information for university admission tutors
Wood Green Academy is a mixed 11-19 Teaching School with Mathematics, Computing and Sport as its specialist subjects, located in the Borough of Sandwell in the heart of the Black Country. Currently our Sixth Form of some 220 students offers a mix of two year linear GCEs and some vocational courses; it is the school policy not to offer the AS option in the case of the linear courses, internal assessments being held instead at the end of Year 12.
Our catchment area covering much of the northern part of Sandwell and parts of the neighbouring borough Walsall includes pockets of high economic and social deprivation; 31% of our pupils qualifying for the Pupil Premium, 17.4% eligible for Free School Meals, while 30.6% have English as an additional language. Achievement in Attainment 8 in 2019 (the last year for which we have reliable figures) was 45.8. However, the school takes great pride in its results we are able to achieve at both GCSE and GCE Level and at the last Ofsted inspection in February 2020 was rated ‘Good’.
The school was hit badly by the Covid lockdown from March 2020, effectively losing thirteen weeks of face to face teaching. At first work was set online, with live lessons via Microsoft Teams from 22nd June to the end of term. Pupils also had the opportunity to come into school for a meeting with their form tutors to check on their progress. However, the quality of learning for the current Year 13s was greatly affected by the pandemic during what should have been their GCSE year.
On entering Year 12 in September 2020, they had to go through another period of ten days’ isolation due to students testing positive for the virus and then another period of lockdown from the following January until March. During that time all students were expected to continue with their studies via online live lessons.
Covid has continued to have an impact since the start of the current academic year in September 2021 with large numbers of our Sixth Form students having to isolate through testing positive themselves. Although lessons continued online for any student forced to isolate this will undoubtably have some impact on our students’ progress this year.
The GCSE results for current Year 13 were Centre Assessed Grades, calculated using raw marks from within departments with exam board grade boundaries applied; grades being moderated at both departmental and at the whole school level. Past data was used to triangulate grades to past predictions and mock exam scores at student level and we are confident that our approach was both rigorous and accurate. The predicted grades used with our references are based on the students’ performance in exams held at the end of the summer term in 2021. Again we are confident that our process in reaching these grades was as rigorous as we could make it, but it must also be remembered that these were the first examinations that these students had had the opportunity to take in well over a year, the last being their GCSE mock examinations sat before the first lockdown back in the spring term of 2020.