Eaton Bank Academy

2020 Exams Information

Posted

09/04/2020

Ofqual arrangements for summer – https://ofqual.blog.gov.uk/2020/04/09/arrangements-for-summer-2020/


Frequently asked questions (FAQ) Exam Grades

We have received some questions from students and parents regarding the cancellation of the summer exams and the process that will be used to calculate individual results. We understand how unsettling this is for everyone. In the background, our staff have been working hard to gather a whole range of data that we think may be used as evidence to support whatever grades are awarded on each subject and for each student. Individual subject teachers are not in a position to be able to answer the vast majority of questions on this issue.

Further guidance has been issued today by OfQUAL. We are now clear about the principles that OfQUAL want schools to use to proceed and the timescales.   The principles are as we suggested in the earlier letter to parents (31/3/20) but the timescales have now sensibly shifted a little.  All teacher assessment provisional grades need to be with examination boards between 29th May and mid-June.

It must be emphasised that we will not be in a position to share any of the information with students or parents.

We have set up this FAQ page to help students and parents to stay up to date with the latest information. If you can’t find the answer to your question or concern, please contact us by emailing exams2020@eatonbank.org

Q Is there any chance that exams will be allowed to happen if the coronavirus situation improves more quickly than expected?

No.  The decision to cancel all examinations for the 2020 summer series is final and will not change.

Q Does the process of deciding grades apply to all qualifications? What about EPQ qualifications or BTECs as they are assessed slightly differently to GCSEs and A Levels?

The same process will apply to all GCSEs, A Levels and EPQs.  OfQUAL states that the process does not apply to BTECs though “the same aims apply” and an approach to grading BTECs is urgently underway.  Further details will follow to confirm arrangements for grading BTECS.

Q Is there anything I can do now to influence my final grades?

There is nothing that individuals can now do that will influence their final grades. This is a question that lots of students are asking individual teachers. Our advice about work towards exams for Y11 and Y13 is that students no longer need to complete or submit any work towards these qualifications.

Q If work is now being set doesn’t count to my grades, why are we still having work set?

This is a very difficult time for everyone and we are trying hard to ensure that when we return to classroom learning, we have everyone at the level they need to be at as early in the new academic year as possible. We are working on developing more project-based work that leads into the next stages of your study for Y11 and Y13.

Q What is the latest guidance from the government, regarding the cancellation of exams?

The latest guidance can be accessed from the DfE’s website (www.gov.uk) from here all OfQUAL releases can also be obtained.

Q How will the right grade be calculated for my child?

We all agree that ethically and morally all students will get the results that they deserve, to enable them to progress to the next stage of their learning. We are using the latest guidance from OfQUAL (the exams regulator), the exam boards, as well as the guidance from the DfE

Q My child didn’t do as well as expected in the Autumn/Spring mock examinations. Are the final grades based just on this?

No. We are initially looking at a whole range of evidence, in line with the guidance we have been given. This includes internal assessments, classwork, homework, tests already undertaken and teacher judgements.

Q Will universities, colleges and sixth forms accept these calculated grades?

Yes. These grades will be formal qualification grades, with the same status as those awarded in any previous year.

Q What is happening with university admissions?

UCAS, who operate the application process, reports that a 2 week hold has been put in place to stop universities offering any more unconditional offers, or changing offers, whilst they review their processes. (please visit www.ucas.com for the latest information).

Q Are you just awarding the students their predicted grades?

No. We are using a fair system for all, which will take into account a wide range of assessments and judgements. This will be in line with guidance from OfQUAL who have stated they want schools to look at a broad range of evidence, including teacher assessment, mock exam results, classwork, homework and prior attainment of the whole year group. OFQUAL has made it very clear that a student’s individual outcomes in summer 2020 will not be predetermined by their prior attainment at KS2 or GCSE.

Q When are the grades being published?

Although the government recently stated that they intend to publish grades to students before the end of July, this is not guaranteed and we do not have a definite date for exam results. It now seems more likely that results will be published in August. As we get more information on this we will update these FAQs.

In the meantime, we will not discuss potential grades with individual students/parents in any subject. There will be quality control measures in place to ensure that the grades awarded locally are in line with grades nationally.

Q What if I am unhappy with my grade?

There will be an appeals mechanism in place if a student does not believe that the correct process has been followed. We understand that this will not be delivered through the school. In addition, if students do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance, they may have the opportunity to sit an exam, as soon as is reasonably possible after schools open again. Details about examination opportunities still need to be clarified by the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson. Students may also have the option to sit an exam in Summer 2021.