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Year 11 Examinations

Last updated: Friday 3rd April 2020

To all Year 11 students and their families...

We are starting to get more information from the DfE and Ofqual about how Year 11 will receive their grades.  Here is the latest information:

“The exam regulator, Ofqual, and exam boards will work with teachers to provide grades to students whose exams have been cancelled this summer, following our actions to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The Government’s priority is now to ensure affected students can move on as planned to the next stage of their lives, including going into employment, starting university, college or sixth form courses, or an apprenticeship in the autumn.

This means ensuring GCSE, A and AS level students are awarded a grade which fairly reflects the work that they have put in. There will also be an option to sit an exam early in the next academic year for students who wish to. Ofqual will develop and set out a process that will provide a calculated grade to each student which reflects their performance as fairly as possible, and will work with the exam boards to ensure this is consistently applied for all students. The exam boards will be asking teachers, who know their students well, to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead.

To produce this, teachers will take into account a range of evidence and data including performance on mock exams and non-exam assessment – clear guidance on how to do this fairly and robustly will be provided to schools and colleges. The exam boards will then combine this information with other relevant data, including prior attainment, and use this information to produce a calculated grade for each student, which will be a best assessment of the work they have put in.

The aim is to provide these calculated grades to students before the end of July. In terms of a permanent record, the grades will be indistinguishable from those provided in other years. We will also aim to ensure that the distribution of grades follows a similar pattern to that in other years, so that this year’s students do not face a systematic disadvantage as a consequence of these extraordinary circumstances.

We will wait for the ‘clear guidance on how to’ submit our professional judgement.  I do want to make it clear that we will do this through by looking at a range of data and relevant circumstances.  Some examples:

  • Class assessments
  • Non-examined unit marks
  • Pre-Public Exam grades
  • Estimates/expected grades
  • Student attendance levels

Though none of these, on their own, are useful, when combined add them together and they help teachers to make sensible and accurate predictions year on year.

We do not have the guidance yet.  However, we hope we will be are allowed to take into account mitigating circumstances.  For instance, lower than expected prior performance due to illness, or the fact that PPEs are always lower than most students’ final grades.  I am confident that we will be able to submit realistic grades for our students that support the work that they have put into their qualifications.

The Government is also putting in place measures in case any of the students are unhappy with the grade that comes back from the Exam Boards/Ofqual.  They can either appeal, or there will be an opportunity for any of the students to sit the GCSE exams in the future in an attempt to improve their grade.

The published information about this is thus:

“We recognise that some students may nevertheless feel disappointed that they haven’t been able to sit their exams. If they do not believe the correct process has been followed in their case, they will be able to appeal on that basis. In addition, if they do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance, they will have the opportunity to sit an exam at the earliest reasonable opportunity, once schools are open again. Students will also have the option to sit their exams in summer 2021.”

The most important thing for now is that our boys keep safe and healthy.  We would also like to support them in moving onto their next steps.  To this end we will be linking with 6th form providers to make Year 12 work available to the boys.  Hopefully this will enable them to get ahead in their chosen courses and give them an advantage come September.  We will be in touch soon with more information about how the boys can access this work/content.