College operations update
ENSURING YOUR SAFETY, CONTINUING YOUR JOURNEY
We've been there for our students every step of the way - and there's nothing to stop us all from looking ahead to a brighter future. The last few months have brought unforeseen challenges, but together we've overcome all obstacles. We'd like to encourage you to watch the below video which shows that nothing can stand in our way.
UPDATE: thursday 14tH JANUARY
Please read the following letter from Deputy Principal Andrea Murphy for parents and carers. It is regarding exams, assessments and UCAS applications.
Dear Parents and Carers,
Further to the government announcement that examinations will not go ahead as usual this academic year, we are aware that this will be causing stress and uncertainty for many of our students and their families. Whilst Ofqual continues to consult with the Department for Education we will ensure that you are updated as soon as we are aware of what the guidance is going to be. What is clear is that there will be some form of assessment in all curriculum areas and there will not be Centre Assessed Grades awarded as happened last year. Therefore, it is vital that all our students continue to engage with their learning.
Ofqual’s message to students is “please continue to engage as fully as you can in your education. This will put you in the best position, whatever arrangements are made for your qualifications.”
The Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson wrote to the head of Ofqual on 13.01.21 to begin to consult on alternative arrangements. A summary of this letter is as follows:
The consultation is proposing a range of evidence to support teachers to reach their assessment of a student’s deserved grade. It is proposed that there will be externally set tasks or papers as part of this process. As we know no more at this stage it is essential that all GCSE students continue to attend their maths and English classes virtually. If a student has no access to technology, then alternative arrangements will be made.
Vocational and Technical Qualifications (VTQs) - Assessments in February and March
For many VTQs, including BTECs and other technical qualifications, internal and external assessment occurs throughout the year. The consultation suggests that where assessment has already been completed, this will be taken into account when awarding a result. The expectations is that internal assessments of particular units of work will continue to take place virtually.
The consultation is suggesting that external examinations that are due to take place in February and March may continue but only in certain curriculum areas such as:
- Functional Skills
- English as a Second Language (ESOL)
- Qualifications that demonstrate occupational competency (for example, but not limited to, construction and hair and beauty courses)
We are awaiting further details regarding this, but all students should continue to prepare for external assessments if they are part of these curriculum areas. We will ensure that if these are to go ahead there will be protective measures put in place that adhere to Public Health England guidelines.
All other VTQs, including BTECs that have written exams in February and March will not go ahead.
Vocational and Technical Qualifications (VTQs) - Assessments from April to August 2021
- BTECs, Cambridge Nationals and Technicals – the consultation recognises that there will need to be alternative arrangements to externally examined units so that teachers can reach a fair grade for their students. As soon as these are announced we will communicate to staff, students and parents/carers.
- Qualifications demonstrating occupational competency – there are a number of qualifications where a practical demonstration of occupational skills is needed to award the qualification and to provide entry into a particular profession. The consultation suggests that it will not be possible to award occupational proficiency on the basis of teacher judgement alone, because often there are health and safety or regulatory elements where assessment is critical. Therefore, the consultation is suggesting that these external assessments could go ahead.
For our students who are applying for Higher Education, the UCAS deadline has been pushed back to the end of January. This will give the government time to set out their plans before the majority of offers from universities are made.
As stated at the start of this letter, it is a very uncertain time for all, and this can lead to stress and anxiety for all our students. Our 16–19-year-old students will be receiving a weekly phone call from their Progress Tutors to check on their progress and wellbeing. We are here for all members of our college community and if welfare, mental health or safeguarding support is needed please do email counselling@firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
As soon as we are aware of any firm guidelines as a result of this consultation, these will be communicated to you immediately.
Andrea Murphy, Deputy Principal
UPDATE: Monday 4th January
We are now in a national lockdown. According to government guidance, our college operations have now moved online and students should not attend campus. A small number of students have been identified as vulnerable and these learners will be contacted about the option of attending campus.
Please log on to ItsLearning, OneFile (Apprentices) and Century (Maths and English) to complete remote learning. If you have any problems accessing itsLearning, please email VLE@hopwood.ac.uk.
Full-time learners will be contacted by their Progress Tutor or Retention Improvement Officer this week – a great opportunity to access further support. This will also be a chance to report all positive COVID-19 test results from over the break.
For the latest government advice, visit HERE.
We are monitoring government guidance very closely and will be providing updates throughout this period of lockdown. We advise all parents and learners to keep checking our social channels and website for new information as it becomes available.
in the meantime, be sure to stay safe and keep working towards your goals. Together we will overcome any obstacles and start looking forward to a brighter future. If you require any additional help or support, please don't hesitate to reach out. You can find a list of contact information HERE.
More updates will follow.
What to do if you are a student or staff member and you have tested positive for COVID-19 during the Christmas break?
Report the positive test result to the college as soon as you receive your result by email only to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Senior Leadership Team have access to this email inbox and will pick up the cases during the Christmas break.
Please include ALL of the information required below in your email:
- Full name
- Student number
- Your line manager (if you are a member of staff)
- Telephone number (or parent/carer’s telephone number if under 18)
- Email address (or parent/carer’s email address if under 18)
- Date of birth
- Date of 1st symptoms
- Type of symptoms
- Date last attended college campus (and which campus – Middleton or Rochdale)
- Date of test
- Date of positive result confirmation (please include a copy of the result)
- The details of any close contacts you had with people within the college community (the name and student number if possible) in the 48 hours before your symptoms developed (or your positive test if no symptoms)
- Details of how you travelled to college in the 48 hours before your symptoms/positive test
Close contacts are as follows:
- direct close contacts - face-to-face contact with an infected individual for any length of time, within 1 metre, including being coughed on, a face-to-face conversation, or unprotected physical contact (skin-to-skin)
- proximity contacts - extended close contact (within 1 to 2 metres for more than 15 minutes) with an infected individual
- travelling in a small vehicle, like a car, with an infected person
If you receive a phone call at any point on the day that you report your positive test result, please answer the telephone as it may be necessary to check the details of your case prior to reporting it to Public Health England if required (attendance on college campus in the 48 hours prior to symptoms/positive test).
You will need to ensure that you self-isolate for 10 days from the date of the symptoms and this also applies to all direct contacts.
Staying safe on campus: Protect yourself and others while on campus
Keeping our community of students and staff as safe as possible is our main priority as we invite them on to our campuses. We have put in place a number of measures to keep you safe:
- 50/50 timetabling - all our learners who are studying an entry or level 1 course will physically be in college full-time. Learners who are studying at level 2 or above will be present for 50% of their lessons physically. For the remaining 50% they will be set work to do at home via our virtual learning environment or will be accessing the lessons as they occur remotely.
- Risk assessments of activities and spaces have been carried out
- Face coverings to be worn in communal areas of college buildings. We expect everyone on campus to wear a face covering in communal areas inside our buildings, unless you are not able to for medical reasons
- Safe distancing measures are in place
- A one-way system is in place in shared areas and where appropriate
- Limited use of and numbers in lifts
- Fixed cleaning protocols are in place
- Hand sanitiser stations are at entrances and in common spaces
- Disinfectant wipes are supplied to clean desks and study areas
Help stop the spread
We need your help to keep our community safe and prevent the spread of infection. When you are on our campuses you must:
- Stay 2m apart wherever possible
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your face
- Wear a face covering in communal areas within our buildings, unless you are not able to for medical reasons
- Sneeze or cough into your elbow or a tissue and bin it
- Clean your work or study area and kitchens after use
- Use Microsoft Teams for meetings
- Only use marked entrances and exits
- Follow the one-way system, direction signs and seating plans
It is going to take some time for our guidelines to become routine for everyone and supporting each other will help to keep everyone safe. If you notice that someone is not following the guidelines, please encourage them in a friendly and polite way. Or if someone reminds you, please don’t take offence – we all need to work together as one college community.
Reporting an absence
In the event that you have to record a covid-related absence, please do so via one of the following methods before 9am:
- Text 07860 055296 with your name, student number and reason for not attending (e.g. Joe Bloggs 12345 Migraine)
- Email your name, student number and reason for not attending to email@example.com
- Or call 0161 643 7560 and leave your name, student number and reason for not attending
Please be aware that you must NOT attend college if you are required to self-isolate. You may need to self-isolate under any of the following circumstances:
- You develop COVID symptoms and are awaiting a test result
- You have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace
- The college informs you that you have been in close contact with a positive case
- You identify that you have been in close contact with a positive case and need to self-isolate
- There is someone with COVID symptoms in your household
- You have travelled from a country requiring a period of quarantine
How long you are required to self-isolate for will depend upon your individual circumstances. You can find more information HERE.
Protecting the health and wellbeing of our community of students and staff and those around us is our priority.
It is important that as we re-open our buildings, we are confident that we do so in line with Public Health England/UK Government guidance. This requires us to ensure that all appropriate risks have been considered and mitigated to minimise viral transmission, that enhanced cleaning and hygiene protocols are in place and that all reasonable steps to maintain safe distancing requirements are implemented.
Please remember that you must stay at home if you or a member of your household develops a high temperature, a new continuous cough and / or a loss of taste or sense of smell. If you do feel unwell and you think you may have the symptoms of coronavirus, please visit the NHS website.
Please watch the following video tutorial on how to make your own reusable face covering if you don't already have one.
TfGM are supporting the safe return of students to colleges with boosted capacity on busy routes at peak travel times, including the number 17 .
Duplicate buses, exclusively for school and college students, will run five minutes behind scheduled services, with the usual route number starting in ‘S’. These buses are separate to our existing dedicated college bus services.
Find out all the latest information on the extra services at tfgm.com/duplicate-school-buses.
Please read the Further Education travel resource pack HERE.
CORONAVIRUS NEWS UPDATES FOR DEAF LEARNERS
You can access all the latest coronavirus news updates available in British Sign Language here.