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Ofqual have released an easy-to-use guide for students awarding 2021.  It also contains important advice on where students in England and their families can go for more information and support, including those with mental health concerns.  The guide also reminds students, parents and carers not to put teachers under pressure over grading.  Here is the link to the document: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/student-guide-to-awarding-summer-2021   

Below, you will find information on the assessment process for each subject.  Please scroll down the page and click on the relevant subject and the information you are looking for will open in a new link.

Teacher Assessed Grades  

 Assessment Process for Year 11 Teacher Assessed Grades 

As a result of the disruption to the education of students caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has replaced public exams with a system to determine grades whereby teachers of Year 11 students must assess their students’ performance, only on what content has been delivered to them. 

Assessment evidence 

Teachers can use evidence to determine grades from across the duration of the student’s course as below: 

Evidence from formal assessment

The government has recommended that a range of evidence is used, where it is available. The evidence can include student work produced in response to assessment materials provided by the exam board.  This can comprise groups of questions, past papers, or materials such as practice papers.  Additionally, we can use student work produced from school-devised tasks, if they reflect the course specification, and follow the same format as exam board materials. Teachers are required to mark in a way that reflects exam board mark schemes. 

Other evidence

Other allowable evidence can include:

  • substantial pieces of class or homework (including that which was produced during remote learning). 
  • school-devised tests and mock exams. 
  • in performance-based subjects such as Music, Drama and PE, records of a student’s capability and performance over the course of study.   
  • records of each student’s progress and performance over the course of study. 
  • where applicable, students who have continued to work on their non-exam assessment (NEA), often referred to as coursework, will have their work marked by teachers. This will contribute to the overall grade, whether it has been completed or not.     
  • In GCSE Art and Design, and Photography, the student’s grade must be based on the portfolio only, whether it has been completed. 

Exam board support

For most subjects, the relevant exam boards have provided assessment materials with marking schemes, and other guidance which will assist teachers in making fair and consistent judgements on the standard of a student’s performance. 

Balancing sources of evidence 

The school is required to consider a range of factors when deciding how to balance different sources of evidence.  Subjects will prioritise different types of evidence but will also consider when the evidence was produced.  Although there will be exceptions, more recent evidence is likely to better represent a student’s performance.  We also aim to use evidence which is consistent across a class or the whole cohort. 

Teachers must be confident that any work produced is the student’s own and that the student has not been given inappropriate levels of support to complete it, either at school, at home, or with an external tutor. 

Where subjects are tiered, teachers will provide accessible questions and tasks for lower attaining students as well as appropriately demanding questions and tasks for higher attaining students to support higher grades. 

Exam boards have published guidance to support teachers in making fair and consistent judgements, as well as minimising the risk of bias and malpractice. 

Provision for students with Access arrangements 

The school will make arrangements in line with each student’s entitlement, adjusted to reflect the changed circumstances of assessment compared to traditional examination arrangements. 

Checking the quality of assessment 

The school will receive requirements for quality assurance processes from exam boards. The boards will review schools’ processes before grades are submitted.  Once grades have been submitted to the exam boards, they will check evidence for a sample of student grades in a sample of subjects, in a sample of schools and colleges. 

The exam boards will decide whether the grades submitted by schools are a reasonable exercise of academic judgement of the students’ performance. If this is found not to be the case the exam boards will ask a school or college to investigate.   

It is possible that checks will also be triggered due to a range of factors but including whether a school’s results are out of line with expectations based on past performance. 

Exam boards will not re-mark a student’s evidence or give an alternative grade. Grades would only be changed by the board if they are not satisfied with the outcome of an investigation or if malpractice is found. 

Appeals

Every student will have the right to appeal their grade if they wish.   

The details of the information used by each curriculum area are listed below including the types of evidence that are being used to provide assessment grades (Subject Assessment Rationales). If a student wishes to appeal, the school will undertake a review to check whether all processes were followed correctly, and that no errors were made.

If the school finds an error, we can submit a revised grade to the exam board.  If the student still wants to appeal, they will ask the school to submit a formal appeal to the exam board for them.

The exam board will check whether the school followed its own processes and exam board requirements, as well as reviewing the evidence used to form the original judgement and providing a view as to whether the grade awarded was a reasonable exercise of academic judgement.  If the exam board finds that the grade is not reasonable, they will determine the alternative grade and inform the school. If the student disagrees with the school or the exam board, the case can be referred to Ofqual’s Exams Procedure Review Service (EPRS).  

The exam board’s decision on the grade following appeal will stand unless the EPRS finds that the exam board has made a procedural error.  Appeals are not likely to lead to adjustments in grades where the original grade is a reasonable exercise of academic judgement supported by the evidence. 

Grades can go up or down as the result of an appeal. 

Mitigating circumstances 

Students and parents are strongly encouraged to look at the Subject Assessment Rationales provided below to see what evidence is being used for assessment in each of their subjects. 

Where a student believes that they have mitigating circumstances beyond those which apply to all students this year, they should submit this in writing to the school, clearly explaining how circumstances have made it more difficult for them to attain the grade which might reasonably have been expected under normal circumstances. 

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JCQ guidance for students, parents and guardians – Summer 2021 

JCQ have provided additional guidance for students, parents and guardians for GCSE levels in England in Summer 2021: 

  • Overall, the government’s intention is that it will be no easier or harder for a student to achieve a particular grade this year compared to previous years.  We will examine the grades for this year’s cohort compared to cohorts from previous years when exams have taken place, to make sure grades are not overly lenient or harsh. 
  • We will be using a range of systems to obtain evidence which reflects the government’s requirements. 
  • We have continued our Year 11 programme to enable teaching to continue for as long as possible so that teachers can ensure that students have been taught sufficient content to allow progression to the next stage of their education.
  • The gathered evidence of a student’s performance from throughout the course will be used to inform teachers’ grading judgements. 
  • Teachers will be able to draw from a broad range of evidence across the taught content to determine the grades before submitting the grades to the exam boards.
  • Importantly, when determining a grade, a teacher should reflect the standard at which the student is performing now, not their potential. 

Subject Assessment Rationales

Art Craft & Design
Computer Science
Dance
Design Technology
Drama
English Language Y11
English Literature Y11
English Literature Y10
Food, Preparation & Nutrition
Geography
Health & Social Care
History
Mathematics
MFL French
MFL Spanish
Music
Photography
Physical Education
Science Biology
Science Chemistry
Science Physics
Science Combined

To view the school's policy for determining Teacher Assessed Grades Summer 2021 please click on the attachment below.