Exam cancellation should be an opportunity for rethink says Stratford headteacher - The Stratford Observer
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20th Aug, 2022

Exam cancellation should be an opportunity for rethink says Stratford headteacher

THE CANCELLATION of exams should be an opportunity to rethink the traditional system says a Stratford headteacher.

This year, following the government’s cancellation of external exams, grades were determined through a process of teacher assessed grades, against a national standard that were then approved, and awarded by the exam boards.

Stratford School headteacher Neil Wallace described the school’s process in assessing students’ performance in the absence of exams as ‘balanced’, ‘rigourous’ and ‘accurate’ after sixth form students achieved significant grade success.

He believes the cancellation of exams is an opportunity for the government to develop a system of assessing students ‘fit for the 21st century’.

He said: “We are immensely proud of all the work and achievements of our students, especially after such a difficult and disrupted year, and wish them all the very best going forwards.

“Our teachers have worked tirelessly to ensure so many of our students are able to progress onto further education and study. I am particularly proud of our staff who put an enormous amount of work into developing a new process to accurately assess the performance of students following the government’s abject failure to prepare a contingency plan for exams being cancelled. It seems to have worked out very well in the end.

“How reassuring to have professionals making a rigorous, balanced assessment of what students have achieved. Far better than the lottery of relying exclusively on traditional exams.

“Now is the time for the government to build on the best practice that has been developed to ensure that we have a system of assessing student performance that is fit for the 21st century. It is time to rethink assessment rather than blindly return to an ideological position that regards examinations as the panacea. “How many workplaces really demand or prioritise a skillset of being able to cram knowledge acquired over several years to write it out on paper in a couple of hours under intense pressure? Exams have their place, but they should only be part of a balanced portfolio of evidence that determines grades in future. Let us hope that the government will be open-minded enough to learn lessons from this pandemic and see that there are other ways of doing things.”

High achievers have been named as Irene Zolla, Ruby Wade, Olivia Bailey, Ella French, Anna Philpott, Jess Sinclair and Amy Harris, James Saunders, Zak Heath, Bill Jones and Tom Sparrow.

Those who made the most progress from GCSE were Guy Joseph, Amy Harris, Olivia Bailey, Ella French and James Bexson.

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