Letter for Year 11 students and parents/carers

Posted by on Oct 8, 2013 in News | No Comments

Dear Parent/Carer,

You may be aware that changes to the Performance ‘league’ tables for secondary schools have been proposed. Given that the students currently in Year 11 are part of a year group that has already experienced significant change in the examination system I wanted to write to you outlining these changes and explain our response as a school.

The Department for Education has taken the decision, with immediate effect, that only a student’s first sitting of an examination subject in English, English literature, mathematics, science, history, geography and modern foreign languages will count in the school’s performance tables. It is important to note that this change does not, in any way, prevent students from re-taking a subject and receiving a higher grade.

At saltash.net community school we have always believed that decisions about students entering early for an examination should be considered with care. Such a decision should only be made when it is in the best interests of the student. Early entry is never used to ‘cap’ a student’s attainment at a certain grade. On the contrary it is used to maximise a student’s onwards progress towards an outstanding final grade. Therefore, we have taken the decision that we will continue with the November exam entries we had planned for English and Mathematics. What was deemed right for our students at the start of the school year only a few weeks ago remains absolutely the correct decision.

You can remain assured that nothing matters more to us than our students attaining the highest possible grades in August 2014. Ensuring that our young people are able to access the broadest range of pathways at the end of Year 11 is as highly prized to us as ever. If this change to policy is asking us as a school to choose between our league table position or the life chances of our young people we will always select the latter.

As part of our preparation for the English GCSE examinations this year, we have planned a mock exam to take place on Thursday 17th October. This is the day of Industrial Action by teachers in the South West, but we are making arrangements to enable Year 11 to come into school as normal on that day, except for students in the Trematon Area Resource Base. Please ensure your son or daughter attends school on the 17th October – the buses will be running to their usual timetable and a full canteen service will be provided.

The English mock will provide excellent preparation for the actual GCSE; our English teaching team will be providing further information to all students about the arrangements.

Should any of the issues in this letter cause you concern then please contact me at head@saltash.net.


Yours faithfully,
Mrs I Bryce