Information for university and college admissions teams
Due to the National lockdown, students from West Walsall E-ACT Academy missed 14 weeks of in school teaching time.
In the first instance, students were set tasks via email for each lesson they were missing. These tasks focused on retrieval of topics already studied. As the duration of the lockdown extended, the virtual learning strategy developed to provide live lessons using Microsoft teams. Students were provided with 3 hours of Microsoft teams lessons per subject each week. This was less than their usual 5 hours per week.
Specific barriers to learning experienced by students included:
- A lack of access to ICT equipment for use to support remote learning.
- Many shared devices with siblings who were also attempting remote learning.
- Lack of secure Internet connections resulting in students struggling to access the live virtual lessons.
- Parental support for many was unavailable as student education level is well beyond that of their parents. This is particularly noticeable for the students whose parents speak very little English or who cannot read well.
- Many students did not have a suitable place to study at home as they share bedrooms with siblings or do not have a table or desk to sit at.
When students could begin to return to the Academy in June, each student could attend one session per week to introduce the university application process as this information had been missed during the school closures. Many students were unable to attend their in-school sessions due to living in multi-generational households therefore they needed to shield to protect vulnerable family members.
End of year internal assessments did not take place therefore students applying in the October window have had little opportunity to demonstrate their learning from the year or prepare for mock examinations to be used to make predictions.