AS THE Covid-19 lockdown caused education establishments to close down Sparsholt College adapted to be able continue to teach its students – with some unique tasks being set.

Using specialised online tools, Sparsholt students have been able to attend their timetabled classes from the comfort and safety of their homes, allowing them to continue their studies and their progression towards success.

Alongside teaching, students have direct contact to many of our college support teams, including wellbeing and careers development.

Rob Price, head of learning and quality at Sparsholt College, said: “Even though it is a very uncertain time for students up and down the country, the message for students at Sparsholt College is that it’s very much business as usual. Students are still able to access their regular timetable and interact with their teachers from home. There are lots of ways to get in touch if the students are struggling.”

Sparsholt College staff mucking in to care for animals in lockdown

Teachers and students are also getting creative in approaching the hands-on practical elements of the land based courses delivered at Sparsholt by setting tasks and self-led practical sessions for students to complete and record, ensuring ensures the students are not missing out on all the important hands-on experience that forms a large part of their courses.

From at-home chromatography experiments from our Animal Management students, to Agriculture students helping out with daily duties at the family farm, and even Outdoor Adventure and Public Services students camping out in the garden in lieu of their annual Purbeck expedition; Sparsholt staff and students have swiftly adapted to their new learning environments to create unique practical experiences.

Second year level 3 animal and zoo management student Jasmine has been rounding up her final year at Sparsholt College via online learning. She says “We’ve had a lot of contact with the college since lockdown began and as a member of the student council it’s been great to see the direct changes that have been made to the online learning process due to feedback from students. Lecturers are keen to hear from us and having the regular contact with them has made it feel like we’re still very much a part of the college community.”

“I’ve been enjoying the extra time to complete a few projects, using the skills and confidence I’ve acquired at college from volunteering to build enclosures last year at the Animal Management Centre and estate skills lessons. I have created a wildlife pond in our garden and a new home for my guinea pigs!”

Higher education students have also continued to study through distance learning with University Centre Sparsholt, attending lectures and webinars online since lockdown procedures came into place.