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.
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.