James Kewin, Deputy CEO The Sixth Form Colleges Association, runs through the processes being considered / implemented across a number of Sixth Form colleges...
In order to prioritise retaining excellent remote learning the model we want to run is:
- To bring all students in on two occasions before the summer – on the first occasion they see their subject teachers for a 30 minute 1:1 – review of remote learning / tutorial / collection of a pack of hard copy resources.
- Once these 1:1s have run through subject teachers complete what in effect would be an end of year report which informs tutors for the next stage
- Students then come in one more time in late June to meet with their progress tutor – again 1:1 and again a 30 minute slot to have a detailed review of their progress over the year, and discussion about progression including UCAS guidance.
The model we are working up at the moment sees the college open to students for 3 days a week and closed to students for 2 days a week. It would mean they have 1 face-to-face lesson a week and work set to cover 2 remote lessons plus homework. They would attend each of their blocks once over 1 day (and in a few cases 2 days). Although it seems counter-intuitive to only open for 3 days when we are trying to spread students thinly to reduce contact, it does have the benefit of giving teachers the time and space to do the planning/marking for the remote-working workload which is an important consideration.
We have worked it through for all Y12 classes and made a few tweaks to balance. The vast majority of class sizes are 10 or below (the maximum was 12) with full attendance. We'd make attendance optional up to the summer break and those who are anxious, shielding or simply getting on fine at home would have the flexibility to stay at home so we'd expect that in reality class sizes would be smaller than they look on the plans. Estates have measured the rooms and most can take 9 or 10 students at 2m distancing and there are a few larger rooms which could take more.
We may initially open for those staff who are able and willing to trial coming in for a few days, and then, when ready:
- to a series of academic ‘tutorials’ for students. Over the first month, students might be offered at least one in each subject. These will probably be for groups of 4 or so initially, to allow for the maximum social distancing and safety. If all goes well, we may then possibly move
- to larger groups – of around 10 or so (about half the normal size), with one lesson per subject over two days per week, on a shorter timetable (from, say 10.30-1.30). The next stage might be a possible move…
- to a more normal week, but still with half size classes, and shorter college days to avoid peak-hour public transport. At that stage, we might have a one-week-online, one-week-on-site model for students. Eventually, we will move…
- to normal timetable and attendance.
- Face to face will be for pastoral only
- Face to face will only be for those who are struggling with/disengaged from online learning
- Prioritisation is a big issue: disengaged/vulnerable/behind/need specialist equipment etc.
- Subject surgery model
- Booking system: short and long sessions in college to minimise contact and number of staff required