Bridging Courses for Year 11 and 13 Pupils – City of London Freemen’s School

17 Mar 2021

Since the beginning of lockdown teaching has changed, adapted and evolved to meet the needs of pupils. We are proud of the success of our new Bridging Courses that have helped engage pupils at Freemen’s but also hundreds of Year 11 and Year 13 pupils at the other City of London schools and our local partner school Rosebery.

The 6 week courses were designed by our teachers back in April, once it became clear that exams were unlikely to take place following the outbreak of Covid19.  The primary aim of the courses is to provide further opportunities for our pupils, and those in our partner schools, to increase their skill sets in preparation for the next stage of their academic life.

The courses titled ‘Introduction to A Levels’ for Year 11 pupils cover all A level subjects offered at Freemen’s and for Year 13 pupils a range of courses titled Preparation for University. They have proved to be a highly effective way to maintain the momentum of learning, as well as a great opportunity to provide additional skills at this critical time when pupils progress onto A levels and the Year 13 pupils leave Freemen’s to go to University.

With the move to virtual learning, the teachers were keen to develop courses using a slightly different approach, utilising a combination of online learning and research supported by virtual meetings with teachers.  The meetings provided students with the opportunity to discuss and debate the activities being undertaken, as well as give extra support as required.

The bridging courses cover a wide range of subjects, including Mathematics, English, Science, Humanities, Modern Foreign Languages, Art, Business, Economics, Music, Politics, Physical Education, Psychology and Philosophy, Ethics & Religion.

With the topic of partnership at the forefront of the School’s strategy, and of particular importance whilst working in isolation during lockdown, the School took the natural step of sharing the courses with seven City of London Schools and more locally, Rosebery School.  Each school has incorporated the bridging courses into their own curriculum in slightly different ways, however early feedback indicates there has already been an extremely positive response to the bridging course materials.  Building on the success of this partnership work, we are keen to continue strengthening our relationships with all of our partner schools, with a view to sharing more knowledge and resources into the Autumn term and beyond.

Mr Paul Bridges, our Academic Deputy Head, commented on the courses;

“After the examinations were cancelled and Ofqual directed schools to discount students work completed after the 23rd March we resolved that Freemen’s would take the opportunity presented to help students to thrive in the next stage of their education. Thanks to the courses that have been constructed and the engagement from our students and staff with those courses we have been able to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear and are delighted that our students, and the students at other City of London Schools, can start their A Levels or University courses with the confidence that great preparation gives.