Awarding Centre Determined Grades in Wales / Cymru in 2021

29th March 2021


  • Your plan from March to May should give students every chance to shine so that you can confidently award each student the grades they deserve.
  • In June your plan should focus on ensuring students have the skills and knowledge required for progression to the next stage of their education/training.

Planning with Subject Leaders in March

  1. Good questions for Heads of Subject now might be:
    a) What evidence that you would like to use do you already possess?
    b) What assessments do you plan to use to gain additional evidence?
    c) This might include WJEC Past Papers or selected questions from them or your own exam-style assessments.

Your Assessment and Quality Assurance processes

  1. You must submit your assessment and Internal QA policies to WJEC between 19th – 25th March.
  2. WJEC will provide feedback on these by 12th April.

Informing and assessing the Students

  1. By Easter, students must be told how they will be assessed for each qualification.
  2. We suggest summarising ‘which pieces of work will count towards your grade’ for each subject in overall KS4, AS and A-Level booklets and sending them home to parent(s)/carer(s) asap to stress the importance of forthcoming assessment dates.
  3. This booklet will also be useful in the case of external QA.
  4. Each subject will have identified topics that have been fully taught (even if remotely) and either use non-mandatory WJEC materials and/or prepare exam-style assessments on those topics.
    a) Notify the topics to students to enable them to prepare.
    b) Walk candidates through a similar style question/assessment in the week before each assessment to ensure that skills (Command Words, Mark Scheme requirements, how to structure effective answers) are embedded.

Potential Issues – Student challenges and external Quality Assurance

  1. In June, and no later than the 25th, students are to receive their provisional CDGs and have a chance to ask them to be reviewed.
  2. As CDGs can be submitted to the WJEC from 14th June until 2nd July, it would appear sensible to allow students to review provisional CDGs as early in June as practical. Consider students being in receipt on 11th June and setting a final date for review requests (Stage 1 Appeals) – possibly around 15th June.
  3. Students also have two chances to appeal against the final grades they receive in August.
  4. You also need to submit an explanation of the overall pattern of your results, at aggregate level, for GCSEs, AS & A levels, when submitting CDGs to the WJEC.
  5. WJEC will implement a programme of external centre QA processes. ‘Atypical profiles may be discussed with the centre.’ Tolerances will be applied. If a centre’s overall outcomes for GCSE, AS or A-Level are 7%+ above their best outcomes from 2017-19 ‘a more detailed rationale would be needed’.
  6. The WJEC will QA Learner Decision Records & Overall Outcomes 21th June – 12th July.

Recording CDGs, internal Quality Assurance and submitting grades.

  1. Consider asking teachers to record CDGs by 21st May and no later than 28th May to allow time for internal QA in departments and across the school/college as well as giving students the opportunity to receive their provisional CDGs before the final date for submitting grades to the WJEC on 2nd July.
  2. Please note that any qualifications run by the English exam boards require Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) to be submitted to them by 18th June.
  3. Even though rank orders are not part of the Ofqual requirements for 2021, consider asking teachers for rank orders in sets as this might be useful when depts and you QA the grades.
  4. Would sample moderation with another school or college in your LA be especially beneficial for small departments for standardising judgements?
  5. Consider what grades each student requires for appropriate progression?
    a) At 16
    b) At 17
    c) At 18
  6. Alps schools and colleges will find the tools in Connect Interactive invaluable during Quality Assurance. Check out our regular programme of webinars.

The breadth of specification coverage and transition to the next stage of education

  1. As all assessment of Y11, Y12 & Y13 grades will be complete by the May half-term this frees up teacher time to potentially enable a well-planned series of ‘Transition to Sixth Form’ lessons to be run in June.
  2. June could also be used to ensure Y13 students were not lacking any of the skills and knowledge required for specific university courses.
  3. June could also be used to ensure Y12 students were not lacking any of the skills and knowledge required for their A-Level studies in Y13.

Results Days

AS and A-Level students will receive their results on 10th August.

GCSE students will receive their results on 12th August.

Download our free ‘Awarding Centre Determined Grades in Wales / Cymru in 2021’ PDF here.

Watch our free on-demand KS4 ‘Creating a fair and robust Centre Determined Grades process with Alps’ webinar here.

Watch our free on-demand KS5 ‘Creating a fair and robust Centre Determined Grades process with Alps’ webinar here.

Need more information?

If you would like any further information, please contact one of our expert advisers.

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