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Dear Year 10 students and Parents/Carers,

I hope you are enjoying the summer.

Despite it being the summer holidays there have been a number of educational developments occurring, hence the email today.

As you are aware, Ofqual initiated a consultation regarding the 2021 exams and we have now received the results of the consultation. I have summarised the main points below and attached a subject summary as well as the official document from Ofqual, should you wish to read the detailed analysis. The subject summary sets out any changes to assessment in the subjects we offer for next year; departments have been made aware of these and are now working on adapting their programme of study to reflect these. Teachers will discuss these with students in more detail on our return, so that they can prepare effectively for their exams in the summer.

Key points from Ofqual consultation:

·       Most of the proposals made were agreed. All decisions related to change in content or assessments are listed in the subject summary attached.

·       Astronomy and English Literature were additions made in response to feedback. Astronomy will be able to do observations through demonstrations or simulations. English Literature students will be tested on one less text as determined by the English Department, although the Shakespeare text will remain as core content.

·       There will not be greater question level optionality as Ofqual considered that it would be a disadvantage to the students who are already most disadvantaged by the disruption caused by the pandemic.

·       Exams will not change in terms of the length, number or format of exam papers, unless to accommodate any subject specific changes. For example, there will be no fieldwork questions for Geography so the exam paper will change to accommodate this.

·       The proposal to change the timing of the exam in the summer of 2021 to June/July has not been decided on. The following statement was made: “The key decision for Ofqual on the timetable is whether to change our rules to allow the exams boards to offer exams in July 2021 as well as in May and June. However, changes to the exam timetable are not for Ofqual alone. We will work with DfE, the exam boards, colleagues in Wales and Northern Ireland, and higher education to undertake a further analysis of the options, the risks and the mitigations, before taking a decision.” We await further clarification.

Some of our Year 10 students were entered for Astronomy and Statistics this year and are due to receive their results next week. I have attached a document which sets out how we, as a school, approached the awarding of Centre Assessed Grades. Regretfully, due to restrictions on large group gatherings, we have had to adapt the way we conduct our Results Day and this year our Year 10 students will receive their results via post. The results will be sent out when they are released on 20th August.

If a student has concerns about the grade awarded, they can request the Centre Assessed Grade, using Form 1, and then speak to me or another member of SLT on our return in September to discuss their options, which are, unfortunately, very limited this year. Students can make an appeal, but the CAG cannot be challenged and Year 10 students would be expected either to sit the exam in November or in the summer 2021, if they are unhappy with the grade awarded by the board.

 

Year 10 students will, however, be able to ask school to:

·       Check for administrative errors when the centre input data or when the board communicated results.

·       Check if the method used by the centre to determine grades was applied correctly.

·       Investigate concerns regarding bias or discrimination against them in determining their grade. This type of concern must be supported by evidence.

 

You may also have read or heard on the news that students can choose to appeal for a validated mock grade to be used instead of an awarded grade; however, this is not applicable for our Year 10 students as schools were closed before our students could complete a standardised and formal mock.

 

I have attached some information from Ofqual for information, but please be aware that it was published before the changes announced yesterday, 12th August.

 

I hope that you enjoy the rest of the summer; we look forward to welcoming students back for their final year in September.

 

Kind regards,

Mrs Walter

 

Student Information about malpractice
Consultation Decisions
Methodology for determining Centre Assessed Grades
GCSE Subjects
Summer 2021 Consultation Analysis
Subject Annex

 

 

 

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