A message from Rebecca Conroy, East Sussex College Acting CEO

Getting ready for September

Frequently Asked Questions

Section 1: Teaching, Learning and Enrichment

Will lessons be taught on site in September?
We are aiming for as near to 100% of teaching as we can safely achieve. There will be some online delivery and some online attendance in lessons where we have bigger groups and where online delivery works well.
Our range of programmes mean that there is not a ‘one size fits all’ and so much will depend on group sizes, access to specialist facilities and learning spaces available.
Your tutor will explain your timetable to you as part of your induction sessions so that you understand what this looks like on your course.

When will students be able to return to full-time, on site learning?
As soon as it is safe. We are closely following the government’s guidance and will adjust our delivery in line with this guidance as it changes.

When do my lessons start in September?
Induction sessions will take place during the week of the 7th September for first year students and teaching will commence from the 14th September.

Will enrichment and extra-curricular activities be available?
Yes, we are planning to offer you a wide range of social, sporting, clubs and societies as soon as we can safely do so.
Please see our new ESC Portal (www.myescportal.co.uk) available on the College website from Tuesday 1st September. Please complete the Get Set Survey and tell us what activities you would like us to organise.

How is remote learning delivered at East Sussex College?
Your teachers will communicate directly with you about how remote working will be set. This will range from accessing recorded lessons, attending live lessons or working through set resources. The College uses Google Classroom and every student will be set up to use this platform during their Induction.

What would the college do if there was a local/national lockdown?
Students will be taught remotely through a variety of both interactive ‘live’ sessions and independent study that will be closely tracked. The Government have indicated they will do all they can to keep schools and colleges open.

Health Safety and Wellbeing

What should I do if I exhibit symptoms of COVID-19?
If you experience any symptoms of COVID-19 (a new, continuous cough, high temperature or loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell) we will look to send you home immediately to self-isolate, in line with government guidance.
If a student is vulnerable and requires personal care or supervision, we will support you until you can travel home safely.
In all cases of COVID-19 symptoms while on campus, or having recently been on campus, must be reported to our Safeguarding team immediately.

What would the college do if a student or member of staff tested positive for Covid?
If a case is reported, every effort will be made to identify staff, students, areas and facilities that the affected individual has been in contact with, take appropriate action to inform staff and students and deep clean areas as necessary. We encourage staff and students experiencing symptoms to access NHS testing facilities via the NHS website.
We will work closely with Public Health Authority and be guided by them in terms of the appropriate course of action including local or national tracing and testing processes.

If my teacher has to self-isolate, what will this mean for me?
If your teacher is self-isolating but not ill, you may be taught remotely by them or there may be cover arrangements in place. If your teacher is unwell, lessons will be covered under our usual arrangements.

If I am self-isolating and cannot come into college, how will I be taught?
If you are self-isolating you will complete all the work remotely as directed by your teacher. Where lessons are delivered online you will be asked to attend these. If your lessons are taking place in classrooms or workshops it is likely that most of your learning will be guided, independent study whilst self-isolating.

I have to quarantine and will miss some of the start of college – what should I do?
Contact our admissions team at 030 300 39699 and let them know. They, in turn will notify your teachers who will make contact with you to set up alternative arrangements and record your absence.

How will practical and group aspects of my course be delivered remotely?
With lessons occurring onsite, a lot of practical work will now be able to be completed in workshops.
If there is another lockdown, we have learnt a huge amount about what can be delivered remotely. Last term, even Catering and Hair and Beauty students were able to complete practical work remotely. The College will do everything possible to ensure academic continuity and deliver adapted study programmes to all our students.

Will I be assessed at the start of the course?
We are aware that the last few months of lock down will have impacted on your education. We initially assess all students every year to make sure that we can address any areas that need a boost as quickly as possible.
Ongoing assessment (including self-assessment) is a crucial part of the learning process and so each teacher and course team will be using assessment to help you with your progress from the start of the course.

A Level Students

I missed some aspects of my GCSE courses and feel behind on my learning for my post 16 Course– how will the knowledge & skills gaps in my learning be closed?
There is always a jump up between GCSEs and A level/BTEC Level 3 and our staff are used to helping students bridge this gap. In addition, students at college always come with a range of skills and abilities depending on their GCSE choices and experiences so we are used to working with students in this way. Teachers will set you a range of work tasks and activities and speak to you about your knowledge and skills. This will help us to assess your strengths and areas for development and set you work that both in lessons and for completion in your own study time to support you.

As an A2 student, my learning in the first year at East Sussex College has been disrupted – how will I catch up?
Your teachers know the progress you made in your first year and will work with you to assess any gaps in your skills and knowledge. Teachers will work with you to plan how any gaps in knowledge and skills will be addressed both in lessons and your own study time.
Departments are planning their schemes of work to ensure everything is covered before exams take place in the summer of 2021.

Will there be any adjustments to 2021 exams and assessments or the content we are expected to cover in recognition of the disruption this year?
Nothing has been formally announced. Ministers have said that exams will go ahead as normal in 2021 and we will ensure you are ready for them. There may be adjustments by the government to the style and timings of summer exams 2021, but this is still undecided at this time.

Will I be given a calculated grade as happened this summer?
At this stage there is no guidance available on this. However, we are working on the basis that it is likely that exams will occur come what may. Therefore, you need to prepare fully for them, and we will ensure you are ready for them.

Will there be formal Mock Exams at some point?
Assessment occurs in a variety of ways and this will include classroom-based tracking tests or centrally managed mock exams. First year students will take progression exams in exam conditions in Summer 2021 and second years will complete Mock exams in the Spring Term.

I need to retake my GCSE Maths/English – how will I be taught this?
You will attend English/maths classes as appropriate. We focus additional resource into these courses so that you get the support you need to gain these crucial qualifications.

Will GCSE Maths/English Retake Exams happen in November?
Yes. We are awaiting further guidance from the exam boards and we share this with students and parents/carers in due course.

I realise I made a wrong choice for one of my courses – what should I do?
Before College starts, call our Call Centre on 030 300 39699 and the team will help you find an alternative course(s). Once College has started you should speak first to your Tutor and they will talk to you about alternative courses. If you are uncertain about what alternative courses you would like to study, your Tutor might refer you to our Careers Team. For more information about our Career Team and their services click here.

Section 2: Campus Safety

What has East Sussex College done to ensure it is a safe environment for students and staff?

  • All campuses have been deep cleaned
  • We will provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for students including disposable masks and gloves.
  • Where appropriate, fogging has been implemented – this is a whole room disinfection which lasts for 30 days.
  • Although there is no real evidence of Covid-19 being passed through airconditioning, we have changed all filters as a precaution, and will increase the frequency at which the air is changed at all campuses.
  • Installing touch-free options, wherever possible, including door handles, taps and dispensers.
  • Washrooms amended to support social distancing.
  • Installing contactless hand-sanitisers by every sink.
  • Installing contactless sanitary bins.
  • One-way systems introduced, with directional arrow and notices to help maintain social distances.
  • Signs installed to show when an area was last cleaned.
  • Hand sanitisers installed at key points across the college, including lifts where people need to touch buttons.
  • Closed-lid bins installed around the college for easy disposal of PPE such as masks, gloves, tissues and wipes.

Click here to download our Returning to College student guide.

We expect everyone to bring face coverings and we encourage all our college community to bring their own sanitiser and hand wipes with them if they choose to.

I will be travelling in on public transport – what do I need to do to travel to and from college safely?
Plan your route, socially distance when possible and always wear a face mask. East Sussex College timetables will not always require students to travel at peak times. If you can cycle or walk to college instead then please do.

I live close to my campus – should I go home between lessons?
We are trying to adapt timetables to ensure that there are not large gaps in between lessons. We are also encouraging students to leave campus in-between their sessions if it is practical for them to do this.

I will be travelling in from some distance and won’t be able to return home between lessons – what are my options between lessons?
All of our College sites have social spaces and most have outdoor space or are located within towns. We encourage students, where possible, to remain outdoors.
If students do decide to use the social spaces on campus we are advising them to use face coverings.

How do I access the Library?
You can access the Libraries at the Hastings, Eastbourne and Lewes campuses. At the moment, the library has a limited number of computers and study spaces and is students are not able to work in groups. Students will be greeted at the door and allocated a workspace and both sanitiser and anti bacterial wipes will be available. Students and staff can still borrow the resources although all returned resources will be quarantined for 72 hours before being shelved. The Library Google site also contains a wealth of information, study skills support and online resources. Go to: https://sites.google.com/chrome.escg.ac.uk/escg-libraries.

I am clinically vulnerable. How will the College keep me safe?
We will work with each student on a case by case basis to assess your risks and make sure that we put in protective measures to keep you safe. Please inform your tutor of your concerns and we will work with you to support you at college.

Will there be catering facilities on site?
Yes, all our coffee shops and refectories will be open and will provide a range of hot and cold meals, snack and drinks. We expect all students and staff to wear face coverings when queuing for their food and to follow social distancing measures.

Should I bring a packed lunch to college?
It’s completely up to you! You will be allowed to eat in our student refectory spaces but we are aware that time may well be limited and some students will prefer to bring their own packed lunch.

What is the face covering policy at East Sussex College?
Students are expected to wear face coverings in indoor communal areas, including corridors, social spaces and eateries (when queuing and ordering). It is up to individual students as to whether they wear a face covering during lessons as social distancing measures will be in place. Students should bring in their own protective mask where possible.
Teachers are being provided with visors in lessons and can use them if they choose and they will also keep a 2m distance from students in all classrooms and workshops.

Will we be expected to adhere to social distancing whilst on site?
Yes we will. It is vital for the safety of our whole community that we sensibly distance as much as is possible. This means keeping apart from others when we can – inside and outside of lessons, avoiding touching and speaking/shouting near others.
East Sussex College wants to stay open so the more we all do our bit to contain the spread of COVID-19 the safer we all are and the more likely we are to move towards even more ‘normality’ in terms of our daily lives.

Student Support

I have additional learning needs – will the support I am entitled to be available to me?
Yes. Our Additional Learning Support team will be working to meet your individual needs, in collaboration with your tutors.
If you have an Education, Health and Care Plan, the college will do its best to meet your educational, therapeutic and medical needs. However, there might be a period of adjustment in the first few weeks whilst the staff teams focus on welcoming and supporting a safe return to College.

What financial support is available to me?
Please click here for information about fees, financial support and travel for further education students.

What Student Support is available to East Sussex College students and how do I access them?
We have a wide range of student support services available to all students, please click on the following links for more information:
Student wellbeing
Additional Learning Support
Libraries
Student Work Experience Placements
Careers
Go Further
Financial Support
Equality & Diversity

Please take time to read the Returning to College Guide

Here are our top 10 top tips for a safe start to college:

  1. Only attend college for lessons or booked slots in libraries or with meetings with staff.
  2. Wash your hands regularly during the day following the posters in toilets.
  3. In addition regularly use the hand sanitiser stations at entrances and in all classrooms.
  4. Work with your teacher to use sanitiser wipes at the start of each session and remain at the same desk during lessons.
  5. Wear face coverings in corridors, coffee shops, refectories and indoor social spaces.
  6. Protective, disposable gloves will be available for all students using practical equipment (ie construction, hair and beauty, art, engineering, motor vehicle, catering, science labs). Please wear them and dispose of them at the end of each session.
  7. Follow the one way systems and maintain social distances wherever possible, including refraining from physical contact e.g. hugging or embracing your friends.
  8. Make sure you have your ID card with you every day. This will help the College 'track and trace' should a further break-out occur.
  9. If you do have COVID symptoms, report it immediately to your tutor and go home and follow the government guidance on self-isolation
  10. Avoid being in large groups of friends and remain vigilent. If something doesn't look right, please tell us.

COVID-19

Reduce the risk

Click image to view full size poster (PDF) and see them all on campus.

Download the NHS COVID-19 app today

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The app has a number of tools to protect you, including contact tracing, local area alerts and venue check-in. It uses proven technology from Apple and Google, designed to protect every user’s privacy.

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