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covid related updates.

As you are aware, the situation regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) changes on a regular basis. Richard Taunton will continue to monitor the local and national context very carefully and follow Public Health England and the Government’s advice.

Any updates regarding how this affects the college, our students, visitors  and any community users will be made here on the website. Parents and students will also be emailed directly.

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recent updates

summer grades 2021

13.05.2021 by Paul Swindale – Principal

We wanted to outline to you our plans for the awarding of summer grades in cases where exams have been cancelled.

While we still have a small number of on demand assessments taking place (such as Criminology and Functional Skills), most external exams have been cancelled this year because of the disruption to learning caused by Covid-19. In these cases, grades will be determined by the judgement of teachers and subjected to a rigorous internal moderation process.

The college will use guidance from exam boards and from the Joint Council for Qualifications. They have produced a guide for parents and students which explains the national process.





07.05.2021 by Claire Myers – Vice Principal

Please take careful note of the different dates below. These may vary depending on which year students are in. If students are unsure of when they need to be in college, they should check with their tutor or subject teacher.

April 19 – May 21

Assessment window for all students completing a level 3 or GCSE course this year. In class assessments will be taking place and these will help form your teachers’ judgment on your final grade.

Thursday 20 May 

National Careers and Apprenticeship show. Students will need to access this event from home (unless you are needed in  college for an assessment). You will see your tutor on zoom for three short sessions during the day. See details in the careers update section below.

Friday 21 May

Second Year Students on Level 3 Courses: Level Last day of teaching

GCSE English & Maths Students: Last day of teaching (all other level 2 courses to continue).

Monday 31 May – Friday 4 June

Half Term

Week commencing Monday 7 June

First Year Students on Level 3 Courses: Return to college after half term as normal

Level 2 students: Only in college if assignments need completing – teachers will confirm if students need to attend.

Week commencing Monday 14 June

Level 2 students: Transition week – Level 2 students will be taking part in a week of Level 3 taster lessons.
First Year Students on Level 3 Courses: Follow normal timetable but on a reduced day running from 10.30-3.30

Week commencing Monday 21 June

First Year Students on Level 3 Courses: Students to resume normal day (9-3.30)
Level 1 & 2 students: Existing level 1 and 2 students to begin three week RT transition programme running 9-4 every Monday and Tuesday until July 6th.

Wednesday 7 July

First Year Students on Level 3 Courses: Last day of teaching



returning to college

01.03.2021 by Paul Swindale – Principal

Email sent to students  – 01.03.21

Email sent to parents  – 01.03.21

Monday 8 March –  Friday 12 March 2021

Students need to book a 1-2-1 subject review appointment with each of their subject teachers during this week. The link to book these can be found below via Appointlet. If students have any issues with booking, they should contact the relevant teacher.


  • If possible, students should try to book their appointments on a single day to avoid multiple visits to the campus
  • During this week, there will be no scheduled lessons. Students will be set work by teachers to complete during this time
  • Students can book a Covid test via the link below for this week, they should preferably choose a time directly before their first appointment (details below)
  • Buses will run as usual during this week

Monday 15 March 2021

All students will return to college from this date. Lessons will take place in the usual place, in line with their normal timetable.

Students must wear a mask at all times whilst on college site and continue to follow the current social distancing rules and one way system to keep everyone in our community safe.



Lateral flow test availability

We are pleased to let you know that Covid testing is now available on site for students. We strongly encourage all students to take part in these, so please enocurage your young person to do so.

Lateral flow testing helps us to detect asymptomatic cases, and by agreeing to participate, students are helping us to prevent the spread of COVID in college, and beyond, so that we can all keep learning safely.

Students can make their first appointment via the link below.

What does your young person needs to do:

  • Students should complete the consent form if they haven’t already done so
  • Book 1 test during the week of 8-12 March, preferably directly before their first subject review

Consent Form

Book a covid-test (8 – 12 March)

Book a covid-test (15 – 19 March)

Covid testing – Data Protection statement

Data protection FAQs


Summer 2021

Following the recent government announcement we now know that all grades for qualifications at the college will be calculated by teacher assessment.

The process for calculating these grades will be published shortly. We do know that we will be taking into account students performance on the course, both before, during and after lockdown. There is still time for your young person to show how well they can do, so please encourage them to keep up the good work and continue to do their best!

covid catch up funding

05.02.2021 by Paul Swindale – Principal

Following the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent closure of education establishments, the government issued an amount of catch-up funding to support with closing gaps in learning.

In deciding how to allocate this funding we have considered many factors to ensure the money is spent in ways which can have the biggest impact on those students who have significantly missed out. We have prioritised catch-up provision to be delivered by staff at the college in the first instance as we believe that they are in the best position to implement these strategies with the students they know and have built relationship with.

Our proposal for the use of funding can be found below.

Proposal for Catch Up Funding 2021

remote learning

18.01.2021 by Claire Myers – Assistant Principal

As required by the Department of Education guidelines, you can find our remote learning framework and guidelines for students below.



How to Log in to Google Classroom on an XBOX or PlayStation


Current Applicant Update

11.01.2021 @ 1.00pm by the Admissions Team

All applicants and their parents/guardians were recently contacted to let them know about our plans going forward. We took a moment to answer some of the questions that many of our applicants have asked over the past week and you can find these below.

In the coming weeks and months we will continue to keep you updated with as much information as we can to ensure year 11 students are fully prepared for the transition from school to college.

Applicants and parents/guardians should contact us directly with any concerns or questions they may have 

I haven’t had my college interview yet, is this still going ahead?

For the moment we have cancelled all interviews and hope to reschedule them for some time later in the spring & summer term. Please be assured the delay of your interview will not affect your application in any way.

It may even be the case that we complete your enrolment in August without a pre-enrolment interview (this happens in some cases anyway) and this will not affect your choices or chances of enrolling onto a course. If this is the case, we may get in touch by phone to check your details and your choices.

My exams have been cancelled! Will this affect my college enrolment?

However your grades are awarded this year, we will not let this affect your enrolment onto the relevant course for you. We will be working closely with your school, as we always do, to help us get a full picture in terms of your progress.

Don’t worry if you are feeling a little bit confused – we will make sure that you have all the advice and guidance you need for joining us at RTSFC.

I was really looking forward to Applicant Day, is it still happening?

We love Applicant Day too! This taster day gives you the opportunity to get a real taste of college life at Richard Taunton, try out your chosen subjects, meet new friends and your teachers.

This event is currently scheduled to take place in June, which is still a good few months away. Closer to the time, we will decide whether or not we think this event is safe to go ahead. This decision will be guided by government advice available at the time. We will keep you updated with any changes, but whatever happens, you will be able to access tasters in the subjects you are interested in.

January exams

06.01.2021 @ 10.00am by Paul Swindale – Principal

Dear students and parents

Yesterday afternoon, we wrote to you giving students the option whether or not to continue with exams scheduled in January. At that point, the direction from the DFE was clear that exams should continue.

Yesterday evening, there was a change that allowed colleges to make local decisions about exams. This morning, I have decided, regrettably, that continuing with exams would not be the right thing to do. Overnight, I have sought and received assurances from the exam boards that this will not disadvantage students, which I have received.

I am therefore cancelling all exams and external assessments currently scheduled for January with immediate effect. I know some of you will be disappointed with this decision, the reality is that the number of staff and students isolating after the Christmas break means that we cannot continue safely.

I do not, at this point know what happens next. But please be assured that I will act in the best interest of students at all times, despite the leadership we are receiving from the Government.

Paul Swindale – Principal

Online Lessons – remote learning

05.01.2021 by Paul Swindale – Principal

Following the recent announcement regarding further lockdown measures and the closure of schools and colleges, from Tuesday 5th January, all lessons for all courses at Richard Taunton Sixth Form College will be conducted online.

Students should check their Google Classroom pages and their email for Zoom links and further information from their teachers regarding work to be completed.

The college site will remain open for staff, exams and for a small number of students who qualify for support.

If you are a student who wishes to work on college site, please call Student Services on 02380 514720 to book a place.


We are currently working on the roll out of our rapid testing system so that it is in place for any staff and students who visit the campus, and for when students return to college. Students will need to give consent to be tested.

Consent Form

Covid testing – Data Protection statement

Data protection FAQs

How you can help stop the spread of the virus

Guidance from the NHS on how to stop yourself contracting COVID-19 and spreading it to others can be found here.

Self isolation and social distancing
  • Information from Public Health England regarding the current advice for self isolation can be found here.
  • The guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK and protecting older people and vulnerable adults can be found here
Keeping yourself and the college community healthy and safe

If you are a student, staff member or visitor you should:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water more regularly – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Wear a face covering when in the college building
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • Do not come into college if you feel unwell with covid symptoms


If you are anxious about Coronavirus, or if social distancing and self-isolation is affecting your health and well being, it can sometimes help to talk it through with someone. You can contact our student welfare officers on, or you can access support from some of the following charities:



No Limits

Young Minds

Young Minds have a wealth of advice and guidance about looking after your mental health, and some specific ones about how to cope during self isolation. Take a look at the following blog posts.

Think Ninja App

ThinkNinja –  a free App to support children and young people with their mental health and emotional wellbeing in this time of uncertainty.

The Coronavirus pandemic brings with it a significant amount of uncertainty and is therefore likely to impact on children and young people in terms of their emotional wellbeing. Children and young people may be feeling more stressed, anxious, worried and low as they absorb and react to the evolving Coronavirus situation.

The Think Ninja App is available for all young people in Southampton who are aged from 11 – 17. Think Ninja is free and available to provide mental health and emotional wellbeing support in this time of uncertainty.

Think Ninja can help young people in the following ways:

  • Keeping calm when stress levels rise, by accessing the Skill Zone for breathing and distraction exercises
  • Helping to address unhelpful thoughts related to Coronavirus in the CBT skills section and My Challenges section
  • Boosting their mood with various PowerUps
  • Connecting via text chat with a ‘live’ Healios mental health professional, if required, all within the App.

It is important to highlight that Think Ninja offers support only and should not be used as a replacement intervention for mental health input from NHS CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) or counselling services.

The App can be downloaded for free on all Android and Apple IOS smartphones and tablets through the App stores. Unfortunately Think Ninja is not available on laptops or PC’s as yet.  Once downloaded you will be asked to enter your postcode, and Think Ninja has already been populated with all Southampton postcodes.

For guidance and helpful materials on communicating with young people, for parents, health professionals and educators, and more information about how the Think Ninja app can support, visit