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AQA Drama GCSE results

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

  1. No, don't apologise! I just wanted to check! :) It's all so very stressful, isn't it?!
  2. Well, it seems like a positive move that they are giving some centres an extended enquiry. But initially you've got to take the risk of asking for a remark - not easy for some teachers to take this risk. Given how much fuss there has been I think they should look again at everyone's. Well done here though Maffo - hope this has a positive outcome for you and your centre.
  3. Marty57

    Marty57 New commenter

    What a mess....i have now been advised to stop worrying and get on with this year's work.
    Advice i am now going to take after 5/6 weeks of continual stress on this matter.

  4. I'm trying to do the same, but it's difficult to teach the written paper when I have no confidence that what I'm teaching for Unit 1 is correct and can't find a centre that got higher marks on the written paper and with whom I can confer.
  5. ukpaul

    ukpaul Occasional commenter

    "but it's difficult to teach the written paper when I have no confidence that what I'm teaching for Unit 1 is correct and can't find a centre that got higher marks on the written paper and with whom I can confer."
    A good time to shop around, I was surprised how much a better lead in to the AQA A level the Welsh board GCSE is for one. Looks like one to investigate further.
    I mean, there are so many factors emerging which suggest 'this is a *** up' that you'd hope that complete transparency would be the result rather than opaque obfuscation.
    I'm looking forwards to the forthcoming examples in the meeting of top grades anyway and ready to shoot them down, I'm expecting A level standard at worst with multiple references to theatrical theory, it's the only way that I can see there being any reason that standards have changed so much.
  6. ukpaul

    ukpaul Occasional commenter

    Ha! An innocuous term in my last post now looks much worse by the system putting asterisks there instead (I wasn't swearing by the way...)
  7. "Opaque obfuscation"? You've been watching too much old-time music hall.
    Trouble is, it's really too late to tackle a new board's syllabus for Year 11, what with set texts for WJEC an'all. I feel like I'm stuck with AQA for my Year 11.
  8. Which set text have you decided to study?
  9. Turns out AQA complained to TES Connect about my re-representation of their logo on my profile picture, and they took it down
    AQA may not be focusing on the key issues here
  10. But at least it shows they are looking! Very interesting.
  11. Anyone else still waiting for whole cohort remark results? I am!
  12. You would not believe the results i got back after asking for a remark. Everyone went down!!! some as much as ,27 and 39 marks!!! Our exams officer was shocked as she has never seen such a huge difference in marking. Thank goodness we only got 4 remarked. However this raises bigger issues such as how can the marking be so diffrerent? This is now being followed up by the exams officer and our school.
  13. japonica892

    japonica892 New commenter

    AQA would not do a extended review of marking as even though all my remarks changed a lot were within tolerance however they acknowledged that there was a 'spike' in the marking and agreed to put all the marks up by 3 marks...those that went down stayed at there original mark and went up 3 those that went up more than 3 stayed at the new mark. It really hasn't made a massive difference to my Yr 10 as most only went from G to F or E to D but one of my Year 11 went from a D to a C.

    Having seen all these posts and spoken to many centres it seems all remarks either went down by a huge amount (2 of mine went down by 18 marks ...2 grades) but all were inconsistent there is a big big problem!
  14. 2 years ago I too had a student go down by 39 marks on a remark. Considering the paper is only out of 80 I was immediately on the phone to the board, as this meant overall she had gone down by a grade, (from an A -1 mark off an A* hence the remark - to a mid B). I argued that how could I have faith that AQA had standardised their examiners if 2 examiners viewed the same written work so differently. Her work had not changed, just the marking of it had. Eventually, having been passed around at the board I talked to someone (sorry can't remember his name now) who took on board my concerns and enabled my student to keep her original marks.
    Since then I have not put in for any remarks as I have no faith in that system.
    Like a lot of people on this forum I have e-mailed Janet Barret whose response was that I get 8 students work remarked and if there was a marking issue they would look at all the marks awarded to my centre. I did not do this due to the experience above - I could not risk the results that my students already had. I felt that 70% of them were already a grade down on where they should have been, or would have been if they had taken the course in the previous 5 years and I couldn't face the possibility fo them dropping any further. In addition the cost of doing this was prohibitive as my capitation is not huge. I am only a small department and she was asking me to take a gamble with my budget. I felt that Janet's response showed a lack of understanding of this aspect for many school drama departments and just reinforced that AQA is a profit making business, who really have not got their clients best interests at heart.
  15. I really do not understand why TES are not covering this story. I emailed them pointing them this way as I imagine others did, and parents as well as teachers have contributed on this thread which has been running for several weeks now. Why is this issue not news-worthy in the education world?
  16. just had a tip off about an article in today's sunday times about the entire fiasco... haven't seen it yet, but am off down the newsagent sharpish!
  17. resources4drama

    resources4drama New commenter

    I can't post a link to the article as the website is subscription only, so I have pasted it below.
    If you have a comment, the ST publishes letters (usually of between 75 - 150 words). The deadline for submission is Thursday midday and they must contain your address and phone number. Address is letters@sunday-times.co.uk . You need to quote the page number that the article is publised on (page 20, October 16).

    At least 1,000 pupils have challenged their grades in just one GCSE paper
    taken last summer in the latest row over “blunders” by exam authorities.

    Schools lodged the requests for papers to be re-marked after pupils who scored
    a string of A* and A grades in other subjects found that in a drama paper
    set by the exam board AQA, they were scoring grade E or lower.

    The schools claim the pupils’ results were so far out of line with how well
    they did in their other papers that they must have been caused by erratic
    marking and mistakes in setting how many marks are needed to score each

    Concerns over the exam system have been further heightened by a poll by the
    Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference of independent schools. Of the
    80 heads of leading schools who responded, 63 said their confidence in the
    exam system had declined in the past five years, 17 said it had stayed the
    same, and none was more confident.

    This summer, the English exam boards — AQA, Edexcel and OCR — were sharply
    criticised for a string of mistakes in at least 10 question papers. In one
    case, an AS-level maths paper featured a question that was impossible to
    answer, worth 11% of total marks.

    Ofqual, the exams regulator, is due to release the results of its
    investigation of the errors within weeks.

    Last week, Michael Gove, the education secretary, warned boards they faced
    tougher policing of both efficiency and the educational standard of exams.
    He told an Ofqual conference he was giving the regulator “sharper teeth”,
    including the ability to fine exam boards. He added: “We do have to ask
    ourselves questions about this summer’s examinations. Why were there so many
    mistakes? . . . It’s not enough to be complacent and say that these things

    Simon Lebus, chief executive of Cambridge Assessment, which owns OCR, has
    written to ministers to propose appointing a complaints commissioner to levy
    Gove’s fines.

    Christopher Ray, high master of the independent Manchester grammar, who is
    coordinating complaints by dozens of private and state schools about the
    marking of AQA drama, said: “There are heart-rending stories about the
    problems this year. It has led to a number of schools having wholescale
    reviews where all their papers are re-marked.

    “We have been dealing with over 40 schools that have suffered exactly the same
    problem in exactly the same way — very high-quality students gaining high
    grades for all written papers in other subjects getting very low grades in
    the written component of drama.”

    One teacher, posting on the website of The Times Educational Supplement,
    wrote: “There is something very wrong here. [At] my school — a top grammar
    school — no one was above a low B in the written paper and there were lots
    of E grades. These are straight A/A* students — they were in tears.”

    The growth in re-marks was revealed last week in figures from Ofqual showing
    that between 2006 and 2010 the number of A-level grades that changed
    following reviews grew from 6,878 to 10,541, equivalent to a rise from 0.33%
    to 0.47% of all papers.

    In the HMC poll of confidence among heads, the most common complaint was about
    the efficiency of teachers hired to mark exams.

    Kenneth Durham, headmaster of University College school, north London and
    chairman of the HMC, recently described the exam system as an “assessment
    monster”, with continuous testing from the age of 15. This, he believes, has
    led to more marking than exam boards can handle efficiently.

    He said this weekend: “I have noticed a gradually increasing level of
    discontent both within my school and more broadly.”

    AQA said: “We did receive some inquiries about GCSE drama and we are confident
    we have taken the necessary steps to protect students in the small number of
    cases where this was appropriate.”

    Edexcel added: “We are always seeking to raise the bar and further improve . .
    . We would encourage the 80 HMC member schools polled to contact us and
    raise any concerns they have directly.”

  18. Thanks for this, Resources. I went straight out and bought a copy, and the article will be in my Headteacher's pigeon hole tomorrow morning. There's also a great article on the fabulous Mark Rylance in the Culture magazine. I've got tickets for 'Jerusalem' in January and I can't wait.
  19. I appealed against mine as they all went down from Ds-Fs. I dont understand how that does not demonstrate severe inconsistencies in the marking? Plus I looked at the papers and there is no way that they were F grades. However, we paid for an appeal and got nowhere.
    Is anyone else in the same position? What is everyone else doing with it and how are you predicting results for next year?


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