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A Year 13 Student's Experiences of the COVID-19 Changes

We are interested to find out how COVID-19 has impacted the young people we work with. We have asked students a series of questions to gain an insight into their experiences so far. 

Today, we have spoken to a Year 13 student who is studying for their A Levels. 

How has the Covid-19 pandemic impacted on your current studies?

I have not been able to complete my A level studies in the way I expected. Virtual sessions have been held for all my subjects at first but now that the new assessment advice has been issued these have dwindled to 1 subject where we had not completed the curriculum - biology.  

Virtual sessions have been reasonably successful but I have missed face to face interaction with both staff and other students. I feel this has been detrimental to the learning experience. 

What do you think the impact of this lockdown will be on your next year in education? (e.g. from September)

I think that the first term at least will be a virtual one and that I will still be living at home. I think this will mean that I do not meet people and that it will not be as good educationally. 

How have you been supported so far by your school/college? Is there anything they have done which you have found particularly helpful?

College has not provided enough information about the year end  assessments. They have put on as much virtual teaching as they can and been open to enquiries.  

How do you think you could be best supported moving forward? Is there anything that you would find particularly helpful?

College staff to be readily available when results come out to offer advice. 

In an ideal situation, what would be the best way that schools/colleges/government could support students moving forward?

Catch up sessions over the summer for year 12. Universities to defer the start of the academic year until January 2021 and then start as normal - and the catch up the lost time over the three years with slightly shorter holidays. 

How do you feel that the lack of student interaction caused by the lockdown (e.g. meeting up at breaks, afterschool, etc.) has impacted you? Is there anything you are doing about this such as Facetime, Skype, phone calls and is this helping?

The lack of face to face contact with other students has been detrimental to the educational and social experience of college. I have kept in touch with friends but not the range of people that I would have done had I been physically in the college buildings. 

How are you finding learning online? Has it been easy to adapt to?

I do not feel as engaged and I am not having as many lessons. It has taken a while to get used to but the technology has worked most of the time, I just do not like it as much. 


Are you structuring your day like a school day (e.g. learning 9am-3pm) or are you learning at your own pace with flexible hours?

Flexible hours 

Have you come across any barriers to home learning and how have you overcome these?

It is harder to get into the mindset to study and there are more distractions at home. 

What do you do in your spare time during lockdown?

Exercise, social media, TV, reading 

How do you separate work and free time?

Different areas of the house - sit at a desk when working for example 

Has the pandemic changed your plans for your future education?

Not really but I am uncertain about which university I will have to go to and when I will go 

Has the pandemic changed your career plans?


Is there anything else that you would like to mention?

I am still somewhat confused by how my grades will be determined and I am fearful that I would have achieved better grades via examination. 

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A Year 13 Student's Experiences of the COVID-19 Changes


"I have been in frequent communication with my mentor, and I have a lot to learn from him. He is doing a Masters at Columbia University and works in investment banking. He has been very engaging, setting useful tasks for me to develop my understanding."

- Brightside - Prepare for HE online mentee

“I have learned more about myself and the opportunities ahead of me"

- People Like Me Workshop

“Everyone is supportive and the staff are very friendly”

- Project Dare Workshop

“Thanks for the interesting talk. I’ll be using your positive thinking strategies in my exams.”

- Exam Prep Workshop

"UniConnect have been amazing to work with and we can't thank them enough for offering this additional support for young people. This has and will most certainly support them in their ideas and choices to access further education. The support, communication and dedication from the NCOP team has been second to none and we are so grateful of what they can offer/support young people with in terms of further education."

"the futurehy programme (and especially the team I have had the privilege of working with) has been a huge advantage to our school. I am very happy with their aims and ethos and they are consistent, organised and enthusiastic in their delivery."

"I experienced first hand at least one student overcome their insecurity and was able to fully engage in an activity led by an Outreach Assistant"

"Many students who came here (a University campus) today did not see university as an option but now feel confident that this is possible."