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COVID-19 (coronavirus) Information for schools

Article published 5 March 2020, last updated 20 August

Links to our updates to schools can be found here:

FAQ sections:

Results
Entries and withdrawals
General
Support for teachers

Information for schools preparing for the November 2020 series and subsequent series can be found in this article.

Results

Will candidate grades or candidate marks be used to calculate Cambridge International A Level results in the November 2020 series? 

Marks from our assessments provide the most reliable and valid measure of a candidate’s performance. We will use any AS Level marks relevant to the candidate’s entry option to calculate their A Level result, in preference to using the A2 only option*. This includes AS Level marks from the June 2019 series for candidates entering staged ‘June carry-forward’ options. This is an exception to our usual 13-month rule for carrying forward marks.

We will soon be providing more detailed information about carry forwards on our website.

* The A2 only option is only available to candidates entering a ‘June carry forward’ option in the November 2020 series and who had a valid AS Level entry in the June 2020 series.

Will Cambridge International A Level candidates receive a PUM (percentage uniform mark) in the November 2020 series if candidates in their region usually do so?

Candidates completing their full A Level in the November 2020 series should be aware that PUMs will not be available under the ‘A2-only’ route. The A2-only route is available to candidates entering for the ‘June carry-forward’ option for the syllabus who have no relevant AS marks from the June 2019 series. If a candidate needs their PUM, they should enter for the linear A Level option. 

Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards (Updated 19 June)

With the June 2020 examinations not taking place, we are unable to provide our Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards for this series. 

Cambridge awards recognise outstanding achievements and are issued to those learners who have attained the highest standard marks in a subject, providing that the minimum grade and standard mark thresholds for the award category have been met. While we are able to issue grades for those who entered for the June 2020 series, these grades are being issued without marks. Without these marks we are unable to fairly calculate and distinguish high achievers. 

We understand how special our awards are to our students and schools, as they recognise exceptional learner achievement in Cambridge examinations around the world. We look forward to presenting our students with awards in future series.

 

Carrying forward marks to a future exam series 

As we explained previously, in the absence of AS Level marks in June 2020, students will receive a grade for Cambridge International AS Level, but will not be able to carry forward their AS Level result to A Level in the usual way. Therefore, we have put in place alternative arrangements. See our website for the latest information about carrying forward marks.  

 

Entries and withdrawals

Can I carry forward marks from a series before June 2019? (Updated 27 April)

No, you will not be able to carry those marks forward to June 2020 or November 2020. This is in line with our usual 13-month rules for carry forwards. 

 

How will Cambridge International AS Level grades from June 2020 count towards Cambridge International A Level in future series? (Updated 23 April)

For students who want to carry forward their Cambridge International AS Level result from June 2020 to a future Cambridge International A Level, we have looked at a specific technical challenge: it is the AS Level mark students normally carry forward, not the grade. In the absence of AS Level marks in June 2020, students will receive an AS Level grade but will not be able to carry forward their AS Level result to A Level in the usual way. Please see the update provided to schools on 21 April for further information.

 

One of my candidates received a U grade for Cambridge International AS Level in the June 2020 series. Can they still enter for Cambridge International A Level in the June 2021 exam series?

If a candidate wants to enter for a future exam series, for example June 2021, via the A2-only route, they can do this regardless of the grade (A*–U) that they received in the June 2020 series. The grade which the candidate received in the June 2020 series will not be taken into account. To be eligible for the A2-only route, candidates must have been entered for the relevant Cambridge International AS Level in the June 2020 series, and must not have been withdrawn at any point. You will then need to enter them as a ‘June carry-forward’ candidate to access the A2 only route in June 2021.

Candidates can also be entered as linear A Level candidates in the June 2021 exam series and take all the components of the A Level (AS and A2) in the June 2021 series.

How will Cambridge AICE Diploma rules apply with the grades awarded in June 2020? (Updated 23 April)

The grades we award for Cambridge International AS & A Level in June 2020 will count towards the Cambridge AICE Diploma we award in June 2020 and future series as per our normal processes.. For students for whom the June 2020 exam series would normally be the last series for which they can sit exams and gain their AICE Diploma, we will allow an exceptional exemption to our usual 25-month time limit rule, whereby students must normally complete all elements of the Cambridge AICE Diploma within 25 months. Please see the update provided to schools on 17 April for further information.

How will Cambridge ICE rules apply with these grades in June 2020? (Updated 23 April) 

The grades we award for Cambridge IGCSE in June 2020 will count towards the Cambridge ICE we award in June 2020 and future series as per our normal processes..

For students for whom the June 2020 exam series would normally be the last series for which they can sit exams and gain their Cambridge ICE certificate, we will allow an exceptional exemption for Cambridge ICE students to the usual rule that candidates must complete all elements within 13 months. Please see the update to schools on 22 April for further information.

Information on Cambridge ICE (Updated 2 July)

This update is for students for whom the November 2020 exam series would normally be the last series for which they can sit exams and gain their Cambridge ICE certificate. 

We recognise that some schools may need to plan their academic year differently due to the impact of Covid-19, and therefore we will allow an exemption for Cambridge ICE students to the usual rule that candidates must complete all elements within 13 months. 

The exemption will apply if November 2020 would have been the final series for the candidate for ICE (that is, they are also using syllabus grades from a previous series within the last 13 months). 

If candidates meets this criteria, they can count grades awarded from the November 2021 series instead of November 2020 series.   It is still the case that the candidates may only use grades from a maximum of two series.  

If a candidate has already been entered for November 2020 you have until 16 August to withdraw them and receive a credit for the entry. 

This exemption is in addition to our previous announcement for candidates who were due to complete Cambridge ICE in June 2020 series. 

 

General

 

Advice on running exams in your centre in November 2020 (Updated 20 August)

Our guide for exams officers and heads of centre will help you run November 2020 exams safely and securely. An updated version of the guide is on our website: www.cambridgeinternational.org/covid/november-2020-exam-series

Our key priorities remain the same - to keep students and teachers safe, and help students get on with their educational journeys as soon as possible.

 

ICT Starters and Professional Development Qualifications (updated 20 August)

We are pleased to confirm that we are reopening entries for Cambridge PDQs and ICT Starters from the October 2020 series.

  • For Cambridge ICT Starters, we are reopening entries from October 2020.
  • Cambridge PDQs will re-open for the October series and will follow the published dates in the PDQ Administrative Guide from that point onwards. Any queries about the submission of ePortfolios can be made to the team at info@cambridgeinternational.org.

 

Support for teachers

During this difficult time, many elements of our everyday lives have changed. We fully understand how important it is for you to continue delivering learning and keep students motivated and connected. We have been inspired to hear about all the new and innovative ways in which teaching and learning is happening around the world.

Paul Beedle (Deputy Director, Professional Development) and Andrew Field (eLearning Manager) have recorded a webinar called Teaching in a time of crisis - being resilient, adaptive and resourceful. It focuses on supporting teachers as they adapt to a new way of teaching, and shares examples of how technology can be used to enhance learning and change the dynamics of the classroom in a positive way. It also reminds teachers how important it is to be kind to themselves - we are all learning together, and the process of teaching remotely is one of trial and error.

You can watch this webinar, and others, on the 'Teaching and Learning when school is closed' section on our website

This section also signposts you to:

  • Tools to support remote teaching and learning
  • Resources for you and your learners including tips for students and parents on managing stress and learning effectively at home
  • E-books from Cambridge publishing partners

Do you have any easy to access digital resources I can use to support remote teaching and learning? (Updated 18 March)

We know that the COVID-19 outbreak is presenting serious challenges for teachers and learners and we want to support you as you deliver online learning for your students. Because of this we have provided access to Resource Plus to everyone in our global community free of charge during this outbreak. Resource Plus includes high-quality videos, ready-made lesson plans and teaching materials for a limited number of English, Maths and Science syllabuses at Cambridge Upper Secondary and Cambridge Advanced stages. You can access these materials directly from this page. We hope providing access to these materials will assist you, helping your students continue to learn and study for their exams.

Our Resource Plus videos are hosted on Vimeo. Please note this may cause access issues in some countries where Vimeo is not supported.

Tips on tools to support remote teaching and learning (Updated 16 March)

Remote teaching creates huge opportunities for effective learning and collaboration outside the classroom. It is important to keep the following in mind before you explore the various online tools available:

  • The focus should be on pedagogy and learning, rather than technology.
  • All the tools still require the skill, experience and expertise of a teacher.
  • They may involve approaches and techniques that you would not normally use.
  • The tools you choose should be in line with any school eSafety policy.
  • The teaching materials you use should respect copyright regulations.

Find out more about the tools that are available to support remote teaching and learning.

Can I share Cambridge International past papers electronically with students studying remotely? (Updated 17 March)

Yes. In Section L of the Handbook we say that to protect our copyright schools must not distribute past papers electronically. However, given the current situation, schools can distribute our past papers electronically to support students studying remotely.

Support from publishing partners during Coronavirus outbreak (Updated 20 March)

During the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, some of our publishing partners are making their eBooks available free of charge to support remote teaching and learning while schools are closed:

  • Cambridge University Press

    The Press are offering a 90 day free trial of eBooks from Cambridge Lower Secondary through to Advanced level. Available to all, not just existing Cambridge University Press customers. Visit their website for more information.

  • Collins

    Collins are offering eBooks, including endorsed student resources and most teacher resources, free of charge to any school that is closed, regardless of whether they are existing Collins customers. Email Collins for more details.

  • Hodder Education

    Existing Hodder Education school customers who have bought print textbooks can access the equivalent Student eTextbooks, free for one year. Schools who are not Hodder Education customers can have 1 month’s access to Student eTextbooks. Email Hodder for more information.

The details of these offers and how to access them are all slightly different so please refer to the publishers’ terms and conditions in each case.  

Great Teaching Toolkit (Updated 19 June)

Cambridge International has partnered with Evidence Based Education (a UK-based research organisation) to produce the Great Teaching Toolkit: Evidence Review. The report aims to help teachers identify the areas they can work on in their own professional development that will have the most impact on their learners’ outcomes. Professor Rob Coe and his team at EBE have examined over 100 studies on the links between teacher performance and student outcomes. In this report, they highlight the common areas that have been proven, around the world, to have the potential to transform learning.

View the Great Teaching Toolkit: Evidence Review report. Please share widely with your teachers.

Teaching and learning when school is closed

You can find a range of resources to help you deliver teaching and learning outside the classroom. This leaflet gives an overview of the support available. Many of the resources in this section of our website will also help teachers to incorporate remote learning into the physical learning environment when they return to classrooms. Please share it with your teachers.

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