Student Wellbeing

Student Wellbeing

Welcome to the Student Wellbeing Page. Please check our page regularly for updates which we hope you find useful.

 

Wednesday 16th December 2020 Update

The Mandalene Project: Counselling Service for the whole family : 01706 870939
Early Intervention into Psychosis Services:The Mount Accrington : 01254 226390
Mental Health Helpline: 08009154640
NSPCC: 08001111 amail help@nspcc.org.uk
Shout: For support in a crisis, Text SHOUT to 85258
Young Addaction (support for Misuse) 0808 164 0074

Monday 16th November 2020 Update

It is Self-Care Week from Monday 16th November – Sunday 22nd November 2020.

See below a range of resources provided by Blackburn with Darwen NHS, so you can stay safe and take care during the winter months:

Bwd Help Hub

Home care is best

Be prepared with your medicine cabinet

Conjunctivitis information

Blackburn with Darwen Well-being Service

Self care for minor ailments

Sepsis fact sheet

Treat yourself better

When will I feel better

Can the pharmacist help with your symptoms?

 

 

Please see below video from Kooth as part of your tutorial.

For more information on Kooth please click here.

 

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)

Tuesday 17th March 2020 Update

Dear Parent/Guardian

I am sure you will be aware of the latest news from the Government with guidance to respond to the challenge of managing the spread of COVID-19. As a college, we have responded and made the immediate decision to cancel the Year 13 Parents Evening and The Employment Fair on 31 March.

Year 13 parents will be able to find information on their son/daughter’s progress and recent internal assessments via cedar.  These subject reports will be available from the 1st April.

If you are unable to log onto Cedar, please email p.holmes@stmarysblackburn.ac.uk

Thank you for your continued support.

Yours sincerely

Kelly Sharp

Director of Students

 

Dear Parent/Carer,

You will be aware of the latest news from Government with guidance to respond to the challenge of managing the spread of COVID-19. Please be assured that we are monitoring this very closely and following the official advice and guidance from DfE and Public Health England as to what action to take. 

The advice to us all changed quite significantly yesterday as they suggested further precautionary measures to minimise the risk to the most vulnerable. We have responded and made the immediate decision to cancel the Progression Fair tomorrow, and also to cancel the Year 13 Parents Evening and The Employment Fair on 31 March. Further information on Student Reports will follow shortly.

The Government also updated its advice regarding isolation.

If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus, then household members must stay at home and not leave your house for 14 days. In this scenario, can students please call the College absence line as soon as possible. 

Government advice for vulnerable groups is here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

Stay at home guidance is here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

As a College Community, we continue to encourage regular hand washing and have a rigorous cleaning schedule.

We will continue to keep you informed with regular updates as we receive the emerging Government updates.  As always, if you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours sincerely

Elissa Best

(Principal, Interim)

Friday 13th March 2020 Update

Dear Parent/Carer,

We are writing to keep you up to date with the latest advice regarding COVID-19 and to reassure you how we as a College are approaching the challenge presented as pro-actively as we can.

We continue to follow Government advice and guidance as it emerges.

The guidance is clear at present: no school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.

At College, our focus with all staff and students remains centred on hygiene, as this is factually proven to be the most effective way of limiting the spread of germs and the virus. Personal hygiene is the most important way we can contain COVID-19.

We continue to promote healthy hygiene in class, assemblies and tutor time – thank you for your support in ensuring the same good practice at home.

Online learning and resources

In the event of advice for a partial/full closure of College, we will endeavour to give you as much notice as possible. However, it may be necessary to close at short notice. We understand that you and our students will have concerns about disruption to learning.  Teachers have been asked to plan lessons ahead and have learning materials in place on virtual learning platforms. Students have been asked to provide Teachers with their preferred email address.

Trips and work placements

In the best interests of students and having looked at the risks, we have taken the decision to cancel work placements and the trip to the Oxbridge Conference (Monday 16 March).

College Events

The Year 13 Progression Event (Wednesday 18 March) and Employment Fair (Tuesday 31 March) are both still planned to be held unless advised otherwise.

Student absence

Please continue to inform us of your son/daughter’s absence using the usual procedures.

If your son/daughter is self-isolating they should use the virtual learning platforms available to support their learning. We are sure that you will understand that it will not be possible to provide individual work for specific students during this challenging period.

Examinations

We are closely following updates from Ofqual and the awarding bodies in relation to the forthcoming examination period and will communicate with you as soon as we have information to share.

Information

We would like to thank all parents/carers for their continued support, understanding and flexibility during this difficult period. We will continue to update you on our response to the emerging and rapidly changing situation.

As always, if you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours sincerely

Elissa Best

(Principal, Interim)

 

Monday 2nd March 2020 Update

Today (Monday 2nd March 2020) we have launched a new helpline (Department for Education Coronavirus helpline) to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

· No school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless directed to do so by Public Health England.

Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19. Please help us in sharing simple and effective hand hygiene messages.

Public Health England has a dedicated webpage with a range of posters and digital materials at:

https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resources

Sign up is quick, free and means you will be alerted as more resources are made available.

New guidance for employers

The Department for Business (BEIS) and Public Health England have issued guidance for employers, which you can find at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:
https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Guidance for educational settings:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

 

Thursday 26th February 2020 Update

Following the update from the Government (published Wednesday 25 February 2020) providing guidance to Educational Settings on the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), I would like to update you following the half-term break.

Advice for those who have travelled recently:

If you have returned from the following specific areas since Wednesday 19th  February, you should call NHS 111 and stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if you do not have symptoms:

·       Iran

·       Specific lockdown areas in Northern Italy (see link to maps below)

·       Special care zones in South Korea (see link to maps below)

·       Hubei province (returned in the past 14 days – see link to maps below)

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas-with-implications-for-returning-travellers-or-visitors-arriving-in-the-uk

Northern Italy (defined by a line above, and not including, Pisa, Florence and Rimini – see link to maps below)If you have returned from the following areas since 19 February and develop symptoms, however mild, you should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS 111:

·   Vietnam

·   Cambodia

·   Laos

·   Myanmar

If you have a cough, or fever or shortness of breath and have visited any of the following areas in the last 14 days, stay indoors and call NHS 111 informing them of your recent travel:

·   China, apart from Hubei province (see link to maps below)

·   Thailand

·    Japan

·    Republic of Korea, apart from special care zones (see link to maps below)

·    Hong Kong

·    Taiwan

·    Singapore

·    Malaysia

·    Macau

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas-with-implications-for-returning-travellers-or-visitors-arriving-in-the-uk

Public Health England has issued tailored guidance for Educational Settings, which can find at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

We continue to have the welfare of all our college community uppermost in mind.

Your sincerely

Elissa Best

Interim Principal