UCAS Covid Update

Inverclyde Academy is a comprehensive school, located amongst the 5% most deprived areas in Scotland. It is a caring school with high expectations, and a school where every youngster is respected and supported to develop their full potential. In recognition of the socio –economic barriers facing some of our young people, we are a target school supported by Focus West who offer a variety of programmes designed to encourage aspirational thinking around entry to Higher Education.

Sadly, Inverclyde as an authority was one of hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in a number of our families being directly impacted by illness and bereavement. Even those not directly affected were acutely aware of the distress this virus was causing around them. As a result, the school community has had to come together during this challenging time to build resilience and optimism for our young people.

Exam results in 2018/19 were our highest ever at all levels. Tracking throughout session 2019/20 indicated that these results would be exceeded by the current S4-6 cohort. As a result, the grades submitted to SQA indicated small but important improvements in various subjects across National 5. However, in line with the excellent National 5s achieved in 2018/19, the S5 Higher results submitted indicated a marked improvement on previous results. This was based on a rigorous process of evidence gathering, moderation and quality assurance by teachers, PTs and SLT, ensuring that the results achieved were deserved and an accurate reflection of pupils’ work throughout the year.

During the national Lockdown, pupils were supported to access online learning which was in its infancy in most subject areas. Staff worked hard to create meaningful learning experiences throughout the Lockdown and pupils responded positively, demonstrating a willingness to complete any missed learning and access new courses for the following session. Whilst this style of working was new to Inverclyde Academy, and a challenge to all involved, we feel pupils have embraced opportunities which will stand them in good stead for future learning experiences. However, it should not be underestimated what impact this time had on all pupils, but especially those from areas of high deprivation where a third sector organisation supported our communities by providing laptops, stationary, food parcels, etc.

Like all schools, in Scotland, we have offered a full curriculum this session but are impacted by the Covid restrictions on areas such as PE, Music and the Sciences. Despite this, staying on rates have remained high and uptake across all subject areas is steady. Inverclyde authority have also allowed consortium arrangements to continue with certain restrictions, allowing S6 pupils to access a good range of Advanced Highers but with only 4 periods of teaching each week. The willingness of pupils to engage with online and self-study resources is testament to that positivity already outlined above.

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