Joining MK College in September? Here’s what to expect
Joining college for the first time can seem intimidating, whether you are moving up from school or returning to education after years away, you are likely to have lots of questions and may be feeling anxious.
This isn’t a normal year. Coronavirus has had a huge impact on how education is delivered and if you are coming to college directly after school, you will have the added uncertainty around GCSEs this year. The good news is that you need not worry.
We have been working for months to develop a student experience that will allow you to make the most of your time at college, develop the skills crucial to your future career, in a safe, supportive environment.
What to expect
There are a number of terms that you will have no doubt heard over the past few weeks and months, ‘virtual learning’, ‘bubbles’ etc. Here we outline what your experience will look and feel like and how your safety is our number one priority.
We will be promoting social distancing wherever practical and possible. A one-way system has been developed for corridors and stairwells to allow all students and staff to move around the College safely. There will be notices displayed around the College to support social distancing, with staggered start and finish times to allow students to flow through safely.
Alongside social distancing, we will require everyone within our college community to wear masks in communal areas unless there is a medical reason not to do so.
Where social distancing is not possible in a classroom or workshop setting, you will required to work in subject area bubbles – this limits your contact to a small number of other students on your programme. This will allow us to support track and trace initiatives.
We understand how you will benefit of learning in person at our dedicated campuses with specialist facilities, so all of our programmes will allow you to attend college, in person, at least 50% of the time. Theory elements, and most English and maths, will be delivered virtually – these will be timetabled and supported by a live tutor in the same way as the on campus programme. If you have any concerns about your ability to access virtual programmes, please highlight with your programme tutor.
Communal study areas
Our communal study areas offer a great opportunity to learn outside of your scheduled sessions. To ensure that these are accessed in a safe way, we will be operating a booking system and maintaining social distancing in our study centres – you will also be required to wear a mask.
Food and drinks
We are encouraging all students to bring their own food and drink into college to help us to maintain the integrity of our ‘bubbles’. Due to social distancing measures the refectory and coffee shop areas will only have the capacity for a very limited number of students, with food and drink options operating on a reduced service. To ensure you have access to food and drink, we are introducing vending options across our campuses for foods such as salads, pasta pots, sandwiches, wraps, fruit, etc. as well as hot and cold drinks. We will be reviewing our approach every half term; when circumstances permit, we hope to be able to re-introduce a wider range of catering services. Please let us know if you have any specific catering requirements so we can discuss these with you.
Cleaning and access to hand sanitiser
The College has significantly increased the frequency and intensity of our cleaning, and hand sanitisers will be available at multiple points throughout the College.
Work experience opportunities
We know that work experience opportunities form a huge part of your programme. We will be working hard to ensure you continue to be able to benefit from direct work experience with employers – even if this is virtually.
You will study in a way that is designed to keep you safe. This will likely involve some virtual learning and some learning on campus. Where you do join us on site, we will be promoting social distancing in addition to hand sanitiser and screens, to help keep you as safe as possible.
We will be with you every step of the way. If you need support in accessing IT equipment, help with childcare or if things are just getting too much, our highly trained teams will be on hand to help.
Exactly how we deliver your learning might change but the experience you have will continue to be first class. Our tutors are industry experts whilst our learning facilities will enable you to learn in environments that you will find in the workplace. Virtual lessons will benefit from leading technological platforms.
Input from those working in the sector will remain a huge part of your learning experience. This might be via virtual work experience placements or guest speakers or the opportunity to work on projects set by leading employers.
We will help you catch up on any learning you have missed out on over the past 12 months. Our English and maths teams are experts at developing your skills in these vital areas, we have strong success rates and an apprenticeship provision that is one of the best in the country. We will support you to achieve your goals and help you on your journey.