Re-Opening FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Re-Opening to students from 15 June 2020:

Is the College reopening on 15 June?

Stay AlertAssuming the transmission of the virus (the reproduction number or R value) remains below 1 and the government advise it, we will open the College to staff from 8 June, and then open up to Year 12 students from 15 June. There will be no expectation for any Year 13 students to return to College.

When am I allowed to come into College?

A level students will be invited into College for three sessions between 15 June and 10 July – one session for each A level subject – while BTEC and CACHE students will be invited to come in twice. Students may only come in on the specific session they have been invited to and cannot swap to another day, as this is what allows us to keep the number of people on campus down to a low level and maintain social distancing. However, if you have any symptoms of Covid-19, no matter how mild, you must not come into College and must self-isolate for at least seven days (or 14 days if anyone else in your household has symptoms). These symptoms include a fever, a new and continuous cough and/or a loss of taste or smell. In addition, if you are contacted by the government’s Test and Trace team, who tell you to self-isolate because of possible exposure to someone who has tested positive for the virus, you must also not come into College. This applies even if you have no symptoms. The self-isolation period is 14 days in this case and if you develop symptoms you can request a coronavirus test online.

What face-to-face provision will be offered for students?

Our primary method of delivering learning will remain online. We will be supplementing this with 90-minute support sessions from 15 June. Students will be given set days/times to come in to access this support, with staggered start times (between 9.40am and 10.20am) to keep the numbers of students in College at any one time to a low level. Students will be scheduled for one session per subject (for A level) or two sessions for BTEC/CACHE. They will not necessarily have their usual teacher, but it will be a subject specialist. These sessions will recap on work covered since 20th March, enable students to access support and ask questions in relation to all Year 12 topics, provide an orientation into Year 13 and allow students to pick up additional resources and the summer homework.

Will remote learning be stopping when the College reopens?

No. The online lessons currently being delivered will continue to be the primary method of delivering teaching. This is the best way to ensure that all students are getting the same learning. In-College support sessions are aimed at supplementing that online learning and supporting those students who need it.

How will you ensure social distancing within College when it reopens?

We aim to have a maximum of 204 students in College on any given day. There will be a staggering start time (every 10 minutes between 9.40am and 10.20am) to ensure there is no bottle-neck when people arrive and leave the campus and to minimise the numbers of people moving in the corridors. The campus will operate a one-way system to stop people passing in the corridors and everything will be clearly signposted. All students will be asked to go to the side door of the Refectory in Hampton Building to get their ID checked on arrival, to ensure only those scheduled to be in College are there.

There will be markings on the ground outside to help students judge the space they should leave to anyone else outside. We ask that students arrive on time to ensure that the staggered start times are effective in keeping people apart.

There will be limited space in the Refectory for students to wait if they are early (one chair per table to ensure social distancing). Otherwise, students must only go to the classrooms they are allocated for the session and cannot move elsewhere on campus. Clear directional signage will help students to adhere to the one-way system we are setting up. When in classrooms, these will be set up to ensure students all keep an acceptable distance from each other.

How will I know when I am due in?

We will not be working to your usual timetable. We will publish the dates and times you are  scheduled to attend on Tyber. Look out for the Tyber message about this.

Will academic coaching seminars and supervised study take place?

There will be no supervised study or academic coaching sessions taking place. Academic Coaches will continue to be keep in touch with students online and by telephone and email, as they have been throughout the period of College closure. In addition, we will be offering a series of compulsory and optional webinars during our Careers Week (starting 15 June) and students applying for Oxbridge or for competitive courses like Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science will have access to Stretch & Challenge sessions online too.

Will the Learning Resource Centre be open for independent study?

Access to the Learning Resource Centre will be limited. Only students with permission from staff will be allowed to use these facilities and these students are being identified based on their need to access College computers and internet. Capacity in the LRC will be much lower than usual (a maximum of 75 students) and to enforce this we will be removing surplus chairs, as well as the keyboards and mice from some computers to keep students apart. Keyboards and mice will be cleaned between use to ensure health and safety. If you have not been contacted by a member of staff about using the LRC facilities you should not turn up expecting to be able to gain access.

Will there be food available in the Refectory?

The Refectory will be open with a very limited food service of cold food and drinks from our caterers Aspens. However, we will be enforcing social distancing measured in the Refectory and students will not be able to gather in groups in the Refectory or any other area of the College. We would urge students to only remain on campus for the support sessions and to go straight home afterwards to ensure their contact with others is kept to a minimum. If you want to bring your own food and drink into College you can do so. Please also ensure you have anything else you may need with you as you will not be permitted to borrow any items from anyone else while you are in College.

Do I have to wear a face mask or any other protective equipment?

Current government advice is that face masks and personal protective equipment is not needed in educational settings. Indeed, we will ask students not to wear face masks in lessons because they are not effective and can give the wearer a false sense of security, encouraging them to take risks they might not otherwise take. However, government advice is that those using public transport should wear a face covering for travel. Remember, there is no substitute for good hygiene, so regular hand washing, using hand gel and avoiding touching your face is most important.

Will hand washing and sanitising facilities be available?

All bathrooms will be open and we encourage students to keep washing their hands thoroughly and regularly, ensuring that soap and warm water is used and hands are washed for at least 20 seconds. Anti-bacterial hand gel will also be available in the entrance to every building, in other key locations such as the Learning Resource Centre and Refectory and in the corridors outside the classrooms we will be using. Everyone will be required to use this hand gel when entering and exiting a building.

Will I be able to print in College?

We will ask students to print to PDF and save files rather than print. Where printing is absolutely necessary, students will need to send the item for print to a member of staff to print on their behalf. Teachers are likely to have some printed materials for you to take away with you when you come in for support sessions. The materials should aid your learning from home.

Can I come into College to return books and other resources I have borrowed or pick up thing left in lockers?

We are encouraging students to keep hold of books until September where possible. Any students who do bring resources back into College will be asked to return them to the Sports Hall and students must booked specific times to come in to do this by calling the College between 9.00am – 2.00pm (Monday to Friday) on 0121 704 2581. Students will not have access to lockers.

What are the fire evacuation procedures during this period?

We will not be scheduling any fire drills. If the fire alarm sounds, assume it is an emergency and evacuate the building you are in. Although we will be operating a one-way system, all staff and students must evacuate using the nearest exit in the event of a fire evacuation. We will be using three Fire Assembly Points – top car park in front of the tennis courts, by the Sports Centre and on the Sports fields. Go to your nearest fire assembly point until told you can leave and ensure you keep 2 metres apart at all times.

Will first aid be available?

Yes. There will be two first aid trained staff on duty on a rota. Please tell the nearest member of staff if you need their services. First aid staff will be keeping a 2-metre distance when consulting with anyone who requests help. If closer contact is required, first aiders will be required to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) before approaching anyone who needs care. This will include plastic aprons, gloves, water repellent face masks and if necessary visors to cover their eyes. No one should be coming into College if they have any symptoms of feeling unwell (whether Coronavirus-related or not). However, in the event that anyone does exhibit Covid-19 symptoms, they will be isolated in the Dance Studio or Squash Courts, which will be deep cleaned afterwards and parents will be required to come and pick them up as a matter of urgency.

What should I do if I feel stressed or worried?

When College reopens, things will be far from “back to normal”. It is understandable that this could cause you to feel stress and anxiety. Your mental health is important and you should not suffer in silence. Please talk to your teachers and/or academic coach if you are struggling so a discussion can be had and appropriate support offered.

Will I get into trouble if I don’t come into College?

Your teachers will be in touch to let you know what to expect from these support sessions. We think many students will benefit from attending and certainly you may wish to pick up the additional resources teachers will have available. However, if you are worried about coming in or have pre-existing health concerns, we will not take any disciplinary action with those who choose to stay away, provided you are engaging with the online lessons that are taking place. Those who do not attend these sessions and are not engaging with remote learning can expect interventions to take place. This includes the usual commitment interview and behaviour contract measures we normally adopt.