Remote Learning Arrangements

Remote Education Available (including delivery, timetabling and virtual learning environments):

  • 14-16 learners have a timetable for remote learning for those who cannot attend. All learners are invited to attend learning on-site Monday to Friday
  • 16-19 learners follow their normal timetable remotely through the use of Google classroom/meets. All learners have the option to seek guidance and support for learning or other needs, for example, mental health and wellbeing needs via Student Services. Some groups of learners have been identified as needing additional support to catch up on learning from last year and these will attend small-group workshops in addition to their timetable. These include workshops for English and Maths, employability preparedness and skills, vocational learning where the first lockdown impacted particularly seriously on progress. Practical aspects of vocational provision were prioritised in the first term so that any lockdown arrangements could focus on the more theoretical aspects of the programmes
  • 16-19 learners who are considered vulnerable are being provided with additional support for learning and wellbeing and include ESOL, looked after learners, learners with an EHC plan. These learners have the option of coming on site to benefit from support and a fully equipped learning environment
  • Learners with SEND are invited to attend on site Monday-Thursday in small groups to provide the support they need to progress in their learning. There is good take up of this offer. Both parents/carers and students have been guided and trained in use of technology to support learning off site and this support continues
  • Apprentices follow their normal timetable remotely for on site learning sessions. Routine reviews seek out those who have any additional needs or require further support for learning or wellbeing. Additional support for Functional Skills is commencing following lockdown from January 2021. For apprentices in critical industries, including the NHS, or those on industries severely impacted by the lockdown, such as retail, staff provide support on an individual basis to retain them on their apprenticeship. Assessments by college staff continue to be carried out remotely where possible and visits by staff to employer sites will continue, subject to appropriate risk assessments, when lockdown eases. The increased use of e-portfolios makes for a seamless continuation of evidence of work and submission of assessments
  • Adult learners follow their normal timetable remotely for on site learning sessions. This applies to full- or part-time adults, day or evening provision. Where groups or individuals find accessing technology or remote learning particularly challenging, such as Core Skills and ESOL learners, staff provide physical learning packs as an alternative to, or as support for, use of electronic resources. Teachers keep in constant touch with learners and use Google classroom to direct them to further support where needed for learning or wellbeing.

We provide students at the college with both a synchronous live timetable of learning, and opportunities to extend their learning beyond this. Live lessons make use of digital technologies including Google Meet to promote engagement and participation in live learning. Google Classroom is available to all students as an access anytime platform through which they can engage with asynchronous learning activities covering all aspects of their study programmes. Through use of these technologies, we provide strong levels of support and staff expertise that enhances student learning.

For example, in Creative Arts students receive video-recorded verbal feedback from their teachers that they can revisit any time, in ESOL 16-18 the parents and carers of students receive specialist training on how to support their young person’s learning journey, and in a range of specific subject areas teachers record practical demonstrations from home for their students to review and critique.

Practical learning and assessments were prioritised during the first term of 2020/21 in preparedness for another lockdown. The College is facilitating January exams for students who have prepared for these during Term 1 and wish to take them. Alternative arrangements will follow, for those who do not attend, in line with awarding organisation requirements. Internally led assessments continue as usual for theory aspects, mock exams, progress tests to ensure that students have sufficient evidence of progress in case of centre-assessed grading at a later date.

Students are expected to attend lessons remotely as they would if they are on site. Where they do not attend a lesson in real time they are expected to visit the recorded session where this is available, and/or the learning materials provided, and submit any assessment tasks in the same timeline as their peers. All students are expected to follow the agreed schedule of learning and assessment and to meet all assessment deadlines. Learners are expected to actively engage in learning and contribute to remote group discussions and collaborations.

Specific groups of students in this category were provided with a laptop that could support specialist software, for example, CAD for Engineering and Construction Design Management programmes. In a minority of cases, where some software requirements are beyond the terms of college contracts with providers, college staff are negotiating special terms during lockdown. If particular students cannot access the software they need from home they are given the option of coming on site to continue their learning for part of their timetable.

As part of initial assessment during induction, staff identified what devices students had access to at home. This helped inform teacher preparation of learning materials and approach to remote learning and assessment. Where students needed an additional device to support their learning the college invested in a range of devices to suit different learning needs and levels. SEND students and their parents/carers benefit from staff guidance and support for logging-in and using devices and resources that the students need to access.

Devices, connectivity are provided where the student needs these and students have the option to come on site for guidance, support for learning and wellbeing. Vulnerable students are invited to attend on site learning sessions to ensure they keep making the progress expected of them.

Learners have received appropriate training during induction and the first term to advise them how to keep safe, including online. Learners and teachers receive regular updates about online safety including in Google classrooms.

The personal learning mentors, student support advisers and the safeguarding team continue to work closely together to identify and help learners at risk. They have individual risk assessments in place to support particularly vulnerable learners and liaise well with external safeguarding agencies. Staff contact high risk learners at least weekly to monitor their well-being and engagement. Learners are invited to take part in well-being extra-curricular activities online such as online collaborative breakout areas, employability programmes, etc.

There is a live rota of designated safeguarding officers who staff can access for virtual support when they have concerns. All guest speakers including those who present or speak at virtual events are subject to our standard authorisation procedure. Staff members always accompany guest speakers at virtual events.