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AQA Drama GCSE results

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

  1. I am a little surprised by the sudden jump in the grade boundaries for Unit 1 and the disparity between grades between Unit One and Two.
    I had an excellent Unit 2 moderation (with a team leader) with the moderator on the whole agreeing with me and even upping some of my mid band students as they thought I was a little harsh with some students. I was delighted with 100% A*-B and it was a true reflection of the students dedication and ability.
    I felt the students were fully prepared for the examination and gave estimates on the grade boundaries being moved up by 5 for each grade. I always do this so I can feel confident in my communication with the students, parents and SLT.
    My Unit One results were 70% A*-C with some F's and a G which I am a little insulted by. I will be emailing Sue Lewis at AQA but will not be appealing as I spent over £400 on remarks two years ago to no avail and it severley hit my budget and have since said to pupils they will have to pay for remarks. Since this policy I have only had one remark remain unchanged. I did get one student that scored 76/80 in this unit so I will be asking for her paper so I can use it as an exemplar.
    Overall I did get 100% A*-C with 6 A* and 8 A with a cohort of 40 so not too angry although some students did fall short of their FFT target which was a little disappointing.
    I did also moderate Edexcel Unit 1 this year and did find that some centres had supplied work more in tune for the legacy specification and had missed some elements of the criteria. The thing to remember for Edexcel is that for units One and Two you have to submit a recorded lesson that you teach and mark a sample of your students on. As a moderator I found centres would give students give some students full marks and they spent half the lesson picking their nose or sitting in a corner and not communicating with the rest of their group. It became more like a struggle for marks rather than a truly collaborative process that I had with AQA Unit 2.
    I have a friend that teaches Edexcel and she has said that time management wise the course is a one shot for each unit whereas I have managed to fit in five Unit 2 Schemes to get the best 2 and still had plenty of time to do exam prep.
    My best marks for Unit 2 have been with duologues which either scripted or improvised or devised thematic. The minimum group for Edexcel is 3 (Unit 3). I also love the moderation process at GCSE as there is a dialogue between the teacher and moderator and have found the exam element better preperation for A Level (I do Edexcel but have done AQA and OCR Perf Studies).
    Looking at the percentage of students gaining top grades between the two I ask the question
    Is the grass always greener??
    Not considering WJEC because of the set texts, not sure about OCR. Do they still have the realisation test? If so the school will not go for having kids out for whole days etc.
    I will be staying with AQA as I did consider moving after the poor results in the final legacy Exam but once I delved deeper I felt safer to stay put. I feel my experiences as a moderator this year has helped set my mind at rest.
     
  2. Right...Just called AQA GCSE Drama (01483 556 063) and got through to an admin person who said she'll get Sue Lewis to call me this afternoon. I doubt this will happen (have already e mailed and got no response - plus she's hopefully being inundated with complaints and will probably (hopefully) be dealing with them) However - if she does call, does anyone have any specific questions they'd like me to feed in her direction? Obviously I have my own - which relate to everything being queried on this forum, but if any of you can suggest a concise list that would be helpful, just in case I get so angry I forget what to say!!!
    You can e mail me on: m.sheen@lggs.lancs.sch.uk if you want to do it that way, or post here.
    Let's see what happens - we have have to stand united and will not be fobbed off!
     
  3. Just spoke to Sue Lewis who basically told me to consult the grade boundaries and await the decision regarding the re-marked papers. I asked her if she had any idea why this situation should have arisen this year and she thinks it probably has something to do with the hike in grade differences - or that's what I discerned from what she said. I think as many people as possible should contact her by phone as well as e mail - we need to act quickly!
     
  4. Retro Bates

    Retro Bates New commenter

    It has everything to do with the hike in boundaries. I have downloaded the specification for OCR, WJEC and EDXCEL and will be considering the move away from AQA. The remarking will do little to change things. AQA are unlikely to admit they screwed things up. The jump in boundaries coupled with the low marks has conspired against students.

    SUE ELLES who delivered the standardisation claimed that the Section A Question 01 was and I quote 'A STARTER FOR TEN' And went on about the simplicity of the question. There is no way that the majority of my students did not complete the question with the details required and with some purposeful references. NO WAY! Not one of them got 10 and the majority were 4-7 marks. She should be answerable for the exemplar material and the guidance she has given to teachers.

    VERY POOR INDEED.
     
  5. Totally agree with everything you say, Retro Bates. Word for word, spot on, including what you say about Question 01 which reflects exactly what happened with my students. Sue Elles was quite surprised when I said at a meeting that this exam seems now far more complex and relies on a very good memory, and she was at pains to point out how easy it is to get marks, especially on Question 01. I wonder how much control she had, though, in the way that marks were awarded by the examiners, who maybe had their own agenda and interpretation. I would really like to get her view on the way the exam has been marked. I don't have her email address to hand, though. Does anyone have it? I know she gives it out freely. (She wrote the specification, btw.)
     
  6. Retro Bates

    Retro Bates New commenter

    I think it is selles@aqa.org.uk although i am yet to try it
     
  7. I've just emailed her at that address (for which, thanks) asking whether she'd like to give her view on the marking. It's not bounced, so hopefully it's the right one. It'll be interesting to see how/whether she responds, although she may not be in a position to stick her neck out, so to speak.
     
  8. Marty57

    Marty57 New commenter

    The Examiner's Report can be found at\;
    e-AQA-secure key materials-GCSE drama

     
  9. Yeah, but reading that makes me even more at a loss to understand where I went wrong. (And that wasn't written by Sue Elles, if that's your point.)
     
  10. I know a Head of Department who got her Year 11s to sit the written paper at the end of Year 10. Her students scored Cs in this. Hoping they would improve, they re-sat in Year 11, and scored F/Gs in the written paper!?! Having done it once, how can these students go down by so mnay grades?!? The whole thing's ridiculous!
     
  11. That is unbelievable, WynR!
     
  12. Wouldn't that have been under two different specs?
    This summer was the first for the new spec.
     
  13. No, this spec was first examined in June 2010, hence the examiner's report available on the website.
     
  14. Retro Bates

    Retro Bates New commenter

    I appreciate that last year was a different specification but the scaled boundary was 98. This was moved to 111 this year.

    One of my students scored 121 out of 200 and achieved a grade D. With the UMS in place this represented 176/300 4 UMS marks off a C. This is approximately 2 scaled marks off.

    With this in mind, this particular student was required to achieve a scaled mark of approximately 123/200 to gain a C!

    Whoever crunched the numbers for this exam needs to see a dentist. And a head doctor.
     
  15. We wrote to AQA after the students sat the written paper, to complain that the questions differed hugely from the exemplars and the 2010 paper. Don't have the reply at home, but a lot of it was AQA saying that they were looking for students' personal responses rather than formulaic prepared answers (which to be honest was what my students used to write when they could take their notes in on the legacy spec). They justified the very different questions from those for which we'd been prepared (I had queried, for example, the phrase 'writer's intentions' which is nowhere in the spec and sounds very Eng Lit) by saying that they wanted students to write spontaneously and personally.
    We were quite irritated at the time because the kids had hated the question paper, after Susan Elles told us at standardisation that it would be really straightforward.
    I do hate Edexcel's marking for GCSE though, so hard to know what to do.
     
  16. There are serious problems this year. I am aware that a group of 30+ school in England and 10+ in Northern Ireland are making a collective case to AQA. AQA are well aware that there are serious discrepancies in the marking of this paper. My students have also been seriously disadvantaged by the low marks awarded and I have personally complained to AQA and have joined a group of others in writing a letter of complaint to the board. Additionally I am aware that another concerned school has managed to speak to the 'top dog' at Aqa who has agreed that there have been serious problems and that it is being investigated.

    Like most teachers above - I felt that I had thoroughly prepared my students this year and was confident that they could and would achieve in the top two bands as they are very able academically. I have had complaints from irate parents and am disgusted at this utter mess!

    My advise would be to contact AQA directly. Put your case to them and demand that your centre's papers are looked at again.

    I will certainly NOT let this rest without a fight!
     
  17. My son was amazed to get all A and A*except for his written drama paper for which he got C.All his friends had the same experience. The shining star of drama got an F this year.
    My son has been investigating and according to what Walmuse says above, his 72 for unit 1 equates to 114 UMS points.
    Can someone clarify what this means?
    Thanks

     
  18. Am currently in the process of drafting a strongly worded letter to AQA, using phrases from OfQual's Conditions of Recognition 2011 ( see the website for details), with particular focus on "reliability" and "comparability". I am particularly interested to hear that the top dog at AQA has admitted serious problems - will they go so far as to acknowledge that in our remarks though?! There is strength in numbers - we all need to stick together on this!!!
     
  19. How do I go about joining the 30+ schools from England in complaining to AQA?

    Kindly advise.
     
  20. hear hear! i would love to be part of that club!
     

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