As a result of the disruption students have faced due to the pandemic, the government has said that many exams and assessments cannot be held this year in a way which is fair. All parts of the education system are working together to make sure that children are still able to get their grades and can carry on with their lives, whether that is continuing with education or training, or going into the workplace.
To be of value, qualifications must reflect what students know, understand and can do and must be widely understood and respected. We appreciate that this is a stressful time. There has been a great deal of uncertainty, and many children across the country will have missed out, not just on teaching and learning, but on the support offered by face-to-face contact with fellow students, friends, family and employers.
GCSEs, AS and A levels
For GCSEs, AS and A levels, teachers will assess the standard at which students are performing based only on what has been taught so that they can determine an appropriate grade. Teachers’ judgements will be based on a range of evidence relating to the subject content that they have delivered, either in the classroom or via remote learning. Teachers will be able to use evidence about students’ performance gathered throughout their course to inform their judgements. The evidence used will follow that which was communicated to parents by us previously.
- Engagement data during remote learning
- Coursework / controlled assessments that students will be completing when they return to school
- Internal testing which will be organised for May.
Our teachers do need to have solid evidence of students’ ability in order to provide a grade. The grades they give for students’ assessed work will be moderated by other teachers to ensure fairness of a single teacher’s marking judgment. The arrangements for this year are designed so that teaching and learning can continue for as long as possible, so teachers’ judgements on students’ work should take place as late in the academic year as is practical. It’s important that all our students keep engaged in learning and study as long as possible so that their hard work can be considered in their grade. And it will stand them in good stead for the next stage of their lives. Teachers will explain to students which pieces of work will count towards their grade, before their grade is submitted to the exam board.
For GCSE Art and Design, students’ grades will be based on their portfolio only, whether or not they have finished it. And for GCSE English Language and GCSE Modern Foreign Languages, teachers will submit a separate grade or result for the spoken language or practical skills tested, based on work that has been completed.
The government is working towards all students receiving their results for GCSEs on 12th August. Results for vocational or technical qualifications linked to moving on to further or higher education should also be issued either on or before this date. Teachers will not be able to give students their overall results before this date as the exam boards will also be moderating the results we submit.