Hawkshead campus update: 8th June 2020

In anticipation of staff beginning to return to Hawkshead, we have introduced a one-way system through certain buildings. Maps can be found on our intranet here.

Message from the Principal 5th of May

Staff annual leave

This is a very difficult situation to manage as we do require that we all take some leave even during the lockdown. This is for several reasons - most importantly to ensure we safeguard our health and wellbeing and avoid burnout in these strange and intensive working conditions – but also to avoid the potentially destabilising effect of everyone trying to take all their leave after the restrictions are lifted. We simply do not have the capacity to have this happen at the same time as keeping our programmes and facilities running. Clearly, there will be some exceptional cases, but our general approach was laid out in the email sent to staff on 4th May.

Message from the Principal 30th of April

Working from Home - Latest Guidance for Staff 

Message from the Principal 27th of April

Academic researchers and Research Association

Jonathan Elliott has provided an important update regarding the Government’s Job Retention Scheme as it applies to different granting bodies.

Learning and Wellbeing

Michele Milner emailed all staff regarding Zoom and student support for remote learning. She also emailed all students, today, about remote learning, study skills and a guided relaxation webinar.

Working from home

All staff should now, where possible, be working from home.

You should only travel to work if your role or activity is essential to the business and you cannot do that activity from home. This would include but would not necessarily be limited to those providing

  • safety or security roles
  • essential animal care 
  • emergency or urgent care to patients
  • essential systems maintenance, cleaning or infrastructure operational support
  • essential transactional and business processes that cannot be done from home

The key in each case is that you must maintain distance even if you have to come into work - no sitting, drinking, eating or socialising together.

We will issue more guidance as we can. You should contact your line manager or Hospital Director if you are in any doubt as to whether you should be coming in - but please remember they will be acting, for now, only on the basis of information that is generally available.

The default position is that you work from home, as per the Prime Minister's direction.

Teaching continuity - updated 24/4/2020

Learning and Wellbeing are providing new resources on LEARN to assist staff with delivering teaching online.

  • Teaching and Learning Continuity
    This module contains information and advice on how to transition to teaching remotely by creating simple content, activities and assessments. It also helps you to understand what tools are available and how they can be used for remote delivery
  • Weekly Webinars to get you started
    A schedule of weekly webinars where you can get hands on support and ask questions. These will also include forums to share good practice.

We are constantly updating the resources for you to use on the Teaching Continuity pages and would like to draw your attention to some additions to aid your planning for next week:

1/ Using Zoom - Updated Guidance
There have been issues around the security of using Zoom for teaching events and so the Zoom Guide for lecturers on the Teaching Continuity course was updated last Wed with the new Zoom security enhancements. We have since added:

  • Under Best Practice, a section called ‘Summary of changes: how to secure your Zoom meeting to prevent unwanted guests’, which highlights what has been done and can be done in-meeting, to improve security. To note as part of this enhanced security participants will not be able to share screen.
  • For added security we are also using the waiting room feature. Attendees seeking to join the meeting will be held in a waiting room until they are admitted by the host or a designated co-host. To minimise interruption to your teaching we suggest designating this co-host responsibility to your course Digital Learning Champion (DLC) so they can admit colleagues as they arrive.
  • We have also added a section called Recording a Zoom meeting. This shows you how to upload your Zoom recording to Learn. The recording will automatically go to your hard drive and needs to be transferred. Future development work will address this process.

The Zoom Guide for students on the new Study Skills area.

2/ Web-based TurningPoint - Voting Technology
You may not realise that we've moved away from the old clickers and now have an institutional license for the web-based version of TurningPoint. It has a host of new features that can be used both in live and asynchronous teaching sessions.

Join us for this the webinar to find out more and access the guides for more info here.

29.04.20 - ‘Using TurningPoint remotely’ @12pm - 1pm

3/ iSpring (PC only) - new resource for you to create interactive teaching materials
iSpring is a PowerPoint plug-in you can install on your computer to create mobile-friendly online presentations. It keeps all PowerPoint animations, triggers, transitions, and media intact and enables you to add slide navigations and a variety of questions and other interactions.
Find out more about iSpring here

4/ Student support for Remote Learning
We've updated the Study Skills area on Learn so students have a place to access all of the resources and guides for remote learning.
Click here to take a look. In addition to tips for remote learning, this is also the place where students can find the student Guides for MS Teams and Zooms
Please tell your students/tutees to join the Study Skills team for next week's webinar on remote learning.
See the weekly student webinar schedule here.

28.04.20 - Getting to grips with remote learning @2pm - 2.30pm 

For any queries or for help, please contact LEARN@rvc.ac.uk

Business travel

The College has suspended all but essential overseas business travel.  Any proposed or booked overseas travel should be discussed with your Head of Department.

Personal travel

If you are planning personal travel, you must consult Public Health England information pages before booking any travel to FCO-specified areas. When deciding whether to travel, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is my travel essential?
  2. What would the impact be for me if I need to self-quarantine for 14 days on return to the UK - or couldn’t return when planned due to airline/state travel restrictions?
  3. Am I more vulnerable to infection and could I be seriously affected by COVID-19?
  4. Does my travel insurance cover pandemic associated services and costs? (NB: The Association of British Insurers has issued Coronavirus Q&A but you will likely need to speak to your insurance company to check as this cover may depend on when your insurance was purchased and your travel booking made.)

Concerned about a colleague or student?

If you have a specific concern for a colleague, please do encourage them to read these pages and follow the advice appropriate to their circumstances. (NB: if you continue to have concerns, please let their line manager or Head of Department know of them as soon as possible.) Your report will be managed with the appropriate confidentiality and we will liaise directly with the reported staff member. We will not share personal information obtained from or about reported staff members unless required to do so for statutory or vital interested purposes.)

If you have a specific concern for a student, please do encourage them to read these pages and follow the advice appropriate to their circumstances. (NB: If you continue to have concerns, please report these to the Advice Centre as soon as possible.) Your report will be managed with the appropriate confidentiality and we will liaise directly with the reported student. We will not share personal information obtained from or about reported students unless required to do so for statutory or vital interest purposes.)

Alumni and our friends and supporters

I realise that we are all finding this very tough, but we also need to be mindful that our alumni are in an environment where many of them will be seeing real and dramatic impact on their businesses and livelihoods. I will be writing to them in the next 24 hours and I encourage any of you who are in contact with former students or members of staff to provide moral and emotional support wherever possible.

Social media channels and the contribution of the RVC to the wider community.

Keep an eye out for a number of posts and tweets on our social media profiles as we contribute our support to the local and wider communities with PPE, equipment, volunteering and scientific advice. If there is anything you would like highlighted, please do let me know.  

Restaurants and cafés

  1. All Campus Café areas are currently closed
  2. Restaurants remain open from 08:00 till 14:00 for take-away meals, snacks and hot & cold drinks.
  3. Given the increased risk of virus transmission on the surface of vending machines we are not replenishing their stocks and would advise that if you are required to come into work you should either bring your own or utilise the facilities in the restaurants
  4. We will be issuing guidance on prioritisation of cooked food services – those who are in accommodation and those required to attend work will be receiving first consideration.
  5. To keep interaction to a minimum you are advised to consider eating at home where possible but, should you utilise the services on site, please remember to maintain social distancing and consume food either at your work station or sitting singularly at the picnic tables around campus.

SAWC and Gym

The SAWC sports hall and gym will be open for residents of the Hawkshead campus only from Thursday 28th May. This will be in a reduced capacity, adhering to current guidelines relating to social distancing guidelines and will be reviewed on a regular basis. For more information visit the Sports and Wellbeing Centre section of the RVC intranet.

Building works at Hawkshead

RG Carter will be resuming construction work at Hawkshead from Monday the 20th of April. 

Following the latest Government Site Operations Procedures guidance, RG Carter have proposed a range of enhanced control measures which will protect construction teams and the wider campus community. 

These include increased health monitoring and cleaning of the site offices, staggered shift patterns, physical distancing on site and the use of additional PPE where appropriate.Carters’ operatives will continue to use the designated parking area at the west of the campus and will not be using any RVC facilities. 

After careful consideration by RVC Health & Safety and the project team, these new measures have been approved and work will resume next week. 

This will mean multiple daily deliveries of concrete and other construction materials arriving on site, so for those of you who have to be on campus, please take care around large vehicles around the campus. If you have any questions or concerns about work resuming, please contact: capitalprojects@rvc.ac.uk.  

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