@HarrogateColl Students are continuing to work towards their goals through the effective use of online learning. 

Digital learning through Google Classroom has been included in students’ learning throughout their courses, allowing for a smooth transition to the online model during the college closure. During the first two weeks of lockdown, the college has recorded over 2000 online interactions between staff and students.

Google Classroom replicates a typical learning environment where teachers create classes, distribute work and discuss feedback. Teachers regularly encourage students to improve their critical thinking and debating skills through live class discussions. 

Google Hangouts acts as a regular flow of communication in which students and teachers can stay connected through text and video to discuss work and interact on a variety of topics, including the student’s wellbeing.

Interactive online platforms allow the typical learning environment to continue and enhances the learning experience, giving the students the ability to learn, reflect and input through various methods. This transition expands students’ ability to study and work independently online, allowing them to develop vital skills for an increasingly online world.

Students with additional learning needs are being supported by dedicated learning support staff, who are providing ongoing one-to-one personalised support to ensure all students are making expected progress against their targets.

In addition to curriculum learning, each student is allocated a pastoral attendance lead (PAL). PALs regularly contact students and parents to check in, including updates on their progress, wellbeing and access to resources. Students who normally access free school meals and those financially affected by the lockdown are in receipt of supermarket shopping vouchers to further support them.

Zoe Pisani, studying Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Accounting at Harrogate College, said:

“Video lessons have been a really effective learning platform for me. It’s great to see everyone’s faces and retain some normality. The support from college is brilliant and tutors go the extra mile to help us understand topics.”

Danny Wild, Principal of Harrogate College, said:

“It has been incredible to see staff and students come together to support each other. Teachers are making a huge effort to take their classes fully online. The college quickly purchased additional equipment including laptops and dongles for staff and students and distributed these before lockdown. Home deliveries of equipment have also been made, ensuring students can continue to learn.

“Due to our efforts during this time, we are confident students will not miss out on passing their course and progressing. We are planning how we can support students studying skills-based courses such as electrical installation and hospitality to ensure they develop practical skills ready to progress into work. 

“We are pleased that Ofqual have announced the procedures for awarding GCSEs and other qualifications. Although many students and their families will be nervous of what next steps will be, we are already planning the support of students back into college after what will have been a significant break from classroom learning. If students want to make contact, they can do this through the college website where teachers will be able to give advice and guidance on next steps.”

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