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Y11 Exams Letter

Harvey Waller - Friday, March 05, 2021

Dear Parents and Carers,
I would like to give you some further information about awarding grades to year 11 students.

As you are aware the government have asked teachers to give assessed grades for the courses your child will complete this summer. Guidance will continue to come through over the coming weeks but I wanted to update you on the current situation. Here are the most up to date answers I can give you to the following questions:

Who will decide on my child’s grade?
Your child’s teacher will submit a Teacher Assessed Grade, but the school is expected tomoderate the grades of all the students to make sure they are accurate and fair. Exam boards will then sample the evidence used by schools as a further quality assurance before the grades are issued. Ultimately it is the Exam Board’s responsibility to make a final decision.

How will my child’s teachers decide on the Teacher Assessed Grade?
Your child’s teacher will use a broad range of evidence from different sources, including exams, tests and assessments over the whole of the course. To give students the best chance of providing this evidence we have built in four assessment points between now and June. The first has already been completed.

What if my child has missed an important assessment point?
The school will try and provide catch up sessions for students but this will almost certainly be outside of normal school hours. If a student fails to complete our assessments it will inevitably mean they are unlikely to reach the grade of which they are capable.

When will my child’s teacher determine their grade?
The government advice is that this should be as late as possible in the academic year to enable teaching to continue for as long as possible. We therefore expect teaching to go well into June.

When will my child have an indication of their grade?
There will be no ‘predicted grades’ this year. After Easter, and as your child produces more evidence, teachers will be able to give an indication of a grade, but this should not be taken as a final grade.

What happens if my child does not complete the whole of the course?
Teachers must assess a student’s performance, only on the content which has been delivered to them by their teachers. So if only 75% of the course has been covered your child will be judged on that 75%, not the 25% that they have not covered. This could include content that has been delivered face to face in the classroom or through remote learning. Students who have not engaged in remote learning will inevitably be at a disadvantage, but those who have worked hard at home will be deservedly rewarded.

Will the exam boards be providing any assessments?
Yes. A package of support materials to include questions and mark schemes with advice on grades will be provided. We have yet to receive this material but we expect that it will be helpful for us to use. It may well be used for assessment points 3 and 4. However, the exam board materials will only be part of the range of evidence used by teachers to determine grades.

Are all courses treated the same?
No. There will be different plans for different courses depending on whether they are exam based or coursework based. Where there are non-exam assessments in a course the coursework will contribute significantly or wholly to the final grade. Therefore, students should continue to work on their coursework for as long as possible.

When will my child receive their results?
Results days will be on 10th August for A level and 12th August for GCSE. More details will follow but it is highly unlikely these will be similar to 2019 and more likely they will be similar to 2020 in that students will not come into school.

I realise that this is a worrying time for both you as a parent and your child. We will continue to update you as we receive further information. The best advice we can give your child is the same as we give every year. This is to work hard and try your very best. To reassure you, however, the government document that has been issued to us states that ‘Overall, it will be no easier or harder for a student to achieve a particular grade this year compared to previous years.

We are looking forward to welcoming the students back into school next week.

Take care and keep safe,

Darren Warner-Swann
Head of School

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