Under the 9-1 GCSE reforms, most subjects now are assessed entirely through final examination at the end of year 11. Practical subjects will have a combination of exam and coursework, and deadlines will be provided by the subject teacher as these are different for each subject.
GCSE examinations normally take place in May and June of year 11. Coursework deadlines, language speaking exams and some practical subjects are assessed earlier.
Students take a full suite of mock exams in June and July of year 10, and November of Year 11. Teachers will use these to assess your progress and plan effective interventions. Core subject mocks take place in the exam halls in full exam conditions allowing you to practise your GCSE examination skills and reduce any uncertainty or anxiety for the real exams.
Additionally, revision and study skill aids are sent home in the Autumn Term; and related sessions are embedded into the tutor and year 10 and 11 modules programme.
Students take part in end of year exams in all subjects from year 7 on. The school use this information to track progress, inform setting and option pathways, and prepare students for external examination.
In year 9, students take mid or end of year exams in all subjects in order to develop exam technique, check progress, set for core subjects, and identify candidates for targeted intervention.
In year 10 and 11, students take full exams in all their subjects in preparation for final exams. These include the formally invigilated examination hall series of Year 10 Summer Mocks and Year 11 November Mocks.
Exam Process in 2023:
The government, the exams regulator Ofqual and the exam boards have confirmed that, at a national level, grades will be in line with grades in 2019. This is following a transitional period where results have been moved down to pre pandemic levels following national inflation in 2020, 2021 and a halfway point in 2022. This means that, generally speaking, students have the same chance of getting a 9 or 5 at GCSE, as in 2019. Exams in vocational and technical qualifications have also returned to a 2019 grade profile.
In 2020, schools and colleges were asked to provide a centre-assessed-grade for students. Initially, these were then rounded up or down by an algorithm. After that, the initial centre-assessed-grade was used. This was during the national lockdown.
In 2021, schools and colleges were asked to provide a teacher-assessed grade based on the work that students produced throughout their course. Because the nature of the assessment was different, and schools were told to give students the benefit of the doubt when they were between two grades, this saw a higher proportion of students nationally achieve top grades and pass grades at A level and GCSE than in normal exam years.
In 2022, the government decided to have a transition year, with grades nationally at a midpoint between 2019 and 2021. At a national level, this is what happened last summer.
Exam Success 2023:
Results in 2023 are above national averages in all major comparators. Significantly above national averages in Maths, Science and computer science.
40% of our students at Thomas Estley achieved at least one grade 7 (old A grade equivalent) or higher, almost a quarter achieved at least one grade 8 (old A* equivalent) or higher.
77% of our Year 11 gained a pass in English (above national averages) and 74% gained a pass in Maths (significantly above national averages) with 27% achieving a 7 or higher in Maths. This is equivalent to a traditional A Grade.
We have continued our very strong results in Maths, Science, Computer Science, Health and Social care and Design Technology where results are considerably above national averages for the 4th year running. The second year post pandemic results.
National progress data is released after national calculation; however, this is tracking to be significantly above national averages for the fourth year running.
All external GCSE examinations are governed by the rules of the Joint Qualifications Council (JCQ) who stipulate the expected conduct of all candidates entered for examinations. It is very important that these regulations are adhered to.
Thomas Estley Community College will expect all pupils to support the smooth running of exams – which, in turn, will result in the optimal performance of all candidates.
You must not:
The consequences for any pupil who breaches exam regulations are serious. Thomas Estley Community College are obliged to report any incidences of malpractice to the relevant awarding body and resulting sanctions could range from disqualification from that exam or unit, to disqualification from all examinations with that particular awarding body.
** Mobile phones can either be handed to the invigilator for safe keeping or must be switched off and kept in your bag. To ensure that alarms/alerts don’t go off, remove the battery. If in doubt – leave your phone at home.
Prior to the main examination period, candidates will receive a statement of entry. It is very important that all details are checked on this. Please check that:
If you have any queries with regards to any of the above it is essential that you speak with the Exams Officer.
In March of each year, candidates will all receive an individual examination handbook which will contain all sorts of important information including an individual candidate timetable. This timetable will inform you of all the dates and times of all the exams you have been entered for and will also tell you where you will be sitting.
Seating arrangements can also be checked on the Exams Notice Board on the main corridor.
You must provide your own equipment. For most exams you will require:
For other examinations (such as Maths and Science) you will also need a compass and a protractor.
Some design technology exams allow the use of coloured pencils for completing diagrams etc. Check what you need with your teacher.
If using a pencil case, this MUST be a transparent one. Exam packs will be available to purchase from the Library throughout the exam season, but please do not try to buy these on the day of your exam, as only limited stock is held.
Calculators must NOT be programmable.
The cost of examination entries is paid by Thomas Estley Community College. However, if you fail to attend an exam without a legitimate reason, the school reserves the right to recover the cost. The only exception is where an examination is missed due to illness. In this case a medical certificate must be obtained from your Doctor and copied to the Exams Officer.
WHAT HAPPENS IF...
I am late for my exams?
- If the exam has not finished you will be allowed to sit the exam. If you are more than an hour late for your exam, the school will have to report this to the Awarding Body who may or may not accept your examination paper for marking. If the exam has finished, then you will be unable to sit the examination paper.
I am feeling unwell?
- If you start to feel unwell during an exam it is important that you inform the Exams Officer or a member of the Invigilation Staff. It may be possible for you to move to a different seat or venue (though this cannot be guaranteed). If you are able to get a note from your doctor to confirm that you have been unwell during the exam, it will be possible to apply for special consideration for you.
If am too ill to take an exam?
- You must contact the Exams Officer on 01455 283263 to inform of your absence. To apply for special consideration for that exam, we will need a doctor’s certificate.
GCSE results are available on the 3rd Thursday in August each year. Results can only be issued to the pupil. If you wish to collect results on behalf of someone else, then that pupil must sign a note to indicate that they give permission for the issue of their results.
If you wish your results to be posted, then you must provide the Exams Officer with a stamped addressed envelope before results day.
ENQUIRIES ABOUT RESULTS
What do I do if I am not happy with my results?
Firstly, we advise that you discuss your marks with your class teacher. It is possible to have marks reviewed in a number of ways, but it is important to consider that marks can go down as well as up. If you are very close to the grade boundary it may not be advisable to proceed with a review of marking.
Before the Exams Officer can process a request for a review of marking, you must sign a permission form.
If you have any questions regarding any of the examinations process at Thomas Estley Community College School, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Dean, the Exams Officer, on 01455 283263.