Providing Remote Education

As a College our plans for online delivery of education for our students are well developed. In response to the pandemic, we have been delivering part of our courses online from September 2020. This means that our teachers and students are in general confident users of online learning technology. We of course recognise that some learners will be more confident than others, and we also recognise that these times are challenging for students, so please do see below for information on how we will support all learners. 

The explanations below do not include every detail of all our provision, which covers many different areas and subjects, but they do outline the general principles that we’re applying across the College. Your son or daughter’s teacher has supplied them with more specific information for their course. The plans below will be in place from.      11 January 2021 until the Government makes the decision to allow schools and Colleges to fully open again. 

If you have any queries that aren’t answered below or can’t be answered by your child’s teacher, then please do contact us on one of the emails below.  If your child attends Willesden, Wembley or Kings Cross campus, then please email option 1 below. If they attend Paddington or Maida Vale then pleadse email option 2. 

1. College of North West London 
2. City of Westminster College 

At United Colleges Group we may be Physically Distant, but we are Virtually Together

Which students have moved to all classes online? 

All students apart from those who study in the Supported Learning Department have moved to 100% online learning. As well as this the College will continue to be open to students who are vulnerable or have an Education, Health and Care plan or are children of key workers, all of whom can come in to study in our Learning Resource Centres (LRCs). In addition students who need internet access or a quiet place to study can also come into the LRCs – see below. 

Will students be taught broadly the same curriculum as they would if they were in College?

Students will be taught broadly the same curriculum as they would if they were in College; we teach the same curriculum remotely as we do in College wherever possible and appropriate. However, we have needed to make some adaptations in some subjects. For example, in subjects with a practical element such as Hairdressing or Construction, we may have reorganised the order in which we cover certain practical, hands-on elements and will cover these parts of the curriculum later in the year, once class room teaching restarts. Where this is not possible we will work with the exam boards and follow their guidance to make adaptations to our plans so that our students learn the things they need to in order to achieve their qualifications. 

Where learners have needed materials to produce work from home, for example in Art, we have sent packs to home addresses where needed, or students have been able to pick up materials where they wished to from the College in a COVID safe way.

How much actual teaching online will students receive?

We want to make sure that your child’s classes are not disrupted and so students will continue with their existing timetables, which were previously a mixture of online and face to face – so ALL sessions will now be online. Students should receive the same class time as they did before the January lockdown. 

How will my child access any online remote education you are providing?

Our online education is provided via Microsoft TEAMS.  Students were already set up on this system as some of their classes have been delivered via TEAMS since September. For most students therefore, the transition to full online learning should be straightforward. Teachers set up online classes for their groups and students follow the link the teacher sends so that only the class group can access the session, so they are secure. If a student has a problem accessing TEAMS then they should let their teacher know straightaway.  

If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access remote education?

The College is very committed to making sure that students can study online so all students who are 16-19 can pick up a free, brand new, quality laptop provided by the College for the duration of their course. Please make sure they speak to their teacher if they haven’t already done this. Laptops can be picked up from the LRCs. These loan laptops are there and ready to be given to those students who need one.  

If any student needs IT, internet access or a quiet place to study if they don’t have these at home, they can also come into the LRCs.  If needed there will also be a number of dongles to provide home internet access for 16-19 learners. Further information will be provided as soon as possible. Teachers  should have already discussed this with students. If your son/ daughter falls into the above category and this hasn’t already been discussed with the teacher, then please ask your child to let their teacher know urgently. 

How will students be taught remotely?

We will use a variety of online methods to teach your child. Some examples of remote teaching approaches:
live teaching via TEAMS (online lessons) – this is the normal method for teaching timetabled classes
the use of commercially available websites supporting the teaching of specific subjects or areas, including video clips or sequences
The use of worksheets and other teaching material  
For scheduled independent learning -a variety of work including long-term project work and/or internet research activities

Click here to access; Learning from home – online agreement

What are the expectations for my child’s attendance? How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?

We know that attendance in class, whether virtual or face to face, is crucial and so attendance in all online classes/ tutorial is expected. We will continue to take a register for every class and mark any lateness or absence. 

If your son or daughter is ill or cannot attend an online class for a valid reason then please do encourage them to let their teacher know following the normal procedures.  

We are also of course monitoring the handing in of assessments and any expected work. 

If a student’s attendance, assignment completion or engagement in class is of concern then your son or daughters tutor will of course raise this with them and will contact you to inform you of any concerns in the normal way via phone or email.  

If you child has any issues and is, for example, finding the work difficult online then please do encourage them to talk to their teacher ASAP.
Support for all of our students is really important to us. The College has a team of key workers to support students studying/ learning at home who find it difficult to engage and learn on line. 

These staff provide wraparound support to students through this period and beyond. The aim of is to support and encourage all students to: 
Continue to engage in learning activities 
Stay safe on-line   
Have contact and communication with a member of the College staff, to help them feel supported and possibly less isolated. 

How will you assess my child’s work and progress?

Feedback can take many forms and may not always mean extensive written comments for individual students. For example, whole-class feedback or questions marked via digital platforms are also valid and effective methods, amongst many others. We will ask students to produce homework and assignments as we would do normally, which they ‘hand in’ online or via email and these will be marked digitally by teachers and receive feedback. Students will discuss any targets for improvement with their teacher and these will be logged via our student portal ProMonitor. 

Centre Assessed Grades & Results

It is absolutely vital that your child fully participates in their online classes and continues to hand in work and assignments on time. For A levels and GCSEs, the government has said that final grades will be based on teacher assessment by Centre. For other courses, plans for overall assessment for students are to be confirmed, but as it stands, any final grades may mean some kind of teacher final grades based on in-year assignments/ assessment/ work to date and so ongoing full involvement in classes and their work is of key importance for all learners. Teachers will of course let students know final plans for assessment once confirmed and will inform students of their progress through ProMonitor.

How will you continue to support my child who normally receives needs additional support in class or in additional small group or 121 sessions?
Learners on mainstream provision who normally have the support of a Learning Support Assistant (LSA) in class can attend in College sessions where LSAs will be able to support the students’ self-study and online learning.  If the student wishes to access the college environment and study on site then arrangements for staff to support the student will need to be made in advance. Where students normally receive extra small group or individual 121 learning support, they will continue to have these classes/ sessions online as per their normal timetable.