General Qualifications Bulletin - International - Issue 25

10 February 2022

Dear Colleague

I hope this term has been going well for you. For those of you with a half term break coming up in the next few weeks I hope you get the chance to have a well-earned break.

Read more

This week has seen the release of the advance information for the majority of our International GCSE, GCSE, A level and IAL Law qualifications. It has been provided as part of the package of support available for students revising for exams in May and June 2022.  

We know it’s a challenging time in schools and colleges at the moment and that there is lots of information to digest but we are here to support you and your students through it all. You can find more information about the arrangements for 2022 on our summer 2022 support page.

Our team of Subject Advisors have also been running a series of support sessions and the recordings of these are available on Subject Advisor YouTube channels for anyone wishing to view them. For students, we have also created a short video to help explain the arrangements this year.

This edition also contains some important key dates and events that we would like to draw your attention to.  

Kind regards

Hayley White
Assessment Director

The advance information for all relevant GCSE, A level and International GCSE subjects and IAL Law has now been released. Owing to the modular structure of our International A Level qualifications there is no advance information.

To support progression and students' best possible performance in the exams, they will want to revise the whole of the course, but advance information will help highlight where to focus more specific revision. It is important to note that the advance information will not cover everything that is to be assessed, and to ensure that students have a good understanding of all the specification content. You can find out more about this in the JCQ Frequently Asked Questions for exam centres and for learners.

Advance information is now also available to access on the summer 2022 support page for all relevant International GCSE subjects and all relevant GCSE, AS and A level subjects. To help schools and colleges access the advance information more easily, we have also grouped all the documents together in zip files by qualification type and added them to our Summer 2022 support page. Simply download each zip file to access the advance information for each subject.

We have also provided these zip files to your Exams Officer via Edexcel Online. Advance information should be read alongside the JCQ advance information teacher guidance, which helps to explain the principles behind it, and how to use it to support exam preparation.

We are delighted to confirm that we're introducing a regular International GCSE November series, first running in November 2023. This series is being introduced to best meet the needs of students requiring International GCSE exam opportunities outside of the full May/June series and it will replace the existing January series.

We know that many of you will still want to offer International GCSE exams between May/June 2022 and May/June 2023 and we will therefore continue to run the January series in 2023. This will be the last January International GCSE series.

Please take a look at the 2022-24 timeline

Why are we moving to a November Exam series?

  • Due to the pandemic, circumstances have meant that we needed to follow a November International GCSE exam series for the past two years.
  • As the November series seemed to be well received, we consulted schools to understand whether there was a preference for a permanent November exam series or reverting to January.
  • November was the preferred option for most schools - not just for resits, but also for learners studying on a January-December academic year.   

Key information for schools

  • To best meet your needs in this series, we are expanding the range of subjects offered compared to the January series. So, we will have 24 subjects available in the November series from 2023. Please take a look at the timeline.
  • Please note that there will be no November series in 2022, so that schools have sufficient time to transition to the new November series in 2023.
  • To confirm, the January 2023 series will be the final January series available for International GCSE.
  • The new November series will not require R papers. Instead, exams in this series will predominantly be scheduled in the AM slot (GMT) to ensure that centres can run exams at reasonable local times.
  • Your local Pearson contact will be happy to answer any further queries you may have and support your school in the transition to using the November International GCSE series. 

We’ve been listening to feedback from students, parents and carers and we know they are keen to be kept informed of any changes to assessments this year.

We’ve created a new Students, parents and carers support page on our website. Here we provide information and links to additional support to help students, and their parents and carers, understand any changes for the summer exams and to help them prepare for their assessments. You can also watch a video that explains the changes to students. 

In addition we have a created a form so students, parents and carers can provide feedback to us or suggest any further support materials they may find useful.

Please do pass this information on to your students.

Subject advisor Q&A sessions

This month your subject advisors have been running subject-specific, question and answer sessions on the June 2022 exam series for Pearson Edexcel qualifications. There are still some events running to the end of the month, so do take a look at the events still to run and book your place through the Pearson Professional Development Academy. 

Book your Subject Advisor Q&A session

Summer 2022 assessment drop-in sessions 

We’re also running a series of drop in webinars over the next few months that are designed to help schools and colleges understand what's being asked of them this year. We’ll cover how to prepare for high-stake exams alongside the contingency preparation and the tools we have available to help minimise the impact on teachers.  

For further information and to book your place please visit the Pearson Professional Development Academy. 

Book your place on the next Summer 2022 Assessment drop-in session

Participants are encouraged to ask questions during the sessions and upon sign up will also be able to submit questions in advance which we will cover in the event.  

This training is not specific to Pearson Edexcel as the arrangements for summer 2022 are common across all awarding organisations. Arrangements for International GCSE will be specific to Pearson qualifications. You do not have to be teaching a Pearson qualification to attend. 

The Key Dates Finder on our website enables you to find all of the key dates for Pearson general qualifications and subjects in one place.

Here are those taking place in the next few weeks.

17 February 2022 – Reviews of marking deadline for GCSE English and Maths and IAL November 21 Series

24 February 2022 – Release of GCSE and International GCSE Results to candidates from November 21 Series

1 March 2022 – Moderation window opens for A level and GCSE Physical Education May/June 22 Series

3 March 2022 – Release of Project and International GCSE Results to candidates from January 22 Series

21 March 2022 – Deadline to request transferred candidate arrangements for May/June 22 Series

21 March 2022 – International  and UK Qualifications Entry Deadline for May/June 22 Series

31 March 2022 – Reviews of marking deadline for GCSE and International GCSE November 21 Series

31 March 2022 – Deadline to submit applications for access arrangements for May/June 22 Series

More information about key dates for post results services can be found on our website

The 2022 May/June series entry deadline for International and UK general qualifications is 21 March 2022 (for international centres).

Please ensure that all entries are made by this date to avoid incurring late fees.

Read full details on International centre entry deadlines

Reminder: We have made changes to the way we invoice for your qualification entries. Invoices will be sent after the UK entry deadline and not on a weekly basis. This means that you may begin to receive invoices from the week commencing 21 February 2022.  

Please be reminded, International centres will have the opportunity to submit candidate work digitally via the Learner Work Transfer (LWT) platform) for the 2022 May/June series.

Please make sure you have visited the relevant qualification pages and have read the corresponding guidance.

Please visit the Summer 2022 support tab on each qualification page to find out about the specific adaptations which have been put in place for each qualification. The adaptation and optionality information is available on each page.

You will also find advance information guidance for relevant international and UK qualifications that we released in December. These guidance documents outline the approach that will be taken to the advance information that will be released by 7 February.

Read our frequently asked questions that give you more detail about the adaptations

We’ve also created an interactive document that has all the key links that are currently available. This will be kept up to date as and when new information is released. We recommend you sharing this with your colleagues.

Download the key support document now

Our team of subject advisors send out regular important updates about their specific subject areas.

The updates contain important information about assessments, support, events, resources and other key areas of information.  

Sign up for your subject advisor updates now

There is a new FAQ hub and a new Teaching, Learning and assessment page for Vocational and Technical qualifications in 2021/22.

Read vocational and technical qualifications 2021-2022 FAQs

Take a look at the Teaching, learning and assessment 2021-2022 page

You will find the latest information and support for our vocational qualifications on this page, along with links to our regular VQ Bulletin containing all the key updates you need for our vocational qualifications. Please do bookmark this page for future reference.

Read the VQ Bulletins

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