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Summer Assessment Process 2021 (TAGS)

Overview

Our centre policies and procedures were submitted to the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) in April, and have been formally approved. We based our policies on the templates provided by JCQ and Pearson/Edexcel. You will find them attached below.

Our BTEC assessment decisions and assignment marking was sampled and fully approved  by external standards varifiers from Pearson/Edexcel in May.

In advance of planning our final assessments and making our judgements we completed a thorough in-house training programme, and teachers attended every training opportunity provided by the exam boards. We also looked at case studies and worked examples on a weekly basis as a staff team to help us understand the standards and best practice.

Our teachers have conducted a variety of additional assessments designed to measure the progress and ability of their students against the grade descriptors privided by our awarding bodies and JCQ. All marking was moderated before marks and feedback were returned to students and before achievement was formally recorded on the TAG assessment trackers. Great care was taken to ensure every student had adequate and fair opportunity to demonstrate their best ability in this subject and that they were aware of which assessments would be used to inform their grades and how.

All assessments were completed by Friday 28th May.

On the 7th and 8th June teachers and department leaders were taken off timetable to focus exclusively on making their final grading judgements, completing the associated administration tasks, and conducting moderation, checks and quality assurance. Department teams discussed every individual learner in detail, agreed a TAG grade and reviewed the evidence supporting each decision. In addition, SLT, Middle leaders and our SENCO conducted random sampling to check the quality and appropriateness of evidence and that all judgments were reasonable.

These are decisions are now being scrutinised at every level using a variety of tools and approaches to identify and follow up on lines of enquiry. For example; department leaders are using a tool called 4Matrix to look at academy, subject, class and student level data over time to identify lines of enquiry and spot possible errors with the TAG judgements or admin process. The SEN team are scrutinising decisions, paperwork and student variations to ensure access arrangements and reasonable adjustments have been correctly applied and/or adjusted for, for every learner. The exams admin team are checking assessment records for the fair application of special consideration in response to exceptional circumstances for all candidates to whom this applies. The senior leadership team are checking for unconscious bias, challenging teachers to justify decisions on a case by case basis and searching for patterns in the data. The historical data validation tool provided by Fisher Family Trust is being used to compare TAG grades to historical performance at academy, subject, class and teacher level and discrepancies are being challenged and contextualised.

On the 18th June, we will submit the grades to our awarding bodies.

During the latter part of June, we expect the awarding bodies will sample student work and assessment decisions. We are well prepared for this and fully expect our judgements to be upheld.