19 March 2020
"Further to the government’s announcement on 18/03/2020, asking that all schools and colleges close on Friday (20/03/2020), I can confirm that the decision has been made to cease all face to face delivery with students as of 5pm this Friday afternoon. This refers to all provision at all centres.
We do remain hugely committed to our students’ continued education and I’m pleased to announce that the College has invested considerably in its online learning resources in recent years so that our teaching staff are well positioned to be able to provide a rich and diverse remote learning experience to them all. We are committed to maintain our pastoral support to students at this time. Over the last two weeks, the College has ensured that all online learning materials and our virtual learning environment (Plumpton Online - POL) are fit for purpose and ready to support our remote delivery to students, which will commence on Wednesday 25th March.
In the meantime, we will be continuing to teach all those students who come into college on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th March as per their normal timetable, as well as conducting 1:1 tutorials to ensure they are clear regarding their current assessment position and that they agree clear targets for the coming weeks. Please can all students remove all personal possessions from classrooms and lockers where possible to help facilitate deep cleaning arrangements.
Between now and Wednesday 25th March, all teaching teams will produce bespoke remote learning timetables for every course, which clearly set out the days (mirroring those on students’ normal timetable) and subjects that our students can expect to access. These timetables will also include designated time for feedback from staff and for further 1:1 sessions, as well as discreet English and maths where relevant, and ways to access continued learning support from our specialist teams.
There is no longer a requirement for students to continue to undertake work experience as part of their programme of study at college.
For apprentices, who may still continue to be in the workplace at the discretion of their employers, these same bespoke remote timetables will be in place for the days in which they are normally at college, and regular reviews with staff will also continue to be undertaken, albeit remotely.
All bespoke remote learning timetables will be uploaded onto the students’ specific course pages on Plumpton Online by the end of Tuesday 24th March. Please ensure you have all accessed these.
These timetables will operate in the first instance from Wed 25th March until the end of the spring term on Friday 3rd April, resuming at the start of the summer term on 20th April until further notice.
Our expectation is that every student will engage on a daily basis according to their bespoke remote learning timetable, as well as continuing their assignment work. As always, our three way partnership is as important as ever in ensuring this is as successful and productive for our students as possible and therefore I would ask for the support of all parents and guardians of students aged under 18 and those have a EHCP, in ensuring that your sons/daughters engage with these activities, which we will be monitoring on a daily basis. Naturally, our student attendance in college has reduced in the past two weeks, but I hope that now these arrangements will be in place, all students will engage in their continued learning experience.
We are aware of a number of students who for various reasons cannot access online materials and will be posting out hard copies of resources and activities as an alternative. Please let your tutor know if you need to access materials in this way.
The College will remain open throughout this time so should you have any queries, I would ask that you direct these in the first instance to our main switchboard during office hours (01273 890454). Our tutors and teaching staff will be available online, so again, please feel free to liaise with them directly regarding specific course related matters, but I would ask that you exercise patience in awaiting a response. I will also be available throughout this time and would be happy to respond to any queries or questions you might have. We will create a frequently asked questions page on our website to help negate any difficulties in reaching a member of staff.
Our residential facility will be closing on Sunday 22nd March. If you have any specific queries regarding this, please contact our Student Services team directly on 01273 892 085.
We continue to seek clarity on how we might support the ongoing provision for vulnerable students and the children of key workers. As we refine our position on this we will update you accordingly via our website. In the meantime, I can assure you that we will continue to liaise closely with government officials regarding longer term plans as well as awarding bodies in relation to examination arrangements, for which I know unfortunately a number of students could be affected. I will continue to keep you updated with progress in all matters, and wish you all the very best during these challenging times."
Since the original 400-acre College farm was bought back in 1919, Plumpton College has certainly seen a lot of changes.