Key Documents
Contextual information following the impact of the COVID pandemic in 2020 (Audience: UCAS)

School context:

Poole High School is a mixed comprehensive located on the south coast of Dorset in an area which has a high number of NCOP students in each year. Within the LA of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole there are four selective grammar schools. There are increasing numbers applying to Higher Education; this is below the national average.

Percentage of lost ‘face to face’ learning time due to lockdown:

36% of the academic year was not delivered through ‘face to face’ teaching

Adjustments to learning during lockdown:

Lessons were delivered online with mixed engagement. This disruption to pedagogy and direct contact with students inevitably affected the quality of learning. Where appropriate, hard copies of books and materials were supplied to those students who did not have online learning access. Student wellbeing was constantly monitored and supported with telephone contact on a weekly basis. During the lockdown all sixth form students had access to Google Classroom for all of their subjects. Course materials and independent study was provided by teachers for every lesson. Students were encouraged to ask learning related questions via email or Google Chat. Sixth Form lessons were delivered remotely via Google Meet. The independent work was submitted online and students were given feedback either online or by telephone.

Student engagement and extenuating factors with positive actions taken to support:

Student engagement was affected by familial circumstances where many had to share one device across the family to access online lessons. Additional material was supplied and delivered to households where appropriate. Many of the sixth form students had a responsibility for younger siblings during this time which adversely affected their own learning and achievement.

Adjustments to assessments to inform grading decisions due to lockdown:

Year 12 assessments normally occur at the start of the summer term – these were postponed to the start of the Autumn term to allow students the opportunity to access revision and learning material that had been missed due to the protracted period of absence. Predicted grades are now based on these ‘progression exams’ with professional judgement applied – shaped also by classroom based formative assessment of individual students. This may have had a ‘suppressing effect’ upon those students who are capable of exceeding their predicted grades in their final exams and this needs to be considered when analysing their applications.

Impact of lockdown on UCAS and futures preparation:

The UCAS process is normally presented in small groups allowing for all to discuss their options. This was replaced by a virtual event for the whole year group, allowing them to: deepen their exploration of future progression routes; understand the UCAS application form and process; discuss the personal statement.

Academic and pastoral support in Autumn term 2020 and provision to support those self-isolating:

An academic and pastoral support programme was in place during lockdown. A version of this has continued for those self-isolating. This involves: contact via ‘live lessons’; email and phone-call follow up; resource deployment e.g. laptops for students without virtual access. However, the demographic of our cohort means that there are many personal extenuating circumstances which preclude or limit online engagement.