Information For University And College Admissions Teams
Stokesley School and Sixth Form College is situated in a market town in North Yorkshire and hosts around 1150 students, 150 of which attend the Sixth Form. Our catchment area ranges from affluent rural hamlets, to areas in the industrial town of Middlesbrough which are found within the lowest quintile for deprivation in the country. The curriculum offered is largely academic and features very few vocational courses, and the vast majority (over 95%) of students go on to study at university.
In order to increase the breadth of the curriculum we can offer, we work with other schools within the Areté Learning Trust and transfer students to other sites (and vice-versa) for subjects such as economics, law and further maths. This year marks the launch of video conferencing sessions for our Year 12 language students, so that students from each of the different schools get the opportunity to converse with a great number of speakers.
The vast majority of our students take three A-levels. A few opt to take four at the beginning of Year 12, usually taking further mathematics alongside maths. Some study a modern foreign language, where any recorded video-conferencing lessons can be viewed outside of their timetabled lessons. We do not offer AS levels other than for further mathematics should the student be studying three other A-levels alongside it.
We attempt to cater our curriculum each year to the wants and needs of the Year 11 cohort: an example of this would be matching the Modern Foreign Languages offer to that of the GCSE studies the previous year. Currently all but two of the subjects on offer are A-levels: Applied Science and Business Studies are Cambridge Technicals.
We also offer the Extended Project Qualification and mathematical studies to help both support students with their other subjects and develop their personal record.
Policies and processes used for predicting grades
Students sit two formal exam weeks: one in Year 12 during the month of June, and another in Year 13 during the month of January. These assessment periods play a major role in evidencing predicted grades, although professional judgements and in-class assessments are also taken into account.
Staff are required to give their first estimate of a predicted grade before the end of Year 12, which is shared with the students. Dialogues then take place between the Head of Sixth Form, subject teachers and students. This allows the students an opportunity to demonstrate progress in the coming months and allow predicted grades to be amended where necessary. All parties must agree to a change in predicted grade should any occur.
Teaching time lost and alternate provision
Students were forced to study from home from 23rd March 2020 due to the global pandemic. In the early months, students in the sixth form were given work through Google Classroom, and some received lessons via video-conferencing (Google Meet). This meant that sixth form students missed nine weeks of their ordinary timetable, which would have been four hours or contact time per subject per week.
From 15th June 2020 Y12 students were timetable an hour’s contact time per teacher per week in school. The sessions were teacher-led lessons and not tutorials which many other schools and sixth forms chose to deliver instead. Students who could not attend were encouraged to ‘join’ the class via Google Meet, where they could see any presentations or board work as well as hear the teacher’s instructions.
Impact on the information used to determine predicted grades
The COVID-19 pandemic meant we could not carry out the usual Y12 examination procedure. To account for this, a new fortnight of ‘pre-assessments’ was scheduled beginning 28th September 2020 so that students and staff had the opportunity to carry out some formative assessment to help with predicting grades. The Y13 exams are planned to go ahead in January 2021, like previous years.
Disruption to normal university application processes
Students signed up to UCAS apply in early May (as is usual for the school) with the assistance of the Head of Year and the tutor team via email, Google Classroom and phone calls/Google Meets. Students would usually have daily input from their tutors to help them with writing personal statements and filling in details through UCAS Apply, which they missed out upon during lockdown. Since September 2020, students now have daily contact with their tutors and Head of Year to help with such matters.