Qualification 2021

Dear Parent/Carer

Update on Qualifications 2021 – Centre Determined Grades (CDGs)

As you are aware, formal external examinations have been cancelled for this year and been replaced with CDGs being awarded by school. Students in Years 11 (and Year 10 English Literature and Numeracy) are continuing to work through various assessment tasks in order to produce evidence to allow CDGs to be awarded.

Whilst we know it is an anxious time for everyone, teaching staff and students have been reminded that no marks, grades or any indication can be given to students about how they have performed in these assessments. This policy is based on guidance from Qualifications Wales.

Once all the evidence has been collected, a thorough and robust quality assurance process takes place in school. Here, student grades are checked against the evidence provided, cross-referenced between different teachers and finally compared to previous years’ data to ensure that there is no inflationary effect.

Once our internal processes have been completed, all the CDGs will be sent out by email on Thursday 17th June. Due to GDPR regulations, results can only be sent to the students’ personal email addresses so we cannot email them to parents/carers. Mr Poulton will contact parents to ensure we have the pupil’s current email address. If they do not have an email address, we will ensure they receive a copy of their grades in person/via post.

Appeals Process for Centre Determined Grades

Thursday 17th June marks the start of the appeals process. A comprehensive guide has been published by Qualifications Wales and can be found here:

https://www.qualificationswales.org/english/awarding-2021/guidance-documents/

Here is a summary of the process:

Where a student is satisfied with the grades determined by the school on June 17th, there is no further action.

A student who is not satisfied with their grade will be able to appeal their grade. The appeals process will have three stages:

Stage 1 (Thursday 17th June- Friday 29th June) will be the school review of the provisional CDG on the grounds of judgement and/or a procedural error has been made.

If a student is unhappy with their CDG provisional grade on the basis of judgement or a procedural error they can request the assessment data that led to that grade (the Learner Decision Record – LDR) by Monday 21st of June. The student will then have up until Tuesday June 29th to ask for a Centre Review.

A form will be sent out with the results email that will document how to appeal a grade at this stage. Please note that no appeals will be accepted after 3:00pm on Friday June 29th.

The process undertaken by the school is likely to be similar to the internal quality assurance process. Where a review has been requested, it will be considered by a member of staff who was not the original assessor. Members of the school’s Senior Leadership Team will also review that the school’s processes have been followed, in terms of associated decision-making records etc. 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.

Stage 2 (after 2nd July) will involve an appeal to WJEC on the grounds that the judgement that the centre has made is unreasonable and/or a procedural error has been made.

Stage 3 involves a request to Qualification Wales for an Exam Procedures Review Service (EPRS) to review whether WJEC has followed the required procedures.

At all stages, students will need to be aware that Centre Determined Grades can go up or down, or stay the same, following the centre review and appeal.

A Summary

  • June 17th – CDG provisional grades sent to pupils
  • June 21st – deadline for requesting the Learner Decision Record
  • June 29th – deadline for a Centre Review request
  • August 12th – Results day

Regards,

Please contact Rhys.Poulton@CHS.schoolsedu.org.uk with any queries about this process.

Mr J Lewis

Assistant Headteacher

Please find below Cwmbran High School’s Assessment Approach for Qualifications 2021.

Qualifications Wales Guide to Qualifications 2021
Qualifications Wales has released a guide on 2021 qualifications you can find below

Centre-Assessment Approach for Qualifications in 2021
In November 2020, the Education Minister announced that there would be no summer examination series for pupils taking GCSEs, AS levels or A levels in 2021. In January 2021, it was confirmed that these qualifications would be awarded using Centre Determined Grades. This means that individual examination centres, such as schools, would determine the actual grades awarded for each qualification.

The assessment approach is designed to outline how the school, as an examination centre, will apply the ‘Guidance on Alternative Arrangements for Approved GCSEs, AS and A levels’ provided by Qualifications Wales, the examination regulator, to help determine grades in 2021.

Centre-Determined Grades
A Centre Determined Grade is the grade awarded by the school, as an examination centre, on the basis of attainment which has been demonstrated in the areas of the qualification content that a pupil has covered. For each qualification, teachers will make use of WJEC Assessment Frameworks which include descriptors for key grades to support the accurate distribution of awards. Each grade awarded by the school must be underpinned by robust evidence to demonstrate a pupil’s attainment across key themes and skills. These will vary per qualification, as determined by the requirements of each WJEC Qualification Assessment Frameworks. It will not be possible or permitted for teachers, or the school, to attempt to issue a Centre Determined Grade based on professional prediction or the potential of a pupil. Teachers will be required to apply their professional judgement and decide whether the knowledge and skills demonstrated meets the usual standard for a specified grade.

In determining grades, the school will be required to make ‘best-fit’ judgements. This means that pupils are not required to demonstrate all aspects of a grade descriptor to be awarded the grade; pupils should be awarded a grade which supports evidence of attainment across sufficient breadth of content, within the specified qualification, as determined by WJEC; and may achieve the same grades by demonstrating different combinations of knowledge, skills and understanding. This ensures that strengths in some areas counterbalance shortcomings in others. As a result, the ‘best-fit’ grade may be awarded. Where there is insufficient evidence, or where evidence suggest attainment is below that required of the lowest grade for a qualification (ie. G grade at GCSE) then a pupil will be awarded a Centre Determined Grade of U.

The evidence used for Centre-Determined Grades
Centre Determined Grades will be generated using evidence of work completed by a pupil, using the adapted specification content. In determining a grade, the following types of evidence can be used in each qualification

For each qualification, WJEC will provide subject staff with a Qualification Assessment Framework, which will set out the requirements to support the evidence to inform a Centre Determined Grade.  These frameworks provide a degree of flexibility to support the school’s local context.  However, they will ensure there is a degree of consistency to maintain public confidence in the qualification system and the approach taken in Wales in 2021.

The Centre Determined Grade will be generated using evidence of work completed by a pupil, using the adapted specification content.

In determining a grade, the following types of evidence will be used in each qualification

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, are fully supported by clear mark schemes and are familiar to both pupils and staff. Where necessary, due to time constraints, teachers will have the option of amending these papers to reduce the content, however, this will then be reflected in the weighting in relation to the Centre Determined Grade awarded. Teachers will ensure these past- papers, which will form a key part of the evidence, will be incorporated within their delivery of teaching and learning, in replacement of other activities undertaken in lessons.

Non-Examination Assessment

NEA exists in many qualifications. Teachers will use the performance of pupils in this element to help contribute towards the determination of a grade. However, teachers will need to consider the weighting of this element to ensure that the grade awarded accurately reflects the overall standard.

The evidence generated will not be completed in the form of an examination ie in the Hall with external invigilators.

Other contributing evidence

a) Teachers may use evidence from previously completed WJEC past-paper questions, which

  • have been externally quality assured, with a published mark scheme, and where they have
  • been completed under controlled conditions; and

b) Assessments undertaken prior to the publication of the centre approach

e.g. Mock exams

Examinations (also known as ‘Pre-Public Examinations’) and/or other assessed work may only be used to help confirm a judgement. However, this evidence may not be used in isolation to determine grades since, at the time of completion, it is possible that pupils would not have been aware of the importance of these tasks. This is designed to ensure fairness and equity to all pupils.

All assessments to support the awarding of Centre Determined Grades will be completed by Friday 21st  May 2021.

Quality Assurance Processes
In line with usual practices, WJEC will require internal processes to be undertaken 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.

Recording Decisions
The school will keep a record to document clearly the rationale for grade decisions. This will include clarity of explanation which pupils and their parents/carers will understand. Decision records will detail who assessed the evidence and when; the decision taken; identification of any reasonable adjustments or special considerations applied; and where the evidence is safely stored. On submission of a Centre Determined Grade, the school will be required to make an overall declaration in relation to the processes carried out.

Review of Centre Determined Grades and Appeals

As set out in the Minister of Education’s announcement on 20th January 2021, the appeals process will have three stages:Stage 1 – a school-based review of the provisional Centre Determined Grade on the grounds of judgement and/or a procedural error has been made.
Stage 2 – an appeal to WJEC on the grounds that the judgement that the centre has made is unreasonable and/or a procedural error has been made.
Stage 3 – a request to Qualifications Wales for an Exam Procedures Review Service (EPRS) to review whether WJEC has followed the required procedures.

Stage 1 – the school-based review stage will allow pupils to request a review of the school’s judgement of their grade and/or correct any errors. This will be completed before the submission of Centre Determined Grades to the WJEC. The school will provide an effective mechanism for pupils to request a review of their provisional grade.

Centre Determined Grades are provisional until qualification grades are issued by WJEC on results days.

The school will provide pupils with a provisional Centre Determined Grade by 25th June and submit them to the WJEC by 2nd July. If a pupil wishes their grade to be reviewed, this can be requested before they are submitted to the WJEC. The review of pupils’ grades will be similar to the internal moderation process. Where a review has been requested, it will be considered by a member of staff who was not the original assessor. The Head of School will also review that the school’s processes have been followed. 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.

At each stage of the review/appeal process, pupils should be aware that a Centre Determined Grade may be improved or lowered.

Public Sector Equality and Data Processing

In developing an approaoch to the Centre Determined Grades, 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 characteristic and those who do not
  3. Foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not

The school will ensure it meets data protection and processing regulations. This may result in modifications to existing policies and practices. However, it is anticipated that joint examination regulators may coordinate this to provide assurances that data is handled appropriately and for the intended purposes.

Final Results Days

AS/A level                                 10th August 2021

GCSE                                           12th August 2021

Timeline – key dates for learners

By EasterYour school or college will tell you how you will be assessed and graded for your qualification
12th April – 21st MayYou should have face to face teaching and some additional assessments
By 25th JuneYou will receive your provisional Centre Determined Grades and you will have the opportunity to ask for your grades to be reviewed
14th June – 2nd JulyYour school or college will submit the provisional Centre Determined Grades to WJEC
10th AugustAS and A level Results Day
10th August – 7th SeptemberYou will have the opportunity to appeal your AS or/and A level result to WJEC
12th AugustGCSE Results Day  
24th August – 21st September (provisional) Post results dayYou will have the opportunity to appeal your GCSE result to WJEC You will have the opportunity to appeal to Qualifications Wales for an Exam Procedures Review Service (EPRS)