23 March, 2020
Coronavirus (Covid-19): Ensuring UK university progression in September
Critical importance of completing courses The UK Government have confirmed that while formal examinations (A-levels and GCSEs) will not take place in May and June, all students will still be given the qualifications they need for university entry by the end of July, provided they have completed their course. It is therefore imperative that any student wishing to proceed to university in Autumn 2020 ensures that they remain fully engaged with all requirements of their course in order to complete it satisfactorily. Otherwise university entry will not be possible without retaking the whole academic year. In common with nearly all UK schools, Kings will move to remote teaching and learning from the beginning of next term, Monday 6 April. This will enable all students to complete their courses to the same timeframe as was originally scheduled. Remote delivery of the course will not adversely affect our students as all UK students will be in the same position. Students will receive their qualification for university entry through direct feedback from their teachers using a variety of assessment methods. Further information is outlined below.
Public Examinations and Calculated grades: A-level and GSCE On 20 March, The UK Government and the Department for Education, supported by all the major exam boards and the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), gave their initial indication about how public examination grades will be calculated and awarded at the end of the academic year. For all UK public examinations this year (A-level and GCSE) awarding bodies will move to the process of giving Calculated Grades at the end of the year. This will replace the traditional method of sitting examinations. Calculated Grades will have the same value as qualifications awarded in the past, and those in future; they will be indistinguishable from other more traditional results. These grades will also have the same value for students wishing to progress to university when related to UCAS offers they currently hold.
Along with other UK schools, we are currently awaiting confirmation about the exact methodology which will be used to calculate these grades. We do know, however, that awarding bodies are due to contact schools to confirm these details as soon as possible. We expect the sources of evidence required to include mock examination results, previous assessments, homework tasks and progress tests. The UK Government have indicated that results will be released by the end of July. Of course, Kings teachers will play a crucial role in presenting evidence to support the calculation of grades. This will include previously completed work as well as current work. Work completed within the imminent move to remote learning will therefore be an equally important component within the final assessment. Any evidence showing high level performance will be beneficial in ensuring an award of the best possible grade. It is therefore essential that all students are ready to engage fully and apply the same effort with the remote learning mode as they would do in usual circumstances.
Kings Foundation courses Our intention is that all students following a Foundation course at Kings (Advanced Level Foundation, Art and Design Foundation, International Business Foundation) will have an appropriate grade calculated to represent their end of year result. We are in discussion with our university partners and other UK universities to confirm this. As soon as firm plans are clarified we will communicate this to students and parents. These grades will take into account attainment in previous examinations, mock examinations, classwork and homework and progress tests. As with students taking public exams, work undertaken within the imminent remote learning plan next term will be of equal importance in determining the studentâ€™s final grade. Only by fully completing a Foundation course will students be in a position to proceed to university later in 2020.
In conclusion, all of us within the Kings Colleges community would like to reassure you that no matter what the circumstances, all students who are committed to doing so will be able to complete their studies and progress to their chosen university this year.