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Y11 Parent and Carer Letter

Dear Parents/Carers of Year 11

I hope that you and your families are well and adjusting to the updates in national guidance around keeping safe.

I am writing to you regarding your child’s examination results. It was widely reported last week that the Department for Education (as part of their standardisation process) are planning to lower grades across the country from the Centre Assessed Grades that have recently been inputted by schools and academies. It was estimated (in the press) that this could affect between 10 and 35% of grades nationally. I wanted to reassure you regarding the robust process that we have conducted at John Cabot Academy to reach our Centre Assessed Grades:

  • Every student has been issued a Centre Assessed Grade based upon teacher estimates of ‘What each student was most likely to achieve in the final examination’. This was evidencebased and included mock examination performance, mini mocks, online tests, class books, coursework, homework and a range of other evidence.
  • Students have then been ranked within these grades (as was requested by the Department for Education). Subject areas have been challenged to use objective evidence (such as data) to reach these rankings.
  • Each teacher has had multiple meetings with their Curriculum Leader and their team.
  • Our Centre Assessed Grades have been moderated by colleagues from across the Cabot Learning Federation and/or beyond to ensure their accuracy.
  • Our Curriculum Leaders and teachers have presented their Centre Assessed Grades and rank orders to a member of the Senior Leadership Team with associated evidence (at student level).
  • Our data has been scrutinised by executive leaders at the Cabot Learning Federation. Following this, Curriculum Leaders and teachers have been further challenged by the Principal on the data they have submitted.

Our staff have been rigorous in their approach to ensure the accuracy of all grades being entered and have conducted themselves with the utmost professionalism and integrity. Whilst the detail of the standardisation process OFQUAL (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) are undertaking has not been released, we do know that OFQUAL will use the following factors:

1. Historical outcomes for each centre
2. The prior attainment (Key Stage 2 or GCSE) of this year’s students and those in previous
years within each centre
3. The expected national grade distribution.

With this and the publicised estimates in mind, many schools are expecting some change to their Centre Assessed Grades, although we cannot say to what extent this will affect final outcomes.

The Department for Education have confirmed that results will be issued on 20th August 2020, as originally planned. Based on the most recent guidance, we are planning to open in some capacity for results to be collected in school, although we will follow up-to-date guidance to ensure everyone’s safety. Please do look out for more detail which will be communicated nearer the time.

What I can say is that we are really looking forward to the opportunity to see our Year 11 students again after some considerable and unexpected time apart. Although some events have been unable to go ahead this year, they will certainly be missed and we hope to say a proper goodbye and good luck ahead of their next steps upon leaving us. There will be staff available on the day to both celebrate with students and support them if necessary. In addition to results, we will also have leaver’s hoodies available to collect for those that ordered one.

Finally, I would like to reassure you that we are currently working daily with Post 16 provisions, colleges, South Gloucestershire Council and careers advisors to ensure that we have support for students moving onto the next stages of their lives. Whilst we are unable to provide any further detail regarding awarded grades both on a school or individual level, please email [email protected] if you have any concerns about the process or questions around Post 16 destinations.

Yours sincerely
Emma Ball
Assistant Principal

The following links provide detail from the Department for Education and OFQUAL as to how grades will be calculated and awarded this summer:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/awarding-qualifications-in-summer-2020

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/exceptional-arrangements-for-awarding-qualificationsthis-summer

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