Maximising remote learning with A Level and University ‘Bridging’ Courses
Freemen’s is looking forward to launching a selection of six-week A Level Bridging courses and pre-university skills courses, which will begin next week, for current GCSE and A Level students. In light of the cancellation of formal examinations, and in true Freemen’s style, the school is looking at proactive ways in which it can support students moving on to study A Levels and undergraduate courses, during this period of remote learning. Research has shown that students are more likely to flourish if they have both an understanding of what is to be expected of them and prior experience of work that is geared towards the demands of A level study and undergraduate courses. Within the first 24 hours of launch, 108 Freemen's A Level students signed up to the courses on offer.
The aim of the A Level bridging courses is to ease the transition from GCSE to A level in key areas, including the development of study skills, encourage a more open-ended, independent nature of A Level study and assist with guiding students through the complexity and volume of material they are expected to manage. Bridging courses, completed by students at the end of year 11, will provide opportunities for students to explore their chosen A level subjects before September and thereby ensuring that they are fully equipped for the start of the Autumn term.
The School is encouraged by the feedback it has received from the parent body about the provision of these proactive courses: “To fill the remainder of the year with A Level bridging courses seems quite inspired, and I can only imagine the monumental efforts which have been required of all the teachers to get this ball rolling. I'm sure, however, that it will change this time of challenge into one of great academic opportunity for most of the pupils, not to mention the positive psychological impact of having them 'future focussed' again.”
Freemen’s is incredibly proud of the students have who have received offers for places on a huge range of courses at a number of highly competitive universities, so-called ‘higher tariff providers’. To provide the best possible start to university life, the pre-university courses the School is providing will enable Freemen’s students to feel more confident and able to embark independently on the transition from school to university; be more open to the new challenges that lie ahead; increase their ability to realise their academic potential and increase student motivation and confidence as they embark on their undergraduate life. Freemen’s students have enjoyed considerable Oxbridge success this year with five students holding offers from Oxford for PPE, Classics, Materials Science, Engineering Science and Psychology, whilst four students hold offers from Cambridge for Medicine, Engineering, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, so it is vitally important that our students are as well-prepared as possible for these demanding undergraduate courses. Freemen’s academic departments will deliver a range of Preparation for your Course programmes which will engage, excite and stimulate the academic appetite for the subjects students are seeking to study at University. These will be realistic, challenging and manageable; enabling the students to make links to material introduced at A Level and now considered in greater depth. In addition, PSHE sessions will be delivered on topics related to the transition from school to university.
“We are very excited about making the most of this period of time for our External Examination candidates. Rather than focussing on the disappointment of being unable to sit the exams for which they have worked so desperately hard, our students will now be able to benefit from looking ahead to, and preparing for their ongoing studies. These courses, coupled with ongoing pastoral support will undoubtedly provide Freemen’s students with the best possible preparation for their future education.” - Mr Roland Martin, Headmaster, City of London Freemen’s School.