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  1. Harrogate College is open and we’re following government COVID-19 advice

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    Our college campus continues to remain open following government COVID-19 advice and restrictions. This means our students can continue their education, building upon their knowledge and skills for the future.

    We have procedures in place that mean we’ve been open continuously since the summer. This includes additional hand sanitiser stations throughout our campuses, so you can keep your hands clean. In every classroom, there are also cleaning packs to wipe down shared equipment before and after use. 

    We’re asking everyone to wear a face covering (unless they’re unable to) and to keep 2 metres apart. We’re encouraging everyone to be kind and supportive to each other too. 

    To keep us all safe, we have a successful zone and ‘bubble’ system. The college has been divided into different areas (zones) with students allocated to an entrance and a zone where they remain with their group (bubble). When positive COVID-19 cases have been identified, these ‘bubbles’ are closed for 14 days and the members stay at home. Due to the college’s blended learning model, students can continue to learn online. Thanks to everyone’s support, this system has been a real success 

    We can all help to reduce the COVID-19 infection rate by:

    • Limiting the number of people from outside our households we come into contact with
    • Making space and staying 2m from people outside our households or support bubble
    • Washing hands regularly and for 20 seconds
    • Covering faces in enclosed spaces
    • Isolating when advised to
    covid-19 advice

    Please self-isolate if:

    ·         You’ve had a test and are waiting to hear your result.

    ·         Someone you live with has symptoms or a positive result.

    If your result is positive and confirms you have Covid-19, please continue self-isolating for at least 10 days. Let your tutor know straight away and stay at home to keep our communities safe. Do not come to college, unless you have a negative test result. Please get the rest and support you need to recover.  

    Our NHS services are extremely busy at this time and it’s important that anyone who experiences any of the main symptoms of COVID-19 stays at home. These symptoms include a new, continuous cough, high temperature, loss or change to your sense of taste or smell. 

    Please contact us on 01423 879466 or email us if you have any questions contact@harrogate-college.ac.uk.

  2. Why it’s important that Harrogate College remains open during the lockdown

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    As we’re now in a second lockdown, we want to highlight the importance of college staying open during this time and reassure you of the safety measures in place. 

    Protecting education is incredibly important during this pandemic, therefore most educational institutions have remained open across the country.


    We appreciate some students may feel nervous about attending college during lockdown, however our health and safety measures have been working well to protect our students and staff. These measures include:

    • Staggered start and finish times.
    • Each area of the college is split into zones and students are allocated a zone and bubble (group) to stay in. 
    • Face coverings worn in communal areas such as corridors.
    • Any personal protective equipment that is risk assessed as being required is provided.
    • Hand sanitiser stations in place across the college.
    • Zones are cleaned before different bubble groups can use them.

    We have effective systems in place for reducing the risk of transmission and have had a low number of cases. We follow a strict process for reporting positive Covid-19 tests, informing those affected and collapsing bubbles where required.

    With these measures in place, students can attend college safely. Attending college is essential for students’ progress and learning. Consistent attendance means keeping on track with studies and achieving. It’s also important for students to continue coming into college to develop valuable skills and knowledge for the future. This time at college is vital for preparation for their next steps. 

    Attending college also plays a key role in supporting student’s wellbeing, enabling them to engage in lessons and communicate regularly with their bubble group. Harrogate College promotes a friendly and inclusive environment. Students can access support and advice when needed from their peers, teachers and dedicated staff. We have online extra curricular activities and groups for students to engage in alongside their courses. 

    If you have any concerns or questions about attending college during the lockdown, please get in touch by calling 01423 879466, emailing  contact@harrogate-college.ac.uk or speaking with a tutor.

  3. Harrogate College announces three new courses

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    Harrogate College has announced three innovative commercial courses ahead of the new academic year.

    The latest courses include: Business Support: Maintaining Business Compliance, Empowering Leaders, and Business Support: Remote Working.

    With the distinctive rise of e-learning, where teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms, people who have been furloughed or made redundant are being encouraged to develop their skills online.

    The programmes at Harrogate College are being offered to anyone who wants to change career or upskill. It is also open to businesses to help train their employees or give them something to work on.

    Danny Wild, Principal at Harrogate College, said: “One of the outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic is that people have embraced innovative ways of studying as a result of remote working and we are pleased to be offering these learning opportunities, which will allow students to learn new, or develop existing skills through flexible and convenient online learning.”

    He added: “The current situation highlights the importance of online and digital modes of delivering learning and training and we want to support businesses in the district to help their employees upskill and improve their future employment prospects.”

    All courses are industry recognised qualifications, allowing continued professional development (CPD) to upskill staff, ensuring that businesses benefit from a high performing workforce.

    The Empowering Leaders programme will focus on the ways organisations operate, the application of management and leadership approaches, and how management approaches can lead to improved performance.

    The Business Support: Maintaining Business Compliance programme is aimed at food handlers, or those responsible for managing food handlers, and will provide an awareness of the legal responsibilities and controls in relation to the 14 regulated allergens.

     For more information about the courses, visit the website.

  4. Local teacher sews scrubs for NHS

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    A teacher at Harrogate College is supporting a local group in the production of scrubs for NHS workers.

    Annabel Smith, programme manager for MA Creative Practice, has sewn three scrubs for frontline care staff across the district as part of community group Harrogate Scrubbers.

    Launched by Fran Taylor, a teacher at St John Fishers High School, the group aims to address the increased demand for scrubs during the global pandemic. Since setting up the Facebook group three weeks ago, the page now has over 680 members including a strong network of sewers and delivery drivers to support key workers in the area.

    Annabel said: “The community spirit sparked through Harrogate Scrubbers is inspiring. I originally heard about the group through a former fashion student and it’s been fantastic to see former colleagues and students getting involved. It’s marvellous to see the group attracting more attention; I’ve informed all my students and colleagues about it and really look forward to seeing it grow.

    “I’ve taught fashion design and marketing at the college for over 14 years; teaching students how to design, cut patterns and construct garments. As an experienced sewer, this seemed like the perfect way to support NHS staff in the area. I’ve spent a week cutting and making the scrubs, which are now in use at Harrogate District Hospital.”

    Harrogate Scrubbers is continuing to produce scrubs including laundry bags, scrub caps and waterproof gowns. To date, the group has produced 384 sets of scrubs and raised £16,274 for the NHS.

    The group is urging the public to continue supporting the campaign to help staff at the hospital. To find out how you can support, visit the official Facebook page.

  5. Carving a career

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    At Harrogate College, our carpentry courses allow students to develop advanced skills in our new facilities. 

    We spoke with joinery tutor, Paul Flanaghan, and student, John Gardner, to find out more about studying Carpentry at the college.

    What are the highlights of the course?

    Paul: The practical skills students develop are invaluable. Whether it’s roofing or flooring, it’s fantastic to see their confidence build when using the hand tools and improving the accuracy of their cutting. 

    John: The qualification is fantastic – it sets you up perfectly for a career in carpentry. The full-time course is only one year, meaning the contact hours are more per week which makes for really high quality learning and mentoring. 

    What can students take away from the course?

    Paul: A clear idea of their desired career path. We offer a Level 1 construction skills course which provides students with a taster of joinery, brickwork and more. This allows students to see which areas they prefer so they can decide what to do after; some are natural with timber and some with brickwork, so it acts as a taster course for them.

    What do students learn about during the course?

    Paul: Students grasp a good understanding of site procedures, building methods, advanced techniques and how to use complex machinery. There is also the opportunity to go on trips which helps to broaden the student experience. 

    John: We’ve recently been developing our structural building type skills, such as roofing, floor joists, internal stud walling, fixing skirting boards and door hangings.

    What advice would you give to a student wanting to study carpentry?

    John: If they are wanting to gain the practical skills and qualifications needed to begin a career in carpentry, this course equips you with all the right tools. If a student is unsure about what they want to specialise in, this course is great as it’s really open. You are constantly learning different aspects and you can focus on what you like doing.

    Does the course offer a welcoming environment for everyone?

    Paul: Everyone is treated equally on the course. It’s an incredibly supportive environment and we all strive to see each other progress. We love seeing how ambitious our students are and are proud to give them a kick start in their future career.

    Take a look at our Carpentry courses here.

  6. A letter to parents from the Principal of Harrogate College

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    I hope you and your families are safe and well at this time. I wanted to update you on the progress of Harrogate College since our physical closedown and our expectations of students while studying at home.

    The overarching story from Harrogate College is that staff have been working incredibly hard to adapt to teaching fully online, while juggling the care of children and family members. The levels of student engagement have exceeded our expectations and those who have been struggling have been in contact with our pastoral support staff.

    You will be aware that all examinations and controlled assessments have been cancelled for this summer. The grading for student qualifications will be done on predictions based on coursework completed and mock examinations. Ofqual are still working with awarding bodies on the exact detail for each qualification type, but be reassured this situation will not impact on your child’s ability to progress.

    While learning away from college all students have access to either Google Classroom or online portfolios where teachers are publishing content to support learning and setting assignments to be submitted online. As I explained above, all grades this year will be awarded based on coursework completed and mock examinations, therefore students must continue to commit to their studies in the same way they would in college. Learning online is different to the classroom and our guide to staff and students is designed to support students to achieve their target grades.

    Each student will have access to online learning relative to their timetabled lessons in college. Therefore if your child has 10 lessons per week, then there will be 10 lessons each week for them to complete including their vocational subject area and where applicable English and maths. The expectation is that each lesson will have two activities and one assessment as a minimum. We do not expect the lessons to take up the same real time as a timetabled lesson. In addition to the online lessons students will be set assignments to be complete.

    Interactions with teachers is important, therefore your child’s teacher will be online two hours per day to speak directly to your son or daughter through Google Hangouts. This will be one hour in the morning and one in the afternoon and the times will be published on Google Classroom. In addition, students can leave messages on Google Hangouts at any time, which staff will respond to during working hours.

    Although the use of Google Classroom and Hangouts may be new to you, this is familiar practice for your son or daughter. For students who do not engage, our teachers and pastoral staff will be following up to ensure they do not fall behind with their learning.

    I would ask at this time, you check that your child is engaging with Google Classroom and if they are struggling ask them to make contact with their teachers.

    If you have any questions about the progress of your son or daughter, please email their teachers, using firstname.lastname@harrogate.ac.uk.

    Harrogate College will remain closed for the Easter Holidays on Friday 3 April until Monday 20 April. We are encouraging staff to take leave over that period, so the content on your child’s Google Classroom will be reduced over the Easter period. If your child is in need of support at that time, we still encourage them to make contact with teachers and pastoral staff as help will be available. From Monday 20 April, all staff will be working and expecting students to fully engage with their learning.

    I will be in touch over the coming weeks to provide further updates.

    Kind regards,

    Danny Wild – Principal Harrogate College

  7. Calculated grades for this year’s summer exams

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    The government has made the decision to cancel the 2020 summer examinations. We realise there will be a lot of unanswered questions as the guidance is quite limited at this stage, but we wanted to share with you what we do know or expect to happen.

    This information is applicable to the summer exams for GCSEs, A levels, BTEC and some other equivalent vocational qualifications. Other qualifications’ awarding bodies may require students to sit an exam and/or assessment at a later date.​

    Students will be awarded grades which fairly reflect the work they have put in. Please rest assured we will be doing everything we can to ensure that each student is awarded the grade they deserve in recognition of their hard work. It is clear from the announcement that every effort will be made to make sure that students will not be disadvantaged and will be able to progress as appropriate, to the next stage of their lives. 

    Teachers will be asked to submit judgements about the grades students would have received if exams had gone ahead. This judgement will be informed by a range of evidence and data which could include; 

    • A wide range of assessments completed by students over the course of the year 

    • Mock examination grades 

    • Class work and coursework

    This will then be combined with prior attainment data and expected pathways to produce a calculated grade that is fair and expected. We will work closely with the exam boards to ensure that every one of our students achieves the right outcomes based on what is fair and reflective of their performance. This is important for adult learners or students who have only been studying their subject in this academic year.

    For those who have exams as part of a vocational or technical qualification, some units will have already been assessed and completed. These will be important evidence in informing the final awarded grade. We will follow the guidance and work with the awarding organisations to ensure there is a flexible and pragmatic approach, so these students are not disadvantaged in any way. 

    It is intended that students will be awarded their calculated grades before the end of July. Be reassured that grading and certification will look the same as in previous years.

    Where students feel that their calculated grade does not reflect their performance, the option to sit an exam at the earliest reasonable opportunity will be available, or in the summer of 2021.

    Students should continue with their remote learning as planned and supported by their teachers. This will make a difference in readiness for their next steps, and in completion of any assessments that may be used to inform the calculated grades. You should contact your tutor/s if you need any support.

    We would like to offer assurance that although our ‘in college’ normal way of working has been interrupted, you can still apply for your next steps at college. We are doing different types of (safe) interviews and you will hear from us in due course.

    We look forward to celebrating the achievements of all our current students and meeting those who are yet to join us, as we plan for the new academic year ahead.

  8. Temporary closure of Harrogate College

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    We are taking temporary measures to address concerns about coronavirus. Our priority is our staff and students and we have made the difficult but necessary decision to close Harrogate College from 3pm on Friday 20 March.

    We will be facilitating the continuation of all learning electronically using Google Classroom and other digital platforms. Your teacher will have provided all the details you need to continue your learning remotely and can be contacted directly via Google Hangouts or email.

    Some of our provisions have already started working remotely, so if that includes your course, please continue your studies as instructed.

    If you think you might have coronavirus or if you have been in close contact with someone who has, please follow the government and NHS advice. Further information can be found here.

    We understand that this is an unsettling time for us all. Below are some useful links if you are struggling with your mental health:

    mindmate.org.uk/

    mindwell-leeds.org.uk/

    leedsmind.org.uk/

    There is also support available for anyone living with domestic abuse northyorks.gov.uk/domestic-abuse

    While our campus is closed, we will still be available to offer advice and guidance to potential and existing students, parents and members of the public. You can contact us via web chat here or by email at contact@harrogate-college.ac.uk

    If you’re having difficulties at home such as financial issues or general worries, contact your PAL (pastoral staff)  via phone, Google Hangouts or email for help and support.

    We look forward to seeing you back at college soon.

    Yours sincerely

    Danny Wild – Principal Harrogate College
     

  9. Coronavirus contingency planning

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    In light of recent developments and advice from the government, I wanted to let you know how we are preparing for every eventuality to ensure that students’ safety and learning are our priority.

    If the situation changes, we will communicate to students via text and email and clear information will be available on our website.  We are monitoring our staffing levels as well as following the advice of Public Health England and the Department for Education.  I am sure you understand that much of this is outside of our control.

    We are protecting students and staff through:

    • Enhancing cleaning and encouraging handwashing, including additional cleaning of rails and door handles throughout the day
    • Ensuring that toilets are checked regularly and that there is adequate soap available
    • The postponement of some student events such as open evenings

    We have been planning for the possible disruptions COVID 19 could bring and there are a number of possibilities, including partial closure to full closure of the college. We will keep our website updated as regularly as we are able and will work with as many students as possible to ensure they are able to continue their learning on a range of online platforms. As yet, we have no further guidance regarding summer exams and the advice from OFQUAL is to prepare as usual.

    We appreciate that this is a difficult and worrying time for our students, their families and communities and we thank you for your support in this matter.

    Thank you,

    Danny Wild – Principal Harrogate College

  10. Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and update

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    On 11 March 2020, World Health Organization (WHO) officially named COVID-19 as a pandemic.

    Public Health England (PHE) and WHO are working with other international partners to constantly monitor the situation.

    We would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that Harrogate College takes the health and safety of its students and staff very seriously. We are carefully monitoring the situation and will keep you informed of any updates. In the meantime, students and colleagues are encouraged to continue to attend as normal.

    Infections such as colds and influenza are very common in the UK at this time of year. For the time being, if you develop viral symptoms, you should manage these as you usually would. 

    Advice for travellers and returning travellers
    Below is nationally recognised advice for anyone due to travel or returning travellers.

    Returning travellers
    Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people (self-isolation) if you have travelled to the UK from the following locations in the last 14 days, even if you do not have symptoms:

    • Iran
    • Italy
    • Hubei province in China
    • Special care zones in South Korea (Daegu, Cheongdo, Gyeongsan)

    Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people if you have travelled to the UK from the following places in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath, even if your symptoms are mild:

    • Cambodia
    • Hong Kong
    • Japan
    • Laos
    • Macau
    • Mainland China (outside the Hubei province)
    • Malaysia
    • Myanmar
    • Singapore
    • South Korea (outside of the special care zones)
    • Taiwan
    • Thailand
    • Vietnam

    Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Instead, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next. In Scotland, call your GP or NHS 111. In Wales, call 111 (if available in your area) or 0845 4647.

    Advice to travellers to and from mainland China
    The Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) latest travel advice is that all Brits in China should leave the country if they can, to minimise their risk of exposure to COVID-19.

    Additionally, the FCO advises against all travel to Hubei Province and all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao).

    Advice to travellers

    Brits travelling or living overseas should check the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s official travel advice

    Frequently asked questions

    Q:What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?
    A: Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that are common across the world. The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus that was first identified in Wuhan, China. 

    Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
    A: Typical symptoms of COVID-19 include fever and a cough that may progress to severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Generally, COVID-19 can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people and those with long-term conditions such as diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

    Q: How does coronavirus spread?
    A: As this is a new illness, we do not know exactly how it spreads from person to person, however, similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. It’s very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.

    Official advice emphasises the importance of hand hygiene to protect yourself from infection and important hygiene practices to follow include: carry tissues and use them to catch coughs and sneezes, then bin the tissue and wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser if this is not available.

    Q: Should I really be worried about COVID-19?
    A: We would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that we recognise the seriousness of this situation. Though we would urge staff, students and parents/carers not to panic, we do encourage everyone to continue to follow government advice such as maintaining good hand hygiene.

    Q: Is there a vaccine or cure for COVID-19?
    A: At the moment there is no vaccine or cure for COVID-19, though a vaccine is being researched and developed. Antibiotics will not help as they do not work against viruses. Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness and you will need to self-isolate until you have recovered.


    Q: What does self-isolate mean?
    A: If you are advised to self-isolate this means you should stay at home and avoid contact with others for 14 days after your arrival. You should contact NHS 111 for advice and should not visit your GP or hospital. Anyone in self-isolation can resume normal activities after the two-week period as long as they have not developed a fever, breathing difficulties or cough. If you feel unwell during this time, contact NHS 111 immediately.

    Q: Is my immigration status affected?
    A: The Home Office recognises that some individuals in the UK are unable to return to China. The guidance states: “Due to travel restrictions because of coronavirus some individuals may be facing uncertainty in relation to the expiry date of their current visa or leave to remain in the UK. The Home Office understands that in many cases this is because of circumstances outside of your control. Subject to guidance, most people in the UK whose immigration status is affected by coronavirus will get an automatic visa extension until 31 March 2020. More information on visas is available on the government website.

    Q: What is Harrogate College doing about COVID-19?
    A: We are following official advice from the UK government and Public Health England. Additionally, we are taking precautionary measures such as cancelling our March events and ensuring all staff and students can access hand sanitiser. We are monitoring the situation and putting in place contingency plans, all necessary information will be communicated to staff and students as required.

    Q: How will Harrogate College keep me updated with information?
    A: Students will receive any important updates via text. We have spotted some fake new stories circulating on social media, if you spot any fake news stories or have any queries feel free to contact us.

    Contacts and resources
    If you are a member of staff and are concerned that you (or another member of staff) are affected by the situation please contact your line manager. 

    The below general resources are trusted sources that may be helpful if you wish to learn more about coronavirus and keep up-to-date on the situation.

    Please note, we encourage all of our staff and students to act based on advice from official channels such as those listed below.

    NHS COVID-19 page
    Official NHS information and advice on coronavirus can be found on the official COVID-19 page on the NHS website. This includes an overview, recommendations for self-isolation, information on the 111 coronavirus service, information on the disease and how to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus.

    UK government guidance
    The UK government continues to update its official website with new advice, guidance and policies relating to the coronavirus outbreak.

    Government response
    Updated information relating to the government’s response to COVID-19 including stay at home guidance, NHS information, guidance for health professionals, travel advice and the number of cases can be found here.

    Government action plan
    More information on the government’s action plan including existing measures and potential future actions as well as information on the contain, delay and mitigation phases can be found here.

    Government information for the publicInformation on the number of cases and risk level in the UK, advice on what to do if you have symptoms and details on the government’s response can be found here.

    WHO updates
    To see a summary of the COVID-19 timeline alongside rolling updates from WHO on the coronavirus disease, click here.

Contact

Harrogate College

Hornbeam Park Ave, Harrogate HG2 8QT United Kingdom

Tel: 01423 879466
Email: contact@harrogate-college.ac.uk