DEAR STUDENT / PARENT / GUARDIAN

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: THE SIXTH FORM BOLTON CLOSED FROM END OF P2 20 MARCH 2020

CORONAVIRUS (COVID – 19) UPDATE:

Dear Students and Parents/Guardians


Following instruction from The Government, we will be closing The Sixth Form at the end of Period 2 (11.40am) on Friday 20 March 2020 until further notice.


We will be switching to home online learning on all of our courses until the start of the Easter break (3pm on Friday 27th March) and recommencing either home online learning or normal operations from Tuesday, 14th April 2020.


At the moment, we currently anticipate that this will probably be home online learning.Students are expected to continue studying; teaching staff will set and monitor work via email, Moodle and/or Google Classrooms.


If students need to communicate with teaching staff, please do so via The Sixth Form email system. The Sixth Form safeguarding systems such as ‘Stop Alert’ are still active.


For more information about how to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and updates/advice from Bolton Council, please see below:


www.bolton.gov.uk/news/article/683/coronavirus-update-and-advice


Any further updates from The Sixth Form Bolton will be issued by the Principal via The Sixth Form website, Student Portal, Parent Portal, email, text messages or official Sixth Form social media platforms.


We thank you for your support and cooperation during the challenging times ahead.


How to look after your family’s mental health when you’re stuck indoors

With schools closing and many adults working from home, families are going to be cooped up. It’s easy to get cabin fever when children who are used to running around the playground and hanging out with friends are stuck indoors with their parents.

Here are our tips for keeping everyone’s spirits up as much as possible as we self-isolate.

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Updated travel advice for travellers returning from Italy

The advice remains the same for travellers returning from the lockdown areas of Italy, that you should self-isolate even if you are not showing symptoms. The advice for other parts of Italy has been expanded to cover the whole country: if you have returned from anywhere else in Italy outside of the lockdown areas, you should self-isolate if you develop symptoms and call NHS 111.

The latest travel guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas-with-implications-for-returning-travellers-or-visitors-arriving-in-the-uk

Further information on what you should do if you are asked to self-isolate can be found here:

https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/02/20/what-is-self-isolation-and-why-is-it-important/

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is now available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk

Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

Red Flag Book and Online Specifications

In order to assist students on A Level programmes, they have been issued with a ‘Red Flag Book’. Students take this to all of their lessons and log important information, questions, problems and key terminology or methodologies. They can then colour code this using a traffic light system. Teachers can review student books, see Greenlearning that a student has a good grasp of, Amber or Yellowlearning that is causing some concern and Redflags that signify things that they are struggling with. As a student deals with each Red Flag, they can re colour it to signify they have overcome this obstacle.

The ‘Red Flag Book’ also operates in tandem with an online specification for each subject. All subject specifications are available for you on the tab on this portal.
   

Students are asked to RAG rate their coverage of the syllabus as they go, identifying topics where they need to spend more time reviewing their learning. They can also record how much time they have spent working on each topics. We typically find that students procrastinate the ‘Red Flags’ instead of addressing them. They often spend more time on green topics, even though they are secure on their topics. By asking them to RAG rate and detail their independent learning, teachers, progress tutors and yourselves can check what time they have committed to independent learning and where learning issues are emerging.

Please take some time to look through your Son/Daughters book.

VESPA

To encourage students to undertake sufficient independent study, we use a system in College called VESPA. The information below shows what types of activity they can engage in to support their own self development. Students need to self-reflect, address their skills and knowledge gaps and make personal progress.

Parent Portal Absence Reporting

You can now report student absence via the Parent Portal until 10am for each day your son/daughter will be absent from College. Select ‘Report An Absence’ and complete the online form with the relevant details. You will receive an email confirming your request and then a further email informing you the request has been authorised. We will contact you if we have a query regarding your request. Please note the following -

  Doctor’s/dentist appointments should be made when a student does not have timetabled classes

  Absence needs to be reported for each day your son/daughter will not attend College

  Online reporting will be open from midnight to 10am. If you need to contact the College regarding an absence outside of these times then please telephone Student Information on 01204 846215

Report an Absence

Timetable Changes

Please be aware that timetables will change at the start of term (as they always do) so please make sure that you check regularly to ensure that you have up-to-date information on when and where your classes are happening.

GCSE, AS and A level educational reforms in England

The rapidly changing landscape of education and the new grading of GCSE is quite a complex one to get your head around. If you click on the link below it might help to answer questions that you have about A level and also that might be relevant if you have other children still in school

More Details...

Mental health and wellbeing

I am sure you are aware of the growing issues and awareness raising of mental health and wellbeing in the UK and especially amongst young people. As a parent, I also understand that having a lack of information and support makes managing these issues for your own family sometimes difficult. You may be aware that today there was the launch of a campaign by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge called ‘heads together’ supported by frank and open videos by a range of celebrities. The web link can be found here. https://www.headstogether.org.uk/

In addition, the organisation has something called ‘youngminds’ offering support  and information. They also have information and a support line. You can find that information here. http://www.youngminds.org.uk/contact

Safeguarding including Prevent

As you know, safeguarding our young people and ensuring that we discharge our statutory duties is really important to us. We also provide a wide range of wrap around care, advice and guidance on a whole range of related issues throughout the year. If you are not aware, the PREVENT agenda is part of safeguarding and in December we had a British Values/Prevent day. As part of that day we practiced our Lockdown Procedure or Invacuation of the campus. Whilst students are very used to evacuating for fire, they have less exposure to the idea of Invacuating for certain circumstances when an evacuation could put more people in danger. Whilst the likelihood of such an event is very rare, even in a country like ours which remains on the alert of ‘severe’, we need to be prepared. We will be holding a further Invacuation drill before we break for Easter.

Important Policy Documents

Attendance and Punctuality

I am sure that you would agree as your sons and daughters become young adults that punctuality and attendance at College should be paramount. Lack of attendance means lost learning and makes fulfilling their potential more difficult. Whilst we have a system in place for students to repay lost time, this is no substitute to being in the class when the material is taught. Please support us in ensuring early buses are caught and that attendance is excellent.