Curriculum Assessment


 The  summer  2021  exam  series  could  not  take  place  because  of  the  COVID-19  pandemic.  Students will now receive qualifications based on Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs), which are based on the content they have been taught. The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below explain the exceptional appeals process for results issued in summer 2021: 


What are the grounds for appeal this summer?  

 The grounds for appeal that will be considered as part of Stage One (the centre review) are that:  

  • the centre made an administrative error and/or 
  • the centre made a procedural error, including but not limited to any concerns about access arrangements/reasonable adjustments and/or mitigating circumstances


At Stage Two (the appeal to the awarding organisation) the grounds are that:  

  • there was an administrative error by the awarding organisation  
  • there was a procedural issue at the centre, including but not limited to any concerns about access arrangements/reasonable adjustments and/or mitigating circumstances, and/or the centre did not follow its procedure properly and consistently in conducting its centre review  
  • there was an unreasonable exercise of academic judgement in relation to the selection of evidence  
  • there was an unreasonable exercise of academic judgement in relation to the determination of the Teacher Assessed Grade  


When submitting a request for an appeal the student must select all the grounds that they want the centre and the awarding organisation to consider 

 What is the process for appeals this year? 

 At Stage One (the centre review stage) the centre will consider the points the student has raised in respect of suspected administrative or procedural errors or both. Once they have considered the review they will provide the student with a rationale for their decision. As part of that consideration, they will also decide whether the grade in question needs to change or not. If they believe the grade needs to change, they will submit this information to the awarding organisation along with their rationale. The awarding organisation will review what has been provided and decide whether or not to issue the new grade. 

At Stage Two (the awarding organisation appeal) an individual at the awarding organisation who has no personal interest in the case will review the case and, depending on the grounds, they will consider all available evidence in order to check whether there has been an administrative or procedural error. If the appeal ground is on the basis that there was an unreasonable exercise of academic judgment, the awarding organisation will arrange for an independent reviewer who is a subject expert to review the evidence and any other relevant information provided in the case. They will take a holistic view on the reasonableness of the centre’s academic judgement and they will provide a rationale explaining the outcome of the review.  

The possible outcomes of an awarding organisation appeal are that: 

  • the appeal is rejected (and there is no change of grade) 
  • the centre is required to take further action, e.g. review how they took account of a mitigating circumstance 
  • the centre is required to provide alternative evidence if the existing range is not deemed to be a reasonable exercise of academic judgment 
  • the awarding organisation issues a new grade (which may be higher or lower than the original grade) 


Is there grade protection for students this summer?  

 No, there is no grade protection for students this summer. A centre review or an appeal to the awarding organisation may result in a student’s grade going up, staying the same or going down. Students must consent to a centre review or awarding organisation appeal. It is also worth noting that once a centre review or appeal decision has been made, a student cannot withdraw their application for the centre review or appeal to the awarding organisation. 

 Further FAQs are available on the JCQ website here 


To request a stage one appeal, you must complete and submit the appeals request form and submit this by the set deadline of Friday 3rd September 2021. 

Click here to view our summer 2021 grading process centre policy 

Click here to view the student guide to the summer 2021 appeals process 

Click here to access the appeals request form 

Timeline of Grading Process

The process for awarding grades this summer is now onto the next stage, with examination boards checking a sample of evidence from all schools to make sure they have followed this year’s grading process and that grades are supported by appropriate evidence.

Please click here to see the updated timeline from JCQ which outlines the grading process in full 


Evidence used to support grading decisions for GCSEs summer

All of the required data and grades have now been submitted to the examination boards and next stage will be the external quality assurance process. During this stage, the examination boards will sample the evidence used to generate the grades for each student.

In order to give you as much clarity as possible about our GCSE and vocational course grading processes, below we have listed all of the different pieces of evidence that have been used by each subject.

In certain cases, where evidence was unavailable or students were unable to complete the assessments in school, we have used alternative evidence to support the grading judgements.

Subject Assessment evidence 1 Assessment
evidence 2
evidence 3
Assessment evidence 4 Assessment evidence 5 Assessment
evidence 6
Computer Science GCSE  Mock exam
(November 2020)
Networks Assessment (March 2021) Computer System Assessment
(April 2021)
Algorithm assessment (May 2021) AQA Calculations & Logic Additional Assessment Materials (May 2021) AQA Knowledge & Understanding & Extended Response Additional Assessment Materials
(May 2021)
iMedia R082 – Creating Digital Graphics
(March 2021)
R084 – Comic Strip (November 2020)
Maths GCSE Mock Exam  using Edexcel Papers 1, 2 & 3
(November 2020)
Mock Exam  using Edexcel Papers 1 & 2
(March 2021)
Mock Exam using Edexcel Paper 3
(May 2021)
Further Maths GCSE Mock Exam – using specimen 2020, Paper 2
(May 2021)
AQA Assessment Materials – Algebra
(May 2021)
AQA Assessment Materials – Number, Calculus, Geometry (May 2021)
English Language AQA English Language Paper 1
(March 2021)
AQA English Language (March 2021)
English Literature AQA English Literature questions
(March/ April 2021)
BTEC Sport Unit 1 – External Exam
(December 2020)
Unit 2 – Coursework
(Jan-April 2021)
Unit 6 – Coursework – Learning Aim A
(April/May 2020)
Geography Paper 1 – mock exam for Section A
(November 2020)
Paper 1 – mock exam for Section  C
(March 2021)
Paper 1 – mock exam for Section B
(March 2021)
Paper 1 –  mock exam  (March 2021) Paper 2 – mock exam for Section A
(April 2021)
Paper 2 – mock exam for Section C
(April 2021)
History Medicine – exam paper
(November 2020)
Conflict and tension -exam paper
(March 2021)
Germany – exam paper
(April 2021)
Medicine – exam paper question
(May 2021)
French AQA – exam Reading, Writing & Listening
(March/April 2021)
AQA – exam Reading, Writing & Listening
(March/April 2021)
AQA – exam Reading, Writing & Listening
(May 2021)
Spanish AQA – exam Reading & Listening
(March/April 2021)
AQA – exam Reading, Writing & Listening
(March/April 2021)
AQA – exam Reading, Writing & Listening
(May 2021)
GCSE Art (Fine Art) Component One – Portfolio
GCSE Art (Photography) Component One – Portfolio
WJEC Hospitality and Catering Level 1/2 Unit 1 – Mock Exam
(November 2020)
Unit 2 (Written) Reduced to 1.1/1.2/1.3/1.4/2.4
(April/May 2021)
Unit 2: Practical examination 3.1/3.2/3.3/3.4
(April/May 2021)
Unit 1 – Examination paper
(May 2021)
Science (Combined) AQA Exam  Paper – Physics, Chemistry & Biology
(January 2020)
AQA Exam Paper – Physics, Chemistry & Biology
(May 2020)
Science (Biology) AQA Biology Exam
(January 2020)
AQA Biology Exam
(May 2020)
Science (Chemistry) AQA Chemistry Exam
(January 2020)
AQA Chemistry Exam
(May 2020)
Science (Physics) AQA Physics Exam
(January 2020)
AQA Physics Exam
(May 2020)
Graphic Design Unit 1 portfolio Unit 2 portfolio
Music Component 01/02 -Composition
(April 2021)
Component 01/02 -Performance
(April 2021)
Written paper (amended)
(April/May 2021)
Business Studies Paper 1 – Mock Exam (March 2021) Paper 1 – Mock Exam (April 2021) Edexcel – Theme 1 -Additional Assessment Materials
(May 2021)
Edexcel – Making Human Resource Decisions –
Additional Assessment Materials
(May 2021)


Centre Assessed Grades / Teacher Assessed Grades 2021

This guide from the UK Government outlines the arrangements in place for awarding grades in summer 2021, and where you can go for additional information. 

With several changes and clarifications over the previous week we wanted to explain what’s been happening regarding Centre Assessed Grades (known also as Teacher Assessed Grades of TAGs).Our Centre Policy which includes details on the process we will be going through to decide on the grades submitted to the examination boards – see attached file below. In this you can find the detail you will need to understand how the grades are being arrived at by your child’s teacher.

Unlike in 2020, students have agency over the grade they are awarded by studying for and performing well in the assessments. Your child’s teacher will tell them which evidence is being used for the grading process. However, they cannot ‘cherry pick’ the best evidence and must make a judgement from a reasonable number of evidence sources. Students who choose to not attend school are making it extremely difficult for their teachers to award a grade in line with their target grade.

Main points

Your child’s teacher will tell them which assessments are being used to generate the final grade. It’s very important that your child asks if they are at all unsure which assessments count.

Students continue to complete assessments within school. It’s important to know that the assessments suite must be broadly similar for students to ensure that teachers can make a ‘reasonable exercise of academic judgement’ to reach the final grade decisions. This may vary slightly for students within a course e.g., different books studied in English lessons but for most it will be a standard course assessment offer.

As stated previously, unlike last year the grades are based on evidence generated by the students (e.g., assessments) of actual performance rather than the model from 2020 of ‘potential performance’ in an examination which did not take place in the Summer of ’20.

Teachers cannot discuss likely grades with students or hint at where the final grade may or may not be.

The school must keep all evidence of assessments taken on or after the 24thMarch 2021. Subject leaders can decide to use evidence before this date e.g., assessments from the Autumn term of Year 11.

Special consideration will only be applied in the most extreme of circumstances and only account for up to a 5% uplift in marks.

SEND access arrangements (support for students with identified needs within examination settings) continue to be delivered by the SEND and teaching team. If you feel your child is not getting the support they need, it’s critical that you contact Lesley Milloy, SENCO at to make the team aware. Fixing issues now is a great deal easier than going through the appeals process in August.

All of our teaching staff are undergoing training with nationally recognised providers to ensure they are aware of unintentional bias and objectivity.

Governors are undergoing training in May to ensure they understand the process teachers and the Academy is going through and challenge any concerns they have with our systems.

I’m sure it’s clear from the extensive list above how much hard work is going on in school to ensure that assessments are set fairly, marking is completed reliably and grades set objectively to ensure that we comply with the Centre Policy. As we’ve said from the beginning, please do get in touch if you have any questions. We’re here to help and guide your child through this unique year of grading.