Important Information – Covid-19 – Advice and letters to students, parents and carers updated 29 October
29th October 2020
22nd October 2020
Weymouth College advise that there have been two confirmed cases of Covid-19 within the student body.
The students last attended Weymouth College on Friday 16th and Monday 19th October and in line with Public Health England and DFE advice – other students who have been in close contact with the students via their ‘class bubbles’ have already been contacted and advised to self-isolate for 14 days from the last point of contact.
We are pleased to be able to confirm that the College will continue to support students who need to self-isolate through remote learning. We are in the process of contacting all parents and carers as well as the wider student population.
The College remains open and we are confident that our established systems of control are sufficiently robust in design to limit the spread of the virus in line with government guidelines.
It remains critical that students consistently adhere to covid-safe hygiene practices and continue to stay in class bubbles, avoid mixing of bubbles and maintain a 2 metre distance from other students in classrooms wherever possible unless additional PPE is used.
The safety of you – our students – and our staff is extremely important to us. We have put a range of measures in place to help us all stay safe as we continue through this autumn term.
What we will expect you to do to keep everyone safe when you start on Campus in September
- Maintain social distance
The Government have advised that maintaining a distance between people whilst inside and reducing the amount of time they are in face-to-face to contact lowers the risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). We will ask you to ensure that you maintain the required social distance (2 metres if possible and at least 1 metre) in all corridors and communal areas on campus.
- Ensure you wash your hands
We will ask that you wash your hands more often than usual – on arriving on campus, when changing classroom and after eating for example – and would encourage you to use the hand sanitiser stations situated across campus regularly.
- Follow the ‘one way’ and ‘keep left’ systems in all college buildings
Where possible we have introduced a one-way system across campus. However, some of the building on campus do not easily facilitate this system in corridor areas. For your safety we will also be asking you to adopt a strict ‘keep left’ policy in all high traffic and communal areas across campus.
- Tell us immediately if you – or anyone you have been in contact with – has symptoms of Covid 19
If you think you may be experiencing Covid 19 symptoms you must not attend campus and follow Government and NHS guidelines. If you feel ill whilst on campus we have procedures in place to facilitate returning you home safely.
Update – Thursday 8th October 2020
From Monday 12th October, we are recommending that face coverings be worn by staff, students and visitors in all communal areas of the college – including corridors, canteen areas, and Reception.
What we have done to keep everyone safe on Campus
We will … ensure you are made fully aware of all the procedures we have put in place for your safety at induction. You will be encouraged to ask any questions you may have.
Across campus we will:
Create specific course ‘bubbles’ within our individual school cohorts. The concept and practicalities of ‘School Bubbles’ will be fully explained at induction. During breaks and lunch you will be required to remain within your full-time teaching group bubble.
Introduce a ‘keep left’ and – where possible – a ‘one way’ system in all our college buildings.
Ensure a 2 metre line is marked in all teaching areas to help staff and students maintain a 2 metre distance.
Make sure furniture has been arranged wherever possible to avoid face-to-face situations.
Make hand sanitiser available near all classrooms and workshops.
Actively encourage good respiratory hygiene and continue to support the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
Enhance cleaning of all frequently touched surfaces such as door handles across campus.
Stagger lunches and breaks to reduce overcrowding at specific crunch points across campus. You will be encouraged to bring refreshments with you although a limited food service will be available in the College Refectory and at our Café outlets.
Ask all students and staff to ideally maintain a 2 metre distance from each other. We will ask that face-to-face contact is avoided and time spent closer than 1 metre must be minimised.
Ensure that all students have access to our Virtual Learning Environment to support their study programme.
Introduce an online booking system for Pcs and Laptops in both the Library and Learning Gateway – all PCs and laptops will be cleaned between bookings.
Operate an online Reservation and Click and Collect service for all library books. Students will be able to access the campus Library although numbers will be limited and students will be asked to sanitise hands before and after browsing books and magazines.
Click here for our Covid 19 Risk Assessment
You will find below some frequently asked questions and responses, which may answer any initial questions you may have. We would encourage you, however, to ask questions about anything you are not clear about during your induction.
How many students will be allocated to a class?
There will be a maximum number of students allocated to a classroom; this is dependent upon the physical size of the classroom.
- All our classrooms have been reviewed and unnecessary furniture removed to create free space
- Desk layout has been reviewed so we can seat students side by side and facing forwards, rather than face-to-face or side on
- All teaching rooms will be marked with a 2-metre mark to visually provide staff and students a guide during lessons
- In line with current guidance, staff will maintain a 2 metre separation from students where this is possible and students will be maintained in social bubbles
Lecturers will establish walking routes around the classroom where movement is an essential part of the session.
How often will classrooms and desks be cleaned?
Classrooms will be cleaned on a regular basis, but we will encourage all our staff and students to be extra vigilant and to clean desks before and after the lesson.
Hand sanitiser stations are available in all classrooms and across the college so regular and thorough hand cleaning will be mandatory when you :
- arrive on campus
- return from breaks,
- change rooms
- before and after eating
Will students be able to use the changing facilities in college?
Where possible you will be required to come dressed for the activity you are taking part in. At the end of the lesson or activity you will be reminded to leave quickly and follow social
Will students be able to use the changing facilities in college? Will my lecturer be wearing a mask, and if so will this impact the quality of teaching?
Our lecturers – leading a classroom – will not be wearing a mask when teaching the lesson.
However, a Lecturer may choose to wear a visor in class. Lecturers may – of course – also choose to wear a mask when they are not leading a class.
Will I need my own electronic device for completing work (e.g. a laptop or smart tablet)
All students will be encouraged to bring their own electronic device for completing work (e.g. a laptop or smart tablet) as this will significantly reduce the need to share computers on campus.
We will discuss your access to an electronic device at your enrolment interview and will support all students in accessing a suitable device
Will computer keyboard and screens be cleaned in college?
When a member of staff or a student are using a shared computer they will be asked to clean the keyboard and screen before the lesson, and at the end of the lesson.
Will cleaning materials be provided for students to clean equipment?
Yes, cleaning materials will be provided to clean down equipment at the start and the end of lessons/labs.
How should I keep myself safe when using a photocopier?
You should ensure that you sanitise your hands before and after use of any photocopiers in College. Sanitising stations are available at each photocopying point.
How will I use shared equipment in sessions?
Where possible, staff will look at alternative teaching and assessment methods to avoid the need to share equipment.
Students in certain subject areas will be able to purchase their own kits to use during lessons.
What happens if I fall ill during the day with possible Covid-19 symptoms?
If anyone on the college site becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), they will be sent home (avoiding public transport) and advised to follow guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
If you become ill (with Covid 19 symptoms) you will be placed, if possible, in a room where you can be isolated behind a closed door – with appropriate adult supervision if required – whilst awaiting collection.
Anyone who displays symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) must get a test. We will be asking all students and staff to inform the College immediately of the results of a test – whether positive or negative.