Year 13 Teaching Assessed Grades (TAGs) - Information for Parents
19 Mar 2021
We have enjoyed having students back in school over the last two weeks and staff have commented on how well the students have settled back in. Staff have been spending time consolidating work that was covered in lockdown as well as continuing with new content.
We understand that it is important that students understand how their grades will be awarded this summer and we wanted to provide them with some reassurance and clarity before the Easter break. Ofqual released their guidance about how grades will be determined this summer at the end of February and we have been working hard since then to devise a strategy, that is not only fair, but also gives students the opportunity to demonstrate what they are capable of, so that we can award them grades that they will be proud of in the summer.
Further guidance is due to be released by the exam boards at the end of this month and we will of course update you if we need to make any changes to our plans following this.
We are also currently compiling a ‘frequently asked questions’ document which we will place on our website shortly and update regularly.
Ashby School TAGs Strategy
The guidance indicates that:
• Teachers should assess their students’ performance on the content delivered to determine their grade
• The grade should reflect the standard at which the student is currently performing and as far as possible should reflect what they know, understand and can do
• A broad range of evidence should be used from the whole of the course
As you will be aware we are now part of LiFE Multi-Academy Trust. We have been working in collaboration with the Trust and have devised the following principles:
1) Students will understand how grades will be awarded through a robust, fair and transparent process
2) Students will understand how the grades awarded will enable them to take their next steps at post 18
3) Students will have an entitlement to be taught the curriculum content, even when assessment is complete
4) Students will not be disadvantaged due to absence caused by the COVID pandemic
5) Students will have access arrangements in place to ensure no SEND student is disadvantaged
6) Students will be provided with opportunities to improve their current grades using checkpoint assessments
7) Students will feel a sense of achievement when receiving their grades in August
8) Students will be confident that our robust procedure will stand up to exam board scrutiny
Faculties are currently establishing what historical evidence will be used. They are also planning what other evidence they need to ensure that the grades truly reflect the standard that the students are currently performing at. After Easter students will have both in class and out of class check-point assessments. Before the Easter break students will be given a timetable which shows them when their out of class assessments will be. They will also receive communication from their subject teachers about when the in class check-point assessments will be and what content will be assessed when. All assessments will occur within the 7 week half term. These are not exams but rather opportunities for students to show staff what they know, understand and can do.
Once faculties have decided on what evidence they will be using this will be shared with students.
All evidence used to determine grades will go through a rigorous internal quality assurance process before any grades are submitted.
In 2020, any undue pressure by a student or a parent to increase grades was considered exam malpractice. It is likely to be the same for 2021. If students or parents are found to be putting teachers or leaders under undue pressure to increase grades, then this matter will be referred to the exam boards and an investigation into malpractice may ensue. This may result in the student’s certificate being removed entirely if malpractice is deemed to have taken place.
Teachers will be able to discuss which evidence they are using to inform their judgement with students, however from this point forwards they will not be able to discuss grades. Students should use their most recent ‘current grade’ (from the Autumn Term report which can be accessed on MCAS) as their starting point. Students should not attempt to second-guess the grade that will be submitted, as teachers will be using a range of evidence to inform their final judgement. For this reason teachers will also not be sharing grades with students for any forthcoming check-point assessments. Students must not pressure teachers to reveal the grades, or to increase the grades, as doing so may be considered exam malpractice.
Y13 Parents’ Evening
This will occur as per the calendar next Thursday (25th March) from 5-8pm. Students will make 5 minute telephone appointments with their subject teachers. The focus of this call will be to discuss how the students can prepare for the assessments after Easter in order to demonstrate what they are capable of. Teachers will not be able to discuss grades and we ask parents not to ask staff.
At this stage we are unable to confirm when students will finish but all grades have to be submitted to exam boards by Friday June 18th. As soon as a decision has been made on the students’ leaving date we will of course notify you.
I know that students are keen to do well and we want the best for each and every one of our students. We ask students to continue to attend all classes, to learn, to act on feedback from their teachers, to revise previous content and to read around their subject.
If you have any enquiries with regard the Teacher Assessed Grades then please contact us using the following e mail address firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs V. Rundle-Brown
Deputy Headteacher & Director of Sixth Form