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JANUARY LOCKDOWN GUIDANCE

This page was last updated on 20 January 2021

 

JANUARY TESTING GUIDANCE

 

On January 4 2021 the Prime Minister announced a new England lockdown mirroring the measures taken in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. His message about staying at home to help stop the spread of Covid-19 was clear; remaining indoors is the best way to stop the virus from spreading further, and we should only leave our homes if it is absolutely necessary, such as for shopping and medical appointments.

Below is the latest guidance from the University on a range of subjects. If you have specific queries then you should contact Ask4Help via the Student Portal

Communications to students

A message from Professor Peter Francis, Deputy Vice Chancellor - 5 January 2021

Dear student,

Firstly, Happy New Year! I hope you had a good winter break, and you are safe and well.

The Prime Minister announced a new England lockdown yesterday evening mirroring the measures taken in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. His message about staying at home to help stop the spread of Covid-19 was clear; remaining indoors is the best way to stop the virus from spreading further, and we should only leave our homes if it is absolutely necessary, such as for shopping and medical appointments.

This means that all teaching will be online from week commencing 25th January 2021, except in those areas which are being allowed to continue face-to-face learning by Government as listed below:

• Medicine & dentistry

• Subjects allied to medicine/health

• Veterinary science

• Education (initial teacher training)

• Social work

• Courses which require Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) assessments and or mandatory activity which is scheduled for January and which cannot be rescheduled.

I will be in touch later this week with details as to the small number of specific programmes that will continue to learn on campus and we are working with colleagues in your faculties to work through the new guidance from the Department of Education. Your patience is really appreciated, and we will be in touch with you as soon as we have further clarity.

We have said throughout this pandemic that your health and safety is our number one priority. As such, I want to make it clear to you that we are advising all students that they should stay at home and not return to Newcastle to their University accommodation at this time. You should not move back and forward between your permanent home and student home during term time. I know that this will be disappointing as you are just as keen as I and my colleagues are to get back to as ‘normal’ a life as possible - but the risks are simply too great for people to be travelling anywhere at this time.

I appreciate this will mean most of you won’t be able to attend your scheduled Covid-19 Lateral Flow Tests over the coming days and weeks. We will be in touch with you again in the week commencing 18th January with further details about when on-campus teaching activities are expected to resume and you should book your Covid-19 Lateral Flow Tests close as possible to the time you expect to be back in Newcastle. If you are here already to take part in face-to-face teaching in one of the subjects areas above, or have remained here over Christmas, you should book them as soon as you can.

I know that some of you are currently in your accommodation on campus, in the wider community or you commute to University for teaching. While our Library and some IT facilities are still open like the Digital Commons, on the basis of the stay at home message, you should only travel from home to campus if it is absolutely necessary for your learning, and you must continue to wear a face covering when asked to do so, unless you are exempt. We will be in touch later this week with more information about which facilities will remain open at this time.

Many of you will currently be busy studying for online assessments happening over the coming weeks. I hope your preparations are going well. Please remember, the University is still very much open and academic staff are here to provide you with the ongoing support you need.

I also know that lots of you have contacted Ask4Help with learning and teaching support enquiries, please bear with us while we work through them, the team is going as quickly as they can.

And finally, I want to again let you know about mental wellbeing offering for you. This is yet another incredibly difficult time for us all and I know we all have different ways of dealing with things. We have a number of different options available to you if you feel you need some extra help during this time, please do check them out.

I will continue to keep you up to date with the latest information as we receive it.

In the meantime, please do take care of yourselves and keep safe.

Best Wishes,

Peter

 

Accommodation

I have specific questions on Accommodation - where should I go to get more information?

There is lots of guidance in our January Accommodation Guidance FAQs, including how to pause your rent. 

Assessments and support

I have assignments due soon, what academic support is available during lockdown?

You can read specific FAQs relating to 2020/21 assessments on our dedicated assessments page. There are also a number of help and support articles available on your Student Portal, where you can also speak to Ask4Help.

I’m an international student, who recently completed my studies and my visa has ended - but I can’t travel home because of the travel restrictions and lockdown – can you help?

Please contact our Student Welfare Team and they will offer you the support that you need at this time.

I’m in final year and I still haven’t had a response about my extension application. I have a deadline in 2 days, when will I hear back?

Due to a substantial increase in extension applications we are working outside of our normal turnaround times. We are aiming to complete requests on a prioritised basis - completing applications related to impending deadlines first (IE 'original submission' date due in the next 1-2 days first). Please can we ask for your patience as we try to work through as quickly as possible.

 

 

My deadlines are approaching and have contacted Ask4Help with a query, how long will I be waiting for a response?

Many of you have contacted Ask4Help with learning and teaching support enquiries, please bear with us while we work through them, the team is going as quickly as they can.

My working from home environment/ IT equipment has hindered me academically. I have been unable to use on campus facilities as a result of continuous shielding – am I eligible for an extension?

The Digital Inclusion Support Scheme has been put in place to support students from underrepresented student groups, who may be experiencing financial hardship, to be able to succeed in their studies during the pandemic by ensuring they have access to IT equipment and internet. Click here for more information and to apply to the scheme. If you are not eligible for support via this scheme, and are experiencing difficulties in completing or submitting your assessment, find out what your options are by searching for ‘Assessment’ in your Student Portal.

The book I need for an assignment is not available online as an E-book through the library but it is available to take out. I have been waiting for an opportunity to visit the library but due to self isolating/ early return home for Christmas/ lockdown, I haven’t been able to get it. Without this essential book I have been unable to complete my assignment to the best of my ability – how can you help me?

If you are having difficulty obtaining any resources from the Library for whatever reason, please contact us and we will do our best to provide you with what you need. Email library@northumbria.ac.uk or search for ‘Library’ in your Student Portal to find out more

The disruption from the pandemic has made it extremely hard to understand my assignments and what is being asked of me. I am stressed about deadlines approaching, will I be entitled to an extension?

If you are experiencing difficulties in completing or submitting your assessment, find out what your options are by searching for ‘Assessment’ in your Student Portal.

What mental health support is available to students?

This is yet another incredibly difficult time for us all and we all have different ways of dealing with things. We have a number of different options available to you on your Student Portal if you feel you need some extra help during this time.

On campus teaching

I’m in Newcastle and intend to go onto campus to access facilities that are essential for my learning – should I get a test now?

You should get tested directly before you return to campus whether that is to use the library or start face to face teaching. Find out more about Covid-19 testing on campus here

 

I’m in Newcastle and will be taking part in face to face teaching - when should I get a test?

You should get tested directly before you return to campus whether that is to use the library or start face to face teaching. Find out more about Covid-19 testing on campus here.

Do I need to come back to campus for teaching?

All teaching will be online from week commencing 25th January 2021, except in the areas which are being allowed to continue face-to-face learning by Government as listed below:

• Medicine & dentistry

• Subjects allied to medicine/health

• Veterinary science

• Education (initial teacher training)

• Social work

• Courses which require Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) assessments and or mandatory activity which is scheduled for January and which cannot be rescheduled.

You will receive confirmation of this but if you are still unsure if this applies to you, please contact your programme leader.

We will be in touch shortly with further details about when the rest of on-campus teaching activities are expected to resume.

 

 

I have scheduled face to face teaching but I have tested positive for Covid-19

If you test positive for Covid-19 you must follow government guidance and self-isolate for the correct amount of time, you can find more information on this here. This means you should not come on to campus for teaching.

I permanently live in Newcastle/ remained in Newcastle over Christmas but am learning online; can I use facilities which are open on campus?

Yes, facilities which are open are available for all students in Newcastle to use however, on the basis of the stay at home message, you should only travel from home to campus if it is absolutely necessary for your learning, and you must continue to wear a face covering when asked to do so, unless you are exempt.

What facilities are open on campus?

In the light of the lockdown arrangements announced by the Prime Minister earlier this week, and in accordance with guidance issued by the Department for Education, the majority of City and Coach Lane Campus buildings are closed from 11th January until further notice.

Following the latest Government guidance and strict safety guidelines, some facilities, including the University Libraries will remain open for essential use only.

You can read a full breakdown of campus opening times on the Building Opening Hours web pages. 

Is the Library open?

The University Library is able to remain open for essential study for specific groups of students, including those who do not have access to appropriate study space. Please note that you should only plan to visit if it is absolutely necessary to your learning and only for independent study. When visiting the Library  you must wear a face covering and continue to adhere to all of the hygiene and social distancing rules. From 19th January you must book a study slot before you visit City Campus or Coach Lane libraries. For more information on how to book and for the latest updates on the services we can offer including our extensive online provision please visit the University Library online.

Returning to campus

Can I still return to campus during lockdown?

All teaching will be online from week commencing 25th January 2021, except in those areas which are being allowed to continue face-to-face learning by Government as listed below:

• Medicine & dentistry

• Subjects allied to medicine/health

• Veterinary science

• Education (initial teacher training)

• Social work

• Courses which require Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) assessments and or mandatory activity which is scheduled for January and which cannot be rescheduled.

We are advising all students outside of the areas, to stay at home and not return to Newcastle or to their University accommodation at this time. Your health and safety is our number one priority - the risks are simply too great for people to be travelling anywhere at this time.

When are we likely to return to campus for teaching?

We are working with colleagues in your faculties to work through the new guidance from the Department of Education. Unfortunately, the risks are simply too great for people to be travelling anywhere at this time. We will be in touch shortly with further details about when on-campus teaching activities are expected to resume.

Will attending face-to-face teaching be mandatory

We will be in touch shortly with further details about on-campus teaching. 

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