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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Summer Start-Up Week is here! But what does that mean? Well, whilst the country has been in lockdown your Universities and Colleges in Wales have been thinking about how they can help you to develop your business ideas. The result? A FREE FIVE DAY online event from 8th - 12th June
This FREE (did we mention that?!) online event will be packed full of knowledge, tips, and advice to move your idea forward.
The online workshops, facilitated by real-life entrepreneurs will include topics such as digital marketing and social media, finance, networking, market research, and much more. It’s also a great opportunity for you to network with like-minded individuals.
To get involved, register via Eventbrite - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/wythnos-cychwyn-busnes-yr-haf-summer-start-up-week-2020-tickets-105367803938
or get in touch if you have any questions. See you there (virtually, of course)!
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
The full statement from the Minister is available at: https://gov.wales/written-statement-results-day-2020
We will continue to work with relevant examinations bodies to ensure that work undertaken by all of our learners has been assessed fairly and consistently in order to award the appropriate grades.
We will keep in touch with learners to update them on how their results will be released to them on these days.Read more
College Merthyr Tydfil student Annabelle Dennis is celebrating after securing an offer to study at Oxford University. Annabelle, who is studying English Literature, Sociology, History and Government and Politics at the college, received the offer to study English Literature and Language at Mansfield College on Tuesday 14th January.
Speaking about her offer, Annabelle, who beat off competition from hundreds of applicants, commented, “I’m absolutely over the moon. There are only nine places available to study on this course and to be offered one of these places is a real achievement. The interview process was not as scary as I thought it was going to be but it was still really challenging. I had two interviews, the first of which, incorporated a range of questions around my personal statement and the written work that I had submitted. I felt that this element went well but I was really nervous about how I had performed in the second interview, which was based on analysing and giving feedback on a poem. It was nerve wracking waiting to hear if they were going to offer me a place.”
Annabelle, who previously studied at Aberdare Community School, has excelled during her time at the college. Not only has she obtained 4 grade A’s at AS level, but over the last year she has successfully gained a place on the Seren Programme and also featured in a range of BBC documentaries giving her views on current affairs and Brexit.
Chris Ford, Head of Advanced Programmes at the college, commented “This is a fantastic achievement for Annabelle and one which is thoroughly deserved. She is such a hardworking and motivated student. We are all so proud of her. We constantly strive to provide the best learning environment and support to enhance our students’ abilities and give them the confidence and skills they need to achieve their aspirations. This includes an innovative programme for more able and talented students, linked to the 'Seren' Hub for progression to Oxford, Cambridge and Russell Group universities. Annabelle’s success showcases that this programme and the support that we are offering as a college is working effectively and helping our students to achieve their maximum potential. Annabelle is predicted to achieve 4A*s in her summer examinations and I have no doubt that she will achieve these. I wish her the very very best for her future. She is a credit to herself, her family and the college.”Read more
The College Merthyr Tydfil is celebrating after being shortlisted for the Times Education Further Education College of the Year Award 2020.
The annual awards, which are open to all UK further education colleges, seek to recognise and reward the achievements of the very best further education providers in the UK.
The college has been shortlisted for the category of FE College of the Year in recognition of its outstanding achievements, continually improving learner outcomes, high quality curriculum and overall positive contribution to education and training for learners in Merthyr Tydfil.
Commenting on the news, Principal Lisa Thomas stated “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the FE College of the Year Award. This is an outstanding achievement and highlights the college’s ongoing commitment to being recognised as a centre of excellence that makes a real difference to the lives of learners, raising aspirations and developing the prosperity and aspirations of the communities we service. Being shortlisted for this prestigious award is a real honour for the college, recently described by First Minister Rt Hon Mark Drakeford as one of the “great success stories of devolution" – a fittingly accurate description of a college that, over the last five years, has truly achieved excellence.”
Following successful transition to tertiary, the college has built up a reputation for delivering high quality teaching and learning, excellent outcomes and a broad and balanced curriculum, all of which has been achieved against a backdrop of high social deprivation.
The college is now one of the top performing FE Colleges in Wales. We have achieved this by working in partnership with schools, the local authority and employers to raise aspirations, increase opportunities for learners and support positive progression to higher education, apprenticeships and employment.
As a consequence of this we have made a significant contribution to our local economy and community, successfully leading and supporting a range of joint college/local authority/university/employer programmes and initiatives, including the Welsh Valleys Engineering Partnership scheme, a HE/FE Collaborative project and a new Aspire Shared Apprenticeship Programme. These projects have had a positive and sustained impact on learner experience and outcomes, whilst also helping us to develop excellent working relationships with our local schools, employers and community, helping us to achieve our mission to ‘Transform lives by working together’ and making us a worthy contender for the ‘FE College of the Year’ Award.
The college, which is up against seven other institutions for the award, will find out if it has won at the TES Awards dinner to be held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane on the evening of Friday 20th March.
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