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Esher Church of England High School

Esher Church of England High School

Esher Learning Trust

Assessments Summer 2021 FAQs

FAQs – Year 11 TAGs 2021

1. Mr Johnson said that Public exams were cancelled, why is Esher CofE High School now running assessments?

This is the best way to ensure fairness across the year group, as students all see questions at the same time.  We are also able to ensure those with agreed access arrangements or reasonable adjustments (for example a reader or a scribe) get the support they are entitled to.

2. Initially you said that assessments would be in classrooms, now you are using the Sports Hall.  Can you explain why?

As above, also we can ensure a quiet working environment down in the Sports Hall, as some classrooms are quieter than others.  Please note much of the assessment and evidence gathering is still happening in classroom lessons.

3. We have received the assessment timetable; my child seems to have a lot of assessments.  They tell me there are as many assessments as there are in the normal exam year, is this correct?

There are fewer assessments than in a normal exam season, the last one was run in 2019.  The assessments are also spread out and shorter in length.  See table below:

Course

Combined Science

Geography

Dance

Separate Science

Year

2019

2021

2019

2021

2019

2021

No. of public exams in 2019 exams series compared to summer assessments 2021

 

6 exams of 1 hour 15 mins

(2 x Biology, 2 x Chemistry & 2 x Physics)

 

 

3 assessments of 1 hour 15 mins (Biology, Chemistry & Physics)

 

3 exams between of between 1 hour 15 & 1 hour 30 mins

1 assessment of 1 hour 45 mins

1 hour 30 exam

1 hour 30 mins assessment but there is no need to have studied all 6 set works in complete detail

6 exams of 1 hour 45mins (2 x Biology, 2 x Chemistry & 2 x Physics)

 

3 assessments of 1 hour 45 mins,

(Biology, Chemistry & Physics)

Students will not know exactly what a normal exam year is like, so may make assumptions about this.

4. My child gets very anxious and doing assessments in the Sports Hall is making this worse.  What is Esher High School doing to ensure that these students are supported?

Students will be well supported with adjustments, for those who are concerned please contact our Exams Officer, Mrs Andersen Walters at: randersenwaters@esherhigh.surrey.sch.uk.  We may be able to make some adjustments to where your child sits in the exam hall should this be an issue.

5. What support has been shared with students in preparation for their assessments?

Students have received support on how to use different revision techniques back in the Autumn term and also links to these presentations were shared before the Easter break.  Revision resources to support students’ planning have been shared, as well as each subject publishing a PLC which highlights topics to focus revision on, as well as materials to support revision.  The assessment schedule has been shared and copies placed in key locations around the school.

6. How does the number of assessments at Esher High school compare to other schools locally?

Different schools have faced different situations due to COVID_19 and we have to make a judgement which is right for the needs of this year group, taking into account the amount of disruption to their curriculum time.  Some schools are doing more, some are doing fewer assessments.

Other considerations include ‘mock’ assessments, which in some schools were sat before Easter – we did not do this, so we need to gather evidence at this point in the year.   Finally, the physical space also has a bearing on decisions.   

7. What evidence will be used to award my child their grade in each subject?

A range of evidence will be used from that gathered across the duration of the course.  Evidence later in the course will be given greater importance, as we know students mature and develop over time.  It will also be evidence which we know was completed independently, as this is more reliable.  Finally, different subjects will emphasise different sources of evidence depending on the demands of the course.  Students will have a portfolio for each subject which will contain their evidence.  They will be asked to verify this is their work.

8. Will my child be able to view the evidence that is being used to judge their grade in each subject, before a final grade is awarded?

As above students will be able to look through their portfolios to verify the work selected as evidence of their performance in each subject.

9. How will Esher High School ensure that all students are treated fairly?

We will apply the agreed access arrangements or reasonable adjustments to the summer assessments, so that no student is disadvantaged.    We are making sure all students sit the same assessments at the same time at the end of their courses, so that one class is not unfairly advantaged because they have heard about the content from their peers who have sat the material early in the week.  This is why we have chosen to have our assessments at the same time and use the Sports Hall.  We also have plans in place to ‘blind mark’ the final assessments to remove any potential teacher bias.  Students will only record their candidate number on the front of the paper.

10. My child has been absent, due to poor health, how will the school ensure students in these circumstances are not disadvantaged?

Absence due to issues beyond a child’s control will be taken into account.

11. What is happening on results day – will I be able to collect my results in person this year?

We have now decided that these will be given electronically, as they were in 2020.

12. If I am not happy with my final grade, will I be able to appeal it?

Please see the graphic below which gives details of how the appeals process will work in 2021.

 

13. My child is entitled to extra support in exams – how is this being provided in classroom evidence gathering?

Where students have agreed access arrangements or reasonable adjustments (for example a reader or a scribe) we will make every effort to ensure that these arrangements are in place when assessments are being taken.  Where an assessment takes place without an agreed reasonable adjustment or access arrangements, this will be noted and considered when determining performance.

14. What do I do if I think my performance has been affected by illness/accident/bereavement on the day of the assessments?

Where students have agreed access arrangements or reasonable adjustments (for example a reader or scribe) we have made every effort to ensure that these arrangements were in place when the assessments were being taken.  Where an assessment has taken place without an agreed reasonable adjustment or access arrangement, we will remove that assessment from the basket of evidence and alternative evidence will be obtained.

Where you think that a temporary illness/accident/bereavement/domestic crisis on the day of the assessment may have affected your performance in assessments, we will take account of this when making judgements.  We will record, as part of the Assessment Record, how we have incorporated any necessary variations to take account of the impact of illness or personal circumstances on the performance of individual students in assessments.  To ensure consistency in the application of Special Consideration, we will ensure we use the JCQ guidance: JCQ – A guide to the special consideration process, with effect from 1 September 2020.  Please ensure that you have informed us of your need for special consideration by emailing the Exams Officer at: randersenwaters@esherhigh.surrey.sch.uk. The deadline for this is 18 June 2021.

15. What do I do if I think my performance has been affected by a long term difficulty?

Where students would like to put forward mitigating circumstances this will need to be done by emailing the Exams Officer at: randersenwaters@esherhigh.surrey.sch.uk.  The deadline for this is 18 June 2021.  This will need to include independent documentary evidence (eg, a letter from a doctor) about how the long term difficulty has had an impact on their performance.  Student’s teachers will not be informed of this information, as the mitigating circumstances are considered by a committee, and the adjustment to be made will depend on the circumstances of the young person in question.

16. What do I do if I am absent on the day of a summer assessment between Tuesday 4 May and Thursday 27 May?

Where students are unable to come into school on the day of an assessment, please inform Student Services as soon as possible and your child’s class teacher.  The class teacher will then find a time for the student to complete the assessment after school.  However, please be aware that if your child has agreed access arrangements or reasonable adjustments, it will not always be possible to provide these in an after school session.