Latest Update - Tuesday 14 June - rail strikes and exams in Exams accordion
Update: Tuesday 14 June 2022 - FAQs about proposed Rail Strikes
What rail services might be affected?
Please note, not all services are affected and the strikes themselves may be called-off last minute. Check your rail company website for the most up-to-date information.
What about trains on other, non-strike days (ie Wednesday 22nd and Friday 24th June)?
According to the media, there is likely to be significant disruption to train schedules on the non-strike days as well (because the trains will not be in the correct locations for usual services). Disruption may even continue into the following week.
Which exams may be affected in the strike days?
A Level Exams:
- Tuesday 21 June - am - Religious Studies, German
- Tuesday 21 June - pm - Maths
- Thursday 23 June - am - Chemistry
- Thursday 23 June - pm - Double Maths (Decision)
A1 Summer Exam Resits - These take place on Tuesday 21, Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 and cannot be moved. Please see your Advantage account. Parents and carers are also emailed if their Young Person has not passed their A1 Summer Exam and they are down for a Resit.
What do I do if I miss an A Level exam due to rail disruption?
If you have been completely unable to travel to your exam due to the rail strikes and despite every attempt to make alternative arrangements, then you will need to make a Special Consideration application (see further down on this FAQs page or google "JCQ Special Consideration"). BHASVIC states here that the Special Consideration decision-making process lies with the Awarding Organisation for the exam, not with the college. Our view is that, in line with the JCQ policy on Special Consideration, you, as the candidate, would be absent from the examination for an acceptable reason due to the rail strike being circumstances beyond your control, but ultimately the Awarding Organisation would be the judge of what is reasonable/acceptable on this. The expectation will be that, despite the very stressful and unfortunate timing of the strikes, candidates will make alternative travel arrangements and attend their exams.
If you do miss an exam, you will still be able to apply for Special Consideration if you have completed at least one of the other components (exam or NEA).
What do I do if I arrive late for an exam due to rail disruption and travel delays?
If missing the start of an exam – but you can arrive within 30 mins of the start of the exam, you can go straight to the exam room and talk to the invigilator. If you will be later than 30 minutes, please contact or come to the Exams Office and they will evaluate whether it is possible for you to take the exam. If the exam has finished before you arrive, it would not be possible to sit the exam.
What do I do if I miss an A1 Resit Exam due to the rail disruption?
Please contact your teacher and your Personal Tutor to let them know. The same lateness rules will apply, as above. Once you have contacted your teacher, the department will make decisions about your progression on a case-by-case basis, using your progress on the course over the past year.
What advice can you provide about alternative travel arrangements?
Plan in advance.
Morning exams are going to be more challenging to get to than afternoon ones. If possible, stay overnight with any relatives or family friends where you can get to the exam without relying on trains (the college cannot offer help with this)
- We know this may mean a VERY early start – don’t rely on last buses – on this day of all days they will be very busy.
- If the bus is full when it passes your bus stop, the driver is unlikely to stop for you.
- Car sharing with friends – we cannot broker this, I am afraid.
- Car drop-offs - we suggest avoiding dropping-off by car right near the college – you are likely to become stuck in one-way queues of traffic. Avoid travelling into the centre and prepare instead for a 10–15-minute walk to the college from outskirts – high numbers of our students walk to college or from their bus stop and this can be healthy ahead of an exam.
- Please bring a decent lock and prepare for the fact that you may need to lock your bike offsite (railings along Old Shoreham Road are an option).
- Check bike before the exam and leave early with a puncture repair kit.
- If walking is a viable option for you, all-be-it where this means a very long walk, remember this is a one-off occurrence for you and exercise can be excellent preparation for your brain.
What support is available from BHASVIC?
- Financial difficulties or mobility issues: For students who receive free college meals or the 16-19 bursary and may experience difficulties with public transport costs, please contact email@example.com who can provide advice and support with this.
- General worries about your circumstances: please contact your Personal Tutor, who can explore these with you.
**Please read our Covid Guidance accordion section before reading the FAQs directly below
JCQ have published important and helpful FAQs on Special Consideration. These cover the following questions/issues:
- What is meant by Special Consideration and scenarios where this would and would not apply
- The minimum requirements to receive a grade, if any of your exam attendance or coursework submission is disrupted by Covid
- Advice about Covid symptoms/testing positive and sitting or missing an exam
- What to do if you miss an exam
An additional FAQ to answer: If I cannot attend the exam at BHASVIC due to self-isolation, can I take the exam at home via remote invigilation?
No, unfortunately this would not be possible (please see Page 7 of this JCQ Guidance on conducting exams). If it was the case that you had missed all previous components (coursework/exams) and would not be able to gain the qualification AND you know at least 5 days in advance that you will miss the final exam, please contact the exams office firstname.lastname@example.org and we will investigate your case.
Updated: Wednesday 7 February 2022 (advance information & support for exam anxiety - see NEW FAQs! top of Section 1)
Mock Exams Fortnight: Please refer to the Student Guide to the Mock Exam Fortnight, which is the two weeks before the February Half Term. Your Personal Tutor will be covering this in detail during tutorial and your teachers will give you precise information about the Mock Exam for your course. Please ask any questions to your tutor or teacher, so that you are clear about these important assessments.
This FAQ has two distinct section:
Section 1: Contingency arrangements if exams are cancelled – this section outlines BHASVIC’s current and future arrangements in the very unlikely event that exams are cancelled.
Section 2: Changes to Exams this summer – the DfE and Ofqual have outlined a few adjustments to the way exams will run next summer, in recognition of the disruption students have experienced in their learning due to the pandemic.
If there is an important question you need answering, we strongly encourage you to ask a relevant teacher or your personal tutor. It is important to us that you feel clear and confident about exams this summer so that you can focus on the facts and prepare with confidence, rather than feeling anxious because you are not sure how things will work. If questions arise that need answering at top level, we will post them here, so it is worth checking this FQ periodically for updates. If we do make significant updates, we will tell you in our email updates from the Principal, Will Baldwin.
Section 1: Contingency Arrangements if Summer 2022 Exams are cancelled (unlikely)
NEW FAQ! Advance Information released by exam boards - what does this mean?
The college and all our course teams will be processing the exam board's Advance Information and will be communicating to each student on each course via the VLE, Teams and via our messages from the Principal. Our advice to you right now is to give our teachers (who are the experts here) a little time to process the information, work out the absolute best options for our students and then to give advice on what will be best to do ahead and in the time remaining before national exams. We are on to this and want the very best for our students, so look out for information from your teachers in the coming days.
Students experience anxiety around exam time, and this is not uncommon, but normally exam anxiety alone does not meet the strict government regulations for giving Exam Access Arrangements (small room, rest breaks, extra time, etc).
NEW FAQ! I feel I need some special arrangements in which to sit my exams due to high levels of anxiety – what are my options?
Students experience anxiety around exam time, and this is not uncommon, but normally exam anxiety alone does not meet the strict government regulations for giving Exam Access Arrangements (small room, rest breaks, extra time, etc).
BHASVIC has a range of support in place for students who are experiencing exam anxiety – accessing this support can help reduce your anxiety and prepare you well for sitting your exams as normal.
Please check our Student Wellbeing webpage, where all our resources to support you can be found. In addition, you should talk with your Personal Tutor and any one of your teachers to gain some reassurance and confidence about sitting your exams.
I have a mock exam in the afternoon but have a lesson in the morning (A2 BTEC students/A1 Double Maths, GCSE Retakes) - can I miss the morning lesson?
If you have an exam in the afternoon and a lesson in the morning, you may take the morning as Study Leave but you must let your teacher know this, otherwise you will be marked absent by the teacher of the morning lesson.
Can and how do I apply for Special Consideration for the February 2022 Mock Exams? All the information you require is included in the guidance Special Consideration for February 2022 Mock Exams. Please read this guidance in full before completing a Special Consideration request via your Advantage account.
Will exams be cancelled? The government have made it clear will do everything possible to enable exams to go ahead in 2022 and cancelling them would be a last resort. All decision makers at government level consider exams to be the fairest and most accurate way to determine grades and so they do not want to cancel them.
BHASVIC’s view remains that cancellation of exams is very unlikely and all our students should focus their energies on preparing for them.
I am very anxious that I won’t get the grades I deserve if exams are cancelled! BHASVIC is on your side. We want the best outcomes for our students and will run TAGs fairly and objectively with a determination to celebrate and award our students’ learning, knowledge and skills developed on their courses, should exams be cancelled. The rest of this FAQ should reassure you that there are sensible and supportive measures in place to enable you to thrive and demonstrate your hard-earned ability level.
What happens if exams can’t go ahead at all in Summer 2022? In the unlikely event that exams are not able to go ahead as planned, Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) provided by BHASVIC to the exam boards will be used.
Ofqual and the Department for Education (DfE) have confirmed Contingency Arrangements which the college will follow.
Some aspects of this guidance mean that BHASVIC and its staff and students will need to do certain things ahead of Summer Exams just in case the exams were to be cancelled (this is what is meant by contingency arrangements).
This FAQ provides a more ‘BHASVIC-student-friendly’ outline of Ofqual’s contingency arrangements, as well as an outline of some of the college-level decisions and details you need to know. This FAQ has also been written with parents and carers (as very important stakeholders) in mind.
Ofqual have also published three open letters to:
- schools and colleges
- students (with a helpful Instagram video embedded)
- private candidates (with a helpful Instagram video embedded)
What are BHASVIC’s arrangements to formulate TAGs if exams ended up being cancelled? BHASVIC will need to run up to three mock exams to be able to formulate TAGs for its students. Ofqual have asked centres to assess candidates under exam-like conditions, wherever possible. Ofqual have advised three assessments for courses without a coursework component and, if it is possible to continue to assess students later in the academic year, providing more recent evidence towards the end of the course to inform TAGs, should they become necessary (unlikely!).
At the same time, considering that it is unlikely that exams would be cancelled, BHASVIC does wants to:
- Avoid putting undue pressure or stress on its students due to over-assessment or constant high-stakes testing
- Avoid losing lesson time and teaching time to formal assessments (for a large centre like a sixth form college, an exam in every subject takes two weeks to deliver).
To achieve this for A Levels, AS Levels and English/Maths GCSE, at BHASVIC we will:
- Mock Exam 1 (mid-Feb): Run a Mock Exam for all relevant courses in the two weeks prior to February Half Term. This adheres closely to what the college does anyway for sound educational reasons and to support our students in preparing for the real exams in May/June.
- Mock Exam 2 (end-March): Prepare for (but not run unless we absolutely have to) a second Mock Exam leading up to the Easter Holidays. We will only do this if we absolutely have to – for example where the course of the pandemic indicates that there is a reasonable risk we are heading into imminent national lockdowns
- End-Point-Assessments (mid-May): Prepare for (but not run unless we absolutely have to) one or two End Point Assessments in May (taking account of whether we ran a second Mock Exam before Easter and if exams have by that point been cancelled).
The above actions and timeframe would enable BHASVIC to have sufficient evidence, towards the end of the course, to formulate TAGs fairly, objectively and without national exams.
What about BTECs and Criminology? These courses are very different from A Levels and each course has a unique schedule of exams, mock exams and coursework components. Your teacher will communicate with you carefully about all assessment processes on your course. On some BTEC courses and in Criminology you may be sitting mock exams in the same window of time as A Level Mock Exams.
Will there be Study Leave for the February Mock Exams?
Yes, for A2 students. Lessons will be suspended for two weeks and your teachers will give you revision planning activity to follow and record – this will be designed to help you very carefully record and analyse your revision and exam technique. Although we would run lessons if we could, giving students Study Leave avoids an otherwise very inconsistent learning experience for students and allows that careful learning and analysis of the experience of sitting an exam series just before the final and real exams take place.
What happens if I miss any of the BHASVIC Mock Exams or End-Point-Assessments? The Mock Exam in February is a learning opportunity and we would ask you to sit them at a later point so that you could use that learning for your final exam. However, we would not use that evidence to formulate your TAG if exams were cancelled. At this point we do not know and we would wait to comply with more detailed guidance that Ofqual and/or JCQ would provide about the formulation of TAGs for students who had missed the contingency assessment opportunities we had put in place. Suffice to say that should a student have missing Mock Exam evidence, Ofqual and JCQ would need to have arrangements in place (and we expect BHASVIC would be asked to write a policy) to allow our teachers to formulate grades from other evidence that they hold on a student, without disadvantaging them.
What part would my Non-Exam Assessment (coursework) play in the TAG? Coursework and NEA components will run as normal and will be marked in the normal way. If exams are cancelled, your NEA will form part of the evidence to use for your TAG. In either eventuality, you will want to do the best you can with your coursework, as either way it will form part of your final grade.
What about the Extended Project Qualification, or EPQ? Students taking the EPQ in summer 2022 will be assessed in the normal way.
Help! I am finding circumstances this year very difficult and would like some advice or help! Your teacher is the best starting place for academic support and to get a reassuring understanding of what is happening with assessment, exams, etc. If your needs are broader, make sure you talk with your Personal Tutor if you are experiencing problems above and beyond the normal pressures of studying. There is also an excellent page of advice that our Student Support team have put together that can be really helpful – this is on the Student Dashboard our website: Student Support Services.
These Mock Exams – tell me more about them please! Here are some very important points about the mock exams (and End-Point-Assessments, should we run those):
- The overall time you will spend on formal assessments: All mock exam and EPA activity will amount to about the same amount of assessment (time and assessment objectives) as all the final exam and coursework components for the course.
- Topics in advance: You will be told in advance the aspects of the content the assessment will cover, but not the specific questions, so that you can plan and prepare appropriate revision (in line with ‘advance information’ for the actual exams).
- Content: The mock exams will only include content that you have covered on the course up to that point. Our teachers will plan so that, across the assessments, you are assessed on a wide range of content, similar to that which they’ll expect in your summer exams, and across the assessment objectives for the course.
- Fairness: All students on your course will sit the same paper, at the same time.
- Exam Style: The mock exam papers will use the same exam board style of questioning/structures, so that you are examined in a way that is usual for that course.
- Marking: will be standardised and moderated for consistency, objectivity and fairness and exam board criteria will be used.
- Grades: You will receive exam paper scores/marks but the papers will not be graded. The focus of your feedback on your mock exam will be identifying strengths and gaps, as well as exam technique.
- Scripts: Teachers will need to retain your exam papers, so you will have an opportunity to take a photograph on your phone of your script and your teacher will then collect it back in.
- Remember: Ultimately the most important aspect of these mocks is to help you with your final exams this summer. The fact that they act as a contingency if exams are cancelled is also important but much less likely to happen.
Why am I not getting a grade for my Mock Exam? In a real A Level, individual exam papers do not get graded. If exams are cancelled and we are asked to provide a TAG, we will do so based on the range of evidence according to the TAGs process to be defined by Ofqual. Grading an individual paper now could be very misleading to our students in the unlikely event that exams are cancelled. Ofqual will also require a quality assurance process to be conducted if exams are cancelled and they outline a detailed TAGs process.
Your Progress Grades given to you by your teachers are your best guide to your final grades, though obviously students learn at different rates and so some will do better or worse in their progress grades compared to their final grade. Remember, we are on the side of our students and want the best for you.
I have an identified reasonable adjustment/ special educational need and/or Exam Access Arrangement in place for final exams. Will my arrangements be in place for Mocks and EPAs? Yes. If you are entitled to any form of Exam Access Arrangements (such as extra time, rest breaks, etc), these will be in place for you.
If a student’s need for a reasonable adjustment due to Special Educational Need or a Disability is only identified after a mock exam or EPA has taken place, the college will record the reason for this late identification and we will either make an adjustment to marking, formulate a TAG without that assessment included or allow the student to undertake a different, but equivalent, assessment with the reasonable adjustment in place. Decisions would need to be made case-by-case and in line with Ofqual’s final TAGs arrangements.
What if I have mitigating circumstances at the time of the mock exam or my performance is affected by an event outside of my control – will there be any opportunity to request Special Consideration? BHASVIC will have a system in place for you to inform us of any mitigating circumstances which might have affected your performance. This system will be available immediately before and/or shortly after you sat the exam.
If your teacher and our tutorial staff are satisfied that your performance in an assessment was affected by an event that was outside of your control at the time of, or immediately before, the assessment, such as illness or family bereavement, the teacher will adjust marking in line with the Joint Council for Qualification’s (JCQ) approach to special consideration. BHASVIC will keep a record of the event and the marking adjustment, in a form that would be available for an exam board to review if exams are cancelled.
I have booked to re-sit an exam – what is going to happen for me? As exams are expected to take place in 2022, we have allowed our ex-students and current students who wish to re-sit to register for the exam as a private candidate. If exams are cancelled, the college is likely to ask you to sit End-Point-Assessments in May and may also need you to sit a Mock Exam before Easter, depending on the likelihood of exam cancelation nearer the time. We would notify all private candidates of this in time for revision.
Section 2: Adaptations to A Levels, AS Levels and GCSE Exams for Summer 2022
On Friday 28 January JCQ published a series of FAQs on advance information for students.
The DfE, Ofqual and JCQ have outlined measures they are putting in place to support this year’s students with their revision for exams, following disruption to learning due to the pandemic.
We will provide links to the most important documents here for you, but will also summarise the headlines in the format of answers to frequently asked questions. This should help you to process information from government which can sometimes be written in a format that isn’t student-friendly and to clarify what these government decisions mean for you as a BHASVIC student.
Proposed Changes to the assessment of GCSE, A Level – this document is from Ofqual, the government’s exams regulator. It outlines the overarching changes that will be in place.
The headlines from this document are:
- A Level Biology, Chemistry & Physics - BHASVIC will be allowed to assess the Common Practical Assessment Criteria (CPAC) across the minimum number of practical activities required to enable students to demonstrate their competence.
- Students taking a Visual Arts A Level or Graphic Design AS Level Recovery will be assessed on their portfolio only – no exam component.
- Exam boards will provide Advance Information about the focus of the content of the exams for all GCSE, AS and A level subjects for the summer 2022 exams.
- Advance Information will be provided by 7 February 2022 at the latest. This will enable teachers to plan to adapt their teaching in the second half of the spring term if necessary.
- There is flexibility for Advance Information to be deployed at other points ahead of 7 February 2022 if circumstances require. At least a week's notice will be given if it is decided that Advance Information will be released earlier than 7 February 2022.
Advance Information for Ofqual Regulated General Qualifications – this document is from JCQ, an organisation which guides Exam Boards, Exam Centres (schools and colleges) and candidates (students) on the delivery and conduct of examinations and qualifications.
The headlines from this document are:
- The Advance Information will detail the focus of particular aspects of the examination; for example, the content, contexts, texts, topics, sub-topics, themes and skills that will be assessed in the 2022 exams.
- The Advance Information will vary in its amount and detail across subjects to best suit the content and way the subject is examined.
- The Advance Information will not always detail everything that is in the examination. This is because in some cases this would risk good education, progression, or fair results; in other cases, it would be unhelpful to teachers and students, for example by listing topics that could lead to excessive teaching or revision on areas that are worth few marks.
- The Advance Information materials may be used at any point from the date of release. The Advance Information cannot however be brought into the actual exams by students - any Advance Information that can be used in the exam will be provided within the exam paper itself (formula sheets, for example).
- Advance Information does not require any changes to exam papers’ usual structure which means that exam papers and their questions will be familiar to you and your teachers, minimising unexpected layout or structure. Therefore, the way you have been taught and learned and practice assessments you have completed at BHASVIC will all be relevant to the way you'll be examined.
- The level of detail provided will not compromise fairness, so it will NOT enable students or teachers to predict questions for which would be able to memorize answers.
- The guidance document provides some examples of what the Advance Information might look like.
I don’t want to miss any announcements. How will I be told about the Advance Information as soon as it is available? The Advance Information will be very subject and exam board specific. Therefore, as a BHASVIC student your teachers and your course leaders will communicate with you via Teams. All students in our cohort will get the information at the same time this way.
Exam Boards could start releasing information at any time between now and 7th February, so it is important to regularly check your Teams and BHASVIC student emails for information and not to only rely on your teacher notifying you in a lesson.
I want to be confident that I will be taught the right topics and have a chance to only spend time revising the right course content. How will my teachers change our lessons content in the second half of the Spring and first half of the Summer terms, to ensure this? All our course teams intend to teach the whole of the syllabus if there is no further disruption to lessons due to the pandemic (Ofqual have asked education centres to aim to do this). However, if a course team has yet to teach an aspect of the syllabus after February 7th, but that topic will not appear in the final exams, that course team will adapt their content to focus on revision of the topics that will appear.
If exams are cancelled again and I will be given a grade via the Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) process, how will I know which assessments will be used to determine my grade? BHASVIC’s contingency plan is that the A2 Mock Exams in the Spring Term will be used as evidence to determine grades. In additional, if exams are cancelled, we will run an addition formal assessment in the first half of the Summer Term, which will be used as the basket of assessment evidence to determine grades. Finally, each course will then review all other assessments that have been made over the course and select one or two more of these (examples might be the A1 Summer Exams, a significant piece of assessment work completed in the Autumn Term of your A2 year, and so on).
If TAGs take place again, will I have the opportunity to provide information about any extenuating personal circumstances which will have affected any assessments used to determine my grade? Yes. BHASVIC will recreate a policy and procedures to enable this for you. This will include measures to not disadvantage students who have missed key assessments.
When are A Level and GCSE Results Days in August 2022?
- A Level Results Day will be Thursday 18th August 2022
- GCSE Results Day will be Thursday 25th August 2022
Covid Guidance FAQs – Updated 4 April 2022
I think I might have Covid, can I get a test from college?
Tests are no longer free and no longer being provided to schools/colleges. You can still test if you have old test kits at home or if you buy one from a pharmacy. However, Government advice states that it is not recommended that children and young people are tested for COVID-19 unless directed to by a health professional.
I think I might have Covid, can I come into college?
Young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. Students can come back to college when they no longer have a high temperature and they are well enough to attend.
I have Covid symptoms, can I come into college?
Government advice states that young people with mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, or slight cough, who are otherwise well, can continue to attend their education setting.
I have tested positive, what is the self-isolation period for those who test positive for Covid-19?
You are no longer required by law to self-isolate if you have Covid. However, Public Health/NHS guidance advises that you should still stay at home and avoid contact with other people.
If an adult tests positive, they should stay home for 5 days; if an 18 year-old or under-18 tests positive, they should stay at home for 3 days and can then return to college so long as they no longer feel too unwell to attend and do not have a fever. The rationale behind this is that evidence suggests younger people shed the virus for a shorter period of time.
Someone in my household has tested positive for Covid, can I come to college?
Government advice states that students who live with someone who has had a positive COVID-19 test result should continue to attend as normal.
I have Covid – who should I tell and what should I do?
Please notify email@example.com giving details of when you tested positive. Contact your teachers and your personal tutor via Teams and let them know. They will advise you individually on how to manage your studies, including if you are too unwell to study.
I have Covid/Covid symptoms and an exam – what should I do?
Please return to the FAQs main page and open the accordion below this one, titled Exams - Summer 2022.
Do I have to wear a face covering onsite?
No. Although if you have symptoms, have tested positive but are not isolating, or someone in your household has Covid, we strongly recommend you wear a face covering to reduce the disruption to learning for others.
How will I continue to learn if I’ve got Covid/ I'm self-isolating?
Contact your teachers and Personal Tutor via Teams and let them know - make it clear whether you are currently too poorly to study or are able to work from home.
Your subject teachers will establish the best methods for you to continue with your studies. They will guide you through your learning but please be aware that in many cases joining the lesson remotely from home may not be possible or lead to the best learning experience. Setting you independent work and giving you guidance on that work is likely to be the most common option during your temporary isolation period.
Your Personal Tutor will make the weekly tutorial information available to you via Teams.
What if my teacher is absent due to COVID?
Your teacher (or another teacher in the department) will communicate directly with you via Teams. Please make sure that you check Teams each morning, especially before travelling to college (so as to avoid any unnecessary journeys).
Normally, your teacher will set the class work during their temporary isolation but if you have not been told in advance via Teams that work is being set, please assume that the lesson is being covered and attend as normal.
In some cases, your teacher may be running a live online lesson from their home, though this is likely to be rare. If this does happen, you will be informed in advance on Teams and can either attend from home or if you are at college you can go to the normal classroom and attend using your own device. If you are sitting close to others in the classroom, please remember to wear a face covering and ensure a window is open to keep the space ventilated. You will need to make sure you have headphones and an internet-connected device to be able to attend 'live' online. If you do not have either of these, then you should let your teacher know and you can follow the catch-up work instead.
What if my Personal Tutor is absent due to COVID?
In most cases we provide are able to provide cover for absent tutors so that tutorials can go ahead at the usual time. However, when this is not possible, you will be contacted in advance via Teams, either by your Tutor (who might be working from home) or by another member of staff. In this case, the tutorial materials for the week will be shared with you via your tutorial Teams page and it will be made clear that you don’t need to attend your tutorial in person. Please make sure that you check Teams on the day of your tutorial, especially before travelling to college (so as to avoid any unnecessary journeys). It is unlikely that a live online tutorial will take place – but if this is happening you will be notified in advance.
Some Personal Tutors may be able to work from home if they are self-isolating. In this case they will be able to respond to your messages on Teams or email. If this is not possible, and you have an urgent need for support, guidance or advice, please contact your Guidance Manager or members of the Student Services Team by email or on Teams. If you don’t know who to contact you can drop in to the Student Services Centre or contact the BHASVIC Reception team (01273 473998) who will put you in touch with the right person.
Do I need to wear a face covering in my Exams?
The DfE state that masks during the exam itself are optional. if you have symptoms, have tested positive but are not isolating, or someone in your household has Covid, we strongly recommend you wear a face covering to reduce the disruption to others.
If someone in my class tests positive will I be told?
No. All track and trace work will be conducted by the NHS. For GDPR and confidentiality reasons we cannot inform classes if they have been exposed to a positive case. Similarly, you will not be informed of all positive cases you come into contact with outside of college in wider society (e.g. in shops and restaurants).
I have vulnerable individuals in my household
We recommend you all get vaccinated and continue to wear masks and maintain distance where possible.
Does the college require me to be vaccinated?
The vaccination programme has been extended to 16+ year olds. Whilst vaccination is voluntary, we encourage all staff and students to get vaccinated. Vaccination protects people from getting sick and from the long-term consequences of infection. Vaccination also reduces the spread of the virus and helps prevent a new generation of variants. Perhaps the most significant benefit for students is that vaccination will also protect their wellbeing by ensuring there are no further disruptions to their education.
Will indoor spaces be well ventilated?
We will continue to ensure that spaces are well ventilated and that a comfortable teaching environment is maintained. In the Copper and Elms Buildings, air circulation is mechanical and does not require windows or doors to be open. In other areas windows and doors will be kept open and we encourage all individuals to take responsibility for helping to ensure this happens by opening windows and doors. C02 monitors will be introduced when these are delivered via the DfE.
What about hand hygiene?
There are numerous facilities to wash hands around the college. Hand sanitiser is available in all classrooms and at additional points around the college.
What if cases rise significantly at BHASVIC?
We will monitor cases while they continue to be reported and look to identify any clusters of infection. If there is a significant rise in cases and evidence of onsite transmission at BHASVIC we will adopt our contingency framework and work with the DfE and Director of Public Health to step up mitigation measures. Remember that rises in cases is not as alarming as a year ago when vaccines were not in use.
Where can I find BHASVICs COVID Risk Assessment?
The college will continue to use a hierarchy of individual, department and whole college risk assessments to help mitigate against Coronavirus transmission. The whole college risk assessment is available on request.
I have Long COVID, what support will I get with high levels of absence and a continuation of my learning (remotely)?
BHASVIC will employ ‘best endeavours’ to support you with the continuation of your learning, using a range of strategies including setting work remotely and checking-in via our Teams learning platform. It is important to note that BHASVIC is not a distance learning provider and there is a level of absence beyond which our teaching teams cannot continue to teach or provide student support. The core part of the learning process at BHASVIC is within the classroom, on a face-to-face basis. It may be the case that the best approach will be to get better and then return to studies, but we would want to explore with you the exact nature of your condition and the impact on you as soon as possible.
What to do: Please tell your Personal Tutor, who will complete a Student Additional Information form with you, look at your remote learning needs and notify your teachers of your circumstances. You should discuss the following with your Personal Tutor:
- Your medical diagnosis (have you seen a doctor and what have they diagnosed)?
- How long have you had this and what is the advice about how long you may be suffering for?
- How does your condition impact on your weekly attendance – are you missing whole days regularly, or are you able to attend but can feel ‘wiped out’? It is very helpful for your teachers to know what your likely weekly and longer-term absence patterns might be like so that they can plan and agree ways to support you and communicate with you about your learning and your work.
- Are you experiencing high levels of absence? If you are, your Personal Tutor will need to discuss your circumstances with your Guidance Manager.
Your Personal Tutor will need to inform your teachers of the above information, so that you can then have a conversation (student to teacher) with each of your teachers about your learning and progress and ways to manage your condition and any potentially difficult absence levels.
General Admissions FAQs
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? If you will not be receiving a full set of GCSE Results and you have not already discussed this at interview, or your exam results circumstances have changed, please email Admissions@BHASVIC.ac.uk giving a full explanation of your situation. We will aim to resolve any complications and enable you to progress with your education.
I feel like I have not learnt as much due to Covid disruption and am worried that I will struggle at sixth form! 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.
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.
Why do some courses have charges? For those students studying Fine Art, Photography, Textiles and Graphic Design, by purchasing direct from specialist educational suppliers we secure the best discounts for bulk purchases of materials. We ask you make your contributions in advance at Moving on Day, so that we can facilitate early ordering which enables us to offer unlimited use of resources during lessons. For students following performing arts subjects, advanced contributions are used to secure education group discounts for performances where advance booking is required. For students studying Geography, advanced contributions are used to secure education group discounts for field trips and field activities where advance booking is required. Further information regarding course charges can be found here: www.bhasvic.ac.uk/parents-carers-dashboard/payments-and-donations
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 strongly suspect not, but cannot be absolutely 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 are expected to be normal throughout the academic year.
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).
In most cases, a windows laptop will be a good option for sixth form students, and BHASVIC provides each student with an Office 365 account, giving access to the Office suite of applications and all the online learning platforms we use at the college. The college has a high-quality Wi-Fi system and you have access to your college files from compatible, internet-linked devices through SharePoint and Office 365.
Whilst you are here – we wanted to signpost you to the fact that as a BHASVIC student, the Dell Advantage Scheme enables students to buy a Dell computer with a discount voucher giving you up to 20% off. You can spread the payments over 6 or 12 months. To make use of this scheme, go to the Dell Advantage website or see further details on BHASVLE.
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 our Support Services Webpage for information about all the outstanding support we offer at the college.
What’s the college doing to help save our planet from environmental damage? 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.
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 Silver and Gold Award (you do not need to have Bronze to do the Silver).
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.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: We will be performing essential maintenance on our network from 12.00 on Thursday 16 September. This means that parents, students and staff will experience some disruption to usual digital functions, including access to Teams, BHASVLE, cloud and internet. Students and staff have been notified via e-mail and given internal access links for some limited services. Our phone system will not operate whilst the works are completed, in case of an emergency you can contact the college via the following mobile contact numbers: 07442 496388 and 07932 996876. Thank you for your patience.
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?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.