SWSS and corona virus
Have Summer 2020 IGCSEs been cancelled for Edexcel?
Yes. The government have cancelled all GCSE and A level exams. Edexcel have stated this also applies to IGCSE and international A levels in the UK. If you are abroad contact Edexcel to see if your country's exams are going ahead.
Will I still be able to do my exam at a later date?
Yes. The next official opportunity will be January 2021. If you prefer to delay your exam we will support you through until this time. The government have indicated there may be an earlier opportunity to take the exam. Please keep in contact with your exam centre to see if and when this becomes available. The delayed exam should be free if you have already paid in full. However, speak with your exam centre to confirm this.
Will future exams be cancelled?
It remains unlikely, but most providers and exam centres are preparing for the prospect they could be.
Can SWSS provide a predicted grade if exams are cancelled?
Yes, provided the following criteria are met:
The course is completed in full over a minimum of 8 months. This means lessons must be watched, revision sheets read and assignments/mini mocks completed regularly with minimal long breaks (accounting for holidays / breaks).
Fours pieces (this number may change at any time) of work are marked by one of our teachers. These must be submitted within the deadlines provided.
A full mock exam (selected by us) is taken and submitted for marking by the deadline provided.
The mock exam is submitted as a pdf electronically on to your student account. It must be complete (with all pages), in the correct order and with all pages facing upright and readable.
At least one of your pieces of marked work will be invigilated electronically.
You sign a plagiarism statement to agree all work completed is your own and not assisted in any way.
As you progress we recommend you store printed off and completed written assignments, mini mocks and third party evidence. This includes but is not limited to work accrued with a tutor, workshops and workbooks.
How will my grade be predicted?
During the pandemic we have worked extensively with many exam centres across the UK to collaborate on what constitutes acceptable evidence. Ofqual has since rated our evidence of the highest quality. This means it has the best chance of being accepted by Edexcel. However, not all exam centres want to work with external candidates and this problem has only got worse. Make sure your centre will accept the following before purchasing your seat with them. Alternatively, contact us for a list of approved exam centres.
At the moment we don't know if we are allowed to predict grades (alongside any other distance learning provider, evening class or tutor). Edexcel give conflicting advice during every phone call and email. The truth is nobody knows. However, I want to ensure we are working towards getting you a fair grade in the event confirmation arises. I recommend continuing to work hard as if you were to take the exams in May / June. Please make sure you complete the following:
Online assignments - We will be adding more daily to provide a large set of evidence.
Repeat online assignments - We can see how many times they have been repeated and how grades have improved. Ofqual have indicated effort may play a role in predicted grades.
The course - We can print off a complete student record of all files opened, the number of times opened and the number of minutes watched for. Be honest with yourself! If you haven't watched something or read something etc then start building this up now.
End of year test
Two practical tests
Full marked mock (I've extended the deadline for postage and uploading)
We will aim for another marked mock May 20th (I'll try to push this to a later date if I can). Please revise for this as if it was your real exam! It will be your opportunity to show everyone how well you could have done in the real thing!
What if I have other evidence? Can this be used with swss?
If you left school recently contact the school. They may be in a better position to provide your predicted grade.
Other evidence may include
previous (I)GCSE exams taken
extenuating circumstances (anxiety, dyslexia etc)
work with a private tutor or class (they may be able to provide predicted grades if you prefer)
externally marked mock exams (feel free to try and obtain more of these if you wish)
previous school transcripts
We will consider age, exams already achieved and extenuating circumstances in our predictions. We cannot collate evidence from third parties including externally marked mocks (given you can do two with us already) and work with a tutor. We simply don't have the facilities to do this. However, there is still plenty of time to submit everything with us. You can also revise towards your second marked mock just as you would have done if the exams were going ahead. The more evidence you accrue with us the better.
I handed in my mock and am deflated my grade will be used as evidence.
Using a marked mock (in my opinion, but not the opinion of many teachers) is grossly unfair. I gave you a tough mock which I wouldn't purposely have done if I had known about corona virus. It will not be used as full evidence of your grade if I have any say in the matter. It will be considered in the context that it was very tough with difficult grade boundaries. I expect students to move up 1 - 2 levels at least for the real exam with hard work. My advice is to do just that. Rise to the challenge! You can do this! If we see improvement and see effort it will be taken into account! All the evidence listed above will be used in the final decision.
I'm not an swss student but I'm looking for evidence for a predicted grade. Can you help?
All course providers and tutors do not currently have permission to give predicted grades. However, Edexcel are aware of the situation. If you would like to be proactive we can offer marked mock exams for £15 (see shop). If you prefer to collate the full evidence provided as shown above we can offer the full course for 4 months for £50. Only do this if you have already completed the IGCSE self study and are looking for evidence. Please email if you would like this.
I only used swss as reference. I have submitted no work. What can I do?
I'd start collecting all the evidence you can. Complete all the suggestions above. It would be good revision regardless. Complete the online assignments, the tests, the mocks and revise as planned for the final mock in May. If you have other people you can obtain evidence from feel free to do so. If you have work from a different tutor or provider please ask them to mark and assess this. I would choose who is a better representative of you and your deserved grade. I can only mark swss work. I will do this as fast as I can.
I was hoping to start the course this year. Should I postpone?
No. We are open as usual for new students. If the pandemic continues into next year we will follow the procedure set out above.
But, all this is hearsay. I'm stressed and dissapointed.
I understand. I also feel this way. I have seen so much hard work, emotion, trials, turmoil, perseverance and success throughout this year. I have my own four children (some going through IGCSEs just like you at home) so I personally feel empathy.
Nothing here is official. This is me, Jo, trying my very best to ensure we have all eventualities covered. I want you to come out of this good. Not OK, but good! Obviously I don't want to set you (and us) lots of extra work, but I don't want us caught in the headlights more.
Home educators have consistently been treated poorly by the government. I don't blame you for feeling anxious that will continue. However, lets try to stay positive (at least until we are given an indication otherwise). This could turn out even better than before!
Worst case? You learnt lots of science :)