COVID – 19
The measures for combatting the spread of Coronavirus, and the knock-on effects on schools, colleges and education, is rapidly changing and can be difficult to keep on top of.
On this page, we have compiled below our latest and essential information, information from central government and Oldham Council, to help you quickly find the answers you need.
Student update: 22/01/21
I hope you are keeping well during this period of national lockdown. The weather this week has certainly been an extra challenge and we hope that you and your families haven’t been badly affected.
2021 exam replacement consultation21
You may be aware that following the cancellation of this year’s summer exams, The Department for Education and Ofqual have launched a consultation seeking views on how to award grades in a way that reflects students’ performance accurately, recognising the disruption faced this year. You, as students who were due to sit exams this year, are able to share your views through this consultation, along with your parents and carers. You can complete the consultation for GCSE, AS and A level here, and for vocational qualifications here. Both consultations will close at 11:45pm on 29th January 2021. We will obviously be sending a response from OSFC.
Due to new government guidelines, the arrangements for the payment to bursary students will change from Monday 25th January. If you receive a bursary, you, and your parent/carer, have been emailed separately about these changes.
We are halfway through two assessment weeks for all examined courses/units. Well done for all of the efforts you have put into your revision and your assessments. These assessments will not form part of any final grade. They are an indication of how much you have learnt and understood and help your teachers plan and support you.
Progress Review 3 (PR3)
We will share PR3 results with Y12 and Level 2 students on week commencing 8th February, and after half-term, during week commencing 22nd February, with Y13 students. As always, these reports will also be shared with your parent/carer and will then be able to discuss them at Parents’ Evening. This is part of our usual assessment and monitoring practise giving you an effort grade and also an overall achievement grade at this point on your course.
Our Y12 Parents’ Evening will be held virtually on Thursday 11th February. We shall be using a new platform called School Cloud to do this. More information will be sent to your parent/carer by the end of next week.
Well done to all of you who have submitted your UCAS application. You will be aware that the deadline has now been extended to 29th January.
We know how challenging it can be to be stuck inside and on screen for hours and hours a day. Materials from tutorials focussing on your wellbeing through good and consistent routines are worth watching again. Please take care of yourselves and of course follow all of the lockdown rules.
Student resources posted out
Since last week, we have been posting out booklets to support your remote learning in specific subjects. As you can imagine it has been a huge effort to get these out to you and we hope that they will support your remote learning.
We’ve done three weeks of lockdown now and only have three left till half term. Stay safe, stay positive and keep up the hard work – we are all really proud of you.
This information has also been sent out via email. We will keep you as up to date as possible as we adapt procedures in accordance with government guidance that is constantly changing. Our aim is to teach and support all of you as if you were all in College.
The main question you probably have is how will you be graded this year and unfortunately, right now, we just don’t know any details. Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, confirmed on 6th January that exams will not go ahead this summer, and that the Government will “put its trust in teachers to assess students”. He has also confirmed that, at the moment, they are still working on the plan for this.
This means that your teachers will continue to assess you in a variety of ways and they will use these assessments to award you Progress Grades and effort grades. We will then, in time, use a full range of information, including ongoing assessments, Progress Grades, attendance and effort grades, Coursework Grades, Unit Scores, and any other information the government asks us to use, to award your final grade. What you need to do is attend all of your lessons, actively participate in them, and complete and submit all classwork and coursework by the deadlines. This will ensure that our very experienced teachers, many of whom are examiners and moderators, will be able to assess you as accurately as possible. Everything you do may count towards your final grade. As soon as we know more, we will tell you. I can assure you that we will work closely with Awarding Organisations (Exam Boards), our professional organisations, and other schools and Sixth Form College leaders, to ensure that the process is as fair as possible.
Instead of the internal and external exams/controlled assessments, we will be assessing you in lessons during the month of January. These assessments aren’t replacing mocks or exams. They are an opportunity for teachers to assess your knowledge, understanding and progress so far. Year 12 students will be assessed in lessons in w/c Monday 18th January, while for Year 13 and Level 2 students this will be w/c Monday 25th January. Your teachers will confirm the details of these by Friday 15th January at the latest.
All of your lessons are online during this latest lockdown. You, as students, and we, as a college, are very experienced at on-line remote learning via Google Classroom. You must be prepared for your lessons with all of the right materials, have your camera on, and then fully participate in the lesson. If you are unable to participate in remote lessons, we should have already supported you with a College device. If you haven’t told us that you are unable to access lessons remotely, then please make sure you tell your Progress Tutor this. It is very important that you let them know, so that we can do something about it as quickly as possible. Your Progress Tutors will be seeing you in tutorials and then contacting you individually as necessary.
Covid testing: you will probably be aware of the plans for ‘mass testing’ in relation to Covid for students returning after the Christmas break. Whilst this approach is not taking place for all students at present, given the lockdown, we are in the process of setting up testing for students who attend on site and weekly testing for staff. We will provide you with further details in due course. During the period of lockdown, while you are not attending on site, you do not need to inform us if you test positive for Covid, as there will be no on-site contact tracing required. Any students who are attending on site MUST still let us know, and not attend if they have symptoms or a positive test. NHS Test and Trace will follow up any other contacts with anyone testing positive. If you are unwell and test positive, please take good care of yourself and make sure you let your Progress Tutor know.
Updates from OSFC: your subject and tutorial Google Classroom streams are the key ways to make sure you are absolutely up to date with information. Make sure you have notifications turned on in the Classroom app. We will send all student emails when we need to update you with any changes, so please make sure that you check your emails regularly.
UCAS and Careers: as all Year 13 students should know, UCAS have extended their deadline for applications to 29th January at 6pm. Please make sure that you get your applications to your Progress Tutors as soon as possible. We will do our best to process any applications that we receive now, but, as you know, this is well past the College internal deadline in November. Even though we have moved to remote learning, you can still access the careers team by email or phone during normal College hours. Kevin Reece, email@example.com, 07392 781034 or Janet Murphy, firstname.lastname@example.org, 07392 763536. We are also offering one to one careers meetings via Google Meet. To book an online careers meeting, please email a couple of days/times when you are free and we will reply with an appointment time and a Google Meet link.
Finally, please remember that you must continue to follow all of the lockdown rules. These are required by law and you risk a substantial fine if you do not. Most importantly, you must follow them for your own and your families’ protection, and in order to ensure that the number of cases will go down and schools and colleges will be able to open again!
If you have not been receiving emails and texts from us, please email us at email@example.com or telephone us on 0161 287 8000 to update your details.
Bursary support during COVID
Bursary remains open for new applications all year. The process is fully online and all the information needed about applications and eligibility is available at www.osfc.ac.uk/support/bursary
The half termly bursary payment is largely unaffected by COVID, though is still contingent on satisfactory attendance so students as always need to ensure they attend all classes virtually.
Eligible bursary students are entitled to Free College Meals. During the lockdown, a payment of £16 will be made directly into students bank accounts on the Monday of each week.