Information about remote learning

Learn about what we're doing to keep our learners studying during the Covid pandemic

The government has requested that we detail our remote learning provision for students, parents and employers.

What remote education will be made available for different learner co-horts (14 to 16, 16 to 19, apprentices, adult learners?)

For learners aged 14-16 years in school, but attending vocational classes at college, these learners will still be attending these vocational lessons, however this will be remotely and supported via their individual schools to ensure learners can access learning.

Electively Home Educated (EHE, or home schooled) learners that have been identified as vulnerable (as highlighted in the government guidance) have been offered face to face teaching where this is required. All other learners will follow the curriculum remotely and receive support in accessing resources. Learners will follow the equivalent learning times established by their normal timetable.

Some of this learning described here will be held at the scheduled times and be ‘live’ and online and taught by the teacher.

All other elements of support are being monitored and all EHE learners are receiving a weekly call-in addition to remote lessons to check on wellbeing and progress.

Learners will follow the equivalent learning time established by their normal timetable.

Learning will follow the same planned sequence to ensure learners can build their knowledge and skills as they progress. Regular progress check ins will help learners to stay on track and to move forward positively

Some of this learning will be held at the scheduled times and be ‘live’ and online and taught by the teacher.

Some of learning time will require students to undertake set work, research or tasks, with support and access to the teacher as established by those tutors with their groups.

This will be the case for the learner’s main subject programme, for GCSE English and maths (if these subjects are being taken) and for the tutorial sessions.

In most cases learners will access their ‘live’ online lessons, set work and learning resources for all aspects of their programme through the online environment called Activate Learning Online or ALO. Learners may also access their ProMonitor portal for their targets and objectives as well as resources such as on wellbeing, digital proficiency, student support, English and maths resources such as Century. Learners may also be set work, be provided with workbooks, undertake research topics and group work depending on the nature of the programme and its level that they will need to schedule into their week to complete. Notifications through ALO will keep learners in touch with any changes or upcoming deadlines for assessment purposes.

Teachers, tutors and progress coaches will stay in touch with learners at least on a weekly basis to check progress and wellbeing.

For apprentices who attend a campus-based delivery, learning will be conducted online, with the majority being conducted in line with previous face-to-face timetables and will mostly be ‘live’ lessons. Where we deliver at employer sites the performance coach and/or tutor will organise a ‘live’ virtual session to replace this, either through Microsoft teams or a telephone call. All apprentices and their employers will continue to have access to learning resources, their individual learning plan and feedback on completed work through our online system, Smart Assessor. Apprentices will also be set work which includes employer-based activities, projects and research topics depending on the nature of the programme.

All English and maths sessions will continue as planned, virtually through Microsoft teams. We will work with Apprentices to ensure they continue to work towards their individual learning plan with access to English and Maths learning resources available on our cloud-based system, Smart Assessor.

Apprentices will continue to complete their off the job training both with their tutors and in the workplace, this will planned and tracked with employers at virtual coaching sessions. These coaching sessions will continue for all Apprentices monthly along with progress reviews. Employers will be kept updated at the progress reviews and with their access to Smart Assessor.

The majority of provisions for adults which would normally be delivered on campus through face-to-face learning is now being delivered fully online.  This includes our professional courses, Access to HE, Basic Skills, and ESOL.

The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) and Big Lottery funded projects to re-engage people in employment are also being delivered online through one-to-one job coaching and online short courses.

For most programmes, timetables are remaining the same for online delivery. In most cases exams and assessments for these programmes are being completed online except for some short employability courses where assessment needs to takes place on campus, for example CSCS testing and health and safety.

In a small number of cases, where it is not possible to deliver on-line (for example where access to workshop facilities is required), delivery may be postponed until we are able to fully re-open our campuses.

All Higher Education provision will be delivered online with students using Activate Learning Online (ALO) to access teaching, learning resources, submit assignments and to receive feedback on their progress. For the majority of programmes, timetables will remain the same for online delivery.

Students will be notified of any necessary adjustments to assessment or changes to the regulations governing their programme of study by the Higher Education Learning Partnership (HELP) team.

Those students who are undertaking placements as part of their programme of study should follow the testing guidance for their placement setting and undertake a Covid test through their placement provider.

We do not plan to routinely change timetables. These will remain as a guide to what hours of learning students should aim to undertake either with or set by their tutors at these times.

In some instances, learning experiences may change such as work placements. However, these will be replaced by careers education and alternative inputs to ensure continued and relevant employability input.

For individual 1:1 sessions to check on progress and wellbeing, these will be scheduled directly between the learners, progress coaches and the tutors.

All students will have access to the virtual learning environment called Activate Learning Online (ALO. It is through this environment that learners will access ‘live’ lessons, learning resources, notifications and wider resources to help them with specific problems or issues.

Assessment arrangements are detailed in the assessment plans found in ALO. Any changes to these as the Government and awarding bodies provide more information on assessment arrangements will be made available through notifications and general announcements through our website and social media channels.

Our expectation of students during lockdown or periods of isolation is that they will:

  • Continue to prioritise learning, despite being in lockdown or isolation
  • Make every effort to keep up with their learning
  • Make a plan for each week to make sure they know what they have to attend (live streamed lessons); what they have to do (research, revision, tests and quizzes) and what they have to submit (assessments or ‘home work’)
  • Maintain their correct notification settings in ALO to ensure communications and notifications can be received and acted upon
  • Regularly check the channels of communication that are used by the college and their tutors to communicate
  • Establish a buddy from their group, a close friend or family member that they can turn to for help and support during lockdown and remote learning.
  • Contact their tutor or college support networks if they are struggling with remote learning, do not feel safe or do not know what to do for their course.

During lockdown it will not be possible to give access to these facilities as we have been advised by Government to close and make learning remote.

However, our teachers are trying to be very creative and may be able to offer simulations or practical activities that you might be able to try from home.

Progress coaches will make regular contact with you and help provide solutions and alternatives when there may be difficulties in engaging with set learning.

Prior to lockdown we have been preparing for this by trying to front-load practical activity and assessments; and obviously, when we are able to open up our facilities again we will be prioritising these practical activities once again.

We will also be working with awarding bodies where assessments are practical in nature to run the modified forms of assessment that were operating in the first lockdown. We will communicate details of these when the facts become available.

Our Learning Environments (library services) will remain open as a safe haven for learners with additional support needs, including those who have difficulty accessing IT and/or the internet, during the lockdown period. Learners have access to PCs and workspaces and will be able to follow online lessons and learning or simply continue with their studies in a safe, peaceful space which has social distancing and COVID-19-safe measures in place. Vulnerable learners can book a PC in this space by visiting https://netloan.activatelearning.ac.uk/netloan/Login.aspx.

We have also established a purchase scheme with two suppliers that will enable you to purchase specified equipment and buy this with an educational discount.  You can find out about these schemes on our website, under computer equipment: Student support - Looking after our students | Activate Learning

If students cannot attend site, do not have equipment at home and are unable to purchase via one of our schemes, then we recommend they speak to their tutor about the possibility of being lent a laptop.  This is only for extreme cases, as we are unable to loan out laptops to all students. 

Activate Learning are taking a person-centred approach to supporting SEND learners. Every student will have access to provision which reflects their individual needs.

All campuses are remaining open to ensure that learners with SEND can continue to access education at college. To support their attendance, we are implementing mass testing for both learners and staff. We recognise that for some learners with SEND, testing can be difficult to understand and have taken steps to ensure that testing is accessible to as many learners as possible. These include putting in place reasonable adjustments, discussing the testing process with learners and agreeing strategies to reduce anxiety.

All learners with SEND will access support in one of the following ways;

  1. Learners with SEND enrolled on LLDD Study Programmes in our LifeSkills

Faculty:

All learners with SEND enrolled on LLDD or Supported Learning Study Programmes will be encouraged to attend their full face to face delivery as normal, where they will continue to receive the full support identified in their EHC plans.

Learners who are not able to continue attending face to face lessons (such as those who fall into the clinically extremely vulnerable group), will continue to receive their full education in a suitable remote form. In this instance support will be provided remotely and learners will receive regular contact from staff to review their learning and ensure that their support needs are met.

  1. Learners with SEND enrolled on Foundation Pathway Study Programmes in our LifeSkills Faculty:

Learners will be encouraged to attend college for their full face-to-face delivery if they are unable to access remote delivery due to their additional needs. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis taking a person-centred approach. Learners in receipt of High Needs Funding will continue to access the support provision identified in section F of their EHC plans however the method of delivery may change. In this instance they will receive support remotely.

Any learner with SEND who wishes to attend College will be able to access our learning environments, where they will receive additional support to access suitable remote learning.

All learners accessing learning remotely will receive regular contact to review their support needs and progress in learning.

  1. Learners with SEND enrolled on Mainstream Study Programmes:

Learners will be encouraged to book a slot within the learning environment on each campus if they are unable to access or not engaging with the online faculty delivery.  During these booked sessions learners will continue to access the remote delivery but with support from learning and student support staff.  In addition learners will be able to arrange 1-1 appointments with learning support staff outside of their timetable.

  1. Learners who are vulnerable

Vulnerable children and young people are those who:

  • Are children in need under section 17 of the Children Act 1989
  • Have an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • Have been identified as otherwise vulnerable by educational providers or local authorities

These learners will be encouraged to book a slot within the learning environment on each campus if they are unable to access or are not engaging with the online faculty delivery.  During these booked sessions learners will continue to access the remote delivery but with the support of learning and student support staff.

All learners assessed as vulnerable will receive a COVID risk assessment, which dictates the level of support and intervention provided in addition to their remote delivery.  Weekly panel meetings run on each campus allowing for effective communication between faculties, and student services regarding our most vulnerable learners.