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AQA Drama GCSE results

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

  1. Retro Bates

    Retro Bates New commenter

    A list of some FIFTY independent schools with concerns was submitted by HMC as a part of their concern.
     
  2. AQA have admitted to HMC that there have been issues with the marking of the written paper and offered concerned centres a review with no risk to candidates' results. Act on it!
     
  3. How do we do that? Phone/write? Please advise? I'm in tears thinking of handing in my notice...
     
  4. We have battered them from all sides: written a two page letter to Sue Lewis comparing the results with other subjects and the school as a whole. We also provided stats for our last three years' results - we received 38% A*/A this year compared to 88% last year and 85% the year before. We have also requested six re-marks of candidates close to boundaries and four have gone up a grade. We have now requested an extended enquiry for all our candidates. Don't alloq AQA's errors to determine your career - make sure your Head is aware of the national outrage caused by this appalling travesty of a paper. Phone and write!
     
  5. Nell123456 is suggesting that AQA are acting in accordance with the following JCQ guidelines:


    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

    appropriate:

    ? 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

    concerned;

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

    concerned.11

    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).



    What seems to be suggested by Nell123... is that centres can ask AQA for this 'extended review of marking' straight away without having to go through the procedure of asking for re-marks first. If so, this is great news, but it does seem a little too good to be true? I've asked my Exams Officer to look into this possibility.
     
  6. I'll try that again, reformatted so it's easier to read...
    Nell123456 is suggesting that AQA are acting in accordance with the following JCQ guidelines:
    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 appropriate:
    ? 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 concerned;
    ? a statistical adjustment to the raw marks of the remaining candidates in the unit/component concerned.
    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).

    What seems to be suggested by Nell123... is that centres can ask AQA for this 'extended review of marking' straight away without having to go through the procedure of asking for re-marks first. If so, this is great news, but it does seem a little too good to be true? I've asked my Exams Officer to look into this possibility.
     
  7. Having a similar issue to everyone else - all marks at least a grade under what I was expecting! Very upset and confused. Found this forum today and took it directly to my Head, he was very supportive and immedietly got our exams officer to contact AQA and request that all papers are reviewed (as I had seen this in an earlier response), AQA said that they have had a few people contact them and by all means they will re-mark the papers through the normal method (£28 per paper). When our exam officer informed them that we thought that the marks were right it was in fact the boundries that were wrong, she was told that although they will re-mark no boundries will be moved.
    Yeah just another way to make money!
    So my Head suggested writing a formal letter which I am about to do now - any words of guidance? - useful stats?
     
  8. kirkiecustard

    kirkiecustard New commenter

    I wonder whether together we can compile a good response and share it and then bombard AQA with it, on various diferent headed papers, and signed by heads and HOD.
    I would like to start,
    Please feel free to quote and add bits until we have a good letter.

    To whom it May Concern,

    Re; GCSE Drama Grade Boundaries 2011

    I write with reference to the decision to move GCSE Drama Grade Boundaries for the 2011 exam.
    The new grade boundaries are so high that many of our students that were predicted A-C grades have now on the whole achieved at least one grade lower. Students who, incidently, gained higher marks across the board in every other subject.
    As a new spec and with the standardisation guidance we felt quite confident with the support and guidance that we provided our pupils based on the information received at regional meetings.
    Thsi information was incorrect and misleading, as the guidance became null and void when the grade boundaries were moved, without any notification.
    I understand that this is AQA's perogative. But I fear that many school all over the country are in the same predicament as us and are considering their options with future specifications.

    I think....I am too tired now and too passionate to be articulate...can any one add some more?
     
  9. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Why do they need to give you notice that the raw grade boundaries will move? Of course they will move. That is part of the rationale behind the UMS system. They will respond saying that the grade boundaries represented the relative level of performance necessary to achieve X. If the grade boundary is higher it is because, in this series, it was deemed that the current higher mark represented the same grade as the previous lower mark from a different series.
    You would (though I wouldn't be too hopeful) challenging the process by which the grade boundary was decided or, preferably, the way in which marking was undertaken.
     
  10. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    *You would be better advised
     
  11. I got an email from Sue Lewis today, in response to my complaint:
    "I regret that you are unhappy with your school?s results for GCSE Drama.
    I have passed your details to my colleague in Candidate Support who is looking into issues raised by centres regarding the marking of the written paper this summer.
    With reference to the grade boundaries I am sure you will be aware that AQA?s ultimate aim is to maintain standards from year to year at subject level. This aim is enshrined in the Ofqual Code of Practice. For all new GCSE qualifications, changes to the structure and grading mechanisms mean that, at a unit level, boundaries cannot easily be compared with those which were applied to the outgoing specification. This does not mean that subject standards have changed. Candidates of equal ability would be awarded the same GCSE grade this year as in previous years.
    Last year, for GCSE Drama (4242), a very small number of candidates entered the new specification. So, in many ways, the summer 2010 entry was atypical; comprising candidates entered after only a year of study. The unit grade boundaries were set to reflect the ability of this cohort. By summer 2011 the entry figure had increased over fivefold. The entry was more typical of that seen in the past. In order to reflect the characteristics of the summer 2011 entry, while accounting for the changes in assessment structure and features of the papers, it was necessary to alter grade boundaries to ensure that the final grade represented the same level of performance as in the outgoing specification.
    Kind regards
    Sue Lewis"
     
  12. thingwall

    thingwall New commenter

    I last did AQA GCSE 12 years ago in my old school and remember well the slaughter that was the written paper! Sounds like nowt's changed.
     
  13. Marty57

    Marty57 New commenter

    Thank you jencros for posting the message/announcement/excuse/travesty of a reason from Sue Lewis.

     
  14. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Actually sounds quite reasonable to me.
     

  15. "Candidates of equal ability would be awarded the same GCSE grade this year as in previous years."

    This is CLEARLY not the case.
     
  16. ukpaul

    ukpaul Occasional commenter

    Yes, this is pretty much an admission from her that things have gone astray this year as she will clearly know by now of the many schools where this has not been the case.
    I still had good results but students of equal ability were getting a grade lower than those from last year. So either this is an admission that things have been wrong for over a decade or the marking this year has become problematic. I doubt that they are going to trash over a decade of marking standards, given that choice.
    In the end this comes down to a lack of proper standardisation; with a new examination some markers will have been marking very differently to others and this has not been reflected in the final marks. If the standard is so much better overall, leading to tougher grade boundaries, then, to have students in a school marked at a tougher standard this year suggests that other examiners have been much more lax in comparison, leading to the magnification of grade average changes that we have seen from many centres.
     
  17. japonica892

    japonica892 New commenter

    If ""Candidates of equal ability would be awarded the same GCSE grade this year as in previous years." how does that account for the fact that when some of my Year 11 pupils re-took the exam they got half the marks of the previous year (not UMS!) but actual raw marking. Not only have grade boundaries moved but marking seems to be far harsher than last year. How can a fairly bright cohort have got less marks for their answers when they spent more time working on how to answer the written paper and had been through the process once before. One candidate who go 45 overall last year this year only achieved 21??????????? This was the case for most of my re-takes and can only cheer at the fact that they were allowed to keep the mark of last year which was significantly better.
    I am furious and have the full support of my Head in sending papers back for re-marking. I don't even want to mention the Yr 10 group who are exceptionally bright and achieved A and A* in English LAnguage this year (taught by myself for both subjects) and also History yet only 1 student managed to scrape a B and all the others were D/E/F they were mortified as was I.
    I fully expected the grade boundaries to change a little but not by such a huge amount. As well as this the marking seems to have completely changed also. Grrrrr!
     
  18. I rang AQA (08442096614) to enquire about the 'Extended Review of the Marking' that was being offered. I was generally pleased with my results although a good few fell short of their FFT Grade. As we were still above the average percentage that fell below FFT in the school I decided not to appeal any marks.
    Reading the forums over that past few days I thought, to coin a Stanislavskian phrase "What if......?
    I spoke to a very nice customer service representative who did admit a 'problem' with 42401 but would not confirm or deny the 'Extended Review of Marking' being offered.
    However, she did say that if I was concerned with this unit I should write a letter to Janet Barrett who is the Manager at Candidate Support. No Doubt I shall now be contacting her rather than Sue Elles. With any head of subject at an examination board they and I would in their position want to protect themselves and make this as low key a situation as possible.
    I was told to write a letter and either fax or post to Janet Barrett. I will be faxing as it is quicker and with after tonight only 11 days to appeal I feel i will be able to get a quicker response.
    The fax number is 01483 556344
    Snail mail is
    Janet Barrett, Manager at Candidate Support
    Exams Office Support
    AQA
    Stag Hill House
    Guildford
    Surrey
    GU2 7XJ
    I would urge you all to forward your emails and responses to Janet Barrett and any who were going to contact to do likewise.
    I am also going to request that if this is such a big issue that AQA should offer not only the Extended Review of Marking but also for us to be safe in the knowledge that it will not hit our department pockets. This examination is a product that is sold to schools and we plough millions into examination boards every year. With so many of us unhappy they should offer to look over our papers to give us 'peace of mind' and it would go a long way to restoring our faith in the specification.
     
  19. "Candidates of equal ability would be awarded the same GCSE grade this year as in previous years"
    no way this is the case according to my cohort this year... in fact with no A* this year in comparison to 88% A* with the legacy spec the previous year and a more capable cohort this year I would love to see AQA's figures to prove it!!
     
  20. Marty57

    Marty57 New commenter

    If you call changing the goalposts for the same set of students 'reasonable'. We have worked too hard with our students to let souch a lame excuse go by. You must be easily satisfied. Not us.
     

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