Dear Year 11s,

We are writing to you today to help clear up any potential confusion about the GCSE grades that you will be receiving later this week. This information is different to what we sent last week after some significant changes made by the government. After the publication of A Level results last week, the huge amount of discussion in the press and then yesterday’s “U-turn”, we want to make sure that you understand what you are collecting and when.

On Thursday 20th August, you will now collect the Centre Assessed Grades that we submitted as a school. These grades were the result of detailed moderation, using evidence such as your mock grades or recent class assessments, and were then checked by senior leaders to make sure that grades were fair and representative. The media are wrong to call them “Teacher Assessed Grades” because we, as a school, went through a rigorous and evidence based process to submit them.

Unlike the A Level grades released last week, the CAGs you collect on Thursday have not been processed by the algorithm (computer method) used by Ofqual and the government. This process is still happening and you will be able to use whichever grade is higher when you receive these grades next week (ie, if you are awarded a Grade 4 for English in your CAG but a Grade 5 by the algorithm, you will keep the Grade 5). In the same way, if you are given a lower grade by the algorithm, you can keep the CAG grade. We think these algorithm results will be published next week and we will be in touch when this happens.

While this seems very confusing, it is the route the government have chosen to take and we believe it will give you the fairest outcome at the end of this highly stressful and unusual time. We are confident the reality is that you will receive a set of grades that accurately reflect what you would have got in the exams.

Finally, please remember this: you are not and will never be defined by this experience and you are NOT the Covid-19 year group! You are a group of brilliant individual young people who will go on to do great things and we are incredibly proud of all of you. If you need us in your corner to try to fix any unfairness, we’ll be there. Come and speak to a member of SLT on Thursday if you have any questions.

See you on Thursday – remember to stick to your times please.

Mr Brand, Mrs Smith and Mr Mooney