Coláiste Pobail Setanta

Leaving Cert 2020 Survey FAQ's

11-May-20
Leaving Cert 2020 Survey FAQ's

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Published by Coláiste Pobail Setanta Guidance Department.

Predicted Grade Questions

· Can we choose to get predicted grades and if we are not happy sit the LC?

o Yes. We do not know when the Leaving Certificate exams will be held. It is possible to get predicted grades and do the exams. You can also decide that you want to keep your predicted grades in some subjects and sit the exam in a chosen subject(s). You can have a combination. Please note sitting exams will have an impact on this year’s CAO. If you are using a combination of grades you may have to defer your place until 2021. This is explained in (DES Guide to calculated grades section 11.2) and also explained in (Section 29 of DES Leaving Certificate 2020 Information and Resources).

· Will the mock results affect my grade?

o Yes your mock results will be taken into consideration along with all of the following:

§ Record of each student’s performance over the course of study including for example, classwork and homework.

§ Performance on any class assessments for example, house exams, Christmas exams, Summer examinations and (with caveats) mock examinations taken over the course of study.

§ Performance on any coursework component, even if this has not been fully completed.

§ Previous results in this subject.

§ The level of performance the teacher has observed in this year’s students compared to those in previous years.

§ Any other relevant information related to student performance. (Des Guide to calculated grades section 6.1)

· Is it based off class work we submitted while being off school or semesters etc? (Since the lockdown)

o Teachers have been advised to exercise due caution in assessing work completed after the school closure on March 12th as the students are under different circumstances and context. (DES Guide to predicted grades section 6.3)

· I’m a bit worried/confused about what will happen with our X grade as we didn’t have a continuous teacher for the first half of the year?

o We recognise that this is a difficult situation. The grades that your different teachers in the subject have awarded are recorded on VSWare. Your current teacher will be able to calculate a fair predicted grade from these results. If you look at the question on the mocks above, you will see how all grades over two years are going to be taken into account.

o Furthermore, the alignment process detailed in the DES Guide to predicted grades section 7.2 gives a lot of information on how the grades will be discussed at subject department level and will reflect the estimated marks and ranking of other teachers of the same subject at the same subject level.

o Section 8 of the document details how the Principal of the school will be the person with oversight of the grades. He can refer the grades back to the teacher for further review should it be needed.

o If you still feel as though you have received a grade different to what you feel you deserved, there will be an appeals process with 3 stages detailed in section 11.2 of the DES Guide to predicted grades.

o Finally, you will have a chance to sit the examination when it is safe to do so, even if you have chosen to receive your predicted grades.

· At a school level, will teachers reveal to their students the grade they have recommended for them before the official results are released?

o No. In the interest of fairness and equity for the process, the teachers will not be permitted to reveal the school based predicted grades for two reasons:

§ The mark assigned by the school is not necessarily the final mark that the student will receive.

§ Allowing access to and discussion of estimated grades before the calculated grades process is complete would interfere with the process being carried out properly and fairly. (DES Guide to predicted grades section 11.1)

· I feel like predicted grades can't predict a person in Leaving Cert. Not everyone tries hard for school but try their hardest during the LC exam. Especially the months we had off school. I personally studied a lot during that time and normally I'm a D student. But I feel like a I can get higher than my predicted grades if I do my LC exams.

o This is a real concern for many students. In the DES Guide to predicted grades section 6.3 allows teachers to take into account the degree to which many students would intensify their levels of commitment in the run up to examinations.

o In other words, teachers know that many students work harder coming up to the exams and can take that into consideration.

o You also will have a chance to sit the examination when it is safe to do so should you wish.

· Can there be mini test using teams to see where the students are at?

o No. Teachers will not set additional assessments for the purposes of determining an estimated percentage grade (DES Guide to predicted grades section 6.2)

o There will be no more engagement between 6th year students and teachers. All queries should be directed towards management.

· Will the teachers try give us the best grades?

o Teachers will give the grade they believe the student is entitled to. This process is laid out with several checks at a school and national level.

Subjects outside of school Questions

· How will extra subjects be handled (e.g applied maths, Spanish, Romanian) especially those studied largely independently?

o If you are studying one or more subjects outside of a recognised school, the Department will be flexible in accepting estimated marks and rankings from other schools or colleges and will look at this issue on a case-by-case basis. In general, we can say that, provided we can receive an estimated mark and ranking from a teacher in a way that is fair to all candidates, we will seek to provide a calculated grade. You will be able to use this calculated grade in the same way as a Leaving Certificate grade to satisfy minimum entry requirements. (Leaving Certificate 2020: Information and Resources question 20.)

o Put in more simple terms, you and your tutor/teacher (registered with the teaching council) of this subject will be required to provide evidence to support the predicted grade you may get. If this evidence cannot be provided, the school may not be able to formulate a calculated grade and in these circumstances, you will have the opportunity to sit the exam in this subject at a later date.

· If we get predicted grades. How will I get my grade for the subject I do outside of school?

o While these scenarios are the exception rather than the rule every effort will be made to calculate a grade, provided there is sufficient evidence available.

o In the case of students taking a subject outside school, the guidance provides details of how schools should proceed if school management authorities are confident that there is sufficient evidence of the student’s achievement to make an objective judgement.

o For students in receipt of home tuition with an association to the school, the guidance will provide information for school authorities to engage with the home tutor in arriving at a decision. Whether a valid estimate of performance can be provided will depend on whether the home tutor is a registered teacher and where the school is satisfied with the evidence used to support the judgment.

o Information taken from Leaving Certificate 2020: Information and Resources question 18.

o Put in more simple terms, you and your tutor/teacher of this subject will be required to provide evidence to support the predicted grade you may get. If this evidence cannot be provided, the school may not be able to formulate a calculated grade and in these circumstances, you will have the opportunity to sit the exam in this subject at a later date.

Continuing work Questions

· Will teachers continue to send us work over the coming weeks and will it have any impact on the grades we will receive for our leaving cert

· Does this mean school still carries out as normal?

· Should I still continue studying?

o From today there has been correspondence to students and parents that there will be no more engagement between students and teachers in 6th Year. This is to preserve the integrity of the process. All questions should be directed towards management.

o If you intend to sit the Leaving Certificate Exams we would advise and encourage you to continue studying.

Appeal Questions

· If we are not happy with our predicted results in some subjects can we sit just these exams?

o The information we have right now seems to suggest that you can sit all, some or none of the exams and receive your predicted grades.

o If a candidate sat such an examination and achieved a higher grade that his/her Calculated grade:

§ The stated results provided to the candidate would be amended.

§ If the improvement in the candidate’s grade meant that he/she would have been entitled to a higher offer of a CAO course, he/she would be facilitated in taking up that place as soon as practicable. (DES Guide to predicted grades section 11.2)

o All of the results issued on foot of the examinations this year, calculated grades; appeals and the later written examination will be considered the results of the 2020 Leaving Certificate. (Leaving Certificate 2020: Information and Resources question 29)

Results Questions

· When will the results be issued?

o The plan is that calculated grades will be provided to candidates as close as possible to the normal results day. (Leaving Certificate 2020: Information and Resources question 23)

Sitting the Exam Questions

· If a student chooses to sit an exam as opposed to obtaining a calculated grade, will they be in a position to start 3rd Level at the same time as those who sat no written exams?

o Unfortunately, the CAO offers will have already been issued and colleges will have begun by the time the exams can be safely carried out. However, students who opt to sit the Leaving Certificate examinations later in the year and who receive an improved CAO offer on foot of these results will also receive a deferred college offer to start their course in the 2021/22 academic year. If a candidate who has started first year of a course becomes entitled to a higher CAO offer and chooses to accept same in the following academic year, attendance for the first year on the new course would remain eligible for free fees and SUSI funding as appropriate. (Leaving Certificate 2020: Information and Resources question 28)

· If I were to do the written exams at a later date would I get the option to do the exam for certain subjects or would I be doing exams for all subjects?

o You may sit exams for one or all of your subjects and mix your exam grades and calculated grades. (Leaving Certificate 2020: Information and Resources question 29)

Practical’s/Oral/Coursework booklet Questions

· What's going to happen with projects? Such as Construction and Engineering. in relation to any booklets ie Religion , Home Ec etc that are worth a percentage of the overall grade , will the results of them be separately predicted by our teachers and then added on ?

o A teacher’s overall estimate will incorporate the mark the coursework would have achieved if it had been marked in the usual way. (DES Guide to predicted grades section 6.4.2)

· What happens in relation to orals and projects?

o Teachers will grade languages and orals on the assumption that the oral would have proceeded as usual.

o The same will happen for Music, the grade would be based on the assumption that the music performance test would have been carried out. (DES Guide to predicted grades section 6.4.1)

HEAR and DARE Candidates Questions

· What happens with students who applied for HEAR or DARE?

o Students who applied for HEAR and DARE will still be entitled to their rights to extra points etc. These extra allowances are often calculated at a college level and will be the same for this year. When the student who has applied for HEAR or DARE’s grades appear through all of the checks the grades will go through, this will be taken into account.

Levels Questions

· I recently dropped to ordinary level Maths; my higher-level Maths grades does not represent me at all as Maths student. I was aiming for an O1, I am perfectly capable of it.

o The grades will be predicted with many levels of checks including comparison with other teachers of the same level.

Contact with teacher Questions

· Are you allowed to discuss the grades with your teachers?

o No. There is to be no communication with teacher’s regarding grades by students or parents. The teachers will not be permitted to reveal the school based predicted grades for two reasons:

§ The mark assigned by the school is not necessarily the final mark that the student will receive.

§ Allowing access to and discussion of estimated grades before the calculated grades process is complete would interfere with the process being carried out properly and fairly. (DES Guide to predicted grades section 11.1)

Students with Reasonable Accommodation

· I am allowed to use a reader/scribe for my exams, will this be taken into account for my predicted grade?

o Yes. Where any reasonable accommodation has been approved for any student (such as a reader or scribe), the teacher will base the estimate of the student’s likely performance on the assumption that this accommodation would have been available. (DES Guide to predicted grades section 6.6)

Leaving Certificate Applied and LCVP

· How will my exams be marked for LCA subjects and LCVP?

o Calculated grades will be offered to students completing Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) or Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) in 2020. The calculated grades process will apply for the Link Modules of the LCVP. LCA students will be provided with calculated grades for subjects, tasks and vocational specialisms due to be completed in 2020.

o LCA students have already completed a lot of their assessments. These results are already held by the students. Calculated grades will be used for outstanding assessments, including subjects, vocational specialisms and tasks due to be completed in the current LCA session. Students will be provided with a calculated grade for the LCVP Link Modules. (Leaving Certificate 2020: Information and Resources question 5)

Miscellaneous Questions

· Will there be people who will fail?

o Yes. If the evidence gathered by the teachers shows that a student would have achieved a H8, O8 or O7 in the exams, that is the predicted grade that the student will achieve. Please note there is an appeals process.

· Can there not be another option? Such as entrance collage exams. Or exams online or even assignments?

o This information comes from Leaving Certificate 2020: Information and Resources question 3

o Many different scenarios have been considered over a number of weeks, each with their flaws and faults.

o There is no perfect solution to this unprecedented challenge.

o Online exams; shortened papers; fewer examinations – none of these options would have been as fair an assessment as the Calculated Grades model. They would also have been markedly different from previous Leaving Certificate examinations and from what students and their teachers are familiar with and have been preparing for in terms of structure, format and content, over the past two years.

o Changes like those would have called into question the validity of the state examinations this year.

· What is plan C?

o The system of predicted grades is Plan C. Plan A would be to sit exams as usual. Plan B was to sit exams from July 29th.

Please note all answers from the above questions was gathered using the following documents:

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/2f07eb-leaving-cert-2020-information/

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/1afce4-a-guide-to-calculated-grades-for-leaving-certificate-students-2020/

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