Message to our Year 11 students

To all our Year 11 students from Rebecca Boomer-Clark, Director of Secondary Education, Ark Schools

Dear Year 11 students,

This week you should have been receiving your GCSE and BTEC exam results. Of course, those exams were cancelled, and you have not been able to physically be in school since March, but we still want to recognise your achievements. 

The most important thing I can say to you today is congratulations, both to recognise your work over the last two years and how well you have handled this unprecedented experience. Across Ark’s schools, the great majority of our young people have engaged with online learning in a positive and fruitful way. We know it has not been easy but you have done great things at a time of enormous challenges. Whatever your results, you should be proud of yourself. 

Last week Year 13 students received their A-level and BTEC results. There was a great deal of confusion and upset in schools across the country. We have been working hard to support our Year 13 students, and to ensure that the problems experienced last week do not happen to you.  

On Monday, the Government announced that the system used to decide A-level grades would not be used to decide your exam outcomes. Instead, you will be given the grade your school thought you would get if you had taken the exam. This is called the Centre Assessed Grade (CAG). Almost all students’ final grade will be the same as their CAG, except in cases where Ofqual’s calculations would have given you a higher grade. No one will get a lower grade than their CAG.

You will receive these grades from your school on Thursday morning. You will then need to think carefully about where you would like to go next, and what you would like to study. Your school and your teachers will be there to support you with these important decisions. 

We have guaranteed that every Year 11 student currently at an Ark school will be able to attend an Ark Sixth Form, if we offer the right course for you. Some of you have aspirations that will take you elsewhere, and we will also support you with that.  

It will be a time of celebration for many of you. But some of you may be disappointed in your grades and wonder why your teachers did not predict higher outcomes for you. As I said to Year 13 students last week, this has been a tough year, for you, for your teachers, for all of us living in a time of such challenge. We want you to know that the whole of Ark and your school will do everything we can to make sure you are able to start the next academic year in the best position to achieve your aspirations. 

Well done for all your hard work to get to this point, you’ve done brilliantly!