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AQA Drama GCSE results

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

  1. Hi Ellie. I feel exactly the same It is just so humiliating.

    We should not accept this!

    I could not have done more to prepare my students for the exam and like you I got brilliant practical results. If they feel that this exam is lacking rigour [which I don't by the way] then they should actually do the work and change it, not just look at the whole cohort and in my opinion lazily just change the grade boundaries

    Don't give up!

    We are too valuable a resource in teaching. The transferrable skills we help to instil in our students are priceless. This apart from the creativity and ability to see and be part if a wider world. /bigger Picture.

    [This from someone at 4 am worrying and feeling slightly sick at the thought of facing those students and trying to explain that its not their fault!].

  2. Hi,

    Have been reading everyone's posts and feeling a little relieved that it isn't just me that seems to be suffering from a batch of incredibly low scores for the Unit 1 written paper.

    I can't understand what happened. After reading the examiners report, which tells me everything I already knew about the paper and had imparted to my students, I am still no clearer on what the problem was for my students. We spent ages looking at different wording of possible questions and ensuring that they all answered from a personal perspective, drumming the need to refer to specific acting skills in to their heads and still students who are highly intelligent, strong fluent writers could not seem to get any higher than a B with most of the other students ending on Ds and Es.

    It is just so disheartening. Really not sure what to do, whether to ask for remarks or what! Has anyone had any experience of a successful remark for this paper?

  3. Hi

    When did you put in this complaint. I saw this almost immediately - students came and told me - and I went to see my Director of Studies who agreed that it could be cause for a complaint. I waited for a few days to see if anyone else had thought the same by reading these type of forums but read nothing. I thought then it must be me and my error - although the syllabus says little about how much you should teach - and kicked myself. Now wondering if its too late to put in the complaint. Am certainly asking for a few remarks. I have one student who 100 percent in her English exam and a D in the Drama! How?
  4. Hey UKpaul - where is your separate post about these shifts?
  5. Hi Siamsev,

    Were you asking about my complaint about the wording of Section C? If so, I put this in about a week after the exam. In my opinion, it's never too late. Although it obviously won't make any difference to results this year, I think it's really important that the board know how angry teachers are. Maybe they will think a bit more carefully for next year?!

    Basically, the response I got from them was not massively helpful. I quoted the syllabus at them where it says students should have an understanding of the text, but makes no reference to script, and they quoted it straight back and said that "script" and "text" mean the same thing! Obviously this is something I fundamentally disagree with, but they did say that the students weren't expected to quote directly from the script itself so I felt a little better. However, I still don't feel that they fully considered the effect this had on the kids sitting in that exam room.

  6. Good morning everyone. I have actually left my school this summer but have emailed the Vice Principal this morning to see if she will take up the matter fro my kids. I was gobsmacked that some students were marked so low. I attended all the training, looked at previous papers and studied the examiner's comments from last year in great detail. One of my students was a straight A* student in every subject but only got a C in Drama because of the written exam - there is no way this student got it wrong!

    I am not sure what has happened here but surely we can't all be wrong and AQA right? I don't think asking schools to pay for re-marks when the problem is with them is fair at all.

    I will keep checking in to see how you all get on

  7. I forgot to say - I logged a complaint about the wording of the second question in section C the day after the exam. I got a reply saying it was logged but heard nothing since.
  8. ukpaul

    ukpaul Occasional commenter

    Grade Boundary shift here.


    When, in a few years, an A* mark becomes a B then you know that the exam board have lost control completely. Is there any way to expedite the removal of the people in charge? In any other business a loss of 25% of custom (since 2008, Edexcel have lost 30%) and a collapse in customer satisfaction would have them thrown out, so why not here? They are complicit in destroying the subject through incompetence.
  9. cupofteacher

    cupofteacher New commenter

    Interesting results this year...I do feel their exemplar material needs to be remarked in line with the most recent grade boundaries so that teachers can use these more effectively in preparation.
  10. Has any school achieved excellent results in the written paper, if so please could they post the way in which they have achieved this. Like most of the contributors since the change in syllabus our written results have declined dramatically. The chief examiner attended a CPD session at my school and we followed every piece of info and advice she gave us and our results went down 20 percent, so what more is expected of us!! What is really happening to our subject?
  11. Yes, my school achieved good results on the written paper this year, for the first time in three years. Far in excess of 'similar centres'. Why? Absolutely no idea. We did Section C, which we always do, and I took the same approach as I always do in 'how to get marks'. The ONLY thing I can think is that I stressed more than ever the need to read the question carefully, and we worked on key words in the questions that they need to pick up on, and did exercises on 'What's the question asking?' I also accentuated the need for a personal response to the questions. It still doesn't really account for the vast difference in marks from last year, with actually a lower ability group in terms of their writing skills. I really think it's down to who's marking the paper and their interpretation of what to give credit for, to be honest, and I suspect there's a lot of variance in that. Doesn't help, does it?
  12. ukpaul

    ukpaul Occasional commenter

    The marks are different because different people mark them and to different standards. We all know this happens, yet those in charge remain in their posts because not enough people will bring this into the open. Given that students are not opting for drama in droves and schools are questioning the need for a subject where results do not correlate with ability there has to be a point where this is brought into the open, as trying to carry on in the hope that things get better isn't working. There has to be efficient standardisation and an approach where each part of the course is treated equally. The people in charge in the last few years have not been able to do this and are being allowed to blunder on.

    I get decent written results so cannot be seen as complaining about students failing, what I have seen is the weakest of the last few year's cohorts gaining the highest marks and the strongest the lowest. It has become, quite frankly and somewhat ironically, a long running farce.
  13. Thank you for replying so quickly. We have changed to GCSE Performing Arts so I really hope this will help our students and results. If anyone out there does Perf Arts then please could you tell me how your results went. Am I being synical but are 'they' trying to get rid of Drama/Performing Arts!!
  14. Am in total agreement. Students have not been awarded the grades they deserve! Felt sick when I saw their results this year and really feel for any NQT's out there.
  15. Hello eveyone. Sorry to hear you are all in the same boat but to be honest i am relieved to hear your concerns. I have been teaching AQA gcse Drama for 19 years with no problems. My SLT have been very supportive and encouraged remarks these came back today unchanged as we predicted they would. After reading your comments we are now going to appeal. I'm devastated for the students and very confused as to what has happened here. I also had students who attained A* for their other subjects, an A* on their practical exam and an F on their wriiten paper. in this same cohort there are students who have not passed their English GCSE but who attained a C for their writen paper. please keep me informed of your progress and thoughts. thanks.
  16. I'm about to give a very difficult presentation to our Principle and the rest of the SLT to try to explain how 15 students who all got A-A* in their practical unit 1 , who all showed a very high level of understanding of Drama ( AQAs words not mine) who all got A-C in English, who all had their mocks marked 5 days before the exam and all achieved at least a C ( in line with AQA marking), managed to achieve Fs and Gs in their written exam destroying their grades. I went on the AQA advisory training for unit 2 one month previous to the exam and followed their advice to the letter, as did my students. Someone ( and I don't think its the teachers by the way) has made a terrible mistake. Its very enlightening reading all the above comments. I for one will contacting AQA for an explanation. Its a disgrace. Not only does it make a mockery of my subject but it also puts into question the examiners and the advisers quality and expertise. This HAS to be addressed.
  17. Retro Bates

    Retro Bates New commenter

    Once again, my written marks are way below expectation. A* English Lang & Lit students getting D's and E's. Ridiculous. My team worked their knackers off teaching this to avoid a repeat of years gone by and the mark scheme is almost identical to everything we have tried to teach. So What is going on?? One remark came back 6UMS up to take a very low ability student to a C form a D. I selected almost a dozen papers that were way below expectatation but only 2-3 raw marks from a higher grade and....... of course not a single one changed by a single mark either up or down. I just do not get it at all.

    I will Appeal. It is just not fair. I want to see the re-markers working without the mark from the previous marker. One student who is future Oxbridge candidate got 10 for section A1 and then 3 for all the rest including the live production!

    I have no answers.
  18. Hello, I am so glad that I came across this forum as I have experienced exactly the same as everyone else. I had A* practical students who were A/A* grade English students getting a D in their written paper. The crazy thing is that the very low ability students were only about 5 marks lower!

    We have had a remark and only one student went up a grade, most of the high achievers went down marks!

    We have then submitted an appeal, to have a lengthy reply from the principal examiner which makes no sense and is full of contradiction.

    This was my first set of AQA students and I am mortified, ok yes I got a string of B grades but that is no good when they should have been A/A* grades.

    Many of my students got 10 for section A1 and then 2/3/4 for all the rest, the highest score for live production was 12!

    It seems they are not applying the mark scheme consistently or effectively and what they want is unachieveable. Mind you I am unsure of exactly what they want!

    I have been on numerous courses and couldn't have done any more, this is so unfair for our students.

    Teachers must complain to the board on mass!

    Am about to write to log my concerns!
  19. So.......this year it appears that there is no rhyme or reason to the marking on the unit 1 written paper again!!!
  20. I have had a shocking set of marks for unit one today. Have sent for remark but after reading this thread am not feeling hopeful :(

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