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Welcome back to college!

We are really looking forward to welcoming everyone back on campus again.

28 August 2020

We are really looking forward to welcoming everyone back on campus in September and we've put a number of precautions in place to help keep everyone safe.

What is happening in September?

Staggered start and finish times

It will still be important to follow social distancing when we return to college, so we will need to carefully manage the number of people on campus at all times. Because of this, we will be implementing staggered start, finish and break times.

This will ensure that we don’t have large numbers of people flowing through receptions, stairwells and Recharge cafes during peak hours. Recharge services will also be restricted to take-away only.

Fewer people on campus

Remote learning via ALO has been really successful and thousands of people logged on to join in with virtual classes. Given this success, we have decided to introduce blended learning timetables, which will split your time 50/50 between on-campus and remote learning.

This will allow us to reduce the number of people on site at any one time and allow us all to better follow social distancing measures. It will also minimise the number of people that will have to self-isolate in the case of a student or staff member testing positive for Coronavirus.

It will also allow us to switch to 100% remote learning more smoothly, should things change.

This way of learning will be in place until at least October and perhaps longer, depending on circumstances at college and Government guidelines.

Booking a PC

Cleaning and hygiene at college

We will be carrying out a deep clean of all college sites over the summer break.

As we move into the new academic year, we will continue our increased cleaning regime and ensure busier areas of the campus are cleaned more regularly.

Hand sanitisers have already been placed around college and social distancing signs are clearly on display in places where we anticipate people will gather, e.g. reception areas and Learning Environments.

We will continue to ask everyone to regularly wash their hands throughout the day and take precautions when coughing and sneezing, i.e. Catch it, Kill it, Bin it.

How will you keep me safe on campus?

It’s really important you read the Student Handbook below as it contains all safety measures that have been put in place at college:

Student Handbook PDF

Update on face coverings in college

As you might have seen in the news, there’s been a lot of discussion around whether students at secondary schools and colleges should be wearing face coverings. 

While we are taking every precaution we can to minimise the risk to you in college, we have decided that we think it would be a sensible move to ask all students to wear face coverings in communal areas and in corridors once everyone is in college. The same goes for our staff. This means together we will keep safe!

We know that there will be some of you who will have good reason not to wear them, and for those we will make special arrangements. 

You won’t have to wear them in class, but we won’t stop anyone from doing this if they would prefer to do so. 

Three steps to safety on campus

In order to keep everyone safe on campus, we’ve introduced three steps to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing:

Bring your own device

As part of our guarantee to enable new students to work efficiently, whether on campus or remotely, we have set up a buy your own device scheme to enable all students to buy a laptop or tablet. We want everyone to have access to the right equipment even if they aren’t physically at college. So, we’ve teamed up with two companies, Academia and Dell, who can support you with buying a new device. 

Visit our online store with Academia

Visit our online store with Dell

There is a choice of devices available for you to choose from and the option to pay via a payment plan, so you can spread the cost. The devices are sold as bundles which includes a case and a warranty and the option to add insurance should you wish to do so. For those of you interested in the new scheme, please go to activatelearning.store.academia.co.uk. to find out more information.

For those of you who already have your own devices, you will be encouraged to bring them into college to help reduce the demand for computers in the Learning Environments. However, if you would prefer not to bring your own device from home, please don't worry, as you will still be able to book time in Learning Environments as needed. This equipment will be cleaned regularly as part of our cleaning process.

We’re really looking forward to you starting college with us in September and want to make this transition as easy as possible for you. If you have any questions about the device scheme or anything else, please contact us through the website or call us on 0800 612 6008.

Links to portals

You can access all of your online learning and course material via the following portals:

Activate Learning Online (ALO)

Bracknell and Wokingham College Moodle

Surrey Colleges Moodle

Apprenticeships Smartassessor

Staying well at home – keep talking with others

It’s really important than we continue talking to one another and are aware of what to expect in September.

We will continue to send important information about returning to campus safely, as well as expectations for results day and how to manage your wellbeing during this time.

We appreciate some students may find summer break an anxious period. If you have any immediate concerns, please speak to Student Support.

Keeping well

Have you got a plan? The Careers team are here to help

Whether you are planning to continue studying with us, looking for an apprenticeship or employment, or you're just not sure what to do next, we're here to support you. 

We can offer one-on-one support via phone and email – whatever works for you. Be sure to also log onto your online learning portal for lots of useful resources.

Where can you go for more information?

For more information on managing the spread of COVID-19 and on the virus, please refer to these resources:

The NHS website has a very informative section on Coronavirus.

Gov.uk has the latest information and advice from Public Health England.

If you need to self-isolate, please contact your tutor and the Safeguarding team at safe@activatelearning.ac.uk or call 01865 550 401.

Frequently asked questions

What are the symptoms?

COVID-19's common symptoms include a high temperate above 37.8 (fever), a new continuous dry cough, fatigue and a sore throat. This may progress to a severe pneumonia which causes shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

For older people, those with compromised immune systems and/or long-term health conditions, Coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms and these people may be at a heightened risk. At this time, most cases appear to be mild and those who have died appear to have had pre-existing health conditions.

What can I do to prevent the spread of the virus?

Coronavirus spreads in similar ways to the seasonal flu. Advice to prevent the spread of infection includes:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • when coughing or sneezing cover your cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment.
What is coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from a cold to more severe diseases. COVID-19 is a novel respiratory Coronavirus. It is a new strain of Coronavirus that had not been previously identified in humans.

What will happen with Open Events?

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation we understand there is a lot of uncertainty about which events are due to run at Activate Learning. Please be aware that we are still planning on running our Open Events as planned. However, we are reviewing the format that these events will take place in.

Where can I go for support?

If you’re a student or parent at an Activate Learning college and you have any questions or concerns, please email safe@activatelearning.ac.uk or contact the Activate Learning Group Safeguarding and Student Support team on 01865 550 401 between 8.30am and 5.00pm on weekdays.

Who do I contact if I need to self isolate?

The new guidelines have outlined new processes around self-isolation. Anyone experiencing cold type symptoms should be self-isolating for seven days if you live alone and 14 days if you share a household. You should refrain from calling NHS 111, unless your condition worsens.

If you need to self-isolate, please contact your tutor and the safeguarding team via email at safe@activatelearning.ac.uk or over the phone on 01865 550 401.

Can I still apply to the college this year?

We want to reassure prospective students and parents that applications are still open for September 2020. 

Find a course and apply

Further updates will be made available as we have them and should the situation change.