Historic college turns to internet to hold student open day
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A Norfolk college closed due to coronavirus restrictions is set to hold the first virtual open day for potential students in its 414-year history.
With potential new students unable to visit Paston College in North Walsham they will instead be offered the chance to explore their options for further education online.
The Virtual Open Day on June 17 will see prospective students able to join a range of live video talks, find out about courses and student life, and get the answers to any questions they may have.
The sixth form college, founded as a school on the present site in 1606 by local magistrate and landowner Sir William Paston, has been part of City College Norwich since 2017, following a merger.
MORE: High school keeps ‘good’ Ofsted rating after ‘radical’ shake-upThe leadership team at Paston College expect the Virtual Open Day to attract at least as many participants as would normally visit its conventional open day.
The idea is based on the recent experiences with City College Norwich’s regular series of Information Evenings, which have been turned virtual.
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The first three of these had an attendance around 25pc higher than typically turned out for the physical face-to-face versions of these events.
Paton College principal Corrienne Peasgood said: “Our staff have shown great flexibility in adapting to the current realities of the coronavirus pandemic, working to ensure that key functions of the college can continue for our current and future students.
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“Open Days provide an invaluable opportunity for school leavers to make informed decisions about their future.
“We are looking forward to providing prospective students with an informative, interactive and helpful online event that shows all that Paston College has to offer.”
MORE: Secondary schools to only open to quarter of pupils at one timeThe online event will include subject-specific talks covering the college’s A-level and vocational courses, opportunities for participants to ask questions, and a limited number of one-to-one phone appointments for more detailed course information, advice and guidance.
With colleges not likely to reopen until September Paston is not the only college turning to the internet to communicate with prospective students.
A virtual open day is to be held via a Zoom webinar on June 4 as an introduction to both East Coast College and Lowestoft Sixth Form College.
• Students and parents who are interested in joining Paston College’s Virtual Open Day can do so by booking their place at paston.ac.uk