Runshaw’s Aims

It is our aim to support each student to fulfil their potential. We believe that a close partnership with students, parents, guardians and carers is vital in achieving our aim. You will find a copy of our Student Charter in this handbook; the charter is designed to ensure that you achieve the greatest success at college.

College Expectations

We also have very high expectations regarding student behaviour and your Pastoral Mentor will speak to you about Runshaw Respect and the shared values in the college and what part you play in this important aspect of Runshaw. You should also refer to our Student Charter, which you will find on Moodle; this charter outlines what you can expect in terms of commitment from teachers and staff at the college and what is expected of you.

College Membership Cards

You need to visibly wear your college membership card on a lanyard whilst you are at college; this college rule is in place to ensure your safety and must be adhered to. Your membership card identifies you as a Runshaw student and enables you to access all of the college’s facilities. You need to show your membership card to staff when paying for goods in the college retail outlets. All organisations expect their employees to wear IDs and we are mirroring this workplace expectation; all Runshaw staff, students and visitors are expected to wear IDs at all times in college. If you lose your membership card, you need to purchase a replacement in the Programme Office – £5 for a card with a bus pass and £2 for a card without a bus pass.

Study Programmes

You have enrolled onto a full-time programme which consists of both timetabled learning hours for each course or unit and also personal employability, enrichment and tutorial hours. Our expectation is that every hour of classroom tuition is matched with an hour of independent study. Independent study skills are essential for success at this level and also develop key employability skills. Independent study includes: research, interviews, reports, wider reading, revision, preparing presentations, managing files, organising notes in addition to writing up class work and completing independent work.

To ensure success on your study programme, the following questions act as a very useful guide to help you develop a positive approach towards your studies and to boost your resilience:

  • Vision: How well do you know what you want to achieve?
  • Effort: How many hours of independent study do you complete per week?
  • Systems: How do you organise your learning and manage your time?
  • Practice: What kind of work do you do to develop your skills?
  • Attitude: How do you respond to setbacks?

You can discuss these questions with your Pastoral Mentor during 1:1s and with your subject teachers. It may help to remember the acronym VESPA as you work towards developing your study skills further.

Your Student Portal is designed to provide you with all the information required to successfully manage your study programme and academic progress at college; enabling you to check your attendance, PDS hours, progress update reports, exam timetable and SMART targets. You can also develop your CV, record your intended progression and experience of work, and view your college reference. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the other facilities available on your portal, including RunshawPay and travel information.

Role of the Pastoral Mentor

All students are placed in a tutor group with a Pastoral Mentor. Your Pastoral Mentor will offer you support and guidance throughout your course and is responsible for monitoring your attendance, achievement, progress and welfare. You will be required to attend a group tutorial session each week and you will have at least one 1:1 with your Pastoral Mentor each half term.

Attendance

We have very high expectations regarding student attendance, as absence from lessons is one of the major factors which contribute to students not reaching their full potential; always aim for full attendance. If you are absent from classes for any reason, your Pastoral Mentor will want to check that this was unavoidable and you will be required to provide supporting evidence either in the form of a phone call or a note from a parent, guardian or carer.

Where supporting evidence is not available, staff may contact your parents, guardian or carer to discuss this with them. A register is taken during every lesson and your percentage attendance can be confirmed during your Personal Tutor sessions and on the Student Portal. Excellent attendance helps to prepare you for your future career; it is a key employability skill.

Absence Hotline numbers

Programme Office: 01772 642060 & 01772 642027
Apprentices: 01772 643012 or via e-mail: apprenticeships@runshaw.ac.uk

Should you be unavoidably absent from college, you or your parent, guardian or carer should ring the appropriate number after 8:00am on each day of absence.

During your college interview you will have been informed that we do not allow students to take holidays during term time; this policy is also outlined in our offer documents. You can refer to the calendar of key dates in this handbook so that you can avoid planning holidays during term time. Any holidays taken in term time will lead to disciplinary action.

You should not make routine appointments for personal matters (e.g. a visit to a doctor or a dentist) during lesson time. These must be arranged outside of the college day.

Progress Evenings and Progress Updates

The college believes strongly in a three-way partnership with students and their parents, guardians and carers.

Progress Updates will be sent to parents, guardians and carers via the Communications Portal in October, December, February, March and May. These updates will also be available to you on the Student Portal. There will be Progress Evenings for parents, guardians and carers in February for 2nd Year students and in April for 1st Year students; we encourage you to attend this event too. You will be asked to make appointments with your course teachers.

In addition to this we will contact your parents, guardian or carer, via the Communications Portal, by email or telephone, if we have any concerns about your progress. We also positively encourage parents, guardians and carers to contact us at any time if they have any concerns: they should contact your Pastoral Mentor in the first instance.

Study Day

There are no timetabled lessons on your study day. However, we would like to emphasise that this is still a college day; the college reserves the right to schedule visits, trips, additional study and academic support sessions. You may be required to attend college on your study day for any number of reasons and it is, therefore, important that your study day is used for college related activities. We will also encourage you to use some of your study day time for enrichment, volunteering and work experience activities to enhance your employability.

College Library and Study Zones

Your Library offers you access to a wide range of resources to support your studies, including our collection of core textbooks, journals, databases and specialist software, as well as a large collection of e-resources available through our own research tool, Discovery. Discovery, available on the Library Moodle pages, gives you access to a further 7,000+ eBooks, as well as thousands of electronic journal articles. We also provide access to the Lending Service of the British Library to support your wider research. In the Library you will find a variety of study spaces to suit all styles of working, but primarily quiet, individual study spaces. You will also find a large number of PCs and Macs that you can drop in and use or book in advance. Our highly experienced Library Team will help you find textbooks or help you to access any of the research tools available – their job is to support you with independent study, outside of the classroom. They can also help you to access all of the College Online Systems including Moodle. If there is something you need help with, please just ask a member of the Library Team.

Coniston, Langdale and Patterdale Study Zones are dedicated study areas with a range of facilities to support your independent study: PCs, iMacs, printing and ‘bring your own device’ facilities, plus a variety of study spaces for individuals and groups including team workrooms. You can reserve PCs, iMacs and team workrooms in advance.

The Study Zones have a staff team who will support you with your independent study and provide study skills advice and guidance. The Study Zones also offer workshops for small groups or individuals focused on skills such as managing your time, organisation, writing assignments and essays, revision and preparing for exams. You can book a 1:1 through the Student Portal or just call into one of the Study Zones for more information.

Exams and Assessments

Exam timetables will be produced by the college and distributed via your Pastoral Mentor as well as being available on your student portal. It is your responsibility to check these timetables are correct. If you ever have any queries about your exams, you should speak to your Pastoral Mentor or visit our Exams Team in Mardale.
Full attendance to lessons is vital for success: your course may have external and internal examinations and assessments throughout. If you fail to sit examinations, the college reserves the right to withdraw you from the qualification and charge you for the papers missed.

You must abide by all exam regulations; you will find these on your student portal. You will also receive any exam results through the student portal.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism can be unacknowledged copying from published sources or incomplete referencing.

Taking and deliberately using another person’s ideas or writing and claiming it as your own is also plagiarism. It is unacceptable to copy work written by another student and submit it as your own or allow another student to copy your work and submit it as their own. Plagiarism and copying applies to: coursework, assessments, personal directed study and UCAS personal statements. It is unacceptable to work closely with another student to copy each other’s answers and present it as your own, but this should not be confused with group-work or collaborative learning where students work together to share ideas in order to generate knowledge and understanding to then independently complete work set. Please speak to your teacher or Pastoral Mentor if you have questions in relation to this.

Any student found to be involved in plagiarism will be referred for formal disciplinary action.

Study Support

To help students with additional needs to overcome barriers, promote their independence in learning and achieve their personal best, we have a team of Educational Support Workers and Specialist Support Tutors. A specialist tutor will be allocated to monitor and oversee a package of support negotiated with each student. The specialist Study Support staff work in and out of class on an individually planned programme of support which is tailored to the needs of each student.
Additional learning needs are assessed on an individual basis and support can often be provided for learning differences or disabilities, including dyslexia, ADHD, Asperger’s, and some physical and mental health conditions.

If this type of support is to be given to a student, you will have an opportunity to disclose this information as follows:

  • on your enrolment form
  • through your Pastoral Mentor
  • by making an appointment with Study Support which is situated near the Library.

Once referred, you will meet with the specialist tutor for an initial appointment.

Student Services

Careers and Higher Education guidance is available from our dedicated team of advisers based in Student Services. Student Services also offers a wide range of advice and guidance about health matters, financial and housing issues and offer confidential counselling.

Enrichment

Enrichment (extra curricular activities) will make an enormous difference to your enjoyment of college as well as enhancing your CV and future career opportunities. You will be given further details of our Enrichment Programme when you start college and your Pastoral Mentor will inform you about how to sign up for these activities. There are weekly updates about the Enrichment Programme in the Student Bulletin which is emailed to every student via your college email account each week. We always encourage students to take advantage of roles of responsibility within college; for example, cross-college and course specific Ambassadors, Personal Tutor Representatives (PT Reps) and Student Council membership.

Experience of Work and Volunteering

During your time at college you will be encouraged to develop and produce a strong CV through our online Runshaw CV facility.

The development of employability skills is high on the government agenda and is required by all employers and universities. You can enhance these skills through experience of the world of work. Our Experience of Work Team can help you find a suitable placement or work experience opportunity. The Experience of Work Team also provides you with a wide range of volunteering opportunities. Volunteering is a great way of making friends, helping others, building your employability skills and broadening your interests. You can also work towards the nationally recognised V Awards. Please call into Student Services to speak to a member of the Experience of Work Team; they will be happy to help you.

Part Time Jobs

Whilst this is an excellent way for you to gain additional work experience, research has confirmed our view that up to 8 hours part time work per week does not have a major impact on student achievement. However, we wish to deter students from working over 8 hours per week as this does tend to affect academic performance at college quite substantially. Students’ work usually suffers more if they are working 2 late evening shifts during the week.

Safeguarding

Runshaw College is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young people and vulnerable adults. For information, advice and guidance in relation to your health, safety, welfare and wellbeing please check the Student Bulletin each week. If you have any concerns about your wellbeing, safety or rights, then you should inform a teacher, your Pastoral Mentor or a member of the Student Services Team. Alternatively, you can call the Safeguarding Helpline on 01772 644377.

Prevent Strategy

Prevent is one of the four elements of CONTEST, the government’s counter-terrorism strategy.

As a college we have a responsibility to protect young people from extremist and violent views the same way we protect them from other risk taking behaviour. We also have a responsibility to promote our fundamental British Values to facilitate free debate, the values of:

  • tolerance
  • individual liberty
  • the rule of law
  • democracy
  • mutual respect

These are the characteristics of British citizenship. Importantly, we provide a safe place for students to discuss these issues so they better understand how to protect themselves. If you have any concerns, then you should inform a teacher, your Pastoral Mentor or a member of the Student Services Team. Alternatively, you can call the Safeguarding Helpline on 01772 644377.

E-Safety

E-Safety encompasses Internet technologies and electronic communications; including mobile phones, games consoles and wireless technology, as well as collaboration tools and personal publishing. It highlights the need to educate students about the benefits and risks of using technology and provides safeguards and awareness for users to enable them to control their online experience. The IT Acceptable Usage Policy which contains full conditions for using College I.T. facilities is available via Moodle or the Student Portal. We ask you to make yourself familiar with them. Please treat all college equipment with respect.

Car Parking

The college has an excellent and heavily subsidised bus service; as such, there are no student car parks on site. Please be aware that college car parks are managed by an independent company and fines and warnings will be issued for any unauthorised parking.

If you wish to travel to college by moped or motorbike you must apply for a permit from Student Services before bringing the vehicle on site. You will need to bring in your insurance certificate, driving licence and MOT (if required). Please also note that the use of Skateboards and Segway Hoverboards is prohibited on college premises.

Learner Voice

The college is committed to listening to our learners and acting on their views. There will be many opportunities throughout your time here for you to contribute to the development of the college.

You may choose to be a Personal Tutor Representative (PT Rep), be a member of the Student Council or be asked to take part in a focus group. We also hold an election for Student Governor annually. Students can also be asked to complete surveys about the services they receive in college, this can cover functions such as catering or the college library. Annually, you will be asked for your views on the teaching and learning at college through our Learner Survey. We also encourage you to contribute when asked for your views through Personal Tutor sessions.

We want you to be very happy here and we wish you every success with your studies. We welcome any feedback from you during your time here at Runshaw.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I lose my timetable?

You can see your timetable on the Student Portal. Also the Programme Office staff can supply you with a replacement timetable.

What should I do if I don’t have my membership card?

If you have forgotten your membership card, the Programme Office staff can issue you with a temporary membership sticker. If you have lost your card completely, you will need to buy a replacement; a membership card and bus pass is £5, just a membership card is £2.

What do I do if I am ill?

Should you be unavoidably absent from college, you or your parent, guardian or carer should ring the appropriate Absence Hotline number after 8:00am on each day of absence.

Absence Hotlines:
Programme Office 01772 642060 & 01772 642027
Runshaw Training Apprentices 01772 643012, or via e-mail: apprenticeships@runshaw.ac.uk

We reserve the right to check absences verified by a student with a parent, guardian or carer.

If you are unwell in college, you must come to the Programme Office for assistance.

Where does lost property go?

Lost property will be taken to the Programme Office front desk.

How do I get a locker?

You can speak to our front desk team in the Programme Office if you would like to obtain a locker for the academic year. Please note the following: You must not store any flammable liquids or explosive substances e.g. aerosols in your locker, and any items left in a locker at the end of the academic year will be disposed of.

What should I do if my bus doesn’t turn up?

If a college bus does not turn up you should contact the Transport Hotline on 01772 643000.

What should I do if I forget my password for IT systems?

If you have already logged on, you will have been prompted to use the password management system on Moodle: this records your answers to a few questions and allows you to reset your own password. If you continue to have problems, please go to Student Services, the Library or Study Zones for assistance.