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COVID-19 updates

Here you will find the latest news regarding Covid-19 and how this affects the College.

14 entries

12th April 2021

Covid-19: Principal welcomes students back to campus

In this video, Principal Phil Sayles welcomes students back to campus following the Easter break and discusses the term ahead, as well as the current Covid-19 situation locally and on campus. The College has put a plan in place to help students through their course, assessments and Teacher-assessed grades so that they can successfully move on to the next stage of their lives.

All students attending campus must keep up their Covid-19 testing and report all results to the NHS and the College. Please also ensure Covid-19 safety measures such as social distancing, hand-sanitising and increased handwashing are followed and face masks are worn - unless you are exempt from wearing one.

25th March 2021

Covid-19: Update ahead of Easter break

Dear Student,

As we prepare for the Easter break, I thought it would be a good time to catch up with you.

We have really enjoyed having you all back in College over the last three weeks and from the conversations I have had with various groups, I know the vast majority of you are also really relieved to be back in College also. In addition I wanted to thank you again for the way you are behaving with mask wearing, sanitising and maintaining your course bubbles. Everyone we come into contact with comments on how good your attitude and behaviour is, which is really pleasing to hear and see.

Catch Up Work

I know for many of you, this won’t be a full Easter break, because you have been invited into College for some catch up and individual work with your tutors. If you have been offered this by your tutors, please take up the opportunity. We want each and every student with us to be successful and get the qualifications they deserve. Please work with us to ensure you get the best grades and outcomes you can do by responding and working on feedback for your current work, and where you can do, attending the extra catch up sessions. I know it may still feel quite a distance away from the end of the academic year, but we are working towards having to submit all grades by 18th June, as the letter with my e-mail last week highlighted. After Easter, we are looking at 6–8 weeks only before the grades have to be submitted, which will fly by.

Easter Holidays and Lateral Flow Testing

During the Easter holidays you must keep doing your lateral flow tests twice a week and reporting your results to us and the DfE. You will also need to keep a test that you can do the day before you return to College, so that we can ensure a safe return after Easter. If you are worried that you will run out of testing kits over the Easter holidays, we have boxes that you can collect from reception at any time this week, or during the holidays.

Attached to this e-mail is an updated privacy notice that has been extended to cover the at home testing kits and reporting systems.

If you want to remind yourself about how to do your at home tests, please watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9XR8RZxKNo&list=PLvaBZskxS7tzQYlVg7lwH5uxAD9UrSzGJ and if you have any concerns or need any help with your at home covid-19 testing kit. Please contact our covid-19 co-ordination team via covidtest@selby.ac.uk

Covid-19 Reporting over the Easter Holidays

If you get a positive lateral flow test you must report the outcome to the NHS, and also to the college using Report my Result. You must also self-isolate and book in for a confirmatory PCR test via the NHS. If that also confirms a positive result, you will need to inform us by e-mailing covid19@selby.ac.uk, or calling reception on 01757 211000, so that we can help you, and identify if there are any next steps.

If you do develop any Covid-19 symptoms however mild, you must still self-isolate, let us know, and book in for a NHS administered test.

Returning to College

After Easter, we will cease the remote timetable delivery and all students and apprentices will return to their normal in College timetables. Some learners will have an individual timetable, this will be discussed and agreed with you. As such, the Arriva Bus Passes are available for collection or purchase at their usual prices, and any meals payments will be back on your College cards to facilitate contactless payments. We are really looking forward to getting back to more normal student life and working with you to have fun as well as helping you get the best outcomes you can do.

All it leaves me to do is to hope that you have a good Easter break and hope that the weather is kind for all of us to get some early spring sunshine

See you in April.

Liz Ridley

Deputy Principal

18th March 2021

Covid-19: Grading of A Levels and GCSEs Summer 2021

Dear Student,

Here is an update now that we have had students coming back into College for a week. We have really enjoyed welcoming students back into college and seeing how quickly you have settled back in and look forward to seeing all of you over the next couple of weeks. We all much prefer being on campus and spending time with students rather than trying to do our jobs remotely and all the technical glitches that ensue from that!

Covid-19 Security

Those of you who returned last week have clearly enjoyed getting back into lessons and seeing friends. You have responded with maturity to the changes in lunchtime routines, expectations of mask wearing and taking your own Lateral Flow Device test swabs, as well as continuing with the many other measures to reduce the spread of Coronavirus. Your behaviour has been exemplary and we are very proud of all of you. We also know that as you all gradually return, that you will continue to work with us an keep our college a safe and happy place to be.

For those students who have been back in college and have had their onsite lateral flow tests we will be starting to distribute the home testing kits, so that you can undertake these tests at home, now that you are becoming proficient at doing the swabs and understand the process.

The feedback from the students who have done the lateral flow tests over the last couple of weeks, is that they are straightforward and there is nothing to worry about. If you have concerns the team supporting you to do the tests will talk you through the process, including finding your tonsils and what you need to do if you have nose piercings or other reasons why the standard swabbing process won’t work for you.

Gaining your qualifications and grades

We understand some of you may be worried about completing your course work for the remainder of the year but we have lots of support available to help you catch up on missed learning as a result of the lockdown restrictions. If you have any concerns or worries, please talk to your GST / Assessor or Tutor.

We are starting to get further information about how the wide range of qualifications and courses will be assessed and graded. I have attached a handy guide that gives an overview of what the plans are for GCSE and A level type qualifications. As soon as we have the details we will provide a similar guide for BTEC and other vocational outcomes including Apprenticeships and Higher Nationals

We know you have achieved a great deal during this very tough year and shown determination and resilience. All the staff at the college are available to help and guide you through their next steps to complete your studies.

We look forward to seeing all of you back here with us over the next few weeks

Take care

Deputy Principal

Liz Ridley

A Level and GCSE Grading 2021

5th March 2021

Covid-19: Preparing to welcome you back to College

Dear Student,

This is the final communication this week about the phased return, starting on Monday.

We are all really looking forward to seeing you start to return back to the College from the 8th, so that all full time students on Further Education Courses will have at least one week of on-site learning prior to the Easter break.

We will be working hard with you to catch up, participate in the practical learning and assessments that you couldn’t undertake whilst learning remotely, and check how you are doing. If there is anything else we can help you with, so that you feel able to continue productively with your studies, feel safe and well and ultimately get the outcomes you are capable of and successfully move on to your next stage, please let us know by discussing this with your GST or tutor.

We know that some of you may be feeling a bit anxious after the period of remote learning, but we are here to help and support you and work with you to get back on track.

In preparation for being back on site, please ensure you have all the equipment and resources you will need including:

• Mask(s)

• Pens / Pencils and writing equipment

• Contactless payment methods (if you are using the refectory for your lunch – which will be a grab and go selection)

• Any specialist course related equipment (kits etc)

• Uniforms / PPE / kits if you need them

You must tell us, as soon as possible, if you are not coming in and are scheduled to be in College, especially if this is due to Covid-19 self-isolations.

For those of you still on remote learning, it is important that you continue to access your lessons and keep on top of your work, so that when you are in at College you can get the most out of your face to face lessons.

Have a good weekend and we will start to see you in person next week.

Liz Ridley,

Deputy Principal

4th March 2021

Covid-19: Returning to campus and on-site testing

Dear Student,

This is my second e-mail to you as we get ready to welcome you back to college from 8th March.

Firstly, I wanted to say thank you to all of you who have given your consent for the lateral flow tests on your return. If you have not done so, Please click here complete the consent form.

You will have started to receive your e-mails from your tutors with your individual timetables. We are planning for all 16-19 full time students to have a minimum of 1 week of lessons on site before the Easter holidays and then have you all back as normal after Easter, subject to DFE advice. If you are unsure about your individual return plan, please contact your GST; or tutor / assessor if you are an adult or apprentice.

I now want to talk about some of the practical details of welcoming you back to site. Most of what I will highlight below is familiar to you from the first term, but there are some changes. We know how well you adapted to the covid arrangements in September and know that you will work hard with us to keep the College a safe place to learn and work. To help refresh your memories about the covid induction we did in September, I have attached the top 10 safety tips, which we have just updated slightly to highlight the change around masks, outlined below. (I need to check the top 10 – so not attached to this draft)

Masks

The most significant change you will experience, is that we require masks to be worn at all times when inside, including in the classrooms. The only exceptions to this, will be previously approved exemptions and / or where you tutor permits removal. (This will be for a small range of exceptions). As you will be wearing a mask for the majority of your time at college and also if you are travelling on public transport, you will probably need access to at least two well-fitting masks per day. We will have a good supply of disposable masks, so if you need to change your mask during the day, we will be able to help you.

Here is a link to a reminder about how to wear a mask correctly, including storage of all masks and the maintenance of re-usable face coverings. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/explainers-53517968

Transport

Arriva will be commencing all routes and enabling the connect cards from 8th March, so everything will be back to normal for those of you coming in via buses

Refectory and Food

The refectory will re-open from 8th March with a grab and go service, similar to the offer we had during December. To help you maintain your bubbles we will have a rota for when groups can access the refectory. Remember we have a contactless payments system. If you choose to eat in the refectory you will need to sit at tables with your class bubble. Whilst you are eating, this is the only time it is permissible to remove your mask and it must be replaced as soon as you are finished. We will also need you to vacate the table as soon as you are finished, so that it can be thoroughly cleaned and prepared for the next group

Bursary and free meals

For the three weeks up to Easter we will continue to pay your meals allocation into your nominated bank account. This means that you will either need to use a contactless card / app; or transfer funds via wisepay to your college badge

We are genuinely looking forward to seeing you in person. It has been such a long time since we last saw you in the middle of December and we know that, like us, most of you are keen to get back to face to face learning and a more normal routine, especially those on practical courses who spend most of their time in workshops and practical learning spaces.

There will be one further update on Friday, with a video and then we look forward to seeing you in person 😊

Take care and see you soon

Liz

26th February 2021

Covid-19: Returning to campus and Covid-19 testing

Dear Student,

This if the first in a series of e-mails we are going to be sending to you, as we get ready to safely welcome you back in to college from 8th March. This one focuses on the processes we need to set up to allow lateral flow testing, but there will be more to follow that focus on the changes to health and safety around the site, transport/bursaries and also the specific returning instructions for your courses.

For background, we have been asked to ensure all students, staff and people working on site have been offered lateral flow device tests to enable the identification of people who have Covid-19, but who do not have symptoms, in order to reduce transmission in education. The test is voluntary and free, and everyone is encouraged to take it. The latest guidance states that when returning to College, students should be offered three Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests spaced 3 to 5 days apart.

In preparation, we are asking all students to complete a consent form in advance of returning to College, to enable us to start registering and testing students ready for their return to face to face learning. Consent is being captured in an online portal, that also gives you further information about the terms of consent you are providing and how your data will be processed.

Please fill in the consent form for Covid-19 testing

Once you have completed your consent form, we are also inviting students who can easily get into college to volunteer for a test from Wednesday 3rd March until Friday 5th March. Appointments are available from 08:00 to 16:00. We have capacity to delivery approximately 200 tests per day. (If you can’t get in to college during these dates, do not worry, we will be testing groups, as and when they return). As part of completing your consent form you can request a test, to make it as straightforward as possible.

Those taking the test will be supervised by trained College staff. The lateral flow tests are quick and easy, using a swab of your nose and throat. Results (which take around half an hour from testing) will be sent directly to the mobile phone number and email address you have provided.

Testing will be offered free of charge, of course.

We strongly advise all students to download the NHS Covid-19 app and register an NHS Test and Trace account when booking their first test. This will significantly speed up the pre-test registration process, but further information will be provided once a test is booked.

If you cannot get in to college in advance, please do not worry, we will be testing all students, who have given consent, as and when they return back to site

If you have any further questions or comments, please contact the testing team via email at covidtest@selby.ac.uk.

Please remember, if you are displaying any COVID-19 symptoms, DO NOT attend College. Stay at home and book at test via NHS 119 or the NHS website.

Best wishes

Liz Ridley

Deputy Principal

Visit this link for further advice regarding coronavirus

Book a Covid-19 test via the NHS

24th February 2021

Covid-19: Returning to campus

Dear Student,

You will no doubt be aware of the announcement by the Prime Minister that the intention is for learning to recommence in schools and colleges from 8th March, with local discretion over exact scheduling and timescales.

We are very pleased that this includes colleges and all categories of students and apprentices. Therefore, we are currently planning for a phased return from that date that will bring all students and apprentices into college before Easter for some on-site face to face and practical learning.

Our ambition as always, is to have all learners safely on site and on timetable. We are therefore working up plans that will be fair, prioritise those courses most at need and will allow us to schedule lateral flow Covid tests to all returners on, or even before the return to college, hopefully from next week. We are also revisiting our guidance and ground rules to ensure a safe environment for learners and staff.

We will contact you again this week, so that we can start the process of requesting your consent to be tested, as well as with details of how the system will work and how you can book in for your test. You will be contacted by department staff with your specific timetable details and return date for your course.

Please bear with us while we work through the details, and in the meantime continue with your remote learning.

We are really excited that it won’t be long until you can be attending back in college and look forward to seeing you soon.

Kind regards

Liz

Deputy Principal

12th February 2021

Covid-19: Update ahead of half-term

Dear Student,

I thought I would catch up with you before the February half-term break.

I know that we have all had a half-term of differences and challenges compared to what we anticipated when we left for the Christmas break. This to me has felt like a very long half-term, so I expect that many of you are feeling the same.

When many of us went into the first lockdown just less than a year ago, it was with concern, but also a lack of awareness of just how long the battle with the virus would take and how profoundly our lives would change as a result. Now almost one year in, we all realise that the impact is not just on health if we catch the virus, but on our emotional and mental health as long periods of lockdown and significant changes to our “normal” lives stretches on. The impact of remote learning, teaching and working and the monotony of the routine and lack of variety in our days . The constant vigilance around “Hands. Face. Space.” in order to protect each other. The limited social contact and restrictions on seeing friends, family and loved ones that we had previously taken for granted. We understand these can all take their toll. This is why we are encouraging you and our colleagues to take the half-term break to have some proper down time, away from screens and work.

During half term we will not expect you to log in to classrooms for learning or respond to e-mails, but we would expect that you keep on top of the work that has been set over this last half-term and ensure you are up to date with everything. If you have any concerns about this or feel you need some support with work that has been set, please contact your GST, Assessor or Tutor.

We will have the same expectations of our colleagues that they will take some leave time and not be e-mailing or doing work in their classrooms during this time. So if you do contact us during half-term and receive an out of office mail, it will let you know when we are taking some days off and when we will return to work. I also wanted to remind you that Monday 22nd February is a training day for our staff, so there will be no timetabled lessons on that day, but we do expect to see you bright and ready to learn from Tuesday 23rd February, depending on your individual timetable.

Before we break up on Friday, those of you who receive free college meals and free bursary meals will receive their payments into bank accounts for the last period of the half-term. There are no College payments for the half-term holiday, but for those that received the vouchers over Christmas, there will be a voucher coming to you in the post during half-term.

We are continuing to make plans for your return, which according to government statements might be from Monday 8thMarch. We will give you as much advanced notice of these arrangements as we can do, once we have the green light from the DFE, but it will probably be limited numbers on some courses for a clear purpose. We will seek to do lateral flow Covid tests prior to your first lesson. There will be more information sent via your course teams, as we prepare for this.

In the meantime we have a small number of Further Education students working in college who are classed as ‘vulnerable’. We may reach out to others we consider may be at risk through a prolonged period of remote learning; in which case we will contact you directly.

We are also keeping abreast of the announcements and arrangements that will confirm how grades and qualifications will be awarded this year. At the moment there is nothing new to update you with, following the closure of the consultation, but as we get information we will share it with you, again at course level, so you know what it means directly for the qualification you are studying.

It only leaves me to say, as always stay safe and look after yourselves and see you soon

Kind regards

Liz Ridley

Deputy Principal

26th January 2021

Covid-19: Exams and potential reopening of College

Dear Student,

I hope that you are keeping well and re-adjusting to your remote college education. I am sure that you will have lots of questions and I am sorry that at present I have little in the way of concrete answers to give you, but what I can do is sign post you to sources of information or consultations taking place that you or your parents might wish to take part in.

I know that you will want to know when on campus learning will restart, and unfortunately I can’t give you a straightforward answer. It will almost certainly be after half-term and we should receive two weeks notification that we are able to re-start on-campus learning. However, it is highly likely that we will have a phased return with remote learning continuing and the need to prioritise the students and courses we bring back first. This will be planned on a sound educational and needs basis and we are already working up the plans for this.

During the two week notification of re-opening, we will be encouraging all students to book in for a lateral flow test, before they re-start their on-campus education. These tests are used to identify people with asymptomatic covid-19, once we reach that point we will circulate the current guidance and paperwork. We have already commenced the rollout of the lateral flow tests with our staff and will be extending this to the small number of vulnerable and critical worker students attending campus. (Please note these tests are not suitable if you have tested positive for covid-19 recently, so please continue to inform us of any positive results, even if this does not impact your ability to undertake remote education)

I know another area of concern will be the process for determining grades and qualification outcomes for those of you who are due to finish a qualification or stage this year. This is what we can share thus far:

GCSE and A level

There is a consultation that is open to students, parent / carers and education staff which closes on 29th January. The link to participate is below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-how-gcse-as-and-a-level-grades-should-be-awarded-in-summer-2021

BTEC and technical and vocational qualifications

There is a consultation that is open to students, parent / carers and education staff which closes on 29th January. The link to participate is below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-alternative-arrangements-for-the-award-of-vtqs-and-other-general-qualifications-in-2021

Higher Education

The Universities and Pearson, who validate the HE you study with us are working on their arrangements. Hull has almost finalised its response and as soon as we receive it, we will share it with you and explain what it means. We are awaiting further guidance from Huddersfield (PGCE / Cert Ed) and Pearson (HNC / HND)

Apprenticeships

This is an even more varied situation as each standard has a different end point assessment body and also incorporates functional skills (which have other rules). The picture is linked to both the workplace setting and the assessment body, so if you have questions, please talk to you tutor or assessor.

As ever the DFE is keeping their webpage with information and guidance updated. It can be accessed via:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

As ever, if you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact the College for help, support and advice.

Kind regards

Liz Ridley

Deputy Principal at Selby College

8th January 2021

Covid-19: Remote learning update

Dear Student,

I know that this is a worrying and concerning time for all of you, but the college is here for you.

I wanted to let you know that I am hearing so many positive things about the effort and quality of work you are already producing in your remote lessons. Hopefully I will be able to share some good news stories about this in the future.

I also wanted to thank you for the support we have received from you about our decision to postpone the BTEC exams. I know many of you had spent a significant time preparing and are understandably worried about your own circumstances. However, you used and applied the knowledge and skills you have developed to think critically and endorsed the decision for the benefit of our wider community.

The bulk of this message is here to provide you with some further updates and also to reflect the changes that have been announced over the last couple of days.

Exams, assessment and qualification achievement.

There has been a clear decision to cancel the Summer exams for GCSEs and A levels and move to a system that focuses on teacher assessment. It will almost certainly take a couple of weeks for the awarding bodies to publish their guidance. Now is the time to look at the work you are doing and have done this year, ensure it is to your highest standards and if there are any areas, that you are concerned you didn’t show your true ability, discuss options with your tutors now.

What I do know is imperative, is that all students and apprentices continue to work hard in their remote lessons and at the work set by staff. Any calculation of grades will have to use a full range of evidence and this will include work completed remotely, and almost certainly work also completed once we return to campus.

We are conscious that A levels and GCSEs are only one of a wide number of exams that students undertake with us, so we are also working with our awarding bodies to understand their revised processes for BTECs and other technical and vocational qualifications at level 3 and below. As yet there is nothing further to update you on, following our decision to postpone the BTEC exams due to take place now, but as and when things are published we will share these with you.

Our HE students will be contacted as we get updates from the Universities and Pearson. It appears that for Hull students there will be the reapplication of the no detriment policy, which we will share with you as soon as we have the details.

We also have a number of Apprentices who are at varying stages of their Apprenticeship journey, we will work with your employers and end point assessment bodies to understand when and if exams can take place.

Vulnerable and Critical Worker Education

The students that requested a place in college have now started accessing the site on their normal college days and are then undertaking their remote learning from our hub support centre. We have also issued devices and peripherals to all students who have requested them and meet the criteria for device loans.

Bursary and Free College Meal Payments

The students entitled to meal payments when they are in college will receive a payment equivalent to 2 weeks meals into their bank account next week, to cover this week and next week. We will continue with the fortnightly payments for the duration of the lockdown. This means that if you are in college 3 days per week, you would receive £21. This is our £3.50 meal allocation for the 6 days you would have been in college during the fortnight.

If your family circumstances have unfortunately changed since September you may be entitled to bursary help and support. Please see below for the link to our Student Support page.

Pastoral and wellbeing support

We know that college offers much more than an education, it is a place to meet your friends, access help, support and advice and gives you a routine and a purpose. All of our support services remain in place, just delivered via a different means.

  • Through your google classroom you can keep in touch with your classmates and teacher and we are structuring lessons to ensure that there are still collaborative learning elements, so that you continue to have the relationships with your peers, as well as the tutor.
  • Our Counselling service continues to run, so if you feel you need to access it contact your GST or tutor / assessor.
  • We are still delivering a full careers service, so if you are wondering about your next steps, or need to talk to someone about advice, if you are now thinking about a different route please ask your GST or tutor / assessor to help you make an appointment.

Our GST team will be making contact with each 16-19 student regularly to check you are ok and chase up any absences from lessons. We are continuing to take registers for each of your timetabled lessons, and we will also be marking your effort and engagement weekly.

For our HE, Adult and Apprentices your tutor / assessor will be your key point of contact for any pastoral concerns.

I think that is probably enough for now, but we will keep in regular contact with you and aim to answer any questions you may have.

Kind regards

Liz Ridley

Deputy Principal

Student Support