Information for University and College Admissions Staff

Impact of Coronavirus on our students applying for university

Impact on teaching time:

Students applying for university this academic year have attended lessons full-time since re-opening in September (apart from a number who have had periods of self-isolation at various stages throughout the new term). Prior to the full re-opening of the Sixth Form this autumn term, however, there was a significant impact on teaching time due to the lockdown from March until the end of the summer term. Although students were taught remotely during this period, A-level subjects have spent the last few weeks of the new term recovering lost teaching time and as such, many elements of Year 13 subject content have yet to be taught.

The lockdown has meant that key end of year mock exams and assessments were unable to take place. Assessments have been undertaken this September but, naturally, teaching staff writing UCAS references will not have the range of information at their disposal upon which to base predicted grades as they would have had in previous years.

Impact on university advice and guidance:

Coronavirus has caused considerable disruption to the guidance students usually obtain for university preparation. As part of their normal university preparation programme, in the Spring and Summer terms of their Lower Sixth year, students would have had the opportunity to visit both a city and a campus university and one of the UCAS Exhibitions. Alongside these whole school visits, a smaller cohort would have attended one of the Oxford & Cambridge Student Conferences and had a residential visit to The Queen’s College, Oxford to attend their open day; the majority of open days were cancelled or moved to virtual events.

Our students are actively encouraged to apply for university summer schools which have been invaluable to them in the past and which were also cancelled this year. All students would have undertaken a week’s work experience at the beginning of July, again cancelled. Many had already secured placements with employers ranging from BAE Systems to the NHS. This has had a particular impact on students applying for medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses.

Our annual Futures Conference which was due to take place in May is an off-timetable event organised around five interactive workshops with students able to benefit from presentations by our alumni and representatives from universities and local employers. Our external careers adviser was not available to students for one-to-one guidance as the company we contracted through went into administration shortly after lockdown.

Mr P F Cuff
Head of Sixth Form

Miss D Sutton
Careers and University Coordinator