Dear Students, Parents and Carers,
We hope that this latest communication finds you and yours safe and well. We are writing to share our plans following the most recent government guidance for Colleges beyond the 1 June 2020. What is important to state from the outset is that this is based on the situation at the time of writing; the government has been very clear that the situation could change quite significantly before the 1 June 2020 and therefore we apologise in advance if our plans change at short notice. We will of course let you know as soon as possible should this be the case.
The government has asked that Colleges try to provide more students with the opportunity for face to face interaction with their teachers and we have been thinking very carefully about the safest and best way in which we can begin to do this at Huish. Whilst we have been truly impressed with the way in which students have engaged with our online learning and the subsequent progress they have made in the last three months, we know that this cannot fully replace the benefits of in person interactions. Understandably, there are concerns around the impact of social isolation on the long term wellbeing of young people. We also know from the feedback from our students, that many of them are reporting finding things hard as a result of the lack of interaction with others outside of their home and are in some cases struggling to motivate themselves with their studies.
From the 8 June* we will therefore be asking all lower sixth students to meet with each of their subject teachers for a 30 minute Academic Tutorial. For students studying an Extended Diploma qualification their Academic Tutorial will be completed by one of their teachers from within the team. The focus of these tutorials will be to discuss progress in that subject over the last period, provide consolidation activities and help students plan their learning over the summer. If necessary and helpful there will be an opportunity for further follow up tutorials on an individual basis.
These meetings can, and in a number of cases will need to be, held virtually using Microsoft Teams. We appreciate that there will be a number of reasons why teachers and/or students may need to meet online however, where at all possible, we think it would be really positive if the Academic Tutorials could be done in person* and organised on site in a classroom, with the appropriate social distancing in place. From the 1 June, colleagues from the College will be making contact to discuss meeting arrangements with students.
It is important to be aware that there is unlikely to be any significant change to the guidance around social distancing and therefore we will need everybody who comes to College to play their part by abiding with these rules. In particular, this means that students will not be allowed to congregate in groups and will need to follow the one way system that will be in place. Students will need to ensure that they bring their own refreshments as our café areas will remain closed and the water dispensers will be turned off. Should students need to wait on site in between Academic Tutorials we will be asking them to use one of our outdoor seating spaces and where the weather prevents this we will provide suitable safe spaces on site. Finally, all students will need to sign in and out of reception therefore it is important that they have their College ID cards with them at all times.
We are aware of the very understandable anxieties that will be felt by parents/guardians and students around the proposed phased reopening of schools and colleges and are hugely appreciative of your ongoing support and understanding at this difficult time. We will provide some more detailed guidance students in advance of the 8 June* around on site rules and safety but wanted to provide you all with a broad overview of our current plans at this point in time.
With very best wishes to you all,
John Abbott and Emma Fielding
* Following a change in the original government guidance students will not be able to access the campus until Monday 15th June for Academic Tutorials in person. Virtual Academic Tutorials can still take place w/c 8th June.