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Furness College reopens both campuses with socially-distanced lessons

Selected students at Barrow Sixth Form College are back in socially distanced lessons from this week

The head of the largest college in Cumbria has praised returning students as a ‘credit to the college’ as it reopens.

Principal and Chief Executive of Furness College, Andrew Wren said selected students had been back to both the Channelside and Sixth Form campuses as the college widened face-to-face teaching.

In March, the college closed its doors to all but the most vulnerable students due to the Coronavirus outbreak and moved teaching into virtual classrooms, delivering lessons and tutorials online.

Last week it reopened Channelside to BAE apprentices and students on technical programmes who needed to finish their practical assessment.

This week, the first-year sixth form students returned for face-to-face teaching with specialist tutors to ensure they are up to speed with their A level and CTEC courses.

Andrew said: “These students have faced significant changes to their learning delivery yet they have responded so positively to the circumstances, and the college has continued its digital transformation delivering lessons and tutorials in our virtual learning environment.

“We are now delighted to be able to welcome eligible groups of students back to our wonderful campuses so they can complete their qualifications and receive support from tutors.

“It’s so great to see students back in the classrooms, workshops and moving around the buildings, and they’ve been observing all the new measures we’ve put in place to help keep everyone safe. They are a credit to the college”

He said staff had risen to the challenges posed by lockdown, ensuring students could continue learning.

“This has been an opportunity for us to enhance further the virtual learning environment. We’ve supported students through the learning resource centre and even held the college’s first virtual open evening for its university-level qualifications.

“I’d like to thank the staff who have really stepped up at this time. I think we have adapted and learnt innovative new ways of teaching and learning that can only be of benefit to our current and future students.”

Helen Gibson, deputy head of sixth form, praised the students as the Rating Lane campus reopened this week.

“We loved welcoming our first-year A level students back for three weeks of face-to-face teaching yesterday on our new socially distanced timetable and we are looking forward to seeing more as the week progresses,” she said. “Our students this week have been awesome, mature and very respectful in every way.”

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