02 March 2021: Message from the Principal
I write further to my detailed communication last week mapping out the return to onsite education across next week (commencing 08 March 2021). A reminder of those details can be accessed here.
Please find a short video clip to explain aspects of the coronavirus rapid lateral flow testing process at the University School, by one of the School’s senior team, Mr Haslam.
Data collection and privacy policies are listed below for your information:
- NHS Test & Trace COVID-19 Parent/Carer Letter.
- Data Protection FAQ’s for testing in schools.
- How to do your test.
- Privacy Statement.
Whilst lateral flow testing is not compulsory for the return to school onsite next week, they serve a purpose in identifying some people who have the virus but are asymptomatic, hence potentially helping to further minimise transmission. Lateral flow testing does require parental/carer consent, which can be provided by completion of this online form.
Later this week we shall communicate the time slots to you, for your child to attend school next week for lateral flow testing purposes (if consent is provided), and their return to onsite education.
15 March 2021: Message from Vice Principal
You will be aware from the announcements in the media over the last few weeks that grades awarded for GCSE and A Level qualifications this summer will be teacher judgements, based on an assessment of the standard at which pupils and students are performing. Ofqual – the examinations and qualifications regulator – have provided some guidance about how this process should work, with some further information expected from examination boards by the end of March. There is an amount of flexibility afforded to schools in this process, so that judgements can be made to take into account the range of different experiences that pupils and students across the country have had over the last 12 months. All judgements must be submitted to examination boards by schools by 18 June, and results will then be issued on 10 August for A level and 12 August for GCSE qualifications – earlier than is normal. As a School, we are still finalising exactly how we will draw together evidence, and the steps that we will take to moderate judgements so that the process is rigorous but fair. We want all pupils and students to be seen at ‘their best’ through this process. This means that we will be considering a range of evidence that has already been completed, but there will be some assessments in the weeks ahead, including some longer final assessments in mid-to-late May. These will sample all aspects of the courses that have been taught, so that everyone has a chance to shine even if they have not yet been able to do so.
So our key messages at this stage are:
- Grades have not yet been decided – pupils and students still have a great opportunity to influence the outcome.
- The evidence used to make judgements will be different for each subject, but may include a mixture of: Pre-Public Examinations (PPEs), coursework, assessments completed in class/during remote learning, and any assessments due to be completed in the weeks and months ahead.
- Examination boards will be providing guidance for all schools about standards to support teacher judgements, and will be carrying out checks with schools to ensure that they are implementing them fairly.
- Pupils and students will be kept informed by their class teachers about what they should be focusing on each week.
We will be in touch during the week commencing 22 March with more detailed information about our expected process for awarding grades. This will include subject specific guidance about any topics that will not be assessed, and support with preparation for any final assessments in May. We are all working towards the same goal: we, as you, want our pupils and students to be able to progress on to appropriate educational and employment pathways. We, as part of the wider educational system, will act to ensure that our processes are fair and robust, so that grades have equivalent value to those awarded in previous years.
Thank you for your patience while we await the final guidance from relevant awarding organisations.