Kingsway Leavers 2021 Grades: Guidance for Students and Parents

This page outlines the process that will be followed by The Kingsway School awarding grades for our students in 2021. 

What have schools been asked to do?

We have been asked to generate teacher assessed grades for students. These grades must reflect a fair, reasonable and carefully considered judgement of the student’s performance across a range of evidence on the curriculum they have been taught. Teachers should use their professional judgement to balance the full range of evidence available for each student in order to make a holistic judgement.  This is different to what we were asked to do in 2020, where we stated the grade the student would have been awarded, if exams had gone ahead. This year the grades must be based on evidence of the student’s performance.  

What evidence can schools use to make their judgements?

  1. Student work produced in response to assessment materials normally provided by the exam board including past papers, and the groups of questions being provided to support evidence gathering this summer, or similar materials such as practice or sample papers.
  2. Non-exam assessment (NEA) work (often referred to as coursework), even if this has not been fully completed.
  3. Student work produced in centre-devised tasks that reflect the specification, that follow the same format as exam board materials and have been marked in a way that reflects exam board mark schemes. 
  4. Internal tests and trial exams taken over the course of study.
  5. Records of a student’s capability and performance over the course of study in performance-based subjects such as music and PE.
  6. Records of each student’s standard of work over the course of study. 

Schools have been asked to consider the following in relation to the evidence: 

  • More recent evidence is likely to be more representative of student performance although there may be exceptions. 
  • As far as possible, evidence should be consistent across a class or cohort of students. 
  • Teachers can use evidence from any point during the course, provided they are confident that it is the student’s own work. 
  • The range and amount of evidence could vary between subjects.
  • When deciding the weighting evidence is given, teachers should consider the extent to which the evidence covers the content of the course and assessment objectives, when and where the assessment took place and the level of support that was given.
  • While there is no set requirement for the minimum amount of content that students must have been taught, the Head of Centres will be required to confirm that students have been taught sufficient content to form the basis for a grade. 
  • Evidence for students must be based on content they have been taught. 

How will we award grades at The Kingsway School?

  • Each department has identified evidence from across the course of study that fulfils the characteristics listed above. 
  • The evidence mix varies between departments, but most will include the May mini exams and the December PPEs (Mock exams). To view the evidence mix please click here.
  • Teachers will use the evidence collected to assign a Teacher Assessed Grade for each student in their class(es). They will use their professional judgement to balance the full range of evidence available for each student. 
  • Teachers will use only the evidence presented. Decisions about potential must not factor into the student’s grades. It would not be appropriate to refer to projected grades or target grades.  “A grade derived from a predicted trajectory or target grade is not permitted”. JCQ Guidance
  • When making decisions about grades, the teacher will consider the following factors:
    • When the assessment took place
    • Coverage of assessment objectives
    • Coverage of content
    • Authenticity – is the evidence the student’s own work?
    • Level of control – was it taken in timed conditions? Was there an opportunity for redrafting? Was it supervised? 
    • Marking – how much support was available when applying the mark scheme? What internal standardisation processes have been applied? 

There might be some circumstances where the evidence mix will be adjusted for certain students, these are detailed below: 

Access Arrangements

Students with special educational needs or disabilities can be given access arrangements for assessments. For example, they might be given additional time, a scribe or different coloured paper. For the formal assessments such as the May mini exams or December PPEs, these access arrangements are put in place consistently. For other evidence, access arrangements might not have been put in place. Where access arrangements were not in place, we might remove that assessment from the evidence mix or use alternative evidence where appropriate to do so.  

Mitigating circumstances

Where a student had to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19 for a significantly greater length of time compared to their peers, we will consider the impact of this for the individual. We might take actions such as removing evidence or using alternative evidence where appropriate to do so. Parents do not need to inform the school of periods of self-isolation as will refer to the school’s attendance records for Year 11.  

There may be other mitigating circumstances that you wish the school to be aware of which may have had an adverse affect on your son/daughter during Key Stage 4 (Years 10 & 11). Where a student was affected by adverse circumstances such as a temporary injury or death of a family member we ask that you notify the school by completing this form: https://forms.gle/knEgVSTZwUfq7sEc7 by Tuesday 18th May. Mitigating circumstances will be considered by the school on a case by case basis and we might take actions such as removing that assessment from the evidence mix or we may use alternative evidence where appropriate to do so.  

Internal quality assurance process

  • We have written a Centre Policy in line with JCQ guidance. The policy provides a summary of our approach to assessment and quality assurance. This will be made available on the school website once it has been reviewed by the awarding organisation.
  • Once the grades have been determined by teachers, checks will be carried out by Heads of Department. This is to ensure that a consistent and fair approach was used between classes in a subject. 
  • Once the grades have been checked by Heads of Department, further checks will be carried out by Senior Teachers. This is to ensure that a consistent and fair approach was used between different subjects.
  • Checking mechanisms will ensure: 
    • Teachers have determined grades objectively and without bias.
    • Access Arrangements and mitigating circumstances have been appropriately considered.

External quality assurance process

Checks will take place by our awarding organisation to ensure that the grades we award are consistent and fair compared to other schools:

  • Our awarding organisation will review the Centre Policy.
    • Our awarding organisation might organise a virtual meeting to ensure the systems we have adopted are appropriate.
  • We will be required to submit samples of work from five students in at least two subjects at GCSE, one of which is likely to be English language or maths. 

Evidence and grades

  • Although teachers may share results associated with individual pieces of evidence, they must not share with students the grades submitted to awarding organisations before results are released.
  • Students/Parents must not attempt to enter into a negotiation about grades as this is considered examination malpractice. 

What will be submitted to the exam boards?

  • A grade for each candidate 
  • Grade decisions for the endorsements in spoken language in GCSE English Language and MFL.

Appeals

The arrangements for awarding grades to students in summer 2021 include internal and external quality assurance measures which aim to ensure that on results day students are issued with fair and consistent grades that have been objectively reached.

In the instance that a student wishes to appeal a grade, there are two key stages to the appeals process:

Stage 1: centre review

The student can ask The Kingsway School if an administrative or procedural error has occurred. Students should be aware that their grade could go down, up or stay the same. If we find that an error has occurred, we can submit a request to the awarding organisation to correct the error and amend the grade without the need to make an appeal to the awarding organisation.

Stage 2: appeal to the awarding organisation 

The second stage of the process is referred to as an appeal to the awarding organisation (submitted by The Kingsway School on the student’s behalf). An appeal should be submitted if the student considers that we did not follow our procedure properly – outlined in the Centre Policy, the awarding organisation has made an administrative error, or the student considers that the grade awarded was an unreasonable exercise of academic judgement. Students should be aware that grades can go down, up or stay the same.

Timeline

  • Tuesday 18th May - Deadline for mitigating circumstances form
  • Friday 18th June - Deadline for submission of grades
  • Thursday 12th August - GCSE results day

Further details about how students can collect their results will be made available nearer the time. 

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