7 April 2020

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(cc: Parents/Guardians)

Well done to all those of you who have successfully engaged in your bespoke remote learning during such challenging circumstances over the past two weeks.

I have been truly humbled by the response of the staff body at college to adapt their ways of working and delivery of teaching in such a short space of time and equally impressed by how the majority of our students have responded to this.  The tracking data available from our online learning environment (Plumpton On Line) shows a number of courses with a daily student engagement rate of 100% and many more above 90%.

I do appreciate that there have been one or two occasions when the system has struggled to cope with the demand placed on it, but we have acted quickly to resolve this.  I am also aware that a small number of students may have had challenges with gaining access, but through the support of your tutors and our IT staff these have been resolved and in some cases, alternative means of setting you work have been established.

The College is working closely with the awarding bodies of your qualifications so that as far as possible your remaining assessments (both written and practical) can be adapted to be completed remotely.  I can assure you that the work you have completed to date, and those assessments you continue to complete, will all contribute in some way to achieving your qualification. I will keep you updated as soon as we have more information about this for each of our qualifications.

The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) released a statement last week regarding those of you who are sitting GCSE English and maths with us. I have attached the statement made by their Chief Regulator and can confirm that Plumpton will be following the process set out to ensure all those affected are fairly and consistently awarded a grade in accordance with their guidance.

Your decision to study at Plumpton this academic year would have been borne out of a desire or ambition to follow your chosen career path and a recognition that extending your knowledge and skills through your course would be a critical step in achieving that.  This hasn’t changed and neither has our commitment to you in helping you achieve your qualification as part of that journey.  Please do therefore continue to show the same level of commitment to your studies after Easter and work with our dedicated team of staff to access the feedback, guidance and support you might need, either academically or personally, to ensure the year is a success.

One of the greatest contributing factors to achieving success in anything in your life is knowing that you can ask for help at any time and doing so. Your subject tutors, Progress Coach/Personal Tutor, our Learning Support Assistants and Safeguarding and Wellbeing team are all here to do just that, so please do take advantage of it. If you are not engaging with your bespoke learning timetable, or progressing with your assignments in the way we’d expect, we will contact you or your parent/guardians ourselves.

As part of that offer of support, I am delighted that the College has been working with Andrew Wright, an ex-deputy school head, over recent months to provide a number of resources to all students to support their wellbeing.  During this uncertain and challenging time, Andrew will be running a series of webinars for students and parent/guardians on strategies for better wellbeing and understanding how we respond to uncertainty. Further details of the webinars are shown on one of the attached documents and Dates, sign up details and more information will follow straight after the Easter holidays. To access free webinars and advice in the mean-time do follow @ActionPotential on Twitter or https://twitter.com/actionpotential.  They have free webinars each week and share useful advice every day for our mental health and learning.

If you had previously paid for a bus ticket or a residential place which covered the end of last term or next, you should have received an email from our Student Experience Manager, Kitty Tucker, last week to explain that there is a process in place by which you will now be refunded. If you haven’t yet heard, please contact our Student Services team at studentservices@plumpton.ac.uk

Finally, I know many of you will have completed a destination tutorial over the past term and indicated that you wish to progress with your studies here at Plumpton next year.  Our Enquiries, Advice and Guidance (EAG) team will be in contact in the next two to three weeks regarding the details of your offer.  If you haven’t yet completed a destination tutorial your tutor will be in contact to discuss this with you.  If you have any questions about the process please do contact our Enquiries, Advice and Guidance team at enquiries@plumpton.ac.uk who would be happy to answer you queries.

We are confidently planning to start next academic year as usual in September and given events of recent months, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate time to continue your studies with us and allow us all to continue to invest in and develop your academic, practical and personal skills over the coming year. 

I wish you a restful, safe and happy Easter period and please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at jeremy.kerswell@plumpton.ac.uk if you have any queries or concerns.

Yours sincerely

Jeremy Kerswell

Principal 

Categories: COVID-19 Updates

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