With the health and safety of our communities at the centre of decision making, Gower College Swansea is preparing to welcome students from September, in line with the latest Welsh Government guidance.
As social distancing requirements will likely remain in place for the foreseeable future, the College is currently adapting how its runs all of its programmes to include a blended mix of online and face to face delivery and support.
With the excellent take up of online teaching and learning since the lockdown was introduced in March, the College’s experience in digital delivery has certainly gained momentum and continues to develop with a strong IT infrastructure team in place to support it. Add to that an annual investment of over £1,000,000 in IT, and it is clear that the College is well placed to support this increase in digital provision.
The College’s extensive partnerships with other education providers also mean that it has access to a wide range of online resources to ensure all programmes are rich and current in digital content.
Given the advancements made in digital support and learning, the College is now best placed to outline what September will look like.
This new approach will include:
- Regular taught sessions. This will include timetabled, teacher-led classes delivered through a combination of campus-based and online sessions with virtual guest lectures and master classes provided by external speakers from higher education and industry.
- Practical sessions. This will take place on campus in small groups within workshops, salons, laboratories and kitchens. Online resources will be used to complement and extend these practical sessions.
- Pastoral support. This will include one to one and group tutorials and the College will continue to provide personal, financial and study support as well as advice on career progression.
- Additional support. This will include enhanced support through programmes such as HE+ and our preparation for UK and WorldSkills competitions as well as meeting the requirements of the Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Bill.
Speaking about this new direction, Principal Mark Jones said: “Gower College Swansea will be open and ready to deliver a high quality education experience at the start of the new academic year, but in a very different way.
“Although lockdown is starting to ease, uncertainty still remains about the progress of Covid-19 and we will continue to adapt and flex based on Welsh Government guidance.
“As the health and safety of our College community remains at the forefront of all our decision making, we will be adopting a blended approach to education from September which has been designed with input from our curriculum teams and senior staff members.
“We will aim to ensure that all our students continue to receive the best educational experience possible and that they have the best opportunity to progress onto their chosen pathway with our unique guarantee.”
The Gower College Swansea Guarantee ensures that all students have an opportunity to progress after they finish their course, whether that is onto university, another College course, onto an apprenticeship or straight into the world of work.
From September, students will also undertake an enhanced induction programme to ensure they can access online teaching and support materials both at College and at home.
Mark Jones adds: “This approach will hopefully give our students some clarity as to what they can expect from the start of term and what College will look like.
“We are working extremely hard to ensure we deliver what is best for our students and will provide support to them every step of the way.”
For more information about the College's response to Covid-19, please visit the dedicated webpage.
- Over 400 students attended the launch of HE+ / Seren Academy at the College in 2019. Pictured are (L-R) Mark Jones, Principal, Felicity Padley and Fiona Beresford (HE+ Coordinators) and Dr Jonathan Padley, Fellow and Admissions Tutor at Churchill College, Cambridge.
- Electronic Engineering student Rhys Watts in training for the WorldSkills Industrial Electronics competition.
- Student studying at the College’s bespoke University Centre.