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We’re open – our latest update

Christian theology applied.
As we move towards the start of the new academic year, we know many of you will be wondering what college life might look like in 2020/21. Here's our latest update...

Since 1948 Moorlands College has been equipping people to transform the church and the world and through the extraordinary work of staff and the amazing resilience of students, we have continued to do this throughout the coronavirus pandemic. As we move towards the start of the new academic year, we know many of you will be wondering what college life might look like in 2020/21.

Moorlands College is ready to open our Christchurch campus at the start of the next academic year, and we are focused on creating Covid-secure campuses and learning environments there and at our Regional Centres to allow us to operate safely, as Government guidance allows. We greatly value the face-to-face aspect of teaching. This has always been at the heart of our programmes and we are making every effort to find creative solutions to sustain classroom learning in a safe way with a blended learning approach.

We are very much focused on keeping everyone safe and we continue to be guided by Government advice. We may not have all the answers yet, but we will keep you informed as staff, students, applicants, parents and friends of Moorlands.

Here are some of the things we have been doing to prepare for the next academic year:

  • Adjusting the timetable to maximise classroom-based teaching within social distancing parameters, while complementing this with online delivery as and when necessary
  • Ensuring that those who are vulnerable, shielding or in isolation have the opportunity to continue with their studies online
  • Calculating classroom sizes and maximum numbers of students allowed in spaces
  • Scoping out local venues to use as additional classroom space where needed – again to maximise classroom-based delivery
  • Making plans for implementing social distancing protocols across all areas of the campus and where appropriate making alterations to facilities
  • Adapting the communal and residential areas and how catering is managed
  • Considering alternative options and social distancing measures for delivery of block weeks at our Christchurch campus and in our Regional Centres
  • Considering how Placements may be affected in the new academic year

The above list is not exhaustive but gives some insight into the types of discussions and plans that are taking place. We continue to monitor the situation closely at our weekly Coronavirus Response Group (CRG) meetings and as an Executive Leadership Team (ELT).


Introduction to #WeAreReady

In the first of these #WeAreReady videos, Karen Todd (Director of Communications) and Andy du Feu (Executive Director) focus on the re-opening of our Christchurch Campus. Watch the video here.


Student and applicant Q&A

Will Moorlands be teaching on campus?

As far as it is possible, lectures will be delivered across the campuses, with all sites implementing measures to provide a Covid-secure environment. Some lectures may be delivered via our Teams platform, but there are currently no changes planned for the timing of block weeks or term time. The direction of the pandemic is still uncertain and therefore we are modelling different scenarios for the next academic year.  Government guidance will ultimately determine how we are able to make our facilities available to you, but we are confident that, even with current social distancing measures, we can provide you with a Moorlands College experience that is of a high quality and that will allow you to take full advantage of the facilities, resources and staff.

What is blended delivery?

This simply means applying a number of different approaches to your experience of teaching and learning. In our case, it more specifically means maintaining our core commitment to class-based learning while seeking to enhance that through high-quality digital interaction and resourcing. Feedback on the use of our digital tools during lockdown has been really positive and we are working hard to ensure that where we use online components, these will be of a premium standard. We have already been using Moodle as a virtual learning environment for some time, and we will be working hard to refine it so that it supports your learning in ever-more creative and effective ways.  

What if there is a second wave of the virus and lockdown measures tighten again?

We will deliver materials virtually over our Microsoft Teams platform as we have done successfully during the lockdown period and will communicate with you as government guidance changes.

What if I can’t access campus, as I am shielding, in self-isolation or cannot travel?

We would encourage you to speak to us as soon as you know this is the case for you. Although you will not be able to engage in face-to-face contact, we are ensuring that you will still be able to study remotely, through access to high quality recordings and resources and, in some modules, through direct access to live teaching via the Teams platform.

 What if I feel unable to attend due to the Coronavirus?

If you are unable to attend a class that is meeting physically at any point — for example, if you’ve been in close contact with somebody who has Covid — you will be able to engage in all sessions virtually.

Will the library be open?

The Christchurch library will reopen late August in time for the start of the MA Language, Community and Development programme. As a Covid-secure environment, please adhere to the measures being implemented to ensure that it is a safe place for all.

Our branches of the library at Regional Centres will be accessible during the block weeks and measures will also be implemented by the host venue to ensure a safe environment.

We are busy working on improving our excellent digital resources – and do remember that you can search our physical and digital catalogue on the Heritage library platform on the VLE.

I am studying at Moorlands South West, and I have heard that Brunel Manor has closed. What will happen on our block weeks?

The good news is that the block weeks will continue as scheduled. SWYM are currently securing space for some face-to-face teaching, and we will be blending the delivery with online components for semester one.

I am starting on Foundation Year. What do I need to know?

The teaching element of Foundation Year at Christchurch will be moving to Wednesday – Thursday delivery for 2020-21 to ensure the best possible experience on campus. This means Foundation Year students will still be able to engage with Tutor Groups, and the Thursday Chapel.

Christchurch campus

Will I be allowed to live on campus?

You will be able to live on campus if you have been offered onsite accommodation. However, you will have to adhere to the latest guidelines on social distancing. We continue to follow government guidelines and are committed to keeping up to date with Covid-secure environments. We are introducing changes to our facilities in accordance with current rules as our focus continue to be on  the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and students.

Are we going to adopt the ‘bubble’ living approach?

Throughout the pandemic, new initiatives have been introduced. We are currently exploring whether adopting the bubble approach is a viable option for the Christchurch campus. We will update this information when we know more.

Placements

What if all the placement activities are being done online?

During the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve been impressed by how much students have been able to contribute to their placement churches and organisations through their online activities. The placements and the students have demonstrated creativity in adapting to the current circumstances. As a College we want to train students for ministry in a variety of contexts and engaging online has given students the opportunity to develop skills in new areas. For students’ long-term growth, we recognise the essential value of developing ministry skills and leadership in person as well as through online mediums. Therefore, for students whose study is Campus-Based, if your church placement is entirely (or largely) online in the first semester, we’ll provide opportunities for you to develop your practice in person via small group work in College alongside your weekly placement.

What if I am shielding, or unable to take part in face-to-face work?

We are mindful that some students may need to continue to shield themselves in the autumn term due to underlying health concerns. For these students, we will be ensuring that any taught components of the Practice module can be accessed digitally. We will work with the student and the placement to enable the student’s participation in their placement via engagement in the online activities that their placement is running. Where necessary, as mentioned, we will enable Christchurch-based students to engage remotely with practice group work undertaken at the campus. We are looking at ways in which, if required, practice demonstrated in this capacity can contribute towards students’ completion of the practice module. If you think that you are likely to be shielding in the autumn term, please contact the Placements team as soon as possible to discuss your situation with them.

What if my supervisor is shielding or furloughed?

Where your supervisor is furloughed, we will ask the organisation to nominate another supervisor. If the supervisor is shielding, the placements team will assess the extent to which they can provide adequate supervision, in conversation with the placement organisation. 

I am worried about the placement paperwork

We will be working hard over summer to ensure that the practice module paperwork and tasks take account of the continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. For example, we aim to ensure that all mandatory paperwork can be completed and submitted digitally. We are putting procedures in place in the event that a supervisor and/or placement organisation is on furlough at the start of the academic year. We will be making the Level 6 residential requirement for those on the Youth and Community Work programme provisional such that if residentials prove to be logistically impossible due to restrictions related to COVID, you will not be penalised.

I’m campus-based and worried about Block Placement

In response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we are creating a wider window for your 150-hour block placement. For the 2020-21 academic year, you will be permitted to undertake your placement any time from the February reading week into the first three weeks of the Easter vacation (7th February – 11th April 2021).  If circumstances require, it will be possible to spread your hours over a period longer than the usual 5-weeks, and to complete your block placement with your weekly placement setting -although accommodation will need to be considered with the Placements Team, Facilities Manager and the placement church. You should seek the approval of the placement manager before agreeing either of these things with the placement. Given the current travel restrictions in place, we advise Level 6 students not to book overseas placements at this time. We will review the potential for block placements abroad in the Autumn term with reference to relevant government guidelines.  

International applicants, primarily to the School of Language and Scripture

Will quarantine rules apply? If so, can I start my programme on time?

The College is following current legislation and will be implementing quarantine for students who arrive from overseas if this remains a requirement by August. We have synced the programme to take this into account. If you are coming from outside the UK, please arrive over the weekend of 22-23 August to allow for 14 days of self-quarantine. During this time, you will be able to engage digitally with the module, before resuming face-to-face classes under Covid-secure conditions on 7th September.

What happens if I am unable to travel in August?

We have created digital pathways so that those who are vulnerable, shielding, self-isolating, and in this situation unable to travel immediately, can continue to engage with the modules. We would encourage you to keep in regular contact with us if you face this restriction.  

Thank you for your support and enthusiasm throughout this time. If you are an existing student or due to start with us in 2020/21 and have any further questions, please contact us communications@moorlands.ac.uk


Apply for September 2020

We’re going full steam ahead for the new academic year in September 2020, recruiting new students and are continuing to interview prospective students (through online video systems).

See our latest prospectus in the segment below!

Note: If you’re an A-Level student (or know someone who is) and are concerned about applying due to college closures, we are more than happy to talk further with you. Applications are open for September 2020, so get applying or recommend a friend! Visit our How to Apply page for a step-by-step guide on how to apply to study with us.


Virtual Open Days

Book onto one of our Virtual Open Days.

For our BA Virtual Open Days, there will be a chance to hear about the college from different members of staff and opportunity to ask questions through an online chat facility. Once you’ve booked your place, you’ll be sent an email with instructions on how to join and who your hosts will be.

For our MA Virtual Open Days, you’ll have the opportunity to have an informal conversation with our MA in Applied Theology Course Leader and to discover more about our Masters programme. You can also meet with our School of Language and Scripture staff for our MA in Language Community and Development. Once you’ve booked your place, you’ll be sent an email with instructions on how to join.


Download our latest prospectus here

Exciting news! Our latest prospectus is ready for your online viewing. Click on the link below to download your copy.

It’s full of fresh content, bursting with colour and brimming with inspirational and relatable testimonies. Read on to discover how studying applied theology, with like-minded Christians of all ages, will give you a firm foundation to build your life and ministry.

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