Coronavirus Update

Updated: 20.5.2020 at 10am

Online Learning Continues

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 10 May, the College continues to deliver lessons online while staff work from home to continue to support our students and apprentices.

Students, please ensure you have regular contact with your tutors, assessors and support staff and continue to engage with online learning to ensure you successfully complete your course.

Our priority is to ensure that all our students and apprentices have the best opportunity to successfully complete their studies and continue with their next steps and future career plans.

We will continue to work closely with our students, parents, apprentices, employers and key stakeholders to navigate through step one of the road map, following government guidelines.

The government have announced that a phased return to schools and colleges will happen from 1st June if the 5 key tests set by government allow the changes at this time, including the decreased rate of infection. City of Wolverhampton College, like other schools and colleges is now creating a plan on this basis, ahead of confirmation that these tests are met.

Our key priority is the safety and well-being of all our students, apprentices and staff as we continue to move forward in these challenging times.

We will continue to update this web page as new guidance is announced, with update alerts posted on our social media.

 

#StayAlert

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert.

This means you must:

▶️ Stay at home as much as possible

▶️ Work from home if you can

▶️ Limit contact with other people

▶️ Keep your distance if you go out (🚶🏾‍↔️🚶🏾‍♂️2 metres apart where possible)

▶️ Wash your hands regularly

Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

 

 

Advice for Students:

City of Wolverhampton College want to ensure we keep you posted on what is happening with your Pearson BTEC qualifications during this challenging time.

There is a lot of information in circulation relating to grading and qualifications, of which, some of the important details have still not been released, therefore the College wanted to clarify as much as possible.

To summarise to date:

  • There will be no formal assessments for BTEC students while studying at home (this will likely be backdated to 20th March, 2020)
  • These assessments (assignments and examinations) will be provided with predicted grades from your tutors
  • Unfortunately, the College cannot give you those predicted grades as the awarding body might adjust these using their own formulas
  • We are still unsure of how your predicted grades will be calculated and are awaiting further information regarding this – it is likely be based around previous assignments and examinations, class tests and activities

We still expect you to engage with your learning and you will be supported through platforms such as Moodle, Google classroom etc. Your tutors will continue to conduct lessons and engagement, in addition to providing feedback where appropriate.

This will serve you well in preparation for your progression or any re-sits needed and will prevent you from having long periods of down time of no learning, so when a normal service can resume you are still in the flow of learning and are not behind your peers.

More information from Pearson’s can be found here

As soon as the College has a clearer picture, more information will be shared.

Working from home or remotely can be very challenging and isolating. Sometimes our attention wanders, or we miss the company of people.

A structured day can be a good way to address this:

  • Designate a place to work that is as free of distractions as you can make it.
  • Set a routine for working at home – it’s important to get up and get started, to take regular breaks including a lunch break, and to finish working and turn off at an appropriate time.
  • No matter how tempting, avoid working in your pyjamas all day. This is likely a big change already so try not to lose all your daily routines at once.
  • Try and set clear tasks for the day – three major decisions or activities is a good day’s work – but keep an eye on ongoing tasks too. You won’t always get as much done at home – but you might get loads done. One great tip we heard of this week was to have a WEB list – W – what you want to achieve – E – what you expect to achieve – and B – what you had Better achieve that day. This helps prioritise.
  • Have a proper lunch break. Stop, makes something nice to eat, and eat away from your work area.  Try and get outside and get some natural light if you can do so safely, and try some exercise, again within guidelines on social contact – it’s easy to get dragged in to work out of hours.
  • Use your diary to clearly say to others when you are working and when you are available to speak.
  • When you are done for the day, pack away your work things or leave your work area at the end of the day.

Additional responsibilities

If you have additional responsibilities such as caring for relatives or looking after children or siblings whilst trying to study, have a conversation with your tutors about those realities. Try and set up a routine whereby you have distinct times for studying and for helping with additional responsibilities. Dividing your attention may leave both things suffering and being there for others offering undivided attention at these uncertain times is very important.

Self awareness and personal growth.

Consider keeping a journal – incorporating gratitude practice – ask “What was I grateful for today?” – and learning – ask “What was I challenged by today?” – in a week or so you will start to get insights into things you can improve in this working pattern. Soon you’ll get to know when you do your best focused work, or need the most input. At home that might be different to being at college. You could combine this with a paper bullet journal or planner to keep thoughts, tasks and achievement in the same place.

Use the support that’s available

This is a challenging time for all of us.

  • It’s quite likely that we will need to accept a certain amount of distress and anxiety relating to the outbreak, in the short and medium term. If you have self-care techniques that work for you, try and make sure that you have what you need. You may need to think differently – for example doing exercise workouts from videos instead of attending classes. You may want to consider looking at relaxation or mindfulness practice or finding ways to help others in your community. Self-compassion, and support for others is going to be very important.
  • Avoid following misleading messages and information on social media.
  • Stay safe follow Government guidelines.
  • Keep in touch with the college.

The announcement that this summer’s exams have been cancelled in order to slow the spread of coronavirus will, undoubtedly, have left you feeling concerned about the effects this will have on your future plans. 

The Government’s priority is now to ensure that affected students can move on as planned to the next stage of their lives, whether that’s starting college, going to university, starting an apprenticeship or going into employment.  

UPDATE: Ofqual issued a letter on 3 April 2020 regarding Summer 2020 gradings for GCSE, AS and A Level students. Click here to read the letter.

 

Vocational and Technical qualifications 

There is a very wide range of different vocational and technical qualifications as well as other academic qualifications for which students were expecting to sit exams this summer.  

These are offered by a large number of awarding organisations and have differing assessment approaches – in many cases students will already have completed modules or non-exam assessments which could provide evidence to award a grade.  

The government is encouraging these organisations to show the maximum possible flexibility and pragmatism to ensure you are not disadvantaged. Ofqual is working urgently with the sector to explore options and will provide more details shortly. 

Read the latest information from the Government regarding exam gradings here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please do not worry, we will ensure you are able to continue your studies, and will be touch with you soon.

Which qualifications does this guidance apply to?  

The information published by Ofqual covers GCSEs, AS and A levels, plus Extended Project Qualifications and Additional Extension Awards in maths. 

I was due to take GCSEs, As Levels or A Levels this summer, what happens now? 

On Friday, 3 April, Ofqual (the exams regulator) issued guidance on how grades for exams will be awarded. 

The over-riding aim is for this to be fair to students who were due to sit their exams this summer and to make sure they are not disadvantaged in their progress to sixth form, college, university, apprenticeships, training or employment because of these unprecedented circumstances.  

How will grades be awarded? 

The college will be asked to send exam boards two pieces of information for each of your subjects, based on what we know about your work and achievements:  

  • The grade they believe you were most likely to get if teaching, learning and exams had happened as planned  
  • Within each subject, the order of students at college, by performance, for each grade. This information will be used to standardise judgements – allowing fine tuning of the standard applied across schools and colleges.  

This information will allow Ofqual, with exam boards, to standardise grades across schools and colleges, to make sure that, as far as possible, results are fair and that students are not advantaged or disadvantaged because their schools or colleges are more generous or harsh than others when making those judgements.  

The exam boards and regulators are going to be the people deciding on the final grades awarded. This means that the final grade you get could be different from the one the college sends to the exam boards. 

What information will the college use to decide the grade they think I would have got? 

The college will consider a range of things like: 

  • Your classwork and homework 
  • Your results in assignments and any mock exams; 
  • Any non-exam assessment or coursework you might have done 
  • General progress during your course.  
Do I need to complete any new work for college to submit a grade? 

The college is not required to set additional mock exams or homework for your centre assessment grade, and you won’t be disadvantaged if you were not set, or were unable to complete, any work given out after college closed.  

Can I see the grades the college submits for me?  

No, this information will be confidential.  

Please don’t ask your tutors, or anyone else at college, to tell you the grades they will be sending to the exam boards or where they have placed you in the order of students; they will not be allowed to share this with you.  

When will I get my results?  

Ofqual is working hard to get results out as soon as is possible – results won’t be delayed after the dates they were expected in August, and ideally they will be issued a little earlier, so you can have the certainty you need.  

Can I take my exams another time?  

Ofqual is working with exam boards to offer additional exams in the autumn term as soon as it is possible to do so – further details will be provided in the coming weeks.  

Will my grades look different to students from other years? 

The grades you get this summer will look exactly the same as in previous years, and they will have equal status with universities, colleges and employers, to help you move forward in your lives as planned. 

In case I want to take my GCSE maths or English exam in the autumn, what can I do to carry on learning while college is closed? 

Until you receive your exam grades, it is the expectation that you continue with learning online to ensure that, should you wish to take either exam again in the autumn, you will have continued to improve your existing knowledge and develop new skills. 

There is a wide range of free study resources on the college’s Google Classroom, Mathswatch and Moodle systems  – you just need to log-in to the systems using your personal log-in details, the same as you would do if you were in college. 

In addition, we will be running a weekly online maths and English challenge – these will be set within your normal Google Classrooms.  

I am an A Level student. What should I do until I receive my grades?  

Until you receive your exam grades, it is the expectation that you continue to attend all online sessions and complete all work set by your tutors. The subject knowledge and skills taught in your online sessions will be essential for your next level of study or if you wish to take your exams in the autumn.  

I am an Access to A Levels student. What should I do until I receive my grades? 

Until you receive your exam grades, it is the expectation that you continue to attend all online sessions and complete all work set by your tutors. The subject knowledge and skills taught in your online sessions will be essential for your next level of study or if you wish to take your exams in the autumn. 

Where can I find out more information?  

Read Ofqual’s letter in full here or keep up-to-date with the latest guidance and answers to questions that youyour parents or carers may have on the Ofqual website  

Will grading for my vocational qualification be awarded in the same way? 

This guidance applies only covers GCSEs, AS Levels and A levels, plus Extended Project Qualifications and Additional Extension Awards in maths. 

We are still waiting for guidance from awarding bodies for vocational qualifications and will publicise these in due course. Until then, you should continue to participate in relevant online learning sessions and complete the work you have been set by your tutors. 

 

Discrete/Adult Maths and English

All part-time Functional Skills and GCSE Maths and English classes, along with exams, are cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Functional Skills

Functional Skills exams can be arranged throughout the year. The College will support you with preparing for and sitting your examinations when the College reopens.

Please log on to the Google classroom which your tutors have supplied to continue your work. Your tutor will be available to support you at set times. They will also direct you to other online resources.

GCSE Maths and English

All GCSE Exams are cancelled for this summer. Ofqual have now issued guidance on how GCSE grades will be awarded, please refer to the ‘How will my GCSE & A Level results be awarded?’ section above.

We will continue to support you with your studies. Please log on to the google classroom your tutors have supplied you with to continue your work. Your tutor will be available to support you at set times. They will also direct you to other online resources.

Higher Education/University

If you were studying GCSE Maths/English as a requirement for entry to a degree programme, please speak with the university/Higher Education institution for advice on any revised entry requirements they may have.

All part-time ESOL classes are cancelled for the foreseeable future. ESOL exams can be arranged throughout the year. The College will support you with preparing for and sitting your examinations when the College reopens.

Please follow any directions from your teacher as they have work for you to complete either in Moodle or direct contact by email. Your teacher will be available to support you online and by email. They will also direct you to other online resources.

You can email the ESOL teachers: esol@wolvcoll.ac.uk

If you are entitled to Free School Meals you will receive a code to your college email next week.

This code can be redeemed online for a £20 supermarket voucher which you can use to buy food. The voucher will be valid for two weeks until 12 April. Please check your emails regularly.

This service may change as further guidance is given by the Government.

Free school meals – Student Guidance

We know this is a really difficult time for our students. Our business support services are still available to support our students, including our Safeguarding team, who can be contacted by phone: 07834 558517 or email safeguarding@wolvcoll.ac.uk. There are also online materials available to support your Mental Health at this time.

The College will continue to pay for childcare, where this has already been agreed.

Advice for Apprentices:

Please follow the guidance given by your employer’s HR department in the first instance.

If you are an Apprentice employer and would like to speak to a member of the College Apprenticeship team, please email apprenticeships@wolvcoll.ac.uk

If your employer does not want external visitors in the workplace please contact your Assessor or Account Manager so they can make alternative arrangements to continue to support you.

Advice for Hairdressing, Barbering and Beauty Apprentices

TQUK, City & Guilds and VTCT have collectively agreed that delay for practical observation for Hair Professional and Beauty Professional standards is the only appropriate mitigation during the COVID-19 situation. Read the full statement here

If you have any further questions, email the apprenticeship team – apprenticeships@wolvcoll.ac.uk

Advice for Applicants:

Yes! You can still apply to study at the college. APPLY NOW

Once you have submitted the application you will receive an email confirming we have your application.

Following the guidance from Public Health England, we won’t be conducting face to face interviews so instead you’ll get a call from one of our interviewing tutors who will discuss your course choice(s) and provide guidance to ensure you make the right course choice for your future career. Then you will receive an offer on the course you choose for September 2020.

We appreciate exams and assessments have been suspended, and ask that you do not worry about your College place with us. We will work with you to ensure your next stage in education is right for you.

Firstly, thank you for applying to study with us and we look forward to welcoming you!

Following the guidance from Public Health England, we won’t be conducting face to face interviews so instead you’ll get a call from one of our interviewing tutors who will discuss your course choice(s) and provide guidance to ensure you make the right course choice for your future career. Then you will receive an offer on the course you choose for September 2020.

We appreciate exams and assessments have been suspended, and ask that you do not worry about your College place with us. A member of staff will work with you before you start your course to ensure you continue your education on a course that is right for you and will allow you to flourish and succeed.

We look forward to welcoming you as a WolvColl student! We appreciate all exams and assessments have been suspended, and ask that you do not worry about your College place with us.

We will work with you before you start your course to ensure you continue your education on a course that is right for you, and will allow you to flourish and succeed.

Nearer the time we will update you about this and future events. Please check back for updates.

You don’t need to wait for an open event to apply for a course, you can do this anytime online.

APPLY NOW

Coronavirus Advice & Guidance:

If you have any concerns about your health you should use the NHS 111 website initially, or if you have no internet access then contact the free NHS 111 telephone helpline. Check the NHS website for the latest official advice.

The Government website is regularly updated with useful information.

The Government has advised everyone in the UK to take social distancing measures to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus. Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

People who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus should be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.

This advice is likely to be in place for some weeks.

Full guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK and protecting older people and vulnerable adults can be found here

 

You might be worried about coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) and how it could affect your life. This may include being asked to stay at home or avoid other people.

This might feel difficult or stressful. But there are lots of things you can try that could help your wellbeing.

Check out the information from Mind here.

The College is actively promoting the NHS incentive ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ to reduce the potential spread of any seasonal cold or flu.

Do:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Don’t:

  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean