Welcome Back! Covid update

UK 16-19

Dear Itchen Student and Parents/ Guardians

 We have completed our enrolment process for our new students and our re-enrolment process for those with us last year and we are now looking forward to welcoming our Year 2 students on Friday and our Year 1 students on Monday for their induction sessions before everybody returns on Tuesday. Induction will be an extended session with your allocated Tutor through the morning followed by the lesson that would normally occur in the afternoon. 

Timetables are being released and are available through the College system as advised through the enrolment process. We only require Year 2 students on Friday and Year 1 students on Monday and this should be clearly indicated on your timetable. Timetables can be accessed here: please use your personal email address (not your College email address) and password from the exit pack. Should you have any problems accessing your timetable, please contact mis@itchen.ac.uk

I also want to set out the measures we have put in place in order to offer a safe and positive start to the year for all, and enlist your support in keeping to those measures. We are following government guidance in offering all of our students a full timetable from the start of term as we think that face-to-face teaching, learning and coaching is what our students need and is how they best progress. However College this year will be different to previous years. I will be reinforcing our expectations and the measures we have put in place through a series of socially-distanced Principal’s Talks across the first week of term, but want to go through them now so that everybody knows what to expect from their first day.

  1. Adapted timetable, staggered breaks and additional bus service

We have changed our timetable to allow a later start to reduce travel during peak times, and to offer single subjects in extended morning and afternoon sessions. This reduces lesson change-over and means students need only be at College when they have a lesson. The additional bus service means that students with lessons in the afternoon can arrive at lunchtime, and those without lessons in the afternoon can depart to study at home, thus reducing numbers on buses and at College at any one time. We have also staggered break times to keep specific groups of students together, as far as we possibly can.

  1. Face coverings

We are asking students to adhere to regulations around covering their face while on public transport, and to follow the same guidance when on college buses where social distancing is not required according to government guidance. We are also strongly recommending that students and staff wear face coverings while moving around the college and when in social / public areas. This is a common approach for secondary schools and colleges in Southampton.

  1. New pathways, keep left and one-way systems

Over the summer we have installed a new path taking students direct from the pedestrian entrance on Middle Road into the Student Centre, from where the majority of classrooms can be accessed. We are asking all students to keep left when moving around the College, both in corridors and on staircases. There are two areas of the College where we are asking students to follow a one-way system:

(i) The narrow corridor out of the Student Centre on the Ground Floor;

(ii) The First Floor corridor in N Block (housing classrooms N20 to N32), where students can access from either end but only exit from the central staircase.

  1. Sanitising stations and hand-washing

Additional sanitising stations have been installed around the College but there is no substitute for regular hand-washing using soap and water.

  1. Test and trace

I have reinforced with staff our need to ensure we are seeking a coronavirus test should we display any symptoms, and we ask the same of you. We need to keep a record of those students absent who are displaying symptoms, so please keep us informed. Advice and guidance with regard to booking a test is available through this link: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/ .

  1. SLAM!

On every classroom will be a reminder of expectations within the learning environment as follows:

Supply your own stationery and equipment– we cannot provide pens and paper so it is essential that every student comes ready and equipped to learn;

Lanyards – to be worn at all times;

Always wipe down – we are asking students to wipe down desks and key boards when leaving their workstation;

Mask-up! – cover your face when travelling to, from and around the College.

 

Finally I simply want to reinforce how important a good start to life at College is, even more so given our current circumstances. Six months out of formal classroom learning is a significant amount of time – getting back into good study habits from the start is essential. This applies to all of our students but especially our Year 2 students who now find themselves competing for university places and jobs with former students who have just received the best set of results the country has ever known. We also need to consider the chances of a future lockdown, either local or national, and the potential impact of this. Our adapted timetable will easily lend itself to remote learning so it is essential that students start using Google Classroom from week 1 and familiarise themselves with how it works for each of their subjects. Similarly should we have to once again move to Centre Assessed Grades we need evidence right from first assignments of potential, so every piece of work needs to represent the best that can be achieved.

 We will be doing all we can to support our students as we move back to full time teaching. Please let us know of any change of circumstance so that we can offer our support where necessary.

 I look forward to working with you so that you can achieve to the best of your ability.

 With very best regards

 Alex Scott