External Exam Information


External Exam Information

Starbank School Favicon Year Mock Exam Grades – Key Stage 4

Depending on options taken, it is possible that reports will have a mixture of GCSE (A*-G), Btec and the new GCSE (9-1) grades. Please see the table below to see what the new GCSE grades and the Btec grades equate to.

  • GCSE Grade 4 will be considered a ‘standard pass’
  • GCSE Grade 5 will be the ‘good pass’


New GCSE (9-1) gradeGCSE Equivalent Grade A*- GBtec GradeGCSE (9-1) Equivalent
9 A*Distinction*09-Aug
8 A/A*Distinction*7
7 AMerit06-May
6BPass 4

All parents and students can find examination information and timetables as the information becomes available on the VLE. If you have any queries or concerns please contact:

  • Mrs M.Mughal – Senior Examinations Officer


Information to support students during their exams

It is good practice to have a full set of equipment for all of your exams, this includes: black pen, pencil, ruler, compass, sharpener, eraser, protractor and calculator all in a clear pencil case or plastic bag.

Students are expected to wear full school uniform for all internal examinations and external examinations.

Exams in the event of school closure:

In the event of possible school closure due to bad weather, power cuts etc students sitting their GCSE/GCE exams must assume that their exams will take place unless there is a note to the contrary on the school web site. The school may be closed to other students but every effort will be made to open to ensure external exams can take place.

However please note the following:

  • Exams will still take place on the timetabled day and in the timetabled session, i.e. am or pm.
  • Exam start times may be delayed slightly to ensure staffing arrangements are in accordance with exam regulations – students will be supervised by centre staff if necessary.
  • Students should make every effort to attend their exams. If a student is going to be late for their exam or is unable to attend, please phone Hob Moor Road school office.
  • Unless it is the final chance to take that exam it is unlikely we will be able to apply for special consideration if an exam is missed. You will need to take it in the next available session.

In the event that the school is unable to open for exams at all, we will take advice from the relevant exams board and post that advice on the school web site.

Defining Access Arrangements for students with identified SEND:

For students who require additional SEND support to access the curriculum, Starbank Secondary will conduct individualised testing to identify whether there is evidence that a student requires additional support: should this be the case, then the nature of the support provided will be bespoke to the needs of the individual, determined by our Secondary SENDCO. If you have any queries or concerns regarding access arrangements please contact:

  • Mrs E.Thomas – Secondary Special Educational Needs & Disabilities Coordinating Office (SENDCO)

Starbank Secondary follows JCQ guidance with regards supporting students with Access Arrangements. The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) explains that access arrangements “allow candidates with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) or temporary injuries to access an assessment and show what they know and can do without changing the demands of the assessment“.

Access arrangements should meet the needs of a candidate without affecting the integrity of the assessment. Full information can be found here: https://www.jcq.org.uk/exams-office/access-arrangements-and-special-consideration

Eligibility criteria:

The JCQ publishes information on access arrangements, reasonable adjustments, and special considerations for examinations for each school year.

Examples of the types of access arrangements that may be appropriate for Secondary students include:

  • Cognition and learning needs,
  • Communication and interaction needs,
  • Sensory and physical needs,
  • Social, mental and emotional needs.

Types of arrangements available:

The list of access arrangements and adjustments provided by the JCQ is not exhaustive and pupils requiring other access arrangements or adjustments may also be accommodated.

Examples of the types of access arrangements that may be appropriate for Secondary students include (but not exhaustively):

  • Supervised rest breaks
  • Extra time (25%, up to 50%, or over 50%)
  • Use of a reader or computer reader
  • Use of a scribe/speech recognition technology
  • Use of a word processor
  • Use of a prompter.

Starbank School Favicon The Governing Body reserves the right to make a charge for External Examinations:

  • The examination fee may be requested to cover costs incurred through External Examinations under the following circumstances:
    • If a student fails to attend an examination the school has paid the entry for, without good reason.
    • If a student has not regularly attended the lessons for a particular examination subject.
    • If, without a medical certificate explaining the reason, a student fails to complete examination requirements for any public examination.
    • If a student is denied entry to an exam owing to a late arrival.
    • If a student is removed from an exam owing to a breach of the code of conduct.
    • If a late exam entry fee is the direct result of actions by a student or parent(s), the Governing Body may seek to recover the fee.