Timescales to deliver the project were tight, with constantly changing circumstances. At the time of planning the course, schools were expecting Year 11 students to sit their GCSE exams in Summer term as usual. National changes to GCSE exams and the award of centre assessed grades meant the programme was adapted at the last minute.
A few of the students who dropped out of the course left because of confusion about exam entry processes with the students’ post 16 provider. This would be a priority to confirm if a similar project were to take place again.
The cohort’s needs and abilities varied greatly, some close to the grade 4 standard and some working at grade 2-3 standard. Those working at a grade 2-3 standard struggled to attain the required standard with a short-term programme. If time had allowed, further assessment in advance of the course would have helped to plan groups – tutors had to manage significantly different needs within the online sessions.
The role of mentors was valuable to discuss individual learning needs, remind students about essential sessions and tasks, as well as to provide coaching support where needed.