School Leavers
| Categories: Coronavirus news, News, announcements and key updates, Students

Q&A: How is City of Bristol College preparing to reopen?

With many students looking nervously towards September with a mixture of excitement and uncertainty, we would like to take the opportunity to share the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions.

1. How is the college getting ready for reopening of its centres?

Following the Government’s guidelines for the management of the spread of COVID-19, we have been getting ready to open our doors again in September. We are:

  • Adapting classrooms and workshops to ensure they comply with social distancing.
  • Modifying key social and support areas by fitting protective screens to reception areas, and creating one way systems around each campus.
  • Introducing new intensive cleaning regimes and providing hand sanitisation.
  • Modifying timetables to spread out footfall on college campuses.
  • Further developing online learning for students who need to shield or self-isolate at any point during their studies.
  • Accessing the COVID-19 testing programme for staff.
  • Working in collaboration with Bristol City Council and First Bus to ensure the city’s transport systems are safe and accessible.

2. How are you modifying learning spaces in light of social distancing guidelines?

We have already modified the learning space at our South Bristol Skills Academy for some of our higher-needs students who have been coming into college three times a week.

Hand sanitiser stations are being set-up in all centres and all staff and students will receive clear guidance on social distancing rules with markers on the floors. There is also talks around implementing a one-way system around campuses.

3. How will you ensure that the college is a safe place for me to learn?

We will be looking at reducing class sizes, implementing social distancing measures and evaluate the health and safety procedures we have already in place and adapting these as per Government guidelines.

The safety of our staff and students is paramount and we will be doing whatever we can to maintain this.

4. What does teaching look like at the moment? What platforms are being used?

Teaching during the lockdown has been conducted online, mainly through Microsoft Teams but also through Zoom and other platforms – which differs on a class-by-class basis.

We have been trying to think of interesting and innovative ways of engaging our students at home with effective practical tasks, competitions and more.

We still set work which we expect to be completed by the given deadlines and we still encourage students to study when and where possible.

5. What will teaching look like next year?

Next year’s delivery of classes will depend on the situation we find ourselves in.

We will aim to deliver a full programme but students may experience even smaller class sizes than we already have.

For students who are still unable to attend college due to being in isolation or caring for family, we will continue to provide an online provision to make sure they are not missing out on their learning.

6. How will you deliver my practical teaching (e.g. construction, hairdressing) if social distancing still applies?

Our workshops, salons, restaurants and kitchens can all be adapted to meet social distancing measures.

If it means we will need to work in shifts or in reduced classes to conduct this practical teaching then this is what we will do as we understand practical elements are a key part of learning for our students.

7. What will enrolment look like?

We are adapting our enrolment process to make as much of it online as possible. We will be contacting students before enrolment to give them the full run-down of the process.

8. What support will there be available whether I am in college or learning from home?

Whether you are learning from home or in the classroom, we will be able to support you on your course.

This will be carried out through virtual classrooms similar to what we are using now but with Microsoft Teams.

Our Student Services team will be available to talk to both on our online chat, over the phone or by email with any financial questions you may have.

Teams such as our Safeguarding and Additional Learning Support will also be able to support you digitally as well as in person on the college campuses.

9. How will I be able to safely travel to college?

We are working in collaboration with Bristol City Council and First Bus to ensure the city’s transport systems are safe and accessible.

You will be able to travel using train and/or bus to attend your lessons. You should follow safety guidelines when doing so.

You can use First’s Journey Planner and check the Bristol, Bath and the West Travel Advice.

If you’re able to walk or cycle to our centres, we encourage you to do so.

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Still have a question? Our friendly Contact Centre team will be happy to help. Please get in touch.