Coronavirus Update

STUDENT AND PARENT UPDATE: 21 SEPTEMBER 2020 : 17.45PM

I wanted to let you know that a first year A Level student at Newcastle Sixth Form College received a positive test for Covid 19 over the weekend and has been self isolating. 14 students have been identified as close contacts and asked to self isolate. All those affected and their families have been contacted. We have notified external agencies and arranged additional cleaning for the rooms used by the student last week.

All lessons continue as normal and any student who is self isolating should access the live streams of their lessons through Microsoft Teams.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all students and staff for their fantastic response to the introduction of ‘masks on the move’. Today was our first day of requiring face coverings in public areas of the building and it was great to see our community pull together to keep each other safe.

Yours faithfully,

Gerard

 

STUDENT AND PARENT UPDATE: 17 SEPTEMBER 2020 : 18.00PM

I wanted to let you know that an additional second year A Level student at Newcastle Sixth Form College has received a positive test for Covid 19. They have been self isolating since Monday. 13 students have been identified as close contacts and asked to self isolate. All those affected and their families have been contacted. We have informed Public Health England and also Newcastle Council who have advised that no further action is required at this stage. All rooms at the Sixth Form College are cleaned at least once a day, but additional cleaning has also been arranged.

All lessons continue as normal and any student who is self isolating should access the live streams of their lessons through Microsoft Teams.

How to stop COVID-19 spreading

There are things we can all do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19:

•        wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
•        use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
•        wash your hands as soon as you get home
•        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 immediately and wash your hands afterwards

Yours faithfully,

Gerard

 

STUDENT AND PARENT UPDATE: 16 SEPTEMBER 2020 : 17.15PM

I wanted to let you know that a second year A Level student at Newcastle Sixth Form College has received a positive test for Covid 19. They have been self isolating since the weekend after experiencing symptoms. It is good to see that they took their symptoms seriously and have protected others by doing so.

We have informed Public Health England and also Newcastle Council. 16 students have been asked to self isolate. All those affected and their families have already been contacted. All rooms at the Sixth Form College are cleaned at least once a day, but additional cleaning has also been arranged.

I understand that this may be unsettling news for students and their families. At this time, there is no further action to take. It is however a good moment to remind all students to stay at home if they have coronavirus symptoms. All lessons continue as normal and any student who is self isolating should access the live streams of their lessons through Microsoft Teams.

As I mentioned on Monday, it is important that we respect the privacy of those affected, and I would ask students not to engage in unhelpful speculation.

Any student who has worries or concerns should speak to their teachers or coach for support.

Yours faithfully,

Gerard

 

STUDENT AND PARENT UPDATE: 16 SEPTEMBER 2020 : 09.00AM

 

We have been really impressed by the way that students have followed the new arrangements in college to keep the building Covid Secure. In particular we have seen students socially distancing, following the one way system, and washing and sanitising their hands regularly through the day.

Since the start of term, we have said that face coverings are recommended in the public areas of the building and not recommended in classrooms as students are in their consistent bubble and face coverings can interfere with teaching and learning. We have been reviewing this regularly, and are aware that infection rates in the North East are currently higher than elsewhere in the country.

As a result, from Monday 21st September staff and students will be required to wear face coverings in the public areas of the building unless eating in the refectory. Face coverings will not be recommended in classrooms.

Our approach, and a handy way to remember this is ‘masks on the move’ - when you enter, leave or are moving from one part of the college to another a mask is required.

We are aware of a very small number of students who are medically exempt from wearing a face covering. Any student who thinks this applies to them should speak to their coach who will liaise with the Target learning support team to issue an ‘exempt lanyard’ where appropriate.

Between Monday 21st and Friday 25th September, face coverings will be available from the reception hub for any student who has forgotten theirs. After this point, no student or staff members will be allowed into the building without a face covering. Any student who is concerned about paying for a face covering should discuss this with their coach.

These changes will come into effect from Monday 21st September, in the meantime I would ask all students to wear face coverings in public areas wherever possible.

To review our Top Ten guide to remaining safe at college CLICK HERE

For a guide to getting around college CLICK HERE

Yours faithfully,

Gerard Garvey

 

STUDENT AND PARENT UPDATE: 14 SEPTEMBER 2020 : 16.15PM

I wanted to let you know that a member of staff at Newcastle Sixth Form College has received a positive test for Covid 19 and is currently self isolating.

We have liaised with Public Health England and also with Newcastle Council. 3 additional members of staff and 9 students have been asked to self isolate. All those affected have already been contacted. All rooms at the Sixth Form College are cleaned at least once a day, but additional cleaning has also been arranged.

I understand that this may be unsettling news for students and their families. At this time, there is no further action to take. It is however a good moment to reiterate some key messages:

  • Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms (high temperature, new continuous cough, loss or change of normal taste or smell)
  • Wash your hands more regularly
  • Follow signage and instructions to keep at least 1 metre apart
  • This would also be a good opportunity for students to re-familiarise themselves with the student Top 10 on staying safe CLICK HERE

All lessons continue as normal and any student who is self isolating should access the live streams of their lessons through Microsoft Teams.

It is important that we respect the privacy of colleagues and students who are affected, and I would ask students not to engage in unhelpful speculation. Any student who has worries or concerns should speak to their teachers or coach for support.

Yours faithfully,

Gerard

 

 

ALL STUDENT UPDATE: 01 SEPTEMBER 2020 : 16.00PM

We are really pleased to be welcoming all students back to college for the start of the new academic year.

Teachers will explain to all students how their temporary timetables work and how to stay safe on site.  The key information for all students is summarised in the NSFC Top 10 CLICK HERE.

This detailed guide explains how the college is organised to help everyone learn effectively in a safe environment CLICK HERE.

Timetables for new students will be shared in induction and emailed to returning students later this week.

Please speak to your coach/teacher or email nsfcoffice@newcastlesfc.ac.uk if you have any questions or concerns.

 

Yours faithfully,

Gerard

 

OFQUAL UPDATE: FRIDAY 07 AUGUST 2020 : 10.00AM

 

Ofqual has published a student guide for those receiving qualification results in England this summer. This guide should help students and their parents and carers understand how results have been awarded this year and where to find more information. 

This information is also available from: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/your-results-what-next

 

COLLEGE UPDATE: MONDAY 29 JUNE 2020 : 16.00PM

I am pleased to confirm that we are inviting all first year A Level students into college for a 30 minute Progress Review Appointment with one of their 3 subject teachers between Monday 6th and Friday 10th July. Letters have been posted to all students today.

We are really looking forward to welcoming everyone back into the building, as we know face to face time with a teacher is invaluable.

Each student will have one appointment with one of their teachers and there will also be an opportunity to borrow books from the library and collect some additional paper resources.  Arrival and departure times are staggered through the day and the college building has been made ‘COVID secure’ with clear social distancing measures in place. There is more detailed guidance on staying safe in our welcome back video which can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.

Taking part in the Progress Review Appointment is compulsory and we hope that the vast majority of students will be able to attend their appointment in the building. However, telephone appointments are available if students are unable to come into college.

Students will need to request this by emailing NSFCOffice@newcastlesfc.ac.uk and we will arrange for a teacher to ring them at the time of their appointment.

In the meantime, remote learning continues and it has been great to see so many students drafting and redrafting personal statements for university and apprenticeship applications. A list of subject and career champions are available from Personal Development Coaches for students to gain more feedback on these.

Yours faithfully,

Gerard

 

COLLEGE UPDATE: WEDNESDAY 10 JUNE 2020 : 14.10PM

Dear Students and Parents,

I wanted to confirm our plans for the phased reopening of Newcastle Sixth Form College.

I outlined our  three stage plan in the college newsletter on 22nd May and I am pleased to confirm that from Monday 15th June we are beginning ‘Stage 2: Soft Reopening’. During this stage we will be contacting students to invite them into the college building to complete supported study. This will involve access to college IT facilities and printed resources, and general study advice. We are starting with students where there are concerns over welfare or engagement, and will look to increase the number of students over the coming weeks. Please do not come to the building unless you have been invited by your coach or teacher.

This means that online learning will remain the primary method of delivery for some time and this week’s newsletter has an update on this including the timetable for sessions. Unfortunately, it is not yet clear when it will be possible to move to ‘Stage 3: Face to Face Lessons for X/Y Cohort’. I appreciate that this must be frustrating. I want to reassure you that we remain committed to providing some face-to-face support to supplement remote education and will provide a further update on this in the college newsletter on Friday 19th June.

Yours faithfully,

Gerard Garvey

 

 

COLLEGE UPDATE: 20/04/2020 13:00

Message from Gerard Garvey - Principal - Newcastle Sixth Form College

 

 

CORONAVIRUS EXAMS UPDATE: 03/04/2020 12.30

Dear Students and Parents,

Ofqual has published today more detailed guidance on the process for awarding grades to students who were due to sit A Level and GCSE examinations this summer.

Key points to note:

  • Your grades will be based on an overall judgement by your teachers that will be statistically checked by the college, and by the exam boards nationally
  • Your results will be available in August or possibly a little earlier
  • There is no requirement for the college to set or assess any additional work

We are determined that no student will be unfairly disadvantaged by the cancellation of the summer exams. Please note that all schools and colleges have been instructed by Ofqual to not share the grades that we submit to the exam boards with students or their families. I would also ask you to have confidence in the expertise of your teachers and their knowledge of you. I trust that students and their family will not ‘lobby’ or attempt to put pressure on teachers with regards to the grades that they submit. Please rest assured that all of your hard work will be taken into account when we submit your grades.

Once again, I appreciate that this is a very stressful and difficult situation for you. I have included some answers below for key questions that you may have. If you do have any others please email nsfcoffice@newcastlesfc.ac.uk Please be reassured that we will continue to be available to support students throughout this process.

Yours faithfully,

Gerard Garvey

 

Key questions you may have:

Will the college be setting any more work for 2nd Year A Level students and Access to Level 3 students?

2nd year A level students should receive one final piece of work which will ensure that the full course specification has been covered, and will provide useful activities to help students planning to continue the subject at University. This will not be assessed or graded.

Access Level 3 students should receive a similar piece of work which will help them prepare for A Level study.

Will the college allow me to sit my exams in an autumn exam series?

Ofqual will publish more details about eligibility for the Autumn exam series. We will ensure that all eligible students are able to sit these.

Will the college allow me to restart the year and sit my exams next summer?

Hopefully this will not be necessary as the process has been designed to ensure all students receive a fair and accurate grade. We will however consider any requests to do this on a case by case basis and will share the process for how to do this after Easter.

Will I continue to receive my bursary?

Yes we will continue to pay bursary and free college meal payments and will communicate directly with you about the arrangements through to the end of the year.

 

Update 03/04/2020 11.15am

 

Our latest college newsletter for students and parents is available to read here

 

Update 27/3/2020 15.50

Our latest college newsletter for students and parents is available to read here

 

Coronavirus update 26/03/2020 12.00

The college building remains closed to all students. The college office is responding to all enquiries by email.

Email: NSFCOffice@newcastlesfc.ac.uk

If you need to speak with someone you can call 07739 266223, and we will call you back within 24 hours.

We have consulted all vulnerable students and/or their family over the last week, and remain in regular email and phone contact. All students who are eligible for the bursary are receiving payments in full during the college closure. Students who receive Free College Meals will receive an equivalent payment into their bank account. Please email or phone using the details above if you require additional support.

 

Coronavirus update 24/03/2020 14.00

The college building is now closed to all students. The college office is responding to all enquiries by email.

Email: NSFCOffice@newcastlesfc.ac.uk

If you need to speak with someone you can call 07739 266223, and we will call you back within 24 hours.  

 

Coronavirus update 20/03/2020 15:00

 

Dear Parents/Guardians/Students/Colleagues,

 

The Department for Education has provided some more guidance on the process around awarding GCSE and A Level grades. They state that:

 

“The Government’s priority is now to ensure affected students can move on as planned to the next stage of their lives, including going into employment, starting university, college or sixth form courses, or an apprenticeship in the autumn.”

 

At this time, the guidance is setting out the broad principles rather than the detailed process. Key points include:

 

  • Students will be awarded a grade based on teacher judgments (which teachers will make based on mocks and non-exam assessment, guided by DfE/Ofqual advice) combined with prior attainment and other data. The precise process will be decided soon and communicated as soon as possible.
  • Students will be able to sit exams early next academic year if they wish or in summer 2021
  • Grades will be available hopefully by the end of July, and have a similar distribution as in previous years. They can be appealed.

 

The full guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-details-on-exams-and-grades-announced?utm_source=96f31727-1fb9-408b-a7fa-d91d4ceaeb6b&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

 

At the moment, this is as much as we know and we appreciate that you may still have many questions. As more detailed guidance emerges we will continue to update you on the steps that students who were expecting to sit A Levels or GCSEs need to take. In the meantime, all students should continue to complete all work as instructed by teachers and coaches. If you do have any immediate questions please email them to nsfcoffice@newcastlesfc.ac.uk

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Gerard

Coronavirus Update 20/3/2020 10:15AM

Dear Parents/Guardians/Students/Colleagues

The government has now published guidance about school and college closures. The key message from this is:

“If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be”

Newcastle Sixth Form College intends to remain open for children of key workers where they are not able to stay at home. A definition of key workers is contained here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision 

If you are a key worker and your son or daughter needs to attend college please email NSFCOffice@newcastlesfc.ac.uk as soon as possible so we can ensure adequate staffing.

Newcastle Sixth Form College intends to remain open for vulnerable children where they are not able to stay at home. Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans. Vulnerable children include “children in need, children who have a child protection plan and those who are looked after by the local authority”. We are contacting these families directly to ask what their need is. If you have not been contacted and believe your child is vulnerable and needs to continue attending college please phone 01912721001 and ask to speak to their coach or email NSFCOffice@newcastlesfc.ac.uk as soon as possible.

From Monday 23rd March 2020 Newcastle Sixth Form College building will only be open for children of key workers and vulnerable students who are not able to stay at home.

Newcastle Sixth Form College will continue to set work through email and moodle for all students with clear expectations for what needs to be submitted to teachers. We understand the need to be flexible with deadlines and will not set deadlines of less than 24 hours. We ask parents to remind students of the importance of submitting requested work as requested.

We anticipate a further announcement from the government about the awarding of GCSE and A Level grades, and progression to university. Once we have more details on this we will update the website and contact you by text.

Thank you again for your support and understanding at this challenging time.

Yours faithfully,

Gerard Garvey

 

Coronavirus Update 19/03/2020 16:15

Dear Parents/Guardians/Students/Colleagues,

When we updated the website this morning, we had hoped that we would receive more detailed guidance from the government today on:

  • Arrangements for awarding of A Level and GCSE grades
  • Definitions of key workers
  • Plans for progression to University

Unfortunately as of 16:00 today this has not been published. We have developed a number of plans today to deal with a range of possibilities and will share these when there is more clarity about national decisions.

For the time being, it is important for all students to continue to complete work as directed by their teachers. This is vital for those students who were due to sit exams this summer, as we simply do not yet know what alternative arrangements will be made. I also know that it will be good for those progressing to higher education to have fully completed their courses. Not to mention, the positive feeling of a ‘good job, properly finished’.

The college building remains open on Friday 20/3/2020 and there will be a further update to the website tomorrow.

I would like to again take this opportunity thank the students for the way they have approached these difficult events. This has allowed us to make the transition to distance learning and independent study in a calm and highly productive manner.

Yours faithfully,

 

Gerard Garvey

 

Coronavirus Update 19/3/2020 08:00

We are planning our response to the government announcement yesterday. We understand that this will be a very unsettling time for students, families, and colleagues. Until there is certainty on how GCSE and A Level grades are to be awarded, it is vital that all students continue to complete all study activities. The college building remains open and teachers are setting work online. There will be a more detailed update from the Principal on the college website later today.

 

Coronavirus Update 17/3/2020 13:00

Dear Parents/Guardians/Students/Colleagues,

We have been carefully reviewing the government guidance around the coronavirus pandemic. As you are aware this has been changing on a daily basis but currently states that those aged under 69 are advised against social mixing, and advised to work from home. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults#background-and-scope-of-guidance)  We are determined to act in line with this guidance and to protect students, colleagues, and their families.

We are therefore announcing that from Wednesday 18th March 2020:

  • We will be suspending all timetabled lessons and students will not be required to attend.
  • We will keep the building open for any student who wishes to study in the building. Costa will remain open and will be serving hot and cold drinks, sandwiches and snacks. Students with free school meal allowances can use the Parsons Canteen.
  • Teachers will set all students work to complete by email and on moodle (https:// https://nsfc-moodle.ncgrp.co.uk/). There will be clear instructions on what students are required to submit to teachers for marking and feedback.
  • Teachers and coaches will continue to be available by email or through moodle.
  • The building will be closed to visitors.
  • Bursary students will continue to receive their payments during this period.

These measures will allow colleagues to fully support all students, including those who are self isolating. Similar steps are being taken by all colleges within the NCG group that we are a part of. Any changes to these measures will be announced through this website with texts to students and their families.

At the moment we have had no additional guidance from Ofqual on the summer examination series. Therefore students should continue to prepare for their examinations by completing work as directed by their teachers. We will update students and families with more information about examinations through this website.

We recognise that this is a difficult decision that may concern you. We have taken it after careful consideration and acted in the best interests of students, colleagues, and families. If you do have questions or concerns we would encourage you to contact us on 0191 272 1001 or NSFCOffice@newcastlesfc.ac.uk

Over the last few days we have been impressed by the maturity, kindness and hard work shown by the students at Newcastle Sixth Form College. We know that they will continue to fill us with pride as we move into a period of more independent study.

Yours faithfully,

Gerard Garvey

Principal

 

Information on self isolation:

NHS guidance (www.nhs.gov.uk/coronavirus) now states that you should stay at home if you or any member of your household have coronavirus symptoms.

Stay at home for 14 days if you or a member of your household have either:

a high temperature

a new, continuous cough

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home. See www.nhs.uk/coronavirus for more information

If you have a defined underlying health issue NHS guidance is to stay at home. More information on the health issues is here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults