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King's Worcester

7 January

Deputy Head of School talks to BBC about exams

Deputy Head of School, Will Hunt (Ch) spoke to BBC Hereford and Worcester this morning to discuss the recent announcement of the cancellation of exams this summer. Will was interviewed about his reaction to this weeks announcement that all GCSE and A-Level exams are to be cancelled and yesterdays indication that grades will instead be determined by Teacher assessments as well as sharing his feelings on adapting back to remote learning.

You can listen to the full interview below:

Morning Will

Morning, thank you very much for having me on

Thanks for coming on and speaking to us this morning, we really appreciate it.

What’s your reaction to exams being cancelled and replaced by school-based assessments?

I think it’s a bit of a shock, even though it’s always been rumoured that this could potentially be what happens, in the end, I think when you actually hear the education secretary and Boris Johnson saying that exams are going to be cancelled it is a little bit unsettling, you don’t know where you stand and you sometimes doubt yourself as it is a bit out of your control but hopefully I’ll be able to prove myself when it does come to teacher assessed grades.

It’s not that the best solution but considering you’ll have missed so much work from last year and going into this year, this was the only way.

I think across the across the board that probably was the only way. They were trying to make ways in which the exams potentially would be fairer but there was just no way in which we could all do exams properly and it would be fair. At my school at King’s I did feel pretty well prepared, I did feel like I would be able to potentially sit them. I’ve been lucky in that I haven’t missed too much of school this academic year and actually, although I was off school last year the home learning that we had was okay but I think that they have to make sure it’s fair for everyone, there’s clearly big problems nationally and I completely understand why he’s done what he’s had to do

How’s the home learning going at the moment?

It’s going pretty well, it’s a little bit unsettling in the fact that you don’t always know what’s going on and even with Gavin Williamson’s speech we were sort of still wondering ‘what are we doing?’ but actually in terms of the home learning that I’ve had, we’ve kept going, we’ve kept pushing on and I’m glad that I have that to sort of keep my mind off it temporarily when I can.

How are you and your friends feeling about this? Have you talked much between yourselves about how this is affecting you all?

I think it’s a real mix because people remember what happened last year and we saw people getting downgraded and people getting grades which they feel like they might not have got otherwise if they were to be exact so it is quite unsettling but I am very glad that Gavin Williamson has said he is not going to put trust in the algorithm, that he is taking the trust in the teachers because I think that algorithm caused so many problems but it is unsettling for a lot of us, you know speaking to friends and some are asking ‘what does it actually mean and what does teacher assessment mean?’. I think people are just waiting to hear in the coming sort of week or so what Gavin Williamson has to say further really, but it is uncertainty.

You’re hoping to go to Cambridge at University, how could this affect your future? Has anybody started to come out and say anything about that on that side of things?

Well, I haven’t yet got an offer but we think decisions are in the next couple of weeks. It’s quite a high-grade offer that I’d have to meet so obviously now that is going to be in the hands of teachers. Hopefully, they’ll recognize what I’d be able to achieve in the exam but it’s quite a high-grade offer so it’s a bit of worry but potentially I imagine universities could hopefully be a bit more lenient and a bit more understanding of a situation we are in as A-Level students. Last year a lot of Cambridge and Oxford colleges were actually giving places to all offer holders no matter what grades they got because of the mess we were in at the summer so I don’t know whether they’d repeat that potentially this time but in terms of other universities which I’ve applied to I’ll be really excited to go there too and I imagine they might do potentially something similar.

What are you hoping to do?

Sort of Social Sciences, so History Politics and Sociology that sort of stuff.

Interesting! Will, good to speak to you thanks ever so much and fingers crossed things work themselves out for you.