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UPDATE 24/07/20

Current NSCG students who are returning in September

Thank you for embracing new ways of working and keeping on top of your studies during lockdown, the vast majority of students have engaged brilliantly and we have been delighted to see such high levels of participation. We hope you’ll enjoy a rest over the summer months and be ready to return refreshed at the start of the new academic year in September.

Students who are looking to go to university in 2021 should take the time over summer to research courses and institutions and work on crafting a strong personal statement. Support materials can be found here.

We are continuing to follow Government guidance to help us prepare for the new academic year and are currently planning for multiple scenarios for when you return in September, including full classroom delivery, remote learning and a blended approach. Term will commence during w/c 7th September and our faculty administration teams will be in touch over the summer to confirm specific plans for the start of term and provide you with details of your timetable.

Students who would have taken GCSE exams during the summer will get their results on 20 August 2020. We will write to you in advance of results day to confirm details of how you will be able to access your grades.

If you’re yet to confirm your progression plans or need any further advice or guidance, please contact your Personal Tutor in the first instance.

We look forward to welcoming you back in September.

Current NSCG students who are leaving NSCG this summer

For students who’ll be progressing from NSCG to the next stage of their educational or career journey this summer, the focus has been on completing your programme of study, achieving the best possible outcomes and supporting you in readiness for your next steps. We hope you feel well informed and prepared, however, recognising that these are uncertain times; we remain on hand for any support, advice or guidance you may need. Please get in contact if you feel you need further careers advice, help with a last minute university or apprenticeship application or want to find out more about HE courses at NSCG – we are here to help.

A Level results will be available on 13 August 2020 by appointment only. We will write to you in the next few weeks to confirm when and where you will be able to collect your results, and provide details how you can access further support if needed, to prepare you for your next steps.

The national BTEC Level 3 results day is 12 August 2020 and BTEC Level 2 results day is 19 August 2020, however there are a few exceptions to this. As soon as your results are ready, we’ll send them to you in the post with details on how you can access further support, if needed to prepare you for your next steps.

A reminder of how grades will be calculated this year can be found here.

We are really disappointed not to be able to send progressing students off with the usual fanfare, however we hope you’ll stay in touch with life at NSCG by following our social media channels and joining the College alumni network, further details of which can be found here. You’ll find the NSCG 2020 Celebration Awards videos on our College Facebook page where you’ll also be able to hear about some of the ‘Class of 2020’ leavers activities that our Marketing Team have in the pipeline.

On behalf of the entire staff team at NSCG, we wish you every success as you progress on to the next stage of your journey. Be proud of your achievements and thank you for your contribution to our college. As you go forward in your lives, always remember to demand more of yourself, be determined and resilient, dream big and go further than you thought you could go, show respect and be kind to yourself and to others.


UPDATE 03/04/20

CURRENT STUDENTS AND THE CANCELLATION OF GCSES AND A LEVELS IN 2020

GOV.UK UPDATE 03/04/20: How GCSEs & A levels will be awarded

Schools and colleges must provide a grade and rank for each student in each subject

Schools and colleges will be asked to provide a centre-assessment grade for each learner. This will be the grade that each pupil is most likely to have achieved if they had sat their exams, and will be based on evidence held by schools and colleges and reviewed by subject teachers and heads of department.

Ofqual expect results will be available no later than the usual dates in August, but potentially earlier.

What will grades be based on?

Exam boards will be contacting schools, colleges and other exam centres after Easter asking them to submit, by a deadline that will be no earlier than 29 May 2020, the following:

  • A centre assessment grade for every student in each of their subjects: that is, the grade they would be most likely to have achieved if they had sat their exams and completed any non-exam assessment. Judgements should balance different sources of evidence such as:
    • classwork
    • bookwork
    • any participation in performances in subjects such as music, drama or PE
    • any non-exam assessment – whether or not complete
    • the results of any assignments or mock exams
    • previous examination results – for example, for any re-sitting students or those with relevant AS qualifications
    • any other records of student performance over the course of study
  • The rank order of students within each grade for each subject – for example, for all those students with a centre assessment grade of 5 in GCSE maths, a rank order where 1 is the most secure/highest attaining student, and so on. This information will be used in the statistical standardisation of centres’ judgements – allowing fine tuning of the standard applied across all schools and colleges
  • A declaration from the Head of Centre making the submission

What will exam boards do?

Exam boards will use a statistical model being developed by Ofqual to standardise grades across centres in each subject.

The model will combine a range of evidence, including expected grade distributions at national level, schools’ and colleges’ results in previous years and the prior attainment of students at school and college level.

Will there be an opportunity to take exams this year if I'm unhappy with my grade?

We recognise that some students may feel disappointed that they have not been able to sit their exams. If they do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance, they will have the opportunity to sit an exam, as soon as is reasonably possible.

Does this process apply to vocational qualifications too?

Not currently. Ofqual said many students will be taking other general and vocational or technical qualifications instead of or alongside GCSEs, AS and A-levels. While this process does not apply to those qualifications, the same “aims” apply. They are “working as quickly as possible to develop an approach and we will provide further information as soon as we can”.


UPDATE 20/03/20

CURRENT STUDENTS ON FULL-TIME, HE AND PART-TIME COURSES

With effect from 5pm on Friday 20 March 2020 until further notice, our campuses in Newcastle and Stafford (including Palmbourne), will be closed. Students should not attend classes or external work placements

To maintain continuity during this unsettling period, we are adopting strategies to ensure students' have access to learning via online delivery methods. Lecturers will be developing schemes of work to support learning and where appropriate, assessments, assignments and revision/recap materials will be provided. Lecturers will be in touch with students directly to provide additional information. There is an expectation that students will complete any work that is set, and maintain a regular dialogue with their Lecturers.

The main channels for sharing learning resources will be isite, parent portal and your college email. It is essential that you have access to these channels.

  • For help with isite, click here
  • For help with parent portal, click here
  • For help with accessing your college email, click here

News of A Level and GCSE exams being cancelled will no doubt create uncertainty for progressing students, advice from the Department for Education can be found below.

We are pleased to confirm that students who are in receipt of a Bursary/College Maintenance Allowance (CMA) will be provided with a Tesco shopping e-voucher to help you purchase essential food items. We will contact applicable students with further information directly via their College email address.


CURRENT STUDENTS WHO ARE CLASSED AS VULNERABLE (E.G. HAVE EHC PLANS, ARE CLASSED AS LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN (LAC) AND/OR HAVE A SOCIAL WORKER ALLOCATED TO THEM):

From week commencing 23 March 2020 we will have provision in place to support learners who fall in to this category. We are in the process of contacting parents and learners directly to understand their needs, however if we have not been able to reach you, please contact the Student Services team on 01782 254188 or email help.newcastle@nscg.ac.uk (Newcastle College Students) or help.stafford@nscg.ac.uk (Stafford College Students).

Please note: for the safety and wellbeing of our staff and learners we are only able to open the campus to vulnerable learners over coming weeks.


CURRENT STUDENTS ON RECREATIONAL EVENING COURSES

As most of our recreational courses are highly practical and/or reliant on group interaction, it will be challenging to deliver these courses via online delivery methods. As a result, we have made the difficult decision to postpone all recreational courses with immediate effect. Your course tutor or a member of the faculty administration team will be in touch with you as soon as the College re-opens to discuss potential options.


GOV.UK UPDATE 20/03/20

Did exams need to be cancelled?

From Friday 20 March, all educational settings are closed to everyone except the children of critical workers and vulnerable children.

The coronavirus outbreak is expected to continue having a significant impact on the education system, and the country, for months to come. Therefore exams have been cancelled now to give pupils, parents, and teachers certainty, and enable schools and colleges to focus on supporting vulnerable children and the children of key workers.

Will all students get their predicted grade?

No, we know that simply using predicted grades would not be fair to all students. The calculated grade will take into account teachers’ assessment of the likely grade as well as other factors such as prior attainment, so students’ final grades will not necessarily reflect their predicted grades.

Will schools be using mock exam results as a barometer for results?

Mock exam results will be one of the pieces of evidence that will be taken into account in this process, alongside other factors. Ofqual will ensure schools are provided with clear guidance on how to do this fairly and robustly.

Will universities accept these calculated grades?

The calculated grades awarded will be formal grades, with the same status as grades awarded in any other year.

University representatives have already confirmed that they expect universities to be flexible and do all they can to support students and ensure they can progress to higher education.

What will young people with university offers do?

The grades awarded to students will have equal validity to the grades awarded in other years and should be treated in this way by universities, colleges and employers. There is no reason for the usual admissions cycle to be disrupted.

We welcome the constructive approach taken by the main university representative body, Universities UK, who have said that universities will be flexible and do all they can to support students and ensure they can progress to university.

Do universities need to start making unconditional offers / should I accept an unconditional offer now that exams are cancelled?

The grades awarded to students will have equal validity to the grades awarded in other years and should be treated in this way by universities, colleges and employers.

There is no reason for the usual admissions cycle to be disrupted. Universities should not begin making new unconditional offers and applicants should feel no pressure to accept such offers, as they will be awarded a formal calculated grade for each exam they would have taken.

If I already have an unconditional offer, does that remain?

Yes, an unconditional offer means you have already met the entry requirements, so the place is yours if you want it.

What if I am unhappy with my grade?

We will work closely with Ofqual and awarding organisations to ensure candidates are awarded a fair grade that recognises the work they have put in. If a student does not believe the correct process has been followed in their case they will be able to appeal on that basis. In addition, if they do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance, they will have the opportunity to sit an exam, as soon as is reasonably possible after schools and colleges open again. Students will also have the option to sit their exams in summer 2021.

Will there be an opportunity to take exams this year if I'm unhappy with my grade?

We recognise that some students may feel disappointed that they have not been able to sit their exams. If they do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance, they will have the opportunity to sit an exam, as soon as is reasonably possible.

If I take the exam option, will I still be able to go to university this year?

Students who do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance, will have the opportunity to sit an exam, as soon as is reasonably possible after the beginning of the academic year.

While it cannot be guaranteed in every circumstance, Universities UK has assured us that the majority of universities will show the utmost flexibility to ensure that such students who take this option are able to begin their course with a delayed start time.

If a student is in this circumstance, they should speak to the university from which they have an offer after receiving their calculated grade.

What about vocational and technical qualifications?

No exams will be taking place in schools and colleges this summer.

There is a very wide range of different vocational and technical qualifications as well as other academic qualifications for which students were expecting to sit exams this summer. These are offered by a large number of awarding organisations, and have differing assessment approaches – in many cases students will already have completed modules or non-exam assessment which could provide evidence to award a grade. We are encouraging these organisations to show the maximum possible flexibility and pragmatism to ensure students are not disadvantaged. Ofqual is working urgently with the sector to explore options and we will work with them to provide more details shortly.

Might the exams be reinstated if the coronavirus (COVID-19) is not as bad as expected?

No, the decision has been taken to cancel all exams this summer.

A full list of FAQ can be found on the GOV.UK website here.

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