As a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020/21, the vast majority of our students have experienced a high level of disruption to their formal education.
Nelson and Colne College is situated in the borough of Pendle which has one of the highest COVID infection rates in the country and was in enhanced restriction measures since September 2020. From September 2020 to March 2021, the adopted a model of ‘week in college; week at home remote learning’ for all of our level 3 and A-level learners. In their weeks at home, students join in live remote lessons using Microsoft Teams. Whilst attendance is consistently good, it should be noted that there are a number of wards within the local borough that fall into the top 1% of most deprived areas in the country. The challenges of working from home in a deprived household will almost certainly affect the progress that students will be able to make and this should be taken into account. It has also resulted in a narrowing of the super and extracurricular opportunities which our students usually benefit from and this should be noted when considering students’ personal statements.
To support our students, we loaned out lap tops and Wi-Fi units where necessary. We have introduced an extra mock exam period to ensure that students get that crucial exam practice. We also embrace the concept of ‘flipped learning’ and our teachers have been redesigning their schemes of work to take account of the increased time that students are spending outside of the college, learning alone. Although this does have its challenges, it nevertheless should be good preparation for higher education it is encouraging students to become independent learners.