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This information has been provided to support understanding of what students, parents and carers should expect during periods of college closure or student isolation relating to coronavirus (COVID-19).

West Suffolk College has taken a number of measures to mitigate the risk of coronavirus transmission and will remain open for students as far as reasonably possible and while it is safe to do so.  In the event of a local or national lockdown, the College will continue to remain open for vulnerable students, but this will remain under review.

During the Autumn term, teaching and support teams have worked closely with students to ensure they are all familiar with their online learning environments and have had the opportunity to experience online, remote delivery. 

We have also taken the time to get to know students who have barriers to remote online learning due to lack of a suitable device or internet connectivity and have either loaned a device or provided alternative arrangements to enable all students to achieve to their full potential. If a student’s circumstances change for whatever reason such as the learning environment at home is no longer a good place to learn or access to a suitable device becomes an issue, they should contact their Personal Support Tutor, who will ensure that support arrangements are put in place as soon as reasonably possible.  This arrangements may include the opportunity to attend the College during any period of lockdown.   

The information below provides further detail on specific areas of delivery.

The remote curriculum: what is taught to students at home

14-16 Elective Home Education

Our EHE programmes are designed to complement the ongoing education being delivered at home. The part time individualised study programmes have been offered this year on a blended learning basis i.e. for all programmes there has been expected attendance on-site and also elements of remote or home-based learning. Due to the latest lockdown we are temporarily moving most learning activities to online remote sessions.

16-19 Education Programmes for Young People

All students enrolled on our study programmes have had the opportunity to regularly undertake remote online teaching and learning activities to ensure they are fully prepared and familiar with the delivery platforms in case of a local or national lockdown.  All students are fully aware of the standards of behavior expected of them when engaging in online remote sessions, especially around ‘netiquette’ and online safety.

In the event of college closure due to coronavirus, students will be expected to follow their individual timetable provided by their tutor.  Attendance will continue to be monitored and recorded as normal and all non-attendance will be followed up.  Remote online learning will comprise of a variety of different activities including online live taught sessions, pre-recorded sessions, pre-prepared online materials and activities, long-term projects and assignments and self-directed learning.  In some circumstances, printed workbooks / worksheets may be issued, but these will be in specific circumstances.

Tutors will check students understanding of new knowledge, skills and behaviors developed within the sessions by asking questions, asking students to complete assessments and through the completion of assignments.  Feedback will be provided both verbally to students at the time and within sessions and in writing following the completion of assignments.

Progress towards students’ individual qualification target grade will be reviewed on a regular basis and recorded in Markbook, which students and parents have access to though ProMonitor and the Parent Portal.  Teaching staff will also provide updates to parents if there are any concerns with progress.

Courses which require students to access specialist equipment and facilities have prioritised the delivery of the curriculum to ensure, as far as reasonably possible, students are not disadvantaged in the event of a future lockdown.  We are confident students will be able to achieve to their full potential if they were to be required to work remotely for a period of time.

Students with SEND

All students enrolled on our Supported Learning provision are in possession of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) therefore we have continued to provide daily provision on-site. For most students this has meant attending two or three days per week. We have also introduced a variety of individualised learning tasks which can be completed away from College, these tasks compliment the students’ learning goals and, in some cases provide evidence for assessment within their qualification frameworks.

Supportive communication channels have been developed to ensure parents and students have the opportunity to discuss progress on regular occasions.

Students who are temporarily unable to attend College, for example those that have been identified as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable have been and will be supported remotely with appropriate supportive learning resources. Some learners who are unable to attend college for considerable amounts of time have been or will be allocated a Learning Mentor who will work with the student on a regular individual basis.