Royal Leamington Spa College Students

College students have returned to face-to-face learning at Royal Leamington Spa College (@LeamColWCG) for the first time since March.

The college, which suspended learning on-site due to Covid-19, welcomed hundreds of students back through its doors to start the new academic year.

Staff met students on arrival to explain the new social distancing and safety measures that have been put in place across the college, before being directed to their classrooms and workshops.

The students have been assigned social bubbles in their courses, whilst also wearing a face mask during their time on site.

Friends Aiden Maries, aged 16, and Lewis Keyte, aged 16, both from Fenny Compton, arrived for their first day at college together but were then split out into their social bubbles due to studying different courses.

Lewis, studying Biomedical Science, said:

“I was very keen to get in, get involved and get started. Not really nervous, just more excited to be honest.

“College is like the first leap forward to having the job that you want and it’s quite exciting to get started on it.”

Aiden, who is studying Events Management, added:

“I wasn’t really nervous but it’s nice to come in after lockdown and see what the world has to offer.

“I’ve always seen myself as a bit more grown up and I was looking forward to coming to college and being able to focus.”

Caitlin Miller, aged 17, from Leamington Spa, was also arriving for her inaugural day of college. She was joined by Chloe Forster, aged 16, from Welford-on-Avon, who is in her Hair and Beauty social bubble.

Caitlin said:

“It was quite nervy coming in today with all the new restrictions. I didn’t really know what to expect. We have to wear our masks now but we’re used to that after the last few months.”

Chloe added: “In a way, I can’t wait to get started. I want to set up my own mobile hairdressing business after college. I’m looking forward to it.”

Oliver Thompson, aged 17, from Rugby, and Ben Davys, aged 17, from Stratford, were both arriving for their second year at the college studying BTEC Applied Science.

Oliver said:

“It’s exciting. To be honest I’ve missed coming into college. It’s very organised. There are markers showing the one-way system and in the labs there are markers of where to sit, and it looks safe.”

Ben added:

“It’s different wearing the mask but once you’re in the classroom and settled down it’s a lot better. I don’t mind it really, the precautions are in place and I’ll just go with the flow.”

Royal Leamington Spa College is part of WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group) and the group has opened back up for face-to-face learning across six of its colleges in Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

Peter Husband, Chief Operating Officer & Group Principal for WCG, said:

“It was excellent to see students back at the college with us to recommence face-to-face learning.

“We’ve worked tirelessly to ensure our college spaces are safe to study and work and to put processes in place to ensure the safety of our students and staff.

“To welcome our students back is a landmark moment and we would like to thank them all for their patience and understanding during these unprecedented times for education providers.”

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