College FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

We are in unprecedented times and realise that you will have lots of questions. We don’t have all the answers as yet but below is some information that you may find useful. We will keep this page updated as and when we receive new information.

Updated on 30 March – 07:55

General Questions

Can I still access the College?

From Monday 23rd March all face-to-face teaching will be replaced with remote learning. Learners and members of the public will not be able to access the College after 4:30pm on Friday 20th March.

How long will the College be closed for?

At present our buildings will be closed to learners and members of the public until the end of the Easter holidays (Monday 20th April). We will continue to review advice from Public Health Wales and Welsh Government. Please regularly check our website and social media for updates.

Our Senior Management Team is meeting regularly to ensure we have the most up-to-date information to share with our staff and learners.

What about the salons, gym and restaurant?

Unfortunately, the gym, salons, sports hall and restaurant have already been closed to the public. We apologise for the inconvenience that this will cause but hope that you understand.

Is BrightStart Nursery open?

Following discussions with parents, Bright Start Day Nursery will close from 6.00pm on Friday 20 March.

If I was being supplied with period products from the College, what happens now?

If you were accessing period products from the College. We can still support you in this regard in the form of a monthly monetary amount. If you are already in receipt of the College FCF it will be through an enhanced payment. If not a recipient of the FCF we will need you to register with us your bank account details and some further basic information. Please email: s.finance@pembrokeshire.ac.uk, telephone 01437 753134 or contact through Facebook messenger.

Information for Parents

What will happen to EMA/WGLG/Financial Contingency Fund payments?

If a learner is ordinarily in receipt of EMA, WGLG or Financial Contingency Fund (FCF) payments these will continue as normal. Access to Moodle will be being monitored.

How do learners work remotely?

Learners will be able to access work via Moodle and Live School. Tutors will have been through this with their groups. If a learner is struggling they can contact their tutor or the IT Helpdesk: helpdesk@pembrokeshire.ac.uk

How do learners access support?

Pastoral Support will remain in place and learners will be contacted by their personal tutors/coaches whilst they are not in College.

Counselling Services will continued to be offered online and via the telephone. Please contact Heidi and Jon via their college email addresses to book your appointment or to discuss your options further. You will then be given the relevant details you need to proceed with your chosen platform of counselling. h.lester@pembrokeshire.ac.uk or j.hazell@pembrokeshire.ac.uk

Please be assured, that during these uncertain and difficult times we will continue to work ethically with our clients offering them confidential counselling support to suit their individual needs and availability.

Safeguarding Services will continue and should parents need to make contact with us to notify of any concerns/information they can do so via email: safe@pembrokeshire.ac.uk or the Safeguarding Mobile: 07813 546 695

UCAS Support will be available via Maxine Thomas: ma.thomas@pembrokeshire.ac.uk or 07989 430 703

Full Time Students

How do I access remote learning?

Access to Moodle from home is simple and straightforward. Go on to the college website and click the Moodle link under the My College section. Or go through your MyDay app. Or simply go to moodle.pembrokeshire.ac.uk Log in using your usual username and password. If you cannot log in for any reason, click the Need Help and the Moodle team will help you!

If your tutor has arranged to teach classes through our LIVE school programme, you will already know about this and received a classroom link via email.

What is happening with exams/assessments?

Summer examinations for GCSEs, A-levels and BTEC have been cancelled.

If you currently have assignments outstanding, it is important you continue to work on these remotely from home to allow you to complete your course and be awarded with the correct grade.

We know that learners are understandably anxious about the cancellation of external examinations and the predicted grades that will be awarded as a result.

We are awaiting further guidance from the WJEC in relation (for A-level & GCSE) to teacher assessed grades and the process of submitting this information. We have provided a summary below of what we do know and what we are still seeking clarification on below – we hope this is helpful to you.

We ask at this time that you do not contact your subject tutor directly regarding your teacher assessed grade. They cannot give any true indication of what this grade will be as we are not fully informed at this stage. Please continue to engage with your subject tutors about your learning as outlined in our remote learning expectations.

If you have any questions, please send them to alevels@pembrokeshire.ac.uk if you are an A-Level learner and to skills@pembrokeshire.ac.uk if you are a GCSE learner and we will get back to you.

What we currently know:

  • There has been an indication as to how predicted grades will be awarded. This will be done by drawing upon a range of evidence:
    • Marks for completed work to date e.g. AS grades
    • Standardised teacher assessed grades which will be based on what teachers would expect a learner to achieve at the end of the course. They need to represent a fair, reasonable and carefully considered judgement of the most likely grade that might be achieved in normal circumstances. This is a professional judgement based on the combined assessment information held for that learner and will be a holistic judgement rather than focusing on a single source of evidence like mock examinations. These are not target grades or aspirational grades and are not related to performance measures e.g. ALPS Minimum Expected Grades.
    • There is going to be a focus on GCSE, A-Level and WBQ results.
  • Grades for Year 10 or AS students will not be awarded by the examining body.
  • The UCAS admissions cycle will not be affected and will run to its normal timetable – A2 learners will progress to university for the course start date.
  • There may be an option for Year 10 and AS learners to sit an examination early in the next academic year should they wish to.
  • Learners will be allowed to sit their examinations in summer 2021 should they wish to.
  • The teacher assessed grade may not be your final grade – the awarding body will combine this with other relevant data such as prior attainment and calculate a grade for each student.
  • For the wide range of vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) used for progression and taken in schools, colleges and training providers, OFQUAL are considering how similar arrangements to those set out for GCSEs, AS and A levels could be applied.
    • Some form of teacher calculated grade, or other form of estimation based on assessment that has already taken place, will be possible in many cases.
    • For other qualifications, it might be more appropriate to adapt the assessment or delivery arrangements so that everyone can have confidence in the outcome.
    • And for some qualifications that signify occupational competence or award a licence to practise in safety-critical industries, assessment might need to be delayed in order to ensure public safety and meet the needs of employers.

What we currently do not know:

  • How results will be collected by schools and colleges and sent to the awarding body.
  • The weighting of each element listed as a contributor to predicted grades.
  • When results will be released to learners e.g. if a results day will be held and when this will be.
  • When the awarding body will timetable examinations early in the next academic year for learners who wish to sit one.

The above information has been collated from the following press releases/statements:


We will keep this page updated with developments as we receive them.

Will I still receive EMA/WGLG/Financial Contingency Fund?

If you are currently in receipt of Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) or the College Financial Contingency Fund (FCF) (including lunch money which will now be paid at the rate of £5 per day as per timetables, for learners who are currently in receipt of this support) this will continue as normal.

FCF payments will be made on a weekly basis on Mondays (with the exception of half term breaks), and EMA payments as per the scheme arrangement – every fortnight with the exception of half term breaks as below:

Payment for
week(s) ending
Payment date Weeks due Payment
Amount
.
13/03 & 20/03 30/03/2020 2 £60
27/03 & 03/04 14/04/2020 2 £60
10/04 & 17/04 27/04/2020 0 £0 Easter Half Term
24/04 & 01/05 11/05/2020 2 £60
08/05 & 15/05 26/05/2020 2 £60
22/05 & 29/05 08/06/2020 1 £30 May Half Term
05/06 & 12/06 22/06/2020 2 £60
19/06 & 26/06 06/07/2020 2 £60

Welsh Government Learning Grant (WGLG) will continue as normal while the College remains closed. The next payment is due on 11 May 2020.

If you have any queries, please email: s.finance@pembrokeshire.ac.uk, telephone 01437 753134 or contact through Facebook messenger. Please note that your access to Moodle will be monitored.

Should I still attend my work experience placement?

All work experience placements have been cancelled until further notice. Any work placement you choose to undertake from now until notified will be at your own risk and should be under a different arrangement than through Pembrokeshire College.

I was due to go on a trip with the college, will this go ahead?

All trips and visits have been cancelled until further notice.

What if I need to access support?

College support services will be operating as normally as possible.

Pastoral Support will remain in place and learners will be contacted by their personal tutors/coaches whilst they are not in College.

Counselling Services will continued to be offered online, by email and via the telephone. Please contact Heidi and Jon via their college email addresses to book your appointment or to discuss your options further. You will then be given the relevant details you need to proceed with your chosen platform of counselling. h.lester@pembrokeshire.ac.uk or j.hazell@pembrokeshire.ac.uk

Please be assured, that during these uncertain and difficult times we will continue to work ethically with our clients offering them confidential counselling support to suit their individual needs and availability.

Safeguarding Services will continue and should you need to make contact with us to notify of any concerns/information they can do so via email: safe@pembrokeshire.ac.uk or the Safeguarding Mobile: 07813 546 695

UCAS Support will be available via Maxine Thomas: ma.thomas@pembrokeshire.ac.uk or 07989 430 703

Part-time Students

I’m studying part-time, how does this affect me?

Where possible all part-time courses will move to remote learning. Where this is not possible, your remaining classes will be postponed. The Admissions team or Faculty Administrator will be in touch with more information as it becomes available.

I’m due to start a part-time course, what’s happening?

All courses that are due to start are being postponed until further notice. We will be in touch once a new date has been set.

Will I get a refund if I have paid for a course that isn’t running?

If the course is cancelled a full refund will be provided. Initially courses will be postponed and the payment will be carried forward to the new date.

Higher Education (HE) Students (Degrees, level 4 and above)

I’m studying on a higher education programme, how does this affect me?

All HE learners are expected to log on to Moodle and undertake the work that is set by lecturers. We are working with the university to ensure learners are not disadvantaged and any remaining coursework and examinations are being reviewed to ensure learners can undertake them either in the College or remotely.

Learners who have practical work will need to liaise with their lecturers on Moodle where alternative arrangements can be made.

Work based Students and Apprentices

Work Based Learners with B-WBL

Please continue to use ‘e-track’ your web-based e-portfolio system. It enables you to view the progress you are making throughout your programme, communicate with your assessor, upload work/evidence to them and take an interactive part in your learning. Click here for the e-track User Guide.

Traineeships

All learning for traineeship learners will take place remotely via Moodle or if you do not have computer access your course tutors have posted learning packs home today with the work, pens and paper. Please keep in contact with your course tutor through emails, these have been included in the learning packs.

If you have any additional queries please contact d.bond@pembrokeshire.ac.uk

Apprentices

All learning for work-based learners will take place remotely via E-Track (e-track user guide), Skype*, Facetime or telephone. No face to face learning will take place until further notice. Please keep in contact with your Assessor using your usual communication methods.

If you have any queries please contact:

Health Care | Childcare | Management | Hospitality | Advice & Guidance – l.breckon@pembrokeshire.ac.uk

Engineering | Construction – c.curtis@pembrokeshire.ac.uk

Animal Care | Social Media |IT Web and Telecoms |IT Users – p.robinson@pembrokeshre.ac.uk

*All Apprentices can download Skype for Business from their App Store if they have a device capable of downloading it.   As part of their Office 365 account, all students can login to Skype for Business with their college email address and password.

What is happening with exams/assessments?

The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (OFQUAL) issued a statement on 25 March 2020 stating:

We recognise learners on vocational and technical courses urgently need reassurance about how their qualifications will be assessed and awarded in the coming weeks and months. We are working as quickly as possible to develop an approach which enables learners to get the qualifications they deserve and that they need to progress.

For the wide range of vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) used for progression and taken in schools, colleges and training providers, we are considering how similar arrangements to those set out for GCSEs, AS and A levels could be applied. Some form of teacher calculated grade, or other form of estimation based on assessment that has already taken place, will be possible in many cases. For other qualifications, it might be more appropriate to adapt the assessment or delivery arrangements so that everyone can have confidence in the outcome. And for some qualifications that signify occupational competence or award a licence to practise in safety-critical industries, assessment might need to be delayed in order to ensure public safety and meet the needs of employers.

There are many different types of qualification, awarding organisations, learner groups and assessment approaches, so the landscape is complex and it is clear that one size will not fit all circumstances.

We are working urgently with the Department for Education, awarding organisations, other regulators and the wider sector to develop and publish a clear approach for the different categories of VTQs in the coming days.

Employers

I'm an employer with staff studying at the College, what happens now?

Due to the current and continually evolving challenges and risks associated with Coronavirus COVID-19, we at Pembrokeshire College have taken the decision to pause face-to-face interactions with all apprentices from the end of this week (Friday 20 March 2020).

From Monday 23 March 2020, teaching, learning, assessment and ongoing progress reviews will move to online and digital methods until further notice. Tutors, trainers and assessors will inform apprentice groups of what those digital methods will include. We would encourage apprentices to contact their tutor/assessor with any questions they may have around these plans. This will mean that apprentices will not be required to attend college for any planned sessions during this period. Our advice for all apprentices will be to discuss with their employers what their alternative arrangements should be for those days. We appreciate that this will come as an inconvenience to some, however, in these unprecedented times, the health and wellbeing of our entire college community is of utmost priority. You can follow any updates on Pembrokeshire College’s response to COVID-19 via this page.

You can also direct any questions relating apprentices to our apprenticeship team at:

Health & Business:  l.breckon@pembrokeshire.ac.uk

Engineering & Construction: c.curtis@pembrokeshire.ac.uk

Animal Care, Social Media &  IT: p.robinson@pembrokeshire.ac.uk

We appreciate that this will be an incredibly challenging period for you and your business and hope you are able to remain safe and well during this difficult time.

Prospective Students starting in September 2020

Can I still apply to College?

We are still taking application, just apply through the website in the normal way.

I have an interview coming up, what should I do?

Our Admissions team will be contacting all learners who are due to attend for an interview in the next four weeks. Please be assured that the cancellation of interviews will not affect your place at College. We will continue to update this section.

I need some careers advice, is this still available?

Our Admissions team are working remotely and are happy to provide advice and guidance via Skype or over the phone. Please email: admissions@pembrokeshire.ac.uk to arrange an appointment.

General advice about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and useful links

Protect yourself and others and follow Public Health Wales guidance:

  • People who live with others should stay at home for 14 days if they, or anyone in their household, has either a high temperature or a new and continuous cough
  • People who live alone should stay at home for seven days if they develop a high temperature or a new and continuous cough
  • Everyone should avoid non-essential contact with others and unnecessary travel
  • Everyone being asked to work from home where they possibly can
  • People over 70, and vulnerable groups of any age will be asked within days to be shielded from social contact for several weeks

 

You can help slow/stop the spread of the virus by following the NHS guidance:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
    • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
    • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
    • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • Avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus

 

The NHS also mention:

  • Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.
  • Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.
  • It’s very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.

 

Most important is to look after yourself and others, see you on the otherside 🙂

Where can I find the latest guidance about Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The situation is changing rapidly. Learners should regularly check the following websites for the latest updates and guidance:

NHS health info & advice

Access to HE Health

Public Health Wales

Welsh Gov Further & Higher Education

Welsh Gov
Work-based & Apprenticeships

Travel Advice from FCO

BBC News Live

Welsh Gov Exams & Assessments

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