22nd April 2020
We begin our summer term entering the next phase of the UK-wide lockdown and it is clear that normal college life is unlikely to resume for some time yet. It is now just over four weeks since the College temporarily closed, so I thought it would be helpful to update you on what we have been up to over the last month and take the opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support of NSCG.
As the nation battles to eradicate this cruel pandemic, we have seen our college community really pull together. In a matter of weeks, we’ve managed to switch our traditional classroom based teaching to online teaching, learning and support, utilising a variety of methods including; online classes, learning apps, assignments, coursework and revision/recap materials. We are working hard to make sure students feel supported and on top of their studies, and participation in remote learning in the run up to Easter was very positive. As the new term begins, we expect this momentum to continue, with all students completing the work that is set in a timely manner and maintaining a regular dialogue with lecturing staff. Please visit our dedicated page for advice on transitioning from campus study to studying from home, and remember that Personal Tutors and our Student Services Team will continue to be on hand for support and guidance.
From Tuesday 21 April, provision re-opened for three days a week at the Newcastle campus to support a small number of our vulnerable students and we’ve enjoyed welcoming these students back and hearing what they have been up to over the Easter break.
We have continued to support students in receipt of a Bursary/College Maintenance Allowance (CMA), providing them with e-vouchers to help with purchasing essential food and toiletry items. This support will continue until further notice. Information on the e-voucher scheme has been sent directly to the college email address of applicable students, however if further clarification is needed on redeeming or accessing the vouchers, please contact our Student Finance Team who will be happy to help at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we look ahead to key dates over the summer, you may be aware that the Department for Education has confirmed that A Level results will be published on 13 August 2020 and GCSE results published the following week, on 20 August 2020. Further information on how these qualifications are to be assessed this year can be found here. Our curriculum teams are in touch with all relevant awarding bodies and keeping on top of the regular updates from them and the Department for Education.
It goes without saying that Personal Tutors and our wider support teams remain on hand to offer guidance to students who are making choices about their next steps, whether that is progression to higher education, an apprenticeship or a further study programme at NSCG. Please get in contact if you feel you need careers advice, help with a university or apprenticeship application or any other progression support – we are here to help.
In these challenging times, it has been truly heart-warming to see many examples of students, staff and alumni supporting each other and their wider community. We are extremely proud of the work that has been done in this regard. If you do not already, please follow the College on Facebook (NSCG Newcastle and NSCG Stafford) and find out more about the staff turning their hand to creating much needed personal protective equipment for the NHS and care homes, entertaining us with musical performances, creating health and wellbeing videos and much more.
Our summer term usually includes a range of activities to help the people who have applied to study at NSCG confirm which course is right for them when they join us in September. So far during the lockdown period, we have interviewed over 1500 students and we are still welcoming applications for courses starting in September. We have set up a new Facebook group for applicants to help support the process of settling into college life and we will be regularly keeping in touch with our new student cohort to ensure they have a smooth transition to joining NSCG, despite the current unusual situation.
The College Open Events planned for May and June will now take place as virtual events and will provide information on our 16-18 full-time course offer, Apprenticeship training, and our Adult and Higher Education provision. The NSCG Stafford College Virtual Open Event will take place on Thursday 7 May 2020 and the NSCG Newcastle College Virtual Open Event will take place on Saturday 16 May 2020. You can find out more about these events via the links below.
Finally, our summer term is traditionally a period where we celebrate the successes of our fantastic students and apprentices. This year will have to be a bit different, but suffice to say we will be celebrating the success of many students from all areas of the College. As a taster, our regular Student of the Month awards are going ‘virtual’ and will be showcased on our social media sites very soon.
Thank you for checking on our website and staying in touch with NSCG. We hope you will all stay safe and keep well.
Karen Dobson OBE, Principal & Chief Executive