GCSE Exams and Grading 2020

Year 11 Parent Update 23.04.2020

This week again, we have decided to provide a separate update for Year 11 parents in addition to the weekly letter to all of our families, as we are conscious that this is likely to be a particularly anxious time for you and your child.

Year 11 Grades

Further to the video link sent to you last week, Ofqual have now also published an Ofqual letter to students, which is attached. This offers further clarification on exams and grades and is particularly targeted at students. It is anticipated that the GCSE Results Day will remain on the 20th August but I am awaiting official confirmation of this.

In view of the changes to expectations this year and focus on Centre Assessed Grades, there will not be any reports or grade prediction information sent home to you this term.

Apprenticeship Opportunities

We have received notification of opportunities at the RD&E (below) which may be of interest to students considering healthcare professions. Some of our Year 11 students already attended an apprenticeship event hosted by the RD&E back in January and we are keen to continue to strengthen our career links with local healthcare providers.

This email is to inform you that we will be launching our recruitment advert during the week beginning 20th April 2020 for clinical healthcare apprentices. This is early due to the unprecedented times the NHS is facing currently.

The closing date for applications will be the 8th May 2020 UNLESS we have a large number of applicants in which case we will close the advert early.

Please create an account with NHS Jobs (where the apprenticeships will be advertised) and complete the required application.

Please note that we require Maths and English at grades C or above (Levels 4-9 with the new grading system) or Level 2 Functional Skills as an entry requirement. Please provide as much detail as possible in your application about any experience (this doesn’t have to be in healthcare) and why you are interested.

We understand the situation created due to Covid-19 and that exams may not be taken, but a formal grade from your schools/ awarding body will be required, once we know how this is going to be provided.

Please make it clear what your predicted grades are at this point within your application. You will then be required to let us have your results sheet when this is issued later in the year but BEFORE the start date of your course if you are a successful applicant.

During these unusual times we anticipate that interviews and assessment will be carried out online/ remotely during the 26th, 27th or 28th May. Please do not worry if you do not have internet access we can discuss any specific requirements if you are invited to interview. Further guidance will be provided should you be selected following application.

Post-16 Transition

A reminder to encourage your children to keep checking emails and text messages for communications from their post-16 education providers. Please also remember to contact your post-16 provider if you or your child’s contact details change so that you/they do not miss out on important transition information.

Mrs Jan Taylor, our Mentor and Post-16 Transition Co-ordinator, remains available to help with any queries or concerns you may have about transition to post-16 education. She can be contacted at: jtaylor@iscaexeter.co.uk,

If your child is willing to share their contact information with Mrs Taylor, to allow her to provide personal support, as necessary, during the enrolment period, including reminding any students who may have missed their enrolment appointment, please complete the form using this link below:

Year 11 Student Contact Details

The Next Step

In light of school closures and social distancing measures, it seems likely that our Year 11 students’ time at Isca Academy may end rather more abruptly than usual this year. This is bound to feel like unfinished business for them and we remain committed to trying to offer our students the closure and send off which they have rightly earned during their time with us. This includes rescheduling their PROM when it is safe for us to do so, although obviously this may mean that this happens much later in the year.

We also hope that our students will continue to contribute to our school community, even when they have moved on to pastures new, and would like to invite them to think about joining our Isca Academy Alumni. They can do so simply by signing up to the Future First network at:

https://networks.futurefirst.org.uk/signup/isca

Through Future First, students can stay in touch with the school as they go through the next stages of their life.  Not only does this provide an opportunity to remain connected with their former teachers and peers, it also allows them to inspire and help the next generation of students by sharing their insights into secondary school and beyond.  It is also a nice addition to any CV!  Students can be involved as much or as little as they would like, so do encourage them to sign up and stay part of the extended Isca Academy community.

We remain on hand to answer any questions you or your children may have, so please do not hesitate to contact the team, either directly using their email addresses (available on the school website) or by contacting the main school reception.

 

Year 11 Parent Update 16.04.2020

We appreciate that the impact of the current situation will be felt most acutely by Year 11 students and the next few weeks are bound to feel very uncertain. Although we are still navigating our way through these new challenges, I hope that the information below will be helpful in providing some clarity and reassurance for you and your children.

Year 11 Grades

Guidance has now been issued by Ofqual regarding CGSE Centre Assessed Grades and how these will be compiled, which is outlined in this short video:

Ofqual Grading in 2020 Information for Students

Work has already begun with our Heads of Department to progress this. Please bear in mind that we will not be permitted to share the grades with students or their families before they are submitted to Ofqual for standardisation across schools. So please can I ask that teachers are not asked directly for this information.

Similarly, mock GCSE examinations grades cannot yet be released pending moderation, a process which is obviously being slowed down by current social distancing measures. We appreciate that students will be keen to know how they have done so please encourage them to be patient. Teachers cannot release any information at this stage. Students must also bear in mind that mock examination results will only be one element of a much broader picture used to generate the Centre Assessed Grades.

Centre Assessed Grades will be based on work conducted thus far and no further assessment will be undertaken or considered from hereon which will influence the grades. Students who have not been able to complete any further work subsequent to school closures should be reassured, therefore, that they will not be disadvantaged. However, this does not mean students should lift their foot off the pedal! It is important that they continue to engage fully and make the most of the available on-line learning in preparation for the next phase in their education. Post-16 providers will be expecting students to have continued to develop their knowledge and skills to be ready for the transition. I would encourage all students to work closely with their teachers and tutors to ensure they are, and feel, as prepared as they can be. Maintaining a regular schedule and good study habits is key to this as well as supporting positive mental health and self-confidence. Our teachers will be uploading material to the Year 11 Google Classroom to prepare them for the next stage of their journey as well as to consolidate their existing knowledge.

Post-16 Transition

Just as we are, post-16 education providers are trying to adjust to the challenges which the current situation presents. We understand that providers will be contacting students individually with information, so please remind your child to check their emails and text messages regularly. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child’s post-16 education provider.

In terms of general messages from the two main local providers, we have received the following message from Mrs Kerry Balchin, our Exeter College Advisor (kerrybalchin@exe-coll.ac.uk), and a Q&A sheet from Bicton College.

Exeter College 

Each year at enrolment we provide all students with activities to introduce them to their chosen subjects, which we call ‘Flying Start’. Due to the current situation we have decided to bring this launch forward to after the Easter break. We will be sending out the ‘Flying Start’ information via email to all students that currently hold an offer to study at the college. We will also refer to these resources on our website and via social media.

After the May half term, we also plan to send out further pre-course activities to help students stay focused and motivated. Students will receive this via the email address that they used when they registered their online account/application with the College. 

We are currently working remotely and are continuing to support all students’ transition to Exeter College. As you will now be aware, all further events at the college have been cancelled, but the College Advice Team are still available to support learners via email or students can request a telephone call back to talk to one of our advisers. Please also review our college website for further updates here: https://exe-coll.ac.uk/coronavirus-guidance-news/

For those students who have been offered places with other providers, such as Exeter Maths Schools, The Maynard School or Petroc College, please contact the establishments directly if they have not already made contact with you.

If you are experiencing any difficulties in reaching your child’s Post-16 education provider, or have any other questions or concerns about the transition, Mrs Jan Taylor, Isca Academy’s Mentor and Post-16 Transition Co-ordinator (jtaylor@iscaexeter.co.uk), will be happy to help.

I hope the above answers some of the questions which you may have had about next steps. We will obviously continue to keep you informed as new guidance and updates reach us and we remain on hand to provide assistance and advice as needed so please do not hesitate to get in touch.

 

Wellbeing during exams

Exams can be an extremely challenging and stressful time. If you are struggling to manage your mood or anxiety levels, don’t keep it to yourself.  Talk to someone – family, friends, your teachers and support staff. Have a look at our guide of stress-busting techniques and self-care recommendations.

 

Information for Candidates – Social Media
Information for candidates – written exams
Information for candidates – onscreen tests
Information for candidates – Privacy Notice
Information for candidates – coursework assessments
Information for candidates – non-examination assessments