THE BBC cameras and education editor Branwen Jeffreys visited Great Academy Ashton
They were filming for a national news feature regarding education secretary Gavin Williamson’s announcement that students will receive grades awarded and determined by teachers, with pupils only assessed on what they have been taught.
The BBC team took a tour of the school, talked to students, including Year 8 and Year 10s to gain an insight onto what it has been like studying at home.
Branwen then sat down with current Year 11 student Elisabeth Salumu, Eliot Warburton and principal David Waugh to record their reactions to the Government’s statement.
David said: “It’s brilliant news that we are now in a position to welcome back to face-to-face teaching our 1,275 young people.
“The last 12-months have been a challenge for everyone and our students have continued to engage fully remotely. Over the next two weeks we will be welcoming back all students, supporting the delivery of more than 4,500 lateral flow tests and the delivery of our ambitious GAA Engage Curriculum.
“As principal of Great Academy Ashton, I am genuinely blessed to have a highly dedicated, skilled and professional staff team.
“The challenge set down by Government to re-open fully is readily accepted and we look forward to re-engage all students in face-to-face learning. After chatting with the team, the BBC were massively impressed with our students and our preparation for ensuring students and staff have a safe return”.
Fairness and flexibility are at the heart of the Government’s plans to ensure young people get to their next stage of education or training. Teachers will be able to draw on a range of evidence when determining grades, including the optional use of questions provided by exam boards, as well as mock exams, coursework, or other work completed as part of a pupil’s course, such as essays or in-class tests. No algorithm will be used.
Teachers will submit grades to exam boards by June 18, allowing as much teaching time as possible before teachers make their assessments.
Results days for GCSE, A Level and some vocational qualifications will take place in the week of August 9 – moved forward from the week of August 23. These earlier dates provide additional time for appeals to be completed, so students reliant on those outcomes to achieve their university offer have the best chance of accessing a place.
Year 11 student Elizabeth Salumu said: “Teacher assessed grades are a lot better for me because I tend to feel the pressure with exams, so whilst I’m comfortable in my lessons, this is a lot better for me”.
Eliott Warburton also supported the announcement: “I’m perfectly fine with it because I’m comfortable with my teachers, I know them well, and I know that the work I have done in my lessons should get me a good grade”.
To support teachers in making their judgements, exam boards will provide detailed guidance before the end of the spring term.
If you missed Great Academy Ashton’s television appearance, it can be viewed here https://youtu.be/ikW0TAdTPFM