As coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to change day to day life, it was announced by Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, that schools will close this Friday (20th) and summer exams will be cancelled. This includes SATs, GCSEs and A Levels from school years 6-13.
This will likely be disruptive and confusing for students. So we’ve put together this blog to look at what we know already, what we might expect and how we can support students through an unsettling time.
Whilst exams aren’t going ahead as usual, the Prime Minister has said that the government will work closely with schools and colleges to ensure that students still get the certificates they need.
But how is this possible? Here’s how it’s all going to work:
In order for students to progress to the next academic year, university or to leave school, they will be given a grade based on a predicted grade from the school. This will be based on average grades that students attain, as well as recommendations from teachers and past mock exam performance.
Overall, there’s nothing to worry about for students. They will still receive their grades and be able to further their education or take their qualifications into the workplace. The idea here is to disrupt the academic year as little as possible.
However, this would mean that those who perform better in exams than on coursework might feel at a disadvantage. But don’t panic if this is the case, because there is another option.
Rescheduled exams in March 2021
Students can appeal if they feel that their predicted grade does not reflect the grade they would have achieved in their exams. If this appeal is successful, students could take ‘resits’ in March 2021. These would operate the same way that regular resits do in January.
The full extent of this process hasn’t yet been revealed by the government, but we’ll keep this page up to date with any new information as we get it. To stay up to date with the changes to summer exams, remember to always check gov.uk for the latest updates.
What To Do in the Meantime
Don’t panic and keep studying!
Whatever the Department for Education and Downing Street decide to do, it’s important for students to remember that they will still get the grades they deserve and that all students in the year are in the same boat worldwide! They aren’t alone.
If students continue to work as hard as they are currently, learning and revising their key topics, staying on top of their work, they will be well equipped to take on whatever challenges lay ahead of us.
It’s important, whilst schools are closed, that students have a personal learning timetable in place and that parents and carers support them with it. Remind them that all their hard work is not going to go to waste. Whether exams go ahead or not, what they’ve learned this year will be useful, in further studies, their career or later in life.