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another grade boundary Increase! What to do....

Discussion in 'Art and design' started by barrywhite, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. hello, requesting thoughts from HODs. We teach fine art a2 level via aqa. They have increased the a* boundary from 77/80 to 78/80, (raw) the first was a huge ask and I find this new boundary far too high.

    Having been a HOD for a good number of years I am used to the boundary changes and unfortunately pupils do miss out, but this change has got me very annoyed having worked hard to get pupils into this top grade ( and the pupils obviously too). I am of course going to speak with my exams officer, I want to challenge this as I feel the pupils I marked at a* do have a* work but they now have an a. (I had some right on the 77) The moderator didn't move the marks and therefore agreed.

    My questions are...does anyone else have high grade pupils that they feel have missed out? Is it possible to challenge a grade boundary change?

    Also I have parents ( not that they are assessors) feeling pupils with a lower standard of work in neighbouring schools have been given a* suggesting in consistency in marking/moderation. Can the moderation process be challenged in a different way? Our moderator agreed with our marks and has commended us for our accuracy, so re moderation wouldn't be appropriate here.

    I'm feeling rather disappointed, and feel most likely I am going to be able to do nothing about the situation.

    I already have pupils not wanting to take the subject because its to hard and to time consuming saying it's easier to get a higher grade in other subjects.

  2. I absolutely sympathise with you as I have been having the same conversation with other teacher friends. The A* is becoming a full mark requirement as grade boundaries constantly shift. Predicting grades becomes an unknown quantity and like you I have been a HOD for many years and still feel unable to make sense of it all. I do think as your report deemed you accurate it would be pointless to re-mark. I wonder what the point was in implementing another grade boundary shift the year before new specifications are introduced!? Take solace that your students will have A* quality work in portfolios as they continue their art education. After all the A* never existed when We were at school... Good luck
  3. Hi both,

    I am with Edexcel and noted that the a* boundary remains at 78/80 but they have moved the A boundary to 77/80. I did not have any top level students in this cohort but think this increase is unnecessary - if you drop 4 marks at A2 level you achieve a B?! Crazy! I agree that it is a challenge to encourage pupils to take the subject already. I had already made the decision to move from Edexcel as these A/A* boundaries have been creeping up year on year. I am considering writing to the exam board - to ask for further justification. Teachers are aiming to moderate cautiously but are having to inflate grades to achieve top grades for their students. I feel we are getting to a point where the portfolio and exhibition are important but we have to take grades with a pinch of salt. Unfortunately though, pupils are part of a system that insists on levelling and grading to bring our subject in line with everything else. Fair enough, but there has to be a level of parity. I think we suffer in silence far too much and would encourage others to voice their concerns with exam boards and even ofqual.

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