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Coronavirus - Update 23/03/30 - Exams and Grades
23/03/2020

Dear Parents / Carers, 

As you will be aware, we received the unprecedented news last week that GCSE and A level exams will not take place this summer. We understand that this will have come as a shock to you and to your sons / daughters. You, like us, will have lots of questions about the implications of this announcement.

So far, we have received the following information from the DfE: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-cancellation-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2020/coronavirus-covid-19-cancellation-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2020

I have provided a short summary for you below:

  • Exams will definitely not take place.
  • Teachers will be asked to submit a predicted grade, using any mock exams and non-exam assessments that pupils have already done to inform this.
  • Students will be awarded a ‘calculated grade’ by the exam board – this will take into account the predicted grade, but will also factor in other information such as prior attainment and past performance of the school. This is to ensure the process is moderated and is fair.
  • Exam boards are used to using this system, for example with pupils who fall ill just before the exams.
  • If pupils do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance, they will have the opportunity to sit an exam as soon as possible after schools open again.
  • They will also have the opportunity to sit their exams in Summer 2021.
  • The grades awarded will have equal validity to the grades awarded in other years and will be treated this way by universities, colleges and employers.

We await further guidance from Ofqual and the exam boards, including what to do in the case where coursework has been started, but not finished. We will share the details with you when they become clear.  We have received several enquiries from Year 13 students and parents regarding A Level and BTEC coursework.  In the absence of official guidance, in line with our general advice to continue working on the course content, we are advising Year 13 students to continue working on their coursework until we can provide clarification.

In the meantime, we ask that parents and pupils do not contact teachers to ask about their predicted grades or to put undue pressure on them to increase their grades for college or university. They will not be able to answer these queries.

In the light of an opportunity to appeal against the grades awarded, it is advisable for pupils in Year 11 and Year 13 to keep up with their revision, in case they wish to sit the exam in future.

We will be back in touch as soon as we have further information.

Yours faithfully,

Mrs E Nicholls

Interim Principal