Letter for y11 students from mr dickinson

Dear Year 11 Students,

I hope that my letter reaches you safe and well at home.

Firstly, I am sure that many of you have been following some of the developments in how GCSEs will be awarded for your year group, however with some sources of inaccurate information out there and I wanted to make sure you had access to the information you need, and deserve.

Ofqual are the exams regulator and set out the instructions and guidance for exam boards and schools to follow. They have released a video to explain the process to students and this is definitely worth spending a couple of minutes watching. The link can be found on the College website or you can paste the following into your browser – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXuDOrtJY1Q

Below are some of the key points:

·         You will achieve grades in the GCSE or Vocational qualifications for which you were entered for this Summer

·         Ofqual has now set out the process that will provide a ‘centre assessed grade’ to each student in each subject and this grade will be no different to a GCSE grade issued in any other year

·         Schools need to submit a number of pieces of information to exam boards about your progress in school and exam boards will moderate these and decide your final grade

·         Schools will not know your final grade in advance of results day

·         Schools are not allowed to share with you the ‘centre assessed grade’ they submitted to the exam board

All of the fine-details that schools will need to follow are not yet final, and Ofqual are currently consulting on the draft guidance that they have released. This is available for anybody to read, however you do not need to; there are a lot of people reading this in detail and responding to the Government on your behalf. I am one of those people and my view is that the system they have proposed is the right one given the circumstances; it is not 100% perfect, but as we know, the exams system as a whole rarely is.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has previously stated the following and this has not changed:

“If they [students] 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.”

I would also like you to know that your teachers and subject leaders are working incredibly hard to make sure that we provide the best information to exam boards so that the grade we submit is a true reflection, and likely to be the same as the one you would have achieved should exams have gone ahead. Teachers are taking into account everything that they can to judge the grade they believe you would have got if you had completed all exams. These are not simply predicted grades or previous mock exam results, but a centre assessed grade reflecting everything we know about each one of you and the journey you had yet to travel. A reminder that we are not allowed to share this with you – so please don’t ask. It is vital that we maintain the integrity of the process at all stages.

GCSE Results Day has been confirmed as 20th August and I will write to you closer to the time with more details about this and how to collect your results.

Finally, remember that we are here for you and there are a number of email addresses you can use to contact, should you need us. Perhaps already this week you have received a phone call from your Team Tutor, if not I expect you will receive this soon.

Take care and keep safe,

Mr C S Dickinson

Head of Upper School