Exams Updates – Summer 2021

Summer 2021 Examinations  

The latest announcement from the Department for Education with respect to examinations in the Summer 2021 can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/students-to-be-given-more-time-to-prepare-for-2021-exams

The Summer 2021 series will begin formally on Monday 7 June and will conclude on Friday 2 July.  We are still awaiting confirmation of Ofqual’s contingency plans but at present the current guidance means that all students need to be available to sit examinations up to and including Friday 2 July 2021.

One maths and one English GCSE exam will be held just before the May half-term, giving any year 11 pupils who are affected by COVID-19 the best possible chance of still sitting a paper in each of these core subjects.

We hope that this further announcement and increased clarity will be helpful for students.  In these uncertain times we are of course planning for possible disruption for individual, or groups of students during the examination period.  As part of this planning we have ensured that there are a range of assessments undertaken in all subject areas across the year to provide a broad and balanced evidence base in case we have to award centre assessed grades as was necessary in Summer 2020.  Please do reassure your child that no one mock examination or assessment will determine any centre assessed grade. Similarly, no one member of subject staff determines the grade for a student the process requires the Academy to undertake a robust moderation process and all recommendations are reviewed through external data sources wherever possible.  I would thank families for their continued support on these matters.

  • How centre assessed grades where determined

    Individual class

    Class teachers were asked to take into account all evidence of attainment they had available to them, up to and including Friday 20 March 2020, in order to provide estimated grades for each student with a teaching group.

    Combining classes within a single cohort

    The spreadsheets for each class within a single cohort were forwarded to the relevant Head of Department who combined them into one complete spreadsheet, this could initially be by tier of entry, where appropriate, or for the cohort in its entirety.

    The Head of Department would arrange a meeting with all relevant stakeholders to double check and agree the contents of the combined spreadsheet. All discussions regarding this process would take place in the meeting so that all stakeholders were part of the discussion and all outcomes of centre assessed grades agreed upon and finalised within this setting.

    The internal sign-off process

    Once a set of data was finalised the Head of Department forwarded to their line manager (a member of the Senior Leadership Team). A meeting took place between the Head of Department and the Senior Leader in order to review the data and check for accuracy.

    Along with this the Data Manager completed an analysis of the data to identify if there were any anomalies in relation to expected progress from individual students and/or cohorts within the data. If any issues over accuracy were identified, then this resulted in a discussion with the relevant Head of Department and/or individual class teachers to resolve them.

    Input of centre assessed grades and rankings

    This was completed by the individual Heads of Department with departmental support where needed, the examinations officer was also on hand to support and enter data where necessary. The data inputted was double checked by the examinations officer.

    Head of Centre sign-off

    The Head of Centre verified the data and completed the head of centre sign-off and submission of the declaration to awarding bodies.

    Resolution of errors

    There were no errors reported by the awarding bodies to Thorns Collegiate Academy and all data was submitted successfully and prior to the deadline date for all subjects.