Learning from Home in the Sixth Form
The Upper Sixth
The latest information about A level assessments from Ofqual (26th March) is as follows:
"We are rapidly working up plans to implement the arrangements the Secretary of State for Education has set out for exams this summer and, with exam boards and teaching bodies, are making considerable progress.
Students understandably want reassurance, and teachers urgently need to know what to do, and when. We expect to publish detailed information about the process and timetable which will apply this summer next week. This will include the steps we would like teachers to follow and more detailed guidance on how to consider the full range of evidence they will have available when submitting their assessment grades. We are talking to teaching representatives to make sure that what we are planning is manageable and appropriate, so that students, parents, carers and teachers can have confidence in the approach.
We will outline by Easter the process we will follow to make sure grades are fair across schools and colleges, as well as our proposals for appeals. We will also say more as soon as possible about the arrangements for additional exams in the new academic year.
We want to reassure students waiting for news that we are doing everything we can to make sure they are not disadvantaged by these unprecedented circumstances."
Given this news from Ofqual there will be no expectation that Upper Sixth students will need to provide any further evidence of their work until further notice. The only exception to this is students completing coursework projects (for example in DT) which is likely to be central to their grades.
Next week (w/c 30th March) we suggest all students have a complete break from any A Level work or revision and have an opportunity to take stock and do something relaxing and fun.
Once the guidelines and timescale are released and we have evaluated them we will update parents and pupils with next steps. The Summer Term will also include pre-university preparation.
Lower Sixth should take the Easter holidays as an opportunity to have a break and a chance to relax as a priority.
In a change to original plans there will no longer be a formal examination period in the Summer Term, instead, remote assessments set by departments will be used to track progress. In the light of this, students do not need to revise, but are advised to consolidate their understanding of the A Level courses so far in the light of the feedback their teachers have given them in their end of term reports. They may wish to spend some time doing some wider reading for their research projects or courses, availing themselves of the newly accessible material from Universities and publishers, a list of which has been circulated to them.
Further Comments from Parents
"I just wanted to send you a quick email to say what a fantastic job I think you and the rest of [our daughter's] teachers are doing in these very difficult times. As far as we are concerned the standard of teaching has not fallen in any way since the lockdown. Even though she is not physically at school, [our daughter] has zoom meetings for all her lessons, even art. Her Oxbridge, EPQ, Kenya meetings and singing lessons are all still happening regularly when they could have quite easily fallen by the wayside.
We have been doing virtual university tours with [our daughter], who wants to read law, and she now appreciates how hard she is going to have to work to get the necessary grades. She is therefore trying to use this time to get ahead with as much work as possible. [Our daughter] has just said that she has never felt as motivated as she does at the moment, and I think this is down to the very good teaching she is receiving in all her subjects."
"I would also like to thank the teachers for [our daughter's] and [our son's] teaching in lockdown. It cannot be easy to teach in the new zoom world we all find ourselves! However the teaching has been excellent and the communication and attention to detail is a credit to the school."