Letter to Parents/Carers of Years 11 & 13 - 26th March 2021
YEAR 11 & YEAR 13 TEACHER ASSESSED GRADES
Now that students have returned to school, I would like to communicate with you the plans that we have to allow teachers to collect evidence to inform the “Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs)” that students will receive this summer. As you will be aware, we are still awaiting exam board guidance (expected at the end of this month) which will help teachers make their grading decisions. The implications of this guidance could mean that our planning will need additional adjustment, so all details below should be read in that context.
How will the grades be produced?
There will be no exams for Year 11 GCSE or Year 13 A-Level students this summer. Instead, the school will submit grades to the exam boards by Friday 18 June 2021.
The grades will be produced using evidence that the school has about the standard of work that each student has produced. This evidence can include previously completed mock exams, non-exam assessment (coursework) as well as classroom assessments that students will complete by the end of next half-term.
What about assessments that students have already completed during the year? Will these be used to produce a grade?
Teachers can use a range of evidence to make a judgement of the grade at which students are performing. However, the Department for Education/Ofqual have said that schools should take into account most recent assessments (in most cases), since this is most likely to be representative of student performance. Students will only be assessed on what they have been taught.
Will the assessments be like mock exams?
No. Mock exams are designed to recreate the exam experience that students will encounter in a normal summer exam season. Since there are no exams this summer, there is no need to recreate this experience.
Instead, a number of smaller assessments will take place during normal lessons, in students’ normal classroom with their normal teachers. We want to give students every opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities in an environment in which students feel comfortable.
Will every assessment be used to produce a TAG?
As already mentioned, we are awaiting guidance from the exam boards. However, we want to ensure that teachers have a broad evidence base to call upon when this guidance is released.
How will students know when assessments will take place?
Students will be informed in advance by their class teacher as to when they plan to assess students. Students should already be aware that any assessments they do may form part of a portfolio of evidence for their grade.
My child is entitled to access arrangements in exams. Will these be affected?
Where the need arises support will be available for your child. Mrs Mitchell and the SEND team will make arrangements for this.
For vocational qualifications (BTEC, NCFE) the arrangements are different, and students’ work will be assessed in the usual way. Teachers will give information to students about what is required, in the normal way.
Once students have completed their assessments, a rigorous internal quality assurance exercise will begin in which teachers will carry out standardisation and moderation. This time-consuming process will ensure that the processes used by the school have been consistently and fairly applied. There will follow moderation by the Trust before grades are submitted to the exam boards.
Please note that we will not be able to tell students the grade which is submitted to the exam board. Once the exam board has the grades they will then begin their own process of checking the evidence produced to ensure the grades are correct.
We will communicate with you further once we have more information from the exam boards.
We understand how challenging this time has been, and are impressed by the resilience of our students who are continuing to work hard. Staff are here to support students through this process and will give as much information as possible to ensure the best outcomes for your child.
Ms A Denholm