30th March 2020,

Dear Year 11,

I wanted to write to you personally to reflect on the events of the last week and to reiterate some of the key messages from our final assembly together on Thursday 19th March.

At present, you may be feeling anxious and uncertain about your future. I would like to reassure you that whilst we still do not have all the answers to the many questions that you will have, we are very confident that all of your hopes and dreams for the future are still achievable through hard work and determination.

Starbank School can clearly recall when the class of 2020 started your journey as year 7 in 2015, time went by so quickly. In 2018 you began your GCSEs and you were told how the coming years would go by so quickly, you had such a vast amount of work to do that you had to remain focused and give it your all. You attended lessons and gave it your best by sitting two sets of mocks, we could never have imagined that it would end so abruptly and in such a heartbreaking way.

I would like to offer my assurances that the class of 2020 will be remembered for the wonderful way in which you tackled such an unusual situation and we will do our best to assist you with your educational journey. In the meantime, please find below some guidance which I hope you will find reassuring and helpful.

Remember to visit college websites and find course details so that you can be reviewing content and skills.

In an effort to keep you up to date with the latest government directives and information concerning the assessment of GCSE this summer, below is a summary of the press release from Friday 20th March. You will remember I wrote to you on Monday 23rd April, so this reinforces as well as providing you with some guidance. You will also find the link below to the full article.

Assessment of Students’ Work

  • Teachers will be submitting a grade that reflects what the student would have achieved had they sat the exams this summer. This will not necessarily be the grade the student receives from the exam board (see below).
  • Teachers will take into account a range of evidence and data including mock examinations, and where relevant, non-examination assessment and completed exam and coursework modules for vocational qualifications (BTEC and NCFE).  We will also factor in their performance in end-of-unit assessments in class.
  • Clear guidance on how to do this fairly and robustly will be provided to schools (we expect to know ore this week).
  • Exam boards will combine this teacher grade with other relevant factors to reach a final calculated grade.  Other factors will include prior attainment (e.g. KS2 SATS) and the performance of all students in previous years, as is usually the case with the work of examination boards.

 

What and When?

  • Calculated grades will be given to students before the end of July.
  • The certificates students receive will be no different from any other year.
  • Students will be able to appeal decisions on their calculated grade if they feel the processhas not been followed correctly.
  • Students will have the opportunity to sit exams if they are not happy with their results, either when schools reopen or in the summer of 2021.  We are unclear as yet how this will work and where these exams will take place.

 

Link to the Government Information

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-details-on-exams-and-grades-announced

Our Recommended Next Steps for Students

  • Any unfinished non-exam assessment work that can be completed at home should be, to be submitted to your teacher when requested later in the year.  If that is not possible then please do not worry as the examination boards will be fully aware that pupils had their course timetable curtailed.
  • Do not stop studying as you may be in a position where you wish to sit exams when schools reopen.  If you are planning to study certain topics post-16, start researching them now and preparing yourself for the next step in your learning journey.
  • Do not stop studying as you need to maintain good working habits for your next steps in education or employment.
  • Study things not related to your studies that may be useful later in life and will enrich you inside and out; learn an instrument, cook new things, develop new creative and artistic outlets.  Use this time positively and proactively.
  • Keep up to date with news on education as information is being updated frequently.
  • Look out for communication from the school. We will continue to let you know of information that affects your studies and results.
  • Stay safe and adhere to government guidance on social distancing.

 Please can I request that you do not contact the school with enquiries about individual grades at the moment as we are not in a position to be able to discuss this with you until we have the full guidance. We know that this is a worrying time, but we expect further clarity in the next few weeks and will update you again accordingly.

 

Please stay safe. I am proud of you!

 

Yours sincerely

Mr. G Ferrante
Secondary Headteacher

View Letter as PDF

Year 11 Letter