Update from Principal, Mark Jones (10 March)


Updated 10/03/2021

The most recent announcement by the Education Minister gives us the opportunity to build on the good work of the past couple of weeks and to bring more students back for face-to-face teaching from Monday 15 March.

We are now able to bring in more vocational students in learning areas where there are outstanding practical assessments, and it also means we can bring back A Level students where preparation for assessments will need to take place.

I will explain the arrangements that we need to put in place for students below.

What does this mean for students?
From Monday 15 to Friday 26 March, two metre social distancing will remain across the whole College. No class bubbles will be in place, which therefore means we will be operating with reduced class sizes. These will be balanced with independent study tasks together with check-in and support sessions.

A Level students will return for three or four half day sessions (depending on the number of subjects taken) during this two week period.

Vocational students will be contacted by their course tutors who will provide the specific date to come into College. These will be full day sessions.

All students will be contacted individually to be informed exactly which days and times they are to attend College.

Part time students as well those studying ILS programmes, Access and ESOL will continue with online teaching and learning until this is reviewed after the Easter break. We are currently looking at the options for higher education students.

What about transport?
For our students attending Gorseinon Campus, there will be additional transport arranged for collection and return journeys to support the half day timetables. For the other campuses, public transport will be in place, please make sure you plan your journey in advance.

Support and check in
When at College, students will have the opportunity to check in with their lecturers and other staff. We will be able to identify any concerns, solve any IT issues, plan for assessments and also support progression opportunities in readiness for September.

Catering
All students will be provided with a free packed lunch when attending College.

Health and safety
All students will be expected to follow the College rules and procedures to ensure the health and safety of everyone. Please see this video, which outlines the recent guidelines.

Lateral flow testing
Students will be offered a four-week pack of lateral flow home testing kits on their return to College. The lateral flow home testing kits are not compulsory and it is not a requirement for students to take and use the home tests to return to College.

Exams and assessments
We have recently received an initial update from Qualifications Wales about the arrangements for GCSEs, AS and A Levels, Skills Challenge Certificate and Essential Skills Wales qualifications but further clarity is needed and this is being sought as a matter of urgency. We would hope to be able to share this with you on your return to College.  

As I outlined above, these arrangements will be in place from Monday 15 to Friday 26 March. It is hoped that, after Easter, we will be able to return to the arrangements that were in place in the first term. However, this will require approval of Welsh Government and as such cannot be confirmed at this current time. We trust that you will understand the reasons for this.

Please do not hesitate to contact your tutor if you have any queries or concerns, or alternatively you can email info@gcs.ac.uk and we can direct your message. You can also keep up to date with any further information by visiting our Covid-19 webpage

We are here to support you as much as we can.

Mark Jones
Principal

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