September 2020 Student Welcome

At Colchester Institute we have worked hard over the summer to keep everyone safe. If you are starting a course, or returning to an existing course, it is really important that you take the time to read the following information.

Will I need to have a Face Covering/Face visor?

 This is very important. You must have a face covering or face visor with you at all times at college. From September our campus rule will be that face coverings must be worn inside our buildings to keep everyone safe in confined spaces, and these will only taken off when told to do so by a staff member. In most lessons you will find that teachers will give permission for you to remove your face covering.

As face coverings are routinely needed in shops and public transport we would expect each student to have one of these. If you have a re-useable face mask you must wash it regularly and thoroughly.

If you are directed by a staff member to wear a face covering, you must do so. A student who repeatedly arrives at college without a suitable face covering may be refused entry – and none of us want that to happen.  Lastly, please understand that, say, pulling your jumper up to cover your nose and mouth will not be acceptable!  Students not complying with this important regulation which is about keeping our community safe, will be asked to leave the campus.

A small number of people are exempt from wearing masks for medical reasons, if this applies to you please let your teachers know this at the start of term so that we can consider how to support you with this and to prevent you from being repeatedly asked to wear one.

Is there Social Distancing at College?

Yes. Ideally you should keep 2 metres from others whenever you can. At our campus, we all will be keeping a 1 metre + social distance and you must do that too.  In corridors and stairways, we will all ‘Keep Left’, unless in a part of the campus with a specific one-way system. In classrooms, desks will be 1 metre apart and you will be asked not to move those desks.

What are the College’s expectations of hand washing?

We all know the importance of frequent hand washing. You will be expected to clean your hands upon arrival at campus and before and after each break. We have placed additional hand washing and hand sanitising points around the campus, but you might want to think about bringing your own hand sanitiser.

Will I work at College or at home?

Both! Your subject area will explain this in detail for your course, but there are some general points.

Apprentices on a day release programme and students on full cost courses will usually attend college one per week, as in previous years.

As we start the year in September, full time study programme students can expect to have at least one day a week of lessons on campus. This learning will be supplemented by online lessons. Your course team will help you get ready for these and show you the apps you will need to download to support your learning. Attendance at online and on-campus lessons is compulsory. Some students have lessons in GCSE English and/or Maths and these lessons will be delivered on campus and/or online depending on your course.

This mixture of on-campus and online learning will reduce the number of students on site each day and so make social distancing possible. The College will keep this approach under review and it will change as required.

We recommend that you have access to mobile data or Wi-Fi / broadband and a laptop, tablet, Mac or Chromebook with an internet connection for this purpose. If you are considering purchasing something for this purpose, then a Chromebook is a reasonably priced option, which will work well with the technology used by the College.

What are the arrangements for the start and end of the College day?

The College must plan to avoid large groups of people gathering together and so each group will be given an exact time for the start and end of their day and this will vary by course. These staggered starts and finishes will be carefully implemented by staff.

You are asked not to arrive too early, and when you arrive on campus you must go straight to the first room listed in your timetable for that day, and not go to social areas. At the end of the day, you are required to leave campus promptly.

How will lunch and breaks be organised?

There will be breaks in the morning and afternoon and your teachers will direct you to a room where you can stay. Your course will have a set lunchtime. College canteens will be open, and if you want to visit those you must do so in the first half hour of your lunch break. Of course, every year many students decide to bring in their own food and drink and you can do that if you wish.

We are now a cashless campus, but we use a cashless pre-payment system called UpayChilli where you can load money onto your ID card and use this to purchase items on campus. See here for more information https://www.colchester.ac.uk/student-finance/

Students can leave the campus during their lunch break, but not during the very short morning and afternoon breaks.

Can I park on site?

It is possible for students to park on campus using our cashless parking system which uses vehicle registrations. To register your details download the Justpark app using your Appstore and use our carpark code 519615.

When you park, simply login and pay for your parking using a debit or credit card. For those who do not have a smartphone, you can also call 07520634455.

What about public transport?

Students who travel to and from College using public transport are reminded that you must wear face coverings on buses and trains.

If you can walk to College, we recommend it. If you can cycle, please do so. We have cycle sheds where you can lock your bike.

Can I smoke or vape on campus?

The College would encourage you to think of your health and to not smoke at all. Smoking and vaping is not allowed on campus except for the reserved smoking / vaping area. This is used by staff and students, and we will expect everyone to observe social distancing rules in this area.

How will Covid affect the use of toilets?

Toilets on campus will be open. You might just find that sometimes you have to wait and queue in order to maintain social distancing.

Hand sanitiser dispensers have been placed on the wall outside all toilets and everyone should use this, both on the way into and after using toilet facilities.

Students who are Clinically Vulnerable or who have medical conditions

We know that some of you may have been shielding over the last few months and may be anxious about coming to campus if you have a disability or medical condition which means you are clinically extremely vulnerable or clinically vulnerable.

If we are aware of your medical condition you will be sent a health survey so that the College can carry out an individual risk assessment with you.

If you believe that you are in this category and you haven’t received this survey then please click the link here which will take you to the student health survey.

How do I report an absence to the College?

This year we are introducing a new App for students called CI Connect, this will be introduced to you at Induction and one use will be for students to report absences.

If anyone, student or staff member, is feeling unwell and showing symptoms of COVID-19 they must not come onto campus. In these instances please report your absence using the App and book to take a test immediately, this can be done online here https://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/antigen/name or by calling NHS 119

If you have been asked to self-quarantine or self-isolate as a result of the Track and Trace service or through returning from a holiday overseas, you must follow these instructions and not attend College.

Safe Campus 2020/21: An overview of How we are keeping Everyone Safe

The information below outlines the measures that we will put in place to ensure your continued safety and wellbeing while you study with us, to give you an idea of what to expect:

Getting ready to come on campus:

Pick up and pack:

  • Phone
  • College ID
  • Face covering
  • College work
  • Pens, pencils, and any other equipment you may need (as we cannot share these)

Safe campus:

  • Social distancing will be required throughout the campus: at least 1m+
  • Students will wear face coverings inside buildings, until staff give permission for their removal. This includes in common areas and corridors.
  • A ‘keep left’ system runs in corridors and stairwells.
  • High traffic touch points such as door handles will be cleaned regularly, and screens will be installed where necessary
  • To maximise space, we will continue to minimise the number of people on campus, with most non-teaching staff continuing to work from home. However, this will not affect the services you can access, or your student experience.

Safe study:

  • We plan to hold socially distanced face-to-face teaching sessions which, where relevant, will include practical sessions
  • These lessons will benefit from our additional safety measures, and be accompanied by high-quality online teaching, learning activities and resources
  • We will provide support on how you can get the most from your online learning and access study skills support
  • Our libraries will operate a ‘click and collect’ service, allowing you to collect and return books safely at collection points across the campus
  • Study spaces in our libraries can be booked in advance and will have social-distancing and additional safety measures in place