COVID-19: Letter to Parents/Guardians

College News

Dear Parent/Guardian 

As we move towards the Easter break I wanted to offer you an update on key areas and issue the guidance that has just been released to us regarding GCSEs and A level examinations. 

Teacher Assessment – GCSE and A level

I have distributed a letter from Ofqual to your sons and daughters today, outlining the process that will be followed.

In summary, for every GCSE, AS and A level subject, exam boards will require us to submit the following information:
•    A centre assessment grade for each student 
•    The rank order of students within each grade

The deadline for submitting data to exam boards will be no earlier than 29 May. Exam boards will provide detailed instructions about how and when to submit the data as soon as possible.

So that the final grades awarded are as fair as possible, exam boards will use a statistical model to standardise grades across centres in each subject, considering
•    expected grade distributions at national level, 
•    results in previous years at individual centre level, and 
•    the prior attainment profile of students at centre level. 
 

There remain details that need to be finalised, and arrangements for a similar process for those taking vocational courses (BTEC, CTEC and CACHE) are yet to be released. As soon as we hear more we will pass it on to you.

Academic Support 

Your son/daughter should be in regular contact with their teachers and Tutor, and will have work to complete. Staff across different teams have been undertaking this support in a variety of ways, either through email, Google Classroom, Moodle, pre-recorded lessons or similar. Teachers have continued to set regular work for their students in accordance with the frequency of their lessons. They have also been marking this work and providing students with feedback. Staff have set homework for students for the Easter break as they would usually. Students in the first year of their A-level study should continue to prepare for mock exams at the start of May - these will be conducted remotely, so revision will be useful as these will form the basis of predicted grades for university or employment references.  We do encourage students to have a break over the Easter holidays undertaking a sensible amount of study as well re-charging their batteries for next term.

We are aware that some students may have taken on additional work hours particularly where working in supermarkets and pharmacies. Whilst we encourage their efforts to support the wider community at this time we also urge them to continue to focus on their studies, particularly where they are part way through a two year study programme. 

Should your son or daughter have any issues around academic access or support, please contact the Deputy Principal by email rstratton@itchen.ac.uk or if the matter relates solely to IT access please contact IT support at ITSupportMailGroup@itchen.ac.uk.

Free College Meals/Bursary Payments

We will continue to make payments to those eligible over the Easter break. There are a number of eligible students for whom we have no bank details, although we made every effort to resolve this before the college closed. I understand the anxiety that sending bank details via email creates, but this is the only way we will be able to process payment. The financemailgroup@itchen.ac.uk address will be monitored over Easter – if your son or daughter usually receives support please use this to pass on details. 

Wellbeing

This is a testing time for all of us. Our support teams continue to operate through this closure period, and Steve Perkins, Assistant Principal, sent a message to all students earlier this week outlining our service, but also signposting other sources of help and support. Should you have any concerns with regard to the general wellbeing of your son or daughter, please do not hesitate to contact us using the email address safeguarding@itchen.ac.uk.

With very best regards and good wishes for the Easter period

Alex Scott