Parents

Year 11 Exam Board Changes for Summer 2021 Exams:

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on the education of Year 11 students nationally, Ofqual carried out a consultation regarding any potential changes to the GCSE Exams in the summer of 2021. Our subject leaders are now starting to get confirmation from the individual exam boards as to what changes, if any, there are to the 2021 Summer Exam Series. Please find below the information we currently have for each subject and any changes the subjects are making to their planning for the remainder of this year.

 

Mathematics

Key Change to Course/Exam: There are no proposed changes to the maths curriculum or exam in 2021. 

Alterations to the Year 11 Curriculum to support the change: The following changes/additions are in place for the Year 11 students to reflect the impact of the COVID lockdown:

  • Revision of previous content in P4 sessions. 

  • Greater use of exam questions during lessons and for homework,

  • Recapping a range of topics and skills during weekly memory checks. 

  • Use of practice exam papers for homework. 

  • Google Classroom provides additional information and support alongside the Maths OneNote revision guide with videos, practice questions and worked solutions. 

 

English Literature and Language

The following GCSE Literature papers for 2020-21 will be set; students take both papers.

  • Paper 1 - all sections are compulsory.

    • Section A: Shakespeare (either Macbeth or Romeo & Juliet depending on your child's class)

    • Section B: Post 1914 Prose (either An Inspector Calls or Lord of the Flies depending on your child's teacher).

  • Paper 2: Key Change for 2021 - students will only need to complete two out of the three sections on Paper 2.

    • Section A: Poetry Anthology

    • Section B: Unseen Poetry

    • Section C: 19th century text.

We have made the decision that Park students will complete Sections A and B for the Paper 2 exam. Park students will not study the text for Section C. Our students are in a very fortunate position that they have already studied around 85% of the Poetry Anthology module and have not yet started studying the 19th century text with their teachers.

The Unseen Poetry section uses the skills from Poetry Anthology and applies the same skills, in the same types of questions to unseen poetry. These two sections of the paper link strongly together, and it would not make sense to drop one poetry section when students would have to sit the other poetry section. Therefore our students will focus on the studied Poetry and not complete the 19th century text section. 

For GCSE English Language, the only change that has been made for all students is that the Speaking and Listening presentation can now be completed without an audience, without questioning of the student after their speech, and does not need to be recorded. Your child's class teacher will be giving your child the option of giving their presentation in class, outside of lesson time, or by recorded video sent to their class teacher. As before, this component does not have a percentage of the GCSE English Language mark allocated and students receive a separate Speaking and Listening certificate of Fail, Pass, Merit or Distinction as did previous year 11 cohorts.

Moving forward, this decision means that our aim is that students will have completed their GCSE English Language and Literature courses by January, and class teachers can devote the remaining time to teaching, revising and extending content that was part of the curriculum during the lockdown period whilst also completing the usual exam practice and whole course revision part of the year 11 curriculum.

 

Art and Photography

Key Change to Course/Exam: Students will only complete one of the two components of the course - the coursework/portfolio component. This means that there will be no final art exam in 2021.

Alterations to the Year 11 Curriculum to support the change: An extended brief will be written for the GCSE Artists and Photographers. We will be introducing an opportunity for students to respond on a more personal level to the project themes. Portraiture will become a new focus area for both Art and Photography as this theme flows seamlessly into their current project work. These changes will provide the best opportunity for students to be successful in Art or Photography this year.

 

French and Spanish

Key Change to Course/Exam:

  • Written paper: normally, students have the choice between two, 90 word essays. In 2021, they now have to choose one from three questions. The same applies for the 150 word essay at Higher tier. An additional 5 minutes has also been added to the length of the exam.

  • Speaking: there will be no official speaking exam this year. Teacher assessed Speaking component will still need to be carried out but it will not form part of the overall grade. Pass/merit/distinction grade to be awarded alongside the overall result (Listening/Reading/Writing). 

Alterations to the Year 11 Curriculum to support the change: The department is continuing to prepare students for the conversation part of the Speaking Exam as they will use this to award a Speaking teacher assessed grade when the assessment criteria is produced. A focus on exam technique will be added to support students in making the right decisions as to which question to answer.

 

Geography

Key Change to Course/Exam: Students won’t need to complete two occasions of fieldwork and therefore won’t need to answer questions relating to their own fieldwork experience. However, students will still need to understand the fieldwork enquiry process and will be asked questions on this element.

Alterations to the Year 11 Curriculum to support the change: Due to the limited changes to the course/exam, the only real difference for students is the removal of the fieldwork trips that would usually happen. 

 

History

Key Change to Course/Exam: We have the option to drop Paper 1 or half of Paper 2. As we have already taught the Medicine and WW1 Surgery modules and we completed Anglo-Saxons in school and during lockdown, we have chosen to drop the American West module from Paper 2. This is traditionally the module pupils find most challenging both in terms of content and exam skills . This reduces the time of Paper 2 from 1hr 45 mins to 55 mins. 

Alterations to the Year 11 Curriculum to support the change:

We are teaching Paper 3, Weimar and Nazi Germany, in Cycle 13 where as normally we would be teaching American West. We will then be reviewing Germany after Christmas picking up on the content covered previously in Y9.

We are reviewing Anglo-Saxon and Norman England during the P4 lessons allowing us to support those pupils who did not have the opportunity to complete the course during lockdown and provide effective retrieval practice and develop revision materials/techniques for those who are more confident. 

In Cycle 14, we will use the P4 lessons to review medicine and WW1 Surgery and focus more on exam technique etc. 

 

Science - Combined and Separate

Key Change to Course/Exam: There are no alterations to the content to be covered or examined in the 2021 exam series. The only change to the specification is that students can now study the required practical activities through the use of demonstrations and simulations, if it’s not possible for them to carry out all of the practical activities.

Alterations to the Year 11 Curriculum to support the change: Pupils and teachers have access to online simulations for all of the Required Practical Activities via a subscribed website from Focus Learning. These can be easily accessed through our in-house Science Learning Hub at: www.tinyurl.com/parkschoolscience.  

The hub also provides all of the official AQA Required Practical Activity pupil information worksheets and videos of the practical activities being carried out.  These resources will aid teachers to deliver the practical activities in class where carrying out the activity has not been possible and pupils to have open access to information surrounding the activities all the way up until their exams.

 

PE - GCSE

Key Change to Course/Exam: Students will now be assessed in two sporting activities rather than three. These can be two individual activities, two team activities or one of each.

This year we’ll be moderating by post. There’ll be no moderation visits and work will be moderated using video evidence of students’ performance. There are no planned changes to the written element of the performance analysis assessment (Non Examined Assessment) or the exam content.

Alterations to the Year 11 Curriculum to support the change: Theory has remained the same and we are making the most of the Period 4 lessons to review content that was taught through the partial school closure and close any other gaps. Practically, we are focusing on only four sports in school (Football/Netball/Badminton/Athletics) due to the restrictions we currently have in PE. Any additional sporting activities will be videoed outside of school. We are still trying to work out how to include climbing in our programme (a normal element for some students on the GCSE course).

 

BTEC Sport

Key Changes to Course/Exam: 

  • There are currently no changes formalised to the BTEC Sport syllabus.

 

Dance

Key Change to Course/Exam: Students will complete two dance performances (one set phrase and one solo, duet or trio) with a combined minimum duration of one and a half minutes (if all solo performances) or two minutes (if including performance as part of a group, ie duet/trio - although there is now no requirement to perform as a group).

Students will only need to complete and submit one set phrase, rather than two.

Students will choreograph either a complete solo dance of at least one and a half minutes in duration or a complete group dance of at least two minutes in duration.

Alterations to the Year 11 Curriculum to support the change: 

  • Even though we had already learnt the two set phrases, students have selected their best one to continue practising and it will be filmed in November.

  • We have reduced the duration of the duets and now made them solos (as there is now no requirement to perform as part of a group). 

  • Choreography will be taught the same as normal but students' work will be a shorter duration to normal.

  • The majority of lessons will still remain to be theory lessons as the theory side has not changed. Nearer the time of the assessment (November and March), we will do more practical work to support these assessments.

 

Music - GCSE

Key Change to Course/Exam: There are now fewer individual pieces required for the performance and composition elements of the course and there is now no ensemble requirement. The minimum required durations have been reduced. The performance is now 1.5 minutes and the composition will be 2 minutes.

There are no changes to the exams.

Alterations to the Year 11 Curriculum to support the change: 

  • There will be no ensemble element offered for performances; individual pieces only in order to continue submission if students are sent home or local lockdowns are in place. 

  • The composition element is being taught/completed first as students need more input and preparation due to not being able to cover as many skills during lockdown.

  • Student compositions will use software as much as possible to reduce the need for lots of live recording parts although there will still be some needed for some students e.g. vocals.

  • 2 out of 3 lessons a fortnight on the composing and performing elements (worth 60%).

  • Continued on the planned trajectory of the listening exam delivery.

  • Starters and plenaries of all lessons focus on theory from KO and/or specific topics being covered in listening to continue some exam prep even in practical lessons.

 

Music - RSL Vocational

Key Changes to Course/Exam: 

  • There is now reduced evidence needed for all units of work by a third. This is mainly for the externally set units but to be considered by centres on internal units.

  • The need for an audience for live performance has been removed; instead it should be done in a controlled environment. Live performance still needs feedback to performers.

  • The ensemble element (e.g. band situation) is not required but still allowed to support duets etc.

  • The need for invigilation of externally set units has been removed to allow for completion at home if self-isolating.

  • Extend window for externally set units releasing them from November to March instead of January to March.

Alterations to the Year 11 Curriculum to support the change: 

  • Reduce the evidence required within lessons and planning.

  • Set up controlled situations with plenty of ventilation for performances.

  • Record audio and video of performances to allow for peer/teacher feedback to support students.

 

Food Preparation and Nutrition

Key Changes to Course/Exam: 

  • NEA 1: Food Investigation has been removed from the qualification

  • NEA 2: Food Preparation tasks were released on e-AQA  secure key materials (SKM) earlier on 1 September. Students can start work on these as soon as they and the school are ready.

  • For 2021, Section D: Making the final dishes - we require students to complete two dishes within the single three-hour time slot (this is a reduction).

  • For Section B: Demonstrating technical skills - students will need to showcase their technical skills when making a maximum of three dishes.

Alterations to the Year 11 Curriculum to support the change: 

  • The time gained from when we would have been working towards NEA 1 will now be used to support and recap the theory learnt during lockdown; much of this will be supported with practical elements to increase skills.

  • An expectation students to be pushing high skills during the technical skills (Section B ) part of their NEA as this is where they will now be able to showcase this.

  • The planning and preparation for their practical exam in March will be altered to account for the two dishes required.

 

BTEC Engineering

Key Changes to Course/Exam: 

  • There are currently no changes formalised to the BTEC Engineering syllabus.

 

Child Development

Key Changes to Course/Exam: One less unit needs to be taken and assessed but the exam content is the same.

 

Alterations to the Year 11 Curriculum to support the change: We are continuing with our plan to enter students for the January 2021 exam which should take some pressure off the summer exam series if the students do well the first time. We will be using the reduced units to increase the exam preparation and ensure other units are completed to the highest standards they can.

 

Design and Technology

 

Key Changes to Course/Exam:

There are no planned changes to the final exam content.

 

The Non Examined Assessment (NEA) will still count as 50% of the overall GCSE qualification but with the following changes:

  • Realising design ideas

    • This section has been reduced from 20 to 10 marks

    • Students will no longer be assessed on the skill of making but will be required to show their ‘intentions of prototypes’ and demonstrate their understanding of the processes involved in making

    • The assessment no longer requires students to make a final prototype - instead, they can show their understanding of the processes involved in making by writing about them. 

  • Analysing and evaluation

    • This section has been reduced from 20 to 15 marks

    • Analysis and evaluation throughout the design process can take place in relation to prototype ideas and models

    • There’s no expectation to test a final made prototype but students should find ways of testing prototype designs.

 

Alterations to the Year 11 Curriculum to support the change:

Based on the above alterations to the NEA, we are altering our approach to the Non Examined Assessment to ensure the correct aspects are covered correctly. This creates additional time within the course to ensure any gaps within the exam theory are effectively covered.

 

ICT - iMedia

 

Key Changes to Course/Exam: One less unit needs to be taken and assessed but the exam content is the same.

 

Alterations to the Year 11 Curriculum to support the change: We have entered students for the January 2021 exam which should take some pressure off the summer exam series if the students do well the first time. We are currently working on R091 - Designing a Game concept - as there is no change here. When R091 and the exam (R081) are complete we will look back over our earlier unit to make any further adjustments with the extra time. 

 

Computer Science

 

Key Changes to Course/Exam: Students can now complete the Programming Project remotely (this would normally have to take place in school). This can take place at home, for example, without direct supervision from a teacher. This is a measure to support teachers and students during these challenging times.

 

The exam content remains the same.

 

Alterations to the Year 11 Curriculum to support the change: 

We have reduced the time working on the Non Examined Assessment as this can now be worked on at home - a greater number of homeworks have also been targeted on this aspect. This has allowed us to move onto specifically teaching the exam specification earlier than we normally would. We have added a greater number of exam style questions into our teaching and are reteaching some of the topics (including adapting resources) covered during the lockdown period; Period 4 lessons will be used to support this and fill any gaps in the Non Examined Assessment unit.

 

Drama

Key Change to Course/Exam: 

  • Component 1: Devising Theatre (NEA) 40% 

    • Learners can choose to perform a monologue of between 1.5 – 5 minutes in length. The minimum time for group performances has been reduced. As in previous examination series’, the length of the piece will depend on the number of actors in the group. 

    • The timings for the 2021 series only will be:

      • 1 actor: 1.5-5 minutes

      • Group of two actors: 2-10 minutes

      • Group of three actors: 3-12 minutes

      • Group of four actors: 4-14 minutes

      • Group of five actors: 5-16 minutes.

    • The requirement for the evaluation to be completed under supervised conditions has been removed. A suggested word count of 900 words will be included rather than the time constraint of 1 hour 30 minutes. The exam board does not intend to introduce a penalty for learners that exceed this new word count. Learners are not required to submit the A4 bullet point notes with their evaluation. 

  • Component 2: Performing from a Text (NEA) 20%

    • Learners can choose to perform a monologue of between 1.5 – 5 minutes in length. 

    • The minimum time for group performances has been reduced. As in previous examination series’, the length of the piece will depend on the number of actors in the group. The timings for the 2021 series only will be:

      • 1 actor: 1.5-5 minutes

      • Group of two actors: 2-10 minutes

      • Group of three actors: 3-12 minutes

      • Group of four actors: 4-14 minutes

  • Component 3 (Exam Assessment) 

    • No changes were made to this component. 

Alterations to the Year 11 Curriculum to support the change: 

As the greatest changes to the course revolve around the timings for the performance, the majority of the alterations have been on refocusing the component 1 and 2 timings and delivery.

As the evaluation component now does not need to be carried out supervised, students are doing this in our Google Classroom.