I write to you again with our latest update regarding the continuing impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our school.
The main area I want to focus on today is the decision in the UK to cancel the GCSE and A Level summer exam series. This is clearly going to greatly impact our students but hopefully the information below will give more context to the situation.
Year 11 students currently follow a combination of WJEC (Welsh) Board courses, SQA (Scottish) Board courses and Cambridge (IGCSE) courses. So far WJEC and SQA exams have been cancelled this summer. These exams boards have agreed that all students will be awarded grades in the courses they have studied and the mechanism in which they will make judgements on what these grades should be will be published in the next few days. Both the UK government and the exam boards have made it clear that this unprecedented situation should not be to the detriment of these students and what grades they receive.
Currently Cambridge Assessment have not clarified if students will still be sitting their summer exams or not. Again, a decision on this will be published in the next few days.
My message to all Year 11 students has been to continue with their studies – exam boards will likely want to see any completed coursework assignments, internal assessments, teacher predicted grades available so their work will not be in vain and may well still play a large part in deciding what their final grade may be.
With regards to pathways, I have assured those students that have applied to our Sixth Form that we will continue with our application process and will be able to use students’ current academic record and attitude to learning to make a judgement on their suitability for Sixth Form. We know our students well!
I have also spoken to the Principal of UCM who has assured me she will honour any offer made to our students who have applied to UCM.
Year 13 students sit a combination of English A Level courses, BTEC courses and International A Level courses. Like with the GCSEs, although the summer exam series has been cancelled, the exam boards have committed to all students being awarded grades in the courses they have studied and the mechanism in which they will make judgements on what these grades should be will be published in the next few days. Again, the message to students is to continue with their studies as the exam boards will likely want to see any completed coursework assignments, internal assessments, teacher predicted grades available to help them make judgements on what grades to award students.
I can report that Universities have also already begun to confirm places on course students have applied to through UCAS so it is likely all students that have applied to University will receive offers based on their predicted grades and wider applications already made.
I have also had it confirmed that any students who have applied to Further or Higher Education courses at UCM will also have their place honoured.
Year 12 AS exams will be treated in the same way as Year 13 A2 exams with regards to how they will be dealt with by the examination boards.
Whilst this is an unwanted, deeply distressing and unprecedented situation please be assured that we will be doing all we can in school and in the Department of ESC, to ensure our students are awarded the grades they deserve. It has also been very clearly stated by all the examination boards and by the UK government that these students should not suffer any detriment due to the cancellation of the summer exam series.
I will no doubt be updating you again very soon on this and other issues as the situation continues to develop and evolve.
Take care and look after each other.