GCSE press release August 2020

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Posted on - Aug 21 2020

‘Celebrations after the storm…’ 

After a turbulent time with the results process nationally , Marriotts students are celebrating a fantastic set of GCSE examination scores.  
Headteacher, Beth Honnor said:  “As a school we are thrilled with our students’ outcomes and I am enormously proud of all they have achieved. Students have worked incredibly hard throughout their school career and despite the significant challenges of the recent pandemic, have achieved results that truly reflect their ability.  I would like to thank our students, their families and their teachers for their dedication and commitment to learning and to Marriotts School.” 
Chair of Governors, Melany Knowles was full of admiration for students against a backdrop of challenging times: “Our students, with the unwavering support of Marriott’s staff can rightly be proud of their successes and use them to access the next stage of their education. Well done to all staff and students at Marriotts.” 
Although all our students deserve recognition for their individual achievement, the following students do deserve a special mention:  
Nathan Payne swept the board with 9 GCSE subjects at grade 9, a simply outstanding achievement.  Nathan is staying at Marriotts Sixth Form and will study Maths, Further Maths, Government and Politics and Music.  Nathan would like to thank his teachers for their support and honest guidance.  Nathan would also like to thank his music teacher for supporting him and inspiring to carry on with Music.”

Some of our top performing students, Ben Mitcham and Faye Hazelton achieved an average grade  of over 8.5, both including 7 GCSE grades at grade 9; a truly incredible achievement. Faye commented: “I’m over the moon, I’m so happy and excited to be starting my A-Levels at Marriotts School. I want to thank all my teachers for their support.” 

Amanda-Ann Saunders gained three grade 9’s in Maths, Chemistry and Biology and a grade 8 in Physics. Amanda-Ann is continuing into the sixth form, studying Maths, further Maths, Physics and Chemistry.  

Congratulations to every single one of our students and good luck with the next stage of your lives! 

Joint statement from the Headteachers of Barclay, Barnwell, John Henry Newman Marriotts, Nobel, Thomas Alleyne schools  

This has been a challenging year for all Stevenage students and particularly distressing for those taking their GCSE’s and A Levels.   Due to the current pandemic and subsequent lockdown, students in years 13 and 11 were not able to sit their final examinations. This was hugely disappointing for students as individuals and for the whole school community.   
To replace examinations, schools were asked to make their best assessment of what grade each student would be most likely to receive. Schools reviewed evidence carefully, took into account teacher assessments and went through a robust moderation process to agree Centre Assessed Grades.  Teachers know their students very well and centres were able to draw on a wide range of evidence, in order to assess students with a high degree of accuracy, before submitting a Centre Assessed Grade to the Examination Board.  The grades schools submitted to the Examination Boards were agreed by the centre (School), following rigorous internal quality assurance.  This means that Centre Assessed Grades were not the sole responsibility of any individual teacher.   
Using data submitted, Ofqual were asked by the Secretary of State to develop a system for awarding calculated grades by applying a standardisation model. Ofqual applied this standardisation process in an attempt to maintain standards and ensure that grades awarded this year, were consistent with those awarded nationally to cohorts in previous years.  Following A Level results last week, there was a national outcry at the unfairness of the calculated grades awarded based on this standardisation model, which saw nearly 40% of Centre Assessed Grades being amended.   
On 17th August Ofqual published a statement, recognising that while the approach adopted attempted to maintain standards and protect the trust the public has in educational qualifications, in fact the process failed to do this and caused real anguish and damage to public confidence. Furthermore Ofqual stated that expecting schools to submit appeals where grades were incorrect, placed a burden on teachers and increased uncertainty and anxiety for students.  
Ofqual stated that they were “extremely sorry” for this and stated that “We have therefore decided that students be awarded their centre assessment for this summer – that is, the grade their school or college estimated was the grade they would most likely have achieved in their exam – or the moderated grade, whichever is higher.”    
Teachers across the country welcome Ofqual’s decision to revert to Centre Assessed Grades in A Levels and GCSEs. Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders said “It is clear that the statistical model has not worked in practice and that reverting to Centre Assessed Grades is the only fair and sensible path forward.”  
All Stevenage school staff worked incredibly hard on the process for agreeing Centre Assessed Grades, in order to ensure that the grades submitted to Examination Boards were a true reflection of students’ ability.  Stevenage Headteachers, staff, students and families welcome Ofqual’s decision to revert to Centre Assessed Grades and the relief that this will bring to students locally and across the country. 
Staff in all Stevenage schools will continue to work diligently to ensure students in their schools can progress on successfully to the next stage of their lives.