Aim: To increase the number of students studying A2 Science subjects and also to increase the number of students applying for Science courses at university.
Background: Some students had found it difficult to move from GCSE to AS study and there was a significant drop-out rate between AS and A2 Science courses.
Year 1: Initially support sessions were offered to students who had not performed well on the first AS unit test. However, this support was then extended to all AS students and the take-up for these sessions was very high. GCSE students were also stretched and challenged more to provide the springboard needed to progress successfully to A Level studies.
Year 2: It was decided to hold a summer school for Year 11 pupils to allow students to experience some lessons in all of the subjects that they had chosen for Sixth Form study. This helped students to confirm that they had made the correct choice of A Levels and to prepare them for the year ahead. Summer work was also published on the school’s website for those students who were unable to attend the summer school.
Year 3: The final year of the project saw a whole-school support programme at GCSE and at A Level. This was deemed even more necessary by the fact that GCSE examinations are now terminal assessments, carried out at the end of Year 11. The support sessions were put in from January and were also put into the exam period itself to offer pupils a top up. The summer school continued into its third year.
Evidence: Student feedback, exam results.
Impact: Assessment of the impact of the project focused on Biology:
The number of students going on to study Biology-related subjects at University also increased in the last year a number of students went to Oxford and Cambridge to study. A direct impact was also seen in the AS results achieved by the department which in the last year of the project were some of the best the department has had.
Reflections: We need to make sure that students are getting excellent careers advice and support in choosing their A Level subjects. We intend to encourage former students to come back into school to inspire the next generation.
Contact: Charlotte Sturge, firstname.lastname@example.org