Live Remote Teaching WeekPublished on: December 8, 2020
Reminder – Live Remote Teaching Week 14 – 18th December
Mainstream 16 – 18 students will not be attending their lessons on the college site that week – instead, these will be delivered live (as per their regular timetable) but remotely.
There will be a couple of exceptions to this – where controlled assessments or the delivery of pre-release material is timetabled and needs to take place under controlled conditions. Relevant students will be made aware of this by their teachers.
Students that have real barriers to remote learning at home will be offered help in advance to overcome these challenges.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you feel your son/daughter might face such barriers.
If any students still face barriers to remote learning by December 14th and need to be in College to work, they will be offered a socially distanced space in the building to study.
The week will help to reduce the chances of students and staff having to self-isolate over the Christmas period. It also gives us the opportunity to practice the remote teaching and learning methods we have been working on all term.
Adult and SEND classes have separate arrangements for that week, again with reduced numbers of students attending face to face, where possible. These have been communicated directly.
For full details please click here
Collecting student feedback is vital to help us to continue to improve our College. We do this through a process known as student voice. This includes conversations with myself or my senior team and the Student Union, input from our Student Governors, as well as asking all students to complete online surveys.
We have launched our autumn term survey this week and would very much appreciate your sons and daughters’ views on how they have found this term. The survey covers questions ranging from how they have settled in to college, to views on face coverings and any barriers that you might be facing in progress or remote learning.
To complete the survey, students just need to log in to their MyTPC account and follow the links to Student Voice.
Entry to College buildings after Christmas
We will be installing access control on all external doors over the Christmas closure period. Students will need their College ID card to gain access to the college buildings from the second week in January.
If your son / daughter has lost their ID card, we will be running a help desk service in the Student Centre during the first week of term in January to re-issue these.
Merger Talks with Highbury College
As you will have heard, we have now commenced merger talks with Highbury College, with a view to realise a ‘one city, one college’ vision for post-16 education in the city.
We are delighted to be embarking on this journey together and will soon be inviting the views of the wider community to share their thoughts, ideas and ambitions. We hope you will participate in this consultation and support the proposed merger, which we believe will be the chance to realise this new vision.
Regardless of the outcome of this next phase of the merger discussions with Highbury College, I would like to reassure you that there will be no immediate changes to the day-to-day running of our college and that we will continue to put the education and progression for our students first.
For further details, including the press release on this exciting new development, please click here
Online Parent Evenings
I would like to thank all the many parents who engaged with these evenings recently. We have had some fantastic feedback on them, particularly in terms of the ease of access they gave parents to our staff and on how smoothly they ran. We also had fantastic engagement with parents as a result of this new approach.
Across the two evenings we had 2,456 appointments booked; 95% of parents were able to make their appointments. We are now getting feedback from staff on these evenings. We are seriously considering continuing with this approach for future parents evenings, with perhaps some face to face slots for targeted evenings, later in the year (covid permitting).
Virtual Adult Education & Apprenticeships Open Evening
On December 1st we were delighted to be able to launch our inaugural ‘Apprenticeship and Adult Education Open Evening’. Consisting of two component parts, a new Virtual Platform and Live Q&A, the Open Evening provides a ‘one-stop-shop’ resource for any employer, adult or potential apprentice in the city looking to establish their next steps in training or employment. The event included the launch of our brand new ‘Kickstart’ employability training programme, underpinning our existing Apprenticeship and Adult Education provision. The provision is designed to create a pathway to employment and ensure that we continue to meet the training needs of the city.
We were delighted that Stef Nienaltowski (Shaping Portsmouth), Jane Lamer (Portsmouth City Council) and Jodi Fair (Solent Apprenticeship Hub) were able to join us for the Live Q&A in order to talk about various initiatives available in Portsmouth and the Solent region. It was also fantastic to hear from employers, such as the Peter Ashley Activity Centres, apprentices and adult education students about their experiences.
Perhaps most importantly the event allowed us to reach over 1800 people and make them aware of the opportunities available to them and the information continues to be available through our virtual platform. If you couldn’t make the Live Q&A and would like to hear from people involved in the various initiatives, you will still be able to view the video on our Portsmouth College Facebook page and the content will also be included on our Virtual Open Evening Platform.
To access all the content via our ‘Virtual Platform’ please sign up for a MyTPC account
Exams This Summer
We have just received the latest information from the Department of Education on their plans for helping to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on student exam preparation for this summer. What we have so far is outlined below. We will get further information out to you on this as it comes to us in the New Year:
‘‘Today, DfE announced that A level and GCSE exams will go ahead in 2021, with the following adjustments, on top of the minor changes already made to content by Ofqual:
– Where possible, students will receive advance notice of content covered in the exams at the end of January
– Exam aids such as formula sheets will be permitted
– Grading will aim to produce outcomes comparable to last year’s results
– Clinically extremely vulnerable students will be able to sit exams at home, under invigilation
– Papers have been spaced out such that most students will be able to complete at least one paper per qualification even if they need to self-isolate for some of their papers. As was the case for the autumn series, a grade will then be calculated based on the paper that they were able to sit
– Students who do miss all of the papers in a qualification will be given a special paper after the main exam season, with a grade calculated for the qualification based on that paper’’
The full guidance from the DfE can be found here
Student Tracking Data
The latest set of tracking data on mainstream student performance is being collected now. It will include attitude and work completion scores, as well as projected grades.
This data will be sent out to parents/carers just before Christmas.
Good News Stories
Congratulations to Sport student Maddie, who has been selected by the British Wheelchair Basketball National Body to take part in the England Talent Pathway and the prestigious Level 3 Diploma in Sporting Excellence! Maddie intends to secure a scholarship to study in America from September 2022, so this is an amazing opportunity to begin her journey to becoming a professional basketball player in the USA!
A massive well done to our Cadet Force for organising a very poignant remembrance day parade and ceremony. With thanks to all the students and staff involved, and to our Contingent Commander and Head of Army Section for their attendance.
We would also like to congratulate two of our current Football players, Jacob & Flori for successfully getting through to the next round of the English Colleges Football Association trials.
I’m really pleased to be able to report that the college is involved in a number of charitable collections this Christmas:
– The Student Union is running a Christmas Shoebox appeal to collect items for children in need, to help them get the magical Christmas they deserve
– We are contributing to the ‘Shaping Portsmouth’ care home hamper appeal, by creating a Portsmouth College hamper to be sent out to one of the care homes in the city
– We are running a Christmas auction of a range of items made or sourced by our special needs supported internship students. This is designed to help them create and run a market stall for later in the year
– Staff are also donating items for a local food bank
On behalf of everyone at the college I’d like to wish you all a safe and happy Christmas season.