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

This year, as you know, GCSE and A level examinations have been cancelled and your child will be awarded a grade based on a system set out by the Department for Education and the Examination Boards.

In this letter we hope to explain how this process will work and we invite you to please email us with any further questions that you may have at enquiries@liskeard.cornwall.sch.uk. GCSE and A level examinations are a major milestone in your child’s life and it is important that the whole process is conducted fairly and with the correct gravitas. 

As you will already be aware, your child’s teachers know them well and in any usual year, they would now already have started revision for examinations to give them the very best chance of showing their potential. 

Every year, there are always a few students who answer a question wrongly or panic on the day of the examination and teachers share their frustration as they open the envelope on results day.  Equally there are often students who work exceptionally hard right to the end and everyone is pleased at the outcome.  Hence, this year teachers are really pleased to be using a system which does not rely entirely on an examination that has been taken on one day.

Teachers will be bringing together a portfolio of evidence for each student which includes numerous opportunities for your child to show their abilities.  Although we would always want to include at least one assessment conducted under examination conditions, pieces of evidence that didn’t go so well or assessments on bad days need not be included in this portfolio if there is enough other evidence available.

Clearly, we will still make sure that your child has every opportunity to take examination style questions, complete pieces of coursework and complete more extended pieces of work so every student will still take part in all these tasks but we can reassure you that the best outcomes will be used for the evidence file.

Your child’s file needs to contain a minimum number of pieces of evidence and so a single amazing piece of work will help the portfolio but may not, on its own, raise the level of work of the whole portfolio.

All three secondary schools in our Trust have agreed to use the same method for awards and this will allow us to compare the work of more students and recognise achievements with greater accuracy and fairness.

Currently, your child’s teachers are continuing with course content and completing some smaller assessments as part of their teaching.

On 3rd May, we will be stepping up the collection of evidence by using many of the lesson times to complete internal tests which can be marked by the teachers to add to the portfolios.  We continue to set examination style questions till this late because your child continues to develop their understanding throughout the course and the time between now and 3rd May contains valuable teaching time to help them demonstrate their ability best.

By 24th May teachers will have brought together the portfolios and so will be aware of any missing pieces of evidence they need to collect or opportunities to further improve.  During this week they will be letting your child know of any final pieces they need to add.  Your child will be taking a ‘Release form’ around with them and teachers will sign this if they need no further evidence for the portfolio.  At this point, your child will be able to hand back any text books or resources for that subject as it will be effectively ‘signed off’.

By 7th June your child should have all their subjects signed off and so only those students with incomplete forms will be required to still come in to school.

Between the 7th and 18th June, Heads of Departments and Senior Teams will be working extremely hard to compile the whole school results.  Every individual result must be verified by at least two professional staff and must align to the moderation process we have used and the methods for allocating points to evidence.  Even though the results all begin life with the recommendation of your teacher, no one teacher has the ability to set the final grade that is put forward once all of the checks and balances have been applied.

On 18th June the school will send the outcomes of the portfolios to the examination boards together with the grades they recommend each student should receive.  We are required not to share these recommended grades with the students or their parents.

Throughout the end of June and through July, the examination boards will check our work.  They will select some schools to visit so they can look in depth at portfolios and processes.  They can require us to decrease or increase grades for the whole cohort and can change the grades for individual students.

In the week of 10th August your child receives their results and we discover what changes the examination board made to the grades we submitted.

Our internal process is new and has been devised by all three schools working together closely, adhering to the latest DfE and Ofqual guidance. We have included a copy of the student and parent explanation of this guidance from the JCQ (Joint Council for Qualifications) which was released last Friday as it is helpful in explaining some of the processes in more detail. We have shared our interpretation of this guidance with other Trusts, schools and organisations to gain the best and fairest outcome for your child which will be respected by future employers and further education destinations. We will also be sharing our final version with the Examination Boards for them to verify our approach.

Please let us know if you have any questions or any comments about the approach.  We are extremely keen that the whole process is as transparent and clear as we are able to make it and your comments will help us to achieve this.

We know that Covid restrictions and the examination uncertainty has been an incredibly unsettling time for your child and hope that the process we have arrived at will offer them as much reassurance as we can at this stage.

Mrs Penberthy will be sending out information this week specific to each subject. It will include what evidence each subject will be using to make their final recommendations, a timetable of the internal tests in May, what topics will be tested, and our Easter School programme. Please note that these tests will be fewer in number and shorter in length than the normal exams.

Kind regards,

Alex Lingard

Headteacher

 
 
 

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Contact

Head Teacher: Mr Alex Lingard

Liskeard School & Community College
Luxstowe
Liskeard
Cornwall
PL14 3EA

How to find us

Tel: +44(0)1579 342344

School Attendance Line (24 hours): +44(0)1579 325730

Fax: +44(0)1579 343350

Email: enquiries@liskeard.cornwall.sch.uk

 

 

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