College update - 20.11.20

20 November 2020

I hope this message finds you and your family safe and well. This communication outlines some of the changes we have made to a number of events across the rest of the term and a number of reminders and prompts to help you to support your sons and daughters in making the most of the rest of the term.

Your sons and daughters have been fantastic this term; they are working hard and attending well. Students have become used to the rituals and routines enforced by our COVID protocols and are remembering to use hand sanitiser regularly, wipe down workstations and wear their facemasks in corridors and public spaces. Although the rates of infection in Tameside are falling, it is important to remain vigilant and continue to follow the rules when on campus and when at home and in the community.

Firstly, a reminder that college is closed to all students on Monday 23rd November for an INSET training day. College will reopen on Tuesday 24th November.

As the days become colder and we move towards winter, classrooms will be colder than usual as a result of the increased ventilation we must have as part of our COVID protocols. Windows and doors must remain open at all times to allow for a good flow of fresh air throughout the space. As a result, all students are encouraged to dress for the lower temperatures so they can remain comfortable learning in class. We are also allowing hot drinks into the classroom as a temporary measure but these must be in a lidden travel style cup to prevent accidental spillage or injury. Open cups cannot be taken into the classroom.

The A2 Parents’ Evening scheduled for Tuesday 24th November has been postponed. The logistics of arranging a parents’ evening for over 1200 students with National COVID restrictions are very challenging. This will now take place between Monday 25th January and Friday 2nd February 2021. Students will be given appointment sheets based on the availability of teachers during that week. This may be over one or two longer evenings, or several shorter evenings and may include some daytime slots. All A2 students will be encouraged to make an appointment with their teachers. The appointments will be conducted either over Microsoft Teams or over the phone. More information will be provided after the Christmas break.

The A1 Parents’ Evening has also been postponed from January and will now take place later in the year with a date to be confirmed.

A2 A level and Mixed Study Programme mock examinations will take place from Friday 11th December and will run until Friday 18th December. All A2 students taking mock examinations should have received the dates of their examinations. In the same week, we are arranging one to one interviews for all A1 students. These sessions will allow students and their teachers to assess progress to date in their subject(s) and to discuss any support needs they may have. A1 students will be asked to make appointments with their teachers soon. Week B students will be invited in between Friday 11th December and the morning of Tuesday 15th December with week A students on campus from the afternoon of Tuesday 15th December until Thursday 17th December. The timetable will collapsed for this period to create time for this to take place. A2 students on BTEC Extended Diploma courses may be asked to attend to complete any outstanding coursework during the same period.

Finally, please could you encourage your sons and daughters in the second year who wish to apply to university to complete their UCAS applications as soon as possible. Although the external deadline

for application is in January, it is important that we are able to check applications and personal statements prior to application. There is also further work to complete once he form has been submitted to the Senior Tutor team writing supporting references for each applicant. This can take up to two weeks to complete from submission.

Thank you for your support and understanding. By working together, we will manage the next few weeks so we can continue to deliver the best possible quality of teaching and learning to your son or daughter, as well as maintaining our vigilance towards the health and safety of all in our community.

Take care, look after yourself, your families and each other; be patient and stay positive.