East Riding College Principal Mike Welsh has issued a statement to reassure students, parents and staff about how the College intends to reopen to all students in September.
In the statement released, Mr Welsh said;
“We are doing our best to make our campuses as safe as possible for staff and students and detailed guidance will be issued to all students so they know what to expect when they are on campus.
First of all, I want to welcome our students and reassure them that their learning will still be fun, challenging and practical. They will still get to know their course mates, make new friends and have access to their tutors.
We are following Government-issued guidance for the re-opening of colleges and we have been working all summer to implement changes that will mean the way we use our campuses will be different, and the way students are taught will be slightly different too.
Some learning will still take place from home, including online lessons on Microsoft Teams. This will be mixed with on-site face-to-face delivery in smaller groups or ‘bubbles’, and independent learning – as we would normally have. Each course will have a different blend, dependent on the specific requirements of the course, including the amount of practical work needed. All learning, whether at home or in College counts towards attendance and it is all essential to student progress.
We think learners can benefit from, and enjoy this blended approach. Shortly after lockdown, our student survey revealed that the vast majority of students rated the communication from tutors as good, and rated their enjoyment of learning online as good.
Some changes our students might notice on campus are:
• One-way systems will be in place.
• To limit how much we mix in social spaces such as the atriums and refectories these spaces will have restricted access.
• Signage – lots of signs will be in place promoting hand washing, sanitisation awareness and social distancing.
• Lessons might have staggered start and finish times to enable social distancing at busy times of the day.
• Classrooms – layouts have been changed to facilitate social distancing and tutors will teach in a socially distanced way, staying 1m+ away from students and other staff wherever possible.
• Learners and staff will be asked to clean their own surfaces prior to the start of lessons – if it is not the first lesson of the day in the room.
• Some lessons and independent working which would normally take place in the College will now take place online.
• Everyone will be required to wear a face-covering in the social and circulation spaces but not in classrooms and other learning spaces.
• Where apprentices need to attend College, it will be in a ‘block delivery’ where possible, so they are not moving between College and their employer regularly.
In time, we hope that we’ll be able to increase the amount of face to face delivery and relax some other restrictions.
We recognise that the past few months have not been easy, especially on young people who have seen their education and exams disrupted. Please be assured that every member of staff at East Riding College is determined to see that our students will be welcomed, made to feel safe, and will get off to a fantastic start in September. We don’t like the term ‘new normal’ and are aiming for the ‘new spectacular’.”