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Update on Teacher Assessed Grades

We are currently informing students about the assessments that will be used to determine their Teacher Assessed Grade (TAG) in each of their subjects. In line with JCQ guidelines, the assessments chosen will be consistent across a cohort.

They will be asked to confirm that the work being used as evidence is all their own work and to inform us if they have any concerns about the evidence being used.

What are considered legitimate concerns?

1. A student has been assessed by the Additional Learning Support team as requiring access arrangements for examinations (such as extra time, the use of a scribe or reader, etc.), and these were not offered for one of the timed assessments being used as evidence. Students should only raise a concern if they believe that this disadvantaged them in the assessment

2. A student’s performance in one or more assessments was affected by personal circumstances, such as illness or a traumatic experience at the time of sitting the assessment.

All information submitted by a student will be checked on their Individual Learning Plan (ILP) and with their Personal Tutor.

If the concerns raised by a student are judged to be legitimate, then one of the following options will be applied by subject staff assessing the TAGs:

  • The assessment is retained, but the teacher will take the circumstances raised into consideration when arriving at the final grade, as would be the case with an application for special consideration under normal examination conditions.
  • An alternative assessment, if available, will be identified to use as a substitution.
  • The assessment is ignored when arriving at the final grade providing all Key Assessment areas are sufficiently covered.

Teachers will decide on the overall grade for each student, taking into account all of the identified assessments and any legitimate concerns and special considerations. A student’s final grade is not an average of all of their grades but will be arrived at following careful consideration of their performance throughout the course. All relevant information will be considered to arrive at a fair final grade; for example, if they achieved low grades early on in the course but are now consistently working at a higher grade, they can be awarded the higher grade.

Please remember that teachers are not allowed to give any indication of the final grade students might receive. Please do not ask them, as doing so may be considered exam malpractice.

The exam boards will scrutinise the process we are using to generate TAGs over the next few weeks to ensure that we are following government guidance, and our Centre Policy will be made available on the College website shortly.

Teacher assessed grades will be uploaded to the exam boards by 18 June 2021. A-Level results will be published online via email and Pro Monitor on Tuesday 10 August 2021 and GCSE grades on Thursday 12 August 2021.

The Joint Council for Qualifications has published this document which provides an overview of the most important information that you need to know about how A/AS and GCSE grades will be awarded this summer. We encourage you to read it carefully.

Please see the college policies and guidelines published by the Joint Council for Qualifications below: 


Cancellation of Exams and Teacher Assessed Grades

The government has confirmed that all students due to complete A Levels, GCSEs and vocational qualifications, with no occupational skills or proficiency assessments linked to them, will not sit exams this year and will instead be awarded a Teacher Assessed Grade (TAG) based on a wide range of evidence. Students completing Functional Skills, ESOL and vocational qualifications linked to occupational skills and proficiencies will complete assessments as normal as far as possible.

What does this mean for students?

  • Final grades for all A Levels, GCSEs and vocational qualifications, with no occupational skills or proficiency assessments will be from teacher judgements
  • A wide range of evidence will be used including mock exams, tests, coursework, practical assessments and work already completed
  • You will only be assessed on what you have been taught
  • Final grades for all Functional Skills, ESOL and vocational qualifications linked to occupational skills and proficiencies will be based on normal assessments and examinations as far as possible although other evidence may be used and some assessments may be adapted
  • You will be told what evidence is going to be used to determine your grade
  • Your final grade will be based on work already completed.

FAQs 

Which grades count towards my TAG?  The guidance says that a ‘broad range’ of evidence covering all content completed should be considered. This may be past and future work. We will inform you of the range of evidence we will use and are working on this now. Please be patient as we are still waiting on full and clear guidance from exam boards before we confirm this information.

When will assessment or my courses finish? For the Sixth Form (Strode's and Windsor) all 2nd Year Level 3 students will finish on Friday 21 May, however some students may be required to attend the following week to complete final assessments. All Level 2 students will finish on Friday 28 May.

For Langley students the assessment period will continue until the end of the year and therefore it is important that you keep working as hard as you can over the next few weeks as we will be continuing to teach and assess you, giving you every opportunity we can to help with your assessment skills if needed.

Is there anything from Y1 that will be considered as my grades were better in Y1 than during remote learning in Y2? The draft guidance states: “More recent evidence is likely to be more representative of student performance, although there may be exceptions.” We are considering all evidence and 1st Year work may form part of the evidence used.

Will I have to do assessments set by the exam boards? Exam board assessments will be distributed around the end of March. These are optional and may be used by some subjects as part of the evidence base.

Will I know what my submitted grades are? No – All TAG grades must remain strictly confidential until results day.

When will I get my results? Results days are 10th August for A-Level / Level 3 BTEC and 12th August for GCSE and Level 2 BTEC.

What about coursework? Coursework can be used as part of evidence for your TAG. If you are working on coursework, you should try to maximise the grade for this as it will be marked and used by teachers.

What about performance or creative courses? For creative subjects at Strode's and Windsor, you are assessed on the standards of your portfolios; in performance subjects, the standards of your performances can be used as evidence, alongside written work and assessments.

Can I re-take formal assessments? We will not include formal assessments that are resubmitted as you have already seen or had feedback on these.

Assessment conditions – As part of the guidance, it is made clear that, in any assessments, teachers should be assured it is your own work and you have not had help which may give you an unfair advantage. Assessments completed during remote working may, however be used as part of the range of evidence considered.

Are my UCAS Predicted grades TAGs or used for TAGs? No – UCAS predicted grades are possible or potential projected grades. They have no role to play in TAGs

What about the fact that we have had lots of online learning or may have missed work? Teachers will take into account all factors which may have impacted your teaching and learning. You will not be assessed on any work where you may have missed significant sections – e.g. through personal / home circumstances – and teachers can make adjustments at a personal level for this.

How can my grade be evidenced other than in written assessments – is there anything else that will be taken into account? The draft guidance lists the following as potential evidence sources, but further details will be confirmed once we have received clarity from the exam boards:

  • Records of a student’s progress and performance over the course of study as evidenced in the reporting cycle (Current Working Grades)
  • Non-Examined Assessment (coursework) where appropriate
  • Substantial single pieces of assessed work such as exam style essays or tests
  • A combination of shorter responses/assessments, homework and records of a student’s capability and performance over the course of study in performance based subjects such as music, drama and PE
  • Timed assessments/practice exam papers
  • Formal mock and progress examinations which reflect the specification, are in the same format as exam board materials and have been marked in a way that reflects exam board mark schemes

What can we do to prepare for assessments or improve our grade if we don’t know this? We can continue to support you with improving skills and knowledge, including all key assessment skills, and can give you grades on individual assessments or pieces of work. These will not be ‘working grades’, however, but individual grades for specific pieces of work.

Can I send in work I have done independently to get a grade/feedback? If so, will this count towards my final grade? You can send in work for feedback to help you improve assessment skills, however, this cannot be used as evidence for your TAG unless a teacher has specifically set it and was assured you had completed it unaided.

GCSE Mock Exam Windows

  • Window One - 26th April to 28th May
  • Window Two – 7th June to the 16th July
  • Mock Assessments – We will confirm with individual students

Qualifications not similar to GCSE or A Levels – Functional Skills and ESOL and Qualifications with occupational skills or proficiency assessments – for example Hair and Beauty, AAT, Construction, Plumbing

Final grades for all Functional Skills, ESOL and vocational qualifications linked to occupational skills and proficiencies will be based on normal assessments and examinations as far as possible although other evidence may be used and some assessments may be adapted.  We are still awaiting further guidance from awarding organisations and will update on specific curriculum guidance as soon as we have confirmation, we continue to prepare and book normal assessments and examinations

What happens if the assessments for ESOL, Functional Skills or courses with occupational skills and proficiencies cannot take place? Alternative arrangements may be put into place, including teacher assessments and delayed assessments but we will keep you fully informed.

If I am taking a course where assessments are still due to take place, how will this be managed? You will be contacted by Exams or by your subject teacher with details of when, where and how these assessments will take place.

When will assessment or my courses finish? It is important that you keep working as hard as you can as we will be continuing to teach and assess you, giving you every opportunity we can to help with your assessment skills if needed.

What should I do if I am worried about any of this? In the first instance, please contact your subject teachers or your personal tutor for advice and support.

Functional Skill Exam Windows – Currently Available

  • Entry Level Week Commencing 08/03/21 and 15/03/21 –
  • L1/L2 – Week Commencing 29/03/21, 26/04/21, 24/05/21
  • Revisions sessions and mock exams – We will communicate to individual students

ESOL Exams - You will be contacted by Exams or by your subject teacher with details of when, where and how these assessments will take place.

On Demand Vocational Exams - You will be contacted by Exams or by your subject teacher with details of when, where and how these assessments will take place.

Practical Assessments – your subject teacher will contact you with details of when, where and how these assessments will take place.


External Exam Candidates

To find out more information, please visit our External Exam Candidates page.

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