12 November 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

Year 11 Mock Examinations - 23rd November to 3rd December 2020

There will be two sets of mock examinations for Year 11 students during this academic year. The first set of mock examinations for Year 11 students will take place from 23rd November to 3rd December 2020. The second set of will take place in March 2021.

This is a very important time for our Year 11 students and this year they face the additional challenge of the uncertainty surrounding their exams and what to expect in the summer 2021 exam season. In October, the government announced that GCSE examinations would go ahead next year with most exams being held 3 weeks later than usual to give students more time to prepare and to help address the disruption caused by the pandemic. In addition, Ofqual have announced some minor changes to the way some GCSEs are delivered. Currently, the government is considering any additional measures needed to address potential disruption to the summer exams. We will update both students and parents on any new information when it is appropriate to do so. At school, our primary focus remains on ensuring that our students are fully prepared for these examinations and on ensuring that all our students will be fairly treated in terms of assessment in 2021.

Mock exams are a very important indicator of how well students are working and identifying any gaps in their learning. They also allow students an opportunity to work under exam conditions and to test if their revision strategies are effective. If for any reason teacher judgment is a factor in awarding grades in summer 2021, either for all of Year 11 or for an individual who may be unable to take an exam, these mock exams, in combination with those in March, will form a significant part of any teacher judgement. It is therefore imperative that students try their very best and fully prepare. Please can you emphasise this to your child at home, as we will in school. Should your child be required to isolate during the exam period, alternative arrangements will be made, considering the individual context.

It is important that students are on time for mock exams and have all the correct equipment. As per examination regulations, students must write in black pen and store all equipment in a transparent pencil case. They must have a calculator for maths and science exams. We may not be able to give out equipment given the current restrictions.

A report will be issued in December with students’ mock exam results and predicted grades for the end of the year. Predicted grades will be based on a range of evidence including the mock exams, other formal assessments, work in lessons and independent study. Following the November mock exams, interventions will be put into place to support students who are underperforming.

The school will be doing all we can throughout this year to support our Year 11 students and we look forward to working with you to ensure our students get their best possible grades in summer 2021.

Yours Faithfully,

Mrs McFadden

Deputy Headteacher