Highlands College Closure (Updated Information 20th March 2020)
Highlands College has been working to ensure that our students are supported throughout this unique period. Our aim is to ensure:
- Learning continues
- Students are supported
The College has prepared and delivered a suite of guidance and training for staff to help colleagues ensure that we can continue to support the education of our students while working or studying remotely.
Students can access office 365 accounts directly from our website https://www.highlands.ac.uk/
Most students have practiced accessing work and assessment remotely in preparation for this closure.
The College hopes to remain open to provide a skeleton service provision for a small group of our most vulnerable learners, for as long as we can safely do so.
Will University College Jersey (UCJ) also be closed?
Yes, however we’re working closely with our university partners to ensure minimum disruption to learning. Due to the nature of our partnerships across the University of Plymouth, University of Sussex, London South Bank University and Pearson, each programme is subject to a bespoke plan for continued learning. These plans are held, managed, actioned and shared by each programme leader within UCJ.
How will remote learning actually work?
Lecturers and Heads of Department have planned and communicated with students. Our expectation is that lessons continue within current timetabled slots albeit remotely. Students should be prepared to learn and be logged into Microsoft Teams, Moodle or UCJ alternatives. Lecturers will conduct session activities via these platforms. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback during these sessions. In some cases, lecturers may need to adjust timetables, this will be communicated to our students.
If classes are available online, but students do not have access to a computer, will you provide one?
We have a small stock of laptops available for loan to students, please contact the college directly should you require assistance. Alternatively, whilst not ideal, our primary platform ‘Microsoft Teams’ is accessible on most mobile devices.
Can I obtain hard copies of learning documents?
Where necessary the college will provide printed copies of learning documents. Students wishing to obtain printed resources should place requests directly with personal tutors/programme leaders.
When will College open again? / How long will you be closed for?
This is under constant review by the Government of Jersey. For updates, we advise that you regularly visit gov.je alongside the College website and social media channels.
How will the College keep in contact with me?
Periodically students and parents will receive a text message from the college’s leadership team with a link to the latest information. Students will also be in regular contact with our teaching team online in relation to all course matters. The College will also regularly update social media and our website.
Can I access central college services such as learning support or employability advice?
Yes, these services are still available to our students albeit via phone or our Teams platform, the College is currently working on a guide to accessing services and self-referring online. Their contacts have been shared via social media.
Please be assured that there is a multi-agency approach being developed to support young people. The Youth Service is currently exploring a range of options and we will update you as soon as this is confirmed.
Will this affect future University places or Year 1 to year 2 progression?
The College has assessed the risks in relation to our students’ progression, and controls are in place to mitigate these potential risks. These range from guaranteeing internal progression to brokering university places on behalf of students should we need to.
What does this mean for my Apprenticeship?
As an apprentice you’ll continue to work with lecturers remotely via Microsoft Teams. Lecturers will particularly focus on assignments and the theoretical elements of your programme during closure period. The College will then work with you and your employer to develop a plan of how and when practical assessments will take place.
I’m a school pupil and come to College one day a week, will I remote learn with Highlands too?
Yes, where possible your study with the College will continue to be a part of your school’s plan to ensure your GCSEs success.
With examinations cancelled at the end of this academic year, what will happen now?
The U.K. Government has announced that examinations in May and June will be cancelled and that grades this year will be based on teachers’ predictions and assessments. Ofqual will develop and set out a process that will provide a calculated grade to each student, which reflects their performance as fairly as possible. The aim is to provide these calculated grades to students before the end of July 2020.
What about my vocational exams?
It is likely that exams for BTEC qualifications, etc., will also be impacted and alternative assessment methods used. The College’s curriculum teams are experts in the use of alternate assessment methods and as such are not concerned. Our aim is to ensure these changes do not negatively affect our students’ qualification achievement. Again, we will share further information as we receive it.
I’m currently enrolled on an Adult course what will happen, will I be refunded?
For now your course will be ‘postponed’. The College will explore options to extend courses, offer credit notes or to issue refunds. We ask that you are patient as this situation is unprecedented.
Will the summer holidays be shortened due to the extra time off over Easter?
The team are looking at all options to minimise disruption to students’ learning.
What can parents do to help through this time in terms of learning and emotional wellbeing?
Information has been published and circulated to parents by the Department of Children, Young People, Education and Skills, along with information about school/college closures.