Written by Anna
March 15, 2021
At a Glance
The UK government have confirmed their plans for exams in 2021, with teacher assessments being used in replacement of traditional exams. We have put together this short guide to help you understand what this means for your children and how you can support them through the assessment process.
What you need to know:
● Teacher assessments can include a range of evidence, not just mock exams. Teachers can also utilise course work, in class essays or previous test results. This means students need to do their best at every piece of work they are set for the rest of the year. The teacher can only give them a certain grade if they have the evidence to prove the student has met the grade requirements.
● It is important to mention that students will only be assessed on the work they have completed. Around the country, different schools have completed different modules – this is why flexibility in teacher assessment is so important. What one school may have taught, another school may not have.
● Exam boards will provide questions however, teachers do not have to use them. They are being provided as a guide, some schools will want to utilise them whereas others will assess based on their own set work.
● Teachers cannot tell their students the grades they have been given before results day. So, if you were considering a small bribe or call to a teacher, the answer is “no”, they cannot tell you the grade!
● Teachers have until 18th June to submit their student’s grades. Will this mean an early finish to the year for students? This hasn’t been confirmed but if we were to take a guess, we would say it would be at the school’s discretion.
● Grades may be available earlier than usual. It was originally announced that grades would be available from July, this has now been pushed back to 12th August, still a week earlier than usual. This is, of course, subject to change.
● If a student wants to appeal their grade, they need to go to the school first. If required, it will then be escalated to the exam board. Students may also be offered to sit an exam in the Autumn term of 2021 if they would like to improve their grade, however, this has not been formally announced yet.
The good news
There is no algorithm in place. The algorithm put in place in 2020 by the Government came up against much criticism after accusations that the system was biased against students from poorer backgrounds.
We can’t confirm or deny this but, we definitely feel that teacher assessment based on what students have learnt is the fairest way to get an accurate grade for each individual student. As long as students are willing to work hard for the rest of this year and produce the work they need to meet their target grade, they will be rewarded accordingly.
How students can prepare
We would recommend students speak to their teachers if there are any aspects of the subject they do not understand. Their teachers want them to do well and are there to help them, but students do not ask, they risk not getting the level of support they need.
Students should treat every piece of work they have been set as if it were a GCSE exam because, really, in the sense that the work will be dictating their GCSE grade, it is like their exam!
Learning apps can also play a large part in ensuring students are prepared, SaigolEd has learning resources for the full UK curriculum in every major GCSE subject. We combine interactive learning, the best teachers and immersive video/AI technology to give your child the best chance of acing their GCSEs in 2021. Click here to learn more about what SaigolEd can offer.
Your child’s mindset is key, they need to know how important their hard work throughout the rest of the academic year is. Based on your child’s motivating factors, you could think about setting things like small rewards for completing revision or creating a vision board to remind them what they want to achieve in the future. This will help to keep them focused now.
The main thing to remember is that the school wants your child to do well, if you have questions or need support then get in touch with them for advice.
SaigolEd is an educational app that combines immersive videos covering the full UK curriculum with star teachers from the best schools.
We are currently crowdfunding and would very much appreciate your support to open up the very best teaching to millions of students. The education market is currently worth £billions. Please register your interest here – SaigolEd
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