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Teacher Assessed Grades Summer 2021

As you will be aware, this year your GCSE grades have been awarded in a different way. After the government cancelled the exam season in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been following a rigorous process set out by the Joint Qualifications Council (JCQ) and the exam boards. Your grades this year are determined by evidence which shows your current performance in each subject. Below is a summary of the process we went through to determine your grades and what to do if you want to appeal or retake.

What evidence was used to arrive at my grade?

For most subjects, your grades are based on the assessments you completed in March and May. A detailed list of the evidence used in each subject was shared with you earlier in the year. All assessments were carried out in exam conditions. Students who qualified for concessions, such as extra time, were given them. Assessments were modified, so that only the work you were taught, either face to face or on-line, was tested.


How did we ensure that the marking was fair?

Departments used a variety of measures to ensure papers were marked fairly. These included “blind” marking, with the names removed from assessments, and assigning particular questions to teachers, so they marked the same questions for all the students. All departments carried out a rigorous process of moderation to ensure that marking was consistent and free from bias. 


How did we assign grades?

All subjects started by combining the scores of the assessments. In most cases, greater weight was given to the most recent assessments because this gave a better indication of “current performance”. We ranked all students in a subject and used a combination of grade boundaries and the board produced grade descriptors and exemplification to assign grades. Any adverse circumstances that affected specific assessments were taken into consideration. The grading process was carried out in department meetings so that all teachers were involved. 

You can see more details on the process we followed by looking at our Centre Policy which was checked by the exam boards. 


What can I do if I’m not happy with a grade?

If you are unhappy with the grade, then you can appeal your grade. It is important to be aware that, if you appeal a grade, your grade could stay the same, move up or move down.  

Stage 1 - Centre Review 

The first step is to ask us to check we haven’t made an admin error and that we correctly applied any concessions or special considerations (for example if you were ill on an assessment day and you told us at the time).  


Stage 2 - Appeal to the awarding organisation 

The next step would be to appeal to the exam board. Once you request this, we would contact the board on your behalf. In this case, a subject reviewer at the exam board would review the evidence we used to decide your grade. They would decide whether they think our judgement is reasonable. This is from JCQ guidance on appeals: “A grade will only be considered unreasonable if the reviewer considers that the student’s performance evidence is clearly and unequivocally indicative of a higher or lower grade.” 

Please click here if you want to appeal a grade.

Another route, if you are not happy with a grade, is to retake the exam in the autumn. Further information about this will follow.