SGS College | Be Outstanding
Published 1 month ago

Keeping Students Connected During Lockdown - SGS Leads Way and Rises to Challenge

Students at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College have been praised for their positive attitude and adapting their studies during the current lockdown.

Due to the coronavirus crisis, essential Government guidelines were put in place which has resulted in the temporary closure of all SGS campuses. Students have been continuing their studies remotely for over a month using online platforms including Microsoft Teams. The switch to studying at home is a challenge for most, however, the resilience and commitment of students has been outstanding. Tutors have been amazed at how positively learners have adapted to this new way of working.

In the first week of home learning the College recorded 120,000 chat messages between students and tutors. 1,750 webinars and meetings took place, and there were a staggering 5,000 active users in Teams. This is equal to the face-to-face provision that is offered as part of a full-time course.

Alex Gaiger, Head of Sports comments:

"I have been very impressed by the sports students throughout this transition. We have seen learners develop their own online fitness, coaching and outdoor adventurous instructional videos, take part in online discussions, debates and presentations whilst continuing to challenge themselves to further their subject knowledge and understanding.

A feature that learners have found supportive is the option to revisit the recorded webinars, meaning that no learning opportunities are missed and that they can continue to study during independent learning moments. But it does not stop there, the Sport and Public Services In Class Support team have been integral in offering wrap around support, taking notes for learners who require the additional support, using breakout session to ensure learners have a full and comprehensive understanding and using 1-1 meetings to further the learners’ educational development."

He added:

I have had great feedback from both students and parents. One parent emailed me to say that we are amazing and are not appreciated enough for shaping the lives of young people."

SGS was recently awarded the title of 'showcase college' by Microsoft for integrating Teams into their digital learning environment which has aided the smooth integration to remote learning.

Principal, Sara-Jane Watkins said:

“Through this extremely difficult time, I am amazed by the resilience and dedication of our students and staff. Though our campuses are currently closed, I have been blown away by the positive attitudes and innovative approaches to learning that we are seeing at home and online.”

Highlighting the innovate work SGS are undertaking, the institution is delivering a webinar on the impact of using Microsoft Teams as a standalone Digital Learning Environment for Microsoft's EduDay. This webinar will cover the impacts of Teams at a whole college level, looking at some beneficial cross-college initiatives. It will also discuss how professional development has supported and enhanced the staff experience, again looking at the successful initiatives that have had the greatest impact and how the student experience has been impacted.

To view the webinar, please visit

The campus doors may be closed but the college is very much open to support current learners and to take new applications. If you need any information or support, please email [email protected]

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