College advice on Coronavirus

Update – Friday 3rd April

We hope that you are managing to stay safe and well and are coping staying indoors.

Where are we at the moment:

College is now closed. Those of our students who could have come in have told us they would prefer to stay at home and access support virtually or digitally. We don’t know how long we will be closed but suspect we will be in a disrupted state until the summer, if not longer.

If you need to get hold of any of our team, please email them directly. If you don’t know their email address, please email reception@cirencester.ac.uk who will pass on your message.

As previously stated, those students who are completing courses this year will not sit exams this summer – more details below. Some students will need to complete coursework or projects to ensure they get the grade they desire. The deadline for this is Friday 24th April at 12 noon for electronically submitted work, it is the Wednesday before (22nd April) if you need to submitted physical work such as art-based final projects.

Students with Free School Meals will continue to get BACS payments, including over the Easter break, until mid-June, as you would have done if the College had been open.

If you are a parent or student, please check your emails, parent portal and CCO. There you can find more details about what we are planning in terms of support and delivery of learning and advice about wellbeing and self-care. Teachers and pastoral staff have prepared materials for this. If you wish to contact teachers or tutors, please email them directly. Relevant contact details are on each students CCO page and on each parents Parent zone page.

Cancellation of Exams

We know that you are concerned about what is happening now that the summer exams and assessments have been cancelled.

Today, Ofqual have announced their plans for grading the cancelled summer exams for GCSE, AS and A-level students this year. They have yet to announce details of the Applied General qualifications and Vocational courses. We hope to get this information soon.

Ofqual say; ‘Our over-riding aim in this is to be fair to students this summer and to make sure you are not disadvantaged in your progress to sixth form, college, university, apprenticeships, training or work because of these unprecedented conditions.’ We are working through the detail of this but in the meantime, you may want to read Ofqual’s letter to students.

Applicants for September 2020

We are still planning to start new year ones in September. Our admissions team are working from home and as such, the process may take a little longer than usual, please bear with us.

If you already have access to the applicant portal, please watch this space for updates and resources to help keep you physically and mentally healthy whilst you #StayatHome or are in isolation. We are

aware that enrolment may be different this year but we will make sure you know exactly what to do to confirm or secure your place. We will inform all applicants as soon as we have clarity on this. In the meantime, we will send you regular updates so that you know what we are doing, and how you can prepare yourself for coming to college in the Autumn.

Adult Learners

If you have been taking part in our courses for Adults, you too have been disrupted.

Those of you doing English and Maths GCSEs will go through the same process as the full-time students. Those doing Functional Skills and ESOL, exams have been postponed until the social distancing measures are relaxed. Those doing Pre-GCSE are continuing their learning remotely with the intention of joining the GCSE programme in September. In all of these cases we will keep you informed through your teacher and through the Adult Ed email system. If you have any concerns, please email adult.education@cirencester.ac.uk

If you were booked onto the summer term leisure courses, you will by now have had a full refund. We are scheduling the programme for next year and these are going up on the website as they are booked. You may want to join the Facebook group @CirenCollAdultCommunity or your specific course group, to chat with your classmates or find out what other people thought of some of the other courses. We are exploring on-line versions of our leisure courses where possible, our watercolourists have helped us do a trial. If you have any requests for specific courses, please let us know adult.education@cirencester.ac.uk

Supporting our NHS

A plea: We are using our 3D printing equipment to help to produce visors for our local front-line NHS staff. We hope to produce many more of these over the coming days and weeks. If anyone knows of a company locally which produces, or has stocks of clear plastic film (240 x 240 ml typically PETG 0.5mm) then please email PA.Principal@cirencester.ac.uk. Similarly, if you have the facilities to print and make these as well, we will be happy to share details of the design and prototype.

Thank you

Thank you for your patience with this. I realise it is a stressful time for parents and students, staff and our stakeholders. Thank you also for all of the lovely emails of support and appreciation for the updates you are receiving. As ever, we will continue to do our best to support our students and staff.