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External Examinations

 

 

MGS

21st May 2021

Dear parents/carers,

 

Following on from the information circulated before Easter regarding the process in place for awarding your son/daughter their Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) this summer, we write to all parents/carers of Year 11 and Year 13 with an update.

 

Centre Policy

Our updated Centre Policy for awarding TAGs this summer has been approved by our Governing Body. This policy has been sent to JCQ (Joint Council for Qualifications) and is available for parents and carers to view on our school’s website under the ‘Policies’ section.

JCQ have also produced a handy guide for students and parents for both GCSEs and AS/A-Levels. This can be found on the JCQ website:

https://www.jcq.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/JCQ-Guidance-for-Students-and-Parents-on-Summer-2021.pdf

 

Internal Process

Our staff are working tirelessly at the moment, with your son/daughter, to ensure that they have the most up-to-date evidence they can in order to be able to award the best possible grade. As a school we have set staff an internal deadline of 28th May 2021 to input all TAGs onto our system. Following this submission, we will be conducting several forms of internal and external quality assurance which will take place up until the deadline for grades to be submitted to Awarding Organisations on 18th June 2021.

Submission of TAGs on 28th May 2021 are not final, and our staff will remain teaching your son/daughter until 18th June 2021 when the final TAGs are submitted to Awarding Organisations. Within the time 28th May to 18th June 2021, it is important to note that TAGs can still improve/decline based on the work students are doing in their lessons. It is essential that students remain focused on their subjects, following advice from their teachers and continue to work hard in class.

 

Student Official Leaving Date

Your son/daughter officially leaves full-time education whether they are currently in Year 11 or Year 13 on Friday 25th June 2021. In discussion with our Senior Team we have decided that all students in Years 11 and 13 will work remotely at home doing work set for them by their subject teachers, to be accessed via our Student Portal from Monday 7th June 2021 to Friday 25th June 2021. The last day that your son/daughter will be in the building will be Friday 28th May 2021. Students will be leaving early on the day. Should you require IT support whilst your child is working remotely at home then please let us know.

The weeks 7th –18th June 2021 will allow staff to have time in school to make sure that they have everything in place before the final submission date to Awarding Organisations on 18th June 2021. As already mentioned, it is essential that your son/daughter completes the work set by their teacher when they are working remotely at home. During these weeks, students must be available to be called into the school should a teacher require them.

Although students will not be on site from the 7th June, we will continue to work with students online to support them with all aspects of their progression to further study or employment.  Guidance to access their chosen options post 16/18 will be available and we will continue to offer support for their mental health and well-being. Those students joining our Sixth Form in September will be required to access transition work in their chosen subjects and will be invited into school later in the term to attend ‘Bridging the Gap’ sessions to support them to make the transition from GCSE to Advanced Level.

Students will require a sign off before they finish. Should this not occur, students will be expected in the school up to and including the 25th June 2021.

 

Appeals Process

There is an ‘Appeals’ process that will be available to students following publication of the results in August 2021.

Ofqual have recently released a helpful document for you and your child, which provides all the information around appeals and the awarding of grades this summer. It can be found below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/student-guide-to-awarding-summer-2021

We want to support our students and parents/carers ahead of the final submission date in June and would rather have addressed every concern prior to this date. If there is a concern or query that you wish to make, please contact us via exams@phoenix.sandwell.sch.uk where we will be more than happy to help.  We would hope to ensure that no parent/child felt the need to appeal and that they had been treated fairly.

 

Malpractice

Please remember that teachers must not share TAGs with you or students. If this occurs then we must report the incident to the examination board. Please do not ask teachers for this information and remind your son/daughter not to ask them either.

In current assessments in school, examination conditions must be used and any use of mobile phone/talking/referring to notes etc. must also be reported as malpractice. Any student reported could put their grades at risk not only for that subject but also all other subjects. Please remind your son/daughter about this.

Finally, teachers can share what evidence they intend to use with you but you must not attempt to influence that decision, again this is malpractice and must be reported to the examination boards. Parents/carers have been hugely supportive so far, thank you, we are confident this will continue but I am sure you understand that I must remind you.

 

Can I thank all parents and carers for the support that you have and are giving your son/daughter during this period. Thank you all for your patience and understanding and please contact us if you need our help.

Yours faithfully,

 

 

Mike Smith

Head teacher

 


MGS

29th March 2021

Dear Year 11/Year 13 Parent and Carer,

 

RE: Awarding of Grades – Update

I would like to take this opportunity to update you on the progress being made by the school in the awarding of grades for the Summer of 2021.

Each subject team in school is currently creating plans which we expect to be able to confirm following the release of the exam board materials. These plans identify a range of evidence that has been, or will be collected, along with additional assessments that will need to be carried out over the remainder of the course.

In order to address the disruption created by the global pandemic, the assessments taken will focus only on the content that students have had the opportunity to study.

Students will be completing assessments regularly between now and the end of their course. The students will be given plenty of notice for each of these assessments and will be directed to specific materials to help them prepare.

We will be monitoring students’ timetables very closely and ensuring that students’ workload does not become overwhelming. The school is passionate in its support of all our students in securing academic success yet recognises that our commitment to their emotional wellbeing must also remain a priority.

I am sure that you may still have many questions following this letter. Given that we have not been assured that the exam material will arrive in school before the end of term, we hope that you understand the difficulty for us to confidently share the finer details of departmental plans. We hope that this picture will become far clearer after Easter and we will once again give you a further update of how the grades will be awarded.

In the meantime, I would refer you back to my previous advice in that the coming months are as important as they were always going to be. It is vital that students ensure they continue to attend all lessons as expected, complete all work which is set and continue to revise. This will ensure that they are ready to perform at their best on our return to school after Easter and help secure the best grades possible.

Yours faithfully,

Mr M Smith
Head teacher

 


Dear Year 11/Year 13 Parent and Carer,

 

RE: Awarding of Grades

 

On 25th February, following the cancellation of the examinations due to take place this year, the Education Secretary gave us the outcome of the recent consultation on the awarding of grades.

Thank you to all those parents, carers and students who took the time to complete the consultation survey. I am pleased that the DfE and Ofqual have determined that the teachers, (those who know our students best) will be asked to provide the final grades. This should ensure our students get the results they deserve.

We must now wait until the end of this term for the guidance and materials from the exam boards that will determine the process that schools are expected to undertake before submitting grades to them.

In the meantime, what I can say to you and your children is that the coming months are as important as they were always going to be. Our staff have been working exceptionally hard to ensure students have been maintaining their progress and will continue to do so. It is vital that students ensure they continue to attend all lessons as expected, complete all work which is set and continue to revise. This will ensure that they are ready to perform at their best on our return to school and help secure the best grades possible.

As soon as I have further information from Ofqual which is anticipated later this term I will write again.

Yours faithfully,

 

Mr M Smith

Head teacher


Important Notice for Parents/Carers of Year 11 and Year 13  Students (April 2020)

Parents/Carers of Year 11 and Year 13 Students: Important message from Ofqual

Dear Parents/Carers of Year 11 and Year 13 Students,

Ofqual have today issued the guidance on how GCSEs, AS & A levels will be awarded in summer 2020.

For this summer’s awards, the school are being asked to provide centre assessment grades for each of you. 

Exam boards will be contacting the school after Easter asking them to submit, by a deadline that will be no earlier than 29 May 2020, a centre assessment grade for every student in each of your subjects: that is, the grade we believe you would be most likely to have achieved if you had sat your exams and completed any non-exam assessment. Judgements will balance different sources of evidence such as:

  • classwork
  • bookwork
  • any participation in performances in subjects such as music, drama or PE
  • any non-exam assessment – whether or not complete
  • the results of any assignments or mock exams
  • previous examination results – for example, for any re-sitting students or those with relevant AS qualifications
  • any other records of student performance over the course of study

Your teachers will not be allowed to share these estimates with you.

A letter from Ofqual for all students can be found here

Further guidance on the process can be found here

Grading in 2020 - information for students can be found here 


Important Notice for Parents/Carers of Year 11 and Year 13  Students:

Following the government announcement  on 18th March 2020 , our first thoughts go to our Year 11 and 13 students who have been busy preparing for their GCSE and A-level  examinations, which will now not take place during this academic year.


Students have worked hard all year and for the past 5-7 years in order to prepare for this summer. That hard work still counts, there will be some form of assessment, we are just not sure how this will work at this stage. The government have suggested that students will not be disadvantaged and there will be a process by which their courses will be recognised so that they can continue their progression to sixth form, college, university and other pathways.


Our advice to any Year 11 and 13 students who are feeling apprehensive, anxious and frustrated at this announcement is that it is important to remember that learning is not just about passing examinations. It is important to continue using the knowledge and skills you have acquired in the next stage of your educational lives.
We do not yet know if or how grades will be awarded, however we will communicate this clearly when we do. Until that time, please ensure that your son/daughter continues to work through the subject materials and key information provided on our school’s website.


The sixth form and year 11 team will all be contactable by email during the time school is closed. In addition, individual personal advice can be obtained from our Connexions Personal Adviser whose contact details are on our school’s website. If you have any concerns or issues, please contact us. Remember, we are here to support you.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and understanding at this time.


Yours faithfully,


Mike Smith

Headteacher

Please contact the exam office on exams@phoenix.sandwell.sch.uk if you have any exam related queries.
Please find below documents containing information and instructions for candidates:

Mrs M Bytheway
Phoenix Collegiate
Clarkes Lane,
West Bromwich,
West Midlands,
B71-2BX

T: 0121 588 8384E: info@phoenix.sandwell.sch.uk