August 2021

At Forest, we are delighted that our pupils have been awarded excellent GCSE grades (TAGs). At the outset, it is worth clarifying once again the nature of these grades and the unique context within which they have been awarded. As we know, the pupils did not sit common examinations but instead have been awarded Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGS) after studying in circumstances utterly unlike those experienced by any previous cohorts, including last year’s cohorts. Y11 have displayed remarkable determination throughout the past two academic years, in moving between in-person and online teaching, adapting to changing guidelines, and in their response to the uncertainty surrounding this year’s assessments.

Whilst there has been no external system of standardisation or published grade boundaries to ensure parity between schools, as per JCQ and Ofqual guidance Forest has used evidence from different pieces of assessed work to inform the TAGs, balancing all the available evidence to reach a fair and robust judgement that respects the pupils’ proven ability.

As such these assessment grades cannot form a benchmark for the future or be compared to any other year (or indeed any other school), but in our view it is important that Forest pupils receive proper recognition for their dedication and initiative over the course of the pandemic. These grades show Forest pupils achieving extremely high evidenced levels of academic achievement which will allow them to progress to the next stage of their education and confirms they have made the progress and developed the appropriate skills to ensure they can take that step with confidence.

An impressive 85% of our Y11 achieved A**/A*/A or 9/8/7, with 85% of pupils achieving A*/A in their Higher Project Qualification. They have chosen a truly diverse range of A Level subjects to explore which will lead to a range of higher education pathways and careers in due course.

Marcus Cliff Hodges, Warden, said:

“In September just a few years ago, this GCSE cohort started its journey through the Senior School at Forest. Immediately welcomed into their Houses, supported by outstanding pastoral care, they were – in true Forest style – strongly encouraged to be intellectually curious and to engage fully inside and outside the classroom. And they have done just that. Little did they know what lay ahead, but they have finished their GCSE journey as better learners and having added so much to themselves in their time at Forest. Including these grades. As we often say, grades are what you have achieved, not who you are. These pupils are exceptional young people whose genuine academic strength has been rewarded with excellent grades. Well done!”