8th March Re-opening Education
We are delighted to be able to begin welcoming back students in a staggered approach from Monday the 8th March. The information about when students will return to College will be specific to their course and will therefore be communicated to them directly via tutors.
We have updated the information below with the latest guidance and arrangements, including some frequently asked questions at the bottom of this page. However, if you do any further questions then please do speak to your tutors.
Key Information for Students Regarding Returning to College:
Lateral Flow Testing:
One of the key Government guidelines regarding the return to campus, is that staff and students are advised to participate in regular lateral flow testing. College students should take their first three tests (each one 5 days apart) at the College’s on-site test facility (details on arrangements for this will be group/course specific and therefore sent to students via their tutors).
The ‘lateral flow’ tests are painless, quick and easy to do and the whole process will be safely supervised by fully trained staff in our test centre on campus.
More information regarding testing at home and how to report your results will be provided to you in due course.
Please be aware that the Government continues to advise that all students should wear masks inside college buildings, including in classrooms/workshops and social spaces, and we would ask for your support in keeping yourselves and others safe. Please note, visors are no longer deemed sufficient and should only be worn in addition to a face covering (should you wish to), and not as an alternative to a face covering.
Face coverings also continue to be a legal requirement on transport and drivers can refuse entry if you are not wearing a face covering or cannot provide evidence of your exemption (daisy lanyards and pin badges).
You will be in the same ‘bubble’ as the Autumn Term, your entrances*, exits and key areas will remain the same unless you are told otherwise by your tutors.
*Kingsway Blue Bubble: We are in the process of upgrading the car park, which means that the BLUE bubble will temporarily be entering college via the main entrance, signage to direct students will be in place.
Travelling to College:
College buses will resume a full service from Monday 8th March. Please note there has been a change to the timetables of the Runcorn C43/X43, please click here for details and if you intend to use public transport please check timetables before you travel.
Exams / Assessments:
I am sure you also have questions about exams and assessments. Although we have had the main announcements from Government last week, we are still awaiting further details and specifics from the awarding bodies. As soon as we have this information tutors will inform you of the specific arrangements for your course.
Remote Learning will continue where appropriate, and tutors will advise students if any of their classes remain online.
If you are unsure on how to access MS Teams, please click here for our guide:
Click here to access our Remote Learning policy.
College Bursary and FREE College Meals
Bursary and free college meals payments will continue as normal regardless whether students are learning remotely or on campus. Bursary payments will continue to be linked to engagement in learning.
Support for Students
- If you are struggling with a device to access home learning please contact your tutor and we will endeavour to support you.
- If you need any support for your mental health and wellbeing, please contact your Personal Tutor or the Health and Wellbeing team via MS Teams or by phoning the College.
- If you test positive for Covid when you are testing in College we will inform you of what to do, if you test positive when testing at home or at another test centre please continue to inform the College via the absence line. Anyone testing positive should immediately isolate with their household for 10 days.
- As always if you are displaying Covid symptoms, please do not attend College under any circumstances and call the absence line.
Thank you for your continued support and if you have any questions check out our FAQ’s below or alternatively contact your tutors or our support teams.
Our College is committed to safety and ensuring our learning environment protects you as well as offers outstanding teaching and learning. We have completed and continue to review (in line with new updated guidance) our Covid Risk assessment. You can access the full risk assessment here.
In addition to guidance we have adopted a number of approaches to minimise risk and keep students and staff safe.
- Participation in lateral flow testing including the set up of testing centres at College.
- Creation of “bubbles” to minimise risk and exposure. Bubbles have been set up with different entrances, toilets, learning areas and lunch times. Please help us by sticking to your bubble.
- Asking staff and students to wear a mask or face covering in all “common areas”.
- Extra cleaning and deep cleaning schedules are now in operation to keep our buildings safe.
- Practice the Catch it, Bin it, Kill it! Approach to good respiratory hygiene.
- Extra hand sanitisers are located throughout the building. We would still encourage all college members to wash their hands more frequently.
- Encourage students and staff who aren’t feeling well to follow NHS advice and not come into college. Please follow government guidelines.
- Signs and information throughout the building to support you if you should begin to feel unwell whilst at college.
- Try and cycle to walk to college if you can. If you are using transport please wear a mask or face covering.
- Not come on campus if you don’t have any scheduled classes to help us control numbers.
- No visitors to the college until it is safer to do so. We will update this as the term progresses.
The government guidance that applies to Further Education colleges can be found here.
Please note that this guidance differs from the government guidance for schools.
A member of College staff will come to you in class and support you to get home. You and your household should then isolate for 10 days.
Please note you DO NOT need to follow up your lateral flow test with a PCR test, Government guidance has changed and you should isolate following a positive lateral flow test.
The government are very keen for all students to return to learning. We feel confident that our mitigations and systems should make you feel more comfortable about coming into college. However, we have a number of teams dedicated to student support who would be more than happy to support you in this process.
Please get in touch with the Programme office if there is anything you would like us to be aware of or you feel you need a bit or support.
To keep you and others safe, please be advised that you will be expected to wear a face covering in all your lessons and in all common areas AND on all transport unless you have a legitimate exemption.
Please be aware that the College has a stock of face coverings.
Face coverings should cover both your mouth and nose. This is in line with government guidance about face coverings for staff and children in Year 7 or above in England.
You must take care when putting on or removing your face covering. Clear guidance is available on how to wear a face covering. We recommend washable, fabric face coverings, rather than disposable ones, for environmental reasons. You are likely to need at least 3 clean face coverings during a college day, including your bus journeys, so please have these with you in small plastic bags, and then wash them each evening.
We would prefer plain coloured face coverings without logos or graphics which could cause upset.
Some people are exempt from the wearing of face coverings, and if this applies to you we ask you to wear a badge on your lanyard to indicate this, so that you are not requested to put one on.
In the event of another lockdown, the whole college will continue all learning programmes online. We will stick to the as closely as possible to the existing timetable you would have been accessing at college. We are committed to supporting all our learners to succeed and are fully prepared if this eventuality should happen.
If a lockdown should happen, we will communicate via our website, via student emails, via MS Teams, as well as our social media channels.
At the moment, our key control measures are to:
A) Participate in lateral flow testing through the onsite test centre.
B) Reduce close contact by maintaining distinct groups (“bubbles”), with all students in the bubble able to attend sessions together.
C) Reduce close contact via social distancing, with limited numbers in each classroom and a blend of on-campus and online learning.
Students enrolled on vocational courses are able to form “bubbles” because they are taught in consistent groups of no more than 25 students, who stay together for their whole timetable. These students are therefore able to access their whole timetable on campus. Social distancing measures are in place across the campus, to ensure that these students have close contact only with those in their “bubble”.
Other schools and colleges are following the same government guidance, but their individual building layouts, student numbers and types of courses, may mean that timetables are quite different.
For students on blended learning courses; your learning will be delivered as a mix of face-to-face on-campus learning and remote and online learning. This will include live sessions, as well as recorded material and additional resources provided on your digital learning platform.
Whole class teaching sessions will be online in a mix of live and recorded formats. This will allow you to access your learning in a flexible way that suits you, through our VLE (SOLAR).
Smaller group and 1-to-1 sessions will be held both face-to-face on campus and online, and are designed to support discussion and collaborative learning, whatever the format. We will provide at least one face-to-face session with each of your teachers, every week.
Practical learning such as laboratory based, performance, technical skills, and studio based will take place on campus where needed, and we have put specific control measures in place to ensure that these sessions are delivered safely.
Your teachers, progress mentor and other staff are available to support you as always, both in person and online.
Your subject teachers will explain what the exact blend will be like in each specific subject area, and what you can expect each day of the week.
Click here to access our Remote Learning Strategy published in January 2021.
Click here for information on 'bubbles'. You will be in the same ‘bubble’ as the Autumn Term, your entrances*, exits and key areas will remain the same unless you are told otherwise by your tutors.
*Kingsway Blue Bubble March 2021 update: We are in the process of upgrading the car park, which means that the BLUE bubble will temporarily be entering college via the main entrance, signage to direct students will be in place.
16 to 19 Tuition Fund
The college is pleased announce that in line with additional funding provided by the Education and Skills Funding Agency for academic year 20/21 we will be offering small group support tuition for all our eligible 16-19 students.
Covid 19 Risk Assessment
This Risk assessment will be under constant review and any changes made will amended.
TRAVELLING TO COLLEGE
- We encourage students to walk or cycle to College where possible.
- If you can, limit your use of public transport. If you can’t avoid public transport or College buses, please social distance where possible and wear a mask or face covering while travelling into College and dispose of / store it safely. It is a legal requirements to wear a face covering on transport and drivers do have the right to refuse entry to the bus/train if you refuse to wear a mask or produce evidence of exemption (daisy lanyard or pin badge)
- When on site learning is taking place all College buses will run as normal.
- Public Transport timetables and frequency is changing during the pandemic, therefore we advise any students using public transport outside of College buses to check timetables before travelling.
HYGIENE AT COLLEGE
The College has already put in place enhanced cleaning regimes throughout the day.
You can help by:
- Washing your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds and more often than usual. Also use hand sanitisers when arriving into College and throughout the day.
- Use the same pens, pencils etc. each time. It is a good idea to bring your own with you for all your lessons.
- Using cleaning equipment supplied to wipe your working area including the back of your chair before you sit down and if possible, try to sit in the same seat.
- In relation to new government guidance, it is a requirement for all students, staff and visitors to wear a face covering in the common areas within college. Visors are no longer deemed to be sufficient and should not be worn in place of a face covering.
KEEPING SAFE AT COLLEGE
To help keep students and staff safe and reduce the spread of Covid 19 we have introduced the following:
- A one-way system and stay alert areas throughout the building including separate entrance, exits and stairways.
- New socially distancing room layouts with new rules for different classrooms including, laboratories, workshops, salons and changing facilities.
- Blended timetables with some lessons taking place at college and others online, using Microsoft Teams and SOLAR.
- Students split into smaller groups known as “bubbles” with staggered start, lunch and break times and dedicated areas within the College.
- Handouts and marked work moving to an electronic format where possible to avoid the risk of cross-contamination.
You can help by:
- Maintaining social distancing practices, where possible, within all learning environments including traveling to and from College.
- Making sure you follow all of the one-way systems in College.
- Being on time to all of your lessons.
- Following all of the hygiene and travel advice.
- When possible using your own equipment.
- Wearing your ID badge at all times.
WELLBEING AT COLLEGE
We know that some of you will be feeling worried and anxious at this time, but it’s reassuring to know that our Programme Management and Health and Wellbeing team will be there to offer you continued support.
- Please speak to your Personal Tutor, any of your teachers or the Programme Management Team if you have any concerns.
If you or anyone you live with displays symptoms of COVID-19:
- Students should not come into College if you they unwell or if anyone in your household feels unwell. You will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days and get a test. A clear result on a test will allow you to re-enter College before the 14 days.
- Students are all asked to tell someone immediately if they begin to feel unwell while in College.
THE MAIN SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) ARE:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
The Government has issued strict safety guidelines and we have incorporated all of those measures into our plans, which is how the college year will start. In case things change it should be reassuring for you to know that whatever happens you can expect high quality lessons and pastoral support from us. This also means if you become unwell or are asked to self-isolate you won’t miss out on lessons.
* FACE COVERING EXEMPTION:
It is important to recognise that not everyone can wear a face covering. People are exempt if:
- They have a disability or health condition that means they cannot put a covering on
- A covering will cause them severe distress or anxiety
- They need to communicate with someone who relies on lip reading
- They have a reasonable need to eat, drink or take medicine