MEMORANDUM SENT TO AFA CENTRES IN FEBRUARY 2021

Centres submit marks for WRITE-1 Portfolio by 15 May 2021.  

WEB will ask for Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs). These will also be required by 15 May.

All centres will submit their WRITE-1 Portfolios for moderation by WEB either on or as soon after the 15 May as is possible.

WEB will moderate all the coursework portfolios to standardise the assessment of candidates’ work.

WEB Examiners will then apply the following policy:

Where the WEB-moderated mark for a student’s WRITE-1 Portfolio supports the level of achievement indicated by the TAG, we will award the TAG for that student.

Where the WEB-moderated mark for a student’s WRITE-1 Portfolio confirms a level of achievement higher than the TAG, we will award the higher grade which is supported by the portfolio work of that student.

Where the WEB-moderated mark for a student’s WRITE-1 Portfolio does not provide sufficient evidence of the level of achievement required for the award of the TAG, we will ask the centre for further evidence to support the TAG.

This last point carries certain implications for centres. It will be necessary for centres to consider how to harvest evidence that will best support their candidates’ TAGs, should it be required. We recommend therefore that all centres conduct mock or trial examinations for WRITE-2 and/or WRITE-3 at some point between now and the 15 May. We anticipate that this is something all centres would do anyway, in ordinary circumstances. To assist with this, we have provided exam centres with papers for WRITE-2 and WRITE-3 that you may use with your candidates.

We trust that our centres are professional and have their candidates’ best interests at heart. We are confident they will do the best they can under the present circumstances to maintain professional standards of assessment. We will not, therefore, be specifying any particular conditions under which we think these trial exams should take place. We do think they should be undertaken under timed conditions, but those conditions may be monitored online, or according to a timed release of papers and a timed submission deadline. If they can be done in real life, so much the better, but this is not essential. The nature of creative writing under timed conditions significantly minimises the possibility of student malpractice. We are aware that centres may conduct these assessments at different times. We would simply ask that teachers issuing the papers do not inform students that they are using papers provided by WEB. If students believe they are sitting an exam written/adapted by the teachers at their centre they won’t be under any impulse to leak to students at other centres, or online, what the questions are. We do, of course, trust teachers to keep the content of these question papers confidential until 15 May, by which time all centres will have conducted some form of mock/trial examination.    

Other than if we need to resolve a discrepancy between the TAG and the standard of work in the portfolio, we will not ask centres for the marks for these exams. Nor will we ask to see and moderate the marking of these papers. We trust our centres to apply the markscheme professionally. The purpose of the mock/trial examinations is simply:

  • to give candidates an additional opportunity to show what they can do
  • to provide a sense of closure and completion to the programme of study
  • to provide centres with additional evidence to support the award of TAGs
  • to enable WEB to resolve any discrepancies that may be discerned between the performance of candidates in their portfolio work and their TAG.

We are not specifying how many papers students should sit during these mock/trial examinations. We are aware that different centres will be under different pressures at this time. In cases where WEB does request extra evidence in support of a TAG, it will simply be up to centres to supply the evidence they think best supports their candidate.

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