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.

Full College Risk Assessment to end of August 2020

Please continue to scroll down to see the FAQ sections below

Glossary: 

The following are mentioned repeatedly as part of this FAQ, so it will help you to understand answers if you familiarise yourself with these terms.

  • Candidate – an individual with a qualification entry (normally the person sitting the exam).
  • Centre Assessment Grades (CAGs) – the grades BHASVIC submitted each Awarding Body for each candidate on each qualification.
  • Rank Orders – BHASVIC was required to submit to the Awarding Bodies a rank order of every single candidate within each qualification in order of highest performing to lowest performing.
  • Calculated Grades – the final grade Awarding Bodies have given to each candidate for each qualification, formulated from BHASVIC’s Rank Order and Ofqual’s standardisation methodology.
  • Ofqual – the government’s exams and qualifications regulator (responsible to devising the entire grade awarding process this summer).
  • Awarding Bodies – the exam boards responsible for running the qualification, applying standardisation and delivering final, Calculated Grades.
  • Special Consideration – a process whereby a candidate with issues which will have affected their performance within an exam could submit a request for an adjustment (maximum 5% of final exam grade). As exams were cancelled this summer, Ofqual also cancelled the Special Consideration process. However, course teams took into consideration known extenuating personal circumstances when formulating CAGs and Rank Orders for their students on their courses.
  • Exam Access Arrangements – adjustments for candidates with additional learning support needs to the way they sat the exam, to mitigate disadvantages they may experience due to their specific needs (for example, 25% extra time, rest breaks, separate invigilation). As exams were cancelled, no exam access arrangements were needed this summer. However, on course support via Structured Study, as well as exam access arrangements provided for formal practice exams, such as mock exams, were included by BHASVIC in the formulation of CAGs.
  • Protected Characteristics – these are certain characteristic an individual might have which are protected from discrimination or bias by law, under the Equality Act 2010. These characteristics are age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; sexual orientation.
  • Appeal – the process by which an individual candidate or the college contests the grade(s) awarded by the exam board.
  • Autumn 2020 Exam Series – At the same time that the DfE announced the cancellation of all national examinations, it also announced the opportunity to take the exams in the autumn 2020 for those who are not happy with their Calculated Grade.

 The FAQ sections are:

  1. Grade Awarding Process
  2. Appealing Grades
  3. Autumn Exam Series
  4. FAQs written prior to the summer holidays

Section 1: The Grade Awarding Process

Which qualifications are covered by this grade awarding process?

This information is relevant to all BHASVIC’s core courses and main qualifications.

  • GCSEs (including short course GCSEs)
  • AS and A levels
  • Extended Project Qualifications (EPQ)
  • BTECs, Certificates, Diplomas and other Vocational and Technical Awards

Some of our additional qualifications at BHASVIC, often within our A2 student Portfolio Course offer, have alternative awarding methods and your teacher will have kept you informed about these separately.

How do I know that my Calculated Grades are accurate?

In the interests of fairness to students, judgements made by BHASVIC should be consistent with schools and colleges across the country. Exam boards have therefore standardised the Centre Assessment Grades submitted by BHASVIC, to form your final Calculated Grade.

The statistical model Exam Boards will have used takes into account the prior performance of BHASVIC and, therefore, by studying at the college this year’s BHASVIC students’ Calculated Grades will have been anchored to one of the best performing sixth form college’s student outcomes in the country over the previous three years.

Ofqual have published a fact sheet and film for students and parents/carers which provides more detail about how Awarding Bodies standardised the Centre Assessment Grades BHASVIC submitted to them when finalizing and publishing all students’ Calculated Grades this summer.

How were Centre Assessment Grades and Rank Orders calculated at BHASVIC?

We were required to make a fair and objective judgement of the grade we believe a candidate would have achieved had they sat their exams this year.

At BHASVIC, we aimed to reduce the weighting of teachers’ professional judgement, instead using a wide range of assessed and reported student performance on course. The use of prior assessment data was the most effective way to be fair and consistent to all students on a particular course (which is often taught by a range of teachers).

We took into account the full range of available evidence when we grade students and created rank orders. Examples are (not an exhaustive list):

  • Mock exams
  • Progress Review grades
  • On-course tests and assessments
  • Coursework
  • Other records of student performance over the course of study

In addition to assessment data, course teams also deployed contextual information about their students, including additional student information, such as personal extenuating circumstances or changes in performance over time due to disadvantages, remote learning or additional learning support needs

How will the process affect students with particular protected characteristics?

Ofqual carefully tested a range of models, and selected the one which most accurately predicts student grades. The model BHASVIC selected is the fairest possible in the circumstances and will ensure, so far as possible, that students are not advantaged or disadvantaged on the basis of their socio-economic background, extenuating personal circumstances, additional learning support needs, exam access arrangements or particular protected characteristics.

We have used on course assessments to formulate our final grades. These on course assessments are frequently mock exam and test modules, rather than ‘teacher judgement’. We wanted our CAG process to be as impartial and as evidence-based as we possibly could make it. Where coursework is used, such as in the visual arts or performance based courses, any unconscious bias will be no different this year from any year where teachers mark student coursework, which is then moderated centrally. The entire vocational qualification framework is assessed this way every year, for example.

We have carried out regular EDI training with all staff and our data suggests that economically disadvantaged student retention is the priority agenda for us, rather than BAME as a cohort or value-added/ grade outcomes as an outcome.

Ofqual have also built in further safeguards to the standardisation model to ensure its design does not disadvantage centres with differing levels of students with protected characteristics and socio-economic backgrounds.

How were my special educational needs, disabilities and/or additional learning support needs taken into account?

For students with additional learning support needs, exam access arrangements or disabilities, course teams and teachers formulated CAGs and Rank Orders assuming students had received additional learning support and had exam access arrangements for formal assessments (such as mock exams). Where students were diagnosed with additional learning support needs later than the Autumn Term of their first year at BHASVIC, all teaching teams were provided with diagnosis dates and individual teachers were able to make adjustments based on differences in performance prior to receiving support.

Where students have an agreed reasonable adjustment for their exams, schools and colleges should also take account of the likely achievement of this student with these in place.

Only assessment points and evidence prior to lockdown was used to formulate CAGs and Rank Orders. In specific cases, such as MFL orals, where assessments were repeated after lockdown only the higher grades were used.

I had extenuating personal circumstances during my studies at BHASVIC. If I had sat the exam I would have applied for this. How was this taken into consideration when finalising my grade?

Special consideration requests are considered in the event that a student is unable to take an assessment or suffers a traumatic event that might affect their performance. The Special Consideration process did not apply this summer because students did not be take exams.

However, course teams and teachers factored in known extenuating circumstances when finalising rank orders.  Where illness or other personal circumstances might have temporarily affected performance, for example in mock exams, coursework submissions and other assessment points, teachers took account of a change in student performance whilst significant circumstances impacted on a student’s progress and outcomes.

More details and FAQs regarding the grade awarding process, for those who wish to know more

Why do centre assessment grades need to be standardised?

So that results are as fair as possible, assessment judgements must be consistent across different schools and colleges. Because this year’s arrangements some centres were more lenient in their judgements, and others more severe.

The statistical model provides a critical tool to maintain standards, both between centres and over time. This means universities, colleges and employers can be confident this year’s results carry the same currency, and students can compete on a level playing field for opportunities with students from previous and future years.

How will grades be standardised?

We will publish the precise details of the model used on results days – to do so any earlier would allow some centres to try to work out their results before they are released nationally and it is important all students get their results at the same time.

For each centre, in every subject, exam boards will use historical performance data to determine the proportion of students who achieved each grade in previous years. They will check this against prior attainment data for this year’s students compared to the prior attainment of students making up the historical data. The predicted grade distribution for the centre in the subject might be adjusted upwards or downwards according to the prior attainment distribution of the 2020 students, compared to previous years. Exam boards will then overlay the centre’s rank order of students onto the predicted grade distribution and allocate grades to students, without changing the rank order. This will have the effect of amending the centre assessment grade in order to align it with the predicted grade distribution meaning that, for some students, the grade they are allocated will not be the same as the centre assessment grade that was submitted.

Before results are issued, exam boards will also work alongside Ofqual to compare the results from applying this process nationally with results from previous years – to check they are not too generous or too severe overall.

The standardisation model will draw on the following sources of evidence:

    • historical outcomes for BHASVIC students for the previous three year (which are excellent)
    • each students’ prior attainment at GCSE (and only GCSEs)
    • the expected national grade distribution for the subject given the prior attainment of the national entry

The standardisation model will be applied consistently and in the same way across subjects and exam boards.

Exam boards will ensure accurate historical information is used for BHASVIC and we will be checking this for errors or inconsistencies when the exam boards release the information to us. If there are errors in the data the exam boards used, we have the right to appeal this and will be in contact with each student for signed permission to get the data corrected to ensure students receive correct Calculated Grades.

Did BHASVIC need to submit any of my college work or other evidence they used for my grading?

No, BHASVIC did not need to submit any supporting evidence, such as student work, to exam boards, but we do need to retain records of this in case exam boards have any queries about the data. The Principal was required to sign a declaration to confirm that the Centre Assessment Grades and the Rank Orders of candidates were a true representation of student performance, having reviewed the processes and data used to generate these grades and rank order.

How could BHASVIC rank order all students on the course accurately, across different classes, teachers and with very large entries per qualification?

BHASVIC devised an objective and impartial assessment system to make sure Centre Assessment Grades and Rank Orders submitted were as fair as possible for our students.

Curriculum departments were required by the college to use on-course assessment outcomes and on-course reported grades as the significant part of the formation of their Centre Assessment Grades and Rank Orders. Teachers have formulated grades and rank ordered students with a very high degree of accuracy.

Curriculum departments and course teams also took into consideration all other factors that were known to them about student circumstances, to ensure each student on each course was ranked correctly. Additional learning Support needs, and extenuating circumstances which students faced, have been included in on-course assessments and grade reports, which formed the significant part of Centre Assessment Grades and Rank Orders.

BTEC and Diploma course grades were formulated using all completed and assessed units prior to lockdown, along with Centre Assessment Grades and Rank Orders for unfinished or incomplete units and components.

Teachers are highly experienced at making assessment decisions and evidence shows they can rank order their students with a high degree of accuracy. Each course team devised a robust process, using the same assessment points across the course and Heads of Department guided each course team, quality assured accuracy and consistency and signed-off of CAGs and Rank Orders for each qualification within their department.

 

Section 2: Appealing Grades

Can I appeal against my final calculated grade?

Appeals will not be allowed in cases where a student feels their grade does not reflect their ability.

Ofqual gave serious consideration as to whether a student could appeal against their school or college’s centre assessment grades and position in the rank order. On balance, they decided it would not be in the interests of all students, or the fairness of the arrangements overall. Primarily, their reasoning is that the appeal would have to be undertaken by someone better placed than the student’s teachers to judge the grade the student would likely have received if the exams had taken place – in the unique circumstances of this summer Ofqual do not believe there is any such person.

Due to the nature of the methodology of Rank Ordering and the Standardisation model applied, if one student successfully appealed against their position in the rank order, it would have negative implications for other students who would, in turn, need to be given an opportunity to appeal.

Students who feel that their grades from the summer do not reflect their ability will have the opportunity to take their exams in the autumn series or in summer 2021. If they choose to do this, students will be able to use the higher of the two grades for future progression. Please see information provided with your posted results slip regarding applications to sit autumn 2020 or summer 2021 exams. Please also see the Exams page of our website, for the most up-to-date information on results and appeals.

What if my final calculated grade is clearly wrong and there must have been an administrative error at some point in the process?

Appeals will be allowed in cases where:

  1. BHASVIC made an error when submitting its information to the exam board,
  2. the centre believes an exam board made a mistake when calculating, assigning or communicating a grade or
  3. a student has evidence of bias or discrimination and can pass such evidence on to the exam board who could investigate for potential malpractice.

Once a student has accessed their Centre Assessment Grade and Rank Order and if the student believed there could have been an administrative error (either by BHASVIC of the Exam Board), they can complete an application for BHASVIC to conduct a clerical error check. There is an administrative fee of £10 for this (if an error was made this fee will be reimbursed). To apply for this error check please go to the Exams page of our website. The deadline for clerical checks will be Friday 11 September 2020.

I improved significantly since my mock exams, on-course grades or other course assessments. My grade does not reflect this, so why can I not appeal?

We know that all students work differently. Some perform best in coursework or mock exams; others perform at their best in final exams. This is why at BHASVIC we made holistic judgements about the CAGs and Rank Orders based on a range of completed assessments, reported grades and other contextual information. Final grades should not be out of kilter with progress made on the course.

I have not been awarded the grades I need for my university place – if I cannot appeal, what are my options?

We recognise that there will be students for whom the Autumn Exam option will not resolve access to university this September. In these cases, we are able to offer UCAS advice and ask students to contact our advisory service. To access this support, you must submit an online referral via our virtual Results Day Helpdesk. You can also find the link on the front page of BHASVLE.

If you are intending to enter university next September, then taking the exams in the Autumn Term or summer 2021 is your option to gain higher grades.

Can BHASVIC appeal against the adjustments made by an exam board in their standardisation process?

Yes, if there has clearly been an administrative error, for example in the historic data the exam board used then the college can appeal to the exam boards on behalf of our students. Students/candidates cannot make such an appeal themselves – this needs to be agreed by the college. In such cases where the college has identified errors by exam boards, we will need written permission for candidates and we will keep our students informed of any appeals we are making.

Can students appeal against their original centre assessment grades (or rank orders)?

If students or others have concerns about bias, discrimination or any other factor that suggests that BHASVIC did not behave with care or integrity when determining the centre assessment grade and/or rank order information you must initially raise these concerns through our Help Desk and a Head of Faculty will contact you and investigate your concerns. To access this support, you must submit an online referral via our virtual Results Day Helpdesk. You can also find the link on the front page of BHASVLE.

If concerns are found to be true, or you do not feel that BHASVIC has appreciated your concerns, you should take your concerns to the relevant exam board – see here: Student guide to appeals and malpractice or maladministration complaints: summer 2020

Where there is evidence, Ofqual require exam boards to investigate such allegations as potential malpractice or maladministration. Such allegations would be very serious, and Ofqual expect them to be rare, but this is an important safeguard for students and their overall confidence in this year’s grading arrangements.

Will there be a cost for appeals?

Fees for all aspects of the exam process are set by the exam boards, and this information is available with your results slip we have posted. Please also see the Exams page of our website, for the most up-to-date information on results and appeals.

Request for my grading breakdown and rank order (Subject Access Requests)

To help with my admission to university, can I see the difference between the grade BHASVIC submitted to the exam board and my final grade, after the exam board applied their standardisation process?

Yes. To access this support, you must submit an online referral via our virtual Results Day Helpdesk. You can also find the link on the front page of BHASVLE.

To help with my admission to university, can I request to see my rank order within the course cohort?

Yes. To access this support, you must submit an online referral via our virtual Results Day Helpdesk. You can also find the link on the front page of BHASVLE.

Can I request to see all the assessment grades used to formulate my grade?

Yes. However, we cannot reveal, even inadvertently, other students’ personal data, and so you will only receive your own row of assessment grades and the column headings for those assessments, along with any notes added to the spreadsheet by the Head of Department. To access this support, you must submit an online referral via our virtual Results Day Helpdesk. You can also find the link on the front page of BHASVLE.

 

 

Section 3: Autumn Exams Series

When will the autumn exam series be held and which subjects will be offered?

  • AS and A-level exams will begin on Monday 5 October and finish on Friday 23 October.
  • GCSE exams will begin on Monday 2 November and finish on Monday 23 November.
  • The application window at BHASVIC for students wishing to take AS and A level exams in the autumn runs between Thursday 20 August to Tuesday 1 September.
  • Students wishing to take GCSE exams in the autumn need to have entered by 18 September, except in the case of English language and maths where the deadline is 4 October.

Exam boards are also running a further series in January for GCSE English language and maths only – if there is demand for this.

The application information is available with your results slip we have posted and also on the Exams page of our website.

Ofqual require exam boards to offer the full suite of GCSE, AS and A level qualifications in the autumn. This means any student who does not feel their calculated grade reflects their ability is given the opportunity to sit an exam at the earliest reasonable opportunity.

However, if there are less than 100 candidates in England that wish to sit a particular exam, then exam boards are not required to run the exam and this therefore may happen in some courses.

What about exam fees this year? Will there be a cost for students taking exams in the autumn?

Fees for exams are set by the exam boards. All formation about fees and charges is available with your results slip we have posted. Please also see the Exams page of our website, for the most up-to-date information.

When will the results of the autumn exams series be released and which grade will stand between the Calculated Grade and the Autumn Exam Result?

The exam boards will confirm results days for the autumn series shortly but are working towards A level results to be published before Christmas and GCSE results early in 2021.

Students will be able to use the higher of the two grades (Summer 2020 Calculated Grade or Autumn 2020 Exam Result) for future progression.

Will students choosing to take an exam this autumn still be able to go to university this year?

It will take time for the results of the Autumn exams to be issued, so it is highly unlikely that a university will hold a place for you for the 2020/21 academic year whilst you await your results (which are likely to be released in December).

Ofqual have asked universities to consider how they might be flexible in admissions decisions, considering delays to entry to courses, for any students choosing to take an exam this autumn. Ofqual have stated that they are reassured to hear that institutions will be flexible wherever possible, but recognise this might only be possible in a minority of cases.

BHASVIC advice is to either seek a place through Clearing or defer your entry for this year whilst you take the Autumn Exams. However, you should always contact your university to see what flexibility they may be able to offer you. If you need to get help, don’t forget you can email our UCAS advisory team at: he@bhasvic.ac.uk.

Where would I submit my entry and sit my Autumn Exam?

Candidates will register their entry and sit the exam at the place where they studied for the course. For example, if you wish to sit any school GCSE exam, you would need to do this via your secondary school (except for Maths and English Language GCSE retakes for those below Grade 4).

Where a student wishes to sit an exam in the autumn, the Department for Education have confirmed in their guidance that the centre responsible for entering the student in the 2020 summer series should enter the student in the autumn series and take overall responsibility for ensuring that they have somewhere appropriate to sit their exams.

Will the format of exam papers in the autumn series be any different to usual?

No. Ofqual believe it is important that students take a style of exam paper which is familiar to them and allows them to demonstrate the full range of their knowledge. The format of exam papers in the autumn series will, therefore, be the same as those usually offered in the summer. Ofqual formally consulted on these proposals and received support for this approach.

Will students be able to appeal the results of the autumn exam series?

The autumn series will replicate a normal summer exam series as far as is possible. The normal review of marking and appeal arrangements will therefore apply to the autumn series.

Will there be non-exam assessment in the autumn series?

While it would be desirable for the autumn series to include NEA, in the current circumstances, Ofqual believe that the fairest option is for qualifications taken in the autumn to be based on students’ exam performance only. The exception to this is in art and design, where exam boards will set a new task that students would need to complete under supervised conditions.

This is because some students will have completed non-exam assessment before schools and colleges closed on 20 March, but others will not have done so. As students will be at different stages in their non-exam assessments, and because many will no longer be studying in the centres in which they started their assessments in the autumn, Ofqual do not believe it would be fair (even if it were manageable) for students to complete the non-exam assessments they had started.

Ofqual have published research about the impact of coursework on different groups of students, such as those of different ethnicities and gender, to check that the removal of non-exam assessment will not have a disproportionate impact on students that share certain characteristics. This concludes that variation in GCSE and A level grade outcomes is largely explained by students’ prior attainment, and finds little evidence that coursework in the subjects researched has any impact on outcomes for different groups of students, including those with special educational needs.

 

Section 4: FAQs written prior to the summer holidays

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The following information relates to FAQs written prior to the Summer Holidays, and some of these may still be of relevance to you:

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 about Summer exams and assessments in 2021?

The latest statement from Ofqual says: ‘We recognise students expecting to take exams next year, and their parents and teachers, are concerned about the disruption to teaching and learning caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Our overriding aim is to ensure exams and assessments are as fair as possible and take into account any public health requirements and the well-being of students. We are working closely with the Department for Education, exam boards and groups representing teachers, schools, colleges and students, to carefully consider a range of possible measures. We are planning to publish for consultation, before the end of term, our proposals for next year. We will confirm our decisions as soon as possible to allow time for you to prepare.’

 

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’?

Lockdown Leavers' Celebration - Thursday 13 August - Government guidelines permitting. The Student Union are planning for a socially distanced, leavers' farewell for small groups of students who want to come on-site on A level Results Day. We will need to follow Government guidelines, keeping well spaced out in the open air, but there should be some tunes and goody-bags available for a sunny summer atmosphere where students can say their goodbyes to BHASVIC friends. More details will be emailed to students in the week of Results Day and posted on the website, so encourage them to keep an eye out for times and further information.

 

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

Students have all received e-mails and text messages over the last few weeks asking them to return books and equipment to the college in order that we can process and return the £50 deposit. Thanks to all the young people who have managed to do this so far.  We are likely to have to retain deposits in order to contribute towards the cost of replacement if the deadline date was missed. If you have any questions about this process, please email studentservices@bhasvic.ac.uk

 

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 will happen with First Year Progression Exams?

Progression Exams did not take place in the Summer Term. A new Summer Term Progress Review was published in July together with UCAS predicted grades. Further information is here link to Progress Review page. Predicted grades will be updated during September where appropriate but we do not plan for any formal progression exams; 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. There will be further information on mock exams towards the end of the  Autumn Term.

 

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.

 

What happened with the Spring Term Progress Review report to parents and carers for first and second year students?

The reporting of Progress Reviews Round 2 came right at a point of huge uncertainty for students, parents and our whole college community.
 
National exams had been cancelled, we did not have the details of how grades would be awarded to our second year students (and those first years taking courses with a qualification at the end of the year) and our first year students were heading into a period of remote learning, for which staff had had little time to prepare.  On top of all of this, many members of our community (staff, students and parents/carers) were understandably anxious about the implications of lockdown and were also navigating significant change, illness and caring responsibilities. In consideration of all these factors, and in consideration to some of our most vulnerable students, publishing a college report with formal grading was not considered the right course of action.  However we did communicate at the time that students could access their progress reviews themselves and that parents and carers were welcome to view these via the BHASVLE, in conversation with their young person.  
 
We understand this won’t have been the right approach for all students, parents and carers but at an extremely challenging time we did need to make a decision quickly and we prioritised reducing any confusion or negative impact for members of our community most adversely impacted by COVID-19.
 
All Round 2 Progress Reviews, as well as Round 1 and the ensuing Round 3 this half term, are and will be available via BHASVLE for all parents and carers to view together with their young person.
 
If you need to discuss any maters or issues regarding the progress of your young person at BHASVIC, please don’t hesitate to email their Personal Tutor who can advise and help or signpost you to the appropriate person to provide that.

 

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).

GCSE Results Day - Thursday 20 August

We are in the process of formulating an FAQ for our new intake this year and aim to publish this by Tuesday 18 August

 

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

Admissions FAQs from March to July 2020

The following FAQs were written last academic year and there may still be questions of relevance to you below

 

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.

What will the BHASVIC arrangements be for students and staff from the start of term in September 2020?

We are in the process of formulating an FAQ for all stakeholders about our arrangements for September in response to the latest government guidelines and requirements and we aim to publish this by week beginning Monday 17 August

 

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

Re-Opening FAQs from March to August 2020

The following FAQs were written last academic year and there may still be questions of relevance to you below

 
Is the college open over the summer to students, vulnerable young people and/or the children of critical workers?
The college is closed to current first year students after the end of term (10 July) until A2 Enrolment (1 September). Please refer to the college calendar on the main website. The Department for Education have confirmed that they are “not asking schools [and colleges] to open over the summer holidays and there is not the expectation that schools should open for vulnerable children and children of critical workers over this period. Teachers, support staff and school leaders deserve a break, to recharge and rest.” The weekly foodbank will remain open on Thursdays during the summer holiday period: if you require more information about this, please e-mail studentservices@bhasvic.ac.uk. The main college reception is due to re-open on Monday 10 August. In the meantime, please use the e-mail links posted on the Contact Us section of our website for all other enquiries.

What is happening with learning and progression this half-term?

Calendar of learning and progression support for the second half of the summer term for A1 students

Date (week beginning..)

Activity

Notes

Week 1

Monday 1st June

to

Friday 5th June

Progression Week

Learning and research activity for students within their specialised tutorial pathways chosen during A1 to A2 Transfer process. Activity is designed to help them prepare the way for their Autumn Term decisions and applications.

Week 2

Monday 8th June

to

Friday 12th June

Teaching and Learning

for current A1 students

Remote learning timetable continues for current A1 students

Week 3

Monday 15th June

to

Friday 19th June

Teaching and Learning

for current A1 students

Remote learning timetable continues for current A1 students

Week 4

Monday 22nd June

To

Friday 26th June

A1 to A2 Progression

Remote learning timetable continues for current A1 students

Progress Review starts for teachers and A1 students

Week 5

Monday 29th June

To

Friday 3rd July

A1 to A2 Progression

Teacher/Student extended one-to-ones

Week 6

Monday 6th July

to

Friday 10th July

Teaching and Learning

for current A1 students

Remote learning timetable continues.

Final week of content delivery for A1 students.

Student support and recovery week for students struggling with their course or subject.

Summer Holidays

 

Friday 10th July is last day of academic year for A1 students

 

When is BHASVIC re-opening to students?

Our three guiding principles for re-opening are:

  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

We will have a phased approach to re-opening as outlined below:

Phase

Date

Onsite activity

Phase 1

25/05/20 to 08/06/20

Small number of staff preparing for wider re-opening

Phase 2

08/06/20 to 22/06/20

More staff able to work onsite; Open to around 150 targeted students to work from site with volunteer staff overseeing;

Phase 3

22/06/20 to 10/07/20

Increasing our offer to around 400 targeted students who can work from site. Some departments working with small groups of students on an invitational basis.

Phase 4

27/08/20

Larger scale re-opening for the next academic year to be defined by social distancing measures in place at the time and full college risk assessment. We are preparing for a number of scenarios.

 

Why are you not opening to everyone in June, given there are no second years on site?

The Government have allowed colleges to partially re-open for up to 25% of their student cohort for face to face learning to supplement remote learning. There are a number of reasons why we are taking the phased approach outlined above and not implementing a classroom timetable for all students this half-term.

At BHASVIC, we have invested all our efforts to ensure the very best provision for our students over the immediate and longer term. What we have planned and are delivering takes into account not only this summer term, but also the autumn term and our student’s transition and learning throughout next year and up to the end of their courses. What we are able to offer maximises our expertise, our resources and our capacity to deliver change under considerable constraints. There is no perfect offer at present – normal, onsite delivery without social distancing will always be the best possible scenario – but we simply do not have that right now. We are currently putting most of our energy and resources into planning for the next academic year when we will be able to safely host the maximum number of students allowed on site at any one time under a number of scenarios.

Had we implemented a staggered or part return to timetable now, the complexity of this will have meant our managers and teachers would be firefighting endless snagging, challenges and problems, instead of focusing on maintaining momentum in our student learning. If teachers are supporting 25% of students in class, they are not supporting 75% of students learning from home. We cannot ask our staff to do two things at once and we feel that engagement in learning is currently excellent enough to warrant this continued approach which we have to balance against our capacity to deliver change.

We have implemented a week of one-to-ones for our current first year students between them and their teacher, to provide focused feedback and guidance on their progress and next steps into next year. We believe this, and continued momentum in blended and live remote learning for the remainder of the academic year is the best option for our students given the constraints we are operating under.

How will I know if my young person has been invited into college this half-term?

Our Guidance team and Department staff will be in touch with students directly via college email or Teams messaging to invite them in. Please ensure your young person is checking these platforms and responding to messages. Students are asked to not come into college without an invitation.

My young person has been invited into college, how do we know it is safe for them to attend and what should they be doing?

The full college risk assessment is available to read via the link above this FAQs section on this webpage. Students have been asked to read the ‘Do and Don’t’ Guidance before they come onsite (which is linked on the front page of BHASVLE). If any student coming in this half-term is clinically vulnerable or shielding (or living with someone who is) they have been asked to complete an individual risk assessment (also available on the front page of BHASVLE) and share it with you and the teacher who has invited them in. By properly identity assessing risks, we are very confident that we can keep all members of our community safe, within the government guidelines provided.

Why does the amount of live teaching vary for different subjects and different groups of students? Why is there not a uniform approach to delivery?

The senior management team at BHASVIC have asked our teaching teams to aim for at least one live teaching and learning experience for each class per week. All our teachers are endeavouring to deliver this (a survey on Monday 1st June indicated 80% had achieved this by that point, and all our teaching staff are continuing to develop skills and systems for live teaching). The methods of this live engagement between teacher and student will vary, according to the course, content, learning activities and circumstances of the teacher. It is not possible to implement the live delivery of our normal timetable across the week in every case or lesson – many of our staff are navigating a wide range of circumstances at home and juggling childcare and other caring commitments with work commitments. Even as key workers, many of our teaching staff do not have school support across their teaching timetable. In addition, a sizeable number of our students are not able to access all their learning through live delivery, due to their own circumstances. However, we know that our teaching staff are sharing practice on everything they do and learning quickly about how to maximise the impact of what they do on our students’ learning and wellbeing.

The quality of the teaching, rather than the method of delivery, is essential here and the quality of teaching at BHASVIC is exceptionally high. A recent rapid impact assessment by the Education Endowment Foundation on remote learning highlighted this key finding:

“Ensuring the elements of effective teaching are present – for example clear explanations, scaffolding and feedback – is more important than how or when they are provided. There was no clear difference between teaching in real time (“synchronous teaching”) and alternatives (“asynchronous teaching”). For example, teachers might explain a new idea live or in a pre-recorded video. But what matters most is whether the explanation builds clearly on pupils’ prior learning or how pupils’ understanding is subsequently assessed.”

See also the FAQ directly below.

Are students regularly submitting homework which is being marked, with individual feedback and scores being returned by teachers?

The precise nature and timings of assessment and feedback will depend on the course being studied. Assessment methods have come second to content delivery and student engagement since lockdown, but as we are all adapting and learning how to navigate blended and remote teaching and learning, our curriculum teams are formulating and employing assessment practices which can be delivered through the technology we have. You should find that your young person is increasingly experiencing assessment and feedback on their progress from their subject teachers.

How will I know how my young person is progressing?

We have implemented an additional student review this term, which will be published to parents/carers and available on Parent Advantage. These will dovetail into one-to-one appointments between teachers and students to allow for personalised conversations around progress. Do ask them how these went.

My young person has no quiet place to work from home and IT access is poor. My young person is falling very behind and has not engaged well with learning during this period. Are they able to work from college this term?

Yes. We have been targeting this cohort to come into college and work from site since 8th June expanding out this offer each week. If you feel your young person falls into this category and has not been invited in, then please contact their personal tutor in the first instance who will be able to liaise with their Guidance Manager about the possibility of returning to work from site.

My young person is very anxious about returning to college after such a long period, especially if they don’t come back before the summer holiday – how can I reassure them?

If they are anxious about Coronavirus itself, then do reassure them that the risks to this age group are incredibly low. Managing risk sensibly is part of managing life and we will of course want to work with any of our students to reduce any anxiety around returning to college. If they would benefit from working onsite for a bit to reduce any anxiety then please ask them to contact their Personal Tutor in the first instance, letting them know that they are anxious. Our tutors are experts at talking things through with sixth form students and can signpost your young person to further support, if needed. We have onsite study space, and students can request a return via their personal tutor.

Can you provide reassurance that September term will be as normal as possible, with blended and remote learning only a backup plan?

The ideal scenario is a return to normal. We are very keen to be able to offer normality from the very start of teaching in September, and for the rest of the academic year. However, it is important to state that any form of social distancing is incompatible with a full-time offer for students. We are planning for a number of scenarios for the next academic year. Until we know the exact parameters and restrictions around social distancing that may or may not be in operation then, we are unable to say precisely what our offer will be.

For September, we will be timetabling our students, teachers and tutors into classes and groups as normal. This will enable us to easily move between onsite delivery and any blended approach, as necessary and in accordance with the constraints at the time. We continue to give a lot of thought to how we maintain momentum and maximise classroom learning against any of these likely scenarios. Should we be required to, we will be able to adapt our face to face offer to comply with any social distancing constraints in place so that we can move with flexibility and with minimal disruption to our students’ learning. We must have these contingency plans in place, but our main priority is to maximise the central tenet of the teacher, student, peer and class relationships that are so fundamental to the best sixth form education.

Will there be additional study time and more classes provided to give students the best chance they can have to recover from the disruption to their learning due to Covid?

We are reviewing our additional provision to maximise support to our students. We must be clear that we will not have additional teaching or tutoring contracted hours, and do not want to set up false hope. The government’s plans for ‘catch-up’ tutoring programme for young people does not currently extend to post-16 institutions. We would encourage our parents and carers to add their voice to press the government to provide such a resource to this age group. There will be further details on this and we will update this answer to reflect them.

We cannot depend upon extra funding, which may not materialise and so we need to optimise the use of the staffing we have, prioritising our qualifications, pastoral support and additional learning support. Subject extensions, which have always been part of our offer, will continue to provide opportunities for individuals and smaller groups to consolidate their learning.

We aim to retain all our additional enrichment and widening opportunities that make BHASVIC what it is, and are the making of a BHASVIC student. We will be very carefully balancing all our provision and resources to make the very best offer for our students.

Will students be sitting mock exams during the autumn term, since they have missed out on consolidating their learning through Progression Exams at the end of their first year?

Our course teams are devising activities for very early in the autumn term, to enable them to carry out diagnostic assessments for both our first and second year students and to refine and update predicted grades for the second year students. These are unlikely to be formal, mock exams in large exam rooms, but we will be conducting such mock exams as early as possible in the academic year for second year students.

We are aware that we were unable to provide our current students with that vital practice in exam technique through our A1 Progression Exams, and so will be looking to provide this experience at the appropriate points in their second year.

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 have supported the children of key workers has been by continuing to provide remote learning specific to the individual courses they follow. The college site opened partially between 15 June and 10 July for a limited number of high priority students. The college remained closed for the majority of students but we continued to support all our students remotely.  Our most vulnerable students received regular check-ins through proactive contact with Guidance Managers and we aim to continue with a full or phased re-opening for all students from September.

 

Will I be able to access the college site in person, for example the library?
The college site is closed to students during the summer holidays but we aim to re-open the library from September. 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). Please note this phone number is only monitored during term time 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 completed the A1-A2 Transfer process before Easter with their tutors, where they 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 were clearly reminded that they have signed up for a two year programme of study and cannot simply 'drop' a subject in the second year. Any requests of this nature will only be considered by Guidance Managers 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.

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.

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.

Update 19th June 2020:

Dear first year Students, Parents and Carers, 

As we reach the mid-point of this half-term I wanted to provide you with another update. 

There was quite a lot of media attention on Monday around schools and colleges opening for some Yr 10 and 12 students. This has inevitably triggered a few questions from students and parents who are wondering why we aren’t inviting back all our students for on-site lessons.  

We have updated the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ content on the Covid-19 page of the college website, with a new concertina, called Re-Opening, in order to address some of the questions and concerns that you may have. 

We are an ambitious and aspirational college and strive to make the best decisions for our students, staff and wider community. There is no right or wrong way to deliver the second half of the summer term – we believe we are taking a long term view of our students' learning, aiming to maintain momentum now, whilst ensuring we are fully prepared to deliver under a number of scenarios in the next academic year.  Please do read the Re-opening FAQs as we think it will answer a lot of the questions you have about this. 

Thanks for your patience and continued support.

William Baldwin 

Principal

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Update 1st June 2020:
Second half of the summer term

Dear Students, Parents and Carers,

I hope you were able to switch off from college over half-term and get a sunny break from your studies. This week is Progression Week where you will be engaging with planning your life after BHASVIC. More details can be found on the front of BHASVLE (scroll down to ‘welcome back to first year students’) and check messages from your tutor. I’ve also done a short introductory video to progression week, which you can view here.

Over half-term the government pushed back the opening of colleges (for Yr 12s) from 1st June to 15th June. The updated guidance stipulates a limit of 25% of learners receiving face to face support and emphasises that this will not be a return to full timetables and will only be to supplement remote learning. As you know from my last correspondence, we have published a phased approach to re-opening, in line with our three guiding principles (safe, sensible and effective decisions and preparation).

I was on site last week as part of Phase 1 of re-opening to see for myself some of the preparations that are in place to safely start welcoming students back. From next Monday (8th June) we enter Phase 2 and have invited back over 50 high priority students to be able to complete work from college; we will expand these invitations over the course of the following fortnight. Phase 3 of re-opening will commence on 22nd June and will see a wider cohort of students invited back to the site. We are currently consulting with departments over Phase 3 and will continue to cast a wider net of inviting students in – particularly those we are really keen to see because of concerns over their engagement with remote learning. However, please do not come in to college unless or until you are invited to. Remote learning will continue as ‘normal’.

You may have seen that Brighton and Hove City Council have delayed the re-opening of schools to students beyond those of key workers and those identified as vulnerable. We will be monitoring what the council is recommending and will adjust our timelines accordingly if necessary. Phase 4 of our re-opening will be to welcome back larger groups of students for results day and then enrolment, and then to start the next academic year, when we are able to safely host the maximum capacity of students on site. We are currently putting most of our resources into planning this logistically challenging exercise, to ensure we create a meaningful experience for learners next year, when social distancing and blended learning are likely to be needed in the Autumn Term.
 
We recognise that this will mean the majority of students are unlikely to return to site this half-term. Some of you will have been concerned about returning to our site, others will be frustrated at not being able to before the summer. However, we have re-structured our delivery for the second half of the summer term to include an additional student review, where teachers will report on progress since the last review in February/March. As part of this process we are asking all teachers to complete one to one meetings with their students on the week commencing 29th June. The majority of these will be completed remotely, some may be completed on site, but regardless of the means of delivery, they represent the importance of each teacher checking in individually with you on each of your courses before the end of the academic year. Please check the front page of the BHASVLE, where there is a timeline of the structure of this half term for A1 students.

In the meantime, I hope you get excited about your future career and further study opportunities that progression week allows you to investigate - and thank you once again for your commitment to your studies whilst learning remotely. Our engagement statistics show us that over 90% of you are engaging really well with learning at the moment, which is a sign that whilst not ideal, remote learning is working well at BHASVIC.

Best wishes,

William Baldwin - Principal

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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

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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

 

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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.

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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

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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.

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. 

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.