Covid in Wales: Exam help to continue for GCSEs, A-levels

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Image source, Matthew Horwood
Image caption,
Pupils still face disruption, say teachers

Changes to exams brought in during the Covid pandemic will continue in Wales next year, the exam watchdog has said.

Qualifications Wales said pupils will again get advance information about the content of tests in 2022-23.

It will give those sitting GCSEs, AS and A-Levels an indication of topics, themes and texts to help them prepare.

The regulator's chief executive Philip Blaker said the pandemic was still having a "substantial impact on teaching and learning".

Exam body the WJEC will release advance information for the November 2022 exams before the end of this term, and details of exams next January and summer in the autumn.

The decision comes after fears were raised by headteachers that high staff absences following Covid meant some pupils have missed specialist teaching ahead of their exams.

'Some reassurance and certainty'

Mr Blaker said: "We recognise that the pandemic continues to have a substantial impact on teaching and learning in all areas of Wales.

"Most qualifications are delivered over two years, which means that some learners have already experienced disruption as they prepare for qualifications that will be completed in the next academic year."

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The pandemic continues to have an affect on school pupils

He believes the move will provide "some reassurance and certainty".

The advance information will not be provided for the Welsh Baccalaureate, though.

Qualifications Wales said the measures are intended to be "transitional" and "signal the journey back to pre-pandemic assessment arrangements".

The summer exam season is about to get under way after it was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because of Covid.

But that doesn't mean everything's back to normal, and pupils who will be sitting their exams next year have also missed out on a lot of schooling.

The announcement from the Welsh regulator means that extra support by, for example, narrowing down what topics could come up, will carry on.

The aim is to get back to the pre-pandemic system while trying to address the impact of two years that have left their mark on pupils.

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