25th March - Year 11 letter

posted 26 Mar 2021, 02:47 by Liz Pattinson

Dear Year 11 and Parents,

There has been a huge amount of change in education over the past 12 months, most of which has a direct and immediate effect on Year 11 students across the country. Sometimes when people are not in control of things that will have a direct effect on them and their future, they may worry or become anxious about what is going to happen. I hope that Year 11 are starting to feel as if they are back in control of their futures and that they have the support required to set themselves up for their next step.


I hope the following will give parents and students some reassurances which will help to reduce your anxiety and give back the control needed. Most of this information has already been relayed to students.


What we know:

·         All GCSE, A-Level and SATs exams are cancelled;

·         Year 11 grades will be awarded by the teachers and support staff that know them the best;

·         There is a significant amount of robust internal and external moderation of grades awarded to ensure the grades are accurate, fair and consistent between exam years and between schools;

·         We will base our Teacher Assessed Grades (CAGs) on:

1.       The data that we have on your attainment so far

2.       The assessments that are completed between now and the end of term

3.       Students’ attitude to learning between now and the end of the year

·         We will award students the grade that they deserve, no more, no less.


When students return to school after the Easter holidays they will enter an assessment window of 6 weeks between 19 April and 28 May 2021. These assessments will be completed in normal classrooms and in the normal timetable of the school day. Additional support and/or additional time will be given to students requiring it as they would have had in GCSE exams. Please find enclosed a timetable of when these assessments will be taking place.


The assessments will give us the basis of the Teacher Assessed Grade but, unlike terminal GCSE exams, we will be building a portfolio of evidence to show what level each student is operating at on a regular basis as opposed to everything resting on one exam.


In order to prepare our students as well as possible we have arranged a series of Assessment Preparation Sessions to run over the Easter holidays in 15 different subjects. Sessions are 2 hours in duration and run from 10am-12pm and 12.30pm-2.30pm everyday with exception of the bank holiday Easter weekend. I would strongly recommend that all students attend as many of these sessions as possible. All students have been given a timetable of the sessions and have been told to indicate what sessions they will be attending by Friday 26 March. Please note that Health & Social Care has been missed off the timetable but will be available all day on Wednesday 7 April.


All Teacher Assessed Grades need to be submitted to the exam boards by Friday 18 June following internal and external moderation so the likely last day for Year 11 students to be in school will be Friday 11 June 2021. However, it may be the case that some students are asked to return to school right up to the submission date.


Following the 18 June, students who are studying courses at A Level or Level 3 courses will be invited to attend dedicated ‘Preparing for KS5’ courses in the subjects that they wish to continue to study. These lessons will ensure that the whole GCSE course has been covered and that there are no gaps in their knowledge due to remote learning.


What students need to do now:

·         Have a positive and pro-active attitude in all that they do;

·         Sign up to and attend as many support sessions over the Easter holidays as possible;

·         Continue to revise in small, manageable chunks to ensure that the assessment grades are as good and consistent as possible;

·         Make sure they take some exercise and do things to relax and unwind;

·         Contact us in school if they need help.


Key members of staff:

1.       Mr Battle – Academic support                                   r.battle@aldevalley.suffolk.sch.uk

2.       Mrs Betts – Emotional well-being support                   a.betts@aldevalley.suffolk.sch.uk

3.       Mr Smith – Careers support                                      j.smith@aldevalley.suffolk.sch.uk



This has been an extremely difficult time for us all but the students’ future is our priority. I am 100% confident that if we work together over the next few weeks all students will receive the grades that they deserve and will have the knowledge, confidence and character to be successful in the next chapter of their lives.


I will be sending out a letter to all parents during the Easter holidays to explain our plans to relax some of our Covid-19 restrictions in school to begin the process of return to ‘normal’ school life.


As always, if you need my help for any reason please contact me directly:




Take care and stay safe.


Yours faithfully,

Dan Mayhew


Liz Pattinson,
26 Mar 2021, 02:47