15 March 2021
Dear Parents and Carers
Information about the Teacher Assessed Grades process 2021
You will be aware that this year, as in 2020, schools are required to submit assessment grades to examination boards. I am writing to let you know what form our process will take and to let you know what information you can expect from us before, during and after the process. We want to make the process as clear and simple as possible. The past year has been unsettling for everyone and I hope a clear outline of our plan will allow everyone to return to school with renewed purpose and confidence.
Our process is designed to ensure that the achievements and attainment of our students are recognised. Our students have worked hard during the difficult challenges of remote learning and we are very grateful for your support in keeping the young people focused and motivated. Staff are now working carefully to assemble and assess the evidence provided by students. We will ensure that the most robust use is made of the evidence available to arrive at a grade.
As part of this process, students will take a number of assessments under controlled conditions which will contribute to these grades. To support our students and to help them prepare, students will complete preparation work in class and be provided with revision materials and advice before each assessment. You will understand that we are not able to give detailed information about questions , but we will share an outline of the content in the same way as would normally happen before assessment, so that students are able to revise and prepare.
Number and duration of assessments.
Assessments will take place in the weeks before Easter and next half term. A timetable of assessment and content will be published shortly, which will show the weeks when assessments are planned as well as the times put aside to help revise and prepare. Although we will have arrangements in place to ensure that any student who is unable to take an assessment through absence will not be disadvantaged (see below), this plan will help prevent a situation where a student is absent for all of their assessment.
Typically, students will complete 4 short assessments in each subject, lasting for about a lesson. The overall volume of assessment will be comparable to that taking place in a formal examination series in a normal year but will be broken down into shorter assessments. This will help our students prepare and will support our students to provide the best evidence possible.
Absence for assessment
I understand that students, parents and carers may have concerns about what will happen if they are absent for an assessment. Should this occur, we will use appropriate substitute evidence to ensure a sufficiently broad base of evidence. Staff will consider when, and under what conditions the substitute evidence was produced to ensure that no student is disadvantaged by this process.
Standards and Verification
Please note that our process is subject to verification by the Examination Boards and we are required to apply the same standard as would be used in normal years. While staff will work carefully to arrive at the most robust grade in each case, they are required to follow a strict evidence-based procedure. In particular:
- Each grade is arrived at by an appropriate consideration of the evidence by a qualified member of staff and the reasons supporting the judgement recorded. All appropriate circumstances will be considered.
- Each grade is then reviewed independently by a second qualified person, and the results of this review recorded.
- If any difference of judgement occurs, the grade is reviewed. A third, qualified independent person may be appointed by the Headteacher from outside the school to conduct this process. The result of the review is recorded.
- The provisional grades are reviewed against typical patterns of grades from past years. Any significant differences are explored and the reasons recorded or the standard of award reviewed. The results of this process are recorded by a designated member of the Senior Leadership Team.
- Our process and results are then reviewed by the Examination Boards and a sample of assessment materials may be called for. The Examination Boards will approve our submission of grades and validate the results to be given on Results Day.
Communication of Results
We are not permitted to share information about grades until Results Day. While we understand that this may be frustrating to some, it is the same arrangement as in normal years.
These arrangements are based on our understanding of the materials published to date and are subject to change if we receive new information. We will be in touch later with information about summer arrangements and Results Days and the Sixth Form Application process.
In the meantime, we wish all our students good luck with their controlled assessment work, and once again thank you for the support you offer to our students and school community throughout the year.
Mr. B. Robson