boomsatsuma students are celebrating finally getting the grades they have earned, following the government’s U-turn over its postcode lottery algorithm to Centre Assessed Grades.
boomsatsuma is proud of its richly diverse cohort, drawing students from across the region. With over 40% of grades adversely effected by the algorithm, there was a clear negative impact hitting students from some of Bristol’s most marginalised communities.
Even with the initial inaccurate downgrades, boomsatsuma’s grades averaged a triple Distinction, which exceeded the national average. Now correctly restored, boomsatsuma’s record for excellence shines through, achieving above a Distinction average across all grades. This is particularly impressive for an establishment that prides itself on delivering opportunity for everyone. boomsatsuma attracts gifted students from all demographics of society, including educating significant numbers of people from less privileged areas of Bristol.
Mark Curtis, boomsatsuma’s creative director, states:
“We’re very proud of our students, particularly their focus within the current pandemic. We implemented e-learning to teach through-out lockdown, so these grades are based on actual delivery.
“boomsatsuma grades come from continuous assessment using the OCR Cambridge technical extended diploma qualifications, so we are no stranger to teacher of centre assessment as they have always been assessed this way, with moderators from Oxford and Cambridge board moderating and checking our assessments every year of our ten-year history. In that time, boomsatsuma has never had teacher assessments downgraded.
“We empower our students to take ownership of their education and track their performance throughout their two years. It was particularly frustrating and tragic for students who strived for excellence to see the illogical adjustment bring their grades down. It was an injustice.
“We must stress this isn’t a concession or a hand out, this corrects a grave error. These students have earned what they now have and are a credit to their families. Our students don’t want to hear that they got where they wanted to go as a result of a concession, they want to know they earned it.
“We are now continuing to support our students on their journeys to employment or higher education, while also focusing on providing an environment where all of next years’ intake can find the encouragement and confidence to excel in our professional, creative contexts and follow this year’s brilliant results. Hard work pays off and we won’t let them down.”
boomsatsuma geared up ahead of the COVID-19 lockdown to make sure all students had laptops and wi-fi to continue with e-learning and complete their courses, delivering more than 50 Apple Mac workstations to some of the most marginalised communities in our city. This means they are qualified and armed with the skills to move forward. Disadvantage is something we all have an obligation to challenge, the algorithm and rhetoric around its application was the binary opposite and boomsatsuma is glad it has been rightly scrapped.