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Information regarding GCSE and A level awards this summer

Dear Student,

Update on Assessment of GCSE and A Level Students – Summer 2021

We hope you are well, working hard and taking good care of yourself.

We have now had information from the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), the national governing body responsible for all public examinations and assessment, on how this summer’s assessment of GCSE and A Level students will take place. With Easter approaching, and the opportunity for you not only to take a well-earned rest but also the chance to get started on revision, we thought it would be useful for you to know what you can expect to receive from us in the weeks ahead.

By 30th April, we will provide you and your parents and carers with the following:

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Information on the what the evidence base will include in each subject at each level (GCSE and A Level)

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A timetable of when assessments will take place in each subject during our Summer Internal Assessment Period (4th-28th May) . Provisionally GCSE 4th-14 May; A level 17th-24th May.

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Information on the length of each assessment and the areas of the course each will cover (many teachers have already discussed content with you)

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Information on how we will manage potential absence from assessments during the Summer Assessment Period

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An opportunity for you to let us know of any circumstances over and above those which every student has endured that might have affected your performance.

JCQ has published information for parents/carers and students on how this summer’s assessment of GCSE and A Level students will work. You can find this here:

https://www.jcq.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/JCQ-Guidance-for-Students-and-Parents-on-Summer-2021.pdf (https://www.jcq.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/JCQ-Guidance-for-Students-and-Parents-on-Summer-2021.pdf)

The grades awarded for each subject will depend on the whole range ('basket') of evidence provided (unless you have a specific reason [such as illness] why one should be discounted)

Of particular importance in this document is the following paragraph (our highlighting):

“Teachers will initially determine your grades, which will then be reviewed by your school or college. The professional judgement of teachers will only be based on what you have been taught and your teachers will use a range of evidence from across the course of study to make their decision.

Teachers can assess you based on:

• Records of your performance on the content you have been taught over the entire course of your studies

• Non-exam assessment, often referred to as coursework or internal assessments, even if you have not fully completed it

• Work you have produced in tasks set by your school or college that reflects the specification, format and marking of exam boards. This could include substantial classwork, homework, internal tests or mock exams

• Schools and colleges also have the option to set tests for you in order to gather further evidence.

Teachers can develop these tests or use assessment materials provided by the exam boards. Importantly, these tests are not formal exams, nor are they designed to play the role of exams. Your teachers do not need to assess you on every aspect of each subject. They just need a range of evidence that shows your performance on the aspects you have been taught. In most cases, the range of evidence that your teachers use to inform your grade will be consistent across your class or cohort for each qualification. However, your school or college may decide that a different range of evidence may be more appropriate to fairly inform your grade, if, for example, you have missed significantly more teaching than others in your class.

Your teachers will tell you which pieces of work will be used as evidence to inform your overall grade. You will have the opportunity to raise any concerns about the evidence being used, for example, if the evidence was affected by personal circumstances, such as illness. Your teacher will make the final judgement about what evidence is to be included - this is not a negotiation. Your teachers will not be able to tell you the grade they have submitted to the exam board.”

As we have previously mentioned, our intention is to support you as much as we can to achieve outcomes in line with your ability and the progress you have already demonstrated and that you will continue to demonstrate over the coming weeks.

We would therefore once again highlight the importance of your continuing to show maximum focus and determination over the remainder of the academic year as this will be of great benefit to you.

We will be in contact once again at the start of next term with further details relating to all of the above.

In the meantime, do please have a safe and enjoyable Easter.

Very best wishes

Mr. Moore Headteacher

Mr. Watson Deputy Headteacher

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