Information for Learners
The following page has been set up to provide learners with all of the relevant information to support your studies over the next few weeks :
UPDATE AS AT MONDAY 15TH JUNE
Returning to college in the next few weeks to complete your practical assessments?
Please take a look at our guidance for learners returning to college to complete practical assessments HERE.
UPDATE AS AT 3RD JUNE
Yesterday (Wednesday 3rd June), Kirsty Williams (MS), Minister for Education announced measures regarding the re-opening of college campuses for face-to-face learning from 15 June. I am writing to update you on our approach and the next steps we are taking at The College Merthyr Tydfil.
Your health and wellbeing is our top priority and we want to reassure you that, with social distancing requirements expected to continue for some time, we will only be opening when we feel it is safe to do so and when we feel that we are able to bring staff and learners back into college in a safe and managed way. With this in mind, the college will only be opening in June for those of you who need to undertake any outstanding practical work or assessments in order for you to complete your qualification this Summer, gain your license to practice and progress successfully on to your next stage of your career journey, whether that be further or higher learning or employment.
When can I expect to hear more?
If you have assessments or practical work to complete, we will be in touch with you very shortly to explain when you need to attend and where you need to go. Please, do not attend the college unless you are advised to do so by your tutor. You must also follow safety guidance and instructions we issue, to protect yourself and protect others. We will provide you with a briefing video and presentation for you to view before you attend college so that you can familiarise yourselves with this guidance. You will only be required to attend the college for the duration of your assessment/practical lesson. You are not able to stay on campus after this time. Our on site refectory will remain closed so, if you are coming in for longer than a few hours, you may need to bring a packed lunch with you. We will explain all of this in more detail through the video briefing that we will provide to you.
Please try not to worry if you don’t receive information about returning to campus before the end of this academic year - we haven’t forgotten you and we will still support you to complete your qualification with us as soon as possible.
What if I do not have any outstanding practical work or assessments left to complete?
If you have completed your qualification and your grade has been calculated you will not need to return to college this year. If you are planning to return to college in September, we will be in touch shortly with further details.
What will happen in September?
If you are planning to return to us in September we are very much looking forward to welcoming you. We anticipate that your enrolment, induction and first term of teaching will be a blend of remote/on-line learning combined with small face to face on campus group sessions where possible. As you will be aware, many of our courses have practical components taught in specialist facilities such as labs, workshops and creative studios. We plan to continue to run as many of these practical elements as possible in small groups and in safe environments. We will also prioritise the delivery of as many face-to-face tutorials as we can safely, ensuring that all learners receive face to face support at least once a week. This blended learning approach of on-line combined with face to face will ensure that you continue to receive good experiences and high-quality education, particularly if you are joining us as a new learner in September and may not yet have had an opportunity to meet your course tutors.
We will shortly be writing out to you again with a further update on what to expect in September.
Support services available for you
A member of our I2A team will be present at the college during June to support any learners coming in to complete practical assessments. In addition, the full range of learner support services remain available for you to access remotely. If you do require any support to help you with your return to college, this will be available either remotely or at the college when you return (in line with and complying to social distancing regulations).
In the meantime, if you have any questions, you can email us at email@example.com and we will get back to you as quickly as possible. Please remember to include your name, student number and which course you are studying.
Thank you for your continued efforts and participation with online learning.
Keep well and stay positive. We look forward to seeing you soon.
- Rhowch y copi hwn ar eich gwefan er mwyn iddo gael ei ddarllen gan ofalwyr ifanc/oedolion ifanc sy’n ofalwyr:
Qualifications Update for learners April 22nd
Update for Learners Friday 17th April
RESULTS DAYS 2020
Kirsty Williams, Minister for Education confirmed yesterday that the 2020 Wales results day for AS & A level students, and for GCSE students, will be as originally scheduled. This means that Wales, Northern Ireland and England will share the results days of 13 August for AS & A Level and 20th August for GCSE.
Following this announcement, the college will be celebrating the results of all level 3 vocational learners and AS/A2 learners on Thursday 13th August and the results of all level 2 vocational and GCSE learners on Thursday 20th August.
We will continue to work with relevant examinations bodies to ensure that work undertaken by learners has been assessed fairly and consistently in order to award the appropriate grades.
Update for Learners Friday 3rd April
Keep studying and don’t worry
As we approach the Easter holidays, I wanted to write to thank you for all of your efforts to date in continuing to engage with your learning. When the holidays are over, we want you to keep studying and engaging with your tutors and your lessons. We don’t want you to be worrying that you’ll end up with a lower result because the Coronavirus situation has disrupted your home life. We know what’s happening has meant challenges for all of us in how we all balance work, study, and family.
Our priority is to make sure you can continue to engage in learning, so that you complete the year and you can either progress to next year or receive your qualification. We’re working hard to keep your learning as close as possible to normal.
We know you may be worried that your hard work and achievements so far might be undermined by the situation we’re all in. We understand your concerns, and we just want to reassure you that we are working along with the rest of the sector to give you every opportunity to continue to engage with your studies.
For AS, A2, GCSE and the Skills Challenge Certificate the predicted grades that we put forward will be objective and fair, taking into consideration the work that you have completed and the most likely grade you would have achieved if you had sat your exams this summer and completed any non-exam assessment.
Further details of this have today, been published by Qualifications Wales and are accessible on this link:
For those of you that are studying vocational qualifications we are still awaiting feedback from the different awarding bodies, this means that we need to take a bit of time as we’re working out the detail for everyone.
But while we do that detailed work, we want you to know that we get it. Please don’t worry, and keep studying as hard as you can.
In the meantime, we thought it would be helpful to showcase some of the good news stories and examples of excellent practice as we have switched to remote learning
Thanks from all of the College Executive Team
Switching to remote learning
Staff across the College have prepared and managed a wholesale switch to remote learning and working as part of a fantastic collective effort.
Academic tutors have worked diligently to ensure that your learning has continued seamlessly and that you have been able to get on with your studies and assessments on-line with as little disruption as possible.
Our Learner Support and Wellbeing teams have been fantastic in ensuring that we have been able to continue to support you in the same way that we have always done, whether that is through 1:1 support, accessing I2A support, general learner well-being advice and guidance or remote skype or telephone meetings with our college counsellor. They’ve even managed to continue the ‘Feel-Good’ Friday music session remotely for all staff and learners to tune into.
Our Finance and Student Services Teams have worked hard to ensure that we continue to keep supporting you and making your regular EMA, ALG, free-school meal or bursary payments.
Our IT department has provided an invaluable service over the last few weeks, resourcing IT equipment for staff and learners to borrow whilst also working hard to ensure that all of our systems are working effectively to support remote learning and working.
Our Estates team has been fantastic in continuing to open the building everyday and our cleaners have worked hard to undertake a deep clean of the college facilities.
Our creche team have also been continuing to offer vital child care provision for key workers in the local authority
Our Enterprise, Employability and Welsh language support teams have been continuing to provide invaluable support to help you to enhance your Welsh-language and employability skills, bringing you a range of opportunities to engage in on-line sessions, Welsh quizzes and other interactive workshops to help develop your CV writing and interview skills. At the same time, the team have also been busy working with local employers and partners to hep them during this time.
Our Admissions team have been working hard to ensure that we keep in touch with future applicants, working with tutors to continue interviews through Skype, Facetime and telephone calls whilst our Marketing team have been keeping you constantly updated on what’s happening through email, our Website and social media platforms. They’ve also been working hard to provide you with good news stories and incentives to help keep you engaged with your studies. Some of these include:
Supporting the NHS at this critical time
The college has been working hard to support the NHS and has donated science goggles and the drinks, crisps and other snacks from our canteen to our local Cwm Taf Health Board to help support the doctors and nurses at Prince Charles Hospital.
Our creche children and our Entry 3 Employability Skills learners have been working hard to show their support for key support workers
Our Welsh team have worked hard to provide you with innovative ways of enhancing your language through a Wednesday Welsh quiz, on-line modules for staff and Work Welsh remote activities for learners.
These are just some of the excellent examples we’ve seen to date of innovative and on-line learning
Health and Wellbeing
In addition to feel-good Friday songs, our Head of Creative Industries, Jo Richards, has also been offering on-line yoga sessions for staff and learners each day
There will be more examples – please let me know so that I can see them and offer my thanks.
Finally, I know that this change isn’t easy and that for many it will take a little time to adjust. I thank every one of you for all that you are doing to keep engaging in your learning in these unprecedented circumstances. Have a safe, restful and well deserved Easter break
Summer exams and qualifications
Current position in awarding A level grades, vocational and GCSE qualifications, Summer 2020 - Update as at Monday 30th March 2020
As many of you may have seen over the weekend, Qualifications Wales have now published further guidance regarding the grade prediction for learners due to sit their exams and complete their courses this summer.
I thought it would be helpful to let you know what, we as a college, are doing to help you achieve the best grade you can whilst studying at home. Our key aim is to ensure that you are treated fairly and have every opportunity to continue to complete and submit work over the next few weeks as follows:
A2 learners (second year A level learners)
A2 outcomes will be based on grade predictions. These grades will be informed using a range of evidence. The date for submission of these predictions has not yet been set. This means that your tutors will continue to work with you to set new work, assignments and assessments that will help and enable you to improve your grade profile.
AS learners (first year A level learners)
AS learners will still receive an AS grade, however it will be calculated using a range of evidence, including teacher assessed grades, and will not contribute to A level results in 2021. Again, your tutors will continue to work with you to set work and assessments as per your AS programme, ensuring that you have every opportunity to achieve the highest predicted grades as possible.
Next year, AS learners will have two options for their A levels, you can choose to:
- Either only sit your A2 units with the overall A level grade based on your performance in these A2 units
- Sit both the AS and A2 units – you will be awarded the best grade from either route
We will work with you and parents/carers to discuss and determine which of the above options will be the best for you.
We are still awaiting further advice and guidance from the WJEC regarding the predicted grade profiles for learners who are completing AS/A2 in one year and we will come back to you as soon as we receive an update on this.
If you are studying a vocational qualification without exams, e.g. BTEC Public Services, your tutors will continue to work with you until all assignments have been completed as would be usual. Again, your tutors will be working with you to ensure that you have every opportunity to submit work and achieve the highest outcomes you can.
For those vocational qualifications with a compulsory practical assessment e.g. CACHE qualifications, Engineering, Construction, Hair and Beauty etc. we are still waiting for further guidance on how you will be able to complete the practical element of the course and we will update you on this as soon as we can. Where tasks are able to be completed at home tutors will continue to work with you to complete these over the next few weeks e,g, Hair and Beauty, learners are being encouraged to upload videos and pictures and samples of their practical work for tutors to mark.
Whilst we are still awaiting further guidance, we do know that awarding organisations will be flexible in respect of qualification end dates. There will therefore be opportunities for you to undertake practical assessments at a later date, so please don’t worry about not being able to achieve your qualification if you are not able to complete this practical element by June.
GCSE re-sit learners
If you are currently re-sitting your GCSE English or maths with us, their outcomes will be based on grade predictions. Tutors will be continuing to work with you to set new work, assignments and assessments that will help and enable you to achieve the best grade profile you can.
We will let you know as soon as the WJEC announces the deadline for grade predictions and when we will be submitting these.
Other qualifications and skills
We are still waiting confirmation on the approach being taken for Essential Skills and other qualifications and we will update you as soon as we can on this.
We appreciate that the uncertain and changing situation we are in may be causing some anxiety and worry for you.
Whilst we want you to engage as fully as you can with the online activities and work being set by your tutors, we are also mindful that we do not want to over burden you and thus cause you any unnecessary anxiety. Please do let your tutor know if you are struggling to cope or require any additional support at this time. We have a dedicated learner support and well-being team who are working remotely to support learners in the best way they can. In addition, we also have a college counsellor, who is accessible on-line via Skype or by telephone to learners. If you feel that you would benefit from this support please let your tutor know or contact our Learner Support team directly by emailing Lynne Lloyd, Head of Well-being and Learner Support – firstname.lastname@example.org
Our ultimate aim is for you to achieve the best you can and I’m confident that by working together we can support you to engage in your remote studies as best as you can over the next few weeks in order to gain the best grade you can – a grade that appropriately reflects all of your efforts and performance on your course over the last year.
If you have any questions or would like any further information on any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact us on email@example.com
In the meantime, we will continue to keep you updated as and when we receive any news or further information from Qualifications Wales via email and text message, via our social media channels and through our dedicated Website page at:
Supporting you in your studies
If you currently receive support to help you with your studies, this support will continue whilst you are studying remotely. Our dedicated learner support and well-being team will be available to provide advice, guidance and support remotely. Please contact any of the following support areas:
If you are currently receiving financial support through EMA or ALG, your payments will continue as normal.
Free School Meals
If you are currently receiving free school meals we will pay the equivalent sum of money into your bank account on a weekly basis.