Sunday 6th September 2020
Timetables are now live!
To all students,
Many thanks for your patience while we have been preparing your timetable, which is now live in your 'MyView' portal. The situation with Coronavirus has made the timetabling process more challenging than usual and we are genuinely sorry if the delay in posting these has created any concerns for you. We are very much looking forward to welcoming you on your first day in college this week, as indicated on your induction week timetable. The full timetable, which will run from Monday 14 September, will include some additional lessons using Microsoft Teams. Your teachers will explain this fully during your lessons this week.
Best wishes for a successful return to onsite learning.
Friday 4th September 2020
Ahead of timetables being finalised for the new term, please see below for detail relating to the initial structure of timetables that we will be using initially. There is a clear intention on the part of the college to move to towards full on-site learning as soon as this is seen to be possible. Thank you for your patience ahead of the new term.
• For the majority of students the initial structure of the timetable will include one full day on site consisting of a 2 hour block for each of the subjects (so 6 hours in lessons on one day if a student is doing 3 subjects).
• Students will also have a 2 hour online (‘Microsoft Teams’) session for each of the subjects on another day in the week (another 6 hours in total).
• Which days these will be will depend on the year group and subject choices.
• On Fridays, there will be a 45 minute online (‘Microsoft Teams’) session for each subject for all students.
• There will of course also be students whose subject choices dictate that their model will differ slightly from the above and which will require them to be on-site on more than one day a week.
For those doing more than 3 subjects they will be on site on two separate days to accommodate the 4 choices.
Week beginning Monday 7th (Induction Week):
The on-site classes plus the Friday online session only, to enable a full induction to be completed for all subjects and related processes. (The full day of online lessons will not run in this first week.)
Week beginning Monday 14th:
The on-site lessons, one full day online lessons plus the Friday online sessions. (Variations to this for some students.)
The RE and Tutorial lessons will also begin this week and will initially be delivered online. These will be 1 hour each and will run back to back (so a 2 hour session) and these will be timetabled on a day separate to the on-site and online lessons.
Individual student timetables will made live as soon as possible.
There is a clear intention on the part of the college to move to a full time, on site timetable as soon as this is practical.
Friday 4th September 2020
Message for Students from the Principal
We are very much looking forward to welcoming you next week.
Safety is our key priority and, in addition, we also want to ensure that you have an excellent experience with us.
You will have a 2-hour session on-site in each of your subjects next week, as planned.
Preparation of the College Site
The following measures have been put in place to make the College site as safe as possible and to try to avoid transmission of COVID-19:
• A one-way system with arrows and signs to help you to find your way around college buildings
• A more intensive cleaning regime
• Additional hand sanitising stations at the entrance and exit to each building which you must use as you come in and leave
• Bins for disposing of one-use masks
• A ‘grab and go’ catering facility
• Classrooms set up to avoid students sitting face-to-face
• Booking systems for the Library and IT facilities
As Bury currently has additional local lockdown restrictions, we are asking you to wear face coverings around the College site and in classrooms. In addition to this, to mitigate the risks further in lessons, ventilation will be maximised, and teachers will also wear face coverings.
You must observe social distancing on site which means you must try to keep 2 metres away from other people, where possible.
Some of the safety measures mentioned above may be temporary and all will be kept under review as we see what happens with COVID-19 and any further Government guidance or local lockdown. We feel these measures are needed to keep everyone as safe as possible at the moment.
If you have any particular concerns because of your own personal circumstances then, please contact us.
The Government’s latest guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision/what-fe-colleges-and-providers-will-need-to-do-from-the-start-of-the-2020-autumn-term
Friday 4th September 2020
START OF THE YEAR AT HOLY CROSS
We are very much looking forward to welcoming you in College next week.
Your first lesson in each of your chosen courses will be on-site, in a classroom with your teacher. You will start College on either Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday of next week – that is the week beginning September 7th. You should find out which day you are due to start by logging into MyView and accessing your timetable.
Please be aware that timetables are currently under construction and will be available as soon as possible and certainly before Monday.
On your timetable, there will also be an RE lesson and a Tutorial. These will take place online on Microsoft Teams. The first RE and Tutorial sessions will run the week beginning Monday September 14th.
Please arrive at College in plenty of time for your first lesson. If you are in Upper 6th, please go straight to the classroom indicated on your timetable. If you are a new student, please arrive at Reception where there will be people to direct you to your classroom.
Wednesday 2nd September 2020
Update on CAG Appeals
If you have submitted an appeal to the College, following the release of your CAG results this has been recorded and is now in the process of being investigated by the Deputy Principal and members of the college’s College Leadership Team. You will be contacted individually by the College with the outcome of your appeal. Thank you for your patience, whilst this important process is undertaken.
There are limited routes of appeal open to you and the college:
• You can ask us to check that there has not been an administrative error. In other words, to check that the grade entered for your CAG was the grade that we arrived at through the internal standardisation process.
• You could appeal but only on the basis of bias or discrimination. You would need to show evidence of this.
Please find below a summary of Ofqual’s latest statement published on 26th August 2020, which we hope will help you to further understand the process by which CAGs were arrived at and how these grades are different from other types of assessment grades, as well as the appeal routes available.
How grades were determined in summer 2020
Exams were cancelled this year following the closure of schools and colleges to most students, as part of the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Students have nevertheless received GCSE, AS and A level grades as well as grades for the Extended Project Qualification and Advanced Extension Award.
Colleges submitted to the exam boards their judgement of the grade a student would most likely have received if the exams (and any non-exam assessments) had taken place. The exam boards asked colleges to develop these centre assessment grades (CAGs) in line with Ofqual’s published guidance for heads of centre, heads of department, subject leads and teachers.
Colleges were asked to make holistic, professional judgements about a student’s likely grade taking into account evidence such as any mock results, other assessments, assignments, performances in subjects such as music, classwork and homework. To help them make realistic judgements, Colleges were asked to take into account how this year’s students compared to those of previous years, the prior attainment of this year’s students relative to that of previous students and previous results in the school or college in the subject (noting that Ofqual’s data shows that for most centres any year-on-year variation in results for a given subject is normally quite small).
For A levels, these judgements were taken at a different time and made to a different set of expectations than predicted grades provided to UCAS in support of university applications. CAGs and predicted grades provided to UCAS were legitimately different for some students, as were mock exam grades and predicted grades used in progress reviews.
The range, nature and amount of evidence available to inform the judgements varied both within different subjects in colleges and between different colleges. We asked schools and colleges to balance the different sources of evidence available to them.
We also suggested that at least 2 teachers should consider each grade, 1 of whom should have been the head of department or subject lead.
The head of centre (for example the college principal) then submitted the grades to the exam board with a declaration that the grades honestly and fairly represented the grades the student would have been most likely to have achieved, if the exams had taken place.
Ofqual made clear that CAGs would be subject to a process of standardisation that would combine a range of evidence including:
•expected grade distributions at national level
•results in previous years at individual centre level
•the prior attainment profile of students at centre level
We also made it clear that, if the profile of grades submitted by a centre was substantially different from what might be expected based on that centre’s historical results and the prior attainment of that year’s students, the grades for the centre would be adjusted to bring them into line with national standards.
Following concerns about the standardised results, students have received the higher of the grade their school or college expected them to receive (the CAG) or the standardised grade. Given the exceptional way grades were determined this year, more high and fewer low grades have been issued this year than in previous years. The data shows that, on average, students have received higher grades than they would have been most likely to have achieved had they taken their exams. Nevertheless, as in any year, some students will be disappointed with their results. Some will wish to question them.
Grounds for appeal
Following our consultation on exceptional arrangements for exam grading and assessment in 2020, we published the grounds on which a college can submit an appeal to an exam board. These grounds include where the exam board did not apply its procedures properly and fairly or where the data used by the exam board to calculate results contained an error.
• A student cannot appeal, because they disagree with their college’s professional judgement of the grade the student would most likely have achieved if exams had taken place.
• We confirmed in April, following consultation, that students would not be able to appeal against the judgement of their school or college about the grade they would most likely have achieved had the exams taken place.
• A student cannot appeal directly to an exam board.
• Appeals must be made by the college to the exam board by 17 September.
Concerns about malpractice, including bias or discrimination
If a student thinks their grade might have been affected by wrongdoing or a lack of care taken by their college (malpractice or maladministration) they should first discuss this directly with their college and, if appropriate, raise a complaint through the school or college’s complaints policy. If a student feels their concerns have not been addressed, they could then consider raising their concerns about malpractice or maladministration with the exam board.
A student who has evidence of bias or discrimination and who does not wish to raise this with their college should give the evidence to the relevant exam board directly. If malpractice is proved, the exam board will consider whether the student’s grade should be changed.