Covid-19

Posted on March 29, 2021 by Kingston Maurward

29th March 2021

Welcome back to our students!

We have been so impressed with how well students have responded to Lateral Flow Testing (LFT) since our return to on-campus teaching and learning on 8 March. Following the government roadmap, and to continue to keep everyone as safe as possible, we have issued home testing kits to all students who have opted in to testing. Students should continue to test themselves twice a week throughout the Easter break ensuring results are uploaded to the NHS portal against the College’s name and the identifier KMCX. Tutors will be able to issue more home testing kits this week should they be needed.

The Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, has written to all young people to thank them for the part they have all played in helping us fight coronavirus. In the letter, the Secretary of State recognises the significant disruption that children and young people have experienced in their education over the past year and the challenges they have faced as a result. The Secretary of State thanks young people for the resilience they have shown and outlines his commitment to supporting them to recover from the pandemic. Read the full letter here.

Teachers have planned an inspiring and challenging term of activity after Easter to ensure all students have the opportunity to develop and learn the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need to be successful this year, and progress positively next year. We now have more clarity of how different qualifications will be awarded this year ensuring that no student is at a disadvantage. The various types of evidence students will need to produce forms a key part of next term and therefore it is imperative that students’ attendance is high, and they fully engage in all tasks.

Enjoy the break, stay safe and please continue to comply with the government guidance relating to Covid-19.

Oliver Symons,

Deputy Principal

 

22nd March 2021

Ofqual consultation on the autumn exam series 2021 for schools and colleges

Ofqual is seeking views on how an autumn exam series for GCSEs, AS and A levels should run this year, in a consultation published on Wednesday 17 March.

They are keen to hear from students, teachers, exam boards and the wider education sector on their proposals, which include:

  • the autumn series being open to any student who entered or who had intended to enter exams this summer
  • holding AS and A level exams in October and GCSE exams in November/early December
  • grades being determined by a student’s exam performance only
  • students being able to use the better of the summer or autumn grade
  • the use of the normal reviews of marking and appeal arrangements

The consultation follows the cancellation of GCSEs, AS and A level exams this summer because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. When the government set out its policy on how grades would be awarded it also confirmed it wanted students to have the opportunity to take exams in the autumn.

The consultation will be open until Friday 9 April 2021.

 

1st March 2021

Covid-19 update

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday (22 February), students will begin returning to on-site learning at Kingston Maurward College from Monday 8 March 2021.

We are looking forward to welcoming students back and, in line with current Government guidance, will be encouraging our students and staff to ensure they continue to maintain the principles of social distancing (hands, face, space)

The two-metre rule should still be observed where possible which means that the college will operate as it did last term with a blended mix of onsite and online learning. Student timetables will therefore be as they were in the Autumn term. Students and staff will be required to wear face coverings (unless exempt for health reasons) in all public areas and in classrooms or workshops, where the two-metre rule cannot be observed.

The bus companies have been informed and transport will resume on March 8th. We are pleased to have been able pass on all savings that we have received from the bus companies for the cost of transport during the period of lockdown. On 8 January we asked those who pay by monthly standing order for their transport to cancel their standing orders for February and March. As we are welcoming students back from 8 March we now ask that you resume your standing order payments from April to secure your place on College transport. If you have paid for the transport in full then please get in touch with the Student Administration Team via shelley.collins@kmc.ac.uk and we will discuss options with you.

The college campus remains closed to students until March 8th and online and remote teaching and learning will continue, although our site will remain open for those students who have been attending and are identified on the Government list as either children of critical workers or vulnerable learners.

Testing 

To reduce the spread of infection as much as possible, the Government is introducing onsite testing, using Lateral Flow Tests, for all staff and students.  The college are working to ensure this is in place for March 8 when students will be invited to be tested in their group ‘bubble’.  These are voluntary, but we do encourage everyone to take part.

All students will be sent an e-mail, to their student e-mail address, with further details and associated Consent Forms to discuss with Parents Guardians.

 

18th January 2021

Consultation launched on exam replacement

Following the cancellation of this year’s summer exams, the Department for Education and Ofqual have launched a consultation seeking views on how to award grades in a way that reflects students’ performance accurately recognising the disruption they have faced this year.

Ofqual and the Department for Education want to hear the views of students who were due to take their exams, their parents and carers, their teachers, school and college leaders and others who have an interest, including further and higher education providers, and employers.

The consultation, which has been published on GOV.UK, will close at 11.45pm on 29 January 2021.

11th January 2021

In light of the government announcement regarding the move to online learning for education settings, we would like to reassure all of our students currently on a course at Kingston Maurward College.

Students will now be aware that they are preparing for a continued period of remote delivery. Teaching will now be online for ALL students until February half-term. Tutors and course managers will have communicated with students regarding ongoing delivery and support. For most of you this will be through the Microsoft Teams platform that you will be familiar with from last term. Your tutors are there to support you if you need further support. The online delivery will be a mixture of live lessons, research tasks and activities for you to carry out individually or with your peers.

Our overriding priority is the health and well-being of our staff and students. We appreciate that this continues to be a very stressful and challenging time for everyone and the College continues to do everything to make the current circumstances as easy as possible. We thank everybody for their ongoing support and patience.

We have taken the decision to stop exams that were planned for January and February and we wait for confirmation from the awarding bodies about how these will be managed in the future
As in the first lockdown, the College will be open for some students with safeguarding needs, vulnerable young people and for some with EHCPs (education care and health plans), where appropriate. We have contacted these students and have made arrangements, where appropriate.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable then please follow the government advice to shield. We know that many of you will feel anxious about studying full-time online, keeping up your practical skills and preparing for future assessments and exams. If you have any concerns, please share them with your course team who will try to answer any questions you may have. They may not have all the answers immediately as some things will need to be determined by the Government and exam awarding bodies, but we will happily share with you all we are able to.

Your safety and well-being continue to be our priority. If you have any questions, or you are concerned about your own, or the health and well-being of your friends, please feel free to talk to the Welfare Team – 121@kmc.ac.uk 01305 215058 or safeguarding on 07500661340 (call or text).

Further external health, well-being and mental health support is also available through the following organisations:

NHS – get support from a mental health charity

CALM

Kooth – mental health support

Domestic Abuse

NHS – health information

Work and financial support

Young Minds

Papyrus – Hopeline UK

MIND – for better mental health

Rethink

Samaritans

In the meantime, please look after yourselves, your family, friends and loved ones – keep each other safe and we all hope to see you very soon. You will always find the very latest information on our main College website and our College Facebook page.

Very best wishes
Oliver Symons
Deputy Principal Learning & Performance

 

8th January 2021

January 2021 – Cancellation Functional Skills, BTEC and other VTQ exams

We recognise that the past week has been exceptionally challenging as we move into another national lockdown. Information and guidance has been changing rapidly and has coincided with the start of a new term. Colleges have effectively been given the option as to whether to go ahead with exams planned for January and February.  We have now heard from all our Exam boards that no learner will be disadvantaged if they are unable to take their exams in January. They are looking at alternative arrangements that could include rescheduling at a later date and/or other forms of assessment.

We have therefore taken the decision to stop all BTEC and other VTQ exams due to take place in
January.

We recognise that this decision has a significant impact for our learners as many wanted the opportunity to take their exams. However, in the current circumstances, we believe this is now the right thing to do in order to keep learners and our staff as safe as possible.

Over the coming weeks we will work with Awarding Organisations to work through the details of how assessments will be replaced or rescheduled with the priority being that no learner will be disadvantaged.
Across the College, some specialist exams and End Point Assessments will continue in line with Government guidance. This includes specialist professional qualifications and essential training. We will communicate directly with these learners and ensure that additional risk assessments are in place.
Please do continue to monitor our website and social media along with communicating with your tutors and course managers. In these difficult times, there will inevitably continue to be changes to our delivery and we are committed to working together to support our learners and customers. Please do ensure that you continue to engage fully with our remote learning.

Oliver Symons
Deputy Principal Learning & Performance

 

5th January 2021

Dear Parents and Students,

Following the announcements of the Prime Minister yesterday, we are now back to the situation we had in the spring and early summer.

Thus:

· We will continue to provide on-site education to vulnerable learners e.g. those with education health care plan (EHCP) or Looked After Children (LAC), and those of key workers where they cannot effectively learn at home. Clearly our age range means that in most cases this is possible but we are still here for you. As before, we will determine who these are over the next week, and will continue to run all buses until next Friday when we will reassess. Tutors need to be aware of who these are, when they are on-site, as must the welfare team under Nicky Porter. Please liaise with your tutor directly if you feel you fall into this category and they will support you.

· Online learning will again become the norm and no other students should come onto the estate. We are expecting this to last until half-term – your tutor is your primary contact, use them! I attended a teachers’ session yesterday led by Ollie Symons the Deputy Principal and know staff are on the case here. To students I say be brave, keep going and do the best you can. You need these qualifications and we will deliver as much as we can as best as we can so you will be able to progress on to the next level in September or into a job. Clearly practical activities cannot happen here just now and we will look at how this can be adapted for the later Spring so you don’t miss out.

· If you do attend College, please only use your classrooms and communal facilities with care. The cleaning team will be doing a sweep and disinfect of all teaching rooms over the next few days and then mark these rooms on the door as sanitised. Do not enter areas marked as such unless with a member of staff.

· Our main mission of ensuring you are safe and well cared for continues, welfare teams are still active, as are tutors, so if you need anything or are worried then there will always be someone here for you.

We will get through this. I lobbied yesterday Dorset Council and local MPs to ensure education staff move up the priority list for vaccination and this is gaining rapid traction with an immediate change to the council’s response to include college staff. We shall see, but it was a positive move from senior figures at the Council and this might enable us to get back to normality quickly.

All the best, stay safe.

Luke

Luke Rake
Principal and Chief Executive

What to do if your young person develops symptoms of COVID 19;

If your young person develops symptoms of COVID-19, you should organise for them to be tested via the NHS online portal or by calling 119. Your household should isolate until you receive the test results giving the all clear.

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:

  • new continuous cough and/or
  • high temperature and/or
  • a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

For most people, coronavirus will be a mild illness.

How to stop COVID-19 spreading

There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19

Do:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you and your family to have the flu vaccination if you are eligible for this, especially if you are in a risk group. You can find out about risk groups and whether you are eligible for a flu vaccine at the NHS Flu vaccine overview.

Further information is available at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Transport update (as of 8th January 2021)

I wanted to give you an update on transport and payments.  We are working closely with the bus companies to ensure we are able to provide transport for all the vulnerable learners and those students of key workers who are not safe at home, as well as maximising the efficiency of the service.

For those of you who pay monthly I would propose that you cancel your standing order for February and March.  If we are able to resume normal college activity towards the end of February or in March then your standing order would need to be started again in April.  If we are unable to have students back in college until after the Easter break in April than your standing order would need to start again in May.

If you are in receipt of a transport bursary and do not pay a monthly fee then please take no further action.

If you have paid for the transport in full then please get in touch with the Student Administration team shelley.collins@kmc.ac.uk and we will discuss options with you.

We thank you for your support and understanding at this time as we continue to focus on providing learning for all students.

Very best wishes

Oliver Symons – Deputy Principal Learning & Performance

Short Courses

To ensure the safety and well-being of our clients and staff, and in light of current Government guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently unable to deliver short courses. We are keeping this decision under constant review and will announce a new programme of exciting courses once we are in a position to do so.

Open Days

Students wishing to start at the College in September 2021 can apply online, and for guidance on our updated processes for interviews and applications please click here for details. Open Days in the new academic year will be delivered virtually until further notice; please see the website for more details.

Animal Park & Gardens
Due to the onset of poor weather, and continued restrictions on the use of indoor areas such as the café and soft play areas, we have taken the decision to close the Animal Park and Gardens until next Spring. If government guidelines relax regarding indoor mixing, we may reopen earlier but at this time our target is March 1st 2021. This will also allow us time to improve facilities and your experience next year too.

We would like to thank all our visitors for their custom and support during 2020, and hope to see you again soon.

If you have a season ticket, you may automatically add 12 months to its expiry date so that next year you gain full value. If you would like a refund instead, please contact us directly via marketing@kmc.ac.uk and we will ensure this is done for you to the value of the remaining time on the ticket.

Kingston Maurward Weddings, Events and Equestrian Events
Please note that all events and functions at Kingston Maurward going forward are being reviewed in line with government guidance. If you have any enquiries for Hospitality, please contact hospitality@kmc.ac.uk and for Equine, please contact manor.stables@kmc.ac.uk.

Notice to suppliers regarding COVID-19
Suppliers are requested to send scanned invoices to accounts@kmc.ac.uk.

We thank you all for your continued support – if you have any questions, please contact Marketing@kmc.ac.uk

Please stay safe.

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