College COVID-19 FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions & COVID-19 Updates

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

What’s happening with GCSE and AS/A level assessment arrangements?

On Wednesday 20th January 2021 the Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, announced that “Learners in Wales studying for Qualifications Wales approved GCSE, AS and A levels this year will receive grades determined by their school or college, based on work they have completed over their course.”

We’ve pulled together the key information:

We are sure that you will have many questions around this announcement so please be assured that we are working to obtain the answers and will share them with you as soon as possible.

What’s happening with vocational qualifications?

On Friday 15th January 2021 Pearson announced that BTEC examinations scheduled in February, March and the summer 2021 will not go ahead.  We are waiting for further information about this announcement and what it means for assessments.

On Wednesday 20th January 2021 the Education Minister, Kirsty Williams announced that “Learners in Wales studying for Qualifications Wales approved GCSE, AS and A levels this year will receive grades determined by their school or college, based on work they have completed over their course.”  The announcement does not include vocational and technical qualifications, which are being considered separately.  You can access what Qualifications Wales say here: Qualifications Wales / Qualifications Wales confirms centre determined grades for summer 2021

Ofqual have launched a consultation to consider the arrangement for vocational and technical qualifications, that is accessed here: Consultation on alternative arrangements for the award of VTQs and other general qualifications in 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) and it closes on 29th January.

Wales only qualifications in health and social care

City & Guilds and WJEC have put in place arrangements for learners completing the new approved qualifications in Health and Social Care and Childcare during 2020-21. On 14 December 2020, Qualifications Wales announced that the arrangements for the Core qualifications in Health and Social Care and Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development will be available to all learners who are expecting to achieve their qualifications before 31 August 2021.  Full details about the adaptations for the new suite of Wales-only qualifications in Health and Social Care and Childcare for 2020-21 can be found on the Health and Care Learning Wales website.

The awarding bodies offering Health and Social Care and Childcare qualifications for Wales and Northern Ireland have agreed consistent adaptations for learners completing during 2020-21. The adaptations, including a list of the relevant qualifications, can be found here. If your qualification is not included in this document, or if you would like to find out more about the adaptations, then please contact your faculty.

Essential skills Wales qualifications

The four Essential Skills Wales awarding bodies (Agored Cymru, City & Guilds, Pearson and WJEC) have put in place arrangements for learners taking these qualifications during 2020-21. These arrangements help to reduce the impact of disruption to assessment caused by Covid-19 and replace the previous arrangements. On 14 December 2020, Qualifications Wales announced that these arrangements will be available until 31 August 2021.

Full details about the adaptations for Essential Skills Wales qualifications for 2020-21 can be found here.

Covid-19 Advice for Staff and Learners

Please do not attend College if you are symptomatic. You must self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms start. You must not return to College until your self-isolation period has ended.

Learners/staff and their households (and extended housholds) are advised to follow this advice by Hywel Dda University Health Board:

If a household member develops symptoms of COVID-19, the entire household should immediately self-isolate, and book a test for the individual with the symptoms. It is unnecessary to test the entire household if they are not symptomatic. The COVID-19 symptoms are:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • loss of or change to sense of smell or taste

Booking a COVID-19 test:

To reiterate, Hywel Dda recommends testing only for those with a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or loss of or change in the sense of taste or smell. If a COVID-19 test is required, this should be arranged via the UK Booking Portal or by ringing 119. Testing is available within Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion or via a home testing kit delivered to and collected from your home. The COVID-19 test is undertaken via a throat swab or combined throat and nose swab.

Hywel Dda is aware that some people are experiencing difficulty in accessing testing via these routes. If you have a problem, you can contact the Health Board on 0300 303 8322 and they will arrange testing for you.

Self-isolation:

It is essential that people who have COVID-19 symptoms, or who share a household with someone who has symptoms, must self-isolate, even if your symptoms are mild. To protect others, you must not attend school, college, nursery, other childcare settings, work, or go to or to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

Anyone with symptoms must self-isolate for 10 days from when their symptoms started. They must not return to school, college or work after 10 days if they are well enough to do so.

Anyone in the household who does not have symptoms must self-isolate for 14 days from when the first person in the home started having symptoms.

If you receive a positive test result, you will be contacted by the Test, Trace, Protect Team who will advise you further.

If the test is negative, self-isolation can end for everyone, children may return to school, students can return to College and parents can return to work if they are well enough to do so and as long as nobody else in the household has developed symptoms.

Non-household members/contacts:

If a person has been in contact with an individual experiencing symptoms, they should carry on as normal until that individual receives their test result. If this is positive, the Test, Trace, Protect Team will contact those people identified as contacts and advise accordingly.

COVID-19 Updates

Update - 8 January 2021

Following the First Minister’s announcement this morning (Friday 8 January) online learning is likely to be extended to February half term pending a further review on Friday 29 January. Please regularly check your emails for updates. Stay safe.

Update - 5 January 2021

Following yesterday’s announcement by Welsh Government to move all schools and colleges to online learning your lessons will now be delivered remotely until Friday 15 January. Please read below for a summary:

Remote Learning Extended to Friday 15 January

All lessons from today (Tuesday 5th January) until Friday 15th January will now take place via BBB or through workbooks.

W/c 18 January

College will re-open on Monday 18th January for face-to-face teaching as per your normal timetables.

Monitoring Attendance

Registers of attendance will be taken for online learning as per your normal timetable and it is essential that you report any absence during this period to the Absence Line in the normal way.

Assessments & Exams

To minimise disruption, assessments for technical, vocational and general qualifications that are scheduled during the first two weeks of January, will continue to take place. However, if learners wish to defer sitting such assessments they are able to do so. Other assessments, where we have greater flexibility as to when they can be sat, will be rescheduled for later in 2021. Learners will be contacted to confirm the situation with their assessments.

Please note that College transport will not be running from the 5th to 15th January. If you have been contacted to confirm that your assessment can proceed and you wish to attend, you will need to make your own way into the College.

Support

The College’s support services will continue to be accessible remotely during the first week of term in January.

The Togetherall service is also available offering 24/7 online support (Togetherall | A safe community to support your mental health, 24/7)

Other useful contact details include: Pembrokeshire College Safeguarding Team: safe@pembrokeshire.ac.uk

Samaritans: 116 123 | jo@samaritans.org (response time 24 hours)

Finally

Please stay safe and regularly check your emails for any updates.

Barry

Dr Barry Walters

Principal

College Re-opening 2021 - 31 December 2020

Dear learner

I hope you enjoyed the festive break, please take this time to read this update regarding your return to College:

Remote Learning 5th – 8th January
A reminder that remote learning will continue for the first week of January. Please note that Monday 4th January is an inset day, your online learning timetables will therefore resume on Tuesday 5th January.

W/c 11 January
College will re-open on Monday 11th January for face-to-face teaching as per your normal timetables.

Monitoring Attendance
Registers of attendance will be taken for online learning as per your normal timetable and it is essential that you report any absence during this period to the Absence Line in the normal way.

Assessments & Exams
To minimise disruption, assessments for technical, vocational and general qualifications that are scheduled during the first week of January, and are deemed necessary, will continue to take place. Where possible assessments will be rescheduled for early in 2021. Learners will be contacted to confirm if their assessments will be taking place or will be postponed.

Please note that College transport will not be running from the 5th to 8th January. If you have been contacted to confirm that your assessment is going ahead, you will need to make your own way into the College.

Support
The College’s support services will continue to be accessible remotely during the first week of term in January.

The Togetherall service is also available offering 24/7 online support (Togetherall | A safe community to support your mental health, 24/7)

Other useful contact details include:
Pembrokeshire College Safeguarding Team: safe@pembrokeshire.ac.uk
Samaritans: 116 123 | jo@samaritans.org (response time 24 hours)

Finally

I look forward to seeing you soon. Remember to stay safe: Hands | Space | Face

Barry

Dr Barry Walters
Principal

College transport - w/c 4 January

Please be aware that if you are due to sit an exam in the College w/c 4th January that there will be no College buses running due to lessons being delivered online. Learners will therefore need to make your own way into the College.

Update - 11 December 2020

Remote Learning 14-18 December

As many of you may now be aware, following the announcement by the Education Minister yesterday (10/12/2020), we will move to online teaching for the last week of term from the 14-18 December.

Therefore today (Friday 11th December) will be the last day for on-site delivery and College transport will not run after this date.

January 2021

A decision has also been taken that all further education colleges in Wales will also operate remote learning for the first week back in January from Monday 4 through to Friday 8th January.

Monitoring Attendance

Registers of attendance will be taken for online learning as per your normal timetable and it is essential that you report any absence during this period to the Absence Line in the normal way.

Assessments & Exams
To minimise disruption, assessments for technical, vocational and general qualifications that are scheduled during this time and that are deemed necessary, will continue to take place. Where possible assessments will be rescheduled for early in 2021. Learners will be contacted to confirm if their assessments will be taking place or will be postponed.

Support

The College’s support services will continue to be accessible remotely during next week and the first week of term in January.

During the Christmas break the Togetherall service will be available offering 24/7 online support (Togetherall | A safe community to support your mental health, 24/7)

Other useful contact details include:

Pembrokeshire College Safeguarding Team: safe@pembrokeshire.ac.uk

Samaritans: 116 123 | jo@samaritans.org (response time 24 hours)

Update - 10 December 2020

Following the Minster’s announcement today, we will move to online teaching for the last week of term from the 14-18 December.

Registers of attendance will be taken for online learning as per normal timetables. It is essential that any absence is reported to the Absence Line in the normal way.

All exams and assessments planned to take place during this week will be postponed and re-scheduled for early in 2021.

Therefore, Friday 11th December will be the last day for on-site delivery and College transport will not run after this date.

Important information for students from Ceredigion and north Pembrokeshire - 24 November 2020

Please note College buses will be running as normal from tomorrow (Wednesday 25 November). Students and staff from the affected areas can return to College as per their current timetables.

Important information for students from Ceredigion and north Pembrokeshire - UPDATED 16:00, 23 November 2020

Due to the increase in the number of positive cases in Ceredigion, please do not attend College on Tuesday 24 November, if you normally travel from Ceredigion or north Pembrokeshire. College buses will not be collecting from the highlighted stops on routes 200R, 201 and 203. The situation is being reviewed again at midday tomorrow (Tuesday) when a further update will be provided. Lessons will move to online delivery. Thank you for your co-operation.

Important information for students from Ceredigion and north Pembrokeshire 23 November 2020

Due to the increase in the number of positive cases in Ceredigion, please do not attend College today (Monday 23 November), if you normally travel on one of the highlighted routes (200R, 201 and 203 College Buses). Buses will not be collecting from these stops. Further information will follow.

Pembrokeshire County Council Update 17 November 2020

Pupils and students urged to sit in allocated bus seats to and from school/college

Pupils and students travelling on Council-operated buses to and from schools and colleges are being reminded of the vital importance in sitting and remaining in their allocated seats whilst travelling.

That’s the message from the Education Transport department at Pembrokeshire County Council.

The team says that following further positive cases of Covid-19 being identified on school/college transport it has become clear that not all pupils and students are following the seating plans.

“The consequences of this are potentially serious,” said Darren Thomas, Head of Infrastructure.

“If young people don’t sit in their allocated seats, when a positive case of Covid-19 is confirmed it is very difficult to identify the immediate contacts of the relevant pupil/ student.

“As a result, the whole busload might be required to isolate – instead of the handful of young people who would normally be classed as contacts.”

He added that although some buses have CCTV, identifying pupils/ students when they are wearing face coverings is tricky.

“Whilst we do have some CCTV to assist in the process of identifying those classed as contacts on transport, we do not have these systems on every vehicle,” said Darren.

“Even where we do have them identification of pupils/students can be difficult due to everyone wearing face coverings.

“It is abundantly clear that the virus is circulating in our local communities and it is therefore essential to follow the seating plans to minimise the number of pupil/students required to isolate.”

Cllr Phil Baker, Cabinet Member, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, appealed to parents to make sure their children follow the rules – or risk their bus pass being revoked.

“Clearly, we want to make sure all pupils and students have the maximum opportunity to access learning,” he said.

“But for the safety of all, given the current situation, unfortunately any who persistently refuses to follow these reasonable safety precautions will be given a warning, and ultimately transport could be withdrawn.”

Reminder of seat allocation instructions:

School transport: Pupils must sit in their allocated seat and remain there during the whole journey.

College transport: All students must fill in a register when boarding the bus indicating their name and student ID and they must then sit in the seat they have registered their name to.

Reminder of Covid-19 advice:

It remains equally important to continue to following the advice relating to Covid-19 and therefore pupils/students should:

  • not attend college if they have any of the symptoms associated with Covid-19. These are a new and continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell.
  • continue to maintain good hand hygiene by washing their hands more regularly than normal and using hand sanitiser each time they board and alight transport
  • ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
  • ensure they wear a face covering on transport unless they have an exemption (secondary school age only).Further details can be found on the councils website.

Principal's Update 16 November 2020

Dear Student, Parent, Carer

In relation to College students, or members of staff, testing positive for Covid-19, I wish to reassure you that the College is rigorously adhering to all the protocols and regulations issued by Public Health Wales and also Welsh Government Guidance.

As and when cases arise we are working closely with the regional Test, Trace and Protect Unit to ensure that all who have been in direct contact are identified and required to isolate so that the College campus remains safe allowing all other students to continue to attend College as per their normal timetables.

Can I ask that you all follow Public Health Wales guidance and adhere to the advice not to come into College if displaying any symptoms. If I may remind you, the COVID-19 symptoms are:

  • a new continuous cough;
  • a high temperature;
  • loss of or change to sense of smell or taste.

It is essential that people who display these COVID-19 symptoms, or who share a household with someone who has symptoms, self-isolate, even if symptoms are mild. To protect others you must not attend the College or go to or to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Anyone with symptoms must self-isolate for 10 days from when their symptoms started.

If you have any concerns at all, please contact your course tutor.

Thank you

 

Barry Walters

Principal

Higher Education Students Update 16 November 2020

Higher Education courses at Pembrokeshire College will continue with planned lessons up to the 18 of December 2020. Any learners who live in term time accommodation and will be travelling home for the Christmas period should get in touch with their tutor as soon as possible to discuss arrangements.

Principal's Update 13 November 2020

Dear Student, Parent, Carer

We have today received confirmation of a positive Covid-19 case in relation to a full-time learner. I wish to reassure you all that the College has rigorously adhered to all the protocols and regulations issued by Public Health Wales and also Welsh Government Guidance. We are working closely with the regional Test, Trace and Protect Unit to ensure that all who have been in direct contact are now isolating so that the College campus remains safe.

All other students can continue to attend College as per their normal timetables.

Can I ask that you all follow Public Health Wales guidance and adhere to the advice not to come into College if displaying any symptoms.  If I may remind you, the COVID-19 symptoms are:

  • a new continuous cough;
  • a high temperature;
  • loss of or change to sense of smell or taste.

It is essential that people who display these COVID-19 symptoms, or who share a household with someone who has symptoms, self-isolate, even if symptoms are mild. To protect others you must not attend the College or go to or to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Anyone with symptoms must self-isolate for 10 days from when their symptoms started.

If you have any concerns at all, please contact your course tutor.

Thank you

 

Barry Walters

Principal

Update 20 October 2020

Following the Minister’s announcement yesterday (Monday 19 October) learners and members of the public will not be able to access the College after 5pm on Friday 23 October with the exception of those sitting exams which cannot be rescheduled.

For week beginning Monday 26 October all part-time classes are either cancelled or have been moved to online delivery.

For week beginning Monday 2 November all face to face teaching will be replaced with remote learning where appropriate. Normal timetables (as per the first half of term) will resume from Monday 9 November.

Learners are asked to check their emails regularly for further information from their Faculty.

Principal's Update 30 September 2020

Dear Student, Parent, Carer

We have today received confirmation of a positive Covid-19 case in relation to a full-time learner. I wish to reassure you all that the College has rigorously adhered to all the protocols and regulations issued by Public Health Wales and also Welsh Government Guidance. We are working closely with the regional Test, Trace and Protect Unit to ensure that all who have been in direct contact are now isolating so that the College campus remains safe. It should be noted that the learner only attended College briefly and did not attend any classes whilst exhibiting symptoms or for the 48 hours prior.

All other students can continue to attend College as per their normal timetables.

Can I ask that you all follow Public Health Wales guidance and adhere to the advice not to come into College if displaying any symptoms.  If I may remind you, the COVID-19 symptoms are:

  • a new continuous cough;
  • a high temperature;
  • loss of or change to sense of smell or taste.

It is essential that people who display these COVID-19 symptoms, or who share a household with someone who has symptoms, self-isolate, even if symptoms are mild. To protect others you must not attend the College or go to or to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Anyone with symptoms must self-isolate for 10 days from when their symptoms started.

If you have any concerns at all, please contact your course tutor.

Thank you

 

Barry Walters

Principal

Exam & Assessment Questions

Letter to Learners from Qualifications Wales - 8 January

Please find attached the letter to learners about the spring internal assessments from Qualification Wales.

What’s happening with GCSE and AS/A-level assessment arrangements?

On Friday 8th January 2021 the First Minister has announced an extended lockdown period and due to this the internal assessments that were due to take place between 22nd February and 23rd April have been cancelled.

  • The latest announcement from Qualifications Wales regarding the cancelled internal assessments can be seen here.
  • The WJEC response can be seen here
  • Further information about the extended lockdown period can be found here
  • Qualifications Wales / FAQs

We await more detailed information about revised arrangements and will keep you up to date.

What’s happening with vocational exams?

Assessments for technical and vocational qualifications, (such as BTec) that are scheduled during the first two weeks of January, will continue to take place. However, if learners wish to defer sitting such assessments they are able to do so. Other assessments, where we have greater flexibility as to when they can be sat, will be rescheduled for later in 2021. Learners have been contacted to confirm the situation with their assessments, please contact your Faculty team if you have any queries.

  • For further information access the Ofqual statement here
  • The Qualifications Wales statement can be see here
  • Information from the Pearson can be seen here
  • Learner updates: News | Pearson UK

General Questions

What IT kit will I need for home study?

To be able to study effectively online you will need access to IT resources such as a good laptop and internet access. Below is an outline of the type of laptop you will need (specialist resources such as Macs and software such as CAD and computer programming will be accessed when you are in College). We know that not everyone has access to their own laptop or reliable internet, so please make contact with us as soon as possible if this will be a problem so we can work together on finding a solution.

Once you are enrolled and have an active IT account you will be able to install the Microsoft Office suite for free, on suitable devices.

With social distancing likely to be in place for some time, the ability to be able to access learning resources from home is really important.

Is the canteen and shop going to be open?

There will be catering on site for all learners on a ‘Grab and Go’ basis.

Opening Times

The Canteen/Refectory: 08:30 – 14:15

Shop (Little Fresh): 08:30 – 16:00

Starbucks: 08:30 – 14:15

Coffee Shop (F1 corridor): 11:00 – 14:30

TIC Pop-up: 11:00 – 14:30

Is the Learning Resource Centre (Library) going to be open?

The Learning Resource Centre will be open and available for learners to use with social distancing measures in place.

Will the support services still be available?

Yes, all support services including the learning coaches, youth worker, counsellor, nurse, guidance and Employment Bureau will be operating and available for learners to access.

Will the Salons, Gym & Restaurant be open to the public?

The Salons, Gym & Restaurant are still currently closed to the public. We are hoping we will be able to open them in the coming months.

Is Bright Start Nursery open?

The nursery will be fully open from 1st September, please contact them directly for more information on 01437 753153

General advice about COVID-19 and useful links

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

Useful Links

College Calendar

Latest Bus Timetable

Parent/Carers Guide

Page Updates

21 January 2021

  • Updates to Exam & Assessments

18 January 2021

  • A-level January Mock Exam information removed

15 January 2021

  • Additional links added to Qualification & Assessment section

11 January 2021

  • Link to letter to learners from Qualification Wales

8 January 2021 16:25

  • Updated Added

8 January 2021

  • Exam & Assessment section added

5 January 2021 12:45

  • Updates to 5 January

5 January 2021

  • Update 5 January

31 December 2020

  • College Re-opening Update January 2021

17 December 2020

  • College transport w/c 4 January 2021

11 December 2020

  • Update added

10 December 2020

  • Additional line regarding reporting absence
  • Update added

24 November 2020

  • Update – Important information for students from Ceredigion and north Pembrokeshire

23 November 2020

  • Update 16:00 regarding 24 November
  • Update – awaiting clarification
  • Important information for students from Ceredigion and north Pembrokeshire

17 November 2020

  • Pembrokeshire County Council Update

16 November 2020

  • Principal’s Update
  • Higher Education Students Update

13 November 2020

  • Principal’s Update

20 October 2020

  • COVID-19 Update

30 September 2020

  • Principal’s Update
  • Added COVID-19 Advice for Staff & Learners
  • Updated shop & canteen opening times
  • Removed various questions which are no longer applicable

11 September 2020

  • Removed:
    • Enrolment section
    • Start Dates section
    • various questions which are no longer applicable

29 August 2020

  • Added Parent/Guardians/Carers Letter

27 August 2020

  • Bus timetable updated
  • Added College & COVID-19 Updates section
  • Added question regarding
    • Learning Contact Centre
    • Support services
    • Public access areas
    • Bright Start Nursery
    • COVID-19 external links

25 August 2020

  • Update added to What will College be like with Social Distancing and Health & Safety

24 August 2020

  • Updated Canteen/Shop information