Covid-19 Guidance and support
Monday, 24th May 2021
I know this pandemic continues to be a worrying time for us all, but I must commend our learners and staff on how they have coped in returning to College and their support in following all the new procedures and guidance to ensure our spaces are as safe as possible.
As we are moving into a period of less restrictions please find below some helpful information about how this affects College life:
In line with Step 3 of the Government roadmap, guidance now indicates that face coverings will no longer be recommended for learners in classrooms or communal areas. Face coverings will also no longer be recommended for staff in classrooms. However, the Government continues to recommend that face coverings should be worn by staff and visitors in situations outside of classrooms where social distancing is not possible (for example, when moving around in corridors and communal areas).
As our teaching environments are diverse and include vocational and workplace training environments, we have the discretion to recommend the use of face coverings for all, if it is appropriate for the circumstances. Therefore, we may still ask you to continue to use face coverings where our teaching settings are more reflective of a workplace environment, as the Government has said these must comply with relevant sector guidance in working safely during COVID-19 and the current restriction guidance. Your faculty will be able to advise on the updated position for each setting.
Importantly, whilst the College will obviously implement the guidance, we also know that many students will wish to continue wearing a face covering in communal areas, and I can confirm that this is supported by the College.
It is important to note that those students using public transport will still be expected to wear a face covering.
In terms of other updates, the one-way systems and lateral flow testing remain important elements of the continued controls against any increase in rates.
Teacher Assessed Grades (TAG)
As we approach May half term it is imperative that all students continue to attend lessons and complete all work being set by the teachers, assessors, and support staff. For many learners who are completing their programme this year Teacher Assessed Grades (TAG) will be used to determine or inform the final grade being submitted to the awarding body. Over the last few weeks, teachers have been collating evidence from previous assessments, practical tasks, homework, and a range of other activities to build a portfolio of evidence which will be used to decide a learners overall teacher assessed grade (TAG). It is not too late to influence this TAG and completing further work set and providing additional evidence requested by teachers will only improve a learners chances of getting the best possible outcomes or grades.
The College needs to submit all TAG’s to the awarding body by June 18. Teachers will not be able to share the TAG put forward with learners, as this grade will go through a moderation process with the awarding body and is subject to change. The final grade awarded will be confirmed on the relevant results day on 10 and 12 August. If a learner is unhappy with the final grade, there will be an appeals process. Further information regarding this will be provided on the results day for each qualification type.
Once a learners TAG grade has been submitted, it is imperative that they continue to attend college and complete any final activities required by their tutor. This will include an ‘exit tutorial’ which will review the progress a learner has made and provide any support or advice on next steps or progression. We want all learners to have a guaranteed progression and we would encourage learners to work with our support teams if they don’t yet have a job, apprenticeship, or place on a higher-level programme of learning. Additional advice and guidance can be accessed through the following:
Many qualifications will not receive a TAG this academic year and this includes subjects which require practical assessments. For learners studying these qualifications, the timetable continues, and it is imperative you attend college to ensure you are fully prepared for these assessments.
Please speak directly to your personal tutor if you are unclear on when your assessments are taking place. Leaners on the first year of two-year programmes including A Levels are expected to attend their college timetable as normal up to the end of the Summer term.
If you have any questions regarding the contents of this update, please contact your personal tutor via your Microsoft Team.
Thank you for your continued hard work and support.
Dr Paul Phillips CBE
Principal and Chief Executive
How will I be protected?
Weston College opened its doors back up in June, so we have had the opportunity to effectively implement and trial a robust approach to campus health, safety, wellbeing plans to ensure you are safe when onsite.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Every teaching space and communal area is set-up to ensure you can learn, study and socialise safely
- Additional cleaning, extra hand-washing and sanitising facilities have been added
- More staff are on hand to make sure everyone understands and follows the rules
- Access to the building is through each main reception of the campus only – we are tracking and tracing all staff and students through the scanning of ID badges at barriers
- Clear signage for a new directional system is displayed to enable safe movement around campuses
- We have curriculum pods and dedicated zones to limit contact with others onsite
- Face masks are mandatory in communal spaces and corridors onsite
- Teachers will wear PPE where there is a requirement for them to work in close proximity to learners to check their work
- Timetables have been constructed to ensure that you are in for set blocks of time - free periods have been removed where possible to reduce unnecessary movement of students
- Blended learning (face to face and online) form part of study programmes.
- Online resources can be accessed through Microsoft Teams, which is the platform that the College uses as its virtual learning environment.
- We request that staff and students to continue to engage with the Track and Trace App
- Only necessary staff and students are permitted on campus at present. All other external visitors are unable to attend under the current restrictions, all external meetings will be held virtually.
- Reporting a COVID absence in the first instance to your tutor and your employer if you are an apprentice or on work experience. All learners will need to keep the College updated on their situation, including new symptoms and most importantly learners cannot return to site until authorised to do so.
- Students/staff who are clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to study/work from home and not come into College. Individuals in this group will have been identified through a letter from the NHS or from their GP
- Students/staff who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, but who are not clinically extremely vulnerable themselves, should still attend College.
What we will encourage you to do when you are on campus:
- If you need to cough or sneeze, remember - Catch it! Bin it! Kill it!
- Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly
- Limit your movement around the campus and any unnecessary contact where possible
- Stay in your assigned curriculum pod and learning zone
- You will be expected to return home following any block of learning
- Bring and use your own laptop and tablets at College (loan and bursary support is available)
- Wear your ID badge at all times.
Health and wellbeing support
Welfare and Pastoral Support Services includes Welfare and Retention Officers and Counsellors providing confidential, non-judgmental support and guidance regarding a wide range of issues.
Click the buttons below to find out more about our services and how to get in touch.
Emotional Health and Wellbeing
Support Children Looked After
Alcohol and drugs
Decision-making and moving on