In March 2020 I sent a letter to Y13 I never thought I would have to write, informing them that their exams had been cancelled.
I now find myself in the position of having to write a similar letter again.
Yesterday the Secretary of State for Education confirmed that all summer examinations for Y13 pupils will not go ahead and will be replaced by teacher assessed grades. We do not have any more details at the moment and OFQUAL, the regulating body for exam boards, are now consulting on what this will mean for pupils in Y13.
Last night I made the decision that Y12 and Y13 exams that are scheduled for this month will go ahead as planned.Yesterday Mr EL’Habid and I had an online discussion with some of you as we felt that your voices were the most important ones. Most of you wanted to carry on as planned and we want to make sure you have the opportunity you are entitled to.
Because the numbers of candidates are small, we feel that we are able to carry out these exams as safely as possible. However, if you feel that you do not wish to sit your exam, this is your choice and you will not be penalised. Please let Mr EL’Habid know if you will not be attending.
You have already faced considerable disruption to your education, missing time in school during the spring 2020 lockdown and once more during the latest lockdown. Further to this, you have also had to miss time in school last term because of having to self-isolate. This is not what any of us at Archbishop Ilsley Catholic School wanted for you or for any pupil in the country.
I know the current situation is causing many of you huge anxiety and uncertainty. However, there are things we need you to do in order to ensure that when we receive instructions on awarding grades we are in a position to award a grade that is accurate and a true reflection of your achievements and progress. For this we will need as much evidence as possible.
It has never been as important as it is now for you to continue engaging in your remote learning and complete any coursework. Teachers will need as much evidence as possible to be able to award a grade for each of your subjects and you must complete the work that is being set during this lockdown. Should the exam boards ask for evidence, which is a possibility, we will need to have work that you have completed to send off.
Many of you will also be thinking of going to university or seeking employment when you leave us next summer. Continuing with your education now will only be of great advantage to you for your futures; we want everyone to leave us with a pathway to success and we will continue to set work for you online until we return to school.
At present the timeframe for you to return to school is after February half-term. The government is keeping this under review and I will keep you updated with any developments.
Please ensure you continue working; your form tutors and teachers will be in touch with you and we are here if you need any further support.
It is my greatest wish that I see you all in person after the half-term break. Stay safe and look after yourselves.
Miss H Burrows