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important information on GCSE exams for our current Year 11 and Year 10 Early Entry students

Dear Parents / Carers,

Following the statement made by the Secretary of State for Education at 1.30pm this afternoon, regarding the GCSE exams for the current Year 11 and Year 10 Early Entry, we can confirm now that there will be no GCSE exams this summer. Instead, teachers will be awarding centre assessed grades based on the mock exams and classwork completed to date and following the return of Year 11 to face to face education.

Much remains uncertain but I want to reassure all parents and Year 11 and Year 10 Early Entry students that we will be making sure that the Centre Assessed Grades (CAG) process at Crookhorn is as robust as possible and to assist us with this we will be doing a second round of mock exams as soon as is viable for all subjects. To this end, it is imperative that the Year 11 engage as thoroughly as possible with their remote learning and work with their teachers to consolidate their knowledge and understanding. Due to the way we had restructured the Year 11 curriculum for this year to support students, many of the subjects have already completed the full exam syllabus, which means that most of the work now is focussed on overlearning and revision. In subjects where new material is still being taught, this will be planned and taught in the most accessible way possible over the coming weeks. To assist with Year 11 and the Year 10 Early Entry students we will start a blend of live (synchronous) and remote (asynchronous) learning all through the ‘itslearning’ platform from next week.

With regards to the vocational and BTEC exams that were scheduled for January and February, the Secretary of State has left it up to individual schools and colleges to decide whether to run the exams or not. This obviously puts the education settings in a challenging position as we all want to make the best and safest decision for all students. At Crookhorn, based on communications we have already had from parents about their fears for their children coming in to sit an exam under the current circumstances, and the knowledge of the wealth of evidence we have to date of student performance in each of the affected subjects, we have made the decision to not run the exams at this time. It is clear from the DfE statement that no BTEC or vocational qualification learner will be disadvantaged and whether the exams are run again later, or the decision is taken by OFQUAL for certification from centre assessed grades, all students will end up with their BTEC or vocational results reflecting their level of achievement to date.

From my point of view as Headteacher, I want to reassure all parents and students that we are and will be, working as hard as we can to ensure that all students are not disadvantaged by this latest round of Government decisions.

Mrs Sarah Bennett