28 August 2020

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Dear Student (cc Parent/Guardian)

I hope you have had a good summer and are looking forward to joining us soon.

I am delighted to be able to welcome you to Plumpton College. These last few months have been a very different and at times, challenging period for all of us.  We are excited to welcome students back into Plumpton and are confident that the measures we have put in place will enable you to be safe and have an enjoyable and effective learning experience.

Well done to you all for navigating through our online enrolment process and thank you for your patience in doing so. I am pleased to confirm that the majority of you have now successfully enrolled.

There is no doubt that all of the changes in the release and re-release of student qualification grades for GCSEs and vocational courses did affect the timeliness of this process, and therefore I have made a slight adjustment to the previous information provided to you regarding timetables.

Induction Week

As always planned, the week commencing 7th September will mark the start of the academic year for you all and your teaching teams have planned a very informative and enjoyable induction experience for you to have in college that week. This will include the opportunity for you to meet your classmates and your teachers, to find out more about your studies and lessons, and have an induction to our online learning platform, Microsoft Teams.  Critically, it will also provide you all with an induction into staying safe at college and our expectations of you contributing to this, as well as what you can expect from us.  We have been following the Government guidelines and continue to do so in determining this, and I will keep you updated regularly throughout the year should there be any changes.

Your bespoke induction timetable will for most of you, be two full days in college, and attached to this email are the specific details regarding your induction days.  Throughout the induction week, college transport will run on all planned routes as advertised and there will be no need for you to book or pay for travel this week.

Your Timetable & College Travel

The days of the week for your normal weekly timetable will be sent out to you on Wednesday 2nd September and clearly set out your college days and your virtual learning day. This is the schedule you will follow throughout the year starting in the week commencing 14th September and will enable you plenty of time to book bus tickets between Wednesday 2nd September and Saturday 5th September. 

Your timetable setting out specific lessons on these days will be given to you during your induction. 

As I have said throughout recent months, our main priority in bringing students back into Plumpton is to ensure your safety and that your learning experience is as rich, valuable and enjoyable as possible.  Your timetabled days in college will focus on your practical lessons, to enable you to develop the necessary skills required for your qualification and your progression into employment. Your college days will also include some theory lessons as well as time with your Personal Tutor or Progress Coach and our Additional Learning Support teams where necessary. Your theory lessons will also be taught on your timetabled virtual learning day(s) and you will be given an induction to how these will work during your induction week.

Towards the end of last academic year, the College volunteered to be part of a national Ofsted review, looking at the effectiveness of online learning across the country, including at Plumpton, since lockdown.  We have learnt a lot as a result of that and invested in Microsoft Teams as a new online learning platform. This will mean that when you are in the virtual lessons on your timetable, these will be taught live and therefore be an interactive and engaging learning experience, and one you will be required to attend in the same way as you would a physical classroom lesson in college.

Your Safety

Whether you are a new or returning student, there are a number of changes that we have made to parts of the College campus as we seek to maximize your safety at all times.  These include the introduction of one-way systems, social distancing measures in communal areas and classrooms, enhanced hygiene measures and a clear policy on the wearing of facemasks at certain times or in certain areas. Read the full details here, and I would ask that you ensure you familiarise yourselves with them. It is our expectation that these are adhered to from your very first induction day here and we will of course take the time to further explain and show you these in person during your induction days.

Residential Students

If you are one of our residential students, we are still very much looking forward to seeing you on Saturday 5th or Sunday 6th September.  In keeping with all our students, you will enjoy your induction days here in college with your classmates and we will be putting some additional enrichment and guided learning activities on for you throughout the rest of that week.

Living at Plumpton will remain a vibrant and busy experience.  If you would like to join us this year in residency, you can find out more and apply through our website:

https://www.plumpton.ac.uk/student-info/college-accommodation/

Plumpton is an exciting, enriching and mature environment in which to study and in which our students in each of the past three years have been amongst the most successful to have ever studied here.  I have every confidence that your experience in the next nine months will enable you to succeed, be your best and enjoy yourselves as much as possible.

Our induction programme will give you the very best possible start and I encourage you all to access the materials shared via the link on the email that will be sent to you when your enrolment is confirmed.  If you haven’t yet completed your enrolment, would like some support in doing so or have any enquiries please contact our Enquires, Advice and Guidance Team who will be happy to help on 01273 890454 or enquires@plumpton.ac.uk.   

We all really look forward to seeing you in the week of 7th September.

Yours sincerely

Jeremy Kerswell

Principal

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