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Northampton School for Boys

Northampton School for Boys

Examinations 2021-2022

Exams 2022: What you need to know about plans for GCSEs and A-levels

  • There will be a choice of topics to be taught for GCSE English Literature, History, and Geography

This means that the English, History and Geography Teams will decide which part of the specification they will deliver and which part they can leave out. In Geography, there have already been changes to fieldwork assessments.

  • Advance information for most subjects

Exam Boards will provide advance information about the focus of the content of the exams at GCSE and A level for 2022. This will be published by February 7th 2022 at the latest.

This would apply to all subjects EXCEPT GCSE English Literature, History and Geography, and GCSE and A level Art and Design, and Photography. It is expected that the information will be released in the Spring Term of 2022. However, if the impact of the pandemic gets worse, Exam Boards could decide to issue advance information earlier in the academic year.

  • Practical Science by demonstration

GCSE Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Combined Science teachers will be able to deliver practical science work by demonstration if it is not possible for the students to undertake the experiments themselves.

The practical endorsement for A-level Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, will be modified so teachers will still be able to assess the Practical Endorsement part of the specification.

  • Art and Design and Photography to be assessed by portfolio only

In GCSE and A-level Art and Design subjects including Photography, students will be assessed on their portfolio only. There will be no Exam Board set task in 2022.

  • Exam room formulae sheet for some GCSEs

GCSE Maths students will be allowed access to a formulae sheet in the exam room. There will also be a revised equations sheet in GCSE Physics and Combined Science. This will be issued to students before the exams so they can become familiar using it. A copy of the sheet will be included within the exam paper itself.

  • Exams to take place at usual times

This means that GCSE and A Level  subjects will be examined in May and June. Modern Foreign Language oral exams usually take place before the written papers.

  • DfE and Ofqual ‘contingency plans’

In the event that written examinations can not take place, a contingency plan will be published so that schools and awarding bodies can still award grades to students. Final details of these plans have not been released yet but the procedure would be based on Teacher Assessed Grades as per 2021.

  • Non-exam assessment (NEA / Coursework)

Ofqual will allow for adjustments to the NEA arrangements to accommodate public health restrictions in: GCSE and A-level Dance; GCSE Design and Technology; A-level Design and Technology: Product Design; GCSE and A-level Drama (and Theatre); GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition; GCSE and A-level Music; GCSE and A-level Physical Education (PE)

  • Fieldwork in GCSE and A-level Geography

Schools and colleges can continue to provide fieldwork activities for their students if they are able to do so but this is not a compulsory element for 2022.

  • GCSE English language

Teachers will not need to submit a recording of students doing their spoken language assessments.

  • GCSE Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

Exam Boards will exclude vocabulary that is not on the vocabulary lists for assessments in GCSE MFL. Teachers and students should prepare for spoken language in 2022 to be assessed in the normal way, through formal speaking tests. This applies to GCSE French, German and Spanish. Exam Boards will include an extra optional question in the writing assessment to help students to focus on fewer themes in their writing.

Arrangements still to be confirmed

1. Optionality in GCSE Geography

All Exam Boards are working together to finalise how the optionality will work.

2. Non-exam assessment (NEA) in GCSE and A-level PE

Live moderation visits are due to go ahead as normal for summer 2022, but more information is still to be published on this.

Results Days

BTEC and A-level results will be published on Thursday, 18 August 2022

GCSE results will be published on Thursday, 25 August 2022


2022 will be a transition year for grading with grade boundaries to be set by Exam Boards reflecting a midway point between 2021 and 2019 – this will mean that more students will get higher grades in 2022 than before the pandemic but there will be a lower amount of higher grades in comparison to the Teacher Assessed Grading of 2020 and 2021. The Department for Education (DfE) believe that this approach will provide a safety net for this year’s students as well as a step back to normality, with results expected to return to the usual national grade profile by 2023.

Northampton School for Boys, Examinations Office


Northampton School for Boys, Billing Road, Northampton, NN1 5RT
01604 230240