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A Supported Future at St Vincent College

The New Year brought new challenges for young people across the country, as the nation went into lockdown with schools and colleges moving to remote learning activities to ensure education could be maintained in a manner that was safe and supportive for students and staff. During this time, St Vincent College have continued to successfully adapt to new ways of working to ensure that current and future students receive the highest standards of education, guidance and support despite the challenges posed by the current pandemic.

Whilst there remains a lot of uncertainty regarding the future, there are also opportunities that will arise for the young people seeking to progress to University or work and St Vincent aim to be at the forefront of this brave new world. As such, staff at the College have worked tirelessly to not only ensure students receive high quality and enjoyable remote learning activities, but also the highest standards of support as students face the challenges of life in lockdown.

So how has St Vincent College been supporting students through the roller coaster of a pandemic?

The teaching staff have benefitted from extensive training in the effective and innovative use of digital devices and online platforms which have enabled teaching and learning to continue away from the classroom. Lisa Hyde, teacher of Law, says ‘when this all started last year it’s fair to say we needed to adjust quickly to new ways of working, but we knew the most important thing was our students and making sure we can still give them the best quality of teaching, whilst putting everyone’s safety first’.

In addition to this the College’s Transition and Progression team have been adapting ways of supporting the students on their transition to University or work. Libby Moore, the Progression and Events Co-ordinator says ‘It has been important for the students to stay on track with their future career plans, we are here to give them the positive inspiration to continue their hard work and achieve their goals. Libby then said ‘St Vincent College has placed a huge emphasis to ensure that students continue to have access to outstanding careers advice and support no matter the circumstance. The team are working hard to ensure all students feel supported and I am incredibly proud of how both students and staff have overcome this hurdle that nobody could have seen coming’.

The safety and welfare of all members of the College community remains at the forefront of college priorities with the staff preparing for an anticipated return to site-based working in mid-March. In addition to the extensive safety measures already implemented, the college will be offering onsite Covid testing to staff and students in their new dedicated testing centre. Once students return they will be offered tests in accordance with the latest government guidance.

This will enable students and their families to have the confidence to return to the campus, safe in the knowledge that St Vincent is doing everything it can to protect them. To support students to understand more about the test, the Student Council have produced a short video showcasing the centre and testing process. This is available on the College’s website and social media pages for those who may be interested or want to know more about the testing process.

These are only a few of the ways that St Vincent College is progressing, not to mention the launch of ‘Work Skills’, led by co-ordinator Lynsey Skaskiewicz, to help both young people and adult learners looking to change or enhance their careers, and employers in need of upskilling their existing staff. There has also been an overhaul of the Adult Education Department, with newly appointed Carlene Reed as Head of Adult and Higher Education. Carlene and team have been busy adapting online courses and making plans for the post pandemic Adult Education future.

To find out more about how the college can support you, whether you are a looking to plan your future or looking to get back to work, visit www.stvincent.ac.uk.

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