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AQA Drama GCSE results

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by chardmnel, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. I used to be a senior moderator with AQA so I was party to what went on. Those of you with long memories will know that this is not the first time that this has happened. In fact it happens everytime there is a change in the exam spec. It happened when SEG and NEAB merged to become AQA - the SEG marks were made to drop by 3% every year causing an inexplicable (as far as the SEG teachers were concerened) change in grade boundaries with a resulting outcry. Similarly there was a *** up at AQA when the previous new spec was introduced causing a similar number of complaints. Exam boards are a bit like freemasons, everything is deliberately hidden; they will never admit to mistakes or properly explain to teachers why things happen; I suspect that they have to appear invulnerable otherwise the press will have a field day! Which doesn't help the poor teacher.

  2. I do feel for you. I spoke to AQA on Friday and they are still denying there are any real problems. I have sent off several scripts for re-mark and am dreading the results. I have no faith in this board and have already started my new cohort with Edexcel (no written exam) - not that I have great trust in them either. With so many students gaining A/A* in all their GCSE's except Drama, our department has become a bit of laughing stock.
  3. I have sent off for some remarks, will wait to hear back. My HoD has also written a letter of complaint.
    I have completely lost all confidence in my teaching of the written exam. Only been doing this for 6 years but I still always thought GCSE was my strong point.
    I am now delivering lessons that I have no confidence in and am constantly second guessing myself.
    AQA need to sort this out. Nightmare.
  4. Ours are back. Some gone up, not by much, but with the news that AQA are indeed conducting an EXTENDED REVIEW and that we will hear news soon. This is from the Janet Barret.

    What does this mean?
  5. It means this (from the JCQ booklet):
    6.7.4 The awarding body will review the case, and will authorise an extended review of marking if it
    decides that a trend of significant under-marking has been revealed.

    ? ?Significant under-marking? is generally defined as a change of more than 5% of
    the total available raw marks for the paper.

    ? At least 50% of the sample must have experienced significant under-marking for it to be
    considered a ?trend?.

    ? Subject grade changes will not be used as a criterion to determine whether an EAR should
    be extended.

    ? The evidence of one EAR cannot be accepted as a trend.

    6.7.5 Where an awarding body is satisfied that an ?extended review of marking? is warranted, the
    review may take one of the following courses of action, as the awarding body considers

    ? review of the marking of some candidates or some responses;

    ? review of the marking of all remaining candidates in the centre cohort in the unit/component

    ? a statistical adjustment to the raw marks of the remaining candidates in the unit/component

    6.7.6 Where the awarding body initiates an ?extended review of marking?, candidates? marks and
    subject grades may only be confirmed or raised; marks and subject grades will not be lowered.

    6.7.7 Where the awarding body initiates an ?extended review of marking?, centres will not be charged
    a fee.

    6.7.8 Where the awarding body initiates an ?extended review of marking?, centres will not be invoiced
    for those reviews requested as part of the ?representative sample? (see 6.7.1, page 10).
  6. Retro Bates

    Retro Bates New commenter

    My centre has been fortunate enough to have the extended review granted.
    After a bunch of remarks came back with new marks, it was agreed that we will have the entire cohort remarked and their current grades will be protected.

    Fingers crossed.
  7. That's good news. Can you tell me how many remarks were upgraded and did any of yours go down?
  8. 0 down, 4 same, 6 up but only a couple to make a grade change (which is ridiculous, they should have been at least 2 grades higher!) not exactly the result I was after. Still appalled.
  9. Retro Bates

    Retro Bates New commenter

    9 Remarks. 5 upgraded, 1 increased but not upgraded 3 the same.

    When I called the board I stated that I only had the close to borderline candidates remarked and refrained from having any further remarks due to my lack of confidence in the marking this year. I didn't want them to go down. It was agreed that the marking needed looking at.

    Happy Days.

    Hope for more news soon.
  10. STILL waiting for our re-marks. Our centre has had all our re-marks back except for drama. And the Janet Barratt seems to have totally ignored the letter I sent two weeks ago asking when we're likely to hear the results of the 'investigation into results' and who the 'similar centres' are in our area.
  11. Retro Bates

    Retro Bates New commenter

    Give Janet a call. I found her to be very helpful.

    By comparison, I spoke to Sue Lewis, and she sounded like she's lost the plot. She said the marking of Unit 1 was 'not a mess' ! She is happy with the data analysis and denies a problem exists.

    Um.........HELLOOO? , come in planet SLEWIS!
  12. japonica892

    japonica892 New commenter

    Utterly devastated today...re-marks back 10 sent back 1 went up a grade, 2 went down wait for it by 2 grades!!!!!! the rest all went up but not enough to change the grades. Right now I want to hand in my notice...I have Yr 11 parents evening on Thursday and a lot of those that took it were Yr.10 (now year 11) all the parents want to see me about the results...clearly think it is because I am a rubbish teacher as the kids have said their parents don't believe it can be the boards fault. I now have to tell 2 pupils who got C (should have got A) that they now have an E!!! I have lost all confidence in my ability to teach the written side of this paper and quite frankly want to give up teaching right now as I feel it is all my fault.
    I shall be ringing Jane tomorrow in the hope we can get an extended review as all the marks have altered and it all seems to be so erratic!!
  13. I don't teach AQA and don't know about the spec but I don't know how you feel. Hang in there and let the shock wear off. See someone in SLT (are they supportive) about Thursday night and arrange to have support if necessary. Explain to them that you're still investigating it. Are they able to resit the paper?
  14. japonica892

    japonica892 New commenter

    Yes they can re-sit in June but I have never got it so wrong before so feel completely at a loss and worried that they will do worse ......A large glass of wine has helped and I shall be seeing SLT tomorrow...thanks!
  15. More wine! Totally what's needed! Honestly, if they can re-sit then try not to panic. I know what it's like to lose confidence when you feel that you've been doing something right for years then it goes wrong. Book yourself on a course to build your confidence up with the spec requirements again, plan your strategy for the re-sit and don't beat yourself up. Drama exams are funny things!!!
  16. ukpaul

    ukpaul Occasional commenter

    Four remarks back, two up slightly (one up a grade), two down by large amounts (18 marks!), thankfully these are students who were only a mark off the next grade so no grades down.
    This is beyond a joke now, students who last year were getting A* grades now struggle to a B on the written paper.
    The examining has been inconsistent and standardisation ridiculously poor, some have marked as per last year and some have been marked much more leniently. If there is no admission of culpability from AQA then we need to push for heads to roll. If anyone is attending the GCSE London meetings then that would be a good time to push back, I'm already booked on it and looking forward to having the chance to do so enormously.
    Thankfully I speak from a position of strength, ten years here of majority A* grades in the written paper, recently with nearly all getting that grade. For them to try and claim that now these same students are only B standard on the written paper is not credible.
    Don't blame yourself, don;t even think about resigning, take the fight to them. We all know that you get rogue marks occasionally but this is something different, an exam which is not being marked consistently and with students this year being disadvantaged by the lack of rigour in ensuring that consistency.
  17. Had my two re-marks back. Exactly the same mark, which considering mine were origially marked by the Principal Examiner (ooh, get me), isn't surprising. One of the main issues at my school has been that despite my explanation that the marks on the written paper were ridiculously low and the grade boundaries have changed so much, other 'similar centres' (according to AQA data) did vastly better than we did and SMT want to know why. It's interesting to hear so many centres now reporting that their marks are now coming down on the re-marks, quite substantially in some cases, but that brings them more in line with the marking of my own centre's students and doesn't make me feel such a loser in comparison with them. I'm still waiting for a reply from Janet Barrett to my letter about who the 'similar centres' are in our area, and when we're likely to hear the result of their internal investigation, but I strongly suspect she's wiped her backside on my letter, to be frank.
  18. Marty57

    Marty57 New commenter

    Feel exactly the same. I am an experienced head of drama...and am totally at a loss. The students have lost trust, as have SLT now. Please, no one tell me to dust myself down and go on a course. Who with Susan Elles? Please do not think anything other than AQA have made a big Balls Up! As they have with A2 and AS (by the way) We are not changing boards, but I may well be changing careers. It is all too inconsistent, and there are too many excuses from the board...
  19. ukpaul

    ukpaul Occasional commenter

    In an idle moment I thought I'd check other subject forums to see if there's any pattern, and, lo and behold, there are four exam concerns on the front pages of a forum - all AQA, three at GCSE and one at A Level (Drama GCSE/French GCSE/RS GCSE and English AS).
    Given the idea emerging from AQA, as reported today, about manipulating marks depending on what sort of school students attend, things are getting murkier and murkier. What political behind the scenes action is taking place at AQA for that sort of thing to get to the stage where they can announce it in public? As this philosophical change appears to be something that AQA are happy to be identified with they have a lot of questions to answer.
  20. Marty57

    Marty57 New commenter

    No...it wasn't really aimed at you, rather a message in frustration, after a particularly difficult meeting with SLT concerning GCSE results. Sorry if it came across like that.[​IMG]

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