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Virtual college life thriving with full timetable of lessons, UCAS programme, Wellbeing support and enrichment activity, January 2021

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.

John Wilson
Vice Principal

Business as usual, but with your safety in mind, September 2020

We opened for enrolment as normal, and enjoyed meeting many potential students over the last few weeks. We still have some students enrolling and if you are invited to come into the College for an interview, rest assured that we have given careful thought to your safety.

On arrival, we ask that all visitors have their temperature checked using a contactless scanner. Hand sanitiser is provided at strategic points throughout the College, and in every interview room. Our interview rooms and communal areas are laid out with social distancing in mind, and we have a one-way system in place to ensure that a safe distance from others can be maintained while moving around the College buildings.

We opened our doors to students in September, and we are delivering a full time table in all subjects, with the safety of our students and staff firmly in mind. Having successfully provided a full timetable of lessons to our students remotely throughout the lockdown period, we are fully prepared for teaching remotely should a second lockdown, or any change to Government guidance, be announced.

Message from the Principal, September 2020

I am delighted to welcome students back to Brampton this term following the enforced closure of the College due to the Covid-19 outbreak. I am incredibly proud of both the students and staff, whom managed the transition to remote learning with ease in the summer term. We were able to deliver every lesson and ensure the curriculum continued right through to the end of the academic year.

It was also an exceptional year in terms of students being unable to sit their exams, but our students were fairly awarded another year of outstanding results – with 69.8% achieving A*/A and 91% A*-B grades. 77% of our students gained places at their first choice university, the majority Russell Group universities, including Oxbridge.

It was wonderful to see both returning and new students arrive at college ready to learn in the first week of term, and we look forward to delivering our usual, full and high-quality curriculum face-to-face. However, it goes without saying that we are living through the most unique and unusual circumstances and the College cannot simply return to ‘business as usual’. There will be varying levels of concern and anxiety, but I would like to reassure all parents, students and staff that we take our responsibility to safeguard their health and wellbeing very seriously and a number of measures have been put in place.

We have considered the advice of the UK government, other advisory boards and consulted our own staff to produce an advice document that has been distributed college-wide. We also continue to monitor local rates of infection and ongoing changes to advice to ensure we are able to implement any changes quickly if they become necessary. Students have been addressed about our own Covid-19 mitigation measures, as well as their broader social responsibilities, as part of our induction procedure and I have been hugely impressed with the sensible and mature approach taken by them in relation to this serious matter.

We cannot know what course the fight against the virus will take in the coming weeks and months. However, I am confident that Brampton is playing its part to mitigate its spread whilst delivering our commitment to excellent teaching and learning, university preparation and all-round student experience.

With kindest regards,
Bernard Canetti
Principal


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