Posted: April 23, 2020
Welcome back to the start of the Summer term here at the College. Things feel very different from when we returned after February half term which seems such a long time ago but we are really proud of the way that staff and students have adapted so quickly to working remotely and on line. We know that many of our students have been volunteering in the community and also working sometimes at the very front of the line in those key roles and we are very grateful for your contribution and will take the opportunity to share and celebrate stories, please let us know what you have been doing.
In any academic year the focus this term is on final assessments and planning for next year and this year will be no different in that focus although the way we do it will have to be.
First of all we know that you will be anxious and in some ways disappointed that you will not have the opportunity to complete as you expected but we want to re assure you that we will do our utmost to ensure that no one is disadvantaged by the change of circumstance and that you get the grades you deserve.
For the majority of vocational programmes we are gradually receiving information from the Awarding bodies about how your qualification is going to be assessed and your tutors will be communicating with you as soon as they have the specific information about your qualification to make sure that you are clear about what you need to do and what they will be doing on your behalf. We do know that for the majority of vocational qualifications the final grade will be based on work assessed by your tutor and this, alongside a professional judgement made by your tutor, will be used to establish your final grade..
This will apply similarly to GCSE exams and Functional Skills assessments; your tutors have a wealth of experience and understanding of assessment and there will also be significant internal and external scrutiny of all decisions that will make sure you achieve the fairest and best possible outcome.
For those of you that were expecting more practical assessments of performance or End Point Assessments there is still some clarification required about what this might look like but there are a number of options being considered.
Arrangements for students in Higher Education continue to be made in collaboration with the Universities and once again your tutors will continue to be in touch to make sure you are clear about the steps being taken and how you will progress. The University of Lincoln, University of Hull, University of Huddersfield and Sheffield Hallam University have all adapted their academic regulations to ensure maximum benefit for students.
In the meantime it is really important that you continue to engage with your tutors and any learning materials provided. This will support your development and continue to build knowledge in anticipation of your next steps and make sure you are really well prepared for them whatever choice you have made.
For our FE students, if you haven’t already done so please make sure you have discussed what you are planning to do in the next academic year. You may have been reflecting over this period of lockdown and decided that you want to do something different which is absolutely fine – if you want to access some broader careers advice and guidance we can arrange that for you. We also understand that you may wish to talk to a potential new tutor, or one in a different curriculum area and we can help you with that.
During this period of being off site we know that our Higher Education staff have supported students on Higher National Programmes, Foundation degrees and undergraduate degrees as well as those on professional programmes such as AAT and have developed very effective strategies to ensure that these students have been successful. It may be, if you are a Level 3 or Adult student, that you hadn’t considered progression to HE as a route that was open to you but through our University Campuses we can offer a high quality , local opportunity to gain these higher level qualifications without the need to move away from home. These routes can be very flexible and in many cases students continue to work while they study. Give it some thought and if you want to know more please contact the University Campus North Lincolnshire (UCNL) at Scunthorpe or the University Centre Doncaster, the details are on each of their pages on the DN Colleges Group website.
We can’t wait for time when we are all able to come together as a community, socialising and enjoying the company of each other but in the meantime please stay safe and well, please stay in touch and thank you again for all that you are doing.
Mick Lochran, Principal of North Lindsey College and Deputy CEO of DN Colleges Group