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Head of Campus - Student Experience at City of Oxford College

A warm welcome back to the second Head of Campus - Student Experience update.  

It has been a busy few weeks across our two Oxford campuses, with Progress Review Week offering a valuable pause to look at how the learning has been for all of our students and to help us set specific, individual targets for the coming months. It is important to remember that our students are not just here to complete a course but also to develop other vital skills needed, as they move towards higher education or employment. 

We are very pleased that we have been able to continue our partnership with SOFEA, which started in 2019. Based in Didcot, SOFEA aims to support young people to progress into employment and education, as well as supporting families and individuals in need. In partnership with FareShare, SOFEA rescues and re-distributes hundreds of tonnes of food surplus each year to charities throughout the Thames Valley region, supporting families in need while reducing food waste. Our business students within our AaPS faculty have taken this challenge on, giving them an opportunity to engage with real businesses whilst developing many personal attributes. Whilst engaging in partnership with SOFEA, Activate Learning is able to make a valuable contribution to the college and wider community and a positve environmental impact. 

Another exciting programme I would like to talk to you about is Upgrade maths and English. This is a free online tutoring programme for students resitting one or both of these GCSEs. The great thing about this is the tutoring sessions are with gap year students with A Levels in the subjects, who are keen to share their knowledge and help students out. The sessions that are run are either on a 1:1 or 1:2 basis and so students have a great opportunity to build on their knowledge and confidence as well as being able to ask questions. To access this programme, students need to go to ALO and click on the Upgrade English or Maths tile. 

Outside of the classroom, we have been promoting our annual Christmas Shoebox Appeal, where donations are made to put together small gift packages for some or our students that may be experiencing financial hardship. The donations this year have included toiletries, stationery and lots of sweet treats, which I am sure will add a little Christmas cheer to the recipients. I am so humbled at the response we have had for this and the generosity shown from people donating. 

Finally, this will be the last update of 2020, but I will return in 2021 to keep you up to date of what is happening on our campuses. It is fair to say that 2020 promised to be an interesting year but I don’t think anyone could have predicted what happened. It has been a challenging year for our students and staff teams but, the resilience, perseverance and ‘can do’ attitude form everyone has shown that, whatever challenges we are faced with, we can overcome them. 

On behalf of everyone at Activate Learning, may I be the first to wish you all a safe and happy festive period and I look forward to seeing you in 2021. 

Happy Holidays! 

Mat Sentance 

Head of Campus – Student Experience at City of Oxford College 

COVID-19 update

We are changing the way that we inform you about COVID-19 cases on campus as we recognise that people might want to be able to access the information for themselves, rather than relying on us sending the information to you. We will now be updating our COVID-19 pages to show you the total number of cases by campus and the number of cases in the past week, broken down by staff and student.