Moving to Online Learning
5 January 2021
Yesterday at 8pm (GMT), the UK Government announced a national lockdown, including the closure of all schools for face-to-face teaching to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As a result, CATS Colleges UK schools will move to online learning from the 5 January.
At this time, it is anticipated that all UK schools will remain closed until at least mid-February, with this in mind we have taken the difficult decision to move learning online for our CATS UK schools for the duration of the spring term, resuming face-to-face teaching in the summer term.
Learning Provision and Summer Assessments
Our aim is to ensure every student continues to achieve excellent learning outcomes and feels supported during this time. Teachers will be in direct contact with all students to confirm short-term online study arrangements, much of which we had planned already for this period.
Where appropriate, we will adjust teaching patterns to make allowances for time zone differences and/or record all classes making them available online. Although we are experienced at delivering online and blended learning programmes, please be patient with us as we transition online at such short notice, as we may need to adapt our provision to best suit our students.
The UK Government confirmed A levels and GCSEs will be cancelled again this year. The English and Welsh Education Ministers are working with the exam regulator Ofqual to determine alternative assessment arrangements.
For the second year, our University Foundation Programme (UFP) will be fully assessed online. Launched in March 2020, the online testing for CATS UFP students was developed with the support of our external examiners and was readily accepted by all UK universities.
We are still waiting for guidance on the assessment for the International Baccalaureate and BTEC Diplomas.
Last year, our students attained excellent results and destinations under similar circumstances and students will be equally well supported by their teachers this year. Once we have further details, we will share more information.
Residential Accommodation and Independent Living
International students who have already departed for the UK for the start of the term can study online with us on campus in our accommodation.
For all students currently staying with us, we will continue to provide the same high standards of care in our boarding houses and residences.
Students on exeat for the Christmas period in the UK are welcome to return to our residences.
As we have done throughout the pandemic, small groups of students in our residences and boarding houses will form a household bubble. Our communal living spaces have been adapted to allow for social distancing. We continue to advise everyone to frequently wash their hands, maintain space, and cover their face. Food will be served as normal in school dining halls. Staff and students have been, and will continue to be, provided with PPE including masks and hand sanitiser and are reminded of the measures they need to take to protect themselves and others whilst in our care. Students arriving at our boarding house will be tested on arrival and isolated until a negative test means they can join their household bubble.
We will continue to review and adapt our plans for our residences to ensure students receive the best and safest possible care.
Students not staying in our residences for all or part of the term will only be charged for the period that they are in accommodation. Any credits on your account will be allocated against final term fees.
Committed to Helping You Succeed
We are looking forward to returning to face-to-face teaching as soon as possible once we get through this critical phase of the pandemic. Students who are already living with us are encouraged to continue their school experience in our safe accommodation. We are committed to helping every student achieve their learning goals and supporting them academically and pastorally. Despite the uncertainty, our students have shown such remarkable resilience and dedication to their studies.
If you have any questions, please contact the relevant school.
We will update you as further guidance is issued from the UK Government.
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