Coronavirus & Distance Learning Updates

Update regarding exam results -12th August 

I hope this update finds you all well and keeping safe.

All our 2A students and a small number of our 1A students will no doubt be waiting with great anticipation to see their A Level and Vocational results tomorrow. All Level 3 results will be published as usual to MyProgress on Thursday 13th August at 8.00am. We have high expectations for your outcomes and know that you have worked incredibly hard in what has been a very difficult and challenging year.

As a reminder, all queries about results should be addressed in the first instance to our Examinations Manager at exams@collyers.ac.uk. Depending on the nature of the enquiry they will be forwarded on to our team of senior managers who will be able to provide support and guidance via email or phone. For the safety of all of our college community, we remain closed to all visitors and will not reopen to students until 1st September for enrolment and 14th September for teaching, so please do not come into college in person to discuss results.

You will have seen in the news a change to plans for this summer’s results by the Department for Education:

Students who would like to use a valid mock result will be able to do so through the appeals process, with individuals notifying their school or college who will provide evidence of their mock results to their exam board.

We are not anticipating that this will effect a large number of students and will provide a further update once Ofqual publish their detailed guidance for this change.

After what has been a very difficult academic year, I wanted finally to commend you all for the flexibility and resilience you have shown as a Collyerian, celebrate your achievements and wish you all the best for the future.

Dan Lodge

Update from the Vice Principal 20 July

Dear students and parents

I hope this update finds you all well and keeping safe.

We have finally come to the end of the academic year at Collyer’s and what a strange and complicated year it has been for all of us. I continue to be so impressed with the incredible response that our college community has shown in the face of all the challenges – the resilience and innovation has been an inspiration. It is therefore with an even greater sense of pride and feeling of privilege that I take over as the next Principal at the college. To have the opportunity to be custodian of such a storied institution, founded nearly 500 years ago but so truly forward looking, is a true honour.

In Collyer’s you have made an excellent choice for your post-16 study. As one of the country’s leading sixth form colleges, our A Level results place us as the top state provider in the whole of West Sussex for value added (Progress) and high grades (Points per entry). Our vocational courses and GCSEs achieve outstanding results too, so we are in a very strong position to weather the storm caused by Coronavirus. We are sixth form specialists and due to our size can offer an incredible range of subjects in any combination. We are committed to our mission of ‘Educating for Excellence’ and this has guided us through lockdown as well – developing ground-breaking distance learning provision for our students through our Collyer’s Online offer – with all subjects now moving across to Microsoft Teams for virtual classrooms, Microsoft SharePoint for learning materials and incorporating video and online interactivity into their learning.

Our college community has spent the last couple of weeks in particular responding to the recently published government guidance for colleges on reopening in September. I know everyone is looking forward to returning to some sense of normality and our staff are really keen to welcome students back into the college. I’d like to provide you with further detail on our current plans for this return. Clearly, they are dependent on possible further updates to the guidance and we will provide a greater level of detail to all students and parents in early September before teaching starts.

Our Enrolment for new students starts as planned on Tuesday 1st September and applicants will have recently received emails confirming their enrolment interview timings. Teaching for all students will start as normal on Monday 14th September. Our current plan, carefully considered, is focused on complying with the government’s guidance and keeping learners as safe as possible. The guidance states: “We strongly recommend that, as a minimum, you plan to keep your year groups or cohorts of learners separate from each other during the course of the day”. A year group at Collyer’s, like at most sixth form colleges, is around 1,000 learners. A significant majority of our learners do three different courses and many of these courses need to be delivered in specialist classrooms or with specific equipment and materials, so students need to move around the site during the day. Like most colleges therefore, we are currently planning to start the academic year with a blended approach to learning – in our case bringing our new students (1A and Transition) in for the first week on a full timetable and then our returning (2A) students in for the second week. When students are not attending at college, they will of course be receiving a full education through Collyer’s Online. Our hope is that this blended timetable will run for as few weeks as possible and that updated guidance will allow full attendance soon.

In early September I will write to all students and parents again to confirm our definite arrangements and in the meantime I wish you all a great summer and look forward to seeing you at the start of term.

Kind regards

Dan Lodge

 

Update from the Principal 15th July

It has been the strangest of summer terms and I wanted to thank you again for the way you have worked with us all at Collyer’s on a new approach to teaching and learning.  I shall be retiring at the end of term after a long career in education spanning 38 years – what a different world it was in 1982!  Parents will remember Banda machines and chalk boards, type writers and teachers emerging at the end of break from smoke filled staff rooms but these will be strange images for students.  So much has changed but the essentials remain the same – you the students remain at the heart of all we do at college.  And what a wonderful college Collyer’s is – I shall miss it dreadfully but feel an immense privilege to have spent the last six years here.

Regarding the reopening of college in September, we have been monitoring government advice and guidance and will continue to do so over the summer break.   Dan Lodge will be taking over from me as Principal from September and he will write to you shortly about our provisional plans in more detail so you know what to expect and can start to make plans.

Dan has been a fantastic Vice Principal, leading us to our best examination results ever last year and I  am confident he will lead the college in a way that will result in future successes for our students while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all.

Goodbye, thank you, have a wonderful summer and I wish you all happy and successful futures.

Sally Bromley

 

Update from the Principal 24th June

Parent Survey regarding communications and college closure

The period of college closure and remote teaching and learning since the end of March has been challenging for us all in ways we couldn’t have imagined.  I am very proud of the way our students have engaged in this new way of learning and thank you, parents and carers, for the emotional and physical support you have provided.

The purpose of this survey is to gather information about how Collyer’s approach to remote teaching and learning has been communicated to parents and how we can improve the way students are supported to work remotely in the future.  The survey will be open until the 17:00 on Friday 3rd July 2020.  Thank you for taking part.

Survey

It seems a very, very long time ago now when I announced my intention to retire before last Christmas.  I shall be very sad to leave my role as Principal at Collyer’s, a role which has been the highlight of a long career but I am delighted that Dan Lodge has been appointed to take over as Principal in September.  I’ve worked closely with Dan in his role as Vice Principal in charge of the curriculum and he has been instrumental in the college achieving our best set of A Level and BTEC results ever in 2019.  He has been a fantastic colleague totally focused on securing an outstanding educational experience for students while supporting the wellbeing of both students and staff.  I can embrace retirement confident in the knowledge that Dan will lead the college to even greater success in the next decade and beyond.

 

Stay safe and keep well.

 

Update from the Deputy Principal 22 June 2020

Year 11 students click here.

 

Update from the Deputy Principal 19 June 2020

Library Resources

To all current Year 1 students

There will be very limited access to the Library between 10:30 and 3:30pm on Monday 29th, Tuesday 30th June, Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd July. Our expectation is that students can work independently on the first floor of  the Library for periods of up to a maximum of an hour, on a “one in, one out” basis. There will be a maximum of 10 spaces available. The opportunity to work in the Library will only be available to students at around the time of their academic appointment.

There will not be the facility for students to borrow resources over the counter, but the Library would like to give students the opportunity to ask in advance to borrow items and then to collect them from the ground floor of the Library (pick up only available when the college is open at the times listed above)

Full instructions as to how the “click and collect” service will work are on the Library Sharepoint (accessed via the Student Common Room). All loans have been extended till the 28 September and there is a fines amnesty, but if you have finished with any of your loans there will also be a “returns box” on the ground floor of the Library.

Please stay safe everyone and keep up the hard work on your distance learning

 

Update from the Vice Principal 18 June 2020

Dear students and parents

I hope this update finds you all well and keeping safe.

First of all, I would like to commend all our students for their continued hard work and flexibility in adapting to distance learning since lockdown. Now almost three months later, I have heard multiple stories from our teachers of how well focused our learners are and received many emails from parents expressing appreciation for the developments that staff have put in place. It has been a difficult time for all of us, but we have all persevered and found new ways of working.

Since I last wrote to you all we have sent off around 2,000 Centre Assessment Grades, published around the same number of Transfer Grades, run staff INSET on remote working and distance learning and agreed plans for our phased reopening. It is the latter two topics that I would like to update you on today.

Distance learning – Collyer’s Online

One of the main reasons why students choose Collyer’s for their post-16 studies is the outstanding education provided which leads to very high achievement by students each summer. A key part of this success is the fact that our teachers are experts in their subjects and particularly in post-16 delivery. Over the last three months we have seen an incredible degree of experimentation and development in the response to lockdown and some great examples were shared by staff in INSET that took place in early June. During that INSET and in subsequent subject and faculty meetings, discussions took place about the next phase of distance learning for the college.

I am pleased to share now that the distance learning experience for all students will be known as Collyer’s Online. By September, all subjects will move across to Microsoft Teams as their virtual classroom and Microsoft SharePoint as their storage for materials. This will bring a greater degree of consistency across subjects and a wide range of options for greater interaction with students. Most subjects will use more video in their delivery – either as live or recorded lessons, or as introductions to the working week or to give class feedback. Most subjects will also look to include interactive activities in their weekly delivery, replicating part of the atmosphere of the real post-16 classroom. The approach to video and interactivity will still depend on the subject and it is important that teachers can exercise the professional judgement Collyer’s is reputed for at this stage of education and across the more than 40 different subjects offered.

Academic Tutorials (29th June to 3rd July)

We wrote to you all recently to provide an update on the Progress Tutorials that will be running next week with tutors. I would now like to announce further provision in the form of Academic Tutorials that will run on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of the week beginning 29th June. Now that we are allowed to invite in 1A students (Year 12) our teachers are looking forward to seeing their students again in managed numbers. The tutorials will be 1 hour long and led by a subject teacher. Students are able to pick one subject only, as we need to follow government guidance on attendance very carefully. At no point during the week will there be more than 25% of students on site on any day and we are minimising any mixing of student groups. Sessions will comprise no more than 6 students and the start and end times avoid peak travel times. We are confident that the arrangements are as manageable and as safe as possible for all staff and students

The tutorials are optional, but we encourage all students to actively consider attending a session if they are able. Most students are studying more than one subject so should choose the one they most need help with or are most likely to be studying after Collyer’s. We cannot guarantee that you will meet with your actual subject teacher unfortunately, but you will certainly meet with one of the subject team. The sessions will cover any topics that have been difficult for students, review complicated content and give advice for engaging with distance learning. They are not intended to be normal lessons – all delivery at the moment remains through Collyer’s Online.

All 1A students have been asked to reply to a survey to indicate their preference. Only one response per student is possible. Later next week we will confirm via email the date, time and room of the tutorial for all students who have requested an appointment.

Thank you for your support and taking the time to complete the survey. We look forward to seeing many of you back in college soon.

 

Update from the Vice Principal 17 June 2020

Progress Tutorials – W/B 22nd June 2020

Dear Students and Parents/Carers

In follow-up to the Principal’s update on 12th June, I am writing to give you a little more information about the pastoral input we are planning for week beginning 22nd June.

We are aiming to provide all students with the opportunity for a 1hr small group PROGRESS TUTORIAL with their Tutor. The majority of our 1A Tutors will be able to offer a face-to-face session on campus but where this is not possible, Tutors will offer remote face-to-face sessions using Zoom. Students will receive an invite to attend their 1hr session from their tutor later this week, clarifying day, time and rooming. The Progress Tutorial will focus on:

Student wellbeing and management of independent study during lockdown
Studentship and academic performance through 1A, including Transfer Grades
Future goals beyond Collyer’s – apprenticeships, employment, university
Progression to the second year – target setting, enrichment opportunities, applications
The session will help tutors to target support where it is needed and provide valuable information to underpin college reference writing, in preparation for UCAS applications and other progression routes. Where a student is unable to attend their session on campus, we will aim to provide a remote Progress Tutorial before the end of term.

We will be limiting numbers of students on site at any one time to less than 25% of the cohort, in line with DfE guidance. Tutor groups will be divided into 4 small groups of no more than 6 students. Start and end times have been set to avoid the need to travel at peak times:

Students will only be allowed on site for their 1hr Progress Tutorial – they must not arrive early and will need to leave the campus at the end of the session. All students will be required to wear a face covering whilst moving around the campus, but these may be removed once in the allocated room, where social distancing and hygiene measures can be ensured. Students should not attend if they, or anyone in their household, has experienced Covid-19 symptoms in the last 14 days. Further safety information is available in the Principal’s FAQ document.

We are really looking forward to welcoming students back to campus. Please keep a regular check on emails over the next few days – Dan Lodge (Vice Principal: Quality & Curriculum) will be in touch regarding arrangements for ACADEMIC TUTORIALS (taking place w/b 29th June) and Tutors will be sending invites for PROGRESS TUTORIALS (taking place w/b 22nd June).

 

Update from the Principal 12th June 2020

To All Year 1 students and their Parents and Carers

I do hope you are all keeping well and remaining positive.  It will be lovely to see many of you on site in the next few weeks – more information below.  We have been working to ensure continuity of teaching and learning throughout the Covid-19 lockdown as per the updates sent over recent weeks.

Students have been managing their on line learning extremely well but the situation is far from ideal and teachers want to get back to the classroom as soon as it is safe to do so; I’m sure our students do too! Thank you for your patience when there continues to be uncertainty around the reopening of schools and colleges. I know from emails I have received there is a great deal of anxiety about returning to the college site as well as a strong desire to get back to some kind of normal.

I hope that everyone can appreciate that we need to take a fair and consistent approach to the continuation of teaching and learning.  The best way to do this is to continue teaching on line for all students while following government guidance and offering some face to face time with teachers where it is possible for staff and students to come to college. 

This will be achieved in three phases.

The first phase of reopening will begin on Monday 15th June where a limited number of identified students will be offered the opportunity to attend college.  You will already have been contacted by the Vice Principal Andrea John if you are in this group.  Tutors and Heads of House will also be arranging conversations with students and parents by zoom following the end of year results which are published on Friday 12th June.  These meetings will be prioritised to support those students who need to discuss their progress and programme of study for next academic year.

The second and third phases of reopening will begin on Monday 22nd June and Monday 29th June respectively and involve on site pastoral sessions with tutors and on site academic sessions with teachers.  Details about these sessions and how you will receive an invitation or be able to book a session will be provided by Andrea John and Dan Lodge next week.

I have updated the FAQs I originally sent on 13th May.  Please pay particular attention to advice about travel, social distancing and movement around college, hygiene and wearing face coverings in communal, busy areas on site and reporting illness.  Also the  Risk Assessment  The most relevant sections are Section 2 Learners and Learning and Section 3 A Safe Environment.

The key government publications are listed below alongside the link to them on www.gov.uk.

·         Actions for education and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June

·         Implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings:

·         Guidance for parents and carers as schools and other education settings in England open to more children and young people

Take care, keep safe and stay well everyone.

 

Update from the Deputy Principal 9th June 2020

1A to 2A Technical Guidance for Students

As promised last week, please find a  TECHNICAL GUIDANCE FOR STUDENTS regarding the 1A to 2A Transfer process, which will follow the release of Transfer Grades at 5pm this Friday.

Please get in touch with your Tutor if you have any questions about this process.

Stay safe everyone and keep up the hard work on your distance learning.

 

Update from the Principal 8th June 2020

I do hope you are staying well and positive during these difficult days.  Students should be in regular contact with their teachers and parents, don’t forget if you have any concerns please get in contact with your child’s tutor or Head of House in the first instance.  The Reception email and answer phone is also being monitored and messages forwarded to staff.

Last week saw the wider opening of primary schools paving the way for the cautious wider opening of secondary schools and colleges from 15th June.

The DfE published their most recent guidance on reopening post-16 providers on 29th May:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision

From the week commencing 15 June, FE providers should offer some face to face contact for 16 to 19 learners on the first year of a study programme, as part of a combined approach in which remote education remains the predominant form of education. This is subject to a limit of a quarter of these learners being on site at any one time …”

In line with implementing protective measures and reducing contacts, colleges and other providers should limit the attendance of learners in the setting at any one time and keep learners in small and consistent groups. In particular, mixing between different groups of learners should be kept to a minimum …

We have been carrying out extra cleaning and marking up the site to ensure it is as safe as possible when our students return.  The Department for Education requires us to carry out a full risk assessment prior to reopening.  The risk assessment has been completed and will be signed off by the Chair of Governors this week and posted on our website.  I will send you a link to the risk assessment along with details for students regarding pastoral and academic sessions from 15th June later this week.

Take care and stay safe.

Sally Bromley

 

Update from the Deputy Principal 3rd June 2020

To all year 1A students

Following the release of Transfer Grades on Friday 12th June, our expectation is that all students who achieve A-E or Pass grades in their first year subjects will automatically be enrolled onto the second year. These students will not need to take part in the 1A to 2A Transfer Advice and Guidance, but will be offered an opportunity to discuss their progress, concerns and summer targets with their tutors before the end of term.

Students who have not achieved Transfer Grades A-E or Pass in one or more of their subjects will need to book a Remote Transfer Review Meeting, in the first instance, with their Tutor through MyProgress for either Monday 15th or Tuesday 16th June. These will work in the same way as Progress Review bookings and the system will be open on Friday 12th June from 5pm. It is anticipated that we will use video calls for these appointments and parents are invited to sit in if they wish. We will be in touch next week with more details of how the meetings will practically work.

Most students who fail to achieve a pass grade in one of their courses will progress into the second year with their remaining programme, but are required to pick up an additional course to enhance their future progression opportunities. Students will need to choose from the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) or our bespoke Employability Course. Tutors will advise students on the most appropriate option to support their future aims in the Transfer Review Meeting. Students are not usually permitted to repeat a course they have failed unless there are significant mitigating circumstances. In more complex circumstances, Tutors may refer students to their Head of House for a follow-up remote appointment on either Wednesday 17th or Thursday 18th June. The senior management team are also on-hand to help. Please get in touch with your Tutor if you have any questions about this process.

Thank you so much for your kind messages of support and do continue to work hard on your distance learning. Please note that further communications regarding the detail of the college reopening for students from Monday 15th June will be sent on Monday 8th June.

 

Update from the Deputy Principal 1st June 2020

To all year 11 students

Please follow this link for information regarding Getting Ready for Collyer’s

Update from the Principal 14th May 2020

To All Year 1 students

Thank you for your patience at a time when there is so much uncertainty around the reopening of schools and colleges. Although the FAQs here they will not answer every question you may have, I have tried to cover the key points and let you know where we are still at the planning and modelling stages. Following the Prime Minister’s address on Sunday, the Department for Education’s guidance was published the following evening and I am now in a better position to let you know our plans for opening to students in June and July. The Senior Management Team and I met this morning to discuss the broad strokes of our plans and we are in agreement on the next steps we need to take.

Clearly, I would only open the college to our staff and students at a point when I believe it is safe to do so, in accordance with the published guidance and following a careful risk assessment. Collyer’s senior teams will be working over the coming weeks to plan the detail of our opening and this will be communicated to all staff, students and parents as soon as we are able to do so.

I hope that everyone can appreciate that we need to take a fair and consistent approach to the continuation of teaching and learning.  The best way to do this is to continue teaching on line for all students while following government guidance and offering some face to face time with teachers where it is possible for staff and students to come to college.

The key government publications are listed below alongside the link to them on www.gov.uk.

 

·         Actions for education and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-educational-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020

·         Implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings

·         Guidance for parents and carers as schools and other education settings in England open to more children and young people: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

 

Take care, keep safe and stay well everyone.

 

Update from the Deputy Principal 4th May 2020

Admissions 2020

To all students joining Collyer’s in September.

We are developing a programme of study for Year 11s arriving at Collyer’s in September called Getting Ready for Collyer’s. Our Heads of Subject are currently finalising the shape and content of the programme, which will start on Monday 1st June (the first day back after half-term) and span the six weeks up to the summer holidays. It will be delivered through independent learning and be focused on enthusing Year 11s for their future subjects, whilst providing a grounding in some of the key content and concepts. As usual, during the summer holidays there will also be a summer task to complete, in time for the first taught lessons in September.

We still plan to hold our Welcome Days and will be working on contingencies to change the dates or manage an on-line version, should it not be possible to run these in late June at Collyer’s. There is no need to contact us in the meantime with any course changes. We are also looking to run our usual information evening presentations for the parents of new students, which we will advertise, when plans for the autumn term are in place.

I will be in touch on Monday 1st June with links to the Getting Ready for Collyer’s programme.

Please stay safe everyone.

 

Update from the Deputy Principal 23rd April

Next Steps 2020: Higher Education or Employment

For all students leaving us this summer, please visit the VLE or follow the links that have been emailed to you, for further advice and guidance relating to Higher Education/UCAS applications and Employability/Careers. I’ve also added a link to the general Higher Education presentation.

 

The documents include useful links, frequently asked questions, application processes and student wellbeing information. The material also details Collyer’s Higher Education and Careers contacts, who in addition to your tutors and Heads of House, are available for advice and guidance. We are looking forward to supporting you on your next steps, so please do make sure you stay in touch by checking the website and looking out for emails to your Collyer’s account.

 

For students applying for Higher Education entry in 2021, please also visit the VLEfor access to the general Higher Education material we would have been presenting at this week’s cancelled information evenings. We will also be in touch by email with links to this guidance material.

 

Please take care everyone and stay safe

 

Update from the Vice Principal 20th April 2020

A new term starts today but of course not as we would have hoped – with a further three weeks of lockdown. However, staff and students have responded magnificently to this challenge and as distance learning continues I am sure we will all become more used to the new way of studying. Thank you to parents and carers for your continued support during this difficult period.

Over Easter I updated our guidance for students and parents on distance learning with support from our Directors of Faculty:

Guidance on distance learning

The key points are summarised below.

1A students

It is really important as we enter an extended period of college closure that we stay focused and committed on learning. 1A students will not have any exam leave this term, so there will be more study to cover than usual and staff are redoing schemes of work to reflect this. Subjects, where appropriate, will introduce more aspects of distance learning that support student engagement. We will also monitor student progress carefully and communicate with students and parents to provide support if we are concerned. Work completed during this coming half term will be included in the evidence base for Transfer Grades, but of course we are mindful that distance learning will be challenging at times and the first two terms will provide the key assessments.

Intermediate and 2A students

Over the Easter break we received two major updates from Ofqual about the summer exams periods and grading. Both can be found in my updates on the college website. A major consultation has opened into key aspects of the approach which the college will respond to. In particular how grades will be standardised, how appeals could work, when and how resits will take place and how private candidates should be handled are being considered. As soon as more details are announced we will of course inform all students and parents again.

Whilst I fully understand students or parents may wish to communicate with teachers about Centre Assessment Grades, please remember that we are not able to discuss individual student performance. Please be assured that we know our students very well and have all the evidence we need in order to provide accurate grades for every learner.

As far as possible Intermediate and 2A students should continue to remain engaged in learning and ready themselves for their progression plans. To this end our Director of Higher Education and Progression will be writing this week to students with advice and guidance.

Thank you all for your continued support and understanding during this difficult time and take care.

 

Update from the Principal 17th April 

I do hope you are all well and managing to find the positives in our current situation.  I have been trying to keep up with Joe Wicks in the morning before we all start skyping and zooming and preparing for a few more weeks of remote working.  I have been to college to speak to our estates manager to check everything is all right with the campus and it is a very strange and lonely place without our students and I can’t wait until college is back to normal – I’ve even missed braving the lunch queue!

The government has now announced that the lockdown restrictions have been extended for a further 3 weeks and therefore college will not reopen on Monday 20th April for the start of the summer term and will remain closed until the next government review expected at the beginning of May.

Information regarding teaching and learning for the next few weeks for Year 1 students, advice on making a university application for 2021 and advice and guidance on next steps for Year 2 students will be emailed to you early next week.  A letter to students and parents explaining the process for awarding grades this summer has already been sent by Vice Principal Dan Lodge and can be found here.

Please keep safe and stay well.

Sally Bromley

Principal

 

 

Update from the Vice Principal re Vocational Grades 10th April

I trust you are all keeping safe and well this Easter weekend.

Yesterday Ofqual published guidance for vocational subjects and Functional Skills which can be found here. The approach to generating Centre Assessed Grades is very similar to A Level and GCSE – the main difference being that students on vocational subjects have completed a lot of final work that has been marked and will contribute to the grade. Subject leaders will be in contact with students about units that have just been completed or were about to be completed, but in all cases Intermediate and 2A students no longer need to complete further work.

Ofqual will be issuing further guidance in due course and we are confident that we know our students very well and will be able to provide grades for all students. Whilst I can understand fully that some students or parents may want to contact teachers to discuss grades, unfortunately following the guidance we will not be able to do so. We appreciate this may be difficult but please be assured that during this challenging time we continue to have our learners’ best interests at heart.

 

Thank you all for your support and understanding during this difficult time and take care.

 

Update from the Vice Principal re Grades 3rd April

Dear students and parents

I hope this update finds you all well and keeping safe.

With two weeks of distance learning coming to an end and the onset of Easter holidays, I would like to commend once more all of our students for their spirit and perseverance. Thank you for working with our teachers so well as they move learning online in such difficult times.

Today we received the anticipated detailed update from Ofqual about how grades for GCSEs and A Levels will be awarded this summer (a further update about vocational courses will come in due course and we will contact students and parents again at that point). A letter to students and parents explaining the process as well as more detailed guidance can be found here. Although all of you have known for a few weeks that exams are not taking place, I appreciate that there will be a great sense of disappointment now that the reality and the detail of the alternative arrangements are clear. I would like to reassure you that your work will have not been in vain and staff at Collyer’s are proud of your efforts. Your studies will have readied you for your future lives.

We have been asked by Ofqual to submit ‘centre assessed grades’ for each student and detail of the ranking of students within each grade. We know our students well and are confident that we can provide these grades as required based on the work that students have completed during their studies.

Whilst I can understand fully that some students or parents may want to contact teachers to discuss grades, unfortunately we will not be able to do so. We appreciate this may be difficult but please be assured that during this challenging time we continue to have our learners’ best interests at heart.

With this announcement we therefore have clarity that our Intermediate and 2A students have now completed their studies with us and there is no further requirement to submit work. After Easter we will be back in contact to wish all students well, outline how we would like to celebrate student achievements in the near future and offer some guidance and support for future study.

Thank you all in advance for your support and understanding during this difficult time and take care

Update 3 April 2020 – Deputy Principal

Admissions 2020

To all students who are joining Collyer’s in September.

Collyer’s are looking forward to welcoming you in the autumn term and we will be working closely with your school to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible onto a suitable programme of study.  We are confident that the calculated GCSE grades you are to be awarded in the summer will be fair and we will treat the qualifications exactly the same as in previous years. We are hoping that there will be minimal disruption to normal processes and timings for admissions. Please be reassured that your provisional offer to study at Collyer’s next autumn is completely safe and we are looking forward to welcoming you to our community.

Welcome Days

We still plan to hold our Welcome Days and will be working on contingencies to change the dates, should it not be possible to run these in late June. The Welcome Days provide a vital opportunity for pupils to try subjects, ask questions and make any changes. There is no need to contact us in the meantime to make any course changes.

Summer work

As usual, Collyer’s will be setting new students summer work in the second half of the summer term and in addition we are creating some on-line activities. We would also advise that you complete and fully understand the content of your GCSE courses, focussing on elements which link to your expected programme at Collyer’s, in particular those areas you found difficult. This would be good preparation for the next stage of your educational journey with us.

New Parents’ Information Evenings and Enrolment

We are planning to enrol students in September and in addition to the usual advice and guidance, we will be creating additional activities to help re-acclimatise learners to an educational setting. We are also looking to run our usual information evening presentations for the parents of new students, which we will advertise, when plans for the autumn term are in place.

As soon as the situation becomes clearer after the Easter break, we will write to you with confirmed details of the above activities and the admissions process.

Please stay safe.

 

Update 27 March 2020 – Vice Principal (Quality & Curriculum)

As we reach the end of our first week of distance learning I have received many reports from subject leaders of how well students have coped and the way in which they have stayed focused on their studies. Thank you to students for your resilience and efforts and to parents and carers for your support – particularly the messages of appreciation that have been sent in to college.

Next week distance learning continues with the same arrangements – a regular email from subject teachers at the beginning of the week to set work, marking work where appropriate and replying to individual queries throughout the week. Spring term finishes at the end of Wednesday.

Over the last week we have been consulting on alternative arrangements for our usual transfer exams that form the basis of progression from 1A to 2A. In developing the approach we followed three key principles of being motivational, fair and clear – and following as closely as possible government policy for awarding final grades. The new arrangements are:

 

-Transfer exams will not take place in May.

-Distance learning for 1As will continue uninterrupted until Collyer’s reopens with no exam leave.

-‘Transfer grades’ will be published to students through MyProgress as planned on Friday 12th June at 17.00 – for all courses (academic and vocational).

-‘Transfer grades’ will be ‘the best professional judgement by the subject teacher of what the student would have achieved at the end of year 1’. This will be based primarily on work completed during the autumn and spring terms but will also consider work from the first half of the summer term.

-In September (date and arrangements tbc) most subjects will provide the opportunity of a ‘2A induction test’ which all students will sit. This will be shorter than the usual transfer exams and will primarily be a form of 2A induction and useful diagnostic of any gaps in learning from the college closure. If students wish to appeal either the ‘transfer grade’ or the ‘UCAS predicted grade’ this test will provide further evidence for the decision.

With regards to 2A and Intermediate students, it is difficult to provide any further clarity since we are waiting on a more detailed update from Ofqual. The latest guidance is here and here. Our position therefore remains the same for now – that students should remain engaged in learning and any students still completing coursework should do so in a timely fashion. Some students may wish to take the opportunity of the autumn resit so need to keep focused on their studies.

Thank you all in advance for your support and understanding during this difficult time and take care.

 

Update 27 March 2020 – Vice Principal (Student Support)

The Science of Wellbeing – free online course from Yale

An online version of a class taught at Yale University in 2018 has been made available for free online and starts this week.

Conceived by psychology professor Laurie Santos, the course includes elements of positive psychology and behavioural science. The aim of the course (consisting of video lectures, optional reading material, and daily “rewirement” exercises to help you build better habits) is to tackle misconceptions surrounding happiness, question our own high expectations, overcome biases, and deploy actionable strategies to be happier in our own day-to-day lives. There’s no required reading on the course, and there’s no grade assigned at the end, so you can take as little or as much from the experience as they like.

We have emailed a link to all students via the tutorial VLE but wanted to share with staff and parents too as it may be helpful resource to anyone during these challenging times.

 

https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being

 

 

Update 25 March 2020 

Collyer’s Site closure from 16:00 Tuesday 24th March

Following the Prime Minister’s statement on Monday night, I have taken the decision to close the college site from 16:00 yesterday (Tuesday 24th March) until Tuesday 14th April.  Staff will be working from home and supporting students remotely.  Please refer to previous messages sent by our Vice Principals Dan Lodge and Andrea John regarding teaching, learning and assessment and student support.  Any updates to advice and guidance will be communicated via the college website ‘Coronavirus Update’.

The important thing is to distance ourselves from others in order to help bring COVID-19 under control and therefore protect our NHS, our families and our communities.  Please, please stay at home and follow government advice.

Take care, keep safe and stay well.

 

 

Update 23 March 2020 21.30 Principal

Notice to all staff:

Following the Prime Minister’s statement this evening, staff should only come into college it it is absolutely necessary or for work which is essential or cannot be undertaken at home. I will be in college tomorrow and available by phone or email if you have any questions. We will remain open for our group of learners who have requested this until we receive further information from the D of E.

Take care, keep safe and stay well

Sally

Update 23 March 2020 Deputy Principal

March Progress Reviews

In light of these unprecedented times, the March Progress Reviews will now not be published. Instead, for IL and 2A students we will be working internally to produce the data the government requires for their calculation of grades, which we are still awaiting clarification on. For 1A students we will announce soon our approach to progression and transfer exams.

I can assure you that we will work hard to ensure that Collyer’s students are not disadvantaged in this process and we will do all we can to make sure that the achievements and potential of our students is fully rewarded.

Thank-you for your understanding and continued support.

 

 

Update 20 March 2020 from Vice Principal (Quality & Curriculum)

In the last couple of days we have learnt that schools and colleges will be closed and that summer exams will not take place as planned. This has been a lot to take in and consider and of course our students are concerned and disappointed. However we have a fantastic community spirit at Collyer’s and I am confident students will remain committed to their studies as we move ‘for the foreseeable future’ to distance learning.

Guidance on distance learning – for students and parents  outlines in simple terms how we will be approaching distance learning as a college for now. Clearly things may change and there will be further updates. We have of course provided separate guidance to our staff and preparations have been underway for a couple of weeks.

Thank you all in advance for your support and understanding during this difficult time.

 

Update 20 March 2020 from Vice Principal (Student Support)

The government have released further guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision for a limited number of vulnerable children, and children whose parents are critical to the Covid -19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home. You can read this information in full here.

Update 19 March 2020

Message from the Principal

This is a very difficult time for us all and we will need to support one another in the weeks and months ahead to ensure our young people are not disadvantaged in their learning and their progression opportunities.  Thank you for your kind messages of gratitude and support, it means a lot to me and all the teachers and support staff at Collyer’s.

Following my message yesterday about moving to on line teaching and assessment from Monday 23rd March, the Prime Minister and Education Minister have clarified the situation for schools and colleges.

Schools and colleges will close from Monday 23rd March for the forseeable future.  Teaching will take place on line and teachers will be in contact with their students to explain what needs to be done.  We will continue to offer additional support for students with Education and Health Care Plans and some of our more vulnerable learners and are seeking clarification from the Department for Education about what is required.

Reception and the college library will be closed from Monday 23rd March.

External examinations will not take place in May and June this year and we are waiting to hear from the Department for Education how students will be assessed for the qualifications they are taking.  It is likely awarding bodies will rely on some internal assessments and predicted grades and so students should continue to work hard at home and complete work set. Parents and carers please support them in this.

 

UCAS has a site for those worried about the next few months – it can be found here

https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/after-you-apply/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-updates

https://www.ucas.com/corporate/news-and-key-documents/news/ucas-update-coronavirus

Key social media contacts that UCAS will use to let students know what is going on

Facebook: facebook.com/ucasonline

Twitter: @ucas_online

Instagram: @ucas_online

I will continue to provide regular updates for parents and students via email, the website and social media.

Take care and keep well everyone.

Sally Bromley

Principal

 

Update 18 March 2020

Message from the Principal:

I have taken the decision to move to on line teaching and assessment from Monday 23rd March.  An increasing number of staff and students who need to self-isolate for their or a close family member’s health and wellbeing means that trying to hold lessons on site is not practical and has increased levels of anxiety.  I am also very concerned for the health and wellbeing of staff and students continuing to mix in large numbers and unable to practise social distancing.  Staff will continue to be in college if they are able to do so and they will be able to focus their time and creative energy on creating and uploading appropriate teaching and learning materials rather than doing this for absent students alongside their usual class teaching.

This decision means that students will access their teaching and learning and support from home and will need your continued support while they do this.  The college is due to close for the Easter break on Thursday 2nd April.

Keep well everyone.

Sally Bromley

 

Tuesday 17th March 2020

The spread and impact of the COVID – 19 virus is changing rapidly. The college will continue to monitor the situation and follow Public Health England and Department for Education advice.  As of 17th March, the government’s response to COVID-19 is in the ‘delay’ phase and schools and colleges are advised to remain open.  I have not been informed of anyone in our college community being diagnosed with COVID-19 or with a new, persistent cough and high temperature.  Some staff are absent this week due to child care responsibilities or because they have an underlying significant health condition and I have advised them to remain at home.

The latest advice for anyone with the symptoms of new and persistent cough and high temperature, together with anyone else in their household is to stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days.

Parents and students who are concerned about an underlying health condition or a health vulnerability or are anxious about the situation please email me sab@collyers.ac.uk; I am happy to authorise absence if parents request this.

The government is encouraging all of us to avoid unnecessary social contact including pubs, clubs, restaurants and theatres.

Our hope and intention is to manage as best we can the impact on our students’ learning and overall wellbeing.  Please refer to the college website for the latest information and any updates.

Best wishes and keep well.

 

Sally Bromley

Principal

 

11th March 2020

The spread and impact of the COVID – 19 virus is changing rapidly. The college will continue to monitor the situation and follow Public Health England and Department for Education advice.  As of 11th March, the government’s response to COVID-19 remains in the ‘Contain’ phase and schools and colleges are advised to remain open.   However, in consultation with the Senior Management Team, I have taken the decision this morning to cancel or postpone external trips and visits until the Easter break.  We have a number of trips planned to the London area and to Brighton to big events where students would be mixing with large numbers of students from other colleges or members of the general public.  This decision I feel is in keeping with the government’s ‘Contain’ brief and the health and safety of students and college staff are my key concern.  Where possible we will seek to postpone trips and rearrange them for a later date.  Trip leaders will keep students informed.  The Geography A Level coursework field trip on Friday will go ahead as will the internal dance show.

In the event of a case of COVID-19 being confirmed at the college, we will follow the advice of Public Health England.  Our hope and intention is that the college will remain open and that the impact on our students’ learning and overall educational experience will be minimised. However, in order to be prepared for the eventuality of having to close, partially or wholly, please be assured we have robust processes and procedures in place and are ready to put additional measures in place as required.   We are using the government action plan as a guide.  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan

All courses have made meaningful work available to students via the VLE or other remotely accessed platform
Assessment and feedback can be conducted online and students are aware of the processes that apply to their specific courses
Appropriate support is available for our most vulnerable students.
Best wishes and keep well.

 

Sally Bromley

Principal