FAQs During Covid-19 Closure

This webpage will keep all stakeholders updated about our approach, support, expectations and responses to the changing circumstances under which we operate during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Expand the boxes below to find answers to many of the questions that this period has posed. 

For all our archived communication to stakeholders pre-Easter 2020 please use this link: BHASVIC and Coronavirus updates. The information contained in those updates has been re-organised into the sections below which we continue to update.

Please continue to scroll down to see the FAQ sections below

Monday 18th May 2020
Phased Re-opening Update

Dear Student and Parent/Carer,

On Monday 11th May the Government set out plans for colleges to provide some face to face support from 1st June to supplement remote learning for year 12s. On Thursday 14th May this guidance was updated with supplementary information. The guidance is clear that this will not be a return to full timetables and that colleges should limit the attendance of the year 12 cohort at any one time, to keep students in small groups and ensure the use of public transport is minimised, especially during peak times. The government’s advice to parents and carers is available to read in full via the link.

With over 1,500 year 12 students studying any combination of over 40 subjects, coming mainly on public transport from far and wide, this presents a very challenging set of guidelines for us to navigate. We have three overriding principles guiding our decision making right now:

  1. We will always prioritise the health and safety of our staff, students and families
  2. We will work to our own timelines
  3. We will work together to make the best decisions

With these in mind, we are not in a position to be able to open to students on 1st June. We have decided on a phased approach to re-opening, in line with the three principles above and within our capacity to risk assess, make informed decisions and prepare the site accordingly. If we rush back too soon we appear reckless, but if we agonise over every detail then we enter into a state of paralysis. We will do our best to navigate this spectrum sensibly.
There will never be zero risk and it is our job to minimise the risk as much as we can, utilising advice from government, independent scientists, representative bodies and the unions, as well as relying on robust individual, departmental and college-wide risk assessments to make returning as safe as is possible.

Therefore, we propose the following phased approach to re-opening: 

Phase

Date

Onsite activity

Phase 1

25/05/20 to 08/06/20

Small number of staff who can work in their own office. Site prepared for the return of students.

Phase 2

08/06/20 to 22/06/20

Small number of targeted, high-priority students with volunteer staff overseeing; More staff able to work onsite

Phase 3

22/06/20 to 10/07/20

Ready for any potential ‘face to face’ provision targeting c10% of our cohort

Phase 4

13/08/20

Larger scale re-opening for end of August to be defined by parameters of full college risk assessment, capacity inventory and site preparation.

 

There are options as to how we might approach phase 3. It is likely to involve targeting certain students individually or in small groups, for example, the 10% not engaged with remote learning, those in practical subjects, those who may have special educational needs or be experiencing learning difficulties, those with A1-A2 transfer issues, those whose future at college next year is uncertain, to allow us to support these students while social distancing can be maintained.
 
It is therefore likely that the vast majority of students will not receive face to face support onsite before the summer holidays. There has to be a clear rationale for inviting students in for any face to face contact and we need to ensure it is a worthwhile experience that surpasses any remote delivery. At this stage, such face to face delivery can only occur once we know our staffing capacity and student demand and we need time to plan this further.
 
We are viewing phase 3 as an opportunity to learn, respond to feedback and evaluate our processes before the next stage of opening-up even further, where blended learning and social distancing are likely to play a significant part in the next academic year.
 
I know that many of you will be extremely keen to come back to college as soon as possible; some will have no anxieties over this, while others will be very anxious about coming back and will want to do so cautiously. We are here to support you all. We will publish our risk assessment for safe re-opening in due course and will be in touch with those students who we do want to see before the summer over the next few weeks. We will keep all of you updated as and when we have new information to share.
 
In the meantime, I know the vast majority of you have been engaging brilliantly with remote learning – please keep this up.
 
With very best wishes,
 
William Baldwin - Principal

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Update for all stakeholders: 12th May

Following the Prime Ministers speech on Sunday 10th May, the Department for Education published updated guidance to colleges on Monday 11th May. The Guidance states that from the week commencing 1 June, we are asking:

  • Secondary schools, sixth form, and further education colleges to begin some face to face support with year 10 and 12 pupils;
  • This will not be a return to normal timetable or pupils back in school or college full time, rather some support to supplement pupils’ remote education. In line with implementing protective measures and reducing contacts, schools and colleges should limit the attendance of the year 10 and 12 cohort in the setting at any one time and to keep students in small groups;
  • Schools should use best endeavours to support pupils attending school as well as those remaining at home.

The opening of educational establishments will only be done if the infection rate is low enough to allow for this.

There is a lot of detailed guidance and advice for us to process and the logistics of re-opening are complicated. We are formulating plans to get the site re-opened for business critical staff in the first instance, in consultation with staff and Unions. 

We continue to plan and risk manage our strategies, which will take a further period of time before we can implement any face to face support for students. As soon as we are able, we will provide further information about how and when this will be done – we must ensure everyone’s safety as the first priority to opening. We continue to be in contact with our most vulnerable students and are also prioritising the extension of our provision for them.

DfE Advice to Parents and Carer: The Government has published advice to parents and carers and the full document can be viewed here.

Please be aware that the guidance released yesterday is the first document in a suite of further guidance and documents coming from government to us in how to open up again safely. We particularly await information about travel advice and arrangements.

We hope you are all managing in these very strange and challenging times and wish you well from all the staff and community at BHASVIC.

Will Baldwin,

Principal

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Update 5th May - UCAS

All applicants should have received a letter from UCAS and the Universities’ minister on behalf of the government
 
Student Finance – deadline still 22nd May. Please register if you have not done so and intend to begin university in September.
 
IMPORTANT: If your household income has dropped by more than 15% due to COVID-19 see info here
 
Clearing Plus – there will be a change to the clearing process this year that will allow you to change your mind on results day - an excellent explanation is provided here. It is described as a new service which matches students to universities or other opportunities based on their achievements and course interests. If students’ calculated grades exceed their predicted ones, it can suggest alternative courses with higher entry requirements.
 
University places - more places are available for UK students, many ring fenced for essential jobs in the public sector, including nursing and midwifery. There will be a cap on student numbers to ensure a fair spread across universities.
 
Accommodation – universities are working hard to ensure this is a smooth process in September.
 
NOTHING will have changed if you accepted an offer.
 
Please keep an eye on your emails and UCAS updates. BHASVIC provides a helpdesk on results day – see BHASVIC COVID-19 page for updates.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BHASVIC Friday Update 24-04-20

Dear students, parents and carers,
 
As we enter the weekend, I wanted to let you know about an important change to our BHASVIC COVID-19 webpage and updates. We have overhauled our web communications to make it easier for you to find information you may need during this period. From the top navigation options on our main website, we now have a new COVID-19 link (on the black website banner or from the hamburger menu on a mobile). Here you now have all our archived update communications since we entered lockdown. Importantly, we have reformatted all our content into a Frequently Asked Questions structure, with sections on Remote Learning, Grade Awarding, Exams and Leavers Info, Student Guidance, Admissions, Trips, etc. I hope you find it a more useful resource to refer to. We will continue to add to it and update it so please do continue to refer to it.
 
If we have very significant changes we will email you to draw your attention to them.
 
Will Baldwin,
Principal
 
First Year students engaging with learning
We know there are a wide range of reasons why some first year students may not be engaging in their learning – these are difficult times. We are also very aware that the routines of attending classroom lessons and following a timetable have been removed or fragmented. However, it is very important to say that all of our first year (A1) students must follow learning activity that is being set by their teachers and if they are experiencing any difficulties to let their teacher know.
 
Ramadan
Ramadan began yesterday and we know it will be a very different sort of Ramadan for members of our Muslim community as Mosques are closed and gatherings are not permitted, but for those celebrating, we would like to wish you and your families all the very best for this important month. We recognise and understand that the marking of Ramadan may also mean changes in routine and create more challenges with home working. Our teachers will be mindful of this. Please do contact us if we can support in any way. Ramadan Mubarak and Ramadan Kareem. 
 
BHASVIC Senior Management Team

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BHASVIC and Coronavirus: 20/04/2020 - 6.30pm

We would like to welcome back all our students, after the Easter break. The following update covers these key themes:

  • Teaching and learning
  • Final grade awarding, including BTEC and ex-student re-sits
  • Summer Results Days

Return to term-time, teaching and learning

Second-year students: For many of our second-year students, courses have now been completed. Please do make sure you stay in touch and continue to look out for Teams messages and emails to your BHASVIC account. We may need to contact you suddenly and for you to respond, so please keep alerts on your phones for any messages and communication from staff at BHASVIC. Of course, if your teachers still have activities for you to do, whether that is work submission or administration, make sure you are very aware of these and communicate directly with your teachers over any questions or problems you may experience.

We have said before and say again here at the beginning of this most unusual of summer terms – we still want to say goodbye to you all and we want to celebrate your achievements and time at BHASVIC – watch this space for how we can achieve this.

First-year students and ESOL: teaching will have recommenced today and we have a clear run of learning through this Half Term, leading up to the Half Term holiday. Over the next five weeks (and probably beyond) remote learning will be a key feature of your college experience. Teachers, course teams and curriculum departments have been adapting as swiftly as possible to remote teaching and learning. There is, inevitably, some variability of method, delivery and experience due to individual and personal circumstances.

Please be patient whilst all our staff are adjusting to this situation. If any student has any concerns about their progress or access to learning, we encourage you to contact teachers directly, as they would want to know and would want to provide support to you.

We hope and expect our provision to continue to evolve and develop as we move ahead into this half term, with increasing amounts of activity involving direct contact between teachers and students. However, returning to a fully live, lesson by lesson timetable is just not realistic in every case, so please understand there will be differences across our curriculum delivery,

 

Final grade awarding this summer

The college is swiftly developing its methodology and systems for submitting Centre Assessment Grades to exam boards, along with a rank order of students. The fundamental principles we will be applying here will:

  • be in accordance with the instructions and demands of Ofqual and the exam boards
  • enable us to match the exceptional outcomes BHASVIC students achieve year-on-year, so that this year’s cohort is not disadvantaged and the grades we submit reflect the results and value-added outcomes BHASVIC is known for.
  • be evidence-based, using our assessment knowledge of each student’s progress on each of their courses, whilst also taking account of how they would have performed under ordinary circumstances from all that we already know (including personal circumstances and additional learning needs).

Please, if you hadn’t yet had a chance, read in the update before Easter (below) Ofqual’s statements and letter to students.

 

BTECs and Criminology grading this summer

This announcement is for A2 students and those A1 students who are also expecting a grade this summer. 

Before the Easter Holidays, Ofqual had not yet announced how students studying these courses would be graded this summer. They have since published this information (though we are still awaiting finer details, as we are for A levels), and these are the main points:

  • As with A levels, the college will be submitting a Centre Assessment Grade to the exam board, which will then provide you with a Final Grade, probably on Thursday 13 August.
  • Please finish any final work which your teacher is asking for.  Communicate with your teacher if you are unclear about what is expected or if you are having difficulties completing it.
  • We do not yet know about the availability of post-results re-sits or whether appeals will be possible, but we will let you know when this information becomes available.

 

Results Days

The DfE has recently confirmed this summer’s results days. All final grades will be released to students centrally, across the country, and schools and colleges have been instructed categorically to not reveal any Centre Assessment Grades or exam board submissions to students. The Results Day dates have not changed and these are:

  • A Levels, AS levels, EPQ and BTECs – Thursday 13th August
  • GCSEs – Thursday 20th August

 We aim to have results available online to students, as per usual, and have an open site with support available for university applications and exam office services (depending on national policy at the time).

 

Ex-students and re-sit exams – grade awarding

BHASVIC is aware that the cancellation of the summer exam series has caused significant uncertainty for private, external and re-sitting students. Although Ofqual have only partially released information about this matter, the college is aware that these students need some clarity as soon as is possible.

BHASVIC has written an FAQ document which outlines how the college will manage all external exam candidates. Please read this document carefully, if this applies to you.

Advice for Second Year (A2) Students

Any subject where the specification content has yet to be completed will continue with timetabled online lesson delivery, in whatever way you have been working so far. Some teachers in other subjects may also need a lesson or two to complete their teaching, so please look out for messages from your subject teachers to alert you to this. If your teachers still have activities for you to do, whether that is work submission or administration, make sure you are very aware of these and communicate directly with your teachers over any questions or problems you may experience.


Do I need to prepare for Autumn exams?

Any subject where the specification has been completed will make revision resources available for all A2 students as usual. We strongly recommend that if there is any chance that you may sit the exam for a particular subject in the Autumn, you should engage with revision materials. 

 

Should I continue to work even though my courses are complete?

If you want to! We’d love as many A2s as possible to keep their minds active and keep engaging with their course material as if preparing for actual exams. If you are heading to university in the Autumn, then working through course content, revision techniques and skills will be hugely beneficial. Keeping some routine and structure is good for mental health too – so, believe it or not, revision could be good for you!

 

As a Second Year (A2) student, how will you now communicate with me?

Please look out for messages via email, Teams and on the website. We still have to work out a leaver’s process and a way of saying goodbye and we are looking to dovetail this with Results Day (Thursday August 13th). More details on this to follow. Your tutor will also be in contact as we need to confirm what your progression plans are for next year.

 

Advice for First Year (A1) and ESOL Students

We ask you to continue to access and complete the work organised for you by your teachers othrough the Summer Term, using whichever IT system your teachers and subjects are working with. Teachers are designing and setting tasks with the objective of ensuring that you continue to move through the material you need to cover on your course. 
 

 
When should I be online and available?

Please try to work to your normal college timetable at home wherever possible, whether engaged in ‘live’ learning or completing work offline. We appreciate this may be difficult if there is a limited amount of IT equipment in the house for household members to share, if you are caring for other household members or are yourself unwell. In those circumstances, do what you can, when you can. Please make sure you keep communication open between you and your teacher, especially if your circumstances mean that you cannot do work set or attend any online lesson activity.

 

How will my teachers be engaging with me?

Teachers, course teams and curriculum departments have been adapting as swiftly as possible to remote teaching and learning. There is, inevitably, some variability of method, delivery and experience due to individual and personal circumstances.

Please be patient whilst all our staff are adjusting to this situation. If any student has any concerns about their progress or access to learning, we encourage you to contact teachers directly, as they would want to know and would want to provide support to you.

We hope and expect our provision to continue to evolve and develop as we move ahead into the summer term, with increasing amounts of activity involving direct contact between teachers and students. However, returning to a fully live, lesson by lesson timetable is just not realistic in most cases, so please understand there will be differences across our curriculum delivery.

 

Can I engage with learning in a different way if I can’t get online at the right time?

Yes. The key thing is that you access the material and keep making progress through your courses. Where teachers are delivering ‘live’ lessons, they are also typically recording and saving them within Microsoft Team channels, for you to review.

Learning is a social process and it is good to talk and keep connected, so try to engage with all that’s happening online. If you would like to do this but it isn’t currently possible for you, let your teacher know as they may be able to help.

 

What learning expectations are there for me?

We would like you to access and complete the work asked of you, using whichever IT system that your teachers and subjects are working with. Teachers are designing and setting tasks with the objective of ensuring that you continue to move through the material you need to cover on your course so that you are successfully.

 

I’m not able to access IT equipment and/or I have connectivity problems at home – what should I do?

Focus on what is possible and be proactive. If IT problems for you or your teacher are preventing the intended method of learning from working for a period of time, then make use of static resources, past exam questions and mark schemes, YouTube videos - these are signposted on BHASVLE and you can download and use the Moodle App on a mobile phone. If you are frequently unable to access remote learning, please ensure your teacher is emailed by whatever means is possible, including by your parent/carer.

 

Am I expected to join in with lessons that are Interactive?

Yes! You should join in through routes directed by your teachers and through which you feel comfortable. More teachers are experimenting with using ‘live’ video lessons and many are using the chat function of Microsoft Teams to allow you to respond by typing questions/answers and seeing what other classmates are saying too. BHASVLE and email is being used by many teachers too.

 

How do I keep myself safe online?

Undertake all normal key steps to safeguard yourself and your teachers in live lesson situations

  • Turn off your video camera before joining the lesson
  • Always be respectful of other users in the language that you use and in your onscreen behaviour (i.e. not take control of the screen!) 
  • Be aware that your teacher may be recording the lesson
  • Comply with the Student Code of Conduct just as if you were in College.

 

I’m having problems with my IT – what should I do?

Please contact IT Services via ithelpdesk@bhasvic.ac.uk who will be available remotely to help – but remember we will have limited ability to deal with issues resulting from problems with your own hardware or internet connection.

If it is an issue with use of BHASVIC systems like the VLE, Teams, Student Advantage, your email or password issues please contact cis@bhasvic.ac.uk

 

I haven’t received any instructions from my teacher for work for a lesson we should have had. What should I do?

Please double check Microsoft Teams (if being used) BHASVLE, the department website and your email and check with classmates in the class to make sure you haven’t missed anything. If you are still without instructions, contact your teacher in the first instance and if you don’t get a reply within 48 hours then contact the Head of Department. If a teacher’s out of office email response appears, they may well be ill or engaged in caring responsibilities of their own at that time and they or others will set work according to their departmental guidelines.

During lockdown, we will be recording ‘engagement with learning’ once per week. We will not be recording ‘attendance’. Please see the following answers to frequently asked questions about this:
 
Will my lessons be registered?
We will not be registering every lesson as if you were following a normal college timetable on-site. However, teachers will be formally recording a weekly engagement mark (of Yes or No) to reflect whether you have engaged with learning for that week. You will receive an engagement mark from each of your subjects and from your tutor (to reflect your engagement with the tutorial programme). 
 
What is the purpose of recording my engagement in learning?
The weekly register is simply to record your engagement in learning. It is NOT used to make a value judgement about the quality of that engagement. We need this information to identify students who are not engaging with remote learning and to provide support or to use as evidence for continuing progression.
 
What does the term ‘engagement’ mean – how is it measured?
You will receive a ‘Yes’ response if you: 

  • have attempted and submitted work the teacher has set
  • have engaged with any online activity
  • have responded to requests that have been asked of you 

What if I haven’t been able to engage with my learning?
This is where the onus is on you to communicate with your teachers or tutor – just like it is when college is operating normally. Make sure you let them know if you are unwell, or events have not allowed you to participate. If you haven’t engaged – even for legitimate reasons – we will record a ‘No’ response for that week. If you have told your teachers why, they will keep track of this and factor this into monitoring of your progress and engagement. 
 
How will you follow-up non-engagement with learning?
In the first instance, your teacher will be contacting you directly to find out why you are not able to engage with your work. We already have our existing Support Plan systems which helps us to support you. We will continue to use these. 
 
How will this register affect my overall college attendance?
It won’t. This register will not change your attendance record and will not be visible. Normal registers have been paused since Friday 13th March and will only be reactivated when college returns to classroom teaching. Attendance metrics are frozen up to that point. 

Information supplied by Ofqual on 3 April 2020 provides further details on how your grades will be awarded this year. At BHASVIC, the A level/GCSE/EPQ advice is effective for BTECs and Criminology as well. Please read the following documents:
 
Ofqual letter to students 3 April 2020 - 03 April 2020

Ofqual guidance for teachers, students, parents and carers - Updated regularly

Grading in 2020 - information for students - video from Ofqual 22 May 2020

Infographic explaining the process of grade awarding - Ofqual 20 May 2020

 

What will happen with First Year Progression Exams?

Progression Exams will no longer be taking place in the Summer or Autumn Terms for students. With the disruption to normal classroom teaching which has occurred, as soon as we are able to return to our college campus we want to prioritise classroom teaching and learning, rather than running a formal exam timetable which requires at least eight days of study leave. However, we are working on ways to provide assessment and progress to all our A1 students and will communicate directly with you about this.

 

What will happen with progression to the Second Year?

First year students should have completed the A1-A2 Transfer process on Student Advantage indicating course choices for the second year, including tutorial pathway and portfolio options.
Where progress and success on a course in the first year has caused significant concern Tutors and Guidance Managers will be working with individuals and their teachers to determine the next best steps for individuals, taking their wishes and these extraordinary circumstances into account.

 

External Exams

How will BHASVIC approach Centre Assessed Grades?

The college is swiftly developing its methodology and systems for submitting Centre Assessment Grades to exam boards, along with a rank order of students. The fundamental principles we will be applying here will:

  • be in accordance with the instructions and demands of Ofqual and the exam boards
  • enable us to match the exceptional outcomes BHASVIC students achieve year-on-year, so that this year’s cohort is not disadvantaged and the grades we submit reflect the results and value-added outcomes BHASVIC is known for.
  • be evidence-based, using our assessment knowledge of each student’s progress on each of their courses, whilst also taking account of how they would have performed under ordinary circumstances from all that we already know (including personal circumstances and additional learning needs).

This information will be used by Exam Boards to standardise judgements – allowing fine tuning of grading to be applied across schools and colleges nationally.

 

What evidence will you use to arrive at Centre Assessed Grades?

We will consider a range of things like your classwork and homework; your results in assignments and any mock exams; any non-exam assessment or coursework you might have done; and your general progress during your course.

This information will allow us, with Awarding Bodies, to standardise grades across schools and colleges, to make sure that, as far as possible, results are fair and that students are not advantaged or disadvantaged because their schools or colleges are more generous or harsh than others when making those judgements. That means the final grade you are awarded by the exam board could be different from the one your school or college sends to the exam board.

 

How will you arrive at a rank order for all students within a subject?

This is a process we are very familiar with as a large sixth form centre. We rely on internal measures that are as objective and evidence-based as we can make them. For example, we moderate and standardise all our internal exams to arrive at consistent judgements across each department. A similar process will be used to arrive at an evidence-based rank order for centre assessment grades this summer using all the available information we have about you. This will include all contextual information we know about you.

 

I’m doing a BTEC or Criminology – how will grading these courses be done this summer?

This announcement is for A2 students and those A1 students who are also expecting a grade this summer. 

Subject to further fine tuning from Ofqual the principles are:

  • As with A levels, the college will be submitting a Centre Assessment Grade to the exam board, which will then provide you with a Final Grade, probably on Thursday 13 August.
  • Please finish any final work which your teacher is asking for.  Communicate with your teacher if you are unclear about what is expected or if you are having difficulties completing it.
  • We do not yet know about the availability of post-results re-sits or whether appeals will be possible, but we will let you know when this information becomes available.

 

Do I need to complete any new work for my school/college to submit a grade?

You are not required to sit additional mock exams or homework for your centre assessment grade, and you won’t be disadvantaged if you were not set, or were unable to complete, any work given out after schools were closed.

 

I was planning to work harder from now and my Mock results and Predicted Grades don’t reflect what I feel capable of achieving – what can be done?

We will be taking a holistic look at all the evidence that we have available about you and weighing everything up to arrive at the grade you would have been most likely to get if you had taken your exam in the summer and completed any Non-Exam Assessment (coursework). We have many years of data to draw on showing the relative performance between A2 mocks and final examinations, which is helpful to us here. If you feel your Centre Assessment Grade does not reflect the grade you think you could have achieved you still have the option of taking the exam in the future to improve upon it.

 

Will the work that has been set since the College went online count towards my Centre Assessment Grade?

We recognise that any work that has been completed at home, under these unusual circumstances, may not be as representative as previous outcomes. Rest assured that any work assessed since the College move to remote learning will only serve to add positively to the evidence base that teachers already have for you. Online assignments set since 20th March will not undermine any information that is already held about you.

 

I have been unwell through part of my course and missed key assessments – will this impact on my grade?

What it will likely mean is that the evidence base we have for you is narrower than that which we have for some of your peers. We will make a judgement about you on the evidence we have and come to a conclusion about the grade you would have been most likely to get if you had taken the exam in the summer on the basis of that evidence. This will include the knowledge that you have been unwell for a portion of your course.

 

I have an Exam Access Arrangement (e.g. Extra Time) – will that be taken into account?

Grades will be arrived at using all evidence available to us. If you have an Exams Access Arrangement, the centre assessment grade submitted will assume your level of performance to be achieved with that arrangement in place.

 

I have suffered a traumatic event recently and hoped for Special Consideration the Summer Exam. What will happen now?

Special consideration requests, in the event that a student suffers a traumatic event that might affect their performance, will not apply this summer. This is because our teacher assessed grades will already take account of how you would have performed under ordinary circumstances from all that we already know about you. Teachers and curriculum managers will not be able to engage in discussions with any individual student or their parents/carers about centre assessment grades.  It is a requirement that the centre assessment grades remain confidential.

 

I had some significant family responsibilities (or other ‘extenuating personal circumstance’) during my time at college that affected how well I did in assessments and/or impacted on my attendance. Will this be taken into account?

Extenuating personal circumstances that we would take into account will match those which would lead to adjustments by awarding bodies following special consideration requests for examinations (ie these need to be very significant issues and challenges). As long as you notified the college of your personal circumstances, your teachers have been advised to take a holistic approach, factoring in all our evidence about a student.  The Centre Assessment Grade will therefore already take account of how you would have performed under ordinary conditions, from all that we already know about you.  It is a requirement that the Centre Assessment Grade remains confidential, so teachers and curriculum managers will not be able to engage in discussions with any individual student or their parents/carers about the grade.

 

When do Centre Assessed Grades have to be submitted?

These grades will be submitted to Exam Boards from 29th May (final deadline to be confirmed by Ofqual).

 

When will my final grades be available?

Ofqual have now confirmed that A Level students will get their results on the standard A level results day, which is Thursday 13 August. GCSE students will get theirs on 20 August. These dates are both as previously published. We also expect final BTEC and Applied General grades to be available on Thursday 13 August.

 

Will I be told my Centre Assessment Grade before it is sent?

No. The requirement is that all centre assessment grades remain confidential between the organisation and Ofqual. Ofqual have said that there will be an appeal process in place once grades are awarded to candidates in the Summer.

 

I am a current Second Year – can I come back and take the whole year again?

No. We have a very limited number of students retake their second year (around 2 ot 3 students) and this is only agreed as a result of very exceptional circumstances.

 

I would like to sit my exams after a Gap Year – can I sit them at BHASVIC next summer?

Yes. You must contact the exams office to sit these exams as an external candidate next year. More details about this will be available on the 13 August Results Day.

 

I am an ex-student who was re-sitting this summer, will you provide a Centre Assessment Grade for me?

Please follow this link to a detailed FAQ for students in this position.

 

When will there be more information about the Autumn Exams?

Information and an application form will be on the Courses>Exams webpage as soon as it is available along with details of registering to take such exams. We will also have more information by 13 August Results Day.

 

Will there be a social event onsite to be able to say ‘goodbye’?

We hope so. We are looking at dovetailing ‘Results Day’ – Thursday 13th August as an opportunity to say goodbye and complete the leaving process like returning books and receiving your deposit back. This will of course be determined by information nearer the time around the lifting of restrictions and social distancing rules.

 

I need to give textbooks back and collect my deposit, how do I do this?

We are looking at dovetailing ‘Results Day’ – Thursday 13th August as an opportunity to say goodbye and complete the leaving process – like returning books and receiving your deposit back. This will of course be determined by information nearer the time around the lifting of restrictions and social distancing rules.

 

What if I want to keep my books to help with Autumn exams?

Unfortunately we will need all textbooks to be returned by the end of August to be able to supply our new and existing students with them. You will still have access to online resources and revision material.

What do I need to know as a student/parent/carer about how has the summer term changed for first year students?

With the cancellation of progression exams and external exams, the Summer term will have a different shape to it than the one previously planned.

 
Simple overview of calendar:

Date

Event

Saturday 4th – Sunday 19th April

Easter Holidays

Monday 20th April – Friday 22nd May

 

(Friday 8th May is a national Bank Holiday)

1st Half Summer Term

A1 teaching and learning

Saturday 23rd – Sunday 31st May

Summer Half Term Holiday

Monday 1st – Friday 5th June

Student Progression Leave

Teacher INSET/Planning Week

Monday 9th June – Friday 10th July

A1 teaching and learning

Progress Review

UCAS Predicted Grades and draft References

Friday 10th July

End of Term/Year for A1 students

August/September

Start of Term

 

Detailed calendar with notes about key events:

BHASVIC Calendar for A1 students

Date

Event

Comments

Monday 20th April – Friday 22nd May

 

(Friday 8th May is a national Bank Holiday)

1st Half Summer Term

A1 teaching and learning

5 weeks of uninterrupted teaching and learning.

Courses will focus on adapted schemes of work and remote learning activity.

Content will be optimised to ensure momentum in our students’ learning and readiness for return to classroom-based learning as soon as that becomes available again.

The continuation of the course specification will take into account the context of national lockdown, and the impact of the pandemic on our community, whilst minimising loss of learning opportunities for students on their qualifications.

Saturday 23rd – Sunday 31st May

Summer Half Term Holiday

Students will be on holiday.

Teaching and tutoring staff will be on annual leave.

Monday 1st – Friday 5th June

Student Progression Leave

Teacher INSET / planning Week

Students will be on Progression Leave. This will involve supported and set activities to help our A1 students research, explore and prepare for their next steps after BHASVIC.

Application processes take place in earnest in the Autumn Term, and with the potential of continued lockdown, we want our students to have time to prepare and navigate virtual open days as well as any changes in application systems and job opportunities.

Students will be provided with structured independent activities to guide them, which will be used as a basis for student and tutor work in the Autumn Term.

Teachers will be responding to and planning teaching and learning for the second half of the summer term and the whole of the second year, in light of the impact of COVID-19.

Monday 9th June – Friday 10th July

A1 teaching and learning

Progress Review

UCAS Predicted Grades and draft References

A1 Teaching and Learning

We will continue remote teaching and learning. If we are able to return to the college campus, classrooms lessons will be re-instated.

Progress Review

We seek to provide students and parents/carers with a ‘progress grade’ for each student on each course, which summarises their progress on the course across the first year.

These grades will not have any status beyond a guide to our students – they will take into account the significant circumstances our students and teachers have had to face, including the wide array of personal circumstances and disadvantages your community have had to contend with.

The Progress Grades will form a basis on which our teachers and guidance team will support students in their best options for their programme of study into the second year, including whether dropping a course and taking a Recovery qualification is the best option for them.

UCAS Predicted Grades and draft references

We will be creating references and UCAS predicted grades following our normal timetable to do so.

It is important that students go into the summer holidays with this information, to support them in making informed research and choices about their next steps.

We are very aware of the context in which these predictions will have to be made, and will be making our predictions very much with a positive and aspirational mind-set for our students.

Predicted grades and references are always finalised and updated in the Autumn Term and more information will be provided about this nearer the time.

Friday 10th July

End of Year for A1 students

End of term/academic year

The college will be open the following week to facilitate transition events for Yr 11s and their parents.

August/September

Start of Term

We will be working on the structure and timings of our Autumn Term (September to December 2020) for students entering their second year of study with us.

There is much to plan and consider here, and we aim to be communicating the details of the calendar and arrangements before the end of June.

What support services are available to me while we are a virtual college?
All college support services are up and running as close to normal as we can get them. So anything you need, from your tutor, careers, advice on HE, study skills, student services, Additional Learning Support, welfare, bursary, financial support and counselling can still be accessed – just through email and online routes. Drop them a line, using the hyperlinks and let them know what you need. We’ll do our best to help.

 

Will my Additional Learning Support still be provided?
If you were already receiving support from the ALS team, they will continue to support your learning remotely during this period.

 

Is BHASVIC open for vulnerable learners or children of key workers?
As a post-16 provider the best way we can support the children of key workers is by continuing to provide remote learning specific to the individual courses they will be following. The college site is currently closed for all students including vulnerable learners. We continue to support all our students remotely, including our most vulnerable students, who receive regular check-ins through proactive contact with Guidance Managers. We continue to regularly review the provision for our most vulnerable students and re-opening the site for these students will depend on a cost-benefit analysis of risk and demand.

 

Will I be able to access the college site in person, for example the library?
No, the college site was closed to students from the end of Friday 20th March. A vast number of library resources are available online and can be accessed through the Library page of BHASVLE. If you want to e-mail with a specific question for library staff, please e-mail library@bhasvic.ac.uk

 

Will I still get money for my Bursary and Free College Meals?
Students in receipt of bursary and free college meals will be receiving money directly into bank accounts during this period. We are contacting students who meet certain disadvantaged criteria to assess whether we can help provide IT equipment. If you haven’t heard from us and you need help with IT, please speak to your tutor in the first instance. If you have a particular question relating to your bursary or financial support contact your tutor or e-mail bursary@bhasvic.ac.uk

 

How can I best support my mental health and wellbeing in the current situation?
James Barton, Guidance Manager, has written a fantastic student wellbeing guide available on our website to help students here

Young Minds have some good advice on how to look after your mental health while self-isolating and social distancing. These focus on the importance of staying connected, staying calm, and offer advice on how to deal with stressful situations at home along with helplines and resources that may prove useful to you.

The NHS also has a useful information page which also includes some wellbeing audio guides on how to manage low mood, anxiety, sleep problems, low confidence and assertiveness and unhelpful thinking.

Our existing website pages on young people’s support are a good source of information and also consider using the following link with contact details inviting you talk to a Primary Mental Health worker from the Brighton and Hove Schools Wellbeing Service

 

Is it still possible to talk to someone at BHASVIC about how I’m feeling and any worries I might have?

Yes, of course. Do remember that your personal tutor, student services, and welfare team are all still here for you and can be contacted via the college e-mail, Teams or VLE.

For those of you who are currently seeing the counselling team they will be in touch with you, if they haven't already been, to discuss support for you throughout this period.

 

Who do I contact if I have a safeguarding concern about myself or someone else?

Contact your tutor, or email safeguarding@bhasvic.ac.uk or if urgent, use the emergency mobile contact: 07483 914 376 (9am to 4pm Mon-Fri only)

 

What if I need support during holidays, evenings or weekends?

Our existing website pages on young people’s support are a good source of information for emergency and non-emergency situations. In an emergency or for immediate crisis support, phone 999 or the mental health rapid response service on 01273 242220.

 

What’s the best way to approach remote learning?

James Moncrieff, Deputy Principal has written some advice to help students and parents/carers with study routines here.

 

Do I need to engage with my tutor and the tutorial programme?

Yes! Your personal tutor will tell you how they expect sessions to work and how they will deliver material to you. Tutors will be following centralised resources (available on BHASVLE Tutorial pages) and will provide online support for students in their tutor groups by checking-in regularly and messaging through virtual one-to-ones. Please follow instructions you are given from them.

 

I am a parent/carer working from home, how can I keep my young person focused with their learning?

A good first step would be to have them share their timetable with you, so that you can see when they are usually in lessons and when they might be expected to be engaged in online learning. Talk to them about what they have been learning, and if you possibly can, and ask them to explain to you how they are planning to use their time.

James Moncrieff, Deputy Principal has written some advice to help students and parents/carers with study routines here

 The Government has also produced this guidance for parents/carers who are supporting education of young people at home, and included important information on staying safe online

 

I want to drop a subject and/or do something different next year, can I?

Current A1 students have recently completed the A1-A2 Transfer process with their tutors, where they have now selected which tutorial pathway they would like to follow in their second year, together with their preferred portfolio course options. As part of this process, students have been clearly reminded that they have signed up for a two year programme of study and cannot simply 'drop' a subject in the second year. This will only be considered if there are serious, exceptional personal circumstances and a prior track record of supportive interventions from their teacher and/or tutor, using the support planning process.

What is the latest news from UCAS?

All applicants should have received a letter from UCAS and the Universities’ minister on behalf of the government
 
Student Finance – deadline still 22nd May. Please register if you have not done so and intend to begin university in September.
 
IMPORTANT: If your household income has dropped by more than 15% due to COVID-19 see info here
 
Clearing Plus – there will be a change to the clearing process this year that will allow you to change your mind on results day - an excellent explanation is provided here. It is described as a new service which matches students to universities or other opportunities based on their achievements and course interests. If students’ calculated grades exceed their predicted ones, it can suggest alternative courses with higher entry requirements.
 
University places - more places are available for UK students, many ring fenced for essential jobs in the public sector, including nursing and midwifery. There will be a cap on student numbers to ensure a fair spread across universities.
 
Accommodation – universities are working hard to ensure this is a smooth process in September.
 
NOTHING will have changed if you accepted an offer.
 
Please keep an eye on your emails and UCAS updates. BHASVIC provides a helpdesk on results day – see BHASVIC COVID-19 page for updates.

 

How will Covid-19 affect my UCAS offers?

Your University offers still stand and you will need to achieve the conditions of the offer in just the same way as usual. This latest update from UCAS may help. 

 

I haven’t chosen my Firm and Insurance place yet, should I do it now?

If you have applied through UCAS to go to university in 2020 or applied for deferred entry to go in 2021 then the deadline to reply to your offers has been extended to 18th ​June for most people.

Have a look at this information on the UCAS website if you have questions about choosing a Firm and Insurance place. The advice hasn’t changed: wait until you’ve heard from all your Universities and take your time to make a decision. There is no need to rush to make a decision because of the current situation. If you are still unsure, speak to your Personal Tutor or e-mail he@bhasvic.ac.uk

 

I’ve been given an Unconditional Offer since the Covid crisis started – should I take it?

Students should not panic into accepting offers, even unconditional offers, especially if they are still unsure. Universities have been asked to stop making unconditional offers until at least Monday 4 May 2020. If you are still unsure, speak to your Personal Tutor or e-mail he@bhasvic.ac.uk

 

Should I still apply for Student Finance?

Yes! You need to do this (ideally) by 22nd May. Your finance will only come through when you enrol at university, so if you think you might go (even if you don’t know where), apply here>>

 

I need some careers advice – can I still access support?

Speak to your tutor and/or email careers@bhasvic.ac.uk with a query or requesting an appointment. If you would like an appointment please state why in the email text. You can also book yourself an appointment for the following week (where space allows) using the careers page on BHASVLE.

Once an appointment is confirmed you will receive a copy of the pre-appointment survey to be completed before the session. Appointments will be conducted over Teams, by phone or an emailed plan of next steps for students to undertake research. 

 

I need support with CV writing, finding employment, accessing work experience – what should I do?

Some things won’t be different – finding time to write a good CV will always be beneficial whether we’re in a crisis or not. There are lots of excellent online resources and webinars and now is the time to explore careers apps like Fledglink and Start. Finding work experience might be trickier during this period, but speak to your Personal Tutor or you can get further advice from wex@bhasvic.ac.uk. Some companies will be looking to hire additional staff while others will be laying staff off or furloughing them. Think about volunteering to add to your CV and employability skills or registering for things like My Pocket Skill. You’ll continue to find loads of amazing advice and resources on the careers BHASVLE pages.

Where can I find out information about Admissions?

Our Admissions webpage provides general information. The following Admissions FAQs are written for all stakeholders -  Year 11 student, their parent/carer or professional partner to the college (for example secondary school staff).

 

I’m a Year 10 Student, will there still be a Taster Day?

Unfortunately, we have had to make the decision to cancel our Year 10 Taster Day this July - if we are back on site we would need to prioritise giving our current first year students as many lessons as possible and so would not be able to run a Taster Day. Please follow the link for more detail on this.

We want to reassure you that the Year 10 Taster Day does not impact whatsoever on any future application you make to the college. We offer Year 10 Taster Days to support students in their subject choices and to get a ‘feel’ for BHASVIC to help them decide whether to make an application to us.

Open Evenings events will run in November 2020, and these are a great opportunity to help inform your decisions about whether to apply to the college and which subjects you choose. We look forward to seeing you then!

 

I am holding offers from a number of schools/colleges – what should I do?

At the best of times it is hard for us to predict who is going to come to BHASVIC and what they want to study. This year it will be even harder, so my plea to you is that if you have accepted an offer, but know that you won’t be taking up a place with us, please let us know by emailing admissions@bhasvic.ac.uk withdrawing your place at the college. 

We understand that BHASVIC may be your back-up choice or that you may have a back-up choice in case you do not qualify for your first choice college or courses. This is fine and you should keep your options open.

 

I’m on the Priority Waiting List – has anything changed?

For those students who applied by our application deadline, who we interviewed and for whom we have not been able to immediately offer a place (some of our students in Admissions Category 3), we will endeavour to update you with any change in your status as and when we are able to. We do remain oversubscribed at time of writing, so ensuring you have an alternative sixth form place is essential.

 

Will there be a Moving On Day?

Moving On Day was scheduled to take place on Thursday 25th June. We have postponed our transition events to take place between 13-15th July. We want to make sure that you are able to transition from school to college as normally as any other year. We need to take some time to decide the format of Moving On Day and this will depend on national circumstances. It may be a virtual experience this year, but you will be able to get a taste for the courses you hope to take and complete some important processes prior to enrolment. 

 

I’m not sure about my Course Choices, what should I do?

We hope you are still able to experience a lesson in your chosen courses, along with being set some work to enable you to begin your studies with confidence. This will help you determine whether you are on the right course. If you definitely know that you wish to change courses, contact the admissions department.

Our admissions process will be under more strain than usual and whilst we always try and ensure students enrol onto the courses that they want, we can never guarantee this until our final enrolments occur. 

There will be plenty of opportunity to talk through your options at enrolment and a helpdesk is always staffed at the start of term for students who have concerns about their chosen course.

 

When will GCSE Results be released?

GCSE Results will be published as planned on Thursday 20th August 2020. 

 

What if I am not happy with my grades or they do not qualify me to take the courses I wanted?

We do not have enough information on the appeals process or opportunity to take Autumn exams as yet so are unable to provide a detailed response to this. Despite the unprecedented events this term, we will still require our usual entry requirements to be met in order to enrol onto courses as the Centre Assessment Grade provides the most accurate reflection of your ability and our course entry requirements are there to ensure we are enrolling you onto appropriate courses that set you up to be successful.

 

What are the BHASVIC Entry Requirements? 

You may wish to check again our Entry Requirements available from the Admissions section of our main website – these will still form the most important method by which BHASVIC assesses students for enrolment at the college and onto courses. 

 

Will you be setting any Academic work for Year 11 students? 

Some Year 11 students have been asking whether they could or should begin to study for their A level courses now that the GCSE syllabus has finished and there are no GCSE exams to revise for.

Our advice to prospective students is to not worry about starting A levels early. For the first half of the summer term, please ensure you have completed and mastered the content of your GCSE courses to the best of your ability. Reviewing aspects of these courses which link to your course choices at BHASVIC, especially content you found more difficult, will be highly beneficial to your success at A level and BTEC Level 3. You need to complete any work, including project work that your schools continue to set you and these will provide fantastic opportunities to hone the transferable skills you will need for level 3 studying.

BHASVIC will be providing summer work for you at the start of the second half of the summer term (start of June). We will be reviewing this and setting some further preparation work as part of our Moving On events in mid-July.

 

In the meantime, if I’m really keen to get started, what could I be doing?

Before our summer work becomes available to you, there are some fantastic online learning courses and wider reading opportunities online. If you stick to established and reputable sources, such as exam board reading lists and recommended platforms (all our BHASVIC courses have the link to the exam board specification from the course page on our website) you can take this time as an opportunity to proactively broaden your skills and interests in all sorts of fascinating topics and areas.

If you are unsure whether a course is worth your time, any course which broadens your critical thinking skills will always be advantageous for A level and BTEC Level 3 study.  There are a wide range of providers such as FutureLearn, iTunes U, Coursera, Khan Academy, Alison and the wide range of Universities in the UK and USA, who have lots of different courses that can be studied for free.

My trip has been cancelled, we paid in full and the departure date has been and gone - when will we hear about refunds?

We are pursuing refunds for trips and it is likely that this process will take time to resolve. Often refunds cannot be made until after the trip start date has passed.

Please be aware that claims for full refunds are taking time and are often being met with the offer of a Credit Note for future travel which could be exchanged for cash in the future. This Refund Credit Note can also be used to book a future tour, which is protected by ABTA/ ATOL as per the original booking, so it would be reimbursed if the travel company failed financially.

Note that this is not legally how they should be responding (as full cash refunds should be offered within two weeks of departure date) but ABTA have issued guidance saying that we are in unprecedented territory and this is not a realistic resolution at this point in time.

If we are not reimbursed by travel companies we will approach our own insurance cover, but they will not consider compensation until it has been proved that all other avenues have been exhausted.

Please be patient as this is resolved. Trip Organisers will be in touch with updates as and when we have them from travel companies and airlines. Note that we will not be reimbursing any payments until we are reimbursed ourselves. 

 

My trip is due to depart later in the summer term – what is happening with it? Do I need to pay more instalments for it?

Trips due to depart in June/July have not yet officially been cancelled and final payments are due. This is where we are faced with a difficult option and we are asking you individually to decide how you wish to respond.

If you do not pay the balance of the trip you are essentially cancelling the trip and will lose money as detailed in the Terms and Conditions. This is because, at this moment in time, there is no certainty that the trip will be cancelled. By not paying the balance it is you (not the travel firm) who are cancelling - therefore the financial penalty is with you and not them.

If you do pay the balance of the trip, the trip is essentially still going ahead until (or if) it is cancelled (because of continuing travel restrictions). It is only at this point that we can claim for a full refund.

Please be aware that claims for full refunds are taking time and are often being met with the offer of a Credit Note for future travel which could be exchanged for cash in the future. Note that this is not legally how they should be responding (as full cash refunds should be offered within two weeks of departure date) but ABTA have issued guidance saying that we are in unprecedented territory and this is not a realistic resolution at this point in time.

At this point in time we are not clear how our insurers will deal with a claim for refunding deposits.