Like all schools and colleges in the UK, the Spring term of the 2020/21 academic year has started like no other before it. Just when it seemed that some sense of normality was returning to college life in the Autumn term, we were once again required to close our doors and begin teaching and learning from home. Although our doors may be closed for now, once again, the adaptability, resilience and determination of the Brampton College staff and student body have been inspiring and have helped us to transition back to online learning while barely breaking stride with the delivery of our full curriculum.
During the first lockdown in the Spring of 2020, Brampton was one of few schools and colleges able to continue to deliver a full schedule of lessons remotely using a combination of Google classroom, Zoom and other remote teaching and learning tools. This time around, our teachers have proven to be equally adaptable and again Brampton is able to deliver a full teaching timetable to all students. This time teachers are being encouraged to use an even more diverse range of tools and techniques to maintain engagement and reduce ‘screen-time’ where possible.
However, it is not only the delivery of lessons that is important to ensure that college life continues. Our careers team continue to launch our university application support programmes this term and are available for one-to-one meetings, via zoom, with all students in the AS year. The college has hosted, again via video link, a speaker from the University of Nottingham who addressed students, on important considerations to make when choosing a university. We have also had a parent seminar delivered by the University of Birmingham on the same topic. Later this term we have another online seminar from the University of Nottingham on applying to Medical School and we have a study skills and workshop to be delivered by the exciting ‘Elevate Educate’ group.
Meanwhile we have reviewed many of our usual activities to make them more relevant to online learning and to lockdown. Our hugely popular Wellbeing programme for lower sixth students continues, but we have switched the emphasis to be on managing personal wellbeing while at home in these challenging circumstances and tutors are in more regular one-to-one contact with their tutees than they might be when the college building is open. This programme is prepared in conjunction with our Learning Support team who continues to offer a full service to all students who require their expert services. We have also inaugurated a weekly, whole college assembly at which all students and staff can join to be together for a short time each week and feel a part of the college community.
Finally, we continue to strive to keep the co-curricular life of the college alive with our enrichment activities despite our building being physically closed. Students are continuing to prepare articles for our superb college magazine and blog, our Student Council continue to meet regularly and initiatives including the Green Committee and the Young Enterprise will all be delivered remotely this half term.
Although the building may be closed for now, college life at Brampton has never felt more alive and we are excited to be able to offer students a full college experience despite the circumstances. This is a credit to our hard-working and committed staff, but also a tribute to our student body who have proven to be adaptable and resilient in the face of unprecedented and unpredictable change.