Autumn Term 2020
Monday 7 September – Friday 23 October 2020 (7 weeks)
Half Term: Monday 26 – Friday 30 October 2020
Monday 2 November – Thursday 17 December 2020 (7 weeks)
For the full academic year, please see the term dates here.
What steps have you taken to ensure I’m safe in College?
Your health and safety is of paramount importance, we are reviewing and following government guidelines for colleges. Below are some of the steps we are taking to make sure everyone is as safe as possible:
Please watch this short video for more information on what to expect when attending college:
How will I know when to attend College?
You will be sent a letter with your joining instructions from your curriculum area. This letter will contain the following details:
The letter will also contain information about any kit you might need and your medical / consent form. Please don’t forget to bring this on the day.
Should I attend College everyday?
Your timetable will clearly show when you need to attend College for lessons. Please do not attend College outside of these times / days. This will help us ensure that we limit the number of people on our campuses at any one time.
If I am not in College how will I be taught?
Your programme will consist of face to face lessons, online learning and independent learning. You should therefore follow the guidance from your tutors to ensure you meet the requirements of your course.
Do I need to bring a laptop into College?
The College is embracing the opportunities for blended learning and a proportion of your time in learning this year will be spent in this way. We will help you at the beginning of the year, and throughout your course to develop your skills to benefit from this approach. If you have a laptop or other device, we would ask you to bring it to college. If you have significant difficulties in accessing technology we may be able to help, please talk to your Personal Tutor.
Will I be in a “bubble”?
To minimise the contact between students you will be required to stay within your allocated groups “your bubble/s” at all times. There may be occasions whereby you are allocated to more than one group, but it is important you restrict your interactions to these groups only. To do this the College has been arranged into coloured areas. You will be allocated to one of these areas for your study and access to restaurants etc. It is important that you stay within these coloured areas at all times.
What will the classrooms / workshops look like?
Your classroom or workshop may look and feel a little different this year. The changes we have made are to help keep you and the staff safe. Where possible we will aim to maintain social distance of 1 metre. In addition all seats will be facing forward, so we can minimise face to face contact. Where we cannot maintain social distance i.e. available space, specialist equipment or practical lessons we will put other steps in place, for example the use of Personal Protective Equipment. If this is the case we will explain how this will work to you.
Will the classrooms / workshops be cleaned between lessons?
We know one of the best ways of reducing the virus is through hygiene. In addition to the additional cleaning regimes we have in place, we would ask you to do a number of things:
We will provide the resources for you to be able to do this.
Do I need to wear a mask?
The current government guidelines for Colleges do not require students to wear a mask. We would ask that you do what you feel most comfortable doing. If you would feel more comfortable wearing a mask, please do so.
Getting to and from College
Where possible we would advise you walk, cycle, or use private transport to travel to college.
We have been advised Somerset County Council are increasing the capacity of buses available. If you are coming to college on public transport you are required to wear a mask. We will provide bins for the safe disposal of these.
There will be additional space allocated for waiting in bus bays in order to maintain social distancing.
If I need support at College is it still available?
We will continue to provide access to all our support services. This will be a mixture of face to face and remote support. This includes access to our information, advice and guidance, well-being, financial support, and counselling amongst others.
If you are in receipt of learning support this will continue as normal. We are looking carefully at all situations and activities to make sure they can be managed safely. If this applies to you further information will come from the ALS department and your teachers.
What happens if I feel unwell at College?
If you feel unwell it is important that you inform a member of staff immediately. There are dedicated spaces to wait until we can ensure that you are able to leave College.
What happens if I am unwell and unable to attend College?
During term time, any students or staff who are unwell or self-isolating should report their absence in the usual way by informing their tutor or line manager.
Is a track and trace system in place at College?
Yes, it is important that you complete the medical/consent form, which will come with your joining instructions, we will ask you for your email and mobile number. This is a requirement of the Government COVID-19 track and trace scheme.
Copies of the student medical and consent forms are also available to download here:
What advice are you giving to staff and students?
We are following guidance from Public Health England, which has detailed information for both personal steps to take and measures to have in place in an educational setting. We have shared general advice to help prevent the spread of infection with staff and students and offered guidance on what to do if they feel unwell.
Who are you getting advice from about opening?
We are following all Government and Public Health England guidance on maintaining educational provision.
Are apprentices expected to continue to go into their workplace?
Apprentices are advised to follow the guidance being given at their workplace and to speak to their line managers about workplace procedures. If they have any concerns, they should discuss them with their line manager or tutors. We are working closely with employers to address any specific concerns. We are also considering specific consequences of time away from an apprenticeship, for example whether adjustments will need to be made to balance out lost apprenticeship hours.
As an apprentice, will I be expected to attend College?
In the majority of cases we will visit you and your employers via an online platform. Where it is a requirement for your teaching, learning and assessment we may visit in person. Please be reassured the frequency and quality of your interactions and reviews will not change. The safety of you, your colleagues and our staff is our priority and this approach will positively support this. Your learning will take place both onsite and via a blended learning approach. Your assessor will confirm this via your timetable. We will support you to develop the skills to learn remotely.
What should I do if my teachers are off?
There may be times when your teacher is unavailable. Students should continue their courses through online resources, with project work and other course work issued through the numerous digital channels that students already access.
All students should monitor communications from the college and interact with tutors and course leaders as requested.
Don’t forget to look at the following information as you prepare to start College:
Don’t forget to look out for communication from us between now and September with details about your course. This will be a mixture of texts, emails and letters. We’ll also add more information on this page, so please revisit it over the summer.
Thursday 24 September 2020