Our 'blended' learning approach

While our campuses have been closed, our students have continued their learning at home and we're incredibly proud of the innovation and creativity that our tutors and staff have applied during lockdown. 

Bringing 8,000 students back to face-to-face learning at our campuses while social distancing regulations are in place is very challenging. While we would love to see staff and students back together in workshops, classrooms and social areas around our campuses, our absolutely priority is keeping everybody in our community safe. That means that until government advice changes we will take appropriate steps to carefully monitor and control the number of people on our campuses, and in individual classrooms and workshops.

What this means for students is that we will continue with a 'blended' learning approach for the foreseeable future, where our students will learn through a mix of traditional face-to-face teaching on campus combined with virtual interaction with tutors, support staff, other students, and learning materials from home. We're well-placed to deliver this, having invested significantly in learning technology and in training to support our staff in recent years. That said, there's always room for improvement and we've learned some valuable lessons during the pandemic that will help us improve the digital services we provide to our students. 

Blended learning means that our students continue to benefit from the knowledge, skills, and importantly the industry-experience of our tutors as we prepare them for work. However, while we've always encouraged our students to use the wealth of resources available to them online, we'll be adjusting our timetables to make sure we've created the time and space for them to do so, helping them to develop the digital capabilities that they will need in the workplace. 

Importantly, additional time working from home does not mean that our students are left unsupported. Our teaching and support staff have responded extremely well to the challenges of delivering training, education and support remotely, and we know that our students will continue to achieve their qualifications and progress to higher-level study or into work under these new arrangements.