Important Information and Frequently Asked Questions

As you can imagine, we are receiving many questions from parents/carers. Please use the ‘Contact us’ form on the website for any queries. We have done our best to compile some of the most important information and frequent enquiries from parents/carers, as we may be unable to respond to your questions individually at this time. This will be updated regularly.

For parents/carers of all students - Updated 01/04/2022

Will there be any changes to protection measures in school, in light of changes to national restrictions as part of the ‘Living with Covid-19’ plan? (Updated 4/3/22)

From the 1st April, as outlined by the Government as part of their next steps for living with COVID-19 plan, a number of measures will remain in place in college. This includes:

  • Sanitiser/hand-washing facilities in all classrooms and indoor spaces
  • Ventilation of all classrooms and indoor spaces
  • Frequent and additional cleaning of shared use surfaces

Can my child wear a coat or additional jumper in lessons? (Updated 1/4/2022)

Students should continue to bring coats and will continue to be allowed to wear Bodmin College PE jumpers in addition to their normal school uniform during spells of colder weather.

Will students be expected to wear facemasks in school? (Updated 1/4/2022)

As we transition into the next phase of living with Covid19, we are mindful that some individuals remain anxious. As always, we advocate for all our students and staff to treat themselves and others with kindness and respect. We continue to respect the rights of those who choose to wear face-coverings and where students and staff return after illness, we would recommend the temporary use of face-coverings in indoor settings when distancing is not possible.

Should I keep my child off school if they are feeling unwell? (Updated 1/4/2021)

The updated Government guidance now advises that children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They can go back to school, college or childcare when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend. We continue to provide remote learning for all students via the usual Satchel:One provision.

Can my child wear their PE kit to school if they have PE in the morning? (Updated 1/4/2022)

As part of arrangements during Covid 19, we have allowed students to arrive at school in their PE kit for LZ1. However, from the start of the Summer term, students will now be required to arrive at college in their school uniform. If they have PE first lesson they must bring their PE kit with them and change at the start of the lesson. Students are still allowed to leave in PE kit at the end of zone 3.

How will examinations be affected due to Covid-19 this year? (Added 11/2/22)

As it stands currently, examinations for GCSE, A-level and BTEC students are due to take place as normal this year, following two years of exam cancellations as a result of the impact of Covid-19. However, exam boards have applied some concessions in that they have released some advanced information regarding the content of a number of exams taking place this Summer.

On Monday, the exam boards released their 'Advanced Information' for the Summer 2022 GCSE and A-Level exams (not BTEC or other qualifications).

All of this information is readily available on the websites of the exam boards should you or your child wish to look through them. However, summaries of this information will be given to students over the coming weeks by their teachers in a more user-friendly way and students will receive an assembly with all of the important information next week.

FAQs for students are available here: Students_FAQs_Summer_2022.pdf (jcq.org.uk)

Should you have any further questions, please contact Mrs Cloke on sn@bodmincollege.co.uk

How much notice will we get if the school needs to close due to staff shortages? (Added 28/1/22)

We are hopeful that the numbers of staff and students absent for Covid-related reasons will continue to fall and that we will be able to remain open to all year groups. However, we are mindful that the current guidance for isolation and the end of Plan B restrictions make it difficult to ensure that we will not be in a similar situation once again. Since, the situation is so unpredictable and we would only ever close to a year group as an absolutely last resort, it makes it very difficult to be able to provide you with a helpful period of notice. Sometimes, we will not know the situation until the day it occurs. In an effort to try to predict ahead we constantly monitor the situation. Our monitoring system uses an extended ‘traffic light –Red, Amber, Yellow and Green’ rating as shown below. We are currently operating at Amber level.

Rating Contingency Opening Status
Green Absence can be covered using cover and supply bank staff. College open to all year groups.
Yellow Absence can be covered by cancelling non-essential trips/activities and collapsing interventions. College open to all year groups.
Amber Absence can be covered by merging classes and redistributing support/non-teaching staff including SLT. College open to all year groups. Liaison with LA & PHE.
Red Absence cannot be covered in a way that is safe to do so. Non-examined year groups move to four days in College and one day remote learning.

Can my child still access free school meals if their year group is remote learning? (Added 21/1/22)

If your child is eligible for a free school meal and requires a lunch pack on the days that they have been asked to complete remote learning, please complete the ‘contact us’ form and we will be able to arrange with you for this to be collected. This applies to Year 7 on Friday 21st and Monday 24th January.

Will classes need to be merged to accommodate staff absences? (Added 7/1/22)

We are aware that there has been some discussion by the media of the impact of staff absence in schools and the potential for classes to be merged in order to accommodate students in school. We would like to assure parents that we have a number of contingency plans ready should we need them in the event of staff absences. Whilst merging of classes is one of a number of possible solutions, any merging would only ever be small groups of students distributed to other classes after careful consideration of the students’ needs and after consultation with the staff to ensure that subject needs are met and that the students will benefit. We would not be creating situations as reported in the press of large groups of 60+ students together, as this would not be in keeping with measures to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 nor in the best interests of students and their learning.

How is the school monitoring cases of Covid-19 in the school community? (Added 15/10/21)

As part of our ongoing Covid risk assessment, we have systems in place to monitor and identify where patterns of confirmed positive cases are arising in our student population. Using attendance records, we are able to identify where clusters of cases within classes or groups of students can be seen, and this information is shared with Public Health Cornwall, in order to make decisions about whether PCR/LFT tests should be recommended for certain groups. Please note that, following changes to Government guidelines, it is no longer the school’s responsibility to ‘track and trace’ close contacts of confirmed cases.

How will Bodmin College ensure good ventilation? (Added 10/9/2021)

We have received CO2 monitors pledged by the government in order to monitor CO2 levels in certain spaces around the college. Additionally, we will be following Government guidance by opening windows and doors, and using ventilation systems where available.

Can my child wear a coat or additional jumper in lessons? (Updated 10/9/2021)

As a result of increased ventilation in classrooms, with doors and windows being kept open, we recommend that students can wear an additional layer underneath their school shirt, such as a plain white t-shirt. Students will not be permitted to wear coats, hoodies or additional jumpers over their school uniform.

What if my child is allergic or sensitive to sanitiser? (Added 10/9/2021)

We would encourage your child to bring their own sanitiser. Hand-washing facilities are also available around the college.

Should I keep my child off school if they are feeling unwell? (Updated 10/9/2021)

You must keep your child at home if they have:

  1. A new continuous cough
  2. A fever (high temperature over 38C using a thermometer)
  3. A loss or change of smell or taste

Speak to 119 or go to the https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test website and arrange for a test to be done.

Some people experience milder symptoms of Covid-19 such as headaches, nausea, fatigue and sore throat. Currently these are not recognised as key symptoms but caution should be exercised and lateral flow testing undertaken. If your child is unwell with other illnesses and you would normally have kept your child off school, keep your child at home.

Please also refer to the flowchart provided for parents which can be found on the college website.

Should my child access online learning resources if they are absent from school? (Updated 10/9/2021)

All lessons are available on Satchel One. If a student is absent from school for any reason, including self-isolating, or personal/family reasons, and if they are well enough to access online learning, they should complete the classwork tasks for each lesson which are accessible on Satchel One. Lessons will appear as per their normal timetable. This provision is in place to support students and avoid anyone missing out on learning.

Should my child attend school if they are clinically vulnerable (CV) or living with someone who is CEV/CV? (Updated 10/9/2021)

We would like to reassure you that we have all the recommended protection measures in place to reduce the risks of transmission in school. However, we also recognise that these are challenging times and you may have specific family circumstances that you wish to discuss. If you have any concerns, please contact your child’s Head of Year.

It has also been reported that “children aged 12 to 15 who are clinically vulnerable to COVID or live with adults who are at increased risk of serious illness from the virus will be contacted by the NHS and invited for their vaccine over the coming weeks.

Those who are eligible include those with Down’s syndrome, or undergoing many cancer treatments, have had organ or bone marrow transplants or who are on the learning disability register. The COVID-19 vaccine will also be offered to children aged 12 years and over who live with someone who is immunosuppressed, such as those receiving chemotherapy or who have had a transplant.” (Source: https://www.england.nhs.uk/2021/08/one-million-children-and-young-people-can-get-nhs-covid-jab)

Where can I seek further support for myself and my family during this time? (Updated 10/9/2021)

There are a number of organisations, both locally and nationally, who may be able to offer support in a range of situations. This is not an exhaustive list, but you may find some of these contact details useful.

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

  • Phone: 0800 046 8687
  • Opening hours: 8am to 6pm – Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm – Saturday and Sunday
    • Elaine Munday - College chaplain and Bodmin Team Ministry Vicar: email elaine.munday@bodminway.org (emotional/spiritual support/help with Foodbank vouchers, access to stationery for learning, or just a listening ear)
      MIND (Mental Health charity) – 0300 123 3393 (Mon-Fri 9-6) or www.mind.org.uk
      Cornwall Bereavement Network – for practical advice following a bereavement 01872 252713 (Mon-Fri 9-4). For emotional support services, 01726 829874 (7 days 10-6).
      NSPCC (child welfare charity) – 24 hour helpline 0800 800 5000 (for adults raising concerns about a child) or www.nspcc.org.uk
  • For students, there is also the college student support email which is being monitored by pastoral staff daily: studentsupport@bodmincollege.co.uk

    Can my child wear their PE kit to school if they have PE in the morning? (Updated 10/9/2020)

    If your child is timetabled to have PE LZ1, we are happy for your child to arrive at school in PE kit but they must ensure that they have their school uniform with them, ready to change into after the lesson. Similarly, if a child has PE LZ3, students will not be expected to change back into uniform to travel home.

    How do students pay for their food at the canteen? (Updated 10/9/2020)

    Students can give their name, or use their PIN number at the till in the canteen to pay for food, rather than using the biometric thumbprint system at this time. They are able to use their PIN to top-up their accounts using cash at the top-up machines located in each canteen. Students will sanitise their hands before and after buying food from the canteen.

    Where can I access all of the key documents and information for parents/carers? (Updated 10/9/2021)

    There is a dedicated page on the college website where all the key information and updates for parents/carers can be found in one place. This can be accessed by following the link on the college homepage or here: https://mainsite.bodmincollege.co.uk/collegenews/news/ Here you will find advice and guidance to support every aspect of learning and wellbeing during this time. Additionally, these FAQs are being updated regularly and provide a summary of essential information as it becomes available.

    Information related to testing and vaccination - Updated 01/04/2022

    Does my child need to continue with twice-weekly LFD tests? (Added 1/4/2022)

    Access to free Covid19 testing will end for most people on Friday 1 April 2022.

    This includes schools and educational settings.

    Whilst schools and educational settings will no longer have access to free testing, some vulnerable people and adults that work in healthcare settings may still have access to free testing. If they receive a positive COVID-19 test result they should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days, which is when they are most infectious. For children and young people aged 18 and under, the advice will be 3 days.

    What if my child is not yet 12 (or already over 15) and therefore will not be eligible for in-school vaccination? (Added 11/11/2021)

    If your child is not yet 12 years of age on the dates of the in-school vaccinations then they will not be eligible but will still be able to access the out-of-school community vaccination centres when they turn 12. Equally if your child is 16 or over they should access the out-of-school vaccination centres. If you would like to book an out-of-school vaccination, please click here to book: www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination. Please note that absence for Covid19 vaccinations will be authorised and will not count against your child’s attendance data.

    Government updates and guidance - Updated 22/03/2022

    The government has also put together some information which you may find helpful: