Coronavirus - College updates

Latest update - 14th January 2021


Student guide to working from home

Following the Government’s decision to introduce a National Lockdown from Tuesday 5th January we have moved from face-to-face classes and workshops until we’re given the go ahead from the Government to resume them.

The Government have indicated that this will continue until at least February half-term.

Don’t worry we have plans in place to minimise any disruption to your learning and ensure you have the opportunity to continue and finish your studies successfully.

Check out the information below on what you need to do:

 

All students (excluding Project Choice)

Timetables are continuing as normal and teachers are delivering online sessions according to them - you must log on to these. Our teachers are well-prepared and practiced in hosting virtual lessons.

Prior to your first online session your teacher will contact you with instructions on how to join. It’s important that you participate in each of the virtual sessions, registers will be taken and we’ll be monitoring your attendance.

Work is also being set for you by your teachers to work on remotely. Your teacher may also ask you to log on to Moodle2 and Google Classroom to access resources. A guide to logging on to these systems is available here. You can also watch the useful video guide here.

In addition to your virtual sessions, we plan to carry out one-to-one check-ins with you on a fortnightly basis during the period of lockdown.

If you are ill and unable to study remotely, please report your absence by calling 0191 490 2340, emailing attendance@gateshead.ac.uk or texting 07950 080960.

We know many of you were working towards exams or assessments and you should continue your revision as normal.


Exams in January, February and March

The Department for Education announced on 13th January that scheduled assessments for Vocational and Technical Qualifications (VTQs) will not take place in February or March this year. For Pearson qualifications this includes external assessments for BTEC Level 2 Tech Awards, Firsts, Technicals and Level 3 Nationals.

In order to keep you and our staff safe and in line with Government guidance we have taken the decision to cancel exams for most vocational qualifications that were scheduled for January, February and March.

There are some scheduled qualifications such as Functional Skills, ESOL qualifications and End-Point Assessment (EPA) which are still allowed to proceed in February and March as long as health guidance is followed carefully. We are currently considering if these wil go ahead and will update this page with further information shortly.

Unless you are advised otherwise, at this moment in time no-one should be coming into college to sit exams.

Please do not worry about how this will affect your final grades. The Awarding Bodies, Ofqual and the Department of Education have said that arrangements will be put in place for students who are now unable to take their external assessments to ensure they are not disadvantaged. Alternative arrangements are likely to include other forms of assessment or you may have the opportunity to take assessments at a later date.

We'll keep updating this page as soon as we have any further information and you can also speak with your teacher.


Summer exams

At this moment in time, we don’t know how the Government plans to replace summer exams (in particular for A Levels and GCSEs), but we expect the arrangements to be different to those put in place in 2020 which relied heavily on teacher/centre judgements. We are anticipating that there may be an increased use of formal assessments alongside, or instead of, exams. Therefore, it’s very important that you continue to study and make progress during the lockdown so that you are well-prepared and can achieve the highest grades possible


Project Choice students

Parents and carers of Project Choice students will be contacted directly by the college.


Key workers and vulnerable students

If you are unable to work at home as your parents/guardians are key workers or for another reasons, please email start@gateshead.ac.uk or use our online chat facility on our website.

The plan is to use our Baltic Campus library facility including computer resources for students who have to work away from their home – you must contact us in advance to let us know you need to come in using the email above.

We will be taking steps to ensure your health and wellbeing if you do have to come into college and would ask you to follow the 7-point plan (see below) that we have put in place

If anything changes we’ll let you know by email and we’ll also post updates on our website and social media channels.

 

Apprentices

Apprentices are expected to continue their studies using the same process set out in our ‘All students’ section above. Taught sessions will be delivered remotely according to your normal timetable and reviews will take place according to their usual schedule (working remotely where required). We will be working with your employers to deliver workplace assessments and progress reviews. Please continue to keep a log of your ‘off the job’ hours.

If at any point during the lockdown you are furloughed by your employer, please contact your trainer assessor immediately.

If changes or further detail about apprenticeship delivery becomes available from the Government then we’ll let you know by email and we’ll also post updates on our website and social media channels.

 

Student Support

If you are feeling anxious or worried please make sure you talk to someone - a family member, friend or your teacher. Alternatively if you’d like to chat with anyone from our student support service, please email support.worker@gateshead.ac.uk and one of the team will get in touch with you.

You might also find helpful advice, tips and information on our wellbeing page.


Learner Support Fund 

If you receive payments from our Learner Support Fund you will continue to have this paid into your bank account as normal. We will be checking whether you are continuing to engage with your studies on a regular basis and your payments will be reviewed if required. If you've got any queries about the Learner Support Fund, please email support.funds@gateshead.ac.uk.

 

Safeguarding support for learners

We will continue to provide safeguarding support for all of our students. Our Safeguarding Team can be contacted during normal college hours – Monday to Friday 8.30.am to 5.30.pm by calling: 0191 490 0300 or by email: safeguarding.team@gateshead.ac.uk.

Students who require help outside of the College operating hours can seek support by dialling 101, or in an emergency 999.

FAQs

Our Baltic Campus library will be open for any students who can’t access computer resources from home. If you need to come into college, please email start@gateshead.ac.uk or use our online chat facility on our website to let us know when you will be coming into college.


If you’re struggling to get onto one of the college systems from home, please email 2265@gateshead.ac.uk or call IT support on 0191 4902265


Please report your absence through the normal procedure by calling 0191 490 2340, emailing attendance@gateshead.ac.uk or texting 07950 080960.

If you are studying at home then you only need to let us know if the symptoms are making you feel ill and you’re unable to study remotely. If that’s the case please report your absence through the normal procedure by calling 0191 490 2340, emailing attendance@gateshead.ac.uk or texting 07950 080960.

Any students who are continuing to come into college during the lockdown and test positive for Covid-19 must self isolate immediately and inform their teacher. Please advise them of when you tested positive, when you first displayed symptoms and the last time you were in college.


We’ve put together a list of useful contacts below for you to get in touch with the relevant person. If you have issues with getting hold of them, please email start@gateshead.ac.uk or get in touch via our Live Chat facility on this site (the blue icon on the bottom right of your screen).

Useful contacts for students and parents

Students will be contacted directly by their teachers during the lockdown and if there’s any questions please reply directly to them.

We’ve also put together this list of useful contacts for both students and parents / guardians to get in touch with us if you’ve got any other issues or concerns. If you need to contact someone out of normal college hours, please send them an email, as telephone calls may not be answered.


Type of Enquiry 

Contact Name/Team 

Contact Details 

IT Support  

IT Support Team 

0191 4904616 or 2265@gateshead.ac.uk 

Remote learning for A Levels 

Helen Hepple 

helen.hepple@gateshead.ac.uk  

Remote learning for Art, Design and Media 

Tom Bradley 

tom.bradley@gateshead.ac.uk 

Remote learning for Automotive 

Claire Bellerby 

claire.bellerby@gateshead.ac.uk 

Remote learning for Business 

Phil O’Neil 

phil.oneil@gateshead.ac.uk 

Remote learning for Catering 

Catering Team / Deni Chambers 

Catering@gateshead.ac.uk 

deni.chambers@gateshead.ac.uk  

Remote learning for Construction 

Graham Cunningham 

graham.cunningham@gateshead.ac.uk  

Remote learning for Digital  

Phil O’Neil 

phil.oneil@gateshead.ac.uk  

Remote learning for Engineering 

Claire Bellerby 

claire.bellerby@gateshead.ac.uk 

Remote learning for ESOL 

ESOL Team / Anna Toon 

ESOLTeaching.Staff@gateshead.ac.uk 

anna.toon@gateshead.ac.uk 

Remote learning for Hair and Beauty 

Tom Bradley 

tom.bradley@gateshead.ac.uk 

Remote learning for Health, Care and Early Years 

Deborah Wood 

deborah.wood@gateshead.ac.uk  

Remote learning for Jewish Girls Academy 

Claire Bellerby 

claire.bellerby@gateshead.ac.uk  

Remote learning for LDD and Project Choice 

LDD Team / Karen Sowerby 

projectchoice@gateshead.ac.uk 

Remote learning for Maths and English 

Anna Toon 

anna.toon@gateshead.ac.uk  

Remote learning for Music and Performing Arts 

Tom Bradley 

tom.bradley@gateshead.ac.uk  

Remote learning for Sport 

John Deary 

john.deary@gateshead.ac.uk 

Remote learning for Travel and Tourism 

Phil O’Neil 

phil.oneil@gateshead.ac.uk 

Remote learning for Uniformed Public Services 

John Deary 

john.deary@gateshead.ac.uk 

Exam Enquiries 

Exams Team 

exams@gateshead.ac.uk 

or 07595 088282 

Attendance Monitoring 

Attendance Monitoring Team 

0191 490 2340 attendance@gateshead.ac.ukor text 07950 080960.  

Library Services 

Library Manager 

library.manager@gateshead.ac.uk  


We’ve put in place a 7-point plan to staying safe:

All of our classrooms, workshops and social spaces have already been arranged to make sure we meet social distancing guidelines.

Everyone must wear face coverings in communal areas of campuses including corridors and break out spaces, unless you are eating and drinking. You can also wear them in classrooms if you want to. We're also providing all of our staff with reusable face shields to be worn as an extra precaution when a 2m distance can’t be maintained - this applies in all classrooms, workshops and offices.

We recognise that some of you may not yet feel confident being around others, so we’ve introduced a red wristband scheme. If you see anyone wearing a red wristband please respect their wishes and keep your distance.

We’re really lucky to have such spacious campuses so that we can spread out and limit the number of people in each space, ensuring we can be together safely.

To help you move around our buildings at a safe distance, we’ve introduced one-way systems which are clearly marked.

We’ve tweaked our timetables, to avoid overcrowding in our entrances, cafes and social spaces. There’ll also be restrictions on how many people can use facilities like the toilets at any one time.

No matter where you are in the campus, you’ll never be far away from being able to sanitise your hands, with sanitiser at every entrance and in every classroom and workshop.

Our brilliant cleaning team always work hard to make sure our college buildings are sparkly clean. They’ve taken this up a notch with a focus on extra cleaning and sanitisation of surfaces.

We’ve introduced additional signs to remind everyone how they can do their bit to help reduce the risk.

If you have any support needs in relation to Covid-19, please email start@gateshead.ac.uk and let us know your chosen course.

View our full guide to staying safe on campus (PDF).

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