Welcome and Welcome Back: Covid-secure and online
On Tuesday 22 September the UK Government announced further coronavirus restrictions in England, to help slow the spread of the virus. These include 10pm closure for pubs, bars and restaurants, compulsory facemasks for retail and increased fines for breaking these rules.
The additional measures do not require any changes to the RCA’s provision for term 1 so these activities will continue as planned. The health and safety of our whole RCA community continues to be our first priority, and we are committed to providing students with a fulfilling and engaging RCA experience wherever and however they choose to learn with us this term.
Students who are unable to join on-campus bursts will be supported in accessing their programme online. All programmes have been adapted for online delivery and there is no requirement to physically attend if you are unable to.
Whether online or on campus, we are excited to welcome new and returning students back to the RCA for the 2020/21 academic year.
While many of you are joining us in London, many others are engaging and learning from your own spaces in more than 70 countries across the world. More than ever we are a global RCA.
Wherever you join us from, and however you will engage and learn this first term, you are a welcome part of our RCA community.
You will find outlined below the measures we have put in place to be Covid-secure on campus. You will also find an overview of services students can access this term, wherever you are studying.
Things will look a little different this year...
The safety of students and staff safety is our number one priority, and we’ve worked hard to adapt and enhance our campuses so that you can access them in the safest way possible.
We all need to stay alert in order to control the virus and save lives.
Remember the Government’s message of Hands, Face, Space - wash your hands, cover your face and leave space between people.
Access to Campus
You can access our RCA campuses in White City, Kensington and Battersea at timetabled sessions, during your allocated ‘burst weeks’ only. Please refer to your specific programme timetable for exact times and dates.
We are not able to allow casual or open access to any campus sites at the moment or access to friends or visitors.
Please remember to wear your security pass (student ID card) to access the campuses, and to keep it with you at all times when moving around the buildings.
Wear a Face Mask
You are expected to wear a face covering or mask when entering and moving around College buildings and in workshops and technical spaces.
We strongly recommend that you wear a face covering or mask in specific areas such as base rooms and in any shared spaces especially when talking to or interacting with other people, as set out in the UK Government guidance here.
Wash and sanitise your hands regularly
Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using hand sanitiser, regularly throughout the day will reduce the risk of catching or passing on the virus.
We have added additional hand sanitising stations throughout our campuses.
Keep your distance
Please keep 2m apart from each other, where possible. Campuses will have marked out safe spacing for social distancing.
Please follow signs for specific entry and exit points and one-way systems around our campuses.
Clear your personal items after your burst
When your 2-week burst finishes, please ensure that you remove all personal belongings and work so that the space can be deep cleaned before the next cohort arrives.
Enhanced regular cleaning
There will be enhanced regular cleaning including sanitisation throughout the day and antiviral fogging between bursts. This will mean we will need to close our buildings at certain times for this to take place.
If you have Covid-19 Symptoms
If you suspect you have Symptoms of Covid-19 you should
Immediately self-isolate for 10 days.
Advise those in your household to self-isolate for 14 days and monitor symptoms.
Request an NHS Covid-19 Test online or by phoning 119.
Engage fully with the NHS Test and Trace process.
Advise your Head of Programme/Head of Service that you are self-isolating, and then of any results of Covid-19 testing.
Questions about your campus? Contact our Estates Helpdesk
Our Estates & Campus Operations team (E&CO) provide support for staff and students on all aspects of the RCA's buildings and the services such as maintenance, security, cleaning and catering which help our campuses run smoothly.
The team is also responsible for ensuring that everyone observes the Covid-19 safety protocols which we have put in place for Term 1.
If you have any estates queries, or issues which need to be addressed, please contact the E&CO team via the Estates Helpdesk on [email protected]
And when you’re not on campus...
You can play your part and help control the spread of the virus by following social distancing guidance on and off campus - when you’re travelling, shopping, in cafes, bars and restaurants - to keep our local communities safe and well.
Public Health England has published a great blog about returning to life at University.
Focus on health and safety
Your health and safety is our number one priority. If you would like to read more about our Health and Safety policies and procedures, including contact tracing, risk assessment and infection control, you can visit the dedicated intranet pages here.
For further information on how the College is responding to Covid-19, please visit the Covid-19 Information Hub on the intranet.
Student Services are here to support you wherever you are located
You can access the RCA’s student services and support online. Our teams are here to help with online and, where possible, face-to-face consultations.
The Student Support team is here to help you in two main ways throughout your studies. Firstly they provide expert information, advice and guidance on practical matters such as housing, funding, visas, and disability support. Secondly they are here to support your mental health and emotional wellbeing via a team of experienced practitioners.
They are available to all students via bookable remote appointments, virtual drop-ins and they monitor their emails throughout the day to respond to urgent situations you may face. If you need advice or support on something that is hindering your RCA experience, either in or out of College, don’t hesitate to contact them for a confidential chat.
As part of their wider service Student Support also includes the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) team who offer in-depth support for students with their speaking and language skills. There is also specific support available to students with Dyslexia, and they also have a separate Counselling team that you can self-refer to access. Last but not least they also work with the Imperial College Chaplaincy team which is fully available to RCA students.
Join Student Support for their Welcome Day activity on 23 September. They will be offering online sessions throughout the day to introduce the various services they offer such as accommodation support, wellbeing services and support for international students.
The Students’ Union are here to represent all students at the RCA. It’s their job to support you in your academic, social and political endeavours. The team is currently working from home and can be contacted by email. They work Monday - Thursday and can organise a video call to chat!
Join the RCASU welcome events on 21 September or 30 September.
Online: We have developed our online space - with consultations and webinars supporting all areas.
On campus: You can book access to general and low risk technical areas via Moodle, or book a technical consultation for specialist and higher risk technical areas in the two remote learning weeks prior to your burst mode.
Where technical processes and services cannot be provided in a safe environment for both students and staff - for example where safe air quality or correct social distancing cannot be maintained - we plan to provide remote access or bureau style click and collect service if possible. This means that technical staff will create specific elements of work for students .
Keep an eye on Technical Services Intranet and Moodle pages for information.
IT support is available by phone, email or the self-service portal, and on each campus via dedicated IT kiosk machines. Visit the IT Services intranet page for full details on how the team can support you both online and on campus.
The Registry team continues to work remotely. If you have questions regarding admissions, student records, registration or examinations, please contact [email protected]
We are unable to offer the usual full range of catering at our campuses, and the main servery kitchen at Kensington will be closed this term.
However, we will have a food and beverage offer at each campus which will be advertised to students and staff who are accessing campuses for their burst weeks. This will include hot and cold beverages, boxed sandwiches and salads and a hot meal offer each weekday. This food and beverage offer will be available either as a ‘click and collect’ or a ‘deliver to desk’ service, via our catering contractors, BaxterStorey. Keep an eye out for more.
Campus shuttle bus
For safety reasons the campus shuttle bus will not operate in the Autumn Term.