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Examinations Officer: Mr Richard Burdett
Year 11/13 – Determining Teacher Assessed Grades
Each school, like Altwood, which is determining Teacher Assessed Grades (TAG’s) this summer was required to create a policy which describes how this process will be managed. The policy was then submitted to the JCQ (Joint Council for Qualifications) who checked it and confirmed it met their requirements before the TAG submission window opened. Our approved policy can be viewed by clicking the link below:
The JCQ has produced a guide for students and parents on how the TAGs will be determined, which can be viewed by clicking the following link:
There is a also a document from Ofqual which povides similar information:
A key part of the process of determining the TAG for each student and subject is deciding which evidence will be included in the decision, which as far as possible should be the same set for each subject and cohort. We are though aware that some students may have missed a section of teaching, or an assessment due to valid reasons such as a bereavement or long-term illness, or it may be the case that access arrangements were not in place for a particular assessment. We have therefore conducted an internal review of all proposed evidence to establish whether a candidate may have been disadvantaged and establish whether:
- We continue to use the evidence when assigning a grade on the basis that it is the most appropriate evidence available and disregarding it would disadvantage the candidate; or
- We use alternative evidence to replace assessments that are not appropriately representative of individual student’s performance.
Therefore, there may be individual candidates whose evidence deviates slightly from the master evidence list, which can be viewed by clicking the following link:
Year 10/12 PPEs – June/July 2021
We will again be running PPE (mock exams) for current Year 10 and Year 12 students in the summer term from Monday 21st June to Friday 2nd July inclusive.
The timetables for these exams (updated on 11 & 14 June 2021) are available by clicking the following links:
Summer and Autumn 2020 Certificates
Summer and Autumn 2020 Certificates are available for collection
Certificates are again available to collect in person from the school reception. However, with ongoing restrictions in place, we strongly recommend arranging for postal delivery of certificates this year in order to minimise visitors to the school site. This option may be arranged via the Postal Delivery Request Form which is available by clicking the following link:
Replacement examination certificates typically cost upwards of £40 per certificate. Therefore, postal delivery uses the Royal Mail Signed For (Recorded Delivery) service which has adequate insurance cover in the event of loss or damage. There is a single fixed fee of £10 to use this method of delivery and the fee needs to be paid by direct bank transfer to the Altwood School account since student Scopay accounts will typically no longer be active.
Alternatively, you can nominate someone else (e.g. a parent/carer, or sibling still in the school in years 11, 12 or 13) to collect your certificates for you by downloading, printing off, completing and signing the Summer 2020 Certificate Collection Form. They must then bring the completed form to student reception, one student at a time whilst maintaining social distancing, and will be required to show their photo ID (passport or driving licence) or Altwood ID as well as signing a declaration to confirm receipt of your certificates at the time of collection.
You should collect your certificates from Student Reception one student at a time whilst maintaining social distancing, and will be required to show your Altwood ID and/or other identification and sign a declaration to confirm receipt of all relevant certificates at the time of collection.
Certificates are important legal documents which are required for CVs, job applications and to verify the Statement of Results which was issued on results day. Please ensure that they are kept securely as the school does not keep a copy, and if you lose or never collect them you will need to liaise directly with the relevant examination board(s) and pay for their replacements. Uncollected certificates will be held in school for a period of one year until the student arranges postage or collection, after which time we may destroy them.
Summer 2019 and earlier Certificates
Uncollected examination certificates from summer 2019 and earlier seasons are still available from the School Office. For further information, please click this link: Summer 2019 Certificate Collection Form
GCSE Reforms – Change from Grade A*– G to 1 – 9
Please see below the attached information papers from the Association of School and College Leaders explaining the GCSE reformed specifications which took place in 2018 and information on the outcomes graded using the new 9-1 grading system.
Exam Timetables and Seating Plans
All candidates sitting external examinations will be provided with an individual candidate timetable prior to commencement of the exam period. This will be sent electronically via the ‘in touch’ system.
Individual candidate timetables will show students key information including their exam room, seat row and number and the length of the exam paper.
Public examinations will normally begin at 9:15am in the morning and 1:00pm in the afternoon. Students should arrive promptly for all scheduled exams and are asked to report to the main hall thirty minutes before the start of the exam, for pre-exam registration before being sent to their exam room.
Once you have arrived in the exam room, you will be given your opportunity to hand over potential technological/web enabled sources of information such as mobile phones, iPods, MP3 players and smart watches, before the exam starts (more details can be seen below)
Exam times have been carefully planned to consider any impact on students who use the coach transport. In the rare occasion where an exam is scheduled to finish beyond the departure time for the coaches, parents and students will be notified in advance and are asked to make suitable alternative travel arrangements.
If you are running late on the day of an exam, please telephone reception on 01628 622236 who will ensure that the examinations team are aware.
You should come into school as soon as possible and start the examination late.
You are not allowed to sit the examination if you arrive 1 hour after an examination has started in the case of any paper of an hour or more, or for papers of less than one hour, if you arrive once the paper has been completed.
Exam clashes may occur where two scheduled examinations are due to take place at the same time. These are normally identified in advance and your individual candidate timetable will show details of the re-arranged times.
Where students have an exam clash, it is normally necessary to keep these students in quarantine during the clash period to protect the integrity of the exam paper. Students will be briefed in advance of the specific arrangements for their clash.
If you have identified a clash on your individual candidate timetable that has not been resolved, please speak to the examinations officer immediately.
If you are unwell on the day of an exam you must notify the attendance officer as a matter of urgency by telephoning 01628 622236. On the same day you must contact your doctor’s surgery to seek medical advice. You must complete the JCQ Self Certification Form which must be signed by the student, parent, doctor’s surgery and the school.
This must be returned to the examinations officer within 48 hours.
Failure to complete this form may result in a withdrawal fee being charged.
Following submission of the self-certification form, the examinations officer will make a special consideration application to the relevant exam board. The examination board will decide whether they can award a grade or whether you will need to sit the examination at the next session. The outcome of a special consideration request will be communicated upon receipt by the school.
Equipment and the Exam Room
The school’s policy is that no mobile phones or prohibited items may be left in your bag within the exam hall or room. There will be a table at the back of each row, on which there will be your photo ID card and a supply of clear plastic ziplock bags. Before going to your allocated exam desk you must put in this bag any non-analogue watch or any potential technological/web enabled sources of information such as mobile phones, iPods, MP3 players and smart watches, as well as your photo ID card. Seal the bag and place it in the box provided, and remember the row you are seated in. If you are not handing any items in please leave the photo ID card on the desk.
You will be given a verbal reminder by the invigilators to ensure you have complied with this request.
All items will then be placed into secure storage for the duration of the exam. If any prohibited item is then found with you or in your bag during the examination, you will subject to a malpractice investigation, which is a serious offence and could result in DISQUALIFICATION from your examination and your overall qualification.
Before the start of the exam you will be told where you may collect your items when it finishes, typically the Hub.
Some students may be entitled to certain concessions during their examinations known as access arrangements. Students who may be eligible for this support are identified by the SENDco and undergo formalised testing. Access arrangements are specific to individual candidates and must be applied for well in advance of the main exam period starting.
Students who have access arrangements may take their examination in a satellite room. This will be identified on their individual candidate timetable. It is the school’s practice to keep students with access arrangements in the same room for all of their exams where practically possible.
Only students with access arrangement entitlements will be allowed to use a bilingual dictionary or computer spell checker
If you have questions relating to access arrangement entitlements or support, please contact the SENDCo, Mrs G. Prince on 01628 622236.
- If you feel ill during the examination or wish to communicate with an invigilator for any reason, you must raise your hand and wait for them to come over to speak to you
- If there is a fire alarm, you will be instructed about the procedure and must follow all instructions from the invigilators
- You will not be allowed to leave the exam room before the published end time
- A code of conduct will be read before the start of each exam. Please listen carefully and follow this in order to satisfy the requirements of the examination boards
Enquiries about results (a review of marking)
Following the release of public examination results, the school will review all candidates’ performance against their predicted performance. Where the school believes there has been an error in marking, or remarking is likely to result in a higher grade based on published unit mark boundaries, the school would look to request a remark of candidate’s paper(s).
Remarks may be requested by parents/carers at their own expense, when a remark is not supported/recommended by the school on the grounds that remarking is unlikely to result in a better grade, based on published grade boundaries.
Parental led requests must be submitted in writing to the examinations officer by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The exams officer will then advise the parent regarding the remark and a signed consent form (Links for these forms and associated costs will be available before the exam season). Payment for a remark will need to be made at time of the application and costs will be advised by the examinations officer on an individual basis.
Parents and candidates are reminded that a remark can result in their marks and/or grade being lowered. It is recommended, therefore, that candidates seek the advice of their subject teacher(s) or head of department before making a request.
Recall of Exam Scripts
Scripts may be requested by the school to either inform/support an appeal about a result or for teaching and learning purposes. Candidates will be approached by the exams officer and will need to give their consent before a script may be requested.
Scripts may be requested by parents/carers even when the school has not. This will be at their expense (Links for these forms and associated costs will be available after the exam season). Candidates will need to give their consent and full payment will be required in advance of the application being submitted.
Joint Council for Qualifications
If you are sitting either a written examination this year or an on-screen test (such as a BTEC exam), please read the various documents below which are issued by the exam boards.
It is important that you understand the regulations surrounding controlled assessments for the preparation of your work, to know what is considered to be plagiarism and the penalties for breaking the regulations.
Students are required to have read the following documents as part of their preparation for public examinations.
- Information for Candidates – Written Exams
- Information for Candidates – Coursework 2020-2021
- Information for Candidates – Privacy Notice Version 2
- Information for Candidates – Non Exam Assessments 2020-21
- Information for candidates – Social Media
- Unauthorised Items Poster
- Warning to Candidates 2020-2021