GCSE Summer 2021
Please see the presentation for Year 11 GCSE Information Evening below:
Update 26th March 2021
Y11 Internal Exams Window 1 - w/c 19th April 2021
The internal exams are scheduled for w/c 19th April, a timetable of the exams can be found in the related files menu.
If you have any queries or questions, please do not hesitate to contact either the subject teacher, Ms Poole, Mrs Caine, Miss Brookes or Mrs Adams.
Good luck with your revision and the exams - you can do it!
Updated 16th March 2021
Cancellation of Summer 2021 Exams
In January 2021, the Government decided that as a result of the disruption to the education of students caused by COVID 19, that it would be perceived as unfair to students if exams were to go ahead for Summer 2021. On 25th February, the Department for Education (DfE) and Ofqual, published their joint decision document with guidance to school, colleges and Exam boards on the process for awarding grades. The full decision document can be found:
Further documents are expected both from Ofqual and other bodies including the Joint Council for Examinations and individual exam boards and we will publish these links as they become available.
Exam Entry Details
Students must check their Exams Entries list on Edulink and advise Mrs Adams by Friday 26th March 2021 of any omissions or errors in their entries. All entries will be assumed correct unless students advise the Exams Officer otherwise.
Students must also check their name and date of birth details are correct within the personal details section of Edulink. These are the details that will appear on exam certificates issued by examination boards after the results have been published and cannot be changed. Please let Mrs Adams know of any changes or amendments by 26th March 2021. All entries will be assumed correct unless students advise the Exams Officer otherwise.
Exams handbook 2021
A copy of the Student Exams handbook can be found in the right-hand Related Files menu. It is important that all students take time to read the book which contains important information and notices that ALL students must be aware of when taking their exams. Please contact Mrs Adams if you have any queries: firstname.lastname@example.org
The school will communicate important exams information with students and parents via email through Edulink – pupils must remember to check their school e-mail accounts regularly for exams updates. This will be very important should the school have to close for any reason. Please ensure that the school has up-to-date e-mail address details for parents / carers and that students know their school e-mail address.
Internal Exams Windows w/c 19th April and w/c 17th May 2021
There will be two windows of internal exams for Y11 students. Timetables and support documents and information will be forwarded to students and included on the website in due course.
Summer Grades - FAQs
The decision document advised that in Summer 2021 a student’s grade in each subject will be based on their teachers’ assessment of the standard at which the student is performing. Chailey School is devising its approach to formulating final grades and will publish these in due course. Below are Q&As which we hope students and parents find helpful.
How will grades be awarded this summer?
Grades for GCSEs, A levels, and most other qualifications will be based on a process involving teacher assessment against national standards, internal quality assurance, and external quality assurance by the exam boards.
The national process defined by the Department for Education and the exams’ regulator, Ofqual is as follows:
- Teachers will assess students against a national standard, which will be defined by the exam boards before the Easter break.
- Departments will submit grades which will be quality assured by the school. This internal quality assurance process will have to be signed off by the exam board to ensure it is rigorous and in line with national standards.
- Our school results will be quality assured externally by the exam boards, which may include random sampling of our school’s evidence.
- If the exam boards are confident in our submitted results, then the exam boards will award students their final grades.
- If students do not think their results are accurate, they will have the right to appeal.
So, do teachers award the grade?
Simply: no. The grade students achieve will start with their teacher’s assessment of their performance across a range of evidence. This is against a nationally-defined standard, not the teacher’s own opinion. This assessment is then subject to both internal and external quality assurance before the final grade is awarded by the exam body as usual.
Does this mean grades are decided by an algorithm?
No, unlike last year, students’ grades will not be changed by a formula. The internal and external quality assurance measures will all be done by humans, not an algorithm. There is no limit on the achievement of students, providing they have evidence that they are working at that grade.
What about loss of learning / impact of Covid?
This year, teachers will only assess students on content they have been taught – because of the continued disruption of the pandemic. This means students will not be disadvantaged if they individually, their whole class or whole year group have been unable to complete their full course. However, grades can only be submitted on the basis of the evidence we have of students’ performance, even if that evidence covers less of the course than usual. Students who would usually have extra time in the exams will benefit from the same arrangements in teacher assessment.
Will grades be different between different schools and colleges?
No, the standard against which teachers will be assessing students will be set nationally by the exam boards. This is the standard that will be used during external quality assurance and appeals to ensure consistency and fairness across the system.
What evidence will be used?
Teachers are able to draw on a range of assessment evidence from across a student’s study of the course, at Chailey School, up until 11th June. We will then use the period from 14th June to rigorously moderate and internally moderate, before submitting to the exam boards on the 18th June. This may include trial and internal exams, and papers set by the exam boards, NEA work and classwork. We will send you the evidence we will be using in each subject as soon as possible. We are currently waiting on exam boards to release additional resources before we can complete this task. This may include evidence from before the second lockdown, as well as evidence from March – June. The exam boards are producing assessment materials that will be sent to us before Easter. Different departments may use different sources of evidence, and there is no requirement for any one type of assessment to be used – it’s about a performance across a range of evidence.
The exam boards are only giving out past papers, how is this fair?
Most of the assessments provided by the exam boards will be drawn from past papers, although there will be new questions as well. There is significant research that even if students have seen assessments questions before, it does not reduce the validity of the assessment. Furthermore, exam board questions are only one of the many pieces of evidence we will use to assess students this summer.
Can students and parents make the case for why a student should get a higher grade?
Our teachers are already using their professional expertise to assess students on the content they have been taught. Teachers are unable to submit higher grades for students unless they have the evidence that they are consistently working at this level. If teachers submit higher grades without evidence they are committing exam malpractice.
In 2020, any undue pressure by student or parent who placed undue pressure on teachers to increase grades was also considered exam malpractice. It is likely to be the same for 2021. If students or parents are found to be putting teachers or leaders under undue pressure to increase grades, then this matter will be referred to the exam boards and an investigation into malpractice may ensue. This may result in the student’s certificate being removed entirely if malpractice is deemed to have taken place.
Can students discuss their grades with teachers?
Teachers will be able to discuss which evidence they are using to inform their judgement with students, including marked or graded pieces of work.
However, we are not allowed to disclose their final submitted grade we give to the exam board.
Students should not attempt to second-guess the grade submitted, as teachers will be using a range of evidence to inform their final judgement. Students must not pressure teachers to reveal the grades they are submitting, or to increase the grades, as doing so may be considered exam malpractice.
What should students do to improve their grades?
The best thing students can do is to continue to attend classes, learn, act on feedback from their teachers, revise, and read around their subject. Their grade will be based on their performance, and so their outcomes are ultimately in their hands.
When will we conduct formal internal exams?
There will be two exam windows after Easter. Exam window 1 will run from Monday 19th April – Friday 23rd April and Exam window 2 will run from Monday 17th May – Friday 21st May. Timetables and revision list for Exam 1 will be sent to students and parents before Easter.
When are results released?
GCSE results will be released on the 12th August. Hopefully students will be able to come into school to collect their results. More information about results day will be sent out in the summer term.
Can a student appeal their grade?
Students will be able to appeal their grade. A student who is unhappy with their grade will first ask the school to check whether an administrative or procedural error had been made.
Where a school does identify an error in the grade submitted to the exam board, it can submit a revised grade and a rationale for the board to consider. If the exam board is satisfied with the rationale, it will issue a revised grade.
Where a centre does not believe an error had been made, a student can ask the school to appeal to the exam board on their behalf. The school will submit the student’s appeal to the exam board and provide the evidence on which its judgement had been made; the exam board will consider whether, in its view, the grade reflected an appropriate exercise of academic judgement. If the exam board judges that it did not, the exam board will determine the grade that the evidence would support and this could mean the grade could be revised up or down. The exam board will also check that the school had followed its own process.
The extra Time table used to work out the time to be added to each exam is in the right-hand Related Files menu.
JCQ Notices for Students
All students must read the JCQ (Joint Council for Qualifications) Information and Notices for candidates produced each year which give details of the regulations that candidates MUST comply with during their formal exams. The link to the JCQ website is:
The documents are also located in the right-hand Related Files menu:
JCQ Information for Candidates: Privacy Notice
JCQ Information for Candidates: For Written Examinations
JCQ Information for Candidates: Non-Examination Assessments
JCQ Information for Candidates: On-screen Examinations
JCQ No Unauthorised Items poster
JCQ Warning to Candidates poster
JCQ Information for Candidates: Using Social Media and Examinations/Assessments
Ofqual provides updates on arrangements for examinations and assessments for 2020/21, the link to the Ofqual website is:
A table listing exam subjects, code and board details can be found in the right-hand related files menu titled Exam Board Codes.
Exam board website links:
Exams at Chailey School are run in accordance with current DfE regulations, including the Guidance to Publich health arrangements for autumn exams:
Chailey’s COVID 19 risk assessment can be found on the school website:
In addition, the school’s COVID 19 Exams risk assessment can be found on the last pages of the Student Exams hand book.
Please check this part of the school website regularly for any news or updates regarding GCSEs.
Please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Adams with any questions or queries:
01273 890407 extn 2020
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