They say that a week is a long time in politics. That may well be, but it’s also a long time in a school in August! I am writing to you once again with the latest from Bro Edern, and in the little time since I last wrote to you, a lot has happened and a lot has changed.
Firstly, I would like to thank you all for your warm support for the letter I wrote to Ian Morgan, WJEC Chief Executive, following our Sixth Form results. The response from our parents has been extremely positive, and it is likely that the U-turn by the government was caused by all the similar letters written by other headteachers across Wales, and the protest in Cardiff Bay. It’s a relief that our Sixth Formers now have the grades that they deserve. Thanks to you all.
As you know by now, this year’s GCSE results will be grades set by Bro Edern teachers. Their official name: Centre Assessed Grades – CAGs.
These CAGs have been sent by year 11’s subject teachers to WJEC during the lockdown period. It took several weeks for teachers across Wales to calculate these CAGs, because so many different factors needed to be taken into account for each pupil in each subject:
- the pupil’s previous performance
- completed coursework
- any previous modules (year 10 WJEC exams and year 11 November numeracy exams)
- practical work (if applicable to the subject)
- oral assessments (if applicable to the subject)
- results of mock exams
- classroom performance
- some other considerations
If pupils were eligible to have extra time in their exams, have a scribe, a reader, or sit their exams in small rooms, all these things were also taken into consideration as we decided on the final CAGs to be submitted to WJEC. As you can imagine, there were difficult decisions to be made and Bro Edern staff spent a lot of time trying to ensure that all children were treated fairly. As well as departmental discussions for every subject, there were also discussions with departmental line managers as part of the school’s standardisation process.
Returning iPads and books
As explained to you some months ago, all year 11 pupils will need to return their school iPad and any school-owned books (Welsh, English novels etc), and exchange them for their results. They should bring them to school in a plastic bag on Thursday, with their name written clearly on the outside of the bag. The charger and cable also need to be returned. They will be isolated for 72 hours before being dealt with by staff. A substantial amount of the school’s finances are linked to the iPads and books that year 11 pupils have, and it is essential that all school property is returned.
Pupils receiving their results by e-mail need to arrange with Mr Voyle to return all school property as soon as possible.
GCSE Results’ Day
The school will open its doors for year 11 pupils to receive their results at 9am on Thursday. This will also be the time when pupils who have chosen to receive an e-mail receive their results. The vast majority of pupils in year 11 have chosen to come to school, so we are looking forward to having a fairly “normal” results day to celebrate year 11’s achievements, although hand disinfection will be required upon arrival, Welsh social distancing rules apply and everyone will need to follow the one way system in and out of the hall. If your child has changed their mind, and now wants to come to school after all, rather than receive an e-mail, then an envelope and a warm welcome awaits them. Many pupils have worked so hard during their GCSE courses and fully deserve to celebrate, despite the strange 2020 circumstances.
Years 12 and 13 can also come and collect their revised results, which have now arrived from WJEC, between 10:30 and 11:30am.
Returning to the Sixth Form
We are delighted that so many year 11 pupils have chosen to return to Bro Edern’s Sixth Form. They are a very likeable year, and we look forward to supporting them through the next phase of their lives and having their company for a further two years. In order to return to our Sixth Form, pupils need to have at least 5 C grades, or the equivalent of 5 C grades, including a grade C in the subjects they intend to study in the Sixth Form, unless they are following a new subject. If you have any questions about the next steps, then please come along to the Clinig Cefnogi for a chat.
On Friday, the day after the results, we will be offering our usual Clinig Cefnogi (Support Clinic). We are always here to support your child, and if help is needed in planning the next steps, then pupils and parents are welcome to make an appointment to come to school between 10:00 and 12:00. Please follow the link below to book an appointment with a member of staff.
In a normal year, not everyone passes. Many pass, but not all. This year likewise, not everyone in Bro Edern will pass their GCSE courses. If Bro Edern pupils had sat all their exams, not everyone would have passed, and in the absence of the exams, not everyone will pass. If your child has been on target for a series of low grades, then unfortunately, this will still be the case.
You as parents and pupils will be fully aware of the academic progress made during the GCSE courses, as a result of the parents’ evenings and the 4 reports you have received during your child’s time in years 10 and 11. Our teachers know our pupils extremely well and have been extremely professional in calculating all CAGs. We are grateful to them for their work.
My words last week for our A Level pupils are just as relevant this week for our GCSE pupils: Most pupils have worked so hard throughout their time at Bro Edern, and it is important that they know that their achievements in 2020 are no less than pupils in other years. It is, after all, not their fault that their exams were cancelled. We are, and will always be, very proud of them.
2020 has been a very strange year, with its raft of varying challenges, and I can only thank you again as parents for your unwavering support of the school.
Best wishes to you all