4. Arrangements for Results Days

Please note that no grades can be shared with students or parents prior to the official results days. This year results will be available at the following times:

  • GCE A-level / BTEC Level 3 results will be published on Edulink at 8.30am on Tuesday 10 August.
  • GCSE / BTEC Level 1/2 results will be published on Edulink at 8.30am on Thursday 12 August.

For a short video on how to access your results on Edulink please click here. Please note that you may not be able to access this section of Edulink until 8.30am on the morning of your results.

GCE A-level / BTEC Level 3 results day (Tuesday 10 August)

Your results will be available on Edulink from 8.30am. UCAS Track will be live by 8.30am and this will show the status of university applications. If you would like to come into school, results will be available to collect from under the covered area (at the back of the canteen) between 9.30am and 10.30am. There will be limited staff available on site at this time, so please consider carefully whether you need to come in. We would ask that parents do not come on site with their children to collect results so as to reduce the number of people congregating together.

If you need support with your next steps or you would like to discuss your results with a member of staff, you can access help in the following ways:

  • Mr Vaughan – Online from 8.30am to 11am (Zoom link). He will operate a waiting room and admit students in the order they join the meeting; please be patient!
  • Mrs Kenny – In person from 10.30-11am (covered area) or online from 11am-12pm (Zoom link). She will operate a waiting room and admit students in the order they join the meeting; please be patient!
  • Mrs Risman – In person from 9.30am to 11am (Sixth Form LRC).
  • Mr Granville Hamshar – In person from 10.30am-11.30am (covered area).

The following document will provide step by step advice for students who have not received positive confirmation of their Firm or Insurance choice CLICK HERE – we would strongly recommend that students in this position, stay at home and follow the advice in the link, including speaking to Mr Vaughan on the Zoom link above.

GCSE results day (Thursday 12 August)

Your results will be available on Edulink from 8.30am. Results will be available to collect from under the covered area (at the back of the canteen) between 9.30am and 10.30am. There will be limited staff available on site at this time, so please consider carefully whether you need to come in. We would ask that parents do not come on site with their children to collect results so as to reduce the number of people congregating together.

If you need support with your next steps or you would like to discuss your results with a member of staff, you can access help in the following ways:

  • Mr Evans – In person from 10.30am to 11am (covered area) or online from 11am-12pm (Zoom link). He will operate a waiting room and admit students in the order they join the meeting; please be patient!
  • Mr Granville Hamshar – In person from 10.30am to 11.30am (covered area)
  • Miss Dwyer – Online from 9.30am to 11am (Zoom link). She will operate a waiting room and admit students in the order they join the meeting; please be patient!

3. Accessing Further Support

Where can a student access further support?

Support on and/or after results days will be available from the Sixth Form Team and the School Leadership Team. See information about the arrangements for these days.

For further information about the awarding of grades this summer…

For further support once you receive your results…

Mental wellbeing

Receiving GCSE and A Level results can be a stressful experience in a normal year, let alone after a period of time which has thrown down so many additional challenges. If you are feeling anxious or struggling with your mental health, you must speak to somebody. This might be a parent, carer or someone else you trust. You might consider getting in touch with someone at school who can help.

There are also a number of organisations who can provide information, resources and live support which is free, safe and anonymous, including…

2. The Appeals Process

Can a student appeal against the grade they have been awarded?

Yes, but before doing anything else, please see the information we have provided about the detailed and robust process we have been through to arrive at these grades. Visit the process and quality assurance page for more information.

What if, having read the details of how grades were assigned, a student still wishes to appeal against the grade they have been awarded? 

Firstly, have a conversation with one of the members of staff who are available on results day to discuss your concerns – details are listed on this page. If you miss the allocated time slots then please email appeals@sjb.surrey.sch.uk and the most appropriate person will respond to you to arrange a conversation.

If a student still wishes to proceed with placing an appeal after first discussing with a member of the Leadership Team or their Head of Year, how does the appeals process work?

The appeals process is set out in two stages, the first is a ‘Centre review’ which considers whether an administrative or procedural error has been made, and the second is an ‘Exam board review’ which will consider whether the academic judgement made about a student’s work was reasonable or not.

It is important to note than any appeal can result in grades going up, down or staying the same.

What is a stage 1 Centre Review?

This stage is managed by us as a school. An official form (available on request via appeals@sjb.surrey.sch.uk), must be submitted to the school. At this stage, an appeal can be made on the grounds that the school has:

  • failed to follow our own procedures properly or consistently in arriving at the result, or;
  • made an administrative error in relation to the result.

We hope that the detailed quality assurance processes we have been through reassures you that we have minimised the opportunities for errors and that we have ensured consistency in our approach at every stage.

What is a stage 2 Exam Board Review?

All stage 2 appeals must first go through the stage 1 appeal process, above. If the stage 1 process has not resolved the concern, an official form is then completed by the student and submitted by the school to the exam board.

A stage 2 appeal is made on the grounds that a student believes the school made an ‘unreasonable exercise of academic judgement in the choice of evidence from which to determine the grade and/or the determination of that grade from the evidence.’

It is important to note that a student will need to set-out in writing the basis for their appeal. Students will have to provide:

  • an explanation of the perceived administrative or procedural error: what it is that the student considers the school has failed to do, why that was a failure to follow our procedures, and why that failure was important to the determination of the grade. Or;
  • an explanation of their concerns about the evidence used to determine their grade, or;
  • an explanation of their concerns about how their grade was determined using the evidence.

It is also important to note that the grade awarded will only be considered unreasonable if it is felt that there is clear evidence that the grade awarded should have been higher or lower. Specifically:

  • the independent reviewer will consider whether the original Teacher Assessed Grade decision was reasonable. The independent reviewer will not consider whether they would have given an alternative grade or whether an alternative grade could also reasonably have been given. The independent reviewer will consider whether the original Teacher Assessed Grade decision was reasonable on its own terms, not if any alternative proposition for the Teacher Assessed Grade or evidence put forward by the student, would be a more appropriate exercise of academic judgement. There may be a difference of opinion as to the assessed grade without there being an unreasonable exercise of academic judgement. The reviewer will only conclude that there has been an unreasonable exercise of academic judgement if the Teacher Assessed Grade was clearly wrong – i.e. there was no basis upon which the grade could properly have been given.” (JCQ guide to appeals).

What is the timeline for appeals?

Priority appeals are for students applying to higher education who did not attain their Firm choice (i.e. the offer they accepted as their first choice) and who wish to appeal an A-level or other level 3 qualification result. Priority appeals must be submitted to the exam board by Monday 16 August.  Students who choose to appeal should contact their preferred university or college straight away to make them aware of the situation. UCAS have extended their deadline for students to meet any conditions of their offer to 7 September to allow more time for appeals.

All non-priority appeals must be logged with the exam board by the 3 September.

The deadlines below are set to allow us the time to prepare for appeals to the exam boards within the published time-frames. Due to the summer holidays, we are limited as to when appeals can be processed by our staff, therefore it is vital that any appeals are registered within the windows detailed below. Appeals registered outside the dates below may not be processed.

Key dates for priority appeals:

Tue 10 to Fri 13 AugustWindow for students to request a priority appeal
Tue 10 to Tue 17 AugustWindow for schools to conduct stage 1 centre reviews for priority appeals
Tue 10 to Fri 20 AugustWindow for schools to submit stage 2 exam board reviews (for priority appeals)

Key dates for non-priority appeals:

From results day to Wed 1 SeptemberWindow for students to request a centre review
From results day to Fri 10 SeptemberWindow for schools to conduct stage 1 centre reviews
From results day to Fri 17 SeptemberWindow for schools to submit stage 2 exam board reviews

Please note that we may not respond to emails regarding non-priority appeals between the 21 August and the 1 September. Any non-priority appeal made in this window will be picked up and processed on Wed 1 September.

Will students be able to sit exams in the Autumn?

If students are disappointed with their grade and would like to improve it, Ofqual has confirmed that exams will take place in the Autumn (in October for A Levels and in November and December for GCSEs).

The exams will be in a standard format and no adaptations will be made (other than reasonable adjustments for students eligible for such adjustments). All subjects will be assessed by exam except art & design which will be assessed by a task set and marked by the exam board.

The exams will assess students in the same way as had been planned for exams in summer 2021, including assessing a reduced number of topics for GCSE English literature and history. If a student gets a higher grade in the autumn exam than in the summer, a request can be made for the exam board to provide a new certificate showing the higher grade.

Please note the following deadlines for registering for an Autumn series exam.

A Level – 7 September  (Exam window 4 – 15 October)

GCSE –  1 October  (Exams window 1 Nov – 2 December)

If students wish to be entered for an exam in the Autumn series then they should email exams@sjb.surrey.sch.uk and our Exams Officer, Mrs Powell, will ensure this happens.

1. The Process and Quality Assurance

Which assessment evidence has been used in the process, and how?

In each subject area, we started by pulling together data from a range of assessments, putting together an ‘evidence pack’ within each subject area for each student. This contained a minimum of three pieces of evidence for each student including:

  • Assessments completed during the recent assessment windows
  • Unit assessments sat throughout the course
  • Year 11 mock exams (for GCSE subjects)
  • Other robust assessments that were ‘uniform’ across the cohort (including NEA/ coursework where this was part of the course). For these other assessments, consideration was also given things like the level of control under which they were done and the coverage of specific assessment objectives.

Although some of these assessments had previously had specific grades attached to them, the decision was made to essentially remove those grades from the process in favour of working, initially, with percentage scores from these assessments. (Although assigning grades to smaller, specific pieces of work is something that often happens in normal times to provide a useful indicator of the quality of that work to students/ parents/ staff, it is essentially a rather crude indicator unless it is part of a full exam suite).

Subject teams then went through a rigorous process of deciding how to weight each of these pieces of assessment evidence, taking into account considerations such as when the assessment was sat (i.e. recently or earlier in the course) and the coverage of the exam specification assessment objectives across assessments.

The ‘weighted’ percentage scores from each of these assessments were then used to produce a final score for each student.

For example:

Student NameEvidence 1
(Yr 11 Mock)
Evidence 2
(in-class assessments)
Evidence 3
(May exam)
Overall Percentage Score
Weighted at 40%Weighted at 10%Weighted at 50%
Joe Bloggs55%60%58%57%

In this example, the score from the most recent assessment window has a the highest weighting (50% of the overall grade), followed by the evidence from the Year 11 mock (40% of the overall grade). This reflects the guidance that evidence should cover the breadth of the studied/taught course and that judgements should lean more heavily on more recent work. The in-class assessments covered a relatively narrow proportion of the overall assessment objectives and so has been given a relatively small weighting (10%). This generates an overall percentage score (57%).

 

How did you then arrive at actual grades for year 11 and year 13 students?

Having arrived at amalgamated final scores, subject teams then set about assigning grade boundaries. This process was done anonymously with student names hidden in order to reduce the chance of unconscious bias shaping these decisions.

The evidence available for anonymised individuals was sampled in order to award a final grade to that student’s body of work in its entirety, rather than trying to grade individual pieces of work. This involved subject teachers reviewing physical papers from the recent assessment windows (and the Year 11 mock papers where relevant), alongside the grade descriptors provided to teachers by JCQ, as well as exemplar grading material provided by the exam boards. Rigorous discussions within subject teams took place to ensure that the grades awarded to each students’ body of evidence were fair and reflective of the evidence available.

 

Have you taken into account special circumstances owing to the disruption faced by individual students (eg absences during assessments, prolonged periods of absence for individuals, family bereavement etc)?

Yes. Where a student was absent for a particular assessment or faced a substantial barrier to accessing lessons in the lead-up to a particular assessment, adjustments were made. Likewise, in the rare circumstance that a subject team was using evidence from assessments in which students did not receive their usual access arrangements, adjustments were made where it was deemed necessary.

Examples of the sorts of adjustments made in these situations includes changes to the weighting given to different assessments, the use of alternative evidence for individuals, or having additional marks added to specific assessments (as happens in a normal exam year for students judged to be deserving of ‘special consideration’).

 

How have you quality assured this process?

Over the course of this process, there have been a series of compulsory staff training sessions to ensure:

Preparing for the assessment windows:

  • Robust discussion in teams about what should be assessed during the assessment windows in terms of ensuring sufficient coverage of assessment objectives, disruption to learning etc.
  • Consistent approach to preparation across classes in terms of revision materials and support provided to students
  • Robust discussions between SLT and middle leaders

During the marking of work completed in the assessment windows:

  • A range of approaches were taken across subject teams to standardise marking, including (amongst other things) extensive moderation activities and collaborative approaches to marking. In subjects which are taught by a single teacher, this included working with colleagues in other schools to assist with standardisation.

During the grading process:

  • A central data sheets proforma was used to ensure transparency and accurate recording.
  • The process of assigning grades and setting grade boundaries (as detailed above) was done anonymously with names hidden, where this was possible (where this process involved reviewing recordings of student performance, for example, this was not possible).
  • Subject teams used the grade descriptors provided by JCQ and exemplar grading materials provided by the exam boards.
  • Robust discussions between SLT and middle leaders

After the grading:

  • Use of historic data and aspirational target setting data to support benchmarking
  • Review by SLT of data, including detailed analysis using specialist analysis software

 

Where can I read more about your policy?

Our Centre Policy, which was submitted for external quality assurance, is available below.

SJB Exam Grading Policy Summer 2021

Centre Assessed Grades and Appeals

Unprecedented times…

The grades that are being awarded to year 11 and year 13 students this summer represent a quite staggering achievement: not just in terms of the efforts of our students, who have faced such disruption over the last 14 months of their education, but in terms of the efforts of our staff.

The process our teachers have gone through in order to arrive at grades that are fair, meaningful and which serve their usual purpose – despite the highly unusual circumstances – is unprecedented. It is therefore important that we make clear exactly what this process has involved.

From the outset, we have been very clear as a school that it is in our students’ best interests to ensure that the grades each individual is awarded reflect, as closely as possible, what those individuals actually know and can do, so that they can progress to the pathway that is most appropriate for them.

Clearly, it wouldn’t be helpful for a student to be awarded unfairly inflated grades that then leads to that individual moving on to the study of a subject at a higher level that they aren’t actually prepared for.

As such, we have gone to great lengths to ensure that our process for awarding grades has closely followed the guidance we have been given, including the assumption that it should be no easier or harder for a student to achieve a particular grade this year compared to previous years.

Inevitable disappointments…

Every summer, after a ‘normal’ exam season, there are a small number of students who are disappointed with their grades. Although it is true to say that this is often a source of upset for those students, it is also true to say that this is, sadly, the reality of any grading system.

Although the process for awarding grades this year has been very different to a normal exam season and while we are confident that the great majority of our students will have cause for celebration on results day, it is likely that there will be, as there always is, some students who receive grades that they are unhappy with.

This sense of disappointment may be because they felt they had worked particularly hard or perhaps because they had previously achieved higher grades in assessments (including mock exams) than they have ultimately ended up with. Again, this is not unique to this year; there are always a small number of students whose performance on a mock exam or other assessments is higher than the final grade that they achieve in the summer (perhaps because the mock was not able to assess the full breadth of the course, or because a student may have invested more time in preparing for that mock, relative to their other subjects, or maybe because the grading of mock exams is often imperfect in comparison to the grading of final exams etc).

We hope that the information on this page will offer reassurance that the process we have used to arrive at final grades has been rigorous, robust and fair. For more details about this process, please visit the process and quality assurance page.

If, after reviewing the details of our process for arriving at grades, a student is still not satisfied that the grade they have received is fair, they can find support for considering their next steps here.

Further information…