Sixth Form

Information for University and College Admissions Teams

Information concerning the amount of teaching lost overall and the alternative provision for remote education delivered to sixth form students:

Ripley St Thomas Sixth Form was closed for lockdown from Friday 20th March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. All teaching was transferred online with teachers working from home. Students were provided with a mixture of independent learning tasks, set weekly via our online virtual environment, Firefly, and incorporating PowerPoints (some with video/audio recordings of teachers), workbook study, and a very limited number of live online lessons via Microsoft Teams in a small minority of subjects.

As restrictions lifted, the school partially reopened, and from Monday 22nd June 2020 Year 12 students were invited to attend a total of one or, in a minority of cases, two full day face-to-face lessons with each of their subject teachers.

In the week beginning Monday 13th July we ran tutorial sessions for the students. These sessions provided support for UCAS, apprenticeship and employment applications.

Not all students were able to engage fully with our online provision or with face-to-face lessons or tutorials due to individual family circumstances, and some felt it was not safe to return to school at that time. Therefore, this blended learning approach to both curriculum teaching and tutorial support will not have been as impactful as our usual face-to-face methods.

The academy reopened in full for Year 13 students on Thursday 3 September 2020.

Information regarding disruption to our normal university application processes:

Under normal circumstances we would be providing our 6th form students with face-to-face, individualised support with their UCAS application from early June onwards. This year most of this was conducted remotely. Some guidance for personal statement writing and university research was provided via our online platform, Firefly, for students to access remotely, however, some students were not able to access this support until their return to school in September.

The impact on the information used to determine predicted grades:

The only period of formal examinations for this year group took place in early January 2020 after only one full term of Year 12 study. These internal exams were our last available assessment point and results do not necessarily reflect students’ full potential.

Internal exams, which are used to inform UCAS predicted grades are usually conducted in May. These were postponed until the week beginning 21st September. Therefore students were sitting internal exams in the autumn term with significantly reduced support and preparation.  Students who were unable to access online teaching during lockdown, or to attend face-to-face lessons once restrictions were eased, had not necessarily covered material assessed in these exams with a teacher and were therefore at a disadvantage to those who had. Ordinarily we would run a resit opportunity in June for students who had underperformed in the May internal exams, however this was cancelled.

We will be running formal mock exams in January 2021. This will not inform predicted grades as it is beyond the UCAS application deadline date.