Advice for Year 13 students: Summer Examinations and Covid-19
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Advice for Year 13 students: Summer Examinations and Covid-19

On Friday 20th March, the government updated their advice regarding Year 13 A levels and Vocational qualifications in the light of the Covid-19 outbreak. This advice is the same for students retaking their GCSE English and Maths as well as AS levels or Core Maths. Please find below a summary of the information which aims to answer any questions you may have regarding the summer examinations and your qualifications. Please also refer to government advice https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-cancellation-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2020/coronavirus-covid-19-cancellation-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2020

 

Please do not hesitate to contact us VIFormEnquiries@cambornescience.co.uk ; I know that this is a worrying time and we would like to assure you that we will be answering any questions you may have. In the meantime, we would like to commend all Year 13 students on their incredible hard work this year; it has been a pleasure to teach such a focussed group of young adults.

 

Examination Entries

 

As you are aware, all exams this May-June have been cancelled.

You will still receive grades for all of the qualifications you have been taking and these will be made available by the end of July. This will be the same regardless of type of qualification.

 

Non-examined Assessment

 

Qualifications involving coursework such as level 3 vocational qualifications, EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) will also be graded, however we continue to wait for guidance on coursework which is not yet completed and therefore it is essential Year 13 prioritise and complete any outstanding coursework which has been set by teachers so as to meet the internal deadline.

 

At the stage we are not recommending that you start any new coursework assignments until we receive further guidance.

 

Awarded Grades

 

Ofqual, the independent qualifications regulator, is working with exam boards to produce guidance on the ‘calculated’ grades which will be awarded to the students. Ofqual will not simply use teacher predicted grades. Latest guidance suggests that these will be a calculation based on

 

  1. Teacher predicted grades
  2. Assessment data such as milestone results
  3. Coursework marks where relevant
  4. Prior attainment eg. GCSE results
  5. Previous results for the VI Form

 

We are waiting for guidance as to the specific data the School will be asked to submit. However, you should be reassured that the VI Form results for the past 3 years are significantly above national average for both A levels and Level 3 qualifications. Furthermore, data already collected from our formal Milestone assessments compare favourably with last year and we were anticipating a fantastic set of outcomes for you all this year.  In combination, our formal internal assessment schedule coupled to our historic success, should have a positive effect when ‘calculating’ grades.

 

What happens if I am unhappy with my final calculated grade?

 

Pupils who do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance will have the opportunity to sit an exam, as soon as is reasonably possible after schools and colleges open again. In addition, students are able to appeal if they feel their examination grades are not representative.

 

There will also be an opportunity for students to re-sit their examinations in the summer of 2021.

 

UCAS

 

The grades awarded to students will have equal validity to the grades awarded in other years and should be treated in this way by universities, colleges and employers. There is no reason for the usual admissions cycle to be disrupted. Universities in the UK have said that universities will be flexible and do all they can to support students and ensure they can progress to university.

 

Universities should not begin making new unconditional offers and applicants should feel no pressure to accept such offers, as they will be awarded a formal calculated grade for each exam they would have taken.

 

What can I do now?

 

  1. Please keep all your mock exam papers, exercise books and internal assessments and tests as these may be needed by your teachers to support their judgement.
  2. It is not necessary to revise for any of your examinations since you will be issued with a calculated grade. You may prefer to continue preparation should you wish to take the examination later in the year but this must be a personal decision.
  3. Make Firm and Insurance choices for university when ready. Your decision should not be affected by the changes to examination grades.
  4. Apply to student finance with your parent / carer so that both your application and the supporting application is completed.
  5. It is essential that you continue to work on unfinished coursework until we receive further guidance.

 

Finally please keep all school text books so that they can be returned when it is appropriate to do so.