Local colleges pull together to support students as they stay home

Colleges across Kirklees have been adapting how they support, teach and keep students engaged with courses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Huddersfield New College Class of 2020

This year’s celebrations and rituals enjoyed by Year 13 students to mark the end of their time at Huddersfield New College were cut short. Although there are plans to have a celebration when it is safe to do so, Huddersfield New College wanted to do something positive for students during these difficult times.

So to keep spirits high and to bring some joy to students, they have put together an official 2020 yearbook for students to keep and show a reflection of their time in college. Over 800 photos were sent in with quotes and poems from students and staff. This has been a positive exercise and something for the students to get involved in and look forward to celebrating their time on campus.

Keeping connected at Greenhead College

Greenhead College’s Learning Mentors, within the Additional Learning Support Team, have adapted the weekly coffee club to a virtual event.

This means students can still enjoy a range of activities and have fun, despite current circumstances. There have been Kahoot quizzes, Scribble – which was chaotic but fun – and even an impromptu pet show (the best agendas are always those planned by students!).

The virtual coffee clubs ensure that students have the opportunity to chat and catch up with the team in a safe environment. The mentors then open up breakout rooms for students to catch up amongst themselves, using this time to plan other activities. For example, they have just set up a Dungeons and Dragons game that takes place on Saturdays.

Learning Mentors understand the impact that continued engagement has on the wellbeing of students. Their innovative thinking is a great example of balancing remote learning with pastoral support and much needed social interaction.

Kirklees College ‘Show Us Your Tech’ competition launched

Kirklees College launched their ‘Show Us Your Tech’ competition to encourage students to be creative in demonstrating how they are using the technology available to them at home as they continue to work remotely.

Students showcased how they have turned their dining rooms, dressing tables and gardens into their own unique working spaces. The competition received a fantastic response, with students going above and beyond to show how they are fulfilling the tasks set by teaching staff using their mobile phones, laptops and even other family members.

Cllr Carole Pattison, Cabinet member for Learning, Aspiration and Communities, said:

“Local colleges have been doing excellent work throughout the pandemic. Like our schools, they had very little time to adapt to an online environment, but they are delivering academic learning and also making sure enrichment activities are available to students.

“They are creating safe spaces for young people and supporting their mental health and wellbeing at a hugely difficult time. We work closely in partnership with local colleges and we are proud of the way they are supporting young people.”


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