Students across Preston received their GCSE results yesterday (Thursday, 20 August) in a year that saw formal exams being put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.Advertisement
Instead of the usual means of assessment, exam boards issued results based on teacher predictions of the grades their students may have achieved if exams had gone ahead.
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Under this system, students received a grade based on classwork and homework, results from assignments and any mock exams, any non-exam assessment or coursework that has been completed and general progress made during the course.
Schools and colleges were required to submit assessed grades of what pupils were expected to achieve to Ofqual, with headteachers required to confirm that rigorous processes had been undertaken in school to ensure these were fair and accurate.
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This method of assessment follows a U-turn from the Government which saw an algorithm used for calculating A Level results scrapped following national outrage over the downgrading of pupils from underprivileged backgrounds.
County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “I don’t underestimate for one second how tough lockdown has been for those young people due to sit exams this year.
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“Our students deserve to be justifiably proud of themselves, and the way that they have coped with the challenges of the last few months.
“These results are the reward for a great deal of hard work by pupils and their teachers to meet the challenges posed for this year’s GCSE exams. They will stand them in good stead for the future.
“I’m so proud of our families, teachers and school staff who have worked very hard to support our pupils during these very challenging times.”
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Dave Lancaster, Principal at Fulwood Academy, praised his students. He said: “Up until COVID struck, students were giving it their all and were on a very positive trajectory.
“The grades they have achieved, which have been through a very robust moderation process, truly reflect their individual talents and determination.”
Among the smiling faces was Fulwood’s Head Girl, Lucy Corner, who secured six top grades between 9 and 7.
Lucy said: “I am speechless and so grateful for all the support I have had. I am hoping that these grades will start me on the path to get to Oxbridge, which is something that I really want to explore when I get to Cardinal Newman College.”
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In a statement following the results, Mrs J Siddle, Acting Headteacher at Archbishop Temple School, said: “Class of 2020 have certainly had the most unexpected final year in high school that anyone could ever have imagined.
“I feel incredibly sad that our Year 11 pupils have not been able to experience the traditional end of school activities and events, however, I do want to say that I am so proud of the way in which our Year 11 pupils have responded to the changes caused by lockdown.
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“They have remained calm despite the never-ending speculation and changes regarding their examination results.
“I am now delighted that they have attained results that accurately reflect their sustained effort and commitment during the time that they were in school during their GCSE courses.
“Their success extends way beyond their examination results: they have modelled the maturity, resilience and perseverance that will enable them to cope with life’s unexpected challenges.”
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Did someone in your family receive their GCSE results this week? Tell us how they did in the comments below.