During this time of uncertainty, the impact on those involved with education has been profound. With school closures, other than for a minority, teachers, students, parents and carers have all been affected by huge changes. For many, this has been a stressful and worrying time.
As with all times of transition, there are inevitably both positives and negatives. Some of the positives may include spending more time with family, not having to get up as early to travel or simply being allowed to enjoy a cup of tea or a soft drink whilst completing classwork in your PJs. The decision to cancel all formal examinations was fairly shocking, if to be expected, and came as a massive disappointment to students who have been working so hard towards this point in their education. As well as for the teachers, teaching assistants and other support workers who have been on the same journey.
However, the recent announcement from Ofqual explaining how exams will be graded, I believe, is perhaps one of the positives.
On Friday, some students received letters or emails from their educational setting to explain what is happening. Whilst many of you will have read the information and been assured about the situation, for others it may have raised more questions and concerns.
The main thing to know is that there is nothing to worry about. Examination grades will be based on the work that you have already completed, not just mock exams, but class work too. Your teachers and tutors know you well and their assessment of your work is likely to be a more accurate reflection of your achievements than a formal examination. It is for this reason that I feel this announcement can be viewed as a positive decision.
There may be some students who have worked really hard and will be confident that they will now be awarded their expected grades. There might be some of you who may now be wishing that you had listened to your teachers and put in a bit more effort, but I would advise you not to worry. Again, your teachers know you better than a random examiner who has never met you. They know what you are capable of and will want to ensure that you get the best result possible. Don’t forget, they have been putting in a phenomenal amount of work to help to get you where you are now, and no one becomes a teacher unless they want to help students to achieve.
It may be confusing as there are mentions of Autumn examinations possibly going ahead. This is still unconfirmed. Your schools and colleges will keep you updated if there are decisions made around this. The best thing to do is listen to the advice from your teachers. Keep studying so that you can retain what you have already learnt and try to build on your existing skills and knowledge. Use this time to try and learn in a way that makes sense to you, whether it is watching YouTube videos on a topic, listening to Podcasts, creating visual representations of information or asking a family member to test you. Above all, learning is supposed to be a journey, and this situation gives an opportunity for you to learn at your own pace and enjoy the process without the pressure of looming exams.
For further information please see publications from Ofqual.
Students due to be assessed by Axia
As you may be aware, many assessments are still taking place here at Axia, whether face to face or via Skype or FaceTime. For those families who have assessments booked in with us, please be assured that I am still able to speak with education settings to gather observations if someone there is available. When speaking with our Administration Team regarding your appointment, please provide them with contact details (if you have them) of the person you would like me to contact for observations.
If there are any teachers or tutors who have students who they know have assessments booked in with us, please feel welcome to contact me; having your observations is an invaluable part of the diagnostic process. I am available via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Telephone: 07308 148189.
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