FAO Year 11/13 Parents, Carers and Students
The staff team at Havelock Academy would like to thank all parents, carers and students for your support in recent weeks during this difficult time.
As you may be aware, this morning Ofqual published details of how GCSE and A-level grades will be calculated and awarded for this academic year. It is important to note that this guidance is for GCSE and A-level subjects only and does not include vocational qualifications such as BTEC, WJEC (i.e. Hospitality) or VTCT (i.e. Hair and Beauty). As we receive any further guidance on these qualifications, we will update you.
Ofqual has stressed that their over-riding aim is to be fair to students and to make sure they are not disadvantaged in their progress to sixth form, college, university, apprenticeships, training or work because of these unprecedented circumstances.
Schools are being asked to provide the exam boards with two pieces of information for every subject that a student is studying. This will be based on what teachers know about students’ work and achievements:
- Firstly, the grade that the teacher believes the student would most likely have got, if teaching, learning and exams had gone ahead as planned.
- Secondly, within each subject, the rank order of students at school by performance for each grade.
This second piece of information will be used to standardise judgements across the whole country – basically, allowing Ofqual and the exam board to fine tune the standard that is applied across schools and colleges so that it is as fair as possible to everyone. As part of this process, we will be considering things like classwork and homework, results in assignments and any mock exams, any coursework, and general progress during the course.
Ofqual and the exam boards will then look at all of this information across the country and standardise the approach, so that no one is disadvantaged or advantaged if schools have been too harsh or too generous. What this means in practice is that the final grade students are given may in fact be slightly different to the grade that teachers have submitted.
For this reason Ofqual have requested that the academy does not release any recent predicted and/or mock grades. The grades submitted and rank order of students should remain confidential and we are therefore not able to share these with students, parents and/or carers.
Results are expected to be issued around the same time as any normal year, and Ofqual have said that it may be possible to issue them a little earlier. We will, of course, keep you updated on this as we have more information. Ofqual are also offering reassurance that grades will look exactly the same as they would in any other year, and they will have equal status with universities, colleges and employers, to help students move forward in their lives as planned.
If students are unhappy with the grades they receive in the summer, there will be the option to take exams in the autumn term, and Ofqual will be providing us with more information on this in the coming weeks, which we will share with you.
For Year 11 students, we have put together a webpage which enables them to look ahead to their future next steps and to spend their time preparing for them. There are bridging units for A-level courses, videos on writing CVs and UCAS forms and I would point you to the home learning pages which teach students how to revise/take notes and also the online courses that Eton college have recently published. This can be accessed from the KS4 section of www.secondary.dret.cloud.
For Year 13 students, we recommend for them to read around the subject that they may have applied for. If they have applied for university, universities will usually publish a pre-course reading list to help prepare for study.
As ever, if you have any questions or concerns, please do get in touch.