Further Update on GCSEs Arrangements for Year 11s

Letter to Year 11 Parents – 18th January 2021

As you may be aware, the DfE/Ofqual have published details of their joint consultations on awarding grades in summer 2021. The full details can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-how-gcse-as-and-a-level-grades-should-be-awarded-in-summer-2021/how-gcse-as-and-a-level-grades-should-be-awarded-in-summer-2021-html.

You may wish to read this consultation and use this as an opportunity to advise your thinking as parents.

To summarise this for you, grades will be based on a combination of both ‘teacher assessments’ that ‘reflect the standard at which pupils are performing’ and (potentially) exam papers or Controlled Assessments set by the Examination Boards. Crucially, in this proposal, exam boards would provide ‘a set of assessment papers’ to support teachers’ assessment. These assessments, and schools’ approaches, will be subject to moderation and checks. Pupils will be able to appeal their grades if they think it does not reflect the ‘evidence of their performance.’ This assessment will happen in line with when exams would have taken place.

It is also worth noting that the PPE results which pupils have already recently received are NOT their projected grades (which will be issued from the school imminently) and neither are their projected grades necessarily an indication of their final grades now that the landscape has changed. Importantly, pupils can improve upon these grades with hard work and continued dedication.

This means that the best thing you can do is to continue to support your children in engaging in their Home Learning to the very best of their ability and to continue encouraging them to be the very best Year 11 cohort they can be. We now need to work together to secure the outcomes that your children deserve so please contact us as required. A reminder:

Your children’s hard work will be recognised. Pupils can (and should) continue to apply for Post-16 pathways as normal. None of the effort they have shown so far, and will continue to show in the coming months, will be wasted. On the contrary, the new system will make sure that this is reflected in their grades.

Message to our pupils:

  1. Your eventual results will be indistinguishable from the real exams. In the long run, it won’t matter that your grade came via this system. You will still be able to progress to college, work, an apprenticeship and university if you wish to in the normal way. The value of your GCSE qualifications is not being altered, only the way they are administered. None of your ambitions for the future will be affected by this decision.
  1. The new system will be fair and balanced. Grades will be awarded on objective evidence. Any grades that your teachers set will be moderated carefully to ensure they are consistent both within and between schools.

Let us work together as the learning community we are. We are always here to support your child and remove barriers to learning.