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Year 11 Exams 2021

Year 11 have, on the whole, conducted themselves well during the mock examinations that we have held on their return to school. It should not be under-estimated how difficult a job this was for them straight from lockdown. I would like to commend them on their persistence and grit; some papers were really tricky. They should feel proud of their efforts and look forward to a well-earned rest over the forthcoming holiday.

Moving forward, we now need to carefully consider what is needed in order to ensure this year group are successful. I now have the full information as a result of the DFE consultation, access to the National Tests and have today briefed the Year 11 colleagues. In turn, I would like an opportunity to speak to the year group, and then yourselves so that we are all clear of what is expected and the timelines we are working towards.

The expectations for this year group, are, as I am sure you are expecting, are somewhat different to other, previous cohorts. It would be unfair of me not to tell you at this point, that Year 11 are expected to be in school full time until Friday 18th June. We are planning an outdoor leavers event around this date (with more detail to follow). Until this date, students will be being taught and assessed to ensure that we have all the necessary evidence for the examination boards.

In the last few weeks of the summer, we are planning to run additional sessions to cover the content needed to access Level 3 courses. This will be subject specific and open to students who are planning on taking these courses next September at 6th form or college. A full programme will be sent to you during Term 5 of this year.

It is incredibly important for Year 11 to adhere to the Covid-19 rules and restrictions to ensure they are with us, safe and healthy though this period. We can, of course teach remotely and assess based on work completed at home. However, we know that our staff have greater impact when they are in the same room as the student.

Collective experience is something we have all missed over the last year; this applies also, to learning. It is, quite literally, better when we are together. We will deal with any positive cases in Year 11 quickly, to ensure that the spread is minimised. It would be helpful if you could reiterate the messages at home about hand washing, face coverings and space between other individuals in order to support this.

We know they can all be sensible when required. It is important over this period that they protect themselves, their peers and their teachers.

For Year 11 to have adjusted so fluidly is a testament to you as their parents and families. We are incredibly proud of them and all they have already achieved in the last, turbulent twelve months. Our aim now is to ensure that we have all the pieces in place to finish the jigsaw successfully in their last few weeks with us in school before becoming ‘PVS alumni’.

Below is our live broadcast from Thursday 22nd April 2021, where we explain in more detail the expectations for Year 11 in terms of evidence for awarding. If you have any further questions after watching this presentation, please send them to questions@pewsey-vale.wilts.sch.uk.

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