It’s been a week already since we welcomed you all back to campus.
This week, we were advised by Swansea Bay Health Board that the Regional Incident Management Team (IMT) considers the current risk level of coronavirus in Swansea Bay equivalent to the high rating on their framework.
Subsequently, the guidance from the IMT is that, although the College is not itself a high risk, all organisations – including schools – are being asked to take extra steps to help prevent the continuing spread of the virus in the wider community.
As a College, we already have a number of control measures in place, which include
I hope that you and your family have enjoyed the summer break.
As our students return to College we would like to make you aware of the arrangements that will be in place from the start of this autumn term and how we will continue to prioritise the health and safety of our students whilst they are at College.
Firstly, it is our intention that the majority of teaching will be carried out on a face to face basis, although we will also be looking to provide enhanced support for those learners who are having to self-islolate at home.
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.
Last week, the Education Minister announced that a small number of vocational students would be able to return to College from Monday 22 February which, as you will hopefully be aware from my previous update, we have been planning towards for the past couple of weeks.
The students who will be prioritised for return are those needing to undertake assessments to complete their qualifications and achieve their license to practice.
I’d like to update our students and parents following last Friday’s announcement (29 January) by the First Minister.
Last week’s announcement by the Education Minister about the way GCSE and A Level assessments will be graded for this year probably doesn’t look a lot different from those used in 2020. Grades will again be determined by lecturers and based on their assessment of students’ work – although this year it will be called Centre Determined Grades.
Centre Determined Grades
The general principles and guidance of how these Centre Determined Grades will work (assessment framework) is now under development by Qualifications Wales and the WJEC.
The announcement on Friday by the First Minister that colleges and schools will continue with online learning for at least the next three weeks (until 29 January and possibly longer if the number of positive cases do not reduce) was disappointing. But it is unquestionably the right approach to take at the current time in helping to reduce the numbers of transmissions across our communities.
But of course this announcement hasn’t come as any surprise and, as a College, we have been preparing for this very situation throughout the first term.
As the firebreak lockdown comes to a close, here is some important information for when you return to College next week.
From Monday 9 November
We will now resume our face to face method of teaching for all our full time students.
If you are a part time student or an apprentice, your course will resume in the same way as it did before the firebreak lockdown.
Mae’r Pennaeth Mark Jones yn myfyrio ar ddechrau tymor yr hydref, gan ganmol myfyrwyr a staff am eu cydweithrediad, ac mae’n egluro sut mae’r Coleg yn parhau i sicrhau bod iechyd a diogelwch yn parhau i fod yn brif flaenoriaeth.
Wrth i ni ddechrau pedweredd wythnos y tymor, mae’n ymddangos yn amser da i fyfyrio ar sut mae pethau wedi mynd hyd yn hyn yng Ngholeg Gŵyr Abertawe.