Dear parents / carers
I write to you before the end of term to update you on the system that replaced examinations and the results days that take place earlier than usual in the summer.
Due to the lost curriculum time the Education Minister announced in November that there would be no summer examination series for students taking GCSEs, AS levels or A levels in 2021. In January 2021, it was confirmed that these qualifications would be awarded using Centre Determined Grades. This meant schools would determine the actual grades awarded for each qualification based on the evidence provided by learners.
WJEC and Qualifications Wales provided schools with regular updates and GCSE, AS level and A-level specifications were amended by the WJEC to take into account lost curriculum time. Each subject area was also informed of the skills and knowledge which they had to cover before the end of the qualification in order to ensure the learner could progress to their next stage of learning / employment.
Learners in Yrs. 11, 12 and 13 were the first to return to school on the 15th March to enable them to work with their teachers to generate the evidence needed for their CDGs.
During this period learners completed adapted exam papers supplied by the exam boards. The assessments completed gave learners the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding of the key requirements and assessment objectives of each subject.
When deciding on an overall best-fit grade teachers were not to award CDGs based on their professional predictions or the potential of a learner. Teachers applied their professional judgement and made a decision as to whether the learner had demonstrated the standard required to be awarded a specific grade. Departments had to support awarded grade(s) with a clear and unambiguous rationale which had to be underpinned by evidence documented on an assessment recording sheet.
To ensure consistency and fairness the WJEC provided schools with online continuous professional development on unconscious bias and objectivity. As a school our approach was very transparent and we communicated with learners and parents regularly and published our assessment plans.
Departments were required to implements internal quality assurance processes to ensure consistency and we also worked with our alliance school to quality assure our processes and our data.
Learners received their provisional CDG grades in early June. This gave learners an opportunity to appeal their grade if they believed an error had been made. Grades could only be appealed in learners believed an error had been made in determining their overall grade.
We only received four formal Stage One Centre Review requests which is testament to all the hard work put in by our staff to ensure the grades awarded were robust and accurate.
It has been an immensely challenging time for learners who were expecting to sit their A-levels, AS and GCSEs. We are immensely proud of the resilience and tenacity shown by them and it was fantastic to see so many happy faces when they received their provisional grades.
We look forward to seeing our learners again in August for the official results day; for results day arrangements please refer to the letter which we have posted home. All students who have applied to join our 6th form will receive confirmation on GCSE results day. If you would like to discuss joining our 6th form please contact Miss Reed, Head of 6th form.
Thank you for your continued support and I wish you all a restful summer break.
Mr G. Turner