Welcome to the new College year
3rd September 2020
A message from the Principal
Welcome to your new academic year and for some of you, to our College for the first time.
At Paston College, we have been doing all that we can over the past six months during the COVID-19 pandemic to support our students and to prepare for returning to teaching on our sites. As a large organisation, we have been able to call on the expertise of all our staff, including our own Health and Safety and Estates teams to prepare for the new term and we are ready to welcome you in the coming days.
We will need your help to ensure the coming term is a success. We all need to work together as a college community to make sure that we can all learn and work safely and that you can get as much from the coming year as possible. Therefore, please read the following information, and that on your student pocket guide, carefully.
How we will communicate: Keeping in touch is critically important especially as things are likely to continue to change. We’ll always communicate with you via your college student email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) so it’s vital that you check your emails. You can get your emails on your phone, tablet or laptop as well as by logging on in college and you'll get details on our intranet when you get to college.
We have already emailed you with details of how to find your username and password so that you can access your timetable. I can’t over-emphasise how important checking your emails will be so please take time to do this regularly.
If you are moving from school to College, one big change is that we will send emails to you, not your parents or carers. This is part of becoming an adult, responsible for your own learning and progress and is something that is an essential part of the College experience. However, please share these emails with your parents or carers so that they are aware of the information we are giving you.
As well as email, you can follow the college social media accounts which you can find on our website home page and you’ll see our Live Chat link there too, another quick and simple way of getting answers to your questions. You can also contact me directly by email or through ‘talk to the Principal’ on our websites.
Making our Colleges safe: We have followed the government and public health guidelines to make coming to college safe. Following the rules for how our sites will operate is going to be very important. You will have a Student Pocket Guide (or you’ll be given one on your first day on site) and you will get a detailed induction that provides the key information on how the site will operate to keep yourself and others safe.
Our key control measures are:
- Ensure that no one comes to college if they, or someone in their household has COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive in the last 10 days;
- Everyone will wear a face covering outside of their office or learning space (unless you're exempt);
- Everyone must clean their hands thoroughly and more often than usual, including on arrival, when they change rooms and before and after eating;
- Ensure good hygiene by following the ‘catch it, kill it, bin it’ approach; and
- Follow an enhanced cleaning schedule for all buildings.
These first five control measures must be adhered to by everyone all of the time and we need your support and cooperation to make sure this happens.
6. Minimise the number of contacts and maintain social distance;
The overarching principle we are applying is reducing the number of contacts between individuals. This is achieved through keeping your group separate from others (in ‘bubbles’) and through maintaining social distance between people. This means you cannot wander around the college and meet up with friends in different groups. You will be told which café you can use, our libraries will be click and collect and open access PCs will need to be booked.
The balance between minimising contacts and social distancing will change depending on the age and level of your group, the layout of the site and buildings you use, and the feasibility of keeping distinct groups separate while offering the required curriculum.
Both the approaches of separating groups and maintaining distance are not ‘all or nothing’ options and will still bring benefits even if they can only be implemented partially in some situations.
7. Where necessary, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE);
PPE is routinely worn in some of our workshops and laboratories and this won’t change. In some areas, PPE is specified in the COVID Secure guidance for the sector, for example, hairdressing courses need to follow the same guidance as salons do when doing practical work and your teacher will explain this in detail to you.
We also expect you to take personal responsibility for your own safety, and for how you act both on campus and outside. For example, our rules are clear on social distancing in the college coffee shops, but you need to abide by these same rules for keeping safe if you’re grabbing a coffee on the way home.
Things will continue to change as this term gets underway and as guidance is updated, you will be told of the changes by staff and in the regular emails you will receive from us.
As a College student you can get exclusive student discounts on travel. For more details look on our website and contact our travel adviser if you have any queries. For COVID safe travel guidance please see the government advice page.
If you’re coming to college from year 11, you’ll notice some differences from studying at school. You’ll have more freedom than you had and in return we expect more responsibility from you especially in keeping yourself, your fellow students and your teachers and other staff safe. Our Ways of Working are very important to us and remind us about how we should treat each other, and you’ll find out about them as part of your induction.
We have very high expectations of and for you. We will be doing everything we can to ensure that the coming academic year is an enjoyable and successful one for you. We are not your destination, we are committed to helping you succeed and progress beyond College into further study, apprenticeships or work.
Nothing is more important to us than your learning and progress, our mission statement is challenging minds, inspiring success, securing futures and whilst the 2020/21 academic year may feel different to previous ones, we will help you make the most of every opportunity over the weeks and months to come.
I look forward to seeing you at College over the coming weeks and do please let us know if you have any questions.
Corrienne Peasgood OBE
CEO and Principal
City College Norwich, Paston College and Easton College