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AQA GCSE Art & Design 2011 Results?

Discussion in 'Art and design' started by jax083, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. A shocking year for our school in terms of our Art results. Normally, we are the best in the school but this year we were the worst. I cannot understand how a subject area with staff that have taught this subject for 10+ years could decrease % A*-C so drastically in one year! Has anyone else had trouble with their results this year? I know that the lack of grade boundaries was an issue as well as some of the students being unmotivated but I don't think those reasons are solely to blame for a decline of over 70%!
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    We have had the same problem this year, worst results in the
    School although some of the highest marks we have ever given in the exam! I
    agree it was harder without the grade boundaries but at least we have something
    to work on, all the grades we marked were kept when moderated and all the
    projects we taught were highly praised. We feel that we are gaining the pupils
    who in other options won't achieve (because all children can draw) so it has
    been suggested we look at the BTEC or ELC, as the pupils we are taking love the
    subject but just aren't able up to the new standards and criteria . It is
    disheartening and you do question yourself but me and my team know there was no
    more we could do and I’m sure you do to. After speaking to AQA and realising
    that the exam mark didn't really have an impact unless pupils were on a C or
    above already, me and another Head of Art are wondering if the extra time and
    unlimited prep for the exam is really necessary as your taking away time from
    the coursework which as always is a major impact on the mark.
  3. We have also had a shock where our results should have been best ever but moderator has marked all down by 6 marks!!!
    Had same moderator for three years who has agreed with previous grades and both art teachers have 12+ years experience each and have worked together for 5 years. We even had 2 U grades !!-never before. Will try for a remark- has anyone had success with this or advice??
  4. artcrisis

    artcrisis New commenter

    Go for a remark. At least then you will be aware of the process and reasons for change. The exam board need to be challenged. If you feel strongly that you got it right then you probably did.
  5. Definitely try for a remark; we did and our results went up. Still rubbish and disappointing but an improvement at least!
  6. I'm livid. Just received feedback sheet from moderator which does little but critisise 'some lenient marking in the 60-80 area'. It doesn't say which candidates or what he means by lenient. His recommendation was that I should attend a standardisation meeting in spring. Thanks for that but I attended the last one and I used the CD rom given at the time, but clearly I'm still none the wiser. Incidentally, the 2 people delivering the standardisation meeting argued amongst themselves about the details of the new syllabus so is it that much of a surprise that centres are confused. I don't agree that I was lenient, in fact I thought I was overly cautious - lord knows what next years results will look like now!
    We are a good centre who have strong results historically and nothing but praise from our previous moderator (this was the first time with our new one). I know being critisised is hard to take and I don't mind taking it on the chin but when its so vague its frustrating. I know they can't go into details when they are at our centres as this could cause confrontation but surely specific feedback isn't too much to ask. If its not right then I want to know how, where, why etc. Otherwise its like someone popping into your room saying 'ooh thats not quite right is it...' and then disappearing without explanation.
    Rant over. For now.
    Bit of a knee jerk reaction but I am seriously thinking of looking at other exam boards, AQA have been shocking in their approach to this syllabus change. Anyone use Welsh board?
  7. I totally agree with you and much of what has been said surrounding AQA's mark scheme. I did my best to work out vague grade boundaries this year, despite the limited and confusing 'support' given by AQA. Now, having downloaded the figures from the website, I cannot calculate how the UMS marks were arrived at from the separate portfolio and exam marks! There seems to be no consistency in the calculation. I rang Art & Design support, who further baffled me! I was advised to use the UMS conversion calculator online but that doesn't tell you HOW the figures are worked out. Is it just me? Can anyone help?!
  8. artcrisis

    artcrisis New commenter

    I'm very impressed with WJEC and suggest you ask for a visit from one of their reps. Several schools in my area use WJEC for Photography.
  9. I realise it's a different level but we had such a bad experience with AQA at A Level 2 years ago that we switched to WJEC, and if were running GCSE (we do Btec), and are thinking about re introducing GCSE, then would absolutely consider WJEC
  10. I found it fairly straightforward. As I expected, the A* grade boundary dropped by over 5% this year from 2010 boundaries (exactly as happened with 'new' AS and A2). Expressed as a % of the available raw marks (out of 80) there's otherwise very little difference between the old specification and the new specification.

    Relying on the scant evidence of the short course grade boundaries is pretty foolhardy - at most you should stick to the grade descriptors when marking - if your numbers were within tolerance for each assessment objective then the pupils will not have achieved any lower than in a previous year.

  11. In doing my exam analysis I went on the AQA website to look what this year's grade boundaries are - the C/D boundary has risen by 10% from 50% to 60% and the G/U grade boundary has risen to 20% (from either 6 or 9 - can't remember off the top of my head - figures are at school). Yet the A*/A boundary has dropped from 96% to 90%! Apparently all exam boards and all subjects have come in to line and boundaries are as follows A* - 90%, A - 80*, B - 70%, C - 60%, D - 50%, E - 40%, F - 30%, G - 20%. So in response to some other peoples comments about re-marks I don't think it would help. Based on the 'old' boundaries my A* - C would have been 14% higher, all my Ds would have been Cs, my Es would have been Ds (two of them 1% off a C!), and my 2 Us would have been Gs. Ans yet my A*s would have been As!
  12. There is a huge difference - the C/D border has risen by 10% and the G/U border by at least 11%!
  13. I estimated approx 80% A*-C this year for a mixed ability cohort of 60 pupils following the NEw spec Fine Art GCSE full course. I went to the AQA standardising training in February, and shared the information with my department,back at school .I was advised there were NO grade boudaries, and should ONLY mark to the criteria statement .I wrote on the marking sheet just/adequate/clear/convincing as advised by the moderators at the training, and thats what we stuck to. We found it straightforward. We marked 4 final pieces and 4 skecthbooks per pupil.
    On moderation day, we had a new External moderator . I asked him after he'd finished if using the statemets had been the right way to mark and he agreed totally. He agreed that this was the only way to mark, and it turns out we were exactly right because he didnt alter a single mark for timed test or coursework element, and our results were 81% A* - C , exactly what I predicted. We must have done it right.
    I cant understand why so many people are complaining about the grade boundaries changing when there were NO grade boundaries to use. Not having them made no difference to our marks, if anything we found it easier just looking at those 4 simple statements.
    I hope this helps other people who seem to have had confusing instructions from their moderators. Only use the statements next time- forget grade boundaries ever existed, becuase they dont exist.
  14. Clearly you can't understand why so many people are complaining because your results weren't changed. I did exactly what you described with the just/adequate/clear/convincing and my results went from a predicted 70+% A-C to 35% A* - C.
    It must be nice that you haven't been affected. I have been with this exam board for 6 years and work that was of an acceptable standard for a C grade, or A grade lat year is now not good enough, it is very confusing for those of us who have had our grades changed.
  15. I didn't realise that this one was still rolling as I vented my own frustration on this very forum (and to AQA on the day) some weeks back. It's no fun when your results are thrown into turmoil because of changes in the mysterious world of moderation and marking. It's even less fun when patronising art teachers who felt they did well out of this year's results have little sympathy for their wounded colleagues. My marks were not changed by my moderator (they never have been in 31 years of marking so I guess I'm just extremely lucky, eh?) but I was still left frustrated that students did not end up with the grades I felt they deserved. Grades are what they see on their certificates - not numbers that are adjusted to suit statistics and the politics of subject pressures or words like just, adequate, convincing etc. Standardisation has become an embarassing farce over the years as AQA have changed the format to 'idiot-proof' and reduced the time available to such an extent that it is is merely ticking a box to say been there, done that. Don't worry though folks - you'll all get it right next year.
  16. I had a letter yesterday from AQA about a GCSE 'feedback' meeting - hooray I thought, perhaps they have realised centres are due some further guidance.
    However, it seems we have to pay £199 for the privilege of attending. So if you would like further support people get your cheque books out or start brewing up for your schools finance manager....
  17. Hi
    I thought it was just me. Our Art results were also really disappointing this year [with Edexcel]. It was the first time this had happened and I've been teaching Art for longer than I care to remember. I've been checking the forums to gain insight into what the grade boundaries are, after having rung Edexcel for help and ending up none the wiser. We've switched back to AQA, but from all the comments I've seen it doesn't look any better.
    Have you had any more enlightening replies?

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