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Update on Exams 25.03.20

Dear Parents and Students, 

Edexcel Pearsons have this morning also announced the cancellation of their May/June 2020 series. You can find their official announcement here. This announcement means that all official examinations scheduled for this academic year have now been cancelled. 

Key Message:

Continue working on all your subjects as normal, we must complete all courses for all subjects. 

You will appreciate that our current climate is evolving rapidly and daily. We have shared with the community information as it arrives and ensured our updates are accurate, factual, transparent and immediate. 

I know this is a very difficult and unsettling period and there are lots of questions about how grades will be decided by examination boards. At this stage, it will be misleading of us to speculate on examination boards’ strategy for dealing with this beyond what we have shared. Discussions about the fairness or importance of using mock data and/or the role teachers have on influencing the overall achievement grade are fruitless. 

However, what is important is that we must ensure our students continue to engage fully with the syllabus and the online learning to complete and consolidate the course. It is vital that everyone realises that to be awarded a qualification, they must complete the course. 

Please allow me to summarise what we officially know: 

  • The final grade is a decision made by the examination boards, not schools.

  • Examination boards are stating that they may request additional data from schools to help them arrive at this final grade.

  • They will make use of all prior data they already have (e.g GCSE results and AS results, coursework grades). We will not be able to influence or amend these.

  • They may refer to the school’s overall prior performance average (which would be a positive for BSKL).

  • Coursework grades may be requested. 

  • Mock and predicted grades may be requested.

  • There will be very clear boundaries for schools on what evidence would be acceptable.

  • The final grade will be cumulative, based on a variety of evidence (ie not based on single data point e.g mocks).

  • Examination boards have stated that students and parents can appeal the decision of examination boards directly with them, and they will provide a mechanism for this.

  • Students can also decide to sit the exam at the next available examination session if they feel they would perform better.

I can assure you that, as always, we have our students' best interest at heart, and although bound by professional standards, we are very confident of their progress and know them very well. I promise that we will update you regularly and quickly, and ask for your patience in waiting for further official announcements rather than requesting answers we are unable to provide currently. 

We have been and will continue to be proactive by directly contacting examination boards and universities to get as much clarity as they can provide. A reminder for Year 13 parents and students, we will be holding a university briefing today, Wednesday 25th March, at 2.35pm via Google Hangout. 

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Mrs Zora
Head of Secondary