UCAS - Contextual Information

1) Contextual Data

Key current contextual data for Year 13 (Cohort 2019-21)

  1. Pupil Premium: 36%, FSM: 21%
  2. EAL: 23%
  3. Average APS: 6.4

2) Qualification Offering:

i) What is our 2010-21 cohort offering:

We have a broadly traditional academic A Level offer. For the 2019-2021 cohort we offer ten different A Level subjects including English Literature, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, French, Religious Studies, Maths, Further Maths, Psychology and Sociology.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma Health and Social Care and Music.

We do not offer Politics or Economics A Level, although three students study Economics as part of a collaboration with another local provider.

There is an opportunity for this cohort to retake GCSE English Language and GCSE Maths in Autumn 2020.

ii) Why did we choose to offer the courses we do?:

We wanted to offer subjects that best allow our young people to be able to go on and live lives of choice and opportunity: therefore opted to deliver relatively traditional A Levels. The quality of provision is also very important to us, so we only wanted to introduce A Levels in subjects where we are confident that we have the staffing and capacity to deliver them to an excellent standard.

As a small school and with a new sixth form, we are not yet able to run all the subjects that we would want. As we have a small cohort all teaching groups are small (generally less than 10) which means that lessons are very ‘seminar style’ and we have lots of discussion based activities. Key pedagogical features of Sixth Form teaching at Reach include: pre-reading, regular low stakes testing, spaced practice, modelling and redrafting for mastery.

3) Courses Delivered by Non-Subject Specialists or in Alternative Locations:

  • A Level History is taught in collaboration with another local educational provider. Each school delivers half of the course.
  • BTEC Health and Social Care is co-taught partially by a Non-Subject Specialist (Psychology graduate), and was taught by non-specialists in 2019-20.

4) Determination of Predicted Grades:

We use ALPS to set student Minimum Expected Grades and support us to track student progress throughout Year 12 and 13 across assessment points every 8 weeks. Predicted grades of Reach Academy students are based on professional assessment of data collected from 5 formal assessment points between the beginning of Year 12 in September 2019, and the submission of applications in October 2020, although the end of Year 12 Assessment point was disrupted due to school closure for Covid-19. Every assessment point assesses cumulative learning for the entirety of the course studied up to that point. We aim for our assessment points to be as rigorous and accurate as possible so marking is externally moderated by practitioners in other schools.

In rare circumstances where staff believe in their professional judgement that students are likely to achieve a different grade than that achieved in their internal assessments due to extenuating circumstances in that student’s education, this is reflected in their predicted grades.

4) Progress during Covid-19 Lockdown 2020

 

From the beginning of lockdown in March 2020 we have offered this cohort a full online provision of lessons. This has meant that broadly speaking we have been able to deliver the intended curriculum, and engagement from students has generally been good. We loaned all pupils that needed chromebooks to ensure that technology was not a barrier during this time. Nevertheless, an online provision has certainly been suboptimal for many of our students. Few will have calm and quiet working environments at home, a good number have younger siblings for whom they have taken at least partial responsibility and a significant minority have found this period to be extremely challenging for their mental health.

 

In the sciences and practical subjects, pupils have been unable to do practical and collaborative work during this time.

 

Much time and attention has been devoted to supporting disadvantaged and vulnerable students during this time, indeed this has been our priority.