Update: COVID-19 - College sites, virtual learning and virtual working
Are you applying or have you applied to our College? See this message from our Vice Principal
From Wednesday 18th March 3pm, we will be closing the College sites to students. As of Monday 23rd March, all learning will move online and students will be home/remote studying with staff also working remotely.
The Government’s advice for whole households, those with specific underlying health issues and pregnant women to self-isolate has left us to carefully consider what actions we can take to support our community.
The health and safety of our students, staff and the wider Bournemouth & Poole community is our number one priority, and we believe that taking this action now is in the best interest of our whole community.
Although the College’s sites may be closed, we will still be operating remotely. Our teaching staff are preparing online learning resources for students, meaning they can continue their studies at home, and our support staff will be continuing to work remotely. We advise that our students still continue to revise and prepare for exams.
If you have any queries during this time, you can still reach out to us by using the ‘Live Chat’ facility on our website or by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Please continue checking this webpage to keep up-to-date with our latest developments and future information about re-opening.
This is an evolving situation and official advice changes regularly. We will review this policy regularly and keep you updated as to any changes.
General questions for students, staff, parents and carers
The College’s sites will be closed to students from Wednesday 18th March 2020 at 3pm and to staff from 4:30pm on Friday 20th March 2020 until Friday 17th April 2020 when the situation will be reviewed. From Monday 23rd March 2020 we will be moving to an online learning delivery model and also remote working for staff.
This dedicated page will continue to be updated regularly to keep you informed on our position.
What about short/hobby courses?
Currently the College will be closed until mid-April. Regrettably it means that any short courses that were planned in April will now be postponed until a later date. We will contact you to inform you of the new dates.
We have now received updated guidance from OFQUAL on how grades will be awarded for GCSE subjects in Summer 2020. OFQUAL have released a very useful FAQ document which should answer most of your questions. This can be found here:
The main details though, we have summarised below:
There are four stages to go through before the final grades are awarded:
- Stage One: Colleges will award each student a predicted grade that they think the student would have achieved IF they had sat the exam. It will be based on the following criteria: Most recent GCSE resit grade, mock exam scores, in-class assessment, homework and general progress over the year.
- Stage Two: We will then have to rank all students within a grade boundary. For example, if 150 students have been predicted a grade 4, the College will rank them from 1 – most secure to achieve a Grade 4 to 150 – least secure to achieve a Grade 4. These grades and ranking are then sent to the exam board.
- Stage Three: The exam boards will then analyse the data received taking into account the following: the college’s previous attainment in that subject, the national picture according to grade distribution and students’ prior attainment. This will be done using a statistical methodology to be developed in conjunction with Ofqual (as yet we do not know exactly how this will work).
At this stage, grades may well be modified/changed by the exam board to ensure fairness and equality across the whole country.
- Stage Four: Results will be issued to students as normal – exact date TBC – but likely earlier than normal.
A few more important things to consider:
- College CANNOT release details to students/parents of the grades/rank system that they have put forward for each student.
- The exam board may not award the predicted grades awarded for each student. The exam board will make the final decision NOT the College.
- There will be a GCSE resit opportunity in September, but we are still waiting confirmation of how exactly that will work. If you do take the exam in September, it is important to note that your first grade received is still valid.
The College will spend the time between now and the deadline for submission of grades (May 29th), coming up with a careful plan on grading students to ensure that the marks put forward for consideration are as fair and equitable as possible.
We appreciate that this is stressful and difficult for everyone concerned, but hopefully now we have the guidance from OFQUAL, we can start moving forward and awarding grades which are as fair as possible in the current situation.
The College’s critical incident team has been meeting on a daily basis since February to put a specific action plan in place relating to Coronavirus. We are closely monitoring the advice from the Departments of Education and Public Health England to ensure we are as prepared as possible for different scenarios.
If you had a planned exam during the College closure, we will ensure that it is rescheduled upon re-opening. Your Tutor will be able to advise you further.
The Student Support Team will be working remotely during normal working hours (8:30am – 5pm).
The Wellbeing Team can be contacted via email@example.com. Please leave your Student ID, name and contact telephone numbers, and a member of the team will contact you. Scheduled booked appointments will take place as normal via telephone/Skype.
Members of the team will continue to look after the Safeguarding phones, so please contact them on one of the following numbers:
Lansdowne and Apprentices - 07774974781
North Road and Fulcrum - 07714851103
If you need any support or you are worried outside of College opening hours and it is an emergency, call 999. If you or anyone you know has suicidal thoughts please contact Papyrus on 0800 068 4141 or the Samaritans on 116 123
Queries relating to Student Finance, should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond as soon as possible. New or replacement travel cards, will be dealt with within 5 days of the College re-opening.
All applications, together with the relevant evidence, should be scanned and emailed to email@example.com and a decision will be emailed back.
All childcare and bursary payments will continue to be paid as normal following the payment schedule as issued.
For any queries regarding the student accommodation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Learning Support Team will be working remotely during normal working hours (8:30am – 5pm)
For students/parents – the team can be contacted via the email address email@example.com. Please ensure you provide a Student ID, name and contact telephone number. A member of the team will contact you as soon as possible. Scheduled booked appointments will take place as normal via telephone/Skype.
For professionals – the team can be contacted via the email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Careers Advice and Guidance
The Careers Advice and Guidance Team can be contacted via email@example.com. Please leave your Student ID, name and contact telephone numbers, and a member of the team will contact you. Scheduled booked appointments will take place as normal via telephone/Skype.
All students in receipt of free school/college meals will be contacted individually and arrangements made to transfer the equivalent funds via bank transfers.
The Learning Support team are getting in touch with all EHCP students and offering remote support. They will be responding to student and professional SENCO queries remotely. The team are arranging to conduct any annual reviews due remotely so business will continue as normally as is possible.
We are sorry your studies are being disrupted but wherever possible we are moving to online delivery. If your course is practically-based we would expect to reinstate any lost teaching once our buildings have been re-opened. Given the exceptional nature of the current situation we are not in a position to consider individual requests for refunds but we will consider these once our buildings have been re-opened.
With effect from Thursday 19th March, students should not be attending placement. This does not apply to Apprenticeships where they employed by their company.
The Learning Recourses Centre (Library) team are working remotely from 8:30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, and 9:00am to 4:00pm Friday to help with remote access to learning resources. Follow us on Twitter to keep up with new resources and information skills tips @libraryBPC
What resources can I access?
For eBooks, go to our catalogue at http://bounpo.cirqahosting.com, change to “Advanced” search and select “E-book” from the media type.
For online resources including journals, magazines, statistics and learning modules, search our eLibrary at https://my.bpc.ac.uk/mybpc/lrc/resources/elibrary/databases#a-z
For video streaming of documentaries and educational programmes from 60 broadcast TV and radio channels, access BoB at http://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand . Please note that reduced resolution of streamed media has resulted in a deterioration in quality.
I need help finding, accessing or referencing learning resources
Our team are here to help you get the best resources for your studies. Contact us for general queries including how to access resources, or ask to be transferred to one of our librarians for a more in-depth online skills session including selecting resources or referencing your work.
What about the Reading Challenge?
This will continue and we encourage you to take some time to relax with a book as part of your wellbeing. Although we do not have fiction books online, if you have (or can borrow) your own copy of a book that we have in our collection, this will count towards the Reading Challenge. Contact us to let us know when you have completed each challenge and we ensure your record is updated.
Will I be charged a fine If my books are due for return when the College is closed?
Any existing fines as of 20th March will stand, but will be frozen and we will not be pursuing any fines over the shutdown. You will not incur any new fines during the shutdown, and all loans have been automatically renewed to 27th April.
Log into our catalogue at http://bounpo.cirqahosting.com with your student number and password (six digit date of birth) to check your loan status, or use the MyCirqa App (contact our help line if you need assistance)
How do I contact the LRC?
Please be patient with us as we use work with home technology. If you cannot get through, leave a message with your name, student number and best method of contact and, we will get back to you as soon as possible. Stay safe.
In the short term, all College events have been cancelled until further notice. This is following government guidance on mass gatherings.
We are keen to still meet you! The college sites might be closed, but we are still virtually open. We will be arranging interviews to take place via telephone/skype rather than face-to-face. We will be in touch to arrange these with you directly.
Please contact the BASE Team on firstname.lastname@example.org who will be able to advise you what to do.
We understand that this is a particularly worrying time. We want to reassure you that we are working hard behind the scenes to minimize disruption to your son or daughter’s learning. The College sites might be closed, but we are open virtually.
All students have access to the virtual learning environment – Moodle and will be set work to do during this period of closure.
We will continue to keep you updated on the latest developments moving forward. We will also continue to monitor the situation and guidance provided by the Departments of Education and Public Health England.
MITS have been providing extra training to ensure staff are fully equipped to work from home. A user guide has also been added to the homepage of mybpc.
The College’s remote access tool enables staff to still have access to the N Drive and other key drives/systems while working at home.
All employees of the College have access to the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), which can be accessed remotely. Details can be found on mybpc and we would encourage all staff to access this support should you wish to. Please note though that the EAP do not offer medical diagnosis and are not replacements for NHS mental health services.
There are lots of helpful hints and tips for staying mentally well included in the government guidance on social distancing that colleagues may find helpful:
Yes, sick pay will apply for periods of sickness absence. This will be paid in accordance with the sick pay policy which is service related and can be found on mybpc. You must follow the normal proceedure of notifying your line manager on the first day you are unwell.
During the College closure we have arranged for a periodical clean of all areas.
The Governement's dedicated Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage is being kept up-to-date with the latest advice and guidance: gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
For more information about self-isolation, please visit nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/
Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19. Please help us in sharing simple and effective hand hygiene messages.