I hope this email finds you well in these challenging times!
As you know, we have now moved to working remotely and will be doing so until at least February half term. The College will be accommodating a small number of young people on campus in line with the government guidance and the pastoral team have been in touch with students and parents. Only one campus will remain open during this time period and all details will be confirmed directly. Students will be booked in so we can ensure social distancing is adhered to.
To support learning over lock down, a number of subjects are posting out additional resources this week and we have made arrangements for a small number of students to collect art folders, retrieve work and collect laptops. The timetable is in place and all classes are scheduled. Students are being asked to turn cameras on so teachers can see that students are present, engaged and undertake welfare checks.
During lockdown if your son/daughter needs help with technology, resources or you are seeing a drop in motivation of mental health and well-being please contact Kerry Cafrello who will be able to assist. The College’s counselling service will continue to operate and our safe guarding team will be regularly checking in with students.
Following the DFE announcement that stated Colleges could decide if they ran the January exams, we took the decision that it was in the best interest of our students to cancel them. I am sure you can appreciate that we considered the options in length. Once we know how the alternative process will work, I will update you in the meantime, please contact me if you have any questions.
On Wednesday the Secretary of State formally announced that no GCSE, A level or AS level exams will take place this summer.
“Instead, the government will ‘put our trust in teachers, rather than algorithms’. Teacher assessed grades will be used instead of exams – more details to follow on how this will work in practice”.
In regards to Applied Generals and Cambridge Technical, I expect that a similar or same process will be used. The DFE will start a consultation shortly and we will contribute to this, alongside of other Colleges and Sector organisations. Once the actual process is published I will update you with this.
I know from experience of last year’s cohort that whilst this news brings some clarification it certainly does not answer all the questions you and your son/daughter will have. As soon as I have answers I will share them. We will continue with the scheme of learning to ensure all the content is delivered and homework/assessment continues as planned. It is important for students to continue to attend all classes and submit all work.
Last year our teacher grades were based on a holistic view of the student’s journey, it was never based on a single assessment. Students will be receiving their mock exams results over the next couple of weeks, please reassure them that this is one assessment. We are only in January and still have specification content to cover and assessments to undertake. Throughout the year we require teachers to submit predicted grades so that we can track and monitor student progress. Progress by its nature is not fixed and therefore can improve or decline, so at any point a predicted grade is only that and reflective of that point of time. Our next monitoring point is late January; a report will be generated with a predicted grade and an effort grade as we have done in term 1. Because of lockdown we will aim to email these to student college accounts only, this will guarantee that the data arrives safely.
I want to take this opportunity to mention also about UCAS predicted grades. The UCAS predicted grade is based on progress and potential but it can also be aspirational. This is because it helps to motivate students to push themselves and achieve higher in addition to supporting student’s aspirations when choosing university courses. The UCAS predicted grade is not a given but is a result of hard work. This term some teachers will have increased their predicted grades for individual students based on requests.
In summary, we are awaiting confirmed details from the DFE/Ofqual on how exactly it will work this year. At this point in time we all have the same information. Any UCAS predicted grades, mock exam results or predicted grades in January do not equate to the final ‘teachers assessed grade’.
What I would ask is that if you have any worries or anything you want me to be aware of please email me directly.
I regularly email parents; if you are not receiving emails from me please can you email the admin team (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask them to check or add your email address to our learner records. If you can provide your son/daughter’s full name and date of birth please.
Student welfare/technology please contact Kerry Cafrello – email@example.com
Teaching and learning or other questions please contact Graham Roberts – firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer exams arrangements concerns/questions please contact Denise Jelly – email@example.com