This year’s exams were cancelled as schools and colleges closed due to coronavirus. Last Thursday (13 August) students received their A-level and BTEC qualification results with GCSE announcements following a week later today. However, some students due to receive their BTEC results today will have to wait longer as these are also being reviewed following the announcement that A-level and GCSE students are to receive centre assessment grades.
Students across Waltham Forest are now in receipt of calculated grades based on teacher estimates moderated by exam boards but can now depend on teacher-assessed grades for A-levels and GCSEs, whichever is higher.
Today (Thursday 20 August) GCSE results were announced. Early indications are that students and schools in the borough have achieved good GCSE results, despite the uncertainty and difficulties faced this year.
Walthamstow School for Girls, headteacher Meryl Davies, said: “I am very proud of our students who have worked consistently well throughout their time at Walthamstow School for Girls. Teachers worked with great integrity to ensure that students were awarded fair and consistent grades based on their prior performance, therefore the school has maintained its outstanding track record of progress and attainment”.
Meryl continues speaking about some of her student’s achievements:
“Imaan Ansar was awarded eight grade 9s and two grade 8s in her subjects. Since joining Walthamstow School for Girls in Year 7, Imaan has been a very conscientious student, consistently making exceptional progress across all her subjects and we are extremely proud of what she has achieved. Imaan has a lifelong ambition of pursuing a career in medicine and we know she will achieve this! We wish her well in the future!
Brianna Gittens and Ayan Younis are both students in Year 11 who have shown a great level of commitment to their GCSE studies and have worked well at our school. Both girls achieved eight grade 9s and will be attending the colleges of their choice.”
A-level results have indicated that this year in Waltham Forest we have seen an improvement in the average point score per A level entry.
Principal David Vasse, from George Monoux Sixth Form College, said: “I am pleased that the government decided to accept centre-assessed grades because these grades were based upon evidence of students’ performance and were standardised by college teachers and managers. They were more rigorously calculated than predictions and infinitely more reliable than the grades calculated using an algorithm. Young people should trust these grades and now move on with confidence. The stress caused for students was completely avoidable, but I hope that young people can learn, from the crisis, the importance of getting your voice heard and seeking to act for change. Society needs ambitious and active young people who are determined to progress.
“In effect, for Sir George Monoux College, we saw an overall improvement in our pass rate and our high grade attainment rate, with students achieving grades in line with or above target. The improvement is not because of any grade inflation, it’s very much in line with our 4 year improvement trajectory.
Student Moriah Sanusi from Heathcote School and Science College celebrates with 4 A* in Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry, and will start a Physics degree at Imperial College in the Autumn. Moriah said: ‘Physics can take me anywhere; so, let’s see where it takes me!’ I was really worried about the final outcomes but trusted my teachers totally and fortunately my centre assessed grades did not change”.
Cllr Grace Williams, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, said:
“This week alone, so many students, teachers and their parents have been troubled by the irregularities in the process used to grade exam results. I hope now that our A-level and GCSE students are able to progress without these worries. However, the late decision to re-grade BTECs will affect many of our young people, schools and colleges and has caused a new set of challenges for them. This delay is causing uncertainty at a time when our young people should be marking their achievements and planning the next phase in their future.”
“It’s already been such a difficult time for our students over the last few months whilst our schools and colleges closed, exams cancelled as we went into lockdown.
We are so incredibly proud of the resilience students have shown during this time, with some having to transform their learning from the classroom to home studying to continue their learning despite of Covid-19.
“The borough’s teaching and school staff have been incredible throughout this time, not only ensuring they remained open to vulnerable children and the children of keyworkers but finding ways to ensure students were able to continue their learning out of the classroom”
“We are proud of our students and the results achieved, I wish them all the success in their future – we know there will still be some confusion and concerns at this time and it’s reasonable for them to be feeling more nervous than usual as they make their next career choices , but we will continue to support them so that they are able to make the most of their life chances”.