I am writing to provide you with some further information about the Centre Assessed Grade approach that the school is taking. We have previously outlined the broad approach but are now in a position to share some more specific information about how your child’s grade will be established. As previously communicated departments will be looking at up to four elements, mock exams, mini tests in Term 5, coursework and work through the year. Different departments will have different weightings depending on the nature of their course. The weightings as they currently stand for GCSEs are below (shown as percentages). It is worth noting that given the government produced mini tests have not yet been published the weightings may change marginally.
|Mini Exams (T5)||
Mock Exams (Nov and April)
Work completed through the year
|Further Maths GCSE||35||0||55||10|
|Art / Photography||0||100||0||0|
There are a number of reasons for the differences between different subjects. Partially it is down to the course and its components, in some instances it is due to what was covered in lockdown versus what was not and it is also influenced if particular subjects have had more staff absence for some groups than others. It is designed to ensure as far as possible a level playing field for all pupils.
The mini exams, written by examination boards, are an important part of the evidence base for CAGs, they will be done in class and students should expect to take a number of them in each subject throughout Term 5. We understand that examination boards will publish all the mini exams they are offering on their websites to avoid the unfairness associated with possible leaking of papers. Students can therefore use many of these resources for revision and preparation, but will not be told which particular ones they will end up actually taking. Where departments consider these mini tests not to be suitable they may devise their own.
The weightings will be used to create an amalgamated percentage in each subject for each pupil. Departments will then use their considerable experience and expertise to interpret appropriate grade boundaries based on exam board materials and prior performance. This is the fairest way to ensure that grades are equitably distributed between teachers. Students who would have received special consideration will have this taken into account.
I hope this information will be useful to both pupils and parents. It is not something we are required to share but we believe that transparency is the best way to approach this. I also hope it will serve to motivate pupils over the Easter break in preparation for their exams and mini tests in Term 5.
Finally, I am sure many parents will be aware that there is considerable concern nationally about teachers being put under undue pressure by either parents or pupils in the CAG process. I understand completely that parents want the best for their children and would point out that we also want the best for them. We are putting in place a fair and rigorous process and as such I would ask parents not to contact their child’s class teacher with questions about their CAG. If you have any concerns these should be addressed to the middle school pastoral team in the first instance. In line with JCQ guidance teachers have been asked to retain any communication from parents or pupils that they consider to be placing them under pressure.
Mr E Hodges