We are required to submit Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) to exam boards by Friday 18 June and, up until the deadline, we will be working in line with guidance across all schools to support students towards their final qualifications.
We are currently awaiting further detailed instructions from exam boards, and will provide more updates as we move forward and receive new information.
In the meantime, an overview of how students will be awarded grades is illustrated in the infographic (right) and full details can be found on the Ofqual website.
The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) has also published guidance for students, parents and guardians, which can be downloaded HERE.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please click on the questions below to find out more.
1. How will my grade be calculated?
It is important to state from the outset that this will not be as simple as just looking at your most recent reports, and you should not expect that estimated grades from Christmas will be your final grade as there has been a such huge shift in circumstances since these reports were released.
You will be put into a rank order within the year based on the following evidence (please see the individual subject pages for more precise information):
1. Exam style assessment materials produced by the exam board, which you will complete in test conditions (mostly after Easter).
- These may be past paper questions or new materials which the exam boards will produce for this year.
- They are not ‘high stakes’ papers that will determine your final mark based on performance on one day like an exam, but rather will support the body of evidence you have built up over the course as a whole and provide an additional opportunity to show how well you understand the content.
- We will put in a safety net by modifying the papers so that you will only be asked questions on topics that you have been taught.
- You will sit these tests in class but we will tell you in advance when they are and what to revise. Alongside the work you do at home, we will revise topics and prepare you for the tests in your lessons.
2. If your subject contains practical components or non-exam assessment (NEA) tasks, then this will also be included as evidence for your final grade even if it is incomplete. However, teachers will still do their best to finish this with you so that you have every opportunity to get the marks you deserve.
3. We will also look at evidence of your performance across the course in key assessment tasks and end of year exams. We will factor in the extent to which more recent assessments have shown your improvement throughout the course and place greater emphasis on work produced towards the end of Year 11.
This rank order will then be used to recommend grades for each pupil to the exam board. Please understand that we do not expect to be permitted to inform pupils before results day what grades we have recommended, so we will only be able to discuss your mark and rank order for each assessment over the remaining weeks.
2. When will the assessments take place?
Download: Year 11 Assessment Calendar (PDF)
3. How important are these exam style assessments?
These tests will provide an opportunity to show the standard at which you are performing at the end of the course, but we will not ignore what you have already done and the marks you have already gained in other assessments. Below is an example of where two different pupils may be in the subject leading up to your exam style assessment:
|Unit 1||Unit 2||Unit 3||Unit 4||Unit 5||Unit 6||Unit 7||Unit 8|
If you are closer to Pupil 1, you will have produced compelling evidence of very high quality work throughout the course. You should therefore view your summer exam style assessments as a low risk opportunity to show even further knowledge and understanding and perhaps show that you are worthy of an even higher grade. However, you already have a strong body of work to act as a safety net if these tests do not go as well as you had hoped and we will still be confident that we can recommend you for a high grade, so please prepare as you would normally but do not feel anxious about these tests.
If you are closer to Pupil 2, you have significant gaps in your work or have not performed well on previous assessments. You should see the exam style assessment is an opportunity to show that you are worthy of a better grade and should you do well, we will factor this improved performance into our final rank order accordingly. However, clearly you do not have the same safety net as other pupils and you will need to prepare thoroughly both in school and at home in order to perform well.
4. How will this be moderated and checked to ensure that the marks I am getting are fair?
- Your exam responses will be completed anonymously, with you only recording your exam number and not your name on your papers, so that teachers can mark and rank the papers without any pre-conceptions about the quality of responses they might be expected. This is to reassure you that your papers will be marked and moderated without bias.
- All teachers will check the quality of answers against mark schemes and example graded answers provided by the exam board, to ensure that the marks awarded are fair and consistent.
- Where there are multiple teachers within the department marking papers, the faculty leader will lead a process of checking and moderation to ensure that no student benefits or is penalised by inconsistent marking across the team.
- All key assessments throughout your courses are also moderated against exemplar answers and/or mark schemes and again this is checked across classes/teachers.
5. How do I know that my placing in the rank order for each subject is fair?
In addition to the above checks, once faculty leaders submit their rank order it will then be checked by members of the school’s senior leadership team. This will be to ensure that there are no errors in the input of data and that the judgment on a pupil’s place in the rank order is consistent with the marks gained.
6. How does this lead to the recommendation of a final grade to the exam board?
It is important to understand that in any exam year, grade boundaries are only decided upon once all papers are marked in order to ensure that the difficulty of the paper is taken into account and that a similar number of pupils nationally each year are awarded each grade. We will follow a very similar process to exam boards once all pupils are placed in a secure rank order that we have checked closely.
First, we will go back to the grade descriptors and exemplar materials provided by the exam board and compare these with the work pupils have produced. If pupils have met this criteria then we can recommend them for the grade, whilst those who have not met the criteria will be recommended for a lower grade.
Once we have done this, we will check the number of pupils at each grade against the national expectations in the subject and how well pupils in this school typically do. This is to check whether there is a possibility that we may have been too generous or too harsh, but we will not move any grades without first going back to the exam board’s exemplar materials and reviewing the evidence we have against the guidance we have received. This check may reveal that some pupils’ grades should be adjusted but also, if we are satisfied with the evidence we have, we will not move pupils.
Finally, the senior leadership team will check that all of these processes have been followed by faculty leaders and that there have not been any administrative errors in the input of the grades.
7. Can I redo any of my key assessments from Year 10 or 11 if I think I can do better in them?
Of course, if you think your knowledge and skills have improved you can show this by redoing an assessment - it may be a slightly different question paper but will cover the same content that was taught in the unit originally. Please see the subject specific links on this page to check which assessments will be used to contribute to your grade.
All you will need to do is revise the content and agree a time with your teacher to complete the assessment in supervised conditions after school.
8. When will I get my results?
This year, pupils will receive their GCSE results on Thursday 12th August.
9. Will I be able to appeal if I am unhappy about my result?
Yes, although the exam boards have not published full details of this process yet:
- The first thing you can ask to be checked is that there has not been an administrative error which has led to you being awarded the wrong grade.
- Where a centre does not believe an error had been made, a student can ask the centre to appeal to the exam board on their behalf. The centre 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. The exam board will also check that the centre had followed its own process.
Appeals can lead to grades going up, staying the same (the most likely outcome) or going down. We will do everything we can to put you forward for the most positive grade that we can with the evidence we have available to us, so please think carefully before exercising this option.
You will also have the option to sit exams in any subject in the Autumn series if you are unhappy with your grade.
10. Who should I get in touch with if I have any further questions?