Ofqual Chief Regulator, Dr Jo Saxton, visited the College on 24 November accompanied by Jonathan Clewes, the Associate Director, to speak to staff and students about the experience of sitting A level examinations last academic year. The Covid 19 pandemic necessitated an enormous amount of change to examinations processes, and a great deal of resilience and agility was called for from students, teachers and support staff as well as examiners to make the assessments feasible on a national scale.
Since returning to in-person examinations, those involved have had some time to reflect on the process and Dr Saxton’s visit facilitated some superb discussion of the externally assessed qualifications. Topics covered included the successes, challenges, and lessons learnt throughout the pandemic, and the achievements of incredibly hard-working staff and students at the College.
Dr Saxton said: “I taught at the University of Cambridge and so it was great to be back in the city to meet students and staff at this well-known sixth form college. It was very useful to hear directly from students who sat A levels in the last academic year, and from other students who are currently preparing for mock exams and who will sit A levels next summer.
"The return of externally examined qualifications is something students up and down the country have asked for, and is enabled in large part thanks to the meticulous planning of exams officers such as those who I met at Hills Road. I would like to wish good luck to Hills Road Sixth Form College students for the rest of the academic year.”
The persistence and professionalism of the Examinations team was a focal point of the visit and the team were commended for their work throughout these difficult times. They were recognised for their successes in navigating a constantly shifting assessment landscape with incredible speed and diligence to ensure students were awarded the grades they had worked so hard for.
After visiting our award-winning Careers department and meeting the team she added: "It was interesting to hear about the apprenticeship route and the student employment opportunities the college provides."
Dr Saxton’s visit was a welcome one, and a wonderful chance for members of the College community to speak directly to the person responsible for Ofqual’s deployment of public funds. It was a great pleasure to host Dr Saxton on this memorable occasion, and we thank her for taking the time to come to Hills Road, and for spending some time with us.
The return of externally examined qualifications is something students up and down the country have asked for, and is enabled in large part thanks to the meticulous planning of exams officers such as those who I met at Hills Road.Dr Jo Saxton