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Teaching through the pandemic

5 February 2021

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Bolton College, which is part of the University of Bolton Group, has been innovative in fulfilling its obligations to students and the Bolton community during the challenges of the past year.


Unable to invite Year 11s into campus for its annual Open Event, the College understood the necessity for young people to have access to resources that will help them make informed decisions about their future.


They therefore created a Virtual Open Event, containing over 40 videos. These include a whistle stop campus tour, as well as videos for all curriculum areas, with information on all of the Study Programmes and Apprenticeships on offer for the new academic year.


The event was shared with all Bolton secondary schools and received a huge amount of positive feedback. To experience the event, click here


Bolton College’s Family Learning Team created a Home Survival Guide, encouraging parents and carers to help and support their children during home learning. The e-magazine is packed with useful tips and ideas, plus web links to useful resources. Click here


Created by Bolton College in partnership with Bolton Council, ‘Supporting The Bolton Family’ is an e-magazine for the people of Bolton. With input and contributions from key organisations in the town, each issue is packed with information and opportunities, including technology tips, employment support and online learning opportunities.


The e-magazine also highlights the work that these organisations are doing to support residents and communities during these challenging times, helping to keep people connected. To view all four issues, click here


The College’s Sports Department created the Lockdown Olympics, a series of weekly challenges for students, staff and Bolton secondary school students that runs until the end of February. Full details can be viewed here


The College has created a series of online courses for adults, that can be accessed from the comfort of home. These include free digital skills courses, helping people to get ahead at work or find employment, or even just increase confidence for personal reasons.


Bill Webster, Principal of Bolton College, said: “I’m very proud of the way in which the College has responded to the challenges of Covid.


“It’s paramount that our students continue to learn during the pandemic and we’ve achieved this by moving to remote learning, and thinking of creative and innovative ways to deliver the curriculum.


“Where learners have limited or no access to technology, the College has looked for ways to overcome this, so that these students are not disadvantaged.


“We have a responsibility to our learners outside of the classroom too; their wellbeing is as equally important as helping them to achieve their academic aspirations, so we’ve kept them engaged with challenges, including our Lockdown Olympics, as well as a student magazine.


“Our students and staff have continued to inspire, overcoming challenges, supporting each other and surpassing our high expectations. We’ve been overwhelmed with good feedback about the work done to make the home learning experience a positive one.”


One learner, studying a Diploma in Art, said: “I couldn’t believe it when staff from the art department turned up on my doorstep wearing full PPE. They dropped off my sketchbook, from a safe distance, so that I could continue to work on it. Thanks to them, I’m still on track for a distinction.”


Ravinder Singh, one of the College’s Business Lecturers, even supported a learner and their family who were struggling to buy food, connecting them with a charity to support them when they needed it the most.


Bill Webster added: “Whilst these have been very challenging times, it’s important to remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.


“This won’t last forever and as a College, we are looking ahead. From September, we will be delivering the new gold standard T Level qualifications, which are the equivalent of three A Levels.


“So there is a lot to be excited about and much to look forward to.”