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. 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 for Year 12 students from 22nd June to the end of term. They also had the opportunity to come into school for a meeting with their form tutors to check on their progress. However, since entering Year 13 in September, they have already had to have a period of ten days’ isolation due to students testing positive for the virus. During that time all students were expected to continue with their studies via online live lessons.
CAGs were calculated using raw marks from within departments and then exam board grade boundaries were applied; grades were thus 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. We are confident that our approach was rigorous and accurate and the average grade per entry for 2019/20 at GCE level was a grade B minus which is comparable with previous years.
Since this link was created Covid has continued to have an impact with large numbers of our Sixth Form students having to isolate either through testing positive themselves or having been in contact with family members or other students who had. The school has also had to undergo a further period of closure on advice from Public Health Sandwell. This lasted from Monday 23rd November until Wednesday 3rd December 2020 and applied to all year groups. Although lessons continued online for any student forced to isolate and throughout the period of closure this will undoubtably have some impact on our students’ progress this year.