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Assessment Arrangements Summer 2021 - School Approach

Posted on: March 22nd 2021

Assessment Arrangements Summer 2021

Welsh Government’s decisions

In November 2020, the Education Minister announced that there would be no summer examination series for students taking GCSEs in 2021. In January 2021, it was confirmed that these qualifications would be awarded using Centre Determined Grades. This means that schools would determine the actual grades awarded for each qualification.

Centre Determined Grades or CDGs
A Centre Determined Grade is the grade awarded by the school on the basis of attainment which has been demonstrated in the areas of the course that have been covered. For each qualification, teachers will make use of WJEC Assessment Frameworks which include descriptors for key grades to support the accurate decision process. Each grade awarded by teachers must be underpinned by robust evidence to demonstrate learners’ attainment across key themes and skills. These will vary by subject and qualification. This means that teachers cannot issue a Centre Determined Grade based on professional prediction, on a learner’s potential or on their target grade. Teachers will apply their professional judgement and decide whether the knowledge and skills that have been demonstrated meet the usual standard for each grade. This will be a ‘best-fit’ judgement. This means that a learner will not be required to demonstrate all aspects of a grade descriptor to be awarded the grade. Their strengths in some areas will counterbalance their shortcomings in others.

Assessment Evidence
Centre Determined Grades will be generated using evidence of the work learners have completed. In determining a grade, the following types of evidence will be used in each qualification:

  1. Adapted past-paper questions

The school will make use of WJEC adapted past papers when setting tasks to help determine a grade for each qualification. There are recognised benefits of using these materials. The adapted past-papers have already been externally quality assured, they are fully supported by clear mark schemes and are familiar to both students and staff. Teachers will ensure these past papers, which will form a key part of the evidence, will be incorporated within their normal teaching and revision over the forthcoming weeks.

  1. Non-Examination Assessment (NEA)
    Non-examination assessment exists in many qualifications. The weighting towards the overall grade is, in most cases, much lower than unseen elements. Where non-examination assessment remains part of an adapted qualification, teachers will use the performance of students in this element to help contribute towards the determination of a grade. However, teachers will need to consider the weighting of the element, as a set proportion of the qualification, to ensure that the grade awarded accurately reflects the overall standard. For example, in a qualification where the weighting of non-examination assessment is equivalent to 20% of the overall grade, teachers will take this into account against the other evidence provided when determining the grade.
     
  2. 3.    Other contributing evidence

There are other types of contributing evidence may be used to support teacher judgements. These include:

  1.  evidence from previously completed WJEC past-paper questions, which have been completed under controlled conditions over the course of study
  2.  mock examinations carried out under controlled conditions.

Please note that this work may only be used to help confirm a judgement. This evidence will not be used in isolation to determine grades and will not be used to lower a grade.

Your child will be told by their teacher which assessments have contributed to their Centre Determined Grade.

Assessment schedule

Here is the school’s plan for revising with learners and assessing their skills and knowledge:

Date

Activity

12th-16th April

Revision / NEA

19th – 23rd April

Assessment Window 1

26th – 30th April

Assessment Window 1

3rd May – 7th May

Revision /NEA/Catch-up

10th May – 14th May

Assessment Window 2

17th May - 21st May

Assessment Window 2

24th May- 28th May

NEA/Catch-up

There are two main assessment windows in April/May where learners will complete some short tests in most of their subjects. These will take place in their normal lessons. If learners are eligible for extra time in exams, this will still apply. In between assessments, teachers will be revising all of the necessary work with learners.

However, like in any other year, the Easter holidays will be the time when we expect Year 11 learners to do lots of independent study so that they are as prepared as possible when they come back to school. Teachers will provide their classes with focused revision materials to support their independent learning at home.

Additional information on each assessment

Teachers are in the process of planning assessments and how they will fit into the assessment windows above.  They will share their plans with learners before Easter. Pupils have been provided with a blank assessment timetable which they will populate as information is provided by their teachers.

Quality assurance

WJEC require internal processes to be undertaken by staff across the school to promote consistency. The school will undertake quality assurance processes, within subjects and across subjects, to ensure the grades determined are valid, reliable, equitable and fair, while seeking to avoid discrimination.

Public Sector Equality Duty and Data Processing
In developing an approach to centre determined grades in 2021, the school has taken steps to ensure it meets its Public Sector Equality Duty. This is a legal requirement and forms part of the Equality Act (2010), which ensures due regard to the need to:

  1. Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct that is prohibited by the Equality Act (2010);
  2. Advance equality and opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not; and
  3. Foster good relations between people who share relevant protected characteristics and those who do not.

Recording Decisions
All teachers will keep a record to document the clear rationale for grade decisions. These documents will also record if any reasonable adjustments or special considerations were applied. On submission of a Centre Determined Grade, the school will be required to make an overall declaration in relation to the processes carried out. All decision-making records and evidence will be stored securely.

Review of Centre Determined Grades and Appeals
The school will be required to submit Centre Determined Grades to WJEC by 2nd July. At this point, students will have already been informed of the grades awarded. Where a student is satisfied with the grades determined by the school, no further action will be required.

There will be an opportunity for students to request a review of the centre’s judgement of their grade and/or correct any factual errors. Where a review has been requested, it will be fully investigated by a member of staff who was not the original assessor. Mrs G.Bussell will also determine if the school’s processes have been followed accurately. New or additional evidence will not be considered as part of the review process. Where a review has been upheld, the Centre Determined Grade will be amended accordingly.

Where a review of grade has been unsuccessful, WJEC will implement a process to permit students to appeal a Centre Determined Grade on the grounds of procedural error only.  Similarly, Qualifications Wales will also implement an Examination Procedures Review Service. At each stage of the review/appeal process, learners will need to be aware that a Centre Determined Grade may be improved or lowered.

Results day this year has been brought forward and will now be on Thursday 12th August.