Dear Year 11 students, Parent / Carer
I am writing as you start your last term at Fowey River Academy. Usually during this term our year 11s would be preparing for examinations and showing a culmination of their knowledge, understanding and learning from their time in secondary education. This unprecedented time means a great deal of change, but rest assured you will get the grades each of you have worked for in your courses. I would like to take this opportunity to remind students from my last letter ‘It is extremely important to note that our Year 11 students will not face a systematic disadvantage as a consequence of these extraordinary circumstances, and the Government has announced that these exam results will be indistinguishable from those provided in other years. This is good news as GCSEs are a culmination of many years hard work by our students.’
Of course, the year 11 Prom is another event that we would all be looking forward to. Again, we will look at ensuring there is the opportunity to have final farewells in some form when these restrictions are lifted.
It has now been confirmed that results will be issued on 20th August 2020. As yet we do not know how this will happen, as we do not know what restrictions will be in place in August. Please keep checking our website for further details nearer the time when we have more information ourselves.
Many of you are currently having telephone interviews with colleges and asking about grades. The colleges will have been sent predicted grades in December as part of the 16+ forms. However, you may want to contact individual teachers to get an update on mock results if you think you improved in your second mock. I urge you not to take just the mock grade at face value, as for many of you this was an independent practice and not the same as what you would get in actual exams. Often there is a dip in results in the second mock as this would be the first fully independent practice exam. The first mock was a walk and talk with support.
On the topic of grades, I would like to talk about how the GCSE grades are being calculated. From the start of your GCSE courses we have been collecting data on your progress. This is from the work in your books, and tests you have completed, including week 9 assessments, topic tests, walk and talk mocks, mocks, coursework, extended writing and anything else that has been marked. From this your teachers will have considered what would happen if learning had continued this term and predicted grades based on all this data.
However, these are not your final grades. As a school we have to send these to the exam boards. The exam boards will also look at data nationally and give grades to each student for each subject. It is these grades you will receive on the 20th August.
The government has been very clear that teachers are not permitted to share this data with students or parents. I therefore ask please do not put yourselves or the teachers in an awkward position by asking for the grades.
As for continuing work, obviously as we stated before, work is no longer compulsory for year 11, as we can only accept work up to the 20th March 2020. However, you will be preparing for college, so I highly recommend you keep a structure to your day which includes time to study. Especially focussing on the courses or related courses that you wish to take at college. It may be 4 months before you begin your college course, and to not study for that length of time may be detrimental to your learning. This is why we have asked your teachers to keep setting work until the May half term.
Afterwards I suggest looking at BBC Bitesize and other online recourses to prepare you for college. You will also have access to Firefly and school resources.
I am sure you will have many questions so below I have listed some frequently asked questions.
I didn’t do well in my last mock exam, will it mean I will have a low final grade?
Your final grades take into account all assessments and work you have produced over the GCSE course. It is not based on just one mock grade.
I didn’t finish my coursework; will I lose marks for this?
Your final mark will be based on the work you have completed, and if you finished the work to the standard you have shown throughout the course.
I would have worked harder this term for the final exams, I could get a better grade if the exams took place.
Teachers are only able to base results on the work you have done. However, the government recognises that some students may do better in the final exam. In the autumn students will have the opportunity to take the exams if they feel this would be beneficial.
You will keep the best grade.
Where will exams take place?
Unfortunately, we do know yet. As soon as we know we will publicise this.
I want to know my predicted grade for college interviews.
The government has been very clear that teachers cannot share grades with students or parents. We ask you to not put yourselves or our teachers in an awkward position by asking for them.
I want to know my mock 2 results.
Please email your teachers directly for these. Remember that mock 2 results are often lower as this is the first completely independent full assessment and designed to highlight gaps.
When is results day?
August 20th, 2020. Details will be sent out when we know how restrictions will affect this.
I do not agree with my grade, how can I complain?
If you do not agree with your GCSE grade from the exam board, you can appeal your grades. Details of this, and the cost, will be available from Mr Vaughan on results day.
When do we leave school?
Your official leaving date is Friday 26th June, 2020.
Do I need to do work until then?
It is not compulsory; however, we strongly recommend you keep your studies up for any subject you will be doing in college or any subject you may wish to take the exam in.
Do I still need to take English and Maths if I do not get a grade 4 or higher?
Yes, this has not changed. We recommend that if you are borderline grade 4 or 5 in English or Maths you continue to study.
What do I do with my books and coursework I have at home?
Please keep these safe. We will be arranging for your books and coursework to be returned to school.
What do I do with my iPad?
Please keep your iPad safe and we will arrange for this to be returned to school when the current restrictions are lifted or relaxed.
Will there be a Prom?
This depends on how long restrictions on social gatherings will be in place. We will do all we can to ensure we can gather together to say our final goodbyes. However, people’s safety must come first, and currently we must stay home, protect the NHS, and save lives.
Can I still access Firefly for resources, and use school email to keep in touch?
We will keep all resources open to you until the lockdown is lifted and you start your college courses.
I hope this alleviates some of your worries and are confident that all Year 11 students will achieve their deserved grades. If you have any further questions, I urge you to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Assistant Principal