Change unjust predicted grades at Nonsuch

Change unjust predicted grades at Nonsuch

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Megan Smith started this petition to Nonsuch School Sixth Form Leadership

Overarchingly, an all-round unhappy result has been produced as pupils feel these grades are not only inaccurate estimates of their ability, but also incredibly limiting in terms of where they can apply and for what course.

As Nonsuch is notable for its students’ grand success reflected by their university offers and A-level grades, the predicted grades which have been released today defy this image. Universities are liaising to some degree, but with predicted grades which just about meet the requirements, the chance remains incredibly slim for students to meet their course. Subsequently, numerous students are now considering alternate options such as a gap year, which most pupils absolutely do not want, nor did they initially have this in mind. Put simply, the wait of one year on the basis of low predicted grades seems merely unjust, particularly as students missed out on six months of education, accompanied by deteriorating mental health induced by the pandemic and subjective living situations.

In comparison to other schools (typically non-grammar), students are usually awarded exorbitant grades, despite not demonstrating that this is the grade they deserve through their class progress. Comparably, most Nonsuch students have performed steadily well as demonstrated by their year 12 progress. If not, the grades produced through continual class tests during lockdown have certainly highlighted an improvement for the many. With excessively high competition rates, our pupils have been left with a largely wavering sense of demotivation and hopelessness.

With UCAS and all universities knowing these grades are supposedly ‘aspirational’, the chances of students achieving even a conditional offer for a particular course when just about meeting the requirements further slims this likelihood. If these grades are truly ‘aspirational’, our pupils have been underestimated, with a general viewpoint that teachers feel as though our students are unable to obtain more competitive placements.

Moreover, rather than imminently shutting down the student, pupils should have received a chance to discuss these grades with their teachers, or at least understand why this is the grade they ‘deserve’. The idea of restraining the voice of pupils has accentuated further outcry across the year group.

Although these grades have been determined with the implication of ALPS, many feel this is simply an inaccurate representation of what they can achieve as ALPS grades had been calculated one year prior, suggesting they are an outdated reflection of our children’s potential. Many predicted grades have also been generated on the basis of mock exam performance, meaning many students received exactly their mock exam result which is equally an inaccurate representation of their potential as the date for A-level examsleaves time to spare for improvement.

A general trend of degenerating mental health has occurred across the year group. With the stressful lead up to mocksleaving students unable to completely enjoy their summer, combined with six months endured of self-teaching, our students have been left in a perpetual state of fear, anxiety, and in some cases, continual depressive thoughts. As academic pressure is progressively inflicted on our children, palpably our pupils seem to base their worth on their grades. Thus, after today most students feel as though they are ‘not good enough’ or ‘devalued’ due to their academic decline which has been outlined through the generally low predictions.

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