Emma Booth is Head of English at The Derby High School in Bury. Here, she reflects on the teacher assessed grades process and how teachers have worked tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcomes for their students this summer.
Although results days this year may look a little different from a teacher’s perspective, I believe we should celebrate them more than ever with our students. It is a huge moment as they consider the options available to them and celebrate their successes. It’s also the culmination of all the hard work teachers have done to make sure that our students get grades that reflect their performance.
The grading process
At the start of the process of determining grades, we ensured that we had a clear rationale that would be fairly applied to all students. Throughout the last months we have referenced this consistently as part of our discussions.
Although the process of determining grades has been incredibly challenging, we have made sure that we provided complete transparency with students and their parents throughout. As we prepared students for final assessments, they were made fully aware that the work they were producing would be informing part of their teacher assessed grade and could therefore prepare accordingly. We held online Zoom meetings with parents and had open and honest discussions with students about the importance of each assessment.
Behind the scenes, my colleagues and I moderated and reflected like our lives depended on it! Each assessment and student was scrutinised and discussed at length before the final grades were determined. When our Exams Officer clicked the ‘submit’ button on our final grades I felt a huge sense of relief - I was confident that we had done everything possible to ensure the fairest possible process for all our students and that there was nothing more we could have done.
I feel honoured to have played such an important part in shaping our students’ futures, and proud that our professional judgement has informed overall outcomes. Now that the grades have been submitted, we have passed the golden baton onto the exam boards who are beavering away behind the scenes checking school samples and policies before the final grades are released on 10 and 12 August.
Results days 2021
I am incredibly proud to have played my part in the grading process and this year, as ever, I plan to be standing contentedly with my stack of brown envelopes ready to hand out; a huge smile on my face, reassuring our students that they tried their best! This cohort have faced unprecedented challenges and not only should the results days be a time for rejoicing at final grades, we should also recognise how our students and teachers have worked tirelessly to overcome every challenge thrown their way.
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