College update - 07.01.22

7 January 2022

Covid – updated guidance 

Given the prevalence and transmissible nature of the Omicron variant, the government have issued new guidance for schools and colleges. Firstly is the one you’re already aware of, which is the recommendation that students wear face coverings in all communal indoor areas, including classrooms and in examinations/assessments. I’d like to thank you all for your adherence to this; the overwhelming majority of you are arriving to college with facemasks and are wearing these around college to protect yourselves and others. Just a reminder that, if you are exempt, please display your red lanyard clearly to prevent you being stopped and asked to put on your facemask. Some practical subjects are exempt from this guidance, including practical sport sessions and some practical Performing Arts sessions where other mitigations will be in place. In these sessions, you should follow the guidance from your teacher.  

Secondly, there has been a change in the rules relating to the need for a follow-up PCR test where there has been a positive Lateral Flow result. From 11th January, if you are participating with regular Lateral Flow testing (and we strongly encourage this – tests can be collected from college), and are asymptomatic but have a positive LF result, you no longer need to get a confirmatory PCR test. The Lateral Flow result should be considered as your result, and you should begin your period of self-isolation. Whatever your LF result, you should report this through the government system (and absolutely do so if positive) so that the government can gauge the spread of the virus. You should still get a PCR if symptomatic.  

Thirdly, the self-isolation period following a positive test result (either Lateral Flow or PCR) has reduced from 10 days to 7, as long as you have no symptoms and as long as you test negative on Lateral Flow tests on day 6 and 7 of your isolation period. If asymptomatic and testing as negative, you are able to end your self-isolation on day 8 and return to your normal activities.  

Using MS Teams and accessing lessons online 

From next Monday, teachers will open up MS Teams during each lesson, so that you can join the lesson remotely if you are self-isolating. This will not work as it did in the Week A and B system last year (for A2 students who remember that); teachers will not be able to engage in questions, dialogue or chat function through Teams, but you will at least be able to follow the week of missed lessons. You must be ready to join the lesson on time at the start, as teachers will not be able to keep returning to their laptop screens to admit latecomers. We will keep this system going for as long as it feels necessary. EPQ sessions cannot be accessed owing to the individual and independent nature of this qualification.  

If you experience any technical issues in accessing lessons online, please contact Technical Support. They can be contacted using the following address: techsupport@asfc.ac.uk 

BTEC examinations 

BTEC examinations will be taking place over the next few weeks. Where the examination/assessment is taking place in the afternoon session, students are entitled to use the morning as study leave to prepare for the assessment. No other study leave can be taken.  

Some classes may have rooming changes to accommodate these assessments. Your teachers will tell you if this affects your class and the alternative room you should go to for your lessons.  

Criminology Controlled Assessment and Special Consideration 

These assessments have been taking place over the past few days and continue into next week. You’ll remember that before Christmas, we informed you that, in the unlikely event of the summer assessments being cancelled, we would need to know of any mitigating circumstances at the time of key assessments. Please follow the same process for the Criminology assessments and complete the form using the link below. Special Consideration would only be applied if we moved to Teacher Assessed Grades. The link is below. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSenJ3JcapOtOXvRDsNB268AvEz2mURaaLNphnTtBYWQAXX7iQ/viewform?usp=sf_link 

Exams are going ahead 

Although schools and colleges have been asked to make plans in case it is not possible for the summer examinations to go ahead, it remains the plan to run the summer assessments as normal but with the mitigations you are already aware of. For GCSE and A Level courses, pre information will be released by early February as to the content that will be assessed. At this point, your teachers will predominantly focus upon consolidating and assessing this content. Vocational students have already had their concessions applied, in that you have been awarded grades for units that were planned but not completed in the A1 year.  

A2 Mock examinations results day 

Your results from the December mocks will be available to you by 11am on Thursday 20th January 2022.  

A2 coursework deadlines 

The majority of A2 A Level courses that have an NEA (coursework) component have a spring term deadline, many of which are in the next few weeks. Your teachers will have informed you of the deadlines for the courses you are studying, so this is just a reminder to make this your priority. This is also the term that EPQ students really get stuck into their research and make real headway with their essays and presentation planning.  

GCSE resit/autumn exams results days 

For students who sat the Autumn GCSE examinations in Maths and English, your results day is next week, Thursday 13th January 2022. If you have now achieved a Grade 4 or above, you will no longer need to attend GCSE lessons in college. If you have not yet achieved a Grade 4, you will continue to attend classes and will be entered again in the summer.  

The results day for any other GCSEs students may have sat in the Autumn term, the results day is Thursday 24th February 2022.  

A1 and Level 2 Formal Assessment Point 

The next Formal Assessment Point for all A1 courses and Level 2 Vocational students is coming up soon in Week Beginning 17th January. These assessments will be in class; your teachers will inform you of which lesson the assessment will be used.  

Level 2 students who wish to apply for L3 courses at ASFC 

L2 students will be completing applications for L3 courses at ASFC during tutorials in Week Beginning 17th January. You will have your Progression Interview shortly after that. Any offers we make will be conditional upon your grades (in your vocational courses and any GCSEs you may have needed to resit), your attendance and pastoral record (which includes behaviour, study skills and work-rate).  

UCAS deadline 

A reminder to all A2 students that the UCAS deadline for most courses is 6pm on 26th January. If your UCAS form is not yet completed, please get onto this as a matter of urgency.  

New round of Enrichment courses 

With the new term comes a refresh of our Enrichment Programme. Those of you who participated in out of class enrichment activities last term may wish to try something new this term, and those of you who were settling in last term and did not undertake any additional enrichment may think that now is a good time to try something. Please listen out and read your emails for further information.  

 

Lisa Richards

Assistant Principal