STUDENTS will continue to receive an outstanding education no matter what September brings, a Hereford college has vowed.

Hereford Sixth Form College has continued to teach students throughout the lockdown closure of the country’s education institutions, with lessons made possible through the adoption of Microsoft Teams and the creativity and innovation of college staff.

And with the situation for September still unclear, the college has promised it will be fully operational regardless of the current government advice on lockdown.

In preparation, the college is planning for three different scenarios: complete lockdown, a blended learning environment, and normal operating mode, with all three operating systems possibly coming into use.

Students will be kept as informed and up to date as possible and the college say they are fully set up to be able to switch between the operating systems quickly.

College principal Peter Cooper is extremely proud of the continued effort of both students and staff: "Given the unprecedented change in circumstances and environment caused by this appalling virus and its consequences, I am delighted by the exceptional efforts made by our students and staff," he said.

"They have embraced new methods of working and shown determination to master new techniques. Whilst we have missed the wonderful social and active aspects of college life and anticipate the return to normality keenly, we have made huge strides to maintain academic learning and progress.

"College life will eventually return to normal but techniques we have developed to work in a more remote manner may well prove invaluable to improve our provision further. We are always looking to learn and strive for the best for our whole student body."

And the college has been making other provisions to ensure the wellbeing of their students, with counsellors, Bee and Louise, providing ongoing telephone counselling and support to students, while the college physical wellbeing manager has provided weekly videos and email support.

The videos include general well-being advice upon sleep, nutrition and ideas to keep in touch with friends as well as home workout ideas with limited equipment.

The college said it has spoken to a sample of students and found that all of them have had a positive experience with the transition to virtual learning, with many saying working remotely has enhanced their learning and they have made excellent progress during this time.

“Teams has been fantastic for Foreign Languages conversation practice!” Isabelle Celie-Bone, head of the Language department, said, while foreign language assistant Benoit Rince returned to France at the point of lockdown and has continued to teach students remotely.