Covid-19 Response – Cambridge Seminars College

Principal Phil Sherb

Alongside many other countries around the world, the UK announced a new lockdown in November, as part of the continuing strategy to stop the spread of the coronavirus as we head into winter. 

While this is not ideal, here at Cambridge Seminars College we recognise that this is an essential step in containing the spread of the virus and we are following all regulations and guidance, putting our staff and students’ safety at the centre of everything we do.  

We are fortunate that the virus is comparatively low in our wonderful county of Cambridgeshire, and within the city of Cambridge itself, but understand that we are part of a bigger picture. We hope that by taking strong action now the UK will  get back to normal and recover all the sooner. 

We are very much looking forward to March and meeting the new students starting our 16 month A-Level and 6 or 9 month Foundation Programmes. It will be uplifting to see both returning and new students enjoying our newly refurbished college building, as well as our new residence, which is literally only a 30 second walk away from the college!

For our current students, despite the uncertainty, we are working hard to ensure that they all continue to learn, progress and reach their expected destinations within the same caring, student-centred setting. Although no-one is happy about the lockdown, we recognise that it needs to happen and we will be  embracing it as best we can. Online games, quizzes, workshops and tutorials already supplement the learning and are a hugely important part of the student experience and journey. With our March 2020 Foundation students – who completed their programmes entirely online – now starting at a range of UK universities, our current students can also be confident that whatever happens, they will be able to complete their programme with us, and progress onto a wide range of universities -, some as early as January. 

We are confident that we can continue to do this and do it well, whatever the world has in store for 2021! We have learnt a lot as a college in the last six months, and know our online provision is extremely good, and that the student experience in ‘the new normal’ will continue to get better and better.

We are extremely fortunate that small class sizes are at the heart of what we do, as online learning is far more productive and enjoyable in small groups of 2 or 3 students. 

So despite lockdown, despite travel restrictions or visa delays, despite uncertainty, we don’t want our future students to feel they need to postpone, pause and certainly not abandon their educational journey. We are very much open for learning, and there is no reason why students shouldn’t be looking forward to studying with us and then starting university in September of 2021. 

As part of this, and to provide some certainty in uncertain times, we can promise students that we will:

1] Offer flexibility and understanding. Start your course online and travel to the UK as and when you are able to or feel comfortable to do so. If you want to complete your entire course online, that is fine with us. If you want to change your mind about travelling, accommodation or your course type, that is fine with us. If you want to change it again, that is fine with us. 

2] Provide high-quality, individualised, small group tuition, whatever happens.

3] Continue to create and promote a collegiate, family atmosphere, focusing on welfare, pastoral care and mental and physical well-being.

4] Continue to provide expert individual guidance, helping students make the right progression choices and helping them reach the best destination for them.

With every good wish,

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