What's the timeline?
- From March - Teachers can get training and support from exam boards on making fair judgements on grades
- End of March – Schools will receive optional assessment materials from the exam boards on all subjects (except art and design) and additional guidance on processes and procedures
- Before 18 June – Schools will carry out an internal quality assurance
- 18 June - Deadline for submitting pupil results to exam boards (leaving day for year 11)
- June and July - Exam boards will conduct external quality assurance by checking evidence for a sample of schools and subjects. It'll also follow up on any concerns it has about schools' internal quality assurance processes
- 12 August - GCSE results day
- After results are released - there'll be a window for pupils to appeal if they think their grade is wrong (the government hasn't confirmed dates for this yet)
Dear Parents/ Carers and Students
Re: Arrangements for the award of GCSE, A level grades and Vocational Qualifications in summer 2021
You will be aware that in January, the government decided that this year’s GCSEs, A levels and vocational examinations could not go ahead as planned and, instead, students should receive grades based on teacher assessment. The DfE and Ofqual have now confirmed the alternative arrangements schools need to implement for the award of these qualifications in 2021. Their overarching aims are that students can get their grades and move onto their next stage of education, employment of training and that these grades are widely understood and respected.
The details below outline the key elements of the assessment process to determine and award grades fairly and consistently both within and across schools. Students might also wish to read this article written by Ofqual especially for them.
- Schools will need to submit grades to the exam boards by 18 June
- A level results will be published on 10 August
- GCSE results will be published on 12 August
- Vocational results will be published at the same time
How grades will be determined:
- Teachers will assess the standard at which students are performing, based only on what has been taught (providing there has been sufficient coverage of the course content).
- Teacher judgements will be based on a range of evidence. This evidence may include any of the work listed below, but the school will need to be confident that it is the student’s own unaided work and they have not been given inappropriate levels of support either at home or from tutors.
- The evidence can be taken from any point in the course, but it is expected that more recent evidence is likely to be more representative of a student’s achievement.
The evidence base could include:
- work produced in class or at home (including remote learning, where schools are confident it is the students’ own, unaided work). This would be expected to be similar in format as exam board material and marked using exam board mark schemes
- tests and mock exams taken over the course of study
- work produced in response to the additional assessment materials (mini tests) to be provided by the exam board
- non-exam assessment (NEA) work even if this has not been fully completed
- records of a student’s capability and performance over the course of study in performance-based subjects such as music, drama and PE
- Teachers will be supported to arrive at grades using exam board guidance and exemplars.
- Students will know which evidence is being used to assess them but they will not be told the grade in advance of results day.
How schools and the exam boards will ensure the grades are fair:
- Schools will be expected to have internal quality assurance systems (including moderation) and checking of grades before they are submitted.
- This internal quality assurance will also include consideration of our school’s profile of results in previous years as a guide to help check that judgements aren’t unduly harsh or lenient.
- Exam boards will review all schools’ quality assurance processes before grades are submitted.
- Once grades are submitted, the exam board will conduct various checks to make sure grades submitted are fair and consistent across centres. This will include sampling of evidence.
- If there are concerns with the grades submitted, the exam board will work with the school to address this before results day. (Exam boards will not ‘remark’ the work).
- Students will have the right to appeal if they are concerned about their grade.
- Grades will not be changed by exam boards if the evidence provided shows the grade is a ‘reasonable’ assessment.
We appreciate you may have many questions about how this process will work in practice, including: the nature of the evidence base; whether different subjects might consider using the exam released papers and about the content covered or missed. We would ask for your patience while we work through the practicalities and also while we wait for additional information from exam boards (due at the end of March.)
Once we have this, we will publish the arrangements on the exams page on our website.
Whatever further guidance is forthcoming, we will not be able to enter into conversation with parents or carers about the grades we will submit. Therefore, we would be grateful if you would avoid contacting subject teachers with specific queries about grades, because they will be unable to answer these.
For now, it is essential that students continue to work hard, complete all work set by teachers and respond to feedback so that the final evidence base shows their very best achievements and they can receive the grades they deserve.
Acting Deputy Headteacher
Year 11 Exams Summer 2021 - Updated 27/02/21
Following the announcement on 13 January 2021 by The Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, that the Summer 2021 exams series could not go ahead as planned, a join consultation between the government and Ofqual (the exams regulator) was undertaken.
The outcomes of this consultation were published on 25 February 2021 and confirmed that grades would be teacher assessed, following guidance that will be issued by the awarding bodies (exam boards).
For more information about the grading for this summer for both GCSE and vocational qualifications, please refer to the attached documents below.
If you have any questions about this process, please speak to our Examinations Officer.
Re: Consultation on how GCSE grades should be awarded in summer 2021
Dear Parents/ Carers,
Following the Government’s decision that GCSE exams would not go ahead as planned later this year, the Secretary of State for Education has asked Ofqual, the exams regulator, to consult on alternative arrangements for the award of these qualifications.
The overarching expectation is that, this year, GCSEs, AS and A levels will be based on teachers’ assessment of the performance of their students (and that there will be no algorithm used to determine grades at national level).
Ofqual has now published the consultation on the proposed ‘alternative arrangements’, detailing suggested processes and systems required to award grades fairly and consistently in summer 2021. The full set of proposals can be found here and responses can be made online here until January 29th 23:45. There is a connected and complementary consultation on the arrangements for vocational, technical and other qualifications, which will be covered in a separate letter.
The key proposals for GCSEs, AS and A levels are outlined below and cover the assessment expectations and arrangements, the timescales involved, quality assurance processes, results days and appeals. (Please note the feedback on these proposals will inform the final assessment process and Ofqual may choose to take forward only certain elements.)
Key proposals in the consultation:
- a student’s grade in each subject should be based on their teachers’ assessment of the standard at which they are performing
- the grade recommended should be evidence-based and that evidence will need to be retained for exam board sampling
- the final assessment should be informed by a breadth /combination of evidence, but there may be limits on what schools can use to inform their judgements
- to account for time missed as a result of the pandemic, assessment should focus on the content students have covered (but there will be a minimum proportion of the overall subject content that will need to be considered)
- exam boards should provide a set of papers (either compulsory or optional) to support teachers in assessing their students’ work; these will be marked by teachers
- non-exam assessment should be taken into account in the final assessment
- final assessment should be made towards the end of the academic year, at about the time students would have taken their exams and will involve internal standardisation and moderation
- grades would be submitted to the exam boards by mid-June and results would be issued to students in early July, after the exam board had undertaken quality assurance (including sampling of work)
- students would not be told the grade their school has submitted before results day
- students would be able to appeal but a grade would only be changed if it is found not to represent a reasonable assessment
- A level students would be informed of their results before universities (to allow for an appeal process) to support fairer admissions decisions
We believe it is important that as many students and parents as possible respond so that those directly affected have their views considered. The attached document lists the questions posed in the consultation to give you an overview of the views being sought. Although the consultation has 68 questions, the majority require either yes/no answers or responses that ask whether you agree/disagree and, therefore, we hope it should not take too long to complete.
We would encourage you and your son/daughter to respond to the proposals outlined in the consultation, if at all possible.
Once Ofqual publishes its final decisions on the process for assessment, we will, of course, keep you informed of the outcome and next steps. This will include further specific guidance from the exam boards on particular subject expectations.
For now, it is essential that students, who were expecting to take exams later this year, continue to work hard so that they are well prepared for whatever assessment process is expected of them and their teachers.
Acting Deputy Headteacher
Mock Exams Timetable 2020
Year 11 Mock Exams 30th Nov. - 4th Dec. 2020
The new GCSE courses are very demanding qualifications. The removal of coursework and controlled assessment from most subjects means that all of the marks contributing to the final grade are a result of the performance in the final exams, because of this mock exams are now more important than ever.
The mock exams are written examination papers which last approximately 1h 45m to 2h 11m. The papers will include structured questions, short-answer questions and practical-related questions.
These exams are used both to assess students’ performance and also to prepare them for the forthcoming GCSE examination in June. The students are expected to revise thoroughly for these exams and their performance will be reflected in their predicted grade for the final GCSE exams.
Summer Public Exams
All candidates are expected to be familiar with the rules and regulations before entering an exam room. The documents for these are to be found below:
- Information for Candidates – Privacy Notice
- Information for Candidates – Social Media
- Information for Candidates – Written exams
- Information for Candidates- Controlled Assessment
- Information for Candidates – Coursework
- Exam Contingency Plan
Revision Tips For GCSE Students
If you want to achieve your best grades in your GCSEs in June 2020, then you need to know the best way to revise. You need to know how to develop good exam technique. You need to know how to build up your confidence. Here are some some revision techniques and tips, which could be work for you:
Create a Timetable. The first step is to create a realistic plan for your revision. It doesn't need to be pretty or high-tec, a piece of paper will do. Schedule when each GCSE Exam will take place. Break down each subject and plan the revision for each subject area. Schedule small chunks of revision and vary the subjects to begin to build some momentum. Once you start, it will become easier … as the inertia reduces.
Organise each Subject. You will be preparing for different GCSE Examinations. For each subject, gather together your notes, exercise books, text books and resources. Separate piles, separate folders.
Know the Exam Requirements. Print off a copy of the Exam Syllabus/Specification for each subject. Make sure that you know which Exam Board you are preparing for (Edexcel, OCR, AQA, Eduqas, WJEC, Btec). The Exam Specification will provide you with a breakdown of the topics that you need to cover. It will also help you identify the demands of each of the separate exam papers.
Make Notes. Go through your school books and begin to make notes. Write notes again and again, each time more condensed. If you only read to revise, you will retain some of the content … if you write notes to revise, you will retain much more of the content. Use memory aids, mnemonics, flashcards, if you find them helpful. Listen to podcasts, watch videos or documentaries, move to a new study area. By the week of the exam, your notes should have become condensed to just one side of A4.
Practice Past Papers. You can access past exam papers online. Make sure that you choose the correct Exam Boards (Edexcel, OCR, AQA, Eduqas, WJEC). Schedule one exam paper each week for each subject. Create your own exam conditions. Mark your own exam papers so that you understand the marking scheme. Ask your teacher or your friends for extra help, if there are topics that you do not understand.
Look after your Body. Take the time you need to rest and relax from your studies. Spend some planned time with your friends. Eat nutritious food. Drink lots of water. Sleep long and deep. Find a healthy balance.
Build Confidence. Confidence is built on accomplishment, so get things done. Small things to start with. Follow through on your plan. You will respect yourself if you say you're going to do something and then you do it. Recognise and reward your achievements.
On GCSE Exam Day. Eat a good breakfast. Read through your single page of notes a few times, to calm your nerves. Have all your equipment organised and ready to go. Get to school in good time.
Keep things in perspective, this is a GCSE Exam...
Curriculum Map for Year 11 Revision
Student Exam Guide and Advice
Arrangements for appeals
Candidates can appeal their grades through their centre if they feel the process this summer was not followed correctly in their case.
A candidate can:
- ask their centre to appeal on their behalf to an awarding body if there is evidence that leads a candidate to believe:
- the centre made an error when submitting a centre assessment grade or rank order information
- an awarding body made a mistake when calculating, assigning or communicating a grade
A candidate cannot:
- appeal against their centre assessment grades and position in the rank order
- appeal in respect of the process or procedure used by Falconer school in calculating their centre assessment grades and position in the rank order
- appeal directly in any respect to the awarding body
Autumn 2020 Exam Dates
A full series of GCSE in all subjects will be available in autumn 2020 and these dates have now been confirmed.
The timetable will run as follows:
- GCSE examinations start on Monday 2 November and finish on Monday 23 November.
The deadlines for entry are:
- GCSE (except English Language and Mathematics) – 18 September exam board, internal deadline 16 September to enable processing of entry
- GCSE (English Language and Mathematics) – 4 October exam board, internal deadline
2 October to enable processing of entry
- GCSE Maths: 14 January 2021
- Other GCSE: 11 February 2021
If you would like to be entered for an exam in the autumn please Examinations Officer Mr Abusef via email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. All entry requests should be received by the 4th September 2020 .