Update Monday 6 April
During these uncertain times it is really positive to see how D&A staff and students have demonstrated real resilience in response to current ‘lockdown’ arrangements and the Covid-19 situation.
Business as usual felt like a grand aspiration, however time and time again we’ve seen our College community delivering.
Our key focus has of course been on learning, teaching and support for our students, making sure students have access to learning resources and materials, and support to work through these. The response to this has been amazing - business as usual - with over thirteen thousand logins to MyLearning (virtual learning environment) and over thirty thousand learning sessions on this platform.
Arrangements for finalising assessments and results are being prepared and we’ll be in touch with staff and students soon to provide more details.
We have seen some really innovative uses of technology to keep our students engaged and inspired. In areas such as Essential Skills we have seen the use of video tutorials and interactive support. In Sport and Fitness we have been delivering live fitness sessions, with students posting videos and photographs of their engagement and participation. Our Acting and Performance staff have been conducting online video auditions and the Dance students have been undertaking their movement classes via Zoom. These are just a few examples of the many innovations happening within our teams to ensure our students remain engaged and on track.
We are aware that this is more of a challenge for some subjects, services, students and staff than it is for others, but it is clear that teams are working together to support our students and each other as best they can.
A Remote Working Hub was set up prior to College buildings closing, supporting preparation for the challenges of working from home and remotely. This includes support for looking after your health and wellbeing, tips on keeping fit and access to professional learning and upskilling opportunities. Our Staff Awards will go ahead online this year, recognising the ongoing commitment of our staff to our students.
During times such as these, supporting the Dundee and Angus community is an important role for the College. Our Learner Engagement team have been providing food packages to students who need a little extra help, and the Helping Hands Nursery team have been delivering meals to the families of many of our nursery children.
Locally, partnerships with local café Wild Thyme, and organisations including Feeling Strong and Rocksolid has seen deliveries of essential foods to those in the local area who need it the most. Along with other colleges across Scotland, D&A buildings and vehicles are available to services who may need them to deliver or support services. Support for staff to volunteer in our local communities has also been finalised and the College is taking an active role in coordinating D&A volunteers for the Dundee area.
We also donated all of our remaining food resources to a number of foodbanks around the region and have donated essential supplies of disposable gloves, aprons and masks to Cornerstone, with further donations planned as stocks are checked and distributed.
The College sector continues to engage with all stakeholders including SQA, Scottish Funding Council and Scottish Government as well as other statutory bodies on a variety of critical topics and we will continue to provide specific updates as and when we know them in these fast changing times.
Importantly, D&A is still open for business so if you’re a current student you have access to learning and services, and if you’d like to apply for a course starting next year you can still apply online.
We had 263 applications come through in the first week of lockdown, so don’t miss out if you want to join us next session for a course.
D&A continues to offer support and guidance so please get in touch:
- Online web chat: located in the bottom right corner of our website (live from 8:30-16:30, Mon-Fri).
- Help Points: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Student Funding: email@example.com
- Student Services: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will continue to process student payments as normal and those students facing hardship should contact our Student Services team on the email address above. We are here to help where we can.
For the wellbeing of staff and students, the D&A College community are being encouraged to observe their annual leave over the April period. You can still contact us during this time and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. The April break is two weeks from Monday 6 April to Friday 17 April.