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Information for Year 13

Statement from the Headmaster 6.4.20

I understand how unsettling the past weeks will have been for you and your daughters following the Government’s announcement that all the GCSE and A Level examinations were cancelled for 2020.

Since that announcement, schools have been waiting to hear from Ofqual with information about the process by which GCSE and A level grades will be awarded. As you will be aware, this information was published on Friday and I would like to share it with you.

Examination Boards will ask schools to generate, for each subject, Centre Assessment Grades/Levels for their students and then to rank order the students within each of those grades/levels. All schools and colleges have been asked to provide two pieces of information for each subject that a student is studying. These are:

• The grade the subject teacher believes the student was most likely to achieve if their studies had not been interrupted
• Within each subject, the rank order of students by performance for each grade/level. This information will be used to standardise teacher judgements.

Subject teacher predictions must be evidence-based. The School will consider a range of factors: classwork, homework, results in assessments/assignments and all mock exam results, as well as the students’ general progress, both individually and collectively, throughout their public examination programme of study. This information will allow Ofqual to work with the Examination Boards when standardising grades.

Ofqual have asked schools to ensure that the Centre Assessment Grades/Levels they submit are fair, reasonable and reflect a carefully considered judgement. Teachers will need to make a holistic and professional judgement, balancing the different sources of evidence.

Ofqual will also look at the School’s historical achievements, at both GCSE and A Level; comparing the performance of this year’s students with those in previous years.

Ofqual have pointed out that due to the timing of the cancellation of all public examinations, centres will have incomplete evidence and that the range and amount of evidence will vary between different subjects. Judgements must, therefore, be made in an objective manner based on the evidence that is available.

As you can imagine, subject teachers are now faced with an onerous task, and we must allow them to work with their colleagues in collating the evidence and coming to a reasonable judgement when generating a Centre Assessment Grade/Level. I have every confidence in my staff that they will work diligently to achieve this. However, I must ask that you and your daughters refrain from contacting subject teachers regarding this process: School will not respond to any enquiries of this nature. This is a directive from Ofqual, rather than the School’s own decision. The staff know your daughters very well indeed and will make every effort to produce the very best of outcomes for them, which are both realistic and reasonable. I must ask you to share my confidence in the staff and allow them to do their job! The Centre Assessment Grades/Levels will form only a part of the final process which will be adjudicated by the Examination Boards, who will issue the final results in the normal way.

According to Ofqual, and I quote, ‘Centres must not, under any circumstances, share the Centre Assessment Grade, nor the rank order of students with students, or their parents or any other individual outside the centre, before final results have been issued’.
I should add that students will not be disadvantaged by non-completion of work after the School was closed. I would, however, encourage students to embrace the introduction of A Level work staff will be setting them throughout the Summer Term for the subjects they wish to pursue next academic year, and continue some kind of learning and/or reading during the long summer months in preparation for their next course of study from September.

I would like to wish our students every success and I look forward to sharing their achievements when the results are made public. We understand this may be before the expected publication date, but the actual date has yet to be announced.

With every good wish,

Alan Whelpdale

Headmaster

Statement from the Headmaster 23.3.20

First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that your daughters have behaved impeccably throughout the last few difficult days. These are uncertain and unclear times, especially regarding GCSE and A Level examinations.

All schools are awaiting information and instructions from the Department of Education. At the moment, there is little new information I can share with you; it remains that the Government has decided that there will be no Summer Term public examinations.

We have been told by the Prime Minister that all Year 13 students will be given their A Level grades by the end of July 2020. Discussion is emerging which suggests that A Level grades will be based on subject teacher recommendations and predictions, and all such teacher expectations will have to be evidence-led.

Please allow me to assure both students and parents that our teachers know your daughters very well indeed. The Mock examination result is but one piece of evidence and we know this grade will largely be out-of-date. All my staff understand that our students almost always exceed the results they achieved in January. I am proud to say that the teachers at LHS will be
meticulously fair and act with integrity when making predictions, if, indeed, this is what the Government ask of them.

In light of the most recent announcements, I have now advised the staff to cease setting online work for Year 13 students. Their time can be used more productively in collating evidence to underpin the predictions that they will most probably be asked to provide. I also believe the girls will benefit from a well-deserved rest.

After the scheduled Easter holidays, staff may ask their A Level students to complete a particular assessment if they require more evidence. Your daughters should log in to Show My Homework regularly just in case.

Please may I remind parents, that under very difficult and ever-changing circumstances, my staff continue to work hard for our students. As we move forward the remote learning will evolve, and the nature of the work will change also.

The LHS community is a family. It is vital that School and home work together to ensure our students get the very best A Level  grades, which reflect their commitment and continued hard work throughout the two-year course. I will be supporting my staff in their deliberations and evidence gathering over the next few weeks.

If any student, or parents, would like to talk to Miss Purewal, Head of Sixth Form, please email her and she will reply in a timely manner. As we receive more information, I will, of course, keep you fully informed.

With every good wish, 

Alan Whelpdale

Headmaster

The LHS
Journey