Examination Series – Summer 2021

Summer 2021 Examination Links

Summer 2021 Centre Review and Appeal Links

Year 11 and Year 13 Curriculum Links

Timeline

15 March (Monday) – Year 11 Internal Assessment series
22 March (Monday) – Year 13 Internal Assessment series
 
2 April (Friday) – Easter break
19 April – Return after Easter
23 April (Friday) – Additional INSET Day – Moderation of Year 11 and Year 13 Internal Assessments
 
17 May (Monday) – Summer Assessments begin
21 May (Friday) – Summer Assessments completed
29 May – Half Term
 
7 June (Monday) – Remote Learning Day for Departments to moderate Summer Assessments and Final School Assessed Grades
18 June (Friday) – School Assessed Grades submitted to examination boards
 
10 August (Tuesday) – A level Results Day
12 August (Thursday) – GCSE Results Day

    Examination Series - Summer 2021

    Following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK government decided that the Summer 2021 examination series would not go ahead as planned. Instead, Schools will determine grades, based upon a range of evidence verified by the School.

    These results will then be reviewed by the examination boards who designed each course, before awarding the final grades which reflect the performance on content taught, and allow students to confidently progress to the next stage of education or into employment.

    Aylesbury Grammar School has adopted the terminology of ‘School Assessed Grades’ as opposed to teacher assessed grades, to reflect the collaborative nature of the process and the integrity and robustness offered across the School at such an important time for the students concerned.

    This webpage contains links to key documents. Official guidance and School documents for the examination series, as well as the ability to communicate with the School regarding any specific special consideration requests that the School is not already aware of.

    Guidance and documentation is also available regarding the Centre Review and Appeals process, with specific google forms to be made available for parents/students to request a Centre Review or Appeal to the Awarding Organisation after results days (10 August and 12 August). 

    A timeline for Centre Reviews and Appeals to Awarding Organisations is available in the guidance documents on this webpage.

    How will grades be awarded this summer?
    Grades for GCSEs and A levels will be based on a process involving assessment against national standards, internal quality assurance, and external quality assurance by the examination boards.
     
    The national process defined by the Department for Education and the exams’ regulator, Ofqual is as follows:
     
    1. Teachers will assess students against a national standard, which will be defined by the examination boards before the Easter break.
    2. Departments will submit grades which will be quality assured by the school. This internal quality assurance process will have to be signed off by the examination board to ensure it is rigorous and in line with national standards.
    3. Our school grades will be quality assured externally by the examination boards, which may include random sampling of our school’s evidence.
    4. If the examination boards are confident in our submitted grades, then the examination boards will award students their final grades.
    5. If students do not think their grades are accurate, they will have the right to appeal.
     
    So, do teachers award the grade?
    Simply: no. The grade students achieve will start with the department’s assessment of their performance across a range of evidence. This is against a nationally-defined standard, not a single teacher’s opinion. This assessment is then subject to both internal and external quality assurance before the final grade is awarded by the examination body as usual.
     
    Will grades be different between different schools and colleges?
    No, the standard against which teachers will be assessing students is set nationally by the examination boards. This is the standard that will be used during external quality assurance and appeals to ensure consistency and fairness across the system.
     
    What evidence will be used?
    Departments are able to draw on a range of assessment evidence from across a student’s study of the course. Different departments may use different sources of evidence, and there is no requirement for any one type of assessment to be used, it’s about a performance across a range of evidence.
     
    Can students discuss their grades with teachers?
    Under the guidance to date we are not allowed to disclose the final submitted grades of a student.
     
    Students should not attempt to second-guess the grade that will be submitted, as departments will be using a range of evidence to inform their final grade. Students and parents must not pressure teachers to reveal the grades the department is submitting, or to increase the grades, as doing so may be considered examination malpractice.
     
    What should students do to improve their grades?
    The best thing students can do is to continue to attend their lessons, learn, act on feedback from their teachers, revise for the forthcoming assessments  this month and in the summer, and read around their subject. Their grade will be based on their performance, and so their outcomes are ultimately in their hands.
     
    What are the School’s plans up to today?
    The School has produced a School Assessed Grades Policy, in line with guidance from JCQ. Each department has produced a Department Rationale Document to fully identify the evidence to be used to determine a grade.
    1. We have evidence from the course up to this time and departments will be spending time identifying what elements of this they may be using to support their final submitted grades. Different departments have different assessment requirements and so the evidence used will vary across these subjects. Departments have been charged with identifying the evidence they will use to produce the final School Assessed Grades.
    2. The students completed their internal assessments from 15 March for Year 11 and 22 March for Year 13. 
    3. In the summer term further opportunities to add to this evidence will be provided. The summer assessments in mid-May will be more focussed and shorter than March Internal Assessments, and may use the examination board materials that are due to be released at the end of March. Departments will explain this process clearly to students once decisions have been made.
    4. Some subjects will have a Non-Examination Assessment that is either complete or ongoing. These will provide additional evidence and departments will communicate with their students to explain the remaining process for these. It is important to remember that these NEAs do not need to be fully completed if the time does not allow though they should be completed as far as is directed by staff.
    Students will therefore have had a number of opportunities to demonstrate their breadth of knowledge and understanding giving teachers a variety of evidence on which to draw when determining School Assessed Grades.
     
    Our advice at this time is to continue to engage in the learning, to prepare well for the upcoming assessments and to listen to the advice of your teaching staff.