UPDATE Monday 22 March:
Grade Awarding: Please see the updated section below 'Grade Awarding for Summer 2021' which outlines how BHASVIC will be determining students' final grades.
Covid Testing: There is an extensive suite of information in the Covid Testing FAQ concertina below - we would be very grateful if you could read and digest this carefully. Please report any positive Covid cases to email@example.com
Please check this FAQs page regularly for new information and look out for emails from the Principal for updates.
How are we spending our 16 to 19 Tuition Fund? Our 16-19 tuition funding is supporting GSCE Subject Extensions and lockdown learning workshops for those with Additional Learning Support needs.
Please continue to scroll down to see the FAQ sections below.
My Timetable - XYZ and return to full timetable
Headline: This timeline outlines the college's plans for your timetable, the 2/3 model and 100% return to lessons
Progress Reviews and other current FAQs - Updated February 2021
Headline: Progress Reviews cancelled for courses with a final grade this summer
In light of the DfE and Ofqual’s announcement that teachers will determine final grades for their students, based on a breadth of evidence, and that teachers should not tell students the grade they have submitted to the exam boards on their behalf, the college has taken the decision to cancel Progress Reviews for courses with a final grade this summer (for example, all A2 A levels and BTECs; A1 Double Maths; AS Level Recovery Courses; A1 BTECs with a Certificate; GCSE Retakes).
Progress Reviews for all other courses will take place as normal (mainly this applies to A1 students on A levels and BTECs).
The Progress Grade, which is the core component of the Progress Review Report, is defined at BHASVIC as the grade the student is likely to achieve given all the evidence of their work and progress so far, measured against national standards for the qualification.
We think it would be inappropriate to produce a Progress Grade a matter of a few working weeks prior to determining students’ final grades – a Progress Grade would need to be formulated using the same evidence as that used to determine the final grade. This risks the college breaching Ofqual’s final policy on grade awarding, and also makes confusion and misunderstanding for students and other stakeholders a distinct risk, if these two grades were to differ in any way.
Are A2 one-to-ones taking place on Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th March?
No - we will no longer be running the A2 one-to-ones, which would have involved suspending lessons for all students for two days. We want to maximise lesson time for all students for the remainder of their courses. You can request a one-to-one at any point with your teacher, or attend Subject Extensions, for individual feedback and support.
If I am not receiving a Progress Review for one or all of my courses, how will I know how well I have been doing on my courses up to this point?
We encourage you to review the work you have been completing on course since September; especially where you have received feedback from your teachers about your successes and areas for development. Your understanding of your personal strengths and areas for development is the most essential information to help you continue your studies and to prepare for any internally or externally set papers or assessments that might feature in final grade awarding this summer.
Parents/Carers can use Parent Advantage to access live information about your Young Person’s attendance, any Support Plans they may have received and past Progress Review information. If parents/carers have any concerns about your progress, please contact the Personal Tutor in the first instance, as normal.
Updated Monday 29 March 2021:
For which BHASVIC students is this FAQ section relevant?
This FAQ relates to students who will receive a final grade this summer for the courses they are taking with the college. Primarily, these students are A2 students. However, this FAQ also relates to some A1 students who will receive a grade for one or more of the courses they are taking in their first year. The relevant courses are:
- A levels for A2 students
- A2 BTECs and A2 Criminology
- ESOL students completing their courses
- All GCSE Maths and English Retakers
- AS Level Recovery Courses for A2 students
- EPQ (Extended Project Qualification)
- A level Maths for A1 Doubles
- Some A1 BTEC courses which accredit the first year of the two-year course
What are the government publications and policies?
There are three main bodies who publish relevant policy and decisions – these are:
- The Department For Education (DfE) – ministerial government department.
- The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) – regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England.
- Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) - a membership organisation comprising the eight largest providers of qualifications in the UK (the Exam Boards or Awarding Bodies).
JCQ have published an important document for students, parents and carers: JCQ-Guidance-for-Students-and-Parents-on-Summer-2021.pdf
The DfE and Ofqual jointly published guidance to schools, colleges and Exam Boards on the broad process for awarding grades and the release of results on 25 February 2021. You can read their General Qualifications decisions documents and Vocational and Technical Qualifications decisions documents for full details.
We expect a slue of further documents and details from Ofqual over the coming weeks and months, including finer details on adjustments for students with specific circumstances and appeals processes.
We will publish links to official documents here.
What were the considerations at BHASVIC in developing the college’s approach to determining grades?
Ofqual and the DfE have asked schools and colleges to determine grades based on evidence of how students have been performing on the course (rather than last summer’s instruction to determine what students would have achieved had they sat final exams).
Since the publication of the overarching guidance at the end of February, we have worked on a system which:
- is as fair as possible to all students;
- maximises the chance of student success;
- provides students with some agency and focus until the end of their learning;
- reduces anxiety;
- provides confidence and a reduction in potential appeals;
- provides departments and course teams with some flexibility to best suite the nature of their courses whilst providing a similar structure for all.
Staff workload and manageability have also been a very important factor in what we have decided to do. Here are the headlines:
How will grades be determined at BHASVIC (A levels, GCSEs, AS levels, EPQs)?
- Grades will be determined via a combination of On-Course Assessments (OCAs) and End-Point Assessments (EPAs).
- OCAs will be drawn from a variety of evidence of work already completed or conducted whilst lessons were still taking place. No further OCAs will take place after 23 Friday April.
- Students will be told what OCA work is being used to help determine their final grade (arrangements to be confirmed after Ofqual have published further details).
- Coursework and NEAs will be included in the OCA evidence for relevant courses. In Visual Arts A levels and the EPQ, the coursework will be all the evidence used to determine final grades and there will be no EPAs for these courses.
- The week of Monday 26 to Friday 30 April, A2 lessons will focus exclusively on recap, revision and practice for End-Point Assessment Normal teaching and lessons will finish at the end of April.
- EPAs will be taken in the first fortnight of May as synchronous assessments: the whole cohort for a course will sit an EPA at the same time, in A2 classrooms (for example, every A2 student studying Psychology will come into BHASVIC at the same time and take a Psychology EPA in A2 classrooms, with A2 teachers monitoring the sessions). No further A2 lessons will take place during the EPA fortnight – except the EPAs themselves. A1 teaching and lessons will continue and follow their normal timetable.
- EPAs will be timetabled across the first two weeks of May and this schedule will be published to students after Easter. Where clashes occur for students during the EPA fortnight, we will have ways to manage these. If students are unable to attend an EPA, the department will use an aggregating process to determine grades, based on OCA
- BHASVIC expects students to attend End-Point Assessments as these provide focus and student ‘agency’ - they provide an opportunity for each student to demonstrate what they know and can do at the peak of their BHASVIC career, intellectual maturity and skill.
- The maximum amount of EPAs will be 2 x 1 hour assessments; it is anticipated that most A level courses will conduct two EPAs across the fortnight.
- There will be a maximum of two EPAs on any one day, and so students will be expected to sit no more than two EPAs on any given day during the fortnight.
- Students will be told what content the EPAs will focus on – this information will be released to students between Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 24 March. Therefore, students will know which course content they need to continue to study and prepare and which aspects of the syllabus they no longer need to recap and revise.
- Students who are entitled to Access Arrangements and other Reasonable Adjustments (extra time, scribes, etc.) will be provided with these for each EPA they take.
- EPAs will form no more than 50% of the final grade the college submits to the exam board for a student.
- Final grades will be determined from a weighted combination of OCAs and EPAs to be defined by the department within a set range.
- Final grades must be submitted by BHASVIC to the exam boards by Friday 18 June.
- A level Results Day and UCAS Track processes will be taking place on Tuesday 10 August.
- GCSE Results Day will be on Thursday 12 August.
Can I see a simple timeline or calendar of the prcoess?
Yes - here you go!
Mon 15 March: Tuesday 16 March – departments start to tell students the content of EPAs
Mon 22 March: Wednesday 24 March – deadline for departments to tell students the content of EPAs
Mon 29 March: Lessons and OCAs continue (Good Friday is holiday)
Easter: Fri 2 to Fri 16 April
Mon 19 April: Lessons continue. Last week of OCAs . Prep for EPAs - revision/recap.
Mon 26 April: Lessons focus on prep for EPAs - revision/recap/practice. A2 teaching finishes Friday 30 April
Tues 4 May: A2 EPAs timetable week one (Mon 3rd May = Bank Holiday)
Mon 10 May: A2 EPA timetable week two
Mon 17 May: A2 EPA timetable (Monday only). Students available in case department needs to make contact
Mon 24 May: Students available in case department needs to make contact
Half Term: Mon 31 May to Fri 4 June
Mon 7 June: INSET week for staff
Fri 18 June: Deadline to upload final grades to Exam Boards
Will determining grades for BTEC, Criminology and ESOL courses be different to that of A levels?
These courses will follow a very similar approach to that of A levels but each course will have slight differences according to the composition of units completed, coursework, internal and external assignments and components still to be completed.
Some of these courses (similarly to Visual Arts A levels and the Extended Project) may not need any End-Point Assessments, although some courses will need at least one EPA – teachers will be informing students of these details.
When will I know what On-Course Assessment evidence will be included to determine my grade?
The Ofqual decisions published on 25 February stated that schools and colleges will inform students of the evidence used to determine their grades before those grades are submitted to the exam boards on 18 June. BHASVIC will be communicating the details of OCA and EPA evidence to students at the beginning of the summer term.
Can I re-submit work I completed earlier in the course, to improve my marks for that work?
Students should not seek to improve and then re-submit previous marked work unless their teacher asks the class to do so. This ensures consistency of experience and fairness for all our students.
When will lessons finish and will there be revision time?
Lessons for courses finishing this summer will end at the end of April. After that, students will sit End-Point Assessments over the first two weeks of May.
What should I be doing about revision?
You will be told (between Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 24 March) what topics will be included in the End-Point Assessments for your courses. This will enable you to know what you need to focus on and what you no longer need to revise or practice.
Resitting students/Private Candidates – what is BHASVIC doing for students who had planned to resit/retake the cancelled A level exams at the college this summer?
BHASVIC would like to try to determine grades for our current and ex-students in this situation. However, we will need to do so with integrity and via an evidence-based approach.
Departments are working on End-Point Assessments and once these have been defined, Departments will consider whether these can be used, along with any other evidence the student has of their performance over the year, to provide enough information on which to base a grade.
Our Exams Department will communicate to all candidates in this position as soon as details have been defined for the subject in question.
Please note that BHASVIC will not be able to accept any new, private and external entries and we will only be acting as an exam centre for current or ex-students who are resitting/retaking exams they have sat at BHASVIC previously.
Will I be able to appeal my grade?
Yes, JCQ have outlined the appeals process, with further links and guidance contained within this document: JCQ-Guidance-for-Students-and-Parents-on-Summer-2021.pdf
Why are leavers not being taught during the second-half of the summer term?
After their last EPA, students will have completed their courses at BHASVIC. In some ways, it seems wrong that we say goodbye to our leavers in mid-May after a year of such disruption. However, we firmly believe that students do not need more time in the classroom – it feels to me that we have majored on subject content and the specification during remote learning – what students need is time with friends, opportunities to socialise, to immerse themselves in culture, sport and being outside, to pick up part-time jobs, to travel – all the other things that have been so curtailed during this pandemic. Aside from that, a mid-May finish allows us a week each for marking, moderating and uploading grades to the exam boards, so these dates are bound by external deadlines outside of our control. They also replicate when our leavers depart us in any ‘normal’ year.
Please follow this link for the latest update from the Principal.
Where can I pick up a home test kit?
From the Sports Café/Social Space (upstairs in the Sports Centre)
Is this home test the same one that I can book online with the NHS?
No, the test that you can book with the NHS is a test for symptomatic people (those who are experiencing one or more Coronavirus symptoms) which is a PCR test. The test at BHASVIC is a test for asymptomatic people (those who are currently not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms) and is a Lateral Flow Test.
Who is being tested and why?
Testing is available for all staff and students to try and detect those without symptoms who could be carrying the virus and may spread it to others. Testing staff and students without symptoms will support the college to operate as safely as possible.
Is testing mandatory for all staff and students?
We encourage all staff/students to be tested, as we believe this will help to reduce the spread of infection and protect those who are vulnerable and most at risk of getting infected from asymptomatic individuals. You can still come to College if you haven’t completed home tests. You must not have any COVID-19 symptoms and must adhere to our Covid mitigation measures.
How do I conduct the test?
The test comes with instructions – please follow these. You are now used to self-swabbing from the onsite test!
How do I get my results?
Results are ready within 30 minutes (usually before) and show as a line against a letter on the display area of the test. Two lines (C and T) = positive; C = negative; T= invalid/void (re-test)
Where should I report my results?
Your home test result should be reported here: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result
Can I come to College to be tested?
There is a testing bay onsite in the Sports Café for those who cannot test themselves at home. This has very limited capacity.
Can my household get a tested?
Regular symptom-free testing is now available for households, childcare and support bubbles of primary and secondary-age pupils. Everyone in these groups is recommended to get tested twice a week using rapid LFD tests. Please go to this council web page for details on how to access the symptom-free testing. https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/covidschools.
Should I complete a home test if I have symptoms?
No, you should order a PCR test. Home tests are only for asymptomatic people. If you are manifesting any COVID-19 symptom, you should book your test on the Government website via this link https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
If my home test (a lateral flow test) reports a positive results what should I do next?
Ensure the college is told – email firstname.lastname@example.org. You will need to order a PCR test online to confirm your result. You should isolate for 10 days (unless the PCR result comes back negative).
I was COVID positive already, do I still need to be tested?
If you have had Covid within the last 90 days, we recommend you do not complete tests, as it is possible that your results will shows as a false positive. If this is the case, you and your household will have to follow Government guidance for isolation.
Can I come to College if I don’t want to be tested?
We are encouraging every staff/student to be tested, as we believe in this will reduce the spread of infection and will help to protect those who are vulnerable and more at risk of getting infected from asymptomatic individuals. You can still come to the College if you don’t want to be tested, but only if you are coming to work/study. You MUST NOT attend the College if you have any COVID symptoms or if you fall into the close contact categories (see question 7 for categories)
I have a nose piercing/s; how do I do my nose swab?
If your piercing/s have healed, then you just need to remove them to do the swab in each nostril. - If you your piercing is still healing, you will have to do the swab only in one nostril.
I have problems reaching my tonsils to do the swab. Do I still need to swab my tonsil?
Some individuals who may have conditions such as ‘tongue tie’ may experience problems whereby they are not able to extend/flatten their tongue enough to be able to expose and therefore reach their tonsils. In such (rare) occasions, we advise that only a nose swab is required.
I have been told I am a close contact of someone who has tested positive – what should I do?
A close contact is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. You will need to isolate for 10 days from the point of contact. You can be a contact anytime from two days before the person who tested positive developed their symptoms, and up to 10 days after, as this is when they can pass the infection on to others. A close contact can be: anyone who lives in the same household as someone with COVID-19 symptoms or who has tested positive for COVID-19 or anyone who has had any of the following types of contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 with a PCR test: face-to-face contact including being coughed on or having a face-to-face conversation within one metre apart, been within one metre for one minute or longer without face-to-face contact, sexual contact, been within 2 metres of someone for more than 15 minutes (either as a one-off contact, or added up together over one day), travelled in the same vehicle **An interaction through a perspex (or equivalent) screen with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 is not usually considered to be a contact, as long as there has been no other contact such as those in the list above. If you are a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 you will be notified by the NHS Test and Trace service via text message, email or phone and should follow guidance closely. If contact has occurred at BHASVIC you will be contacted by us and told what to do.
This video shows how to use the self-swabbing kit to take a sample to test for COVID 19
Can my household get a test?
Regular symptom-free testing is now available for households, childcare and support bubbles of primary and secondary-age pupils. Everyone in these groups is recommended to get tested twice a week using rapid LFD tests. Please go to this council web page for details on how to access the symptom-free testing. https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/covidschools. This site will be updated regularly.
I have taken an LFD test at home which has shown positive - what should I do?
All positive results from rapid tests undertaken at home do need to be confirmed with a standard PCR test. This is because these tests are not conducted in a controlled environment and will not have trained staff on hand. Following positive LFD test at home, a confirmatory PCR test should be booked online or by calling 119. Whilst awaiting the PCR result, the student and their close contacts should self-isolate. If the PCR test is negative, it overrides the self-test LFD test (at home only) and the student can return to college and no close contacts need continue to self-isolate.
Frequently Asked Questions by students prior to or during their Admissions Interview
Please read the answers to these FAQs ahead of your BHASVIC interview – this will enable your interviewer and you to be even more focused on your specific journey and questions.
Please also check the college’s Course Pages for each course you are considering.
If you have not seen them, or need a refresher, please also view the college’s recordings of the Live Open Evening Webinars for your course choices and considerations.
What’s covered in these FAQs?
- Admissions Policy and Offers of Places: Information about oversubscription and offers of places (includes Home Schooled and Private Candidates GCSE Results)
- Year 11 study in the summer term - learning content and sixth form preparation: should I be preparing and studying in the summer term and over the summer?
- School References, Predicted Grades, School Reports: How we will use and interpret school reports and references
- Course Choices and Changes Questions: Information about course decisions and if, how and when you can make changes to your choices
- Teaching, learning and timetable questions: including class sizes, what timetables are like and what kind of teaching we offer
- Personal Support and the Environment: How we help you if you have difficulties and what we are doing to address climate change
- Enrichment and extra-curricular activity: including EPQ, DofE, clubs, societies, trips and visits, speakers and other extra-curricular opportunities
Admissions Policy and Offers of Places:
Is BHASVIC oversubscribed? Every year there is a chance of the college being oversubscribed. If we are oversubscribed, we will keep anyone this affects up-to-date throughout the admissions process.
When BHASVIC is oversubscribed, how are applicants selected for an offer of a place? Is it by grades, references, postcode or extra-curricular activities? We select randomly by postcode for students who are in our Category 3 area (see Admissions Policy) who have chosen courses which are oversubscribed.
Which subjects are often oversubscribed? We do not reveal this information as we want students to select courses they would like to study, not courses which they think will give them the greatest chance of gaining a place at BHASVIC if we are oversubscribed. Oversubscription on courses fluctuates each year, with different courses being in scope from one year to the next.
What happens if my final GCSE results don’t meet the entry requirements to study at BHASVIC? We will guide and support you at interview if it looks like you are not being predicted the required grades. Likewise, at enrolment, we will advise and support you in finding alternative study if you have not gained the grades. If you are close to the boundary of our minimum entry requirements, we also strongly advise you to have a Plan B progression pathway from school and not only have BHASVIC as an option. Please check our Entry Requirements carefully.
What happens if I don’t get the GCSE grades for a specific course at BHASVIC? You will not be able to take up that course, but we will provide guidance and advice about a course at BHASVIC for which you do qualify and agree that with you for your Study Programme. Please check our Entry Requirements carefully.
Will not knowing what I want to do after BHASVIC affect me getting a place? Not at all – knowing what you want to do after college is not a requirement or part of our selection criteria to study at BHASVIC. If you choose a course which is heavily oversubscribed, we may ask you your reasons for choosing that course, to help us manage the oversubscription. Probably more than half our students who start sixth form are not sure what they want to do after BHASVIC, and many of the other half who do know will change their mind as they get into their BHASVIC courses.
I’m a private GCSE candidate, or I am Home Schooled. What is BHASVIC's position on me meeting its entry requirement?
Ofqual have commenced a consultation on GCSE, AS and A Level grade awarding for 'private' candidates (started Friday 15 January and closing on Friday 29 January at 23:45. Ofqual are consulting on four options and as soon as they have communicated their final decisions, BHASVIC will use these arrangements to support our applicants in this situation. The consultation states the following:
"Private candidates should be able to obtain a grade. We are seeking views on 4 approaches that would enable private candidates to be issued with grades:
(a) private candidates take papers set and marked by the exam boards
(b) private candidates’ performance is assessed by a school or college
(c) private candidates take an exam in summer 2021
(d) private candidates take an exam in autumn 2021
The proposed approaches for 2021 should make it easier for private candidates to obtain a grade.
We will decide on the best approach for private candidates once we have considered the responses to the consultation and sought views from representatives of private candidates."
Year 11 study in the summer term - learning content and sixth form preparation:
Will BHASVIC provide learning content for Year 11s who have completed their Level 2 (GCSE, etc) studies early in the summer term? Some Year 11 students and their parents, carers and secondary school teachers have been asking whether they could or should begin to study for their Sixth Form courses now that the GCSE syllabus has finished and there are no GCSE exams to revise for. Year 11 students do not need to begin their Sixth Form studies early. The journey to academic readiness for Year 11s transitioning to Sixth Form study this September will follow our normal approach, which is:
- 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 Sixth Form. Complete any work, including project work, that your schools have set you and these will provide fantastic opportunities to hone the transferable skills you will need for your next steps.
- BHASVIC Moving On Day – Tuesday 6 July – on this day you will attend a lesson in your chosen courses and you will be set some work to do over the summer. This summer work is not designed or intended in any way to ruin your summer holiday (see below), but will enable you to keep your mind and other skills going and for you to be able to start in September with a little more confidence and familiarity with your chosen course. Our students enjoy and like the work our departments set you over the summer.
What should I do with study once my GCSE courses have finished? Our strong recommendation for Year 11 students is to use the remainder of the summer term and the summer holidays to conduct hobbies and enrichment activity, to socialise, have fun, to be outdoors and follow your wider interests… or develop new ones. These activities bring incredibly valuable wellbeing and personal development opportunities and are valued by all educators as a demonstration of engagement, dynamism and a healthy lifestyle. This summer is one of those rare opportunities in your life where you will not have lots of study and looming exams or assessments to be prepared for – make the most of it!
We encourage as much safe social and outdoors activity as possible, having been stuck indoors for so much of the recent past. However, we know that many young people are fascinated by, and deeply enjoy, activity which occurs indoors, such as digital activity, reading or making. This is OK too, of course, and these interests are incredibly valuable – just try to limit the social media and computer games time and ensure you connect with friends and head outdoors as well each day.
I want to keep my mind and study skills going - what do you advise I do? For those young people who love to study and develop their minds, and before our summer work becomes available to you, there are some fantastic online learning courses and wider reading opportunities. 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 an online course (‘mooc’) is worth your time, any course which broadens your critical thinking skills will always be advantageous for Sixth Form study. There are a wide range of providers such as FutureLearn, iTunes U, Coursera, Khan Academy, Alison and the slew of Universities in the UK and USA, who have lots of different courses that can be studied for free.
We will also be providing weekly, virtual #BeMoreBHASVIC transition webinars and activities, linked to wellbeing, and the neuroscience of successful study - in collaboration with Andrew Wright of NueroNinja acclaim - these will be starting after May half term.
I feel like I have not learnt as much as I should or could have done due to lockdowns and know that everyone is saying that students through Covid are now at a disadvantage. I am worried that, despite meeting the GCSE entry requirement grades for my sixth form courses, I will still struggle and be behind - what should I do about this? For those young people who are concerned they may have fallen behind in their academic abilities and feel they may be at a disadvantage when starting Sixth Form, we have three key reassuring points to make to you:
- We’ve got this for you! Our teaching teams and staff are experts in what they do and our curriculum delivery for you when you get to BHASVIC will enable you to regain your momentum and will support the closing of knowledge and skills gaps. There is time at sixth form to do this and you will catch up.
- If you feel you are lacking in any critical aspects of your Level 2 (GCSE, etc) learning, which form important building blocks for sixth form study, then do take the time and opportunity to use the extensive revision content available from your school and from central locations such as the exam boards and BBC Bitesize, to practice and close any knowledge or skills gaps you are concerned about. However, our advice is to not worry about this and to enjoy this break in academic demands whilst you have your end of secondary school summer holidays, which you have earnt!
- The independent study skills you will have been developing due to lockdown learning put you in a more developed position than past students. Each phase of education requires a jump in independent learning skills and the jump from secondary to sixth form is a notorious one (as is often the jump from sixth form to university and from any education to the world of work). We believe you will be an advantage here – even if you have not faired so well during lockdown learning. Despite national media rhetoric about lost learning, which has of course occurred, we’d stress at BHASVIC that this is overplayed and there are other skills that have been developed. Also the need to take up those social opportunities with friends and family and to follow your hobbies and interests are more important to your future success.
I hope this reassures our prospective students, their parents, carers and schools and this provides options and ideas for those of you who are worried about lost learning or are impatient to continue to develop your learning.
School References, Predicted Grades, School Reports:
How will you determine offers for a place at the college, or on specific courses, when disruption due to Covid means that schools’ predictions or mock results may not be fully representative of my potential? We will use mock results, school predictions and teacher report grades in general terms and will show some leniency with individuals are close to course entry grades. However, if your school grades indicate that you will be unlikely to achieve our entry requirements, we will not offer places on the course and instead agree a different course. We can then change this back at enrolment if you do achieve the necessary GCSE grades in the summer.
My school attendance isn’t that high, but I have had a lot of disruption due to Covid – will this affect my offer of a place at BHASVIC? No, we will be lenient with this. Please do encourage your school to clarify this in the information they send to us about you.
Course Choices and Changes Questions:
I am still unsure about my final subjects or course choices – where can I get help? A good starting point is our website and the course pages there. Each course has links to the exam board specification. Make sure you have looked at this information and discussed it with someone (a parent or carer, for example) before your interview. Your current teachers at school are an excellent source of advice – ask them their thoughts. You may also want to have a careers advice appointment at school as well. Finally, our interviewer can give you some final advice, but if you are still unsure about your final course choices, see the answers to the questions below.
I am still unsure about my final subjects or course choices – when is the latest I have to decide? Ideally, we aim to agree your course choices with you at interview. However, we are able to accept course change requests throughout the Spring and Summer and will agree your final course choices at enrolment in late August. Any changes you request after interview cannot be guaranteed and you may be added to a waiting list if the course is oversubscribed. To reassure you, deciding on your final courses is difficult and as BHASVIC is a very large college, we are able to accommodate quite a lot of ‘churn in student changes, so generally at BHASVIC students end up on the courses they would most like to study. We also allow a four-week window of course changes at the beginning of the Autumn Term.
Can I take four A levels at BHASVIC? Yes. We will advise you at interview and enrolment about this. Please see our extensive advice about this here.
Are BTECs as good as A levels? The BTEC courses we offer at BHASVIC are all A level equivalents and carry full UCAS Points.
Will there be any Moving On activity this year, because I know for last year’s students everything was virtual and they couldn’t go to Moving On lessons onsite. What will happen this year for me and when will events take place? Yes, we plan to have our Moving On Day in the normal way, onsite and with lessons, in July. We will keep you up-to-date via our Admissions communications.
Teaching, learning and timetable questions:
What are the average class sizes at BHASVIC? On average, classes are twenty students. Maximum class size is 22 students and on rare occasions we enrol 23 students into a class. Each class includes a wide range of students and you will get to have discussions, groupwork and learning opportunities with a diverse and enthusiastic fellow sixth formers, who can advance your thinking and help you develop as an individual.
What will my timetable be like at BHASVIC? Sixth Form timetables are very different from secondary school timetables. You will have some late starts and early finishes, as well as some free study periods between lessons, as the norm. Independent study is a critical aspect of sixth form study and our library and other social and study spaces are very popular onsite. Please take a look at this example of a BHASVIC student timetable.
Will there be any form of remote teaching from September 2021 and onwards? We expect not, but cannot be certain. BHASVIC will use the best of the discovery and learning we have made in adapting to online and remote delivery, but our delivery of onsite, live and in=person lessons will not change and will return to their normal amounts each week once the pandemic has been overcome.
What IT equipment will I need as a BHASVIC student? You are advised to have a laptop or other device which connects to the internet, has a screen and keyboard and on which you can produce your college work. A quiet place to study at home is also a good idea. We have schemes to get education discounts for your own computer equipment and we also strongly advise you to let us know at interview or at any other convenient point if you do not have access to study IT at home and come from a home with low income – we would seek to provide support to you if this is the case and more information can be found here on our website about the 16-19 Bursary (look under Financial Support).
Personal Support and the Environment:
What support is there at BHASVIC if things don’t go so well for me or I am experiencing difficulties with my personal life or my studies? Please take a look at this part of our website for information about all the outstanding support we offer at the college.
What’s the college doing to help save our planet? BHASVIC has a roadmap to become carbon neutral. We think it is important as an education provider to address humanity’s impact on the environment and we know that our students expect that of us. We involve our students and they are the most important stakeholders to us in being a green and sustainable college.
Enrichment and extra-curricular activity:
What opportunities are there to do extra activities and gain further experiences at BHASVIC? BHASVIC offers ‘portfolio courses’ in your second year of study with over 60 to choose from. These courses are shorter courses, taught by a passionate, knowledgeable and experienced teacher or practitioner, and cover an extensive range of subjects and skills, including academic topics and themes, specialist practical skills development, wellbeing and employability skills. Examples Film Music, BHASVIC TV, Geology, Mind and Movement, Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and Politics for Beginners.
Can I study the EPQ (Extended Project)? Yes, we have first year and second year study options.
Is the Duke of Edinburgh running at BHASVIC? Yes, we do Gold Award.
What Clubs and Societies are there at BHASVIC? The college also has an extensive range of options for students and the majority of these are run by students for students. If something is missing and you want to set it up, the Student Union have a budget and expertise to support you and, because of the size of the college, if you are interested in something there will be plenty of others interested in that too. Examples include our FemSoc (Feminist Society) and Debating Society. Check out our Enrichment webpage to see more.
What kinds of trips, visits and speakers happen at BHASVIC? Too many to mention here. Many curriculum departments run residential and one day trips locally, nationally and abroad. There are a number of cross-college events to get involved with, such as the skiing trip or expeditions. Curriculum Departments and the Guidance and Student Services teams bring in a wide array of visitors and speakers to inspire, motivate and develop your learning and your future.
Are there any awards or competitions I can get involved with through BHASVIC? Yes, many curriculum departments promote local and national awards and competitions. Check our latest Newsletter to see some examples.
Is it possible to do any work experience or work placements through BHASVIC? Yes, we have a specialist Work Experience Coordinator and each subject area, as well as our tutorial system, provide support to gain experiences and placements. In some instances, a placement is an essential part of a qualification.
We are in the process of updating this page, please be patient whilst we make these changes.
On our BHASVIC website, we have extensive information for you about our Student Services. This is a good starting point for any support you need.
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.
The college site will remain open for students who meet approved criteria by invitation only. They will be contacted directly. We are not open for students whose preference is to work onsite. All bursary students have (or have been offered) IT provision. There is very limited ability to provide additional equipment but any requests should be directed to Guidance Managers who will be able to assess individual need.
How can I access library resources?
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 email@example.com
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 have and are still 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
How can I best support my mental health and wellbeing in the current situation?
Please see our wellbeing page on our website with many resources to help you.
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?
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 email@example.com 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 Support and Services 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.
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.
I have been in contact with someone who has tested positive - what should I do?
- If you are identified as a close contact of an individual who has tested positive you will need to isolate for 10 days from the date of last contact with that person.
- The eleventh day needs to be a full day, so, for example if the last date of contact was a Monday, you would come out of quarantine on the Friday the following week.
- You don’t need to get tested (unless you become symptomatic). Others in your household who come into contact with you but who didn’t come into contact with the covid positive person don’t need to isolate (unless you become symptomatic).
- Others outside of your household (fellow students, friends, work colleges, etc) who came into contact with you but who didn’t come into contact with the covid positive person don’t need to isolate (unless you test positive).
- If you have been identified as a close contact and do get a test, even if that test result is negative, you must remain in isolation for 10 days of last contact.
- If you have received a positive test result, you must isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms (or the date of the test if asymptomatic). Your household must isolate for 10 days. In these cases, please contact BHASVIC urgently via firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the link to the Government site – which has all the exception clauses to the above advice: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/how-long-to-self-isolate/
I (or someone who lives with me) has a medical vulnerability or extreme anxieties linked to being onsite and/or travelling to and from college and I would prefer not to come on site for lessons. Can I access all my lessons remotely?
We understand that this is a very worrying time for anyone with medical or other vulnerabilities. We are keen to support you in maintaining your health and wellbeing and to help you to continue to access learning.
However, you should be aware that we do not have the teacher time or resource to provide one-to-one, remote tuition. Our online course resources are part of a 'blended' approach and do not stand alone as a complete, long-term educational package for a student who is not coming to lessons. The situation would be different if the college went into lockdown, where our teachers would then move to their time, resources and capacity to delivering their courses to all students remotely.
Shielding advice for all adults and young people was paused on 1 August. This means that even the small number of students who will remain on the shielded patient list can return to college, as can those who have family members who were shielding. Please read the latest information from the Government website.
Whilst the college remains open, and we are delivering some or all of our lessons on-site, we cannot support long-term independent learning and remote study. However, we appreciate that there may be individual circumstances (for example, for those who have been advised by a medical professional to take additional isolation precautions due to a severe health issue) where some flexibility may be required for short periods of Tier 3 lockdown or when local infection rates remain very high. In this circumstance we advise that:
- Students discuss their personal circumstance with their Guidance Manager to complete an individual risk assessment
- Students and parents/carers understand that we will not be able to provide individualised lessons or work to be set. Our courses have independent study provision and remote work which is set via Teams and/or VLE for the one third lesson and this is the work that a student who is not attending onsite will be asked to complete.
- The student must remain in contact with their teacher about anything which is unclear, throughout the period when they are working remotely.
- If the student has not yet returned to onsite learning within 4 weeks, we expect that a review will be conducted with Guidance Manager in discussion with teachers, and a phased return or discussion of alternative, deferral options agreed.
What are the 'rules' on self-isolation?
The general rules are set out here. You must self-isolate immediately if:
- you have any symptoms of coronavirus(a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
- you've tested positive for coronavirus
- you live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive
- someone in your 'support bubble' has symptoms or has tested positive
- you're told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
- you arrive in the UK from a country with a high coronavirus risk
If you have symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus, you'll usually need to self-isolate for at least 10 days.
I have been in contact with someone who is highly likely to have coronavirus but they can’t get a test
The current system only requires isolation once a case is confirmed positive. However, if you decide to isolate as a result, then that is a pro-active measure but currently it up to you to decide this.
I have been in contact with someone who has been identified as a close contact – do I need to do anything?
A ‘close contact’ of a ‘close contact of a confirmed case’ does not need to isolate unless that close contact becomes a confirmed case themselves or unless you become symptomatic yourself.
How is a close contact defined?
Anyone who has touched a confirmed case
Anyone who has been within 1 metre for one minute
Anyone who have been within 2 metres for 15 minutes
When should I book a coronavirus test?
Please read this letter from the Chief Nurse of Public Health England.
I can’t get a test – what should I do?
Remain in isolation until your quarantine is completed
I can’t get a test – does college have any?
No. We were given 10 tests and these are reserved for clinically vulnerable members of our community
The full college risk assessment for Coronavirus is available HERE
Where and when do I have to wear a face covering at college?
Since the start of term, we have asked all students to wear face coverings whilst moving around the college, both in corridors and outside; as well as in social and study spaces.
If students are eating or drinking they can remove their face coverings temporarily but must ensure they are 1 metre or more away from others and replace face coverings as soon as possible. We ask students to be without face coverings for as short a period as possible, whilst eating.
As a response to the national lockdown, from 5 November, we also requested that students wear face coverings during lessons onsite, although in order to complete particular classroom activities, there may be times when students can remove their face covering, in discussion with their teacher. We will review this decision as national guidance and policy changes with regard to alert levels.
Do I have to wear a face covering in an exam?
Students can remove face coverings during any exam which has been organised formally by the Exams Office (eg. mocks or final assessments). Alternatively, students can choose to continue to wear face coverings, if they wish. Exams have their own, separate risk assessment and procedures, which follow published government guidance here and requires that students are seated at least 2 metres apart in an exam; this is different from elsewhere in college. When entering and exiting the exam room, students should follow the usual college rules on wearing face coverings, as outlined above.
Does everyone have to wear a face covering?
There are some students who may be exempt due to a particular health or disability reason (eg. asthma, ASC). If this is the case, you can complete an individual risk assessment with your Personal Tutor and, if you wish, you can carry an exemption lanyard. If you choose not to have an exemption lanyard, just be aware that you may be asked to explain your situation to Covid Marshals or other members of staff.
How do I get an exemption lanyard?
Discuss your situation with your Personal Tutor or one of the Study Support team. They will advise on completing an individual risk assessment with you and authorise you to collect an exemption lanyard from Student Services Reception.
Safe wearing and disposal of face coverings
Wearing a face covering is just one of a number of preventative measures and system of controls, recommended by the Department for Education for FE and sixth form colleges HERE
There is more detailed guidance on how to wear a face covering safely HERE.
- A face covering should cover your nose and mouth and ideally include at least two layers of fabric or be disposable.
- You should wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before removing or putting one on, and do not touch your face during use or when removing a face covering.
- Make sure you clean any surfaces the face covering has touched using disposable wipes and avoid placing face coverings on desks, tables and other surfaces.
- You should not share face coverings with others and, if it is single-use, dispose of it carefully in a ‘black bag’ waste bin.
- Do not recycle a disposable, single-use face covering and place reusable face coverings in a plastic bag when not in use. Take home and wash regularly.
We have a small supply of face coverings at Main Reception or Student Services Reception if you forget to bring one to college.
We expect that all students will follow the college contract and be polite and respectful to all members of staff, including our Marshals.
Please follow their instructions, without argument, as it is their job to ensure that everyone in the college community remains safe and follows the rules on social distancing and face coverings during the pandemic. Students who are rude or disrespectful will be dealt with according to our code of conduct and may be asked to leave the site.
Student Social Spaces – Opening Times
Seating Plan recording
9.30 – 14.30
Sign-in by Invigilators
8.00 – 15.00
Sign-in sheets on tables
8.00 – 15.00
Sign-in sheets on tables
Elms Common Room
9.45 – 14.30
Sign-in sheets on tables
Breaks and lunchtime
Classrooms remain open for students to use as overspill, with exception of specialist spaces (eg. labs)
The FAQs below are exceptionally common for students, especially at the start of term. There are extensive guidelines on the BHASVLE to help you understand and access all our college systems. These can be found from the top navigation links on the BHASVLE “IT Services”.
If you cannot access the BHASVLE, then navigate from the BHASVIC website and choose Students from the top menu. This will take you to the Student Dashboard – your hub to everything at BHASVIC. There is an IT Help Desk icon where you can request account help to access BHASVLE.
Here are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions which can be answered via the BHASVIC Student Dashboard:
- How do I find/log into my BHASVIC Student Email Address?
- I don’t know my login details for the BHASVLE/Advantage/365/Teams – what should I do?
- When I try to log into a BHASVIC account I can’t, but my username and password are correct – what should I do?
- How do I set up my Wi-Fi access at BHASVIC on my phone/laptop?
- I can’t get into one of my student accounts from home – what should I do?
- How do I manage my printing and printing credit?