The moment the lockdown was announced, staff at Bridgwater & Taunton College (BTC) started to adapt their teaching to blended online learning, whilst remaining open to the most vulnerable students. Using a variety of technology, the talented and dedicated team of skilled educational experts continue to support Level 3 students, apprentices, employer partners and the local community, as well as those Year 11s starting in September.
Many pupils will be disappointed not to be sitting GCSE exams after all their efforts, but despite the Covid-19 outbreak grades will still be issued by Ofqual in August. BTC tutors have issued subject specific learning packs designed to keep pupils on-track and prepare for College, and continue to keep in touch with schools. Applications to College are still open, with telephone interviews taking place and unconditional offers being made. This means every young person who would like to study at BTC should have a place secured in September. Year 11s interested in studying an Apprenticeship will be helped to find employment and offered a full-time College course until a vacancy can be secured.
Principal Andy Berry said,
I’m so proud of the BTC family. Students and staff have been agile and innovative in their response to the pandemic, and dedicated to continuing their learning, teaching and to support each other and the community. Tutors are running online lectures and one-to-one tutorials, and we have expanded our wellbeing services to ensure both staff and students are well supported. Whatever format teaching and learning takes at the College in the future, students can rely on receiving world-class education that helps them fulfil their potential.
A recent survey of A Level students found 93% feel part of a community while learning remotely and believe their studies are going well. Comments have included “Even though I’m at home, it feels like I’m in lessons with my friends” and “I’m far more productive than I thought I’d be”.
International Baccalaureate Course Leader Bex Miller commented,
I’m so grateful the way the College has prioritised staff and student wellbeing alongside academic progress. The academic development of students is still at the centre of everything we do, and they have been a credit to themselves and the College – embracing new ways of learning, completing a range of new tasks, whilst maintaining their drive and enthusiasm.
If you’d like to find out more about becoming part of the BTC community, we’re hosting Online Showcase in June, so please keep an eye open for more information on the College’s social media channels and at www.btc.ac.uk.