For all parents and students: You may be aware that on the afternoon of Thursday 10 December, the Education Minister announced that colleges and secondary schools would move to online learning for next week – that is, the week commencing 14 December.
Of course this will make very little difference here at Gower College Swansea since we had already announced that the small number of courses and tutorial sessions arranged for next week would be delivered online.
However, later that same afternoon, all 13 FE colleges in Wales agreed to go a step further and to make an announcement now, that for the first week back after the break – that is the week commencing 4 January 2021 – all teaching will also be carried out online following the same pattern of delivery for all classes as we successfully ran just before the last half term.
This decision gives some certainty, at a time when so many other things are uncertain, and allows the College to continue to prioritise the health and wellbeing of all of our students and staff at a time – after Christmas – when unfortunately we all anticipate seeing increases in the number of positive cases.
Just to be clear, the College will be open – it’s just that all teaching will be online – and we will be making arrangements for all necessary examinations to be held on site, as well as separate arrangements for our most vulnerable learners who we will communicate with directly.
We do not believe that this additional week will have any impact on our learners. Our focus on face to face delivery, underpinned by rigorous management of social distancing, has meant that since September less than 10% of our students and 5% of our staff have had to self-isolate (with only one instance where one person, a member of staff, has had to self-isolate on more than one occasion).
All of this has been achieved due to the tremendous effort of staff not just in the classrooms but right across the College e.g. managing student movement and introducing innovative solutions such as we did with A Levels, with different A Levels being delivered on different days. It is down to the commitment and energy of our staff that these numbers have been kept as low as they have, and I am so proud of them.
Can I also thank you too for your ongoing support and patience this term and I do hope that you have an enjoyable, if not a little different, Christmas and, most importantly, please, please take care of yourself and your families and stay safe.
Gower College Swansea