Year 11 and Key Stage 4 Support Programme and Updates

Results days - support for parents and carers

The National Careers Service is providing a series of webinars for parents and carers whose children are receiving results this August, to give advice on options and tips for helping their child prepare for results day.

Friday 30 July, 12pm
Tuesday 3 August, 4pm
Wednesday 4 August, 12pm

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/

 

Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 Results Days - 10th and 12th August 2021

 

Results Day image.png 

Dear Parents/Carers,

As you are aware we have been unable to do many things following the normal processes this academic year. Unfortunately, this will apply to GCSE results day in August. We would like to make the collection of results as smooth and as enjoyable a process as possible. We would love to have a big celebration of the successes of your child with yourselves but, this will not be possible.

This year’s plan is that in the next few weeks we will write to you to with a designated time slot between 9.00am and 12.00pm for your child to come and collect their results. We cannot give out results to anyone other than the student they are designated for, unless we receive written permission from that student prior to the results day.

We can also not distribute results to your child until they have completed the attached candidate confirmation sheet and returned to school in the stamp addressed envelope that we will send home with a copy of this form and this letter.

 

Please read these letters and consent forms for all the information you need:

Year 11 - Pre-Results Day Letter - 25th June 2021

Year 11 - Candidate Consent Form - 25th June 2021

Year 13 - Pre-Results Day Letter - 25th June 2021

Year 13 - Candidate Consent Form - 25th June 2021

 

 

Latest news - Class of 2021 Leavers' Celebration and Post-16 Support Programme - 14th May 2021

 

Please read this letter to find out all you need to know about Year 11's leaving and the post-16 support programme that is in place for them:

Year 11- Class of 2021- Leavers’ Celebration - 14th May 2021

 

 

Latest news - Year 9 Pre-Public Examinations - 13th May 2021

(Year 10 information is further down)

 

Year 9 PPE timetable summer 2021 - sent to parents/carers 14th May 2021

 

Dear Parent/Carer,

I am writing to inform you of the dates, procedure and the importance of the upcoming PPE/mock exam period. The dates of the internal examination period are Monday 21st June to Friday 2nd July 2021. The timetable for the examinations will follow this letter however, it is likely that exams will take place in English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, French, Computer Science and other subjects.

Expectations for mock exams will be the same as expected in formal exams. The school as an exam centre has to follow a strict set of rules around how students behave before and during an exam. These mocks are an opportunity to practice and demonstrate their abilities in a subject but, also an opportunity to ensure they are aware of expectations for exams and to practice this. Students that fail to follow exam rules such as no mobile phones and silence in the exam room can have papers cancelled or in some circumstances be barred from taking exams. Therefore, it is really important that your child gets this right and their hard work in school is not let down by their behaviour in an exam.

Under the current climate school is different to how we normally run and we are also having to adjust our procedures for examinations. All examinations will be in the sports hall as this venue allows us to sit students using the guidance and distance for exams alongside all other requirements given to us by the Department for Education and Public Health England.

Students will attend school in the morning as normal and then escorted to the examination room. Most examinations in the afternoon will finish after the end of the school day so therefore we ask that arrangements are made to support this. If your child is not in an exam then they will be attending their normal timetabled lessons.

As I am sure you are aware just attending lessons alone is not enough. Your child must spend time at home revising for these exams. At least one hour per night at home is essential for them to be able to maximise their ability to tackle the exams and achieve their full potential. As always, we appreciate your support with this and I am sure over the coming weeks you will be having a number of conversations with your child to reiterate the importance of these exams.

Once again can I thank you for your continued support with all that we do as a school and a community at Bolton St Catherine’s Academy.

 

Kind regards,

Mr Williams

Assistant Headteacher

 

Latest news - Year 10 Pre-Public Examinations - 13th May 2021

 

Year 10 PPE timetable summer 2021 - sent to parents/carers 14th May updated 21st May

 

Dear Parent/Carer,

I am writing to inform you of the dates, procedure and the importance of the upcoming PPE/mock exam period. The dates of the internal examination period are Monday 7th June to Friday 18th June 2021. The timetable for the examinations will follow this letter however, it is likely that exams will take place in English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, French, Computer Science and other subjects.

Expectations for mock exams will be the same as expected in formal exams. The school as an exam centre has to follow a strict set of rules around how students behave before and during an exam. These mocks are an opportunity to practice and demonstrate their abilities in a subject but, also an opportunity to ensure they are aware of expectations for exams and to practice this. Students that fail to follow exam rules such as no mobile phones and silence in the exam room can have papers cancelled or in some circumstances be barred from taking exams. Therefore, it is really important that your child gets this right and their hard work in school is not let down by their behaviour in an exam.

Under the current climate school is different to how we normally run and we are also having to adjust our procedures for examinations. All examinations will be in the sports hall as this venue allows us to sit students using the guidance and distance for exams alongside all other requirements given to us by the Department for Education and Public Health England.

Students will attend school in the morning as normal and then escorted to the examination room. Most examinations in the afternoon will finish after the end of the school day so therefore we ask that arrangements are made to support this. If your child is not in an exam then they will be attending their normal timetabled lessons.

As I am sure you are aware just attending lessons alone is not enough. Your child must spend time at home revising for these exams. At least one hour per night at home is essential for them to be able to maximise their ability to tackle the exams and achieve their full potential. As always, we appreciate your support with this and I am sure over the coming weeks you will be having a number of conversations with your child to reiterate the importance of these exams.

Once again can I thank you for your continued support with all that we do as a school and a community at Bolton St Catherine’s Academy.

Kind regards,

 

Mr Williams

Assistant Headteacher

 

Latest news - Year 11 Assessment, Grades and Leaving Date - Sent 28th April 2021

 

Dear Parent/Carer,

I wanted to write to you to cover four important topics related to Year 11:

  • The reference tests timetable
  • Evidence for awarded grades
  • Leaving date
  • Plans for after half term.

 

Reference Tests

Now that the exam boards have published all the materials and additional guidance, we have been able to finalise the timetable for our reference tests. The timetable is included at the end of this letter. Student’s teachers have already given them lots of detail of what to revise and how best to prepare for each exam. The exams will be supervised by external invigilators to ensure that the evidence is valid and reliable. These reference tests are the crucial piece of evidence for the student’s grades will be awarded, so please support your child in preparing for them and taking them seriously. The students have already been given lots of guidance, this letter is for your information. The reference tests are spread over three weeks to give students lots of time to prepare, and to avoid especially busy days of tests.

Click here for the timetable - Year 11 Assessment Timetable

 

Evidence for Awarding Grades

As I wrote to you back in March, the students’ grades in each subject will be awarded based on three sets of evidence. Teachers and curriculum leaders will then compare the evidence to come up with a single overall judgement.

Group 1 – Fixed evidence

Group 2 – New evidence

Group 2 – Moderating evidence

This is evidence we already have that has been generated in controlled situations

This is the new evidence produced in controlled situations

Used to support decisions and add extra evidence where the other two are affected by contextual factors

  • Pre-public mock examination papers
  • Completed & verified units/ coursework
  • Completed Non-Examined Assessment (NEA)

Reference Tests

  • New units, or not yet completed units
  • New NEA/ coursework

Further supporting evidence, which will be subject specific but might include:

  • In class assessments
  • Practice tasks
  • Portfolios of practical work

 

If you feel that this would disadvantage your child please get in touch with me as soon as possible to discuss.

 

Leaving date & after half term

Students official school leaving date will be Friday 11th June. However, if students have completed all their work for their vocational subjects, and are up to date with any coursework, they will not have to attend full time after Friday 28th May. In the week after half term, commencing 7th June, students who need to complete work will be in full time, but those who are up to date will be invited in for specific events, related to careers and college. Mr Whittaker will write with more details before half term.

 

At this stage the most crucial thing for your child is to attend every day and engage with all their lessons. Students grades are entirely in their control and teachers are working hard to set them up to be successful.

 

If you have any questions or concerns please get in touch with Mr Williams or myself as soon as possible.

 

Kind Regards,

Mr Ward

Deputy Head

 

Latest news - How grades are to be awarded this year for Year 11 - updated 8th March 2021

Dear Parent/Carer of Year 11 student,

As you will be aware from the media, the government have published the results of the consultation into how grades will be awarded this year. However, there is a lot of misinformation out there too, so as well as giving an assembly to Year 11 on their return, I wanted to write to you too.

First thing to say, is that also the consultation outcome has been published, and we are waiting on further detail from exam boards, which will arrive before Easter. As such, this is likely to be the first of a number of updates – I will keep you informed as more information becomes available.

The key principles of how grades will be awarded is as follows:

  • Each subject will grade students’ current performance in that subject.
  • They will be assessed on the amount of the subject they have been taught.
  • The grades will be decided based on an evidence base which is specific to the subject and published in advance (more on that below).
  • The school’s processes will be thoroughly quality assured by the exam boards.
  • There is an opportunity to appeal to the school to check for an administrative error, and then to the exam board if the evidence is not sufficient (although on the rare occasion they change, grades can go down as well as up!)

There is an infographic at the end of this letter that gives you more detail.

I mentioned above that the specific evidence for each subject will be clearly published to your child and to you; we aim to be entirely transparent so students know exactly what they need to do to achieve the grades they want. We are not yet in a position to publish the details of that evidence, as we wait for more guidance from exam boards, but I can give you an overview:

Group 1 – Fixed evidence

Group 2 – New evidence

Group 2 – Moderating evidence

This is evidence we already have

This is the crucial block, and will be completed over the next eight weeks

Used to support decisions and add extra evidence where the other two are affected by contextual factors

  • Pre-public mock examination papers
  • Completed & verified units/ coursework
  • Completed Non-Examined Assessment (NEA)
  •  Exam board provided assessments
  • New units, or not yet completed units
  • New NEA/ coursework

 

Further supporting evidence, which will be subject specific but might include:

  • In class assessments
  • Practice tasks
  • Portfolios of practical work

 

I have mentioned that for lots of subjects there will be exam board published assessments, these will be completed during next half term (final dates will be published in the coming weeks) and will be a key piece of evidence for your child.

The main message to Year 11 is that they will not be any worse off in this situation than they would have been, in fact, it avoided the cliff-edge that normal high stakes exams provide. They need to ensure they have 100% attendance, are working hard and engaging in lessons and taking on the advice and feedback from their teachers.

Throughout the process, if you feel the evidence base or approach will disadvantage your child please get in touch with me as soon as possible.

If you have any questions, please use School Gateway and I will get back to you as quickly as I can.

 

Regards

Ben Ward

Deputy Head

How grades will be awarded - 8th March 2021.jpg

 

 

Latest news about exams and grades for 2021

Year 11 and 13 - Department of Education Announcement for 2021 Grades - 7th January 2021

Dear Parents/Carers

Following on from the announcement from the Department for Education that the summer of 2021 will see schools award grades to students, we would like to give clear guidance of how the rest of the academic year will run for students. This will vary dependent on the type of qualification that students are studying and how much of the course content has been completed.

In GCSE and A-level subjects that are yet to complete the course content, the expectations will be that for students to merit a full awarded grade from the school, you will be expected to have engaged in online learning and when we return to school you will participate in the remainder of the course to the best of your ability. This will allow the school to be confident that they have provided a valid awarded grade.

In subjects that have a final exam and the course has been completed there will be an expectation that in these subjects students continue to learn that subject. This is because students have selected this subject through options or may be taking it at further education and therefore knowledge enhancement in that subject is key. Students may continue to learn topics in that subject that will give them a broad knowledge base that they can use in further education or in later life.

For vocational qualifications that have coursework units that are yet to be completed or started will continue. As a school we feel that to be confident in awarding a final grade in this subject students need a strong evidence base of coursework that supports the schools judgement of the grade to be awarded by the school.

Last year schools were expected to grade all students in all subjects. The school had a rigorous process to ensure that all students were provided with a fair grade reflective of their progress. There were a number of factors that as a school we undertook:

  • Mock exams were taken as a potential benchmark for student progress
  • Attitude to learning and attendance to school
  • Evidence in books or files and amounts of coursework completed.

Please can I remind you that although teachers play a crucial part in the awarding of grades the grades are decided by the school. Even after input from staff a process of moderation takes place and the grade may not be reflective of just the member of staffs input.

As a school we will support students who may have to isolate with online resources. No student will be disadvantaged by Bolton St Catherine’s Academy if they are unable to attend school due to valid Covid absence. However, if a student is well and there is failure to participate in online learning currently and learning in school when they return from the current closure, this will have an impact on how we as a school are able to justifiably award a grade based on the full course having been completed.

If you are not able to access online learning due to a lack of devices, please contact school and we will endeavour to support you to find a solution.

 

Yours faithfully,

Mrs R Lucas

Headteacher

 

Year 11 Information Evening

We have been unable to hold our Year 11 Information Evening this year, so we have put together a video to talk you through all you need to know, please see below. You will hear from:

  • Miss Spencer - Year 11 Leader - Welcome
  • Mr Williams - Assistant Head - Study Support Sessions
  • Mr Ward - Deputy Head - Remote Learning
  • Mr Thomas - Assistant Raising Standards Leader - GCSE Pod
  • Mrs Murphy - Assistant Head - Maths
  • Mr Chester - Practitioner Lead - English

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you need any more information at contact@boltonstcatherinesacademy.org.uk

Kind Regards,

Ben Ward

Deputy Head

 

 

Year 11 Support Sessions

As you are aware your child missed a significant amount of their schooling in the last academic year. This was obviously due to unforeseen circumstances. However, the Government have said this year they want external exams to take place in schools. We as a school have provided your child with the opportunity to have the best chance possible to succeed in the summer 2021.


To support your child we are running compulsory additional sessions in school from 3-4pm
on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday each week. Your child will need to bring with them any
additional work such as homework, catch up work they may have missed in school or
revision. This will be supervised and supported by staff in the main school hall. This will
begin on Monday 14th September 2020.

Letter sent home: Year 11 - Additional Support Sessions - from September 2020