A Level and GCSE Summer 2021

Information for Students

Following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK government has decided that the Summer 2021 examination series will not go ahead as planned. Instead, departments will determine your grades, based upon a range of evidence verified by the exam boards and the Academy.

These results will then be reviewed by the exam boards who designed each course, before awarding the final grades which reflect your performance on content you have been taught, and allow you to confidently progress to the next stage of your education or into employment.

This page will provide an overview of the most important information that you and your parents or guardians need to know about how grades will be awarded this summer. This includes a timeline of what is happening and when; how we at GSA and exam boards will determine your grades; and when you will receive your results.

JCQ and the exam boards have been working together actively to support your teachers, to determine your grades this summer. At GSA we will be setting our own approach for teachers to follow which will be developed in line with guidance from the exam boards, Ofqual and the Department for Education.

You can click here to find more information in the JCQ full guidance document, published on the JCQ website.

Departments will initially determine your grades, which will then be reviewed by. The professional judgement of teachers will only be based on what you have been taught and your teachers will use a range of evidence from across the course of study to make decisions.

Teachers can assess you based on:
• Records of your performance on the content you have been taught over the entire course of your studies.
• Non-exam assessment, often referred to as coursework or internal assessments, even if you have not fully completed it.
• Work you have produced in tasks set by your school or college that reflects the specification, format and marking of exam boards. This could include substantial classwork, homework, internal tests or mock exams.
• We also have the option to set tests for you in order to gather further evidence. Teachers can develop these tests or use assessment materials provided by the exam boards. Importantly, these tests are not formal exams, nor are they designed to play the role of exams.

Your teachers do not need to assess you on every aspect of each subject. They just need a range of evidence that shows your performance on the aspects you have been taught.

In most cases, the range of evidence that departments use to inform your grade will be consistent across your class or cohort for each qualification. However we may decide that a different range of evidence may be more appropriate to fairly inform your grade, if, for example, you have missed significantly more teaching than others in your class.

Keeping you in the know

Your teachers will tell you which pieces of work will be used as evidence to inform your overall grade. You will have the opportunity to raise any concerns about the evidence being used, for example, if the evidence was affected by personal circumstances, such as illness. Departments will make the final judgement about what evidence is to be included - this is not a negotiation. Your teachers will not be able to tell you the grade they have submitted to the exam board.

How is evidence used?

No single piece of evidence will necessarily be more important than another, as departments will be assessing you based on a range of evidence that can give an overall picture of your performance.

Ofqual has issued separate guidance to schools, colleges and teachers about the submission of teacher assessed grades, including the evidence that can be used.

Determining Grades

Once all the evidence is selected and assessments are complete, departments will decide on an overall grade. They will do this objectively – so, if you are performing consistently at a grade B standard in a subject at A Level, you should be awarded a grade B. Exam boards will provide further advice and guidance to show the standard of work expected for particular grades, including additional grade descriptors, to supplement those previously published by Ofqual.

It is important to say that much like with exams in normal years, the grades issued by GSA will not take account of your potential. They will be a snapshot of the standard you are performing at based on a wide range of evidence. It should be no easier or harder for you to achieve a grade this year based on your performance than in previous years.

Once a teacher has determined your grade, it will be reviewed by other teachers in your school or college, so grades are determined consistently with our centre policy. Exam boards will check these policies to make sure they meet their requirements.

Please click here to view the latest GSA Centre Policy.

Reasonable adjustments, access arrangements and special consideration

If you have special educational needs, and/or are disabled, and require reasonable adjustments, we have ensured that these were in place when evidence was gathered. Where appropriate reasonable adjustments were not in place when you took an assessment that is being used as evidence, we have taken that into account when determining your grade. We could also consider whether other evidence could be used instead.

Special consideration requests will not apply in the usual way this summer because you will not be taking exams. If you think that your performance in an assessment has been affected by illness or personal circumstances, you should talk to us about this as soon as possible. It is important that you raise any such instances before we submit your grade.

If you have any questions about how your personal circumstances will be taken into account or want to raise anything with us, now is the best time to speak to us. You should not wait until after you get your results.

AS and A Level students will receive their results on Tuesday 10 August 2021.
GCSE students will receive their results on Thursday 12 August 2021.

The details on when and where you collect your results will be sent to you nearer the time.

Appeals

Although everyone will be working hard to make sure you are issued with the correct grades on results day, there will also be an appeals system as a safety net to fix any genuine errors that were not identified earlier on.

If you believe an error has been made in determining your grade, you will have a right to appeal.

For more information please click here and view page 6 of the document.