Important Information For Students On Assessed Grades: Summer 2020

Statement on the awarding of Centre Assessed Grades:

A Level and GCSE subjects ending in 2020 including Criminology and EPQ

On 18th March 2020, the Secretary of State announced that the summer 2020 exam series would be cancelled in order to fight the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and that students due to sit the exams would be awarded centre assessed grades.

Throughout the process Gateway College has followed all guidance from Ofqual, the examinations regulator.

Centre Assessment Grades

This is the grade that teachers believe each learner would achieve if they were to sit the exam in the summer. This professional judgement was derived by evidence held within the College and which had previously been reviewed by subject teachers and heads of department.

This is a holistic professional judgement balancing different sources of evidence including:

  • Common Assessment Point (CAP) performance (including mock exams)
  • Average CAP performance
  • Homework
  • Non-examined Assessment (NEA) (where available)
  • Classwork
  • GCSE profile and Alps target grade.

Where students have an agreed reasonable adjustment (for example, a reader or a scribe), or other students have an agreed access arrangement. The judgement took account of likely achievement with reasonable adjustment/access arrangement in place.

All judgements were objective and evidence based.

Rank order

As well as the requirement to submit a grade we were also required to ‘rank order’ students in order of confidence they would achieve that grade. This was also part of the objective process.

For each course, students were ranked within each grade. For example, if five students are given a grade B then these were ranked in order of most secure to least secure in that grade. The most secure would be ranked ‘1’ and least secure ranked ‘5’.

Shared teachers and multiple groups

Where groups were shared, teachers each completed an individual calculated grade and rank order.  This was then communicated with other members of the team to agree an overall grade/rank. Where there were multiple groups with multiple teachers, (for example maths and English GCSE), this activity was co-ordinated by the Head of Department.  All ranking activity applied to the course level not the group level.

Quality Assurance

An exceptional common assessment point has been set up in CEDAR named ‘Calculated Grade summer 2020’. All data was inputted into CEDAR and this automatically calculated an ALPs grade for A level courses.  For A Level, this Alps grade was used to inform judgements by comparing with Alps grades from previous years.

For GCSE the percentage of students who made one grade progress and/or achieved a grade 4 in 2019 was compared to CAGs in 2020.

Socially distanced QA meetings were held on 28th and 29th May, with the managers and teachers (where needed via Teams) to confirm and sign off agreed grades and ranking. This was an opportunity to discuss learners and raise queries.  We ensured grades were justified and matched trends and made changes where appropriate. To support decisions we put the calculated grades into 2 measures of value-added performance (ALPS and Six Dimensions) which take into account prior attainment and compared the value-added score of the calculated grades with the value-added score from the previous 3 years.  Adjustments were made where the grades of any course were outside of tolerance. This final data was signed off by the teacher, the Head of Department (HoD) and the Head of Quality.

Once we were satisfied that the rank order was valid, that special consideration that was due had been applied, that the calculated grades were in tolerance with the 3-year grade distribution average and the 3-year value-added average, we approved the grades.  The Head of Centre (Principal) confirmed that the centre assessment grades and rank order of students were a true representation of student performance.  At this point, the grades were submitted to the appropriate awarding body.

The confidentiality of the process was maintained at all times.  While no system of assessment is perfect, we feel that we have done our very best to ensure that grades have been arrived at transparently, objectively and in line with previous achievement in the College. 

We do not expect to get any further information on the results before the results days in August. Just to remind you of those dates:

A Level Results Day: Thursday 13th August

GCSE Results Day: Thursday 20th August

Statement on the awarding of Centre Assessed Grades:

All Level 2 and Level 3 vocational qualifications including Functional Skills

On 18th March 2020, the Secretary of State announced that the summer 2020 exam series would be cancelled in order to fight the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  The aim was for students who are taking vocational qualifications to receive results this summer in order to allow them to progress to the next stage of their lives. At Gateway College, these qualifications include BTEC Nationals and First Diploma, Cambridge Technicals, NCfE qualifications, AIM awards and Functional Skills.  Students taking these qualifications are in scope to receive a calculated result. This applied to those who would have expected to have completed their assessments and/or received certificates between March and the end of July, and includes learners being assessed on modules in the first year of a two-year course.

Throughout the process Gateway College followed all guidance from Ofqual, the examinations regulator.

Functional skills

Teachers reviewed evidence and compiled a file for each learner to justify pass or fail decisions. Learner work was moderated as part of the whole programme but no ranking was required.

Level 2 and Level 3 Vocational Courses

We provided awarding organisations with two pieces of information, calculated grade and rank order within that grade.  Different awarding bodies required different information, see below:

Pearson
  • results for completed internally assessed units
  • centre assessment grades for incomplete internally assessed units 
  • A single ranking at qualification level.
OCR
  • Results for claimed units agreed by SVs were banked.
  • Centre assessment grades were submitted for any other units.
  • Ranking at unit level not qualification level.
NCFE
  • Results for units completed
  • Centre assessment grades for incomplete internally assessed units.

This information is subject to a statistical standardisation and relevant quality checks, which may result in adjustments to grades.

Centre Assessment Grades at unit level

This is the grade that teachers believe the learner would achieve for each unit due to complete between March 20th and June 30th. This professional judgement was derived by evidence held within the College and which had previously been reviewed by subject teachers and Heads of Department (HoDs).

This was a holistic professional judgement balancing the different sources of evidence, including:

  • Performance on partial completion of units
  • Performance across other units
  • Homework
  • Classwork
  • GCSE profile and Alps target grade.

For learners with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), or other vulnerable learners, teachers made their judgement assuming learners had continued to receive any usual additional learning support and had any agreed reasonable adjustments in place. Similarly, teachers should also take into account any special consideration which may have impacted upon a learner’s achievement in previous work/assessments if this is used as a basis for a Centre Assessment Grade.

Rank order
OCR

For each unit, students were ranked within each grade. For example, if five students are given a Distinction then these should be ranked in order of most secure to least secure in that grade. The most secure would be ranked ‘1’ and least secure ranked ‘5’.

Pearson

Learners were ranked at an overall qualification level within each grade. For example, all those predicted to achieve DDD will be ranked in order of most to least secure.

AIM Award: Next Gen

External moderation went ahead based on work completed prior to 20thMarch.

Shared teachers and multiple groups

Where groups are shared, teachers each completed an individual calculated grade and rank then communicated with other members of the team to agree an overall grade/rank.  Where there are multiple groups with multiple teachers this activity was co-ordinated by the Head of Department (HoD).  The ranking activity applied to the course level not group level.

Quality Assurance of Calculated Grade at course and department level

An exceptional common assessment point has been set up in CEDAR named ‘Calculated Grade summer 2020’. All data was input into CEDAR and this automatically calculated an ALPs grade for Level 3 courses.  This ALPs grade was used to inform judgements by comparing with ALPs grades from previous years.

College Level Quality Assurance

Socially distanced QA meetings were held with the managers and teachers (where needed via Teams) to confirm and sign off agreed grades and ranking. This was an opportunity to discuss learners and raise queries.  We ensured grades were justified and matched trends and made changes where appropriate. To support decisions we put the calculated grades into a measure of value-added performance (ALPS) and compared the value-added score of the calculated grades with the value-added score from the previous 3 years.  Adjustments were made where the grades of any course were outside of tolerance. This final data was signed off by the teacher, HoD and Head of Quality.

Once we were satisfied that the rank order was valid, that special consideration that was due had been applied, that the calculated grades were in tolerance with the 3-year grade distribution average and the 3-year value-added average, we approved the grades.   The Head of Centre (Principal) confirmed that the centre assessment grades and rank order of students were a true representation of student performance.   At this point, the grades were submitted to the appropriate awarding body.

The confidentiality of the process was maintained at all times.  While no system of assessment is perfect, we feel that we have done our very best to ensure that grades have been arrived at transparently, objectively and in line with previous achievement in the college. 

We do not expect to get any further information on the results before the results days in August. Just to remind you of those dates:

Level 3  Results Day: Thursday 13th August

Level 2  Results Day: Thursday 20th August

Pre-Degree Foundation Art and Next Gen took adapted assessments. External moderation went ahead based on work completed prior to the 20th March. As the Final Major Project (FMP) for Art was incomplete, teacher judgements of grading went through the same QA process before being confirmed by sampling activity.

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