Notre Dame College takes the health of students and colleagues very seriously, and we realise that this is an unsettling time for many in our community. For the latest information and updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit here for daily updates.
Tuesday 7th July Update: Prime Minister's Address to all school leavers
On Friday 10 July at 10am, the Prime Minister will be giving an address to all school leavers which will be broadcast on YouTube. A recording will be available afterward.
Monday 29th June Update: Message for BTEC learners and FAQs
We understand that this has been an unsettling time for your learners, following the school/college closures and cancellation of summer assessments.
We’ve created a message to BTEC learners who are due a calculated result this summer to help explain how the process will work. We’ve also created a set of frequently asked questions and answers for them. Please do share this with your BTEC learners. We’ll be updating you and your learners during this period in the run up to results to ensure that you have the information you need.
As always, please do contact us if you have any questions. Thank you again for your patience during this unprecedented time.
Senior Vice President - BTEC and Apprenticeships
Friday 26th June Update
College is implementing a planned wider re-opening, combining booked online 1-1s and some subject face-to-face sessions. Students can book a 1-1 through their Achievement Tutor. Please note: ONLY those students who have made an online booking or are scheduled to attend a face-to-face session will be allowed on site.
In accordance with the requirements of the DfE, the College has prepared a comprehensive Risk Assessment (RA) specifically to address the challenges from the Covid19 pandemic.
This is a dynamic document that incorporates all the advice from relevant Government departments, and has been prepared by the College Senior Leadership Team and the Health & Safety Committee - in conjunction with representatives from Teaching Trades Unions.
The RA is subject to constant amendment and is updated on a regular basis as more advice is received.
A copy of the latest version of the RA is available upon request to the Clerk to the Corporation.
Monday 15th June Update: Parent, Carers, and Student Letter
Please click here to read our latest letter regarding college re-opening over the next 3 weeks.
Friday 12th June Update: Parent and Carers Letter
Please click here to read our latest letter regarding college re-opening over the next 3 weeks.
Tuesday 2nd June Update: Updated guidance for parents and carers on the wider opening of educational settings
We have updated our information for parents and carers about the wider opening of education settings to include details about opening secondary schools to years 10 and year 12 pupils from 15 June and to provide links to guidance on safer travel.
The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers and here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers
Monday 1st June Update
Latest Information regarding an Autumn Exam Series
The Department for Education is currently working on delivering information regarding the Autumn Exam series. The consultation for this closes on June 8th. As soon as we have more information we will provide this to you.
This is the latest statement from the Department for Education published 22nd May 2020:
Following the cancellation of summer GCSE, AS and A level exams, the exam boards will be providing students with calculated grades, wherever possible, on:
13 August for A and AS levels
20 August for GCSEs
These grades will have the same value as grades in previous years and the vast majority of students will be able to use them to progress on to their next steps.
As the Secretary of State for Education announced on 23 March, there will be an opportunity for students to sit exams as soon as possible after schools and colleges reopen (referred to here as ‘the additional series’). These exams will act as a backstop to the summer arrangements, students will be able to sit them if they feel they could have demonstrated improved performance in an exam or if they need an improved result to progress onto the next stage of their education. There will also be a small group of students for whom there is not enough evidence for a calculated grade to be derived in the summer and it is particularly important that these students are able to achieve grades through the additional exam series.
To provide clarity on the exam entry arrangements for centres and students, this guidance sets out DfE’s expectations in relation to which centres should be responsible for entering candidates for these exams: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/responsibility-for-autumn-gcse-as-and-a-level-exam-series/centre-responsibility-for-autumn-gcse-as-and-a-level-exam-series-guidance
Last week saw a significant number of new documents published, not least the updated guidance on changes to delivery, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision/maintaining-education-and-skills-training-provision-further-education-providers and you may find the following helpful: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/reopening-schools-and-other-educational-settings-from-1-june
Key point: From the week commencing 15 June, FE providers should offer some face to face contact for 16 to 19 learners on the first year of a study programme, as part of a combined approach in which remote education remains the predominant form of education. This is subject to a limit of a quarter of these learners being on site at any one time.
Also , there was an updated guidance published around using public transport, the link can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers
Friday 29th May Update: Launch of the NHS Test and Trace service
The new NHS Test and Trace service has launched today and will form a central part of the government’s coronavirus recovery strategy.
Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions.
People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, to stop unknowingly spreading the virus.
Further information on the NHS Test and Trace service can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-launches-nhs-test-and-trace-service
Guidance on the NHS Test and Trace service for employers, businesses and workers can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-workplace-guidance
Guidance on how the NHS Test and Trace works can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works
Public Health England has published guidance that explains what you should do if the NHS Test and Trace service notifies you that you are a contact of a person who has tested positive for coronavirus and you do not live with that person.
Friday 22nd May Update:
Thursday 21st May Update: College letter to parents
Please read the latest letter regarding the re-opening of college here
Tuesday 19th May update: Department of Education: Testing now available to anyone with symptoms of coronavirus
The government has announced that anyone with symptoms of coronavirus is now eligible to book a test, ahead of the rollout of the test and trace service. Anyone experiencing a new, continuous cough; high temperature; or a loss of, or change, in their normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia) can book a test.
A coronavirus test can be booked here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Essential workers in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland, can apply for priority testing through GOV.UK. A coronavirus test can be booked here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-essential-workers
13th May Update: The UK Government’s COVID19 Recovery Strategy
The government has published its roadmap for how and when the UK will adjust its response to the coronavirus outbreak. This document describes the progress the UK has made to date in tackling the coronavirus outbreak and sets out the plans for moving to the next phase of its response to the virus. The Government highlighted its view in terms of re-opening secondary schools and colleges: “Secondary schools and sixth form and further education colleges should also prepare to begin some face to face contact with Year 10 and 12 pupils who have key exams next year, in support of their continued remote, home learning.” (Step 2: page 30) It is indicated that this step will take place no earlier than 1 June, subject to government scientific advice. The roadmap can be found here:
Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College is currently preparing a plan to provide some face-to-face contact to support continued remote, home learning for the Lower 6th. We will provide the details as soon as possible.
11th May Updates: Private Candidates and Summer Learning
Please see a helpful Decision Map produced by the Pearson exam board here for private candidates.
Summer Learning programme launched for Year 11 students
Summer Learning has been designed for Year 11 students who are due to join Notre Dame in September 2020. It’s a hub of fantastic resources, created by your future subject teachers, containing reading lists, video tutorials, and tasks. Remember, this is not homework - this is a chance for you to continue your love of learning, get to know your A level/level 3 subjects, and allow you to have an academic focus for now and over summer. Please feel free to browse all subject resources to make sure you choose the right subject for you.
We would also like to reassure our applicants your place at Notre Dame for September 2020 is secure subject to appropriate references. Please keep checking the Coronavirus: Applicant Update and Coronavirus Update pages on our website for the latest information.
We will also be in touch to provide further details regarding the NotreFest event due to take place on the 3rd and 6th July and provide further details on enrolment so watch this space and keep checking your emails and our website!
4th May: Applicant Offer Letters
Do you require a letter confirming the offer of a provisional place at Notre Dame for September 2020? If so, please email email@example.com and we can provide a letter stating you have been offered a provisional place with us from September 2020. HMRC have confirmed they need an offer letter from the destination college/ post-16 provider for child benefit payments to continue after September 2020.
20th April: The Word in the World: Donald Hilton (NCEC, 1998)
Breathe in time with the rhythm of the earth:
ebbing tide, night and day; seasons of rest, growth, beauty and fruitfulness.
Breathe in time with your own being:
beat of heart, rate of pulse, patterns of work and rest.
Breathe in time with the Spirit of God:
breadth of prayer, depth of solitude, height of hopefulness.
Breathe in time with silence; be still and know that he is God.
19th April Update: Gavin Williamson Tweet
"No decision has been made on when we will reopen schools. I can reassure schools and parents that they will only reopen when the scientific advice indicates it is the right time to do so."
Gavin Williamson (@GavinWilliamson) 7:49am, 19th April, 2020
9th APRIL UPDATE: Schools reopening predictions in the media
The Department for Education has issued a statement in response to reports that schools/colleges may reopen after the Easter holidays.
The Times reported on the suggestion the Government may reopen schools/colleges in an attempt to kick-start the economy. The same story has since been picked up by multiple other outlets.
Our position on closures is clear: schools/colleges will remain closed until the scientific advice indicates it is safe to open them.
A Government spokesperson said:
"Schools will remain closed until further notice, except for children of critical workers and the children who are most vulnerable."
"We will re-open schools when the scientific advice indicates it is safe to do so."
8TH APRIL UPDATE: Domestic violence and abuse and coronavirus
We know this is a difficult and worrying time for everyone, especially for adults and children living with domestic abuse and the professionals working hard to support them.
There is support available to help you through this time. You can still:
- Call the police on 999 in an emergency (press 55 after the emergency number if you're in danger and not able to speak for help)
- Find accommodation from Leeds Housing Options or Leeds Domestic Violence Service if you are a victim of domestic abuse and need to escape
- Find a safe place to stay with social distancing in place to protect you
- Telephone or webchat for support
For more information, please click here.
We would like to thank all students and staff for their hard work this term and we wish you a peaceful, holy and safe Easter break
3RD APRIL UPDATE: SUMMER 2020 GRADES
Please see below a letter from Ofqual to students who should be sitting exams summer 2020 and guidance for teachers, students, parents and carers.
Thank you message from the Secretary of State for Education
Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, has recorded a message for staff across the education and children’s social care sectors thanking you for all the exceptional work that you are doing during this challenging time. The message can be viewed here.
30TH MARCH UPDATE: KEY WORKER INFORMATION
Please be aware Notre Dame can be open to students whose parents are key workers. Should you feel you meet the key worker criteria, and require childcare provision, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to make the necessary arrangements.
If you have applied to study with us in September, don't worry, your place is still secure! We will give you an offer subject to appropriate references.
What are appropriate references?
We are still waiting for more information, but it could be we work with, for example, predicted grades from school. However, we don’t yet know this for definite and we are still waiting for further guidance. We will share any guidance with you once we have it. Please be assured that no matter what happens, there will be a place for you.
Click here for more information: https://www.notredamecoll.ac.uk/applicant-updates
26TH MARCH UPDATE: BE AWARE OF SCAM EMAILS
The DfE have been informed that some parents have received an email stating the following:
‘As schools will be closing, if you’re entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we’ll make sure you’re supported’.
We can confirm that this is a scam email and is not official. We urge parents that if you receive any emails like this, please do not respond, and delete it immediately.
25th MARCH UPDATE: FURTHER USEFUL RESOURCES
Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)
23RD MARCH UPDATE: NORTE DAME IS TODAY MOVING TO DELIVER COURSES ONLINE.
Whilst the College’s doors are now closed, the College itself remains open online.
A level & GCSEs
The Department of Education has issued some guidelines about the awarding of grades this year. Teacher assessment will play a part in these decisions though we are waiting for more details about this. We ask for your patience in not approaching teachers about grades as they are not in a position to agree any at this stage. We have had reassurance from universities and employers that students will not be at a disadvantage due to this change of procedure. There will also be an opportunity to sit an exam in the autumn if any student is unhappy with this grade. The announcement of this can be accessed here.
In light of this we are asking Year 13 students to complete their courses, where possible, under the guidance of their subject teachers and check their emails regularly. Full support will be available for all students through online resources and email contact with teachers.
The Year 12 courses have all been moved online and all students have been given details on how to complete work. The expectation is that students will continue to complete all work given including any assessment as well as checking emails regularly. Y12s are able to contact their teachers via email to have full support with this.
It is important that all the students, staff and the community stay safe. We ask that all our community follows government guidelines and we will continue to provide information via our website about how to keep physically and mentally healthy.
We ask Mary, Our Lady to continue to prayer for us at this time.
We will provide updates as we receive them.
Over the weekend, the DfE published new and updated guidance:
20th MARCH UPDATE: WE WILL BE SHUTTING AT 4PM AT TODAY
Notre Dame is more than just a college. We are a special community and have cared for one another for over 115 years. During these uncertain times, we will continue to care for our students, parents and staff like we always have. We are still able to listen, support and care for you whenever you need us. You are not alone. Please email any questions to your achievement tutor, and enjoy learning in a new way with the teachers you love. Keep in touch with your friends and let us know how you are using our social media platforms, and keep yourself informed by visiting our website for updates. Most importantly, please look after yourselves, your families and the wider community. 💙
19th MARCH UPDATE: Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College will close after lessons on Friday, 20th March 2020.
Following the latest announcement from Gavin Williamson, the College will close, and therefore, students will not be required to attend their lessons from Friday, 20th March at 4pm. We will now implement our continuity plan which will see all teaching and learning move online. All students have been given information on how they will continue accessing their lessons. Students are asked to continue with their studies remotely and should also check emails regularly for updates from teachers as well as information.
Students are also advised to regularly check their emails for updates from their teachers, as well as information from your Achievement Tutor regarding how to access online lessons and resources.
Further updates and important information will be communicated via the College website including information regarding public examinations.
All of our staff will be doing their best to ensure that there is as little impact on students’ learning as possible, and we ask that the Notre Dame Community continues to stand together as we face these uncertain times. Most importantly, please look after yourselves, your families and the wider community.
18th MARCH UPDATE: COLLEGE IS OPEN. PLEASE WATCH THIS SPACE FOR ANY FURTHER UPDATES.
Applicants for September 2020: Please click here for information regarding applicant interviews.
17TH MARCH 2020 UPDATE: COLLEGE IS OPEN. PLEASE READ THE BELOW.
In light of the latest government information, any staff member or student who is under any of the categories below, please adhere to government advice and stay at home.
The categories include those who are:
- aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
- under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- being seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or above)
- those who are pregnant
Note: there are some clinical conditions which put people at even higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you are in this category, next week the NHS in England will directly contact you with advice the more stringent measures you should take in order to keep yourself and others safe. For now, you should rigorously follow the social distancing advice in full, outlined below.
People falling into this group are those who may be at particular risk due to complex health problems such as:
- People who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication
- People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukemia who are at any stage of treatment
- People with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)
- People with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis)
Please phone into HR as normal to let us know. Take care and keep in touch via email or phone with the college. We are advising staff and students who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.
If you affected by this and therefore need to stay at home, please let college know via email: email@example.com. All subject teachers have communicated with their students how to access resources remotely via Moodle or Microsoft Teams.
Please look at the College website regularly, where we will post the latest information from both the DfE and Public Health England.
16th MARCH 2020 UPDATE
As of 16th March, the Government’s response to COVID-19 remains in the delay phase. The position continues to be for education and children’s social care settings to remain open, and the college will adhere to this recommendation, unless advised otherwise.
We do know that the spread and impact of the virus is changing rapidly. The college will continue to monitor the situation and to follow closely any changes to the Government’s published plan. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan. We continue to remain alert to healthcare information and advice from the World Health Organisation, Health and Safety Executive and Public Health England. This advice currently suggests that the risk to our community at Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College is minimal.
Daily updates from the Department of Education provide advice for schools and colleges and we will implement any recommendations as they arise.
13TH MARCH 2020 UPDATE
The UK government has moved from containing the coronavirus to delaying it. Please take the time to read the latest update below. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-homeguidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
If you have a new continuous cough and/or high temperature please ask your parent/carer to call the college and inform us that you are self-isolating for 7 days. Further advice and guidance: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ _____________________________________________________________________
MARCH 10th 2020 UPDATE
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updated Information and Advice for Students
Following on from the discussions that have been taking place in tutorial recently, I wanted to update you about the college’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). I know that some of you are feeling anxious about the possible consequences of the virus both on physical health and on your education. It is really important that you access information only through reliable and credible sources. There is a lot of misinformation currently in circulation which is not helpful and is likely to fuel further uncertainty and anxiety.
We do know that the spread and impact of the virus is changing rapidly. The college will continue to monitor the situation and to follow closely any changes to the Government’s published plan.
We will also remain alert to healthcare information and advice from the World Health Organisation, Health and Safety Executive and Public Health England.
This advice currently suggests that the risk to our community at Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College is minimal.
As of 11th March, the Government’s response to COVID-19 remains in the Contain phase. The position continues to be for education and children’s social care settings to remain open, and the college will adhere to this recommendation unless advised otherwise.
We have robust processes and procedures and are ready to put additional measures in place as required. Daily updates from the Department of Education provide advice for schools and colleges and we will implement any recommendations as they arise.
Our hope and intention is that the college will remain open and that the impact on our students’ learning and overall educational experience will be minimised. However, in order to be proactively prepared for the eventuality of having to close, partially or wholly, we will ensure that all courses have made meaningful work available via Moodle/Google Classroom or other remotely accessed platform. Communication with students will be through the college website, Moodle and college email system so please ensure that you check both regularly.
Preventing spread of infection
There are general principles anyone can follow to help prevent the spread of the virus including:
➢ Washing your hands often - with soap and water, or use hand sanitiser if handwashing facilities are not available. This is particularly important after taking public transport. We recommend that you wash your hands:
• Before leaving home
• On arrival at college
• After using the toilet
• After breaks and sporting activities
• Before eating any food, including snacks
• Before leaving college
➢ Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in a bin. See Catch it, Bin it, Kill it
➢ Staying at home if you feel unwell
➢ Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
➢ Avoiding close contact with people who are unwell
➢ Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces
➢ Calling NHS 111 if you are worried about your symptoms or those of a friend or relative. Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment Please note:
➢ Face masks are not recommended to protect from infection, as there is no evidence of benefit from their use outside healthcare environments.
➢ People who have returned from Category 1 specified countries/areas in the last 14 days should self-isolate. This includes avoiding attending college until 14 days after they return. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas/covid-19- specified-countries-and-areas-with-implications-for-returning-travellers-or-visitors-arriving-inthe-uk
➢ People who have returned from Category 2 specified countries/areas in the last 14 days, are advised to stay at home if they develop symptoms.
➢ If you have been to an affected area/are advised to self-isolate/believe that you may have been exposed to the virus please inform the college immediately: 0113 2946644