Contextual information about Highams Park School and the Sixth Form Cohort
Number on roll: 1558
Number of students receiving Free School Meals: 243
Number on roll in the sixth form: 367 (up 13% on last year)
Students Receiving a Sixth Form Bursary: 64 (nearly double last year)
Largest Class size in the Sixth Form:24
The majority of our students study 3 A Level subjects, or a mixture of Level 3 BTECs and A Levels. A few of our most exceptional students study 4 A Levels. We enter for AS qualifications in subjects where the AS and A level can be co-taught.
Last year 78% of students progressed to Higher Education, with 23% going to Russell Group universities (10% up on the previous cohort). Students who did not enter Higher Education mainly went into employment.
We introduced the EPQ as an optional qualification last year. Students attend after-school sessions and complete work independently. Last year 12 students completed the EPQ. This year we have 6.
Students who select Further Maths sit the A Level Maths during year 12 and the A Level Further Maths in year 13, with Mechanics 1 and Decision 1 as the optional modules.
We do not run any preparation classes or mocks for students sitting entrance exams, but students are often supported by a subject teacher to get feedback on a practice paper.
Information about Internal Assessments used for Predicted Grades for 2021 entry
Students completed assessments in every subject when they returned to school in September 2020. For most subjects these were whole exam papers or a selection of exam questions sat under exam conditions. These grades and d ta from their performance in year 12 strongly informed our predicted UCAS grades.
For predicted grades in the EPQ, we have looked at students’ GCSE profile and predicted grades for their other qualifications, alongside the level of progress and quality of research they have made so far.
Information about Disruption to Education due to National Lockdown
Highams Park School closed (except for keyworker students) in line with the national lockdown. Work was regularly set for all classes online. Students were supported by phone calls from their form tutors, and most subject teachers communicated with sixth formers via email. Online lessons were offered by only a few subjects, with more commencing in June and July.
The school invited year 12 students back in from 22nd June to attend lessons in the afternoon on a rota, resulting in students attending 2 hours worth of lessons in each subject, on average. These sessions prioritised support and wellbeing over teaching content. Roughly 50% of our students were able to attend these sessions in the last 3 weeks of term.
While we had very few students with no access to technology or the internet, a significant proportion of our students were sharing technology with siblings and/or parents, making it difficult for them to complete live lessons or the equivalent of a school day’s worth of work. We also had a number of students who took on childcare roles or full time work in order to support their families.
We normally start the UCAS process in the last half term of the summer, culminating with 2 UCAS days off timetable where every student attends sessions on creating applications, writing Personal Statements and Interview Skills. We also offer practice interviews to targeted students. We did replicate some of these sessions with online guides and tasks, and have been conveying key information during form time sessions now students are back in school. This has delayed our usual UCAS application process.
Prior to lockdown our last formal assessments and data collection was done in January. We have not encouraged our students to enter the Autumn exam series to improve AS results in order to prioritise lesson time and focus on completing the A Level qualification.