useful. If anything is unclear, please do ask your teachers or senior tutor, or any of us on the senior team – we are happy to explain anything that needs clarifying. Although we are unable to discuss your Teacher Assessed Grades with you, we can certainly explain the process and our college approach.

Criminology assessments

A1 and A2 Criminology controlled assessments have taken place all week, finishing today. A four hour assessment takes some doing, so a big well done from us all. For A2 students, your course is now completed and A1 students, your teachers will inform you of when you’re next expected to be in lessons and the work they would like you to complete before then.

Well done EPQ-ers!

Each year, those of us who are lucky enough to be EPQ supervisors are absolutely blown away by the originality and imagination of our EPQ students. This year is no different. The quality of presentations we have observed over the past three weeks has been really impressive, and today is the deadline for completed projects which we are looking forward to reading and assessing. To complete this additional, independent piece of research alongside your 3 A Levels, mixed study programme or triple Extended Diploma is a phenomenal achievement, and it has been clear to see how well this has prepared you for your next steps. Well done everyone!

Assessment week next week

Next week is the final assessment week for A Level, GCSE and Core Maths courses. Attendance at these assessments is crucial as this assessment point is the final element of your ‘baskets of evidence’ for each course. Please check your assessment times and venues this weekend, be on time and do the best you can.

Student council – a huge thank you and well done!

Well done and thank you to your wonderful out-going Student Council, who have quite simply been one of the best we have ever had! You may not realise that the student council come along to senior leadership meetings every week to pass on student views, give feedback to us on college initiatives and help us with our decision-making. Current members of the council have worked in difficult circumstances over the past year but have represented you superbly. Their last job will be to induct the new student council once the election process is completed. We look forward to meeting and working with our new student council, and would like to wish our outgoing members all the very best in their future. Many thanks too, to Rick Allanson and Rev Jean Hurlston for their ongoing work with our student council.

Face coverings – update

Changes to the use of facemasks at college

The Prime Minister announced earlier this week that the next stage of the reopening roadmap would come into effect from the 18th May 2021. One aspect of the announcement which was important to the college and to you as students related to the wearing of facemasks on campus. The following changes to the guidance for students will come into effect on Monday 17th May 2021.

  • Students can choose not to wear a facemask in the classroom. You may wear one if you wish.
  • However, facemasks must be worn on corridors and in all social spaces unless you are exempt.

What are the arrangements for next week’s assessments?

  • Students must wear a facemask when going to or leaving the sports hall or other assessment venue.
  • Students can choose to remove their facemask to take the assessment. You do not have to wear your facemask when sitting at your desk.
  • If you need to call for assistance, please wear your facemask
  • You will need to wear your facemask if you need to use the toilet during the assessment

Why has this decision been taken?

Masks can be removed in the classroom as the mitigations we have put in place when classrooms are in use are sufficient to make those spaces COVID safe. Students should continue to use the hand sanitiser on arrival and departure, wipe down their desk or workstation on arrival and departure and practice respiratory hygiene practices. Classroom windows and doors will be used to ventilate the space and create a natural flow of fresh air. In IT suites, the Perspex screens which were installed at the start of the year will remain in place. The furniture in the classroom is laid out to ensure that all students face the same way. Teachers are able to stay 2 metres away from students at all time.

However, we are unable to guarantee that social distancing can take place on corridors and in social spaces, such as Costa, the Food Market, the Learning Commons, the LRC and ST 1.1. The Department for Education’s guidance states that facemasks should still be worn where social distancing is not possible. As a result, we have taken the decision to maintain our current practice; facemasks should be worn in these areas.

This decision reflects the advice provided by the Director of Population Health at Tameside Council.

If the situation in Tameside changes, we reserve the right to amend our policy and ask all members of the college community to wear facemasks in all settings when indoors, including classrooms. Any change to our policy and guidance will be communicated to staff and students prior to any change.

When will this be reviewed?

We will review this decision before half term in preparation for a return to college after half term.

What about public transport?

Facemasks must be worn on all forms of public transport. You will be refused carriage should to fail to do so.

Eid Mubarak

And finally, we hope that all our colleagues and students who have celebrated Eid this week have enjoyed some lovely time with their families, albeit perhaps it a smaller and quieter occasion than usual.

 

Take care, look after yourself, your families and each other; be patient and stay positive.

Anton and Lisa