Parental Letter 18/01/21

Dear Parents / Carers,

Exams update for A level and Vocational Technical Qualifications

In previous letters we said that we would keep you fully informed of developments, in relation to exams and assessments as they became available to us. On Friday,  details were released by the Department of Education regarding a suggested set of approaches for assessment  that will be put forward for consultation. 

Both the GCSE and A  Level Consultation and the Vocational Technical Qualifications (VTQ’s) Consultation closes at 11:45pm on 29 January 2021.

In summary, these suggestions include:  

  • A confirmation that grades will be based on teacher judgements.   These judgements must be based on evidence.
  • Grades need to show what students know, understand and can do, so  internal exams are most likely to be used to assess the  standard of students’ work
  • Teacher assessment is most likely to take place during May and late June; students are encouraged to continue with their learning in full as far as possible till then.
  • Teachers should base their judgement on a range of evidence: eg mocks, NEA, substantial candidate work  and externally-set tasks
  • Non Examined Assessments should be taken into account (such as the coursework students complete in a range of subjects)
  • Quality Assurance will be done internally by college leaders AND also externally by the exam boards such as  sample marking to check grades awarded.
  • There will be no algorithm used to determine grades.  
  • The date for submission of grades by colleges will be made as late as possible.  
  • Grades should be derived from content taught and not from the entire course. There may be advance notice of exam content to address lost learning time in college
  • Vocational qualifications such as Cambridge Nationals and BTECs, will be awarded in a similar manner to GCSE qualifications
  • Results may be issued as early as July 

Now we know this, we need to be absolutely clear that it is vital that students keep working to their full potential. Whilst exams are not running in the usual way, students may be assessed on course material that they have been taught when they have been at college, and also when they have been learning remotely. 

The decisions made from the consultation process are important, so the responses are also welcome from students,  and parents and carers. 

Please find links to the documents that have been summarised: 

Consultation on how GCSE, AS and A level grades should be awarded in summer 2021

Online response to the GCSE and A Level consultation

Alternative arrangements for the award of VTQs and other general qualifications in 2021 

Online response to the VTQ consultation

Please be aware that these are only broad proposal guidelines at the moment and will be going through the consultation process and are subject to change. We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that students have the best quality of provision possible and that they are well supported over their final months at S6C. 

Thank you for your continued support and as soon as we know more we will again get in touch.

Yours sincerely,

Louise Henderson

Vice Principal