Message From Tim Fisher, Principal
In accordance with government guidance, we are offering all students the opportunity to take part in asymptomatic testing for COVID-19 at the College site. We strongly encourage students to take up this offer, which will add to the range of safety measures that we have in place.
In order to provide a high volume of tests, we shall be making use of the flexibilities given to colleges and operating a timetable from 8th March that has been adapted to enable us to comply with the government’s testing requirements. All students will be offered three on site tests during the two weeks commencing 8th March and, once completed, will be provided with home testing kits from then on. Home testing kits can only be provided to those students who first complete three assisted tests at college. Any students who choose not to take part in the on-site testing programme will not be eligible to receive home testing kits. Details about home testing will be provided to eligible students prior to that programme commencing.
All students, whether they opt to take part in asymptomatic testing or not, will return to College as indicated below.
We have chosen to follow this timetable in order to best meet both safety and educational priorities; it will be reviewed at the end of this term.
|Day||Date||Year Group||Test 1/2/3||Notes|
|Mon||08/03/2021||Y1/Art Foundation||Test 1||Appointment only – no on-site lessons|
|Tue||09/03/2021||Y1||Test 1||Appointment only – no on-site lessons|
|Wed||10/03/2021||Y2||Test 1||Appointment only – no on-site lessons|
|Thu||11/03/2021||Y1/Art Foundation||Test 2||Year 1 + AF in College – on site lessons|
|Fri||12/03/2021||Y1||Test 2||Year 1 in College – on site lessons|
|Mon||15/03/2021||Y2||Test 2||Year 2 in College – on site lessons|
|Tue||16/03/2021||Y1/Art Foundation||Test 3||Year 1 + AF in College – on site lessons|
|Wed||17/03/2021||Y1/Art Foundation||Test 3||Year 1 + AF in College – on site lessons|
|Thu||18/03/2021||Y2||Test 3||Year 2 in College – on site lessons|
|Fri||19/03/2021||Y2||Test 3||Year 2 in College – on site lessons|
|Mon||22/03/2021||Y1/Art Foundation||Year 1 + AF in College – on site lessons|
|Tue||23/03/2021||Y2||Year 2 in College – on site lessons|
|Wed||24/03/2021||Y2||Year 2 in College – on site lessons|
|Thu||25/03/2021||Y1/Art Foundation||Year 1 + AF in College – on site lessons|
|Fri||26/03/2021||Y1||Year 1 in College – on site lessons|
As you can see, Monday 8th – Wednesday 10th March consist solely of appointments for the tests. Students will receive a separate email to inform them of their appointments for all three tests. Students will also be asked in this email to provide their consent to taking the tests. However, they will also be able to provide consent on the day of their test so they should still come along for their appointment if they have not given consent beforehand. Please be aware that online learning will continue during this three week period when students are not in lessons on site; teachers will advise them about specific arrangements.
If students usually use a College bus, they will operate on Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th March to bring them in for their test if they wish to travel in this way. College bus users will be invited for their first test on 9th or 10th March depending on which year group they are in as per the above schedule. Buses will pick students up at the usual times in the morning from the regular places, and they will depart on these days at 1pm. From Thursday 11th March, when lessons resume on site, College buses will operate as normal and depart at the usual times at the end of the day.
When students come to College for their first test, they should please remember to wear a face covering and follow the guidance regarding social distancing and sanitising their hands. Students should enter the College at the entrance opposite Stanhope Park by the Main Reception and they will be directed down the side of the College towards the Sports Hall via a one way system. Members of staff will be on hand to guide them and to help with the registration process before they take the test in the Sports Hall. If students have a smartphone, they should please bring this with them so that they can enter their details in order to receive the result of the test. It will be helpful if students know their:
- mobile phone number
- email address
- home address including the postcode
The process for testing should not take long and it is nothing to be concerned about. For the first test, students should please be on time and try not to arrive too early or late so that we can manage the number of students in College at any point. The test itself takes only a couple of minutes. When students have completed the test, they will be asked to leave the College site and they will be notified of their results by text message and email by the NHS. If students arrive by College bus, provision will be made for them to wait in a classroom with computer access before and after the test so that they can participate in online learning until the bus departs at 1pm. If students usually use the College bus but prefer to travel another way for their test, this is of course fine. However, the College buses will operate from Tuesday 9th to enable them to get to us for their appointment as explained earlier.
When students have lessons on site, these will occur in the usual rooms and at the normal times. Please remember that students are now requested to wear face coverings during lessons, unless they are exempt for medical reasons.
Please look out for the further information that we shall be sending out shortly. We very much look forward to welcoming students back to the College site.