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, 170 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 to deliver online video conferencing lessons. Our students study law, business studies and applied science online taught by teachers in one of our partner schools.
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. 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 assessments in several formal exam weeks: the first in Year 12 during the month of June, another in October in Year 13 and the final one in Year 13 during the month of January/February. 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 when our Y13 students were in Y11. These students were awarded Centre Assessed Grades based on evidence we had up to that point, but did not finish GCSE curricula in their entirety. Instead we invited them to join “bridging” google classrooms to help fill the gap in their schooling and help prepare them for their return to Y12 in September 2020. They spent 4/5 months without coming into school and working independently on the material provided.
The students returned to school in September 2020, but were subject to continued significant disruption as positive covid cases in the year group meant that many were sent home to self isolate for up to 10 days at a time. We did provide live lessons for students to join from home, which were well attended and helped students keep up with work.
The whole year group then had to work from home following the latest national lockdown that started in January 2021. This lasted for approximately 10 weeks, during which time learning was moved entirely online so that students didn’t miss out on any teaching, again engagement was high from our Y12 and Y13 students which meant that as little time as possible was lost.
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.