This video presentation has been prepared to show new and returning students to Abingdon & Witney College the measures we have taken to make the College COVID-19 safe.

Update on Summer 2021 Assessments

8th March Testing Announcement

We are aware that a number of students have reported not receiving their test results today (Monday 8th) and Friday 5th.

It is believed that this is related to an issue with the NHS website last week. We apologise for this, and have reported the issue to the NHS but don’t know how long it will take to resolve.

Please be reassured that we would call anyone with a positive test result personally. Therefore, if you haven’t heard anything from us then you can be confident that the result was negative.

COVID-19 Re-opening and Testing Guidance for students and parents/carers

You can read and download the below document for more information on our re-opening and testing guidance.

Reset & Boost Coaching

In line with Government priorities and the College’s commitment to support students disadvantaged by the Covid-19 pandemic, Abingdon & Witney College will introduce Reset and Boost coaching sessions from September 2020 for eligible students aged between 16 and 19.

Click/tap on the document below for more details.

Abingdon & Witney College's Approach to Remote Learning

We have planned a blended learning approach for most of our students for the academic year 2020-21, where on-campus delivery forms part of all study programmes supplemented, where appropriate, by high quality online delivery.

You can download our guides to find out more.

COVID-19 Guidance For Students Who Attend On-site

We are delighted to have students returning to college; however, we recognise that this is an uncertain time and the below is designed to help you understand the steps that we have taken to keep everyone safe, and what you can expect when returning to college. We are reviewing our plans regularly and closely following advice from the Department of Education and as a result, our approach might change throughout the year, but we will let you know if and when that happens.


COVID-19 symptoms guidance for students

When to self-isolate

You should self-isolate if you, or another member of your household have the following symptoms:

  • a high temperature - this means you feel hot or cold to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).
  • a new, continuous cough - this means coughing a lot more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or smell or taste different to normal.

What to do if you have symptoms

If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:

  1. Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible
  2. Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get your test result - only leave your home to have a test
  3. Please notify us via your course leader or SPM if you are self-isolating

Social distancing

Wherever possible we have adopted a 2m social distancing policy. This means that in many cases there will be less students in each classroom, and you will be spread out to maintain the distance.

Moving around campuses

One-way systems have been put in place on all campuses. These systems include specific entry and exit points for all buildings and designating staircases as “up” or “down” only. Sanitiser stations will be available at all main entrance points. You should only come into college for timetable lessons. You will also notice that our Estates operatives will be cleaning surfaces throughout the day.

Cashless

We are now a cashless college and you can use electronic payment via your phone / debit cards and you also have the ability to top up your ID badge using Wisepay to access the canteen on Abingdon and Common Leys. Instructions on how to top up your ID badge will be shared during your induction period.

Timetables

As we have so many students on lots of different programmes, we have thought carefully about the timetable for each programme. Most courses will continue to include an element of remote study, which will reduce the amount of time you need to come onto the college site and help to protect everyone. This could be online lessons, activities set via Teams, or independent study and will be a unique combination depending on your specific course. We are doing this so that we only have the students on site that need to be here. Classes have been planned to ensure that approximately 25% of our students are on campus at any one time and will have staggered start and finish times in order to reduce the number of students arriving and leaving at any one time.

You will also notice that when on site you be with the same group of students and will mostly remain in the same classroom all day, so that you remain in your student ‘bubble’. This is to reduce the spread of the virus.

Water coolers

Please bring a bottle to refill as there is limited water coolers in use on each campus.

Face coverings

Everyone on campus is required to wear a face covering in communal areas such as corridors, receptions, toilets, canteen spaces, LRC etc. Once seated in the LRC/ library, individuals can choose to remove their face covering if they wish to. Offices, staff work rooms, classrooms and outside spaces are NOT considered to be communal areas and we do not require face coverings to be worn in those areas although you can choose to wear a face covering in these spaces if you wish to.

Students and staff who are exempt from wearing a face covering should wear a sunflower lanyard along with their usual ID.

You should stay in your dedicated work area as much as possible and as per our previous guidance you should not be ‘dropping in’ to staff offices that are not your own. If the nature of your work means that you must enter other people’s workspaces (e.g. in IT support, estates etc) then you should wear a face covering and use hand sanitiser before you enter.

Face coverings are not required in classrooms, apart from English or Maths mixed groups, or where social distancing cannot be maintained (e.g. in some workshops or specialist facilities).

Mass testing of students and staff

Students (and staff who will be working from campus) will be offered three lateral flow tests during the weeks of 1st March and 8th March. Tests will take place in three blocks of two days. Students and staff will be invited to a specific timeslot in order to safely manage the process of carrying out the tests. Students and staff will then have access to twice weekly home tests.

Schools provision

Groups of school students who attend in mixed classes will be taught online. Groups who are taught entirely in a pre-existing bubble and who don’t infill with college students (eg a group from a single school) can still be taught in person.

Canteen facilities

The canteen will re-open from 15th March providing a takeaway-only service.

Support for students

We understand that this is a difficult and worrying time for everyone and we want to as much as we can to ease those worries. Our support services for students are fully operational, however we are asking for students to make appointments wherever possible. If you need to speak to someone in the Student Engagement Team and do not have an appointment, please visit Reception, who help you to organise this.

Access to IT equipment

Please let us know during your induction period if you do not have access to a suitable device on which to access lessons and work from home. We do have some devices that we are able to loan to students who are eligible for additional financial support, so please ensure that you complete the induction survey if this applies to you.

Trips

Unfortunately at the moment we just can’t run external trips safely, so all student trips have been cancelled until further notice. We realise that these form a really important part of your learning and the college experience, so we will get them back up and running as soon as we are able to.

Students staff who are unwell on campus

It goes without saying, if you feel unwell with COVID symptoms, please stay at home.

However, if you start feeling unwell after you have arrived at college, please alert your tutor or the nearest staff member asap. We have a clear process for staff to follow, which will include making sure you are safe, and getting you home as quickly as possible. Our staff will decide on the best approach depending on your symptoms and other factors such as your age and where you live. Our staff will use additional PPE during this time and will provide you with appropriate equipment too, in order to limit the spread of the virus – please follow all instructions given to you at this time.

Students who have received a positive COVID-19 test result

If you receive notification of a positive test result for COVID-19, you should immediately contact Student Services on student.services@abingdon-witney.ac.uk or if you are an Abingdon student please call 01235 216228 or for Witney and Common Leys students please call 01993 208500, so that we can take the necessary advice to ensure the safety of staff and students.

"Lockdown": A film by Mollie Leivars


Witney-based filmmaker and Gateway student at the College, Mollie Leivars, has made a short film from home about the effect that COVID-19 can have on the mental health of young people, whilst showing that we are not alone in our feelings about the situation and we all stand together in this fight against the virus.