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Message to Year 13 from Head of Sixth Form

Update on Year 13

A Levels and OCR/BTEC Exams and coursework

Dear Year 13

The Examinations boards are working with the main Qualifications Body (OFQUAL) to agree a process following the announcements on Wednesday and Friday. They are committed to ensuring that you receive a fair grade for qualifications this summer, and are working to agree the process to meet this key objective.

What will happen?

1. Teacher judgements. Teacher judgements/professional predictions will be based on the overall qualification grade each of you is likely to achieve at the end of your course of study, based on your performance on a range of formative and summative assessments like Exams taken already e.g., Coursework and PPE’s (NOT A.S.EXAMS). Teacher judgements, for this purpose, are not ambitious grades that you might aspire to achieve, but are the grades we think you would have achieved if the exams had gone ahead. As we all know, some of you if not all would go the extra mile in effort for the main exams rather than the PPE’s so don’t think that we will use PPE grades unless they are very good.

2. The Exam boards will consider the full range of evidence, including your GCSE grades as well teacher judgements, to produce a final calculated grade to award you. They will be in contact with me at some point in April but not beyond to provide further details on how and when to submit these teacher judgements.

3. Grades will reflect performance as fairly as possible and ‘be indistinguishable’ from grades given to students in other years

4. Vocational Qualifications, BTEC and Cambridge Nationals – Pearsons and OCR are working with OFQUAL to agree an approach to ensure none of you are disadvantaged particularly since some of you may have had lower than predicted grades in the exams that you have already sat. They know that students often do better in resits so they will use the best available evidence and teacher judgements to confirm final calculated grades.

5. Results: OCR have emailed me and stated that they aim to give you your calculated grades by the end of July. If that is the case the other exam boards will aim to do the same.

6. Universities have been encouraged ‘to be flexible and do all they can to support students and ensure you can progress to higher education’.

What I will do is to look at the grades that you had at GCSE and the predicted grades that I placed on UCAS. I don’t want to wander too far away from what I predicted on UCAS in case they think that I have just inflated the grades because of the current crisis we are in. I will ask your teachers of coursework to give me a predicted grade too.

NB: What I send the Boards will not be the grade that you will be given as the final grade. They will use my prediction as a benchmark and then see if they agree based on your GCSEs and Teacher Judgements. They could also look at your SATS performance to see if there has been a correlation and then add in my predicted grade.

The exam boards have proposed that there could be Examinations on offer early in the Autumn Term (September/October) (that’s if we are getting on ok with the virus) if you are unhappy with your predicted grade. Also they have stated that you will (as an option) be able to sit the Examinations in 2021 if you wish to. There will also be an appeals process if you are unhappy with the grades.

Any further information I will again post on Google Classroom and the school website.

Best Wishes

J EL’Habid