Silverdale Sixth Form: contextual statement
Silverdale is an oversubscribed, multicultural comprehensive with an academic sixth form of 400 students that reflects this diversity. The school was judged 'outstanding' by Ofsted in 2014, 24% of students first language is not English and 17% of students have been eligible for free school meals in the last 6 years.
The Post-16 offer is predominantly A-levels (20 subjects) plus 2 BTEC options. Most students will take 3 or 4 A-level subjects, depending on their average GCSE score; the majority subsequently progress to Higher Education.
Some students choose to complete an EPQ or Level 3 Mathematical Studies (Core Maths) as part of an enrichment programme alongside other supercurricular activities.
Transition exams are held at the end of Y12. Students are expected to achieve a minimum of a grade E to successfully progress. The transition exams are also used to make reliable predictions on A-level outcomes.
Silverdale School closed to students from January to March 2020, following government guidance.
During the 'lockdown' caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, students were set work through Google classroom. Online, live teaching took place from January to March. Students who found it difficult to engage with learning (due to mental health issues) during the closure, were invited into school to work with peers supervised by pastoral staff. A number of students had IT issues and lacked Wi-Fi or technology. Some students were provided with laptops or dongles to facilitate their learning.
Following the return to school, there were high numbers of students testing positive or isolating due to being a close contact of someone with Covid. This continued for the whole of the summer term, with a majority of students having their education disrupted.