CLOSURE OF COLLEGE BUILDING – LEARNING CONTINUES ONLINE FOR STUDENTS

At 5pm on Friday 20 March 2020, the college building will close. From Monday 23 March 2020 the college will deliver online lessons and tutorials, timetables for students will remain the same. Continued communications and guidance will follow from the Principal. Please contact the college on 01706 769800 if you have any questions.

 

24 March 2020

To parents/carers and RSFC Students

Message from the Principal

At this extraordinary time, I want to reassure you that I and everyone at RSFC are doing everything we can to support the education and well-being of all of our students. Our strategy is a simple one, to provide continued structure, reassurance, and guidance so that all of our students keep on learning and keep well over the coming weeks. Consequently, from this point onwards lessons are timetabled as normal, though they will be delivered remotely via Microsoft Teams. In effect, while the college building may be closed, the college itself will continue to operate, albeit through our online platform and study packs.

The rest of this letter builds upon many of the points from emails I have previously circulated to students and parents. It does, however, contain new information, so please read it carefully. Particularly important for parents is that you check that we have your correct email address, as this will be my main method of communication with you over the coming weeks.

The letter is divided into four parts:

  • Arrangements for online learning from Monday
  • Other practical arrangements
  • Newly announced national arrangements for exams and grades for year 13 students
  • Future communications with parents and students

Arrangements for online learning from Monday 23 March

  • From Monday morning all lessons will be delivered via Microsoft Teams. Students should attend these online lessons at the usual time. Lessons will be a mixture of live and recorded sessions, and opportunities to work on assignments
  • It is important that students keep attending their online lessons. Not only will this give structure to students’ days, it is especially important given the new arrangements about the awarding of grades (as referenced later in this letter)
  • Microsoft Teams is being supplemented with support materials on Moodle, videos on Clickview, and ‘hard copy’ study packs
  • SPDLs will continue to monitor students’ attendance at online lessons. If a student is unable to attend an online lesson, they must inform their SPDL and teachers with a reason for the absence and a request for missed work
  • Please note enrichment, achievement centre placements, and social development programmes will not be delivered over this period. Students on the scholars’ programme will not have a scheduled lesson but will be provided with additional reading and tasks.

Other practical arrangements

  • Students eligible for the bursary will receive £20 per week paid directly into their bank accounts, subject to attendance. This payment is mainly in lieu of students’ meal allowance for the college canteen.
  • Normal term dates apply to online learning. The college will, therefore, break-up on Friday 3rd April, returning on Monday 20th April.
  • I do not have details yet, and I cannot give a date, but year 13 students shall go to the ball. There will be some form of Leavers’ Ball/celebration to mark the end of their studies.

Newly announced national arrangements for exams and grades for year 13 students

  • The latest guidance is here: gov.uk
  • I have also summarised this guidance in separate emails to students and parents.
  • Clearly, there are still questions around how the arrangements will work, but it is clear that it is really important for students to continue with their studies as normally as possible from this point on. This will mean that they will need to attend online lessons, complete assignments and finish their course. This is even more essential now, given the arrangements (above) which have just been announced for awarding grades.

Future communications with parents and students

  • Teachers and SPDLs will be in regular contact with students while the college building is closed. Additionally, I will email all students at least twice a week while the college building is closed: regular emails on Monday lunchtimes, and Thursdays just after  4pm. I may also send additional emails where required. Every Friday I will send parents an ‘omnibus’ email containing my communications to students. This email will be addressed from Rochdale Sixth Form College (info@rochdalesfc.ac.uk) and entitled RSFC update. If you are not receiving a regular email from me, please message this address studentadmin@rochdalesfc.ac.uk from your preferred email account requesting that your details are updated. As I have said in my emails, be proud. We are living in extraordinary times, but RSFC students are extraordinary young people, taught by extraordinary teachers and tutors. Together we will get through this. Together we are extraordinary.

Keep attending. Keep learning. Keep well.

With very best wishes, and great pride,

Richard Ronksley

Principal/CEO