Contextual information for Admissions Tutors

Rainford Sixth Form is part of an 11-18 school which totals approximately 1700, with approximately 210 in years 12 and 13 combined.  The school is situated in a rural, middle-class village community, and although the school and Sixth Form does attract the majority of its students from the surrounding areas, in recent years students have been enrolling from further afield, including more deprived areas of St Helens and Knowsley.  Approximately 10% of the current Sixth Form students qualify for the financial bursary.

This mix of backgrounds, aspirations and average GCSE points score, has led to a mixed provision of traditional A Level and BTEC qualifications in the Sixth Form as well as a Vocational offer.  Students have just over 30 courses to choose from and are asked to pick three with the option of  EPQ (which students complete in Year 12) or L3 Core Maths. Some higher ability students may choose to pick four subjects, particularly if one of them is Further Maths. Students studying 4 subjects may choose whether they take the EPQ. Approximately 60% of students successfully completed the EPQ in 2019-20.

Students are assessed internally in January and again at the end of Year 12 through a series of mock examinations. These play a key part in predicting final grades, along with consideration given to completed course work and class performance.

Results in the Sixth Form have been close to the national average for the last few years. Progression support for students is excellent, with 58% University applicants gaining offers from Russell Group universities and 33% of these students taking up those offers in 2020. (considerably higher than the national average). In Summer 2021 20% of our applicants took up their offer to study at a Russell group and 98% of  students got into their first choice University. Students are focused on career goals and developing employability skills via excellent IAG provision. Over 75% apply to universities.

COVID-19 UPDATE 7th September 2020

Following the government’s announcement regarding Covid-19 the school was closed to students on 23rd March until the start of the new academic year on 7th September. During this time the school was closed to all students apart from the children of key workers. Staff were asked to set work via google classroom and the 6th Form Team set PSHE and CEIAG material via Unifrog. Students only received virtual lessons from mid-June and were only able to enter the building for two full days following the government’s desire to see exam classes return before the summer break. During these two days students spent an hour with each subject as well as receiving guidance on applying through UCAS, apprenticeship opportunities and how to craft a personal statement. The lost lesson time has had a significant impact on our ability to support students in their post-18 progression due to cancellation of our Employability days which would have allowed students first-hand experience with Employers and University admission tutors as well as further personal statement support before the summer break. Students also had their work experience cancelled which would have taken place in the last two weeks of the academic year. We also had to cancel our end of Y12 exams which has impacted the amount of data at our disposal when predicting students’ UCAS grades. When the school reopened in September it did so with students following a full timetable delivered in the traditional way.


Following a decision by Public Health England, Rainford High was asked to take part in a pilot mass testing scheme (the only school in the country to do so at the time of writing) which involved testing 1100 students and staff across Y7-13 on 24th/25th September 2020. The results brought back approximately 40 positive cases (most of which presented asymptomatically) and as a result Public Health England asked the School to close until 12th October. During the two-week closure students received a blend of work set remotely and virtual teaching.

COVID-19 UPDATE 29th September 2021

During the winter lockdown of January 2021 students in Y12 received a 75% timetable of live lessons delivered by google meet and 25% of work was set to be completed independently. When students have been asked to self isolate due to being a close contact in school (2020-21 academic year) resources were provided via google classroom and some staff opted to livestream their lesson although this wasn’t always possible in every case. This year students are provided work via google classroom should they be identified by PHE as a close contact or should they test positive. At present, cases are on the rise in St Helens and we have reverted back to masks in corridors. Cases in our school are low at present but we continue to test regularly and monitor the situation.