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AQA English Language - Non Fiction Exam

Discussion in 'English' started by starby, May 4, 2011.

  1. Hi
    I was wondering if anyone knew how often students can resit the ENG1: Non Fiction exam for AQA English Language.
    We're entering our Year 10s in June with a resit opportunity in January of Year 11. Will they be allowed to resit the same unit for a third time if they need to? At an AQA meeting, I was told that they could only resit a module twice and now I've heard otherwise so I'm a little confused!
    If they do sit a module for the third time, does that mean we have to submit their controlled assessments in January rather than in June to meet the terminal assessment rule?
    Thanks in advance as I'm a little lost with this new spec stuff!
  2. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    I'll be interested in seeing how this question is answered by the AQA bods. As far as I understand, the resits would mean you need to submit CA marks earlier so that you (somehow) fulfill their terminal assessment rule.

    We're simply having one terminal exam in Year 11 under the proviso that:

    a) It allows us to thoroughly prepare the students.
    b) It means we aren't subject to any misreadings of the AQA syllabus, or any unforeseen changes (as in suggestions that trainers given slightly different advice, as above)
    c) It's what we've always done!
  3. Thanks for everybody's responses.
    I think I was confusing the fact that
    students can attempt the qualification as many times as they need to,
    but can only resit a module once during each certification.
    thequillguy - having one attempt at the exam would be the straightforward way! Unfortunately, SLT at our school want students to have as many attempts as possible as about 30% of students achieve a C grade or higher in the first year.

    Based on regentsreject's responses, there a few main options:
    1) Enter students in June of Y10 for Unit 1. If they don't achieve their target grade, resit those that were closest in January of Y11 and submit the CA tasks in June of Y11 (although we would do the tasks set in Y11 as they change every year except for the first 2 years). Those that will need more time to prepare for the exam can work on the CA tasks for submission in January and do the exam for the second time in June of Y11.
    2) Enter students in January of Y10 for Unit 1 and submit the CA tasks in June. Those that need to resit Unit 1 again will do so in June. This will be their first attempt at the qualification. If they still don't pass having had two attempts at the exam in Y10 (highly likely for most of our students), then we can begin Y11 as their second attempt at the qualification sitting them for Unit 1 in January of Y11 and June of Y11 if needed, but the CA tasks will need to be done again to fit the new questions and these can be submitted in June if we wanted to.
    3) Enter students in Jan of Y11 and submit CA tasks in June of Y11 along with a resit if necessary. The only problem with this option is that SLT don't want us to wait until Y11 for students to have their first attempt at the exam as they see it as a 'risk' (!) as we only then have one more attempt.
    Have I got this right?

  4. Oh God - my blood is running cold ... I think I might have messed up!
    We had the new spec thrust on us (I was on maternity leave until November 2011 and I technically took over HoD in June 2011 and I'd planned to get my rather unstable dept to follow old spec while I was away, enetr y10 in June for Lang old spec and then resit November - converting to new spec for those who didn't get target grades for new spec in June 2012 - clear as mud huh/ - but it made lots of sense considering the instability and inexperience of the dept) However in my absence SMT forced dept (while I was away) to change to new AQA spec in October. Consequently we are now entering students in Jan 2012 for the Unit 1 and I had planned to send in their CAs aswell so that we could bank grades. The school insists on banking grades and early entry. It's not something I necessarily agree with but thems the rules.
    For those students who don't get target grades I'd planned to re-enter them in June 2012 and just carry their CA marks forward. Can I still do this?? It looks like I can't?? If I have to get banked results in Jan then does this mean I have to redo CA's for June?? Is it possible to do early entry - bank grades - and then not have to redo CA following year for students who have to resit.
    Questions questions questions.
    In the words of my Y11s ... "I don't get it".
    I think I might be in the middle of a nightmare.


  5. Me again ...
    Actually, as I'm entering them in the same year (2012) I should be able to carry the CAs forward shouldn't I? I think...??
  6. Lisa5750 - as you're entering them in the same academic year (Jan and June of Y11), students don't have to re-do all their CA tasks between these months.
    The problem occurs when you enter students' CA marks and them for the exam in Y10 and they don't pass.When they re-sit in Y11, the CA marks do not carry forward as it's a new academic year. They have to do them again as the questions will be different as well. But this problem is avoided for the next two years as the tasks remain the same until 2012 because AQA wanted to 'avoid confusion'. Oh the irony....

  7. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    Yes! :)
  8. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    Hi Lisa
    I would love to help but I'm confused by your dates. We have not yet reached June or November 2011?
    I'm also unsure what you mean by "banking grades". When students take a unit, their result will be reported in terms of UMS (numbers) not grades, although you can work these out notionally. The grade will not be awarded by AQA until the whole qualification has been taken.
    If you want students to retake any unit, they will be awarded the better of the two marks for the unit, as long as the terminal assessment rule is satisfied. So, take Unit 1 in January, results are published in March. Retake in June if necessary but keep the CA back unti June so that this constitutes the terminal 40%. That way, your retake students will get the higher of their two Unit 1 marks - January or June. BTW, if you are going to do this, enter all your students for the June retake before the results are published (entry date is February, results date is March), then withdraw those who do not need to retake. If you wait to make entries until your results come out, you will be paying late entry fees.
    I'm still unclear about some of your questions. Feel free to PM me if you want a more detailed discussion, by phone if necessary (and try not to panic) [​IMG]
  9. hey folks .. thank you - I feel a lot better now. The June / Nov 2011 was current y10 following old spec - so i'd enter them first this June - or May as it turns out .. infact next week as it turns out :0)
    By banking grades I mean that my school want to be able to say that so and so percent have already got their target grade early (so for example we entered current y11 in November 2010 so the school could have an early indicator of students who we needed to target who didn't get C and above. As a result of the Nov results we regrouped y11 and created a target group of students who didn't get their C. The kids who did get C (off foundation) are now entered for higher - (we entered all but one group for foundation as we were advice it was better to consolidate the C grade) I wasn't involved in the decision making process as I was on maternity leave.
    In fact, it was good early entry grades (from November) that got us a satisfactory rather than unsatisfactory when OFSTED visited in April. The dept has a history of poor results - June 2010 weren't good at all - so that's the rationale behind the early entry seemed to work.
    So ... I have to get a full grade as such in January 2012 when current y10 take their first bite of the cherry ... so SMT can 'bank' the grades and we can focus more on students who need their C but didn't get it first time.
    I think it's all really scary as I have no real idea whether we have more chance of getting weaker students a C grade in English or a C grade in English Language. Currently I have C/D borderline group following English route - those who get their C in Jan will then do Lit - the others will retake English. The pressure is really on at my school. We only have an intake of 60 students in Sept with new Y7 (used to be about 120) and there is a rumour the school will close. We've just made 14 staff redundant. The pressure is on to get better results to attract more parents so that we boost our intake...

    It is very very stressful. And I don't know the answers.
    I feel as if I'm heading for Dantes' Inferno :0)

  10. I meant to say I took over dept in June 2010 (not 2011) ... numbers ... they get me every time!
  11. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    Hi Lisa
    This won't work in the same way for the unitary spec. The school will be able to say that a student got a notional C grade or whatever in the Unit 1 exam but that won't necessarily guarantee the same grade overall. I think schools are entering students for the Unit 1 exam in January then reentering those who need to in June, along with all the CA. If you did this in Y10, you could then potentially do the same in Y11 if the school really wanted to push for retakes to improve results. I'm not sure how the students would like it though! I think your idea of allowing students who get the Grade C in Y10 to go on and do Literature in Y11 is also a common and very sensible route. My personal view is that students should be allowed to study English Language and Literature over 2 years, [​IMG] and take the exam at the end of Y11 when they have the emotional maturity to deal with it! I think the obsession with early entry is misguided for a large number of students, but I know it is popular with many SMTs. Offer to PM me is still there if you need it. Best of luck,
  12. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    It's the same exam for Unit 1. The big difference is that there is less CA and they don't do the Spoken Language study, but they do have to read quite a lot of literature. I would say, if you are entering students for Unit 1 in January of Y10, there is no particular advantage in doing English as the extra time for this spec won't be a factor so soon in the course. Also, remember that it is now possible to get a B grade on F tier once all the marks are aggregated so this might have an impact on your decision about tier of entry for borderline students.
  13. regentsreject (or anyone else in the know), when students get their results, will they receive a mark or a grade? I know they haven't sat the whole of their qualification and may receive a mark, but how will we know whether they need to resit that unit or not if that's the case?
    Roughly what percentage of the paper do students need to get correct to achieve a C grade for this unit which is out of 80. We have just completed one of the specimen papers, but we're unsure what grade that might convert to.

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