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Ensuring the safety and welfare of our staff and students is our priority. The latest on how we are supporting staff, students and visitors.

Last updated: 21 June

In line with government guidance, the College returned to near-normal, face-to-face socially distanced teaching in the classroom, workshops and laboratories for all students.

Face coverings in college

As advised, students will no longer be required to wear face coverings in classrooms from 17 May. However, students may continue to wear face coverings in classrooms if they wish. Face masks should continue to be worn in communal areas, such as LRCs, corridors and coffee shops.

Timed entry into college

Students should attend in socially distanced curriculum groups at the time advised below. On arrival, you should go directly to your allocated classroom on the timetable. Queuing systems may be in operation to maintain social distancing in foyers and entrances for start times:

  • Pre-16: 8.45am to 9am at East Ham
  • All 16-18s and vocational 19+: 9am to 9.30am at both Stratford and East Ham
  • Adult ESOL: 9.30am to 9.45am at both Stratford and East Ham
  • Access to HE: 9.30am to 9.45am at Stratford
  • High Needs: 9.45am onwards at East Ham

Exams

Formal exams for Level 3 BTECs and GCSEs have been replaced by Teacher Assessment Grades. Learn more about results availability in the Examinations section below.

Home testing

Home testing kits for COVID-19 remain available for collection from the college over Easter – see testing information below.

Do not attend college if you have any COVID-19 symptoms (high temperature, persistent cough and loss of taste and smell). Advice about what to do in the event you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are outlined below.

Lateral flow testing for students

Following the successful offer of college onsite lateral flow testing to support the return to face-to-face teaching from the week beginning 15 March, the college continues to offer free home test kits issued by the Department of Education.

Free test kits have been issued to all academic departments by the testing team for students. The college testing team – which includes college students – will visit classes to answer questions about testing and we will also be issuing further guidance concerning vaccine rollout for all age groups. Test kits are also available from the Student Common Rooms.

Home testing is expected to continue for the foreseeable future – beyond 17 May for all learners. Staff and students should continue testing at home twice per week and report the result to NHS Test and Trace via a personal account on the app. Students are expected to have access to a mobile phone to process these results.

If a test is positive, the student or staff member must immediately self-isolate, seek a confirmatory PCR test and inform the college of their result. Self-isolation lasts for 10 days, beginning the day after receiving a positive test result. If the PCR test returns negative, the student/staff member can return to normal activities.

Safety measures on campus

We have taken steps to maintain a COVID-secure environment on campus and the College is working closely with Public Health England to minimise any further risk, stringently following government guidelines as outlined in the latest risk assessment.

While in college, social distancing by curriculum area will continue as the phased return commences with timed entry in line with curriculum area start times. Students are expected to follow the Covid 19 safety measures in place when in college:

  • Stay in your curriculum group and allocated classroom
  • Follow social distancing rules in place in corridors, classrooms and workshop areas
  • Face coverings should be worn by students when in communal areas, in classrooms and teaching areas
  • Maintain good hand hygiene by washing and sanitising your hands regularly

There is a regularly updated guidance procedure which students should adhere to. We also expect our students to adhere to the student COVID-19 charter, which summarises key actions they should commit to while on campus.

Online and blended learning

From 8 March, lessons will combine elements of face-to-face teaching (where possible) and online learning, prior to an expected full-time return to college for all learners after the Easter break.

All enrolled learners have a free Microsoft 365 account to facilitate remote and blended learning via Teams and learners should access these according to their individual timetable. English and maths classes for 16-18 year olds will remain largely online until after Easter. Recorded sessions for all courses are available outside class time via the relevant course page on VLE Moodle (Evolve).

VLE Moodle (Evolve), shared documents on OneDrive and Microsoft apps associated with Teams are also used as required to support and engage students. All students also have access to online academic and subject-specific reading via EBSCO on the LRC online system based on VLE Moodle (Evolve).

All learners should have access to a digital device – a PC or laptop is more suitable than a phone or tablet to access online remote learning. Access to college systems is also possible via gaming equipment and we have published a guide to using this platform.

The College will endeavour to support remote learning by loaning IT equipment where resources and funds allow, in line with existing Department for Education support.

Full details of the College's plans for remote learning are available here.

Examinations

With the return to face-to-face delivery on site, the college will prioritise examinations and assessment for practical and vocational areas. Please consult the latest Ofqual guidance for further details.

Adult learners and apprentices

A number of external exams for adult learners coming to the end of study in semester one will go ahead by appointment in agreement with Heads of School and college leaders. These include AAT, Ascentis ESOL, Functional Skills in English and maths, and apprentices approaching their End Point Assessment.

Vocational courses and Access to HE

Learners studying on vocational and Access to HE diplomas should continue to submit course work and assignments via Turnitin online for marking and grading. All learners should continue to submit course work in line with assessment deadlines in your course handbook and detailed on E-Trackr.

Exams will be planned and prioritised for vocational and practical subjects in line with the requirements of the qualification being studied. Curriculum managers will contact students directly to provide further dates and times for these exams in line with awarding body and Ofqual guidance.

Please speak to the Head of School for your course if you have particular concerns.

BTECs and GCSE

The College has now submitted its Teacher Assessed Grades for GCSEs and Level 3 BTECs in line with government requirements. Teaching on BTEC courses will continue in preparation for September progression. The college’s process for grade awarding is described here, in line with Ofqual guidance and JCQ expectations.

Results are dependent on formal moderation from the relevant examination bodies with Level 3 BTEC results available from 10 August and GCSE results from 12 August. Results for these qualifications will be emailed to students over the course of the week.

If you have any queries, please speak to the Head of Curriculum in the first instance or email exams@newham.ac.uk if you need further information or clarification.

Safeguarding support

Safeguarding support remains available for all students during lockdown. Our Safeguarding team can be contacted during normal college hours – Monday to Friday 8:30am - 5pm at 07535 830817/07960 874725 or safeguardingteam@newham.ac.uk. Please see our safeguarding page for further information.

Mental health and wellbeing

The mental health and wellbeing of our students is of paramount importance, especially during these unprecedented times. If you need someone to talk to during lockdown, our mental health and wellbeing team are here to support you.

Find out more about the services we offer and how to contact us.

I’ve developed symptoms of COVID-19

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to testing to arrange. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

All other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 10 days. The 10-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

If you are not experiencing symptoms but have tested positive for COVID-19, self-isolate for at least 10 days, starting from the day the test was taken. If you develop symptoms during this isolation period, restart your 10-day isolation from the day you developed symptoms.

From 28 September, you could be fined if you do not stay at home and self-isolate following a positive test result for COVID-19 or if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and instructed to self-isolate.

After 10 days, if you still have a temperature you should continue to self-isolate and seek medical advice. You do not need to self-isolate after 10 days if you only have a cough or loss of sense of smell or taste, as these symptoms can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.

In the event that you need to self-isolate or have received a positive test for COVID-19, you must inform your teacher so that we can take appropriate action to inform staff and students, deep clean areas where necessary and put arrangements in place for you to be taught remotely while you’re quarantined.

For further information, check Public Health England’s staying at home guidance.

Applications

Applications are being processed as normal and the College will be in touch regularly regarding its progress.

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