Principal’s Blog #2: 30 March

Hello again everyone. Welcome to week two of remote learning. It has been really reassuring to hear from so many of your teachers about the progress you are making. There is a lot of excellent work taking place by so many of you. For those of you who have completed your mock exams, please try to get copies of these to your teachers by scanning or photographing and emailing them. Everyone else should keep hold of any completed work so that we can gather it in at a later date. I am aware some of you may be submitting work to teachers online, which is great.

I have included some further information about how grades may be given below. As you will see, it is vital that you continue to work hard during your time away from College. 

It is also vital that you follow the guidance given by the Government.

STAY HOME – PROTECT THE NHS – SAVE LIVES

Remember, we are in this together and we will get through it. If there is anything you need please do not hesitate to get in touch with me or your teachers. We are all here for you whatever you need.

Information we have so far regarding your grades:

A Levels/GCSE

Unfortunately, we are still waiting for further detail about awarding grades from the different exam boards. At present, we are being told we will know by Easter. Awarding organisations are working together with Ofqual and the Department for Education to determine a fair process by which students will be awarded final grades this summer, in lieu of final exams. The key focus is to ensure students are given grades that reflect performance and the work put in. These grades will ‘be indistinguishable’ from those awarded to students in previous years and Universities have been encouraged ‘to be flexible and do all they can to support students and ensure they can progress to higher education’.

Teaching staff will be asked to provide a judgement on grades they feel students would have achieved had they taken the exam and provide supporting evidence to substantiate this. These will not be aspirational grades but accurate judgements taking into account their knowledge of the student, formative and summative assessments such as mock exams and work completed in class. This will include work already seen and work which is completed in the coming months, for this reason it is imperative that you continue to complete and submit work as requested by staff, including non-exam assessment work where it is part of your course. Exam boards will then use this information in conjunction with data such as prior attainment to decide on a final calculated grade. It has been confirmed that an opportunity to sit the exams will be made available in either early Autumn 2020 or Summer 2021 should students be unhappy with their grades. There will also be an option to appeal should you feel the right process hasn’t been followed when awarding your grade. 

BTEC

The cancellation of exams will also apply to the BTEC courses that include externally assessed exams or set tasks. The process for how these final grades will be applied is less clear at this stage. The exam boards are working together with regulators to ensure that a fair and consistent approach is applied, further details of which will be made available in due course. What is clear is that the work completed on internally assessed units will still form the main source of evidence to achieve final grades, completion dates for these remain unchanged. This means that students should continue to complete all BTEC work and meet deadlines set by staff to ensure they complete their course. 

City & Guilds

We are still waiting on details for Functional Skills and City and Guilds courses but students should continue to participate in lessons and complete work set by staff as they would if attending College.

Here’s a link to the latest update from the Department of Education about Exams and Assessments.