Information for Higher Education Providers

Contextual Information – September 2017

Wilmslow High School is an oversubscribed co-educational 11-18 comprehensive school with over 2000 students, including close to 500 in the sixth form.  Approximately 15% of our Year 7-11 students are Pupil Premium funded, with around thirty students in the sixth form who were formerly Pupil Premium funded.  We have a fully comprehensive catchment including students with IDACI scores of 0.01 to those from some of the most deprived Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) in the northwest.

Annually, approximately 70% of our Year 11 students progress into our sixth form and around fifty external students choose Wilmslow High School for their post-16 studies.  Many of our external students have been rejected by their own 11-18 schools (independent and state), for failing to acquire sufficient top grades.  Around 75% of our Year 13 students progress to Higher Education.

In 2013, OFSTED found the school to be ‘good’.
Sixth form provision

Students are required to achieve a minimum of five A*-C (grade 4 in English Language, English Literature and Mathematics) in order gain a place in our sixth form.  Each individual course, however, have its own entry requirements and these are available on our website.

Wilmslow High School aims to provide a broad and powerful curriculum for all students.  In the past, the curriculum provision for sixth formers has consisted largely of A Levels or the BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport (Performance and Excellence).  Our A Level courses include Further Mathematics, Computer Science, Economics, Philosophy, French, German and Spanish.

In recent years we have extended our range of BTEC courses in order to encourage more Year 11 students to stay with us into the sixth form and to ensure that our students are taking the most appropriate blend of courses.  From September 2017, we now offer Applied Science, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, Sport and Physical Activity Development and the level 3 Diploma in Food Science and Nutrition for students in Year 12.

The Extended Project Qualification and Core Maths are also available to students; Core Maths is timetabled from the beginning of sixth form study and students start their EPQ work at the end of Year 12.

Students in Year 13 in September 2017 were offered the opportunity to begin their sixth form studies with four AS Levels and many did start four courses.  By the end of Year 12, approximately 30 students were still studying four subjects with many choosing to focus on three subjects only through the course of the year.  Unfortunately, funding pressures have meant that for Year 12 students starting in 2017 we have had to reduce the number of courses on offer and Law, Philosophy and Music have not been offered to this cohort; however we still have the capacity to offer these subjects if there is sufficient interest for 2018.

Traditionally, we have aimed to limit sixth form class sizes to a maximum of 23 students.  However, from September 2017 we envisage far more classes in subjects such as Mathematics, Business Studies, Biology and Psychology will contain between 18 and 23 students, with some merging of two classes into one at the start of Year 13.  Our size means that we have larger class sizes than the average 11-18 school.

Students who have yet to gain a grade C (grade 4) in English Language and Mathematics are identified at the start of Year 12 and receive two timetabled fifty minute lessons per week.  Although English Language and English Literature are now interchangeable as a result of Progress 8 measures, we encourage those who have not gained a grade C (grade 4) at GCSE level to continue their study of English Language with university entry and employment in mind.

Luckily, we are in a position where all level 3 courses are taught by subject specialists.  A mid-Year 12 change of teacher has been essential in Mathematics, Chemistry and Psychology as a result of maternity leave absences. No classes in any subject area have been affected by long-term teacher absence.


AS Entry in 2017

In order to maximise the amount of teaching time available for the delivery of linear specifications, our policy has been to minimise the number of external examinations that students take.

For non-linear courses, students were entered for AS in June 2017 and all AS entries have been certificated. 

Where students were still studying four subjects at the end of Year 12, they were entered for the AS qualification in the subject they were not continuing.  A few students chose to sit two AS qualifications where they were unsure about which subject to continue to Advanced Level.

In cases where we were uncertain about a student’s progression into Year 13, these students were entered for all AS examinations, both linear and non-linear.

Talented mathematicians have studied A Level Mathematics (only AS certificated) in Year 12 and will complete A Level Further Mathematics in Year 13.

UCAS Predicted Grades

For subjects where students did not sit an external examination in summer 2017, the school ran an internal examinations week from 10th to 14th July. In order to gain a clearer picture of progress made, some students sat both internal and external examinations in non-linear subjects.

Therefore, in 2017 colleagues have decided on predicted grades based on internal and external examination data in addition to the performance of students through Year 12 and the start of Year 13.  For BTEC subjects, internally assessed units completed through Year 12 have been used to inform predictions.

Colleagues are encouraged to be realistic yet aspirational in their UCAS predicted grades, in line with messages received from UCAS and university representatives at the UCAS Adviser Conference.