COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates

We are regularly keeping you updated on the College’s response to Government advice re: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

 

Friday 3rd April 2020 Update

Information for students, parents and carers on how exams will be graded and awarded in summer 2020.

Dear Students, Parents and Carers,

We know that you will have been waiting to find out more information about exams and we have now received the information and a letter to students from Ofqual – below:

https://www.stmarysblackburn.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Letter_to_students_-_Summer_2020_grading.pdf

Thursday 2nd April 2020 Update

Please see the link below for the College’s updated COVID-19: Additional arrangements for Child Protection and Safeguarding

https://www.stmarysblackburn.ac.uk/download/safeguarding-covid-19-april-2020/

Monday 30th March 2020 Update

Message from the Principal (Interim) to our Students, Parents and Carers, and Staff,

I hope that you and your families are well. I appreciate that it is a challenging time and difficult for us all, so thought it helpful to set out what we as a College are doing to support your learning now and after the Easter holidays.

Our top priorities are the welfare of our staff and students and to continue to deliver good quality learning in the face of adversity.

Following direction from the Government, St. Mary’s College campus is closed and students and staff are being supported to study and work remotely. All staff, learners and parents/carers have been informed of the closure and arrangements to access learning online.

We do not underestimate the immense value that regular contact between staff and students has at this uncertain time to offer reassurance and keep spirits up. This is another reason for my message, so that students can see that learning is planned and continuing, and that we at College are thinking of them.

We acknowledge that this is a particularly crucial yet uncertain time for those who were preparing to take exams. Please know that teaching, review and assessment are continuing and that we are closely monitoring any news on the alternative assessment process. We will of course, update you on this as soon as we know the details. The current information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-cancellation-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2020/coronavirus-covid-19-cancellation-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2020

Below is a guide as to what students can expect from the College over the next month.

Year 12 Students

Year 12 lessons will continue online until Friday 3rd April. They will then stop for two weeks for the Easter break and lessons will recommence on 20th April. Registers are not being taken for these sessions and teachers will of course be flexible and supportive at this time. They are however, being asked to make a note of students who are not engaging and action will be taken to address this.

Year 13 Students

Year 13 lessons will continue online until Friday 3rd April. They will stop for the the two week Easter break and lessons will recommence on Monday 20th April. We want our students to achieve the grades they truly deserve, so our teachers will provide a number of opportunities for their learners to evidence their full potential, which will add to the ability they have shown in previous assessed and non-assessed work.

A small minority of learners often produce a significant amount of work near the end of their studies and achieve higher grades than their previous performance would predict. This would be a great opportunity for those learners to showcase and evidence the progress they can potentially make to their teachers. We haven’t forgotten either, that students will all have been looking forward to celebrating their achievements and will make sure that they get the opportunity to mark the occasion.

BTEC

BTEC students should complete assignments as directed by their teacher.

Though I appreciate that there will be many questions as we work through this together, I do hope, at the very least, that this message has been helpful in answering some of them.

Students should continue to stay in contact with their teachers and direct any questions or concerns through them. I will keep sharing regular updates with you all.

Finally, can I say how proud I am of all of our St. Mary’s students and staff who have pulled together and shown how strong we are as a community. Use this time wisely, and take care of each other.

Best Wishes and please stay safe,

Elissa Best
Principal (Interim)

Wednesday 25th March 2020 Update

Please click below to find a list of useful online and telephone support services

COVID-19 Online and Telephone support services

Monday 23rd March 2020 Update

Dear Students, Parents & Carers,

First of all can I thank you for your continued support at this very challenging time. I am well aware that you will be inundated with information at the moment, so I will keep this brief as I understand that many of you will be feeling especially anxious as you/your son or daughter were due to take exams shortly.

This message is to let you know that we have received further information from the Department for Education regarding the cancellation of GCSE and A level examinations. The exam regulator, Ofqual, is working urgently with the exam boards to set out proposals and agree an approach that is as fair as possible.  You can find further information here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-details-on-exams-and-grades-announced

The current position with calculating final grades for vocational qualifications is still unclear and we are working to get clarity for you.

Please be assured that we are closely monitoring the exam situation and will keep you updated as we learn more.

Best wishes,
Elissa Best
Principal (Interim)

Wednesday 18th March 2020 Update

Information for Students

Dear Students,

You will have seen the latest news and advice from the Government for all schools and colleges to close from home time on Friday 20 March 2020. This means that after College finishes on Friday 20 March and until further notice, you are no longer required to attend classes.

Please be assured that we have put the following in place to allow you to continue your learning at home:

Learning:

  • College buildings will be closed and there will be no access permitted so please remember to take home any important learning materials or personal belongings.
  • Teachers have the email addresses for all students and have agreed virtual learning platforms.
  • You already know that you should use the virtual learning platforms available to support your learning.

Exams:

  • Exams are not taking place in May and June, and we are closely following updates from Ofqual and the awarding bodies. We will communicate with you as soon as we have information to share.

Illness and Safeguarding:

  • Remember to email your teacher if you are unwell or if you have any welfare or safeguarding concerns.

Communications:

  • Your teachers will be in regular contact with you with instructions to direct your learning. It is essential that you check your emails daily.
  • We will continue to keep our College webpages up to date with significant messages relevant to all students and will inform you of plans to resume College when we are advised that it is safe to do so.

We understand that these extraordinary circumstances may make some of you anxious. If you are feeling unwell, then do please seek medical advice via NHS 111 or your GP.

If you are required to self-isolate, it is important to make sure that you find ways of staying in touch with friends and family.

We would like to thank you for your continued support, understanding and flexibility during this difficult period.

Above all else, do please heed Government advice to take care of your well-being and each other whilst you are at home.

Kind regards,

Elissa Best

Principal (Interim)

 

Information for Parents

Dear Parents/Carers,

You will have seen the latest news and advice from the Government for all schools and colleges to close from home time on Friday 20 March 2020 until further notice.

Please be assured that we have put the following in place to allow your son/daughter to continue their learning at home:

Learning:

  • Teachers have the email addresses for all students and have agreed virtual learning platforms.
  • You have already been advised that your son/daughter should use the virtual learning platforms available to support their learning.

Exams:

  • Exams are not taking place in May and June, and we are closely following updates from Ofqual and the awarding bodies. We will communicate with you as soon as we have information to share.

Illness and Safeguarding:

  • Students know to email their teachers if they are unwell or should they have any welfare or safeguarding concerns.

Communications:

  • Teachers will be in regular contact with their students with instructions to direct their learning. It is essential that students check their emails daily.
  • We will continue to keep our College webpages up to date with significant messages relevant to all students and will inform you of plans to resume College when we are advised that it is safe to do so.
  • We will be writing to students separately.

We would like to thank you for your continued support, understanding and flexibility during this difficult period.

Above all else, do please heed Government advice to take care of your well-being and each other whilst you are at home.

Kind regards,

Elissa Best

Principal (Interim)

 

To view previous updates please click here