Sept 2020 COVID-19 update
3 September 2020
This week we officially reopen our buildings to staff and tutors, and look forward to welcoming our new students for a modified Welcome Week from 12 September.
We want to uphold the quality of the formation and education we provide, while operating within the parameters of what is safe and healthy, with flexibility to ensure everyone can participate. Our plans are based on our reading of the government guidance regarding the reopening of higher education buildings.
As we adapt and remain flexible to both our circumstances and our students, we recognise that these are challenging times for all of us. We will keep all aspects of these arrangements under review and won’t hesitate to make changes as needed, and as government guidance changes. If needed, we have the plans in place to switch to online provision without interrupting our activities.
We appreciate that we will all be making sacrifices in order to keep one another, and especially those who are most vulnerable, safe. Yet we know that God will continue to work in and through us this season.
If you are a student and have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org; if you are a prospective student with questions, please contact email@example.com.
CHANGES IN PLACE FOR INCREASED SAFETY
We will be open between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, and closed at the weekends. This is because when Trinity is open, we need to have domestic staff working to keep our buildings clean and sanitised. There will be a one-way system for movement around our main building (Stoke House); please follow the signs. Everyone who is able to wear a mask should bring one and be prepared to use it when in public spaces and particularly when moving through the corridors. The standard government guide for physical distancing will apply (2m distance wherever possible and the use of a mask and a minimum of 1m distance where 2m is not possible). There will be hand sanitiser available at several points around Stoke House, but you may wish to bring your own. All toilet facilities will be in use and frequently cleaned and disinfected. There will be a protective Perspex sheet installed at the reception desk.
Welcome Week (12-18 September) for new students will happen with restrictions in place, including limiting the numbers in rooms to enable physical distancing. Larger events will be streamed across more than one room.
Lectures this year will be a mix of in-class and virtual (delivered online in real time). All in-class lectures will also be available virtually to those who cannot be present in class. Lecture rooms will be arranged to enable physical distancing; where it is not feasible to maintain 2m, students who are able to wear masks will be asked to do so. Class start and end times will be staggered to minimise the number of people moving through the building.
Tutor Groups will continue to meet on Wednesday mornings and pray together on Thursday mornings, with staggered start and finish times. To enable social distancing, groups will meet in larger rooms, rather than in the tutors’ studies. Supervision sessions will continue to take place on Wednesday mornings and will normally be online.
The library will be open for accessing books, but numbers allowed in will be restricted. The library will not be open to external users. We will be increasing our provision of online resources. Student studies will be allocated this year in a way that enables physical distancing; smaller rooms will have single occupancy.
Worship will continue to be led from the chapel at 8:30am each weekday morning. To enable physical distancing, only the tutor group leading worship and two other tutor groups will take turns being physically present in the chapel, and the other tutor groups will participate via a live link in the dining room. Worship will also be streamed through the Trinity’s YouTube channel. Current government guidance prohibits congregational singing, but musicians and small groups may sing and play at the front of chapel. Evening prayer will continue to take place daily at 5pm but now in the main chapel with physical distancing.
MEETINGS WITH TUTORS
The majority of tutors and staff will continue to be physically present and accessible, and their availability is an important part of your formation. Some staff, including tutors, will need to work from home for shielding purposes. Student should continue to arrange meetings, in person or online, with tutors for valuable pastoral, theological, and formation discussions. Rather than popping into offices, students should email to arrange a time to meet with a faculty or staff member.
We are currently planning to host lunches in the form of a take-away, which can be eaten in various locations around the college. If you want to meet in groups, you will need to meet outdoors if weather permits or to arrange to meet in a room designated for small group use. Coffee breaks will be staggered in accordance with adjustments to the academic and formation timetable to reduce the numbers gathering in one place and moving around college. We recognise that, given the importance our community places on eating together, this is one of the more difficult changes we need to make this year. We will keep the situation under review and bring back gathering for meals when we can do so safely.
Our Tuesday evening part-time students will be attending lectures virtually, at least until Christmas, with part-time ordinands coming to College for tutor group meetings. Students will be advised about times to access the library.
SCHOOL OF LEADERSHIP
The School of Leadership will be moving online to enable our dispersed learners and part-time students to access seminars as well.
If YOU FEEL UNWELL
If you display any possible symptoms of COVID-19, do not come in but rather follow public health guidance with respect to self-isolation, book a test, and inform us of the result. Please also do not come to college if you have a cold. If you are unwell and a student, please alert both your pastoral group tutor and Sophie Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org).