September 2021 Esports update | Pearson qualifications

September 2021 Esports update

Welcome back to the new school year and also to this first Esports e-update.

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This update covers the mitigations that are being carried over for last year's mid-flight learners, as well as the streamlining mitigation which is in place in case of disruption during this academic year.

We hope that the start of term goes well.

Mark Battye and Colin Leith

Esports Education Summit 2021

AoC Sport and the British Esports Association are running the third annual Esports in Education Summit on Tuesday 28 September 12:20-15:30. Pearson BTEC are sponsoring this virtual event which will bring together Senior Leaders, Curriculum Managers, Lecturers and Team Coaches from across the UK to discuss the impact, developments and opportunities available in competitive gaming within colleges.

Find out more

Pearson Esports Podcast: Episode 1 - Grants and Funding for Esports Equipment

Pearson Esports Podcast: Episode 1 - Grants and Funding for Esports Equipment
This series of podcasts is designed to support the planning and delivery of the new 2020 suites of Pearson and British Esports Association Esports BTECs.
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Getting started with Esports

To ensure smooth delivery of Esports qualifications, the three forms below will help you prepare the resources you will need to deliver the qualification.

  • Resource requirements: what you will need
  • Approvals checklist: a check that all resources are available
  • Approvals form: details of where to send your approval request.

2022 arrangements for 2020-2021 mid-flight learners

Arrangements for learners who were classified as ‘mid-flight’ in 2020/21, and therefore were not eligible for a Qualification-level TAGs.

Now that we understand more from the Ofqual and DfE consultation, and that Qualification-level TAGs will not be permitted in 2021/22, we will need to ensure that all eligible learners ‘bank’ unit-level results in order for their qualification level results to be aggregated in the ‘normal’ way via our systems in 2021/22.

This process will include external assessment that was due to be completed (and where an entry has been made) but the assessment was marked as absent.

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We will provide guidance to support you to make unit-level TAG judgements for these learners. This will reflect the guidance that we issued for Q-TAG, but where you will look to available evidence across the content delivered in 2020/21 to make judgements at unit-level. You will have already utilised the ‘Z flag’ to indicate all missed assessment that was due to take place between the eligible period for TAGs judgement; 1 August 2020 – 31 August 2021, we will now ask you to add a unitised grade to this flag. You will also have made external assessment entries in line with our guidance indicating if the learner was due to be assessed during this time, we will ask you to provide a unitised grade for this missed assessment, and we will apply a mid-way point score to enable aggregation.

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Streamlined assessment 2021-2022

In 2020-2021 the Qualification-level ‘Teacher Assessed Grade’ (TAG) processes ensured that learners were able to claim certification and move on to the next stage of their education or employment. This meant that we were not able to issue Unit Certificates (also known as Notifications of Performance or NOPs) due to the holistic process put in place.

For 2021-2022 the current regulation from Ofqual does not currently permit TAGs. In consideration of this, we are implementing updated adaptations called ‘streamlined assessment’ for the qualifications listed within this guidance. Streamlined assessment is where you will only be required to assess one Learning Aim from the selected unit.

Not all qualifications are able to use the streamlined adaptations, and some qualifications do not have any assessment adaptations in place, due to their smaller size.

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The following principles apply to all learners:

  • All content must be taught.
  • Centres should plan to take all assessments planned for 2021/22 academic year.
  • Centres should prioritise mandatory unit assessments, and those that have been identified as important for learner progression (e.g. linked to HEI admissions).
  • Streamlined assessments should only be applied to mandatory units as a last resort.
  • Streamlined assessment cannot be applied to units that are synoptic (this is detailed in the relevant specification).
  • The option to streamline the number of assessments indicated in the guidance, is at the centre’s discretion and on reflection on the continued impact of the disruption caused by the pandemic on the learners.
  • Streamlined assessment is available to create additional time for teaching, learning and access to facilities like workshops, studies and laboratories.
  • Where streamlined assessment is applied, centres must assess at least 1 learning aim, of the centres choice, that covers all available grades for the unit.
  • The Learning Aim must be assessed, a grade awarded and submitted on EOL with the relevant ‘streamlined flag’ (further administration guidance to follow).
  • Centres should continue to ‘bank’ units through the year using the ‘interim’ claims function in EOL.
    Centres will need to declare which units have been subject to streamlined assessment (further administration guidance to follow)
  • Centres can choose to assess all units, and not use the streamlined internal assessment option if they are able to assess all content.

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Support for BTEC qualifications

There is a new teaching, learning and assessment page for this academic year. It will keep you up-to-date with the latest news and information and support you as you deliver BTEC qualifications throughout the year.

You will also find it useful to subscribe to the VQ Bulletin, a consolidated briefing from Pearson, which contains all the key updates you need about our vocational qualifications.

Your Centre's Lead Internal Verifiers registration expired on 31 July 2021. Registration for Lead Internal Verifiers for academic year 2021/22 is now open through the OSCA platform on Edexcel Online. Please ensure you register a LIV by 30 September 2021.

The process for the registration and standardisation of LIVs remains the same as in previous years.

Standardisation Materials

Standardisation materials are available to allow centres to complete standardisation activity. The deadline for completion of the standardisation activity is 30 September 2021. Materials will be available through the OSCA platform on Edexcel Online as in previous years. You must have a registered LIV in order to access materials.

The Centre Guides can help you with all the Quality Assurance processes.

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We have templates, forms and guides to help you save time and fulfil your part in the BTEC assessment and verification process with ease.

You’re welcome to use your own forms and templates, but it may be worth referring to ours to ensure you’ve got the essentials covered.

The Pearson Quality Advisor Team offer a range of free online events to support all aspects of Quality Assurance in relation to your BTEC programmes. Whatever your role, please take a look at our list of events on offer on our Quality Support Hub Events page. These events are offered on different days and at different times so we are sure you will find a slot to suit you and your teams.

Our next event is 23 September 3.30pm - 4.30pm, a brief overview of the of the Quality Assurance process for 2021/22. We are limiting attendance to 1 person per centre, although we'll be making the recording available.

In order to access the ACS, you will need to complete the form using the following options:

Option Please select
Customer options Teacher & Department Heads
Issue type Systems, Tools & Services
Category type BTEC Assignment checking Service

You can then complete the rest of the online form providing all the information relevant to your case, attach the assignment brief once you have submitted the case.

Please ensure that you have also read the ACS terms & conditions.

The Professional Development Academy is a one-stop shop that provides access to a wide range of flexible, high-quality online courses for teachers.

You will find a range of on-demand, live and self-guided training courses creating flexible options for learning at a time that suits individual needs.

Sharing BTEC stories

Do you have any learners who have finished their BTECs in Esports and are starting out with a career, or at university, and making progress?

If they would be willing to share their thoughts about their course and why they think others should do one too, we would love to hear from them!

Their stories would be shared on our website and social media platforms.

Future of Qualifications and Assessment Research

At Pearson we are carrying out research for the second phase of our Future of Qualifications and Assessment project and would like to hear from teachers and lecturers to help us shape our vision. We are looking for professionals teaching in any type of educational institution, working mostly with learners aged 14 or older in any subject or discipline, to participate in a 90-minute online workshop. For those that take part, we'll give you a £20 Amazon voucher to say thanks! The sessions will take place from 4 to 5.30pm on various dates in September. To sign up, please complete the short survey below and we'll get back you soon with more information.

BTEC Nationals in Esports

This is where you will find the specifications for the:

  • Extended Certificate
  • Foundation Diploma
  • Diploma
  • Extended Diploma
These qualifications are 100% internally assessed.
These qualifications attract UCAS points but are not eligible for inclusion in the DfE performance measures.

Delivery Guides are available for Units 1-5.  Delivery guides include suggested resources.

We also have schemes of work for a number of units

The document below is intended to provide you with guidance for how you might adapt delivery for the BTEC Nationals in Esports (RQF) in the academic year of 2021-2022.

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Streamlined assessment

Streamlined assessment is where you will only be required to assess one Learning Aim from the selected unit.

Streamlined unit assessment means that the number of internally assessed units that need to be assessed in full is reduced, these could be mandatory or optional, but cannot be units that are synoptic.

So, for the BTEC National Foundation Diploma in Esports, Unit 2 would not be eligible.

For the BTEC National Diploma in Esports, Unit 5 would not be eligible.

For the BTEC National Extended Diploma in Esports, Unit 5 would not be eligible.

Streamlined assessment for the BTEC Nationals

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Authorised Assignment Briefs are available for most units.

You may use Authorised Assignment Briefs 'off the shelf' but they still need to be internally verified.

You may wish to use these as a model for your own assignment briefs and you can have these checked by our Assignment Checking Service.

These event are for all teachers who assess learner work for internally assessed units in this brand new qualification.

During this event you will learn how to accurately assess ‘Pass’ criteria and also ‘Distinction’ criteria. During the session you will have the opportunity, with the Senior Standards Verifier, to assess samples of learner work in order to gain a better understanding of how the evidence submitted by the learner meets the requirements for a ‘Pass’ grade or a ‘Distinction grade. In addition, you will also learn the differences and what constitutes a merit or a distinction. You will be given some useful guidance to refer back to in your assessment of Pass, Merit and Distinction criteria.

Learning Aims:

  • To learn how to mark and assess a pass criteria
  • To learn how to mark and assess a distinction criteria
  • To investigate what makes a distinction piece of work different from a merit piece of work.

Once you have understood how to apply the standard in this session, you can then apply this principal across the unit(s) that you teach.

This event and the qualification covered, is for UK centres only.

This event counts as 2 hours CPD.

Event Fee (GBP)
£66.00 (Incl. VAT)

The British Esports Association have an interesting article containing advice on how to get into esports casting which may be of interest to our esports teachers and learners. 

Level 2 Esports

This is where you will find the specification for the

  • Award (120 glh)
  • Certificate (240 glh)
  • Diploma (360 glh)

No external assessment

Performance tables (England): Not on performance measures (England)

These qualifications are for learners who want to develop a range of skills within the esports and related industries. They are designed primarily for learners at post-16, but are suitable qualifications for 14-16 and post-16 learners as part of their wider study programme. They are ideal qualifications for learners intending to progress to further education at level 3 or to an apprenticeship within esports and related industries.

Funding: 16-18, 19+

The document below is intended to provide you with guidance for how you might adapt delivery for the BTEC Level 2 Esports qualifications in the academic year of 2021-2022.

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Streamlined assessment

Streamlined assessment is where you will only be required to assess one Learning Aim from the selected unit.

Streamlined unit assessment means that the number of internally assessed units that need to be assessed in full is reduced, these could be mandatory or optional, but cannot be units that are synoptic.

So, for the BTEC Level 2 Award in Esports, it would have to be Unit 1.

For the BTEC Level 2 Certificate in Esports, it would have to be Unit 1.

For the BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Esports, it would have to be one of Units 3, 4, 6 or 7.

Streamlined assessment for Level 2 Esports

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We have assignment briefs for Units 1-4.  

Level 1 Esports

Esports can be delivered at level 1 by changing the context of units within our Vocational Studies qualifications. Vocational Studies qualifications give learners the opportunity to study units across different sectors with the main focus being the development of transferable skills. All units are internally assessed.

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