Just in case you missed our two webinars explaining Wyke’s plans for the new academic year, here are links to recordings of the two sessions.
Following the online presentations, Principal Paul Britton said, “Thanks to all of you who were able to attend, and contribute to our recent webinars explaining the planning that has gone into ensuring that all students can study at Wyke in a safe way this autumn. Here are recordings of the presentations for any of you who would like to check back on specific details or who were unable to attend. Please do treat all the material in the webinar as provisional, we are still waiting for the Department of Education to publish their latest guidance about college opening. We will all need to be flexible throughout this period to ensure that we can continue to deliver great education for all our students through this most unusual time.
I’m really looking forward to seeing all very soon and getting back to learning!”
I am sure that you will have seen that, today, Ofqual and the Department for Education decided to award grades on the basis of what teachers submitted, what we have been calling the Centre Assessed Grades (CAGs). The switch to centre assessed grades will apply to both AS and A levels. You can see the statement here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/statement-from-roger-taylor-chair-ofqual. As a result, students will be awarded the higher of their CAGs (centre assessed grade) or calculated grade (the grade you received on results day).
We are pleased that the Department of Education has come to the realisation that these grades are a much better reflection of the grades that our students could have achieved should they have had the opportunity to sit the examinations and complete their coursework and practicals.
We are yet to see the guidance or process for the awarding of these new grades. When we have received this, we will communicate with you again about how we will ‘officially’ release the grades to you as a statement of results.
There will be significant media ‘hype’ around this over the next few days, but please await further communication from us. As soon as we are in possession of the advice and guidance and have formulated a process, we will communicate this with you.
Many of you will have questions about how this impacts on your university place. Our team is here to support you through this, but we suggest that your initial first step is to contact the university directly and get advice and guidance from them. Similar to us, they will be having to respond to this significant change and may not be able to give you an immediate response.
Centre Assessed Grades
All CAGs are available on the student portal, along with all formal assessment data and collection information (these can be found under the menu ‘Achievement and Reviews’ > ‘Assessments’ > ‘CAG’ assessment option). These are the CAGs that we submitted to the boards. Please do not ask for confirmation of your final grade at the moment as we are awaiting the exam boards to tell us how they will send the confirmed awarded grades.
All CAGs were awarded as part of a rigorous process and no one teacher is responsible for the CAG for any individual.
Our teachers generated the CAGs on the basis of all the assessment evidence each department had collected over the duration of the course. This could include, but is not limited to: formal classroom assessments, non-examined units, coursework, formal college assessments, class and homework tasks that had been graded and practical or verbal elements already assessed. These grades then went through several quality assurance processes as detailed here. We are confident that no bias or discrimination has entered the process and that our quality assurance measures were robust and provided our students with the fairest assessment of their possible outcomes should they have sat the final examinations.
You are not able to appeal the CAGs that we have provided. Please do not ask for this or email teachers asking them why you were awarded the CAG as the process is detailed here and they will only be able to signpost you to this. Should you believe that there has been an administrative error in your CAGs, reply to this email or send a query to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We understand that a small number of students will be unhappy with the CAG they have received. If this is the case, your only option to improve your grade is to enter for the autumn exam. You are not able to appeal your CAG nor are we able to change them.
We are still currently waiting any further guidance on how this might affect BTEC qualifications, Criminology and Extended Projects. We will communicate more when we get information.
We recognise that many of you will still be frustrated, and some will still have questions. At the moment, we are not in possession of all of the guidance that we need to be able to respond to all queries. We will communicate this with you once we have it.
Your year group has had significant upheaval. However, through our collective effort, we are now in a position where all students will receive a grade that fairly reflects, to the best of our ability, the grade they were most likely to achieve had they sat the examinations. We hope that this announcement allows you to feel positive about the effort you have put into your A Level studies.
I do hope everything now gets resolved with you progressing on to your next step,
Level 3 results – Update 2pm Monday 17th August
As this is posted, there is still no clarity about how the A level results process will be resolved. However, we would like to share the current details as far as we know them. We recognise that many students have been disadvantaged by the results process and that the uncertainty is worrying for everyone involved. We are committed to do everything we can to ensure that all our students achieve results that are fair. This has included making appeals through the media, working with our local MPs and contributing to the collective effort of the Sixth Form Colleges’ Association to raise the issues at a national level. We will continue to pursue all avenues we can to ensure our students get the grades they deserve.
I hope that this message, and the links in it, can answer your queries. We are getting a lot of emails and phone calls at the moment. We will, of course, try to answer all your questions but please do see if the details below give you the details you need before you try to get in touch.
We are expecting further announcements later today and we will keep you updated.
Thanks for all the kind words of support and do keep raising the issues wherever you can!
Centre Assessed Grades (CAGs)
It is important to note that the CAGs were not the result of any one member of staff making an isolated judgement, but part of a robust and quality assured process involving curriculum teachers, their leaders and senior leaders. The CAGs were reviewed at both the individual and course level to ensure that we were representing fairly the achievements of each student while being robust and honest.
Details of the entire process can be found here: https://wykecollege.sharepoint.com/:b:/s/CurriculumLeaders/ET-RCLL3bFZHk_J09OkzlowBj9UnBVCwtQTZ8ucl88gVkA?e=h7OO37.
Please read the document before emailing any queries as it will answer many questions about the process and what options you do have.
Results & Appeals
We understand that some of you are disappointed with the grades you received last Thursday. As are we. However, it is important to note that, as an individual, you are not able to request an appeal on your grades, unless you fall into one of the two administrative error categories below. As frustrating as it is, you cannot simply appeal because you do not feel that your grades accurately represent your ability.
A candidate can:
- ask their centre to appeal on their behalf to an awarding body if there is evidence that leads a candidate to believe the centre made an error when submitting a centre assessment grade or rank order information
- an awarding body made a mistake when calculating, assigning or communicating a grade
A candidate cannot:
- appeal against their centre assessment grades and position in the rank order
- appeal in respect of the process or procedure used in calculating their centre assessment grades and position in the rank order
- appeal directly in any respect to the awarding body
The arrangements for awarding qualifications in summer 2020 state that candidates can appeal their grades through their centre if they feel the process this summer was not followed correctly in their case.
As a centre, we are appealing all of our awarded grades on several fronts, both locally and nationally and will keep you updated regarding this. Ofqual released information about the ‘mock exam triple lock’ process on Saturday and shortly afterwards it was taken down from their website. We are hoping for clarity and more information next week. If we are able to, we will make appeals for any students where we are able to provide the appropriate evidence base on your behalf. At this stage we do not need you to do anything.
You may be considering a resit of the assessments under the triple lock process. Please do give this careful consideration and explore alternative routes that could support your progression onto your next steps. We can and will help with this. The college will be funding the cost of the resits, and you will still have access to moodle/Microsoft teams. Once we have some idea of the number of students who will be taking up these exams, and in which subjects, we will share more details about any other support we can offer.
The Pastoral Team have been working closely with students who are holding university offers to ensure they progress on to their next steps as smoothly as possible. So far, we have over 600 students who have been successful in gaining a place at university and we will continue to support any student who is still actively in clearing or waiting to hear about their place. The careers team is also supporting students who are moving on to apprenticeships and/or employment placements. There will be a member of the pastoral team on site every day, so please do get in touch if you have any queries or concerns and we will do everything we can to support you. Email email@example.com if you would like some help with your next step
We have now received all BTEC grades from Peason. The team have continually chased BTEC for these and they should now appear on the student/parent portal. Please contact us if this is not the case. All students affected by this have been emailed.
We have also emailed universities where students with conditional firm offers had a BTEC qualification as we are unsure of how long it will take Pearson to get the grade to them. This does mean that for all students who have a BTEC grade in, the admissions team have a confirmed email from the college stating the BTEC outcomes from one of us already.
Former Wyke Sixth Form College student, Emilia Barry, has spent the last couple of months overseeing the pre-production of Young Adults, a short film in association with the National Youth Film Academy.
After collecting her A level results in Film Studies, French and Fine Art this summer, Emilia will leave for London’s Ravensbourne University where she hopes to pursue her lifelong dream of working in the industry.
She said: “My obsession with cinema started when I was about four-years-old. I became really obsessed with Tim Burton after seeing Corpse Bride because that was the first film that made me cry and I developed a massive love for him and all of his films.
“Then when I was eight I watched the academy awards and I sort of got this sense that this is where I belonged and this is where my future was going to be.
“So from that point onwards on knew the film industry was the industry I wanted to work in it was just figuring out where I wanted to work that was a challenge.”
“I went through phases of wanting to work in all different types of roles and then when I was 16 I worked with BFI to produce my first ever short film and I realised that I’m sort of a natural producer.
“Ultimately I’d like to be a producer/writer/director but right now I’m focusing very much on producing because that’s the thing I need to learn the most for.”
She said being an aspiring filmmaker in Hull isn’t easy but more distinguished names from the area are often willing to lend a hand.
“It’s definitely more challenging than it is for a lot of my friends in the industry who are based in the south or bigger places like Manchester where the film industry is more prominent,” she said.
“But it is still absolutely possible to get involved with it from Hull.
“There are a few big film makers from Hull such as Chris Hees and Sean McAllister – if you can in touch with them or get involved with BFI then that can be a great opportunity, if you really prove yourself to them and then they will be a reference for you.”
This year her A level results will be determined by predicated grades and coursework. What had promised to be a hectic few months suddenly became a clear schedule. Emilia took full advantage of the time, throwing herself into the production of Young Adults.
She said: “At the start of May I was put in touch with 14 other people who were aged between 16 and 26 from all around the country.
“I’d never met them before and we all had to come together to come up with a concept for a film and then just create it.
“My job in this has been pretty major so far because it’s all been pre-production. I had to spend pretty much every day of lockdown down on meetings, with emails, and dealing with paperwork.
“We’ve also been doing a lot of script surgery and contacting businesses, making sure everyone knows what’s going on and trying to establish locations for the film, additional casting and everything.”
She described the film as a part coming of age tale and part family drama, with a focus on the tensions within families.
As part of the project the team must raise funds to meet the production costs of the film which includes equipment, locations, casting, distribution and advertising.
Visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/young-adults-short-film to help Emilia reach the £8,000 production target.
Last year, the PE, Sport and Dance teachers at Wyke proudly won the Gold Award for “FE Teaching Team of the Year”. These prestigious awards are sponsored by Pearson Education, and backed by the BBC and the Department for Education.
In the build up to this year’s awards, The Teaching Awards Trust, who coordinate and celebrate excellence in teaching, are promoting “The Thank a Teacher Day” on 20th May.
The aim of the day is to raise the profile of the teaching profession, highlight the positive impact teachers and school leaders have with pupils, parents and the wider community, and show teachers how much they are valued.
We’ve all had a great teacher. They show a real interest in who we are, listen to our thoughts, inspire us to learn and encourage us to achieve our best, no matter what our goals are. The influence of a good teacher lasts a lifetime.
If you know someone who deserves a “thank you”, visit: https://bit.ly/2shxPAj. They’ll receive a lovely card in the post as part of the #ThankATeacher campaign. It will make their day and it’s free to do!
I hope you have all had something of an Easter break.
Here are a few things that are relevant to our return to work on Monday:
- Back to work
We are all back to work fully on Monday 20th April. For those of you whose courses are continuing I want to remind you of our expectation that you will be completing as much work as you would be in any normal week at college. That amounts to 4 hours and 40 minutes of lesson time plus about the same amount as ‘homework’ per subject. Your teachers will be setting you the work from Monday and there will be tasks that need to be complete by the end of the week. We will be recording your engagement with these remote working tasks and feeding back to students, parents and all college staff via the RAG ratings on Ontrack (see below). If you are unsure about what you need to be doing, do contact your subject teams.
Our pastoral support will all be back to work too. So, if you need any help, do get in touch with them. I have attached the contact sheet if you need it.
The position will be a little bit confusing for some of you with some courses having finished and others continuing as normal. I hope this table helps explain what is happening:
|A level year 2||No|
|A level year 1||Yes|
|BTEC year 2||Yes (until final grading details are clear)|
|BTEC year 1 including Engineering||Yes|
|BTEC Firsts (Foundation year)||Yes (until final grading details are clear)|
|Criminology year 1 and year 2||Yes (until final grading details are clear)|
If your course is finished you do not have to complete tasks and teams will not be recording levels of engagement using the Ontrack system. However, we still want to support you. The team are working on plans for the following groups:
• 2nd year students
• 1st year students enrolled to one year courses but who will be progressing onto the second year
• Foundation year students wanting to progress to level 3
We will share details of our support for these groups by the end of this week. For now, do get in touch with your teaching teams if you want to keep working.
- Lockdown to continue for at least 3 more weeks
The government announced on Thursday 16th April that lockdown measures would continue “for at least” another three weeks. This means that schools and colleges are very likely to remain closed for at least that amount of time. At college we are not expecting to return to the campus until after the half term break (i.e. June) at the earliest. Curriculum teams will be sharing plans for this half term as they are developed.
- Reminder re. tracking
The RAG tracking system using Ontrack will resume this week. The latest set of marks will all be in place by 12pm on Tuesday. These marks will represent your engagement in remote working task for both the teaching week before the Easter break and for Easter homework tasks. Do ask if you need any help around accessing these marks. Our pastoral team will be following up students where there are concerns.
- Consultation on grading
For those of you who were expecting to complete GCSE, AS or A level courses this summer, Ofqual has published a two-week consultation on some of the key issues concerning the process for awarding grades. These include:
- How to address external candidates and other external candidates who have no evidence and for whom Centre Assessed Grades are not possible
- How to address candidates scheduled for early entry exams, especially in Y10 and Y12
- The principles underpinning the statistical standardisation model
- Appeals and challenges
- Autumn exams
You can access the consultation on Ofqual’s websitehere:
It will be open until23.59 on Wednesday 29 April 2020. Ofqual asks that all responses are made through the survey platform and says it is also essential that survey respondents complete the initial information about who they are, and that they complete and submit the survey (“Even if responses are not provided for all questions, respondents should ensure they do press submit as we will not be able to take account of incomplete responses”).
The guidance for the consultation is a very large document and much of the detail is of a technical nature but some aspects of this novel process may apply to you so I suggest you have at least a skim through it. I will be submitting a response so, if you would like me to present your ideas, do let me know. You are very welcome to complete a version for yourself though, you only need to answer the questions you are interested in.
- Exam results days
The normal dates have been confirmed for the release of exam results:
- A levels – Thursday 13th August
- GCSEs – Thursday 20th August
I think that is it for now. Thank you again for all the excellent questions, suggestions and support that you have sent to me through this process. I remain extremely proud of the students and staff at Wyke. You have all responded with such maturity and focus to what has been a completely unprecedented challenge. Do keep working! You will need all of this learning and, as I have said before, I am sure you will find these independent learning skills invaluable in future.
Do ask if you need any help and do stay safe,
- How will centre assessed grades be decided?
- records of each student’s performance over the course of study, including for example progress review data, classwork, bookwork, and/or participation in performances in subjects such as music, drama and PE
- performance on any non-exam assessment (NEA), even if this has not been fully completed. You should not ask students to complete their NEA work and you do not need to submit marks for any completed NEA. But you will need to bear in mind that many students achieve a higher grade on their NEA than in their exams, so you should not base your judgment on NEA alone. You should balance it with your judgement about their likely performance in the written paper(s), where appropriate. In case students decide that they want to enter in a subsequent exam series, you should retain any NEA work completed to date
- performance on any class or homework assessments and mock exams taken over the course of study
- previous results in your centre in this subject – these will vary according to a number of factors, including prior attainment of the students, but our data shows that for most centres any year-on-year variation in results for a given subject is normally quite small
- the performance of this year’s students compared to those in previous years
- any other relevant information
- What does the ranking order of students mean and how could it affect our grades?
- Will students be able to continue to study if they want to? Some students want to be prepared for potential resits or be in a good position for progressing to university.
- Will there be an A level results day? End of year celebrations? Sports Pres?
- Do we still need to complete our Art examined piece?
- Will work completed after school closure on March 20th count? Should I still try to submit work e.g. mock exams I completed at home as I missed the original sitting due to illness?
- Requests for indications about grading
- Will the grades I need for my first choice university be taken into account?
- EPQ clarification
- With regards to things like free prescriptions and council tax, when will we actually be classed as no longer in full-time education?
Sadly, in these trying times, there are unscrupulous individuals who see the current situation as an opportunity to exploit people of all ages and backgrounds.
Alistair Kennedy from Humberside Police Cyber Security Team has provided a range of useful resources below, to help young people and families to stay safe online while working from home at this unprecedented time.
Useful Videos: –
Download the “Stay Safe Online Tips” sheet.
Find out more @HP_Cyber on Twitter and Humberbeat Cyber Crime on Facebook.