GCSE and Level 3 Core Maths Summer Grading: Update for Students and Families
How will grades be awarded?
The Government has confirmed that no external examinations will take place this summer. Instead, teachers will assess the standard at which students are performing at based on a portfolio of evidence and this portfolio of evidence will form a TAG (teacher assessed grade).
The grades awarded to students must reflect their knowledge, skills and understanding, and schools/colleges can use a range of evidence to inform their judgements
The grades cannot be a prediction based on what students would have achieved under different circumstances or be a measure of a student’s potential.
At Reaseheath we are confident that we have implemented a robust TAG process with rigorous quality assurance systems in place which puts us in a firm position to assign fair and accurate grades for our students.
Functional Skills Maths and English: Update for Students and Families
Functional skills exams have not been cancelled and most students have now had their first sitting which has been a good exam experience for them.
Once results are in, they will be shared with the students. If the students have not passed, there will be several further opportunities for them to re-sit up until the end of term. In lesson time the teachers will work with each student on their areas of weaknesses to best prepare them for the forthcoming exams.
What evidence can be used to determine a student’s grade?
JCQ guidance says that evidence that will inform judgements may include:
- mock exam results
- student work and assessments which have been produced over the duration of the course in response to assessment materials
- substantial class or homework (including those that took place during remote learning)
- assessments that students will complete in the remainder of this academic year.
Following the cancellation of exams by Ofqual, we made a strategic decision to move away from the formal mock exam scenario, to avoid additional, potentially stressful, exam style situations for our students. Instead, students have been completing regular in-class assessments to provide our staff with more evidence of the standard, at which, they are performing during this term. These in-class assessments are carried in controlled conditions and avoid the added pressure that a formal mock exam could bring. The staff will work with the Programme Leaders of both subjects to robustly assess and consider, all the evidence available, to ensure that grades awarded are fair and accurate.
Both teams are placing increased weighting on assessments completed during this rolling programme of assessment, however consideration will be given to all previously collected data. In the event of a situation where, because of circumstances this year, a student does not perform well in final milestones, then we will analyse earlier assessments and make a ‘holistic’ judgement about the student’s grade. Assessments used have been adapted so that they only cover what has been taught in the year and for GCSE maths, a list of topics has been shared with the students.
The grade will be based on evidence we have in the student’s portfolio. However, each student’s portfolio can be tailored to address any anomalies. We have put significant effort into ensuring that students entitled to access arrangements have had these put in place for the recent in-class assessments. If, however, this has not been the case, then this has been recorded and necessary adjustments, according to JCQ regulations will be made. Our rolling programme of assessment finishes at half term after which further opportunities will be provided for those who require them.
How are we ensuring that the grades awarded are fair and correct?
Decisions about grades will not be decided by one teacher alone. There will be a thorough quality assurance process in place to ensure there is fairness and consistency in the way grades are awarded for students.
Grades will be reviewed and adjusted, if necessary, at each part of this process. The process includes:
- A group of teachers within each subject area studying all the evidence to decide upon the grade which a student is performing at
- The Programme Leader of each subject will review the proposed grade for each student,
- The Curriculum Area Manager of M&E will review the proposed grades of each department
- The exam officer will check the final grades entered for students as they are submitted to the exam board.
Will teachers discuss grades with students?
Teachers cannot discuss final grades with students this year, or predict outcomes, but are able to discuss the marking of individual elements of the portfolio and will always disclose which assessed pieces will form the portfolio. All discussions of marks and grading are provisional until exam board moderation has taken place, and the results are released on 12th August.
When will results be issued?
12th August 2021 for GCSE and 10th August for Level 3 Maths.
How can I find out more?
Further information about the awarding of summer grades and the appeal process can be found in the following document: JCQ-Guidance-for-Students-and-Parents-on-Summer-2021.pdf
GCSE English upcoming topics
In English, we are three weeks into our assessment period and your learners have been busy completing a number of pieces to add to their portfolios. Here is a summary of what we have coming up in the next few weeks: w/c 10th May Paper 1 ‘Creative Reading and Writing’ assessed past paper, where language analysis, structural analysis and creative writing skills will be tested. In the weeks commencing 17th and 24th May ‘mop-up’ sessions for all assessed work, will commence and learners who have missed any assessment lessons will be given a chance to catch up. Every week from now until the end of term, revision and mop-up will take place Thursday 4-5pm in L25. You can support your learners by encouraging them to attend all lessons, use our online revision area on Wakelet here, and access English language AQA revision sites/videos such as Mr Bruff and BBC Bitesize during this period. To further support your learners, all of our online lessons are available on Teams.
Since returning from Easter break in GCSE Maths we have been doing focused revision sessions in face to face and online sessions to help students prepare for their final milestone assessment. Students have completed 3 milestone assessments so far and will have a final opportunity to complete 1 non calculator paper and 2 calculator papers which will form the final pieces of evidence for their TAG portfolio. It is really important that students do not miss these assessments as it will be their final chance to show off their maths skills to the best of their ability to give their teachers more evidence to add to their portfolios. These assessments will take place in the final 3 weeks of this term in their face to face sessions, if a student misses any of these sessions we will be putting on catch up workshops each afternoon where students will be expected to attend and complete missed assessments to give them the best possible chance of success. To assist students, revision work is being uploaded weekly to their GCSE teams page which they will all have access to and each Thursday Maths hold a revision support session from 4- 5pm in B3 in the PLC.
Level 3 Core Maths
Since returning from Easter break in L3 Core Maths we have been doing focused revision sessions in face to face and online sessions to help students prepare for their final milestone assessment. Students have completed 3 milestone assessments so far and will have a final opportunity to complete exam papers in Milestone 4 for evidence for their TAG portfolio. It is important that students do not miss these assessments as it will be their final chance to complete actual papers, to give their teachers more evidence to add to their portfolios. These assessments will take place in the weeks commencing May 10th and May 17th of this term in their face to face sessions. They will then have opportunity to complete assessments on specific topics w/c May 24th. After half term, two Revision/Assessment days are planned with the final chance to provide evidence for their portfolios. These are Monday June 7th for Animal Management and Tuesday June 8th for Equine, Engineering and Agriculture. Core Maths Support Workshops are held between 3.30 – 4.30pm every Wednesday in L15 and Thursday in D2. Both are accessible online if students are not in college.