Northampton College leads the way with COVID-secure campus to ensure student safety
Written by Martin Steers on August 6, 2020
Students returning to Northampton College this September will face daily temperature checks, strict social distancing guidelines and a raft of ‘best in class’ safety measures introduced to combat the threat of COVID-19.
Work is now going on behind the scenes at the college’s three campuses, in Booth Lane, Lower Mounts and Daventry, to ensure they are ready for the return of thousands of students next month.
A complete overhaul of the way the college day will function during the pandemic has seen a catalogue of new measures introduced to ensure the campus is ‘COVID-secure’, with staff working round the clock to prepare classrooms, corridors and communal areas ahead of the new term.
The college has produced a new video for students, giving them a tour of the campus and outlining what they can expect to see when they arrive for lessons next month. That includes a requirement to wear face masks, regular handwashing, one-way systems in corridors, dedicated entry and exit points for certain ‘bubbles’ and daily temperature checks.
Principal Pat Brennan-Barrett said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink everything about the way we operate, from how we manage students’ learning to the way we move around the building. It is an enormous logistical challenge and we have painstakingly gone through absolutely everything to ensure we have a COVID-secure campus in place for September.
“No stone has been left unturned in our mission to make our students safe and we are confident we now have a ‘best in class’ solution that will provide reassurance for students, parents and staff alike.
“It has been one of the most challenging periods the education sector has ever faced, with disruption to learning on a previously unimaginable scale, but by embracing technology and thinking on our feet we have come through it and are now preparing to adapt to even more changes for the new term.
“The work done to ensure students were able to continue with their education throughout lockdown with remote learning solutions was incredible and everyone in the college community has rolled their sleeves up and met the challenge head-on. It’s been a real team effort and now we’re ready to go again.”
The college is likely to feature a ‘blended learning’ programme from next month, combining classroom-based study and working from home. This will allow the college to limit the number of students on campus at any one time and enable enhanced adherence to the social distancing measures in place.
Advice sessions for students unsure of their future following GCSE results day this month, which are normally held face-to-face at the college, will now be available via a special Zoom video call, where students will be able to watch presentations and speak directly to members of staff working in subject areas they are interested in.
For more information on the virtual advice sessions and to register your place, visit https://www.northamptoncollege.ac.uk/virtual-advice-sessions