This morning all Bay House Sixth Form Upper Sixth students will receive their standardised A Level grades as awarded by examination boards. In these unprecedented times, we feel that it is important to clarify the process that informed the creation of these grades.
All Bay House Sixth Form students had a ‘Centre Assessment Grade’ (CAG) submitted to the examination board in the summer term. This Centre Assessment grade was the teacher’s professional judgement of the most likely grade a student would have achieved if exams had gone ahead. This was based on a range of evidence including mock exams, non-exam assessment, homework assignments and any other record of student performance over the course of study.
After receiving the centre assessment grades and rank orders, examination boards standardised grades across all schools and colleges. Examination boards used an algorithm which was informed by the prior attainment of schools, the GCSE performance of each cohort as well as national level grade distributions so that final grades were aligned across all schools and colleges, and of equal value to previous years. Based on this, many of our students’ individual grades have been adjusted upwards or downwards. This means that the final grade awarded to a student may be different from the one we submitted to the examination board.
The Department for Education also announced yesterday that students who are unhappy with the result awarded by the exam board can appeal to receive a valid mock result, or sit autumn exams to ensure the achievements of young people are recognised. Ofqual has yet to confirm how and when ‘valid mock results’ can be used to calculate grades. As a school we are committed to supporting students to appeal wherever appropriate and will take every opportunity available to us to ensure fairness for our students.
The grades achieved mean that the Sixth Form remains one of the highest performing in the country despite the lower average GCSE point score for this cohort. We understand this has been a very difficult year for students, who have not had the chance to prove their knowledge and skills in exams. Despite these unprecedented circumstances, our students should still be rightly proud of their achievements.
We do, of course, share many of the frustrations about the awarding process and feel it is important to recognise the incredible hard work of our students and teachers in achieving these grades. We wish our students all the best in their next steps, whether that is university or the world of work.
Dr N A Matthias (Headteacher)
Mr R Dadd (Head of Sixth Form)