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AQA GCSE results

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by Lyns, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Lyns

    Lyns New commenter

    I could have written your post word for word! I went on the course - did everything I was told to do and my exam results are appalling,my C/D boderline kids didn't stand a chance. I'm soo gutted and feel like such a failure! How can I get such fantastic practical results and yet I'm unable to teach them how to get a C in an exam that's just meant to be about them and what they've done. I too have no idea what to do now - go on yet another expensive course telling me what I should have done??
  2. It's ridiculous that students at my school who are achieving A* in all other written exams across the board are awarded C and D grades for Drama written paper! What a joke! Who do they think they are at AQA? They've had their chance - we will be changing exam boards immediately and everyone should follow suit. I am fed up of my students achieving full marks in their practical examinations and then geting a B grade overall. We also attended courses and spent hours on extra revision classes on this paper. We achieved the highest marks in the country for the A level written paper - but apparently we can't teach GCSE Drama written paper for toffee!
  3. Trouble is, Edexel have their own problems, and it could well be a 'frying pan/fire' scenario. AQA really are pretty terrible, though, aren't they? Something has to happen. My school will be asking me what.
  4. Same here. It's our first time through, so we've nothing to compare these to, but we've got bright kids. Some of them told us what they had written on the way out and - though I know it's no real indicator - there was insight there. Surely they would have had to have written nothing of value to get an E. How can that have been the case?
  5. I have some fantastic, sparky students in my Year 9 middle sets. Great at improvisation, inventive, creative, supportive of each other, with lots of stage confidence. Sorry, guys, but you'd all fail at GCSE because you're not top set writers. It's just WRONG.
  6. Wonders never cease with this exam board! To me the written exam is becoming a farce. Much harder to now gain a C and almost impossible to get the high marks. When this new spec was rolled out a couple of years ago the written paper was allegedly more accessible for kids to gain higher marks. However this is not the case! In the old spec (which in my opinion contained a much harder written exam) my students could get As. Now they are lucky if they get a C/D. The hard work they put into practical is just wasted. Like most people on here, I have hammered the written paper throughout and used all available resources in order to prep them as much as possible, using aqa 'top band' examples but clearly this isn't working. If there is anyone out there who is managing to get students top marks in the written exam then I would love to hear from you. It just makes me so annoyed that my students have not got what they deserved
  7. ukpaul

    ukpaul Occasional commenter

    Very similar to last year's written paper marking, slightly better results in fact. Still, the difference in the application of grades to boundaries from the old exam and the new exam is massive, it would appear that steadily across subjects there is a plan to do the same by the manipulation of boundaries and raw marks (English appears to be the same and I've seen evidence of this in other arts subjects this year), I presume from exam boards wanting to please government.
    They have introduced a new reality, that's their prerogative, but the exam boards desire to keep secret the way to improve in the exam is appalling. We've all, I'm sure, been on courses this year to see what else is needed to succeed in the exam and have introduced that into our teaching, If that wasn't the answer then what are we not being told? What are the things they are looking for that we are not aware of?
    So, change the exam system and marking, that's fine, but to not reveal how that should affect your teaching and to expect teachers to somehow stumble on the secrets of success themselves is unconscionable and makes a mockery of the idea of a level playing field.
    Anyway, my top student at AS this year, 118/120 for the written paper, got a B on last year's GCSE written paper, it's a joke really and I hope we get the chance to make a higher up AQA drama team member uncomfortable at meetings rather than the patsy that they put up last year. I'm lucky that the students I teach are those that still get high-ish grades but it needs us as well as those who see C grades becoming D grades and such to demand transparency at meetings across the country.
  8. Same here. Absolutely abismal.
    Ours were retaking after the disaster of last year's written paper results but only a handful made any improvement and the majority went down one, two or even three grades. (Glad the higher mark counts...)
    This is after a whole year of re-teaching, a huge amount of extra revision and more marking than I care to remember.
    Daren't think what this will do to our A Level take-up. Am looking at other boards but don't want to risk EdExcel. Are Wjec any good?
    Back to the drawing board...
  9. There seem to be two posts running here on the same subject, which is basically how the written exam has affected grades. Anyways, I seem to recall that WJEC still operates a 'set text' syllabus (which I wasn't impressed by). Or have I remembered that wrongly?
  10. ukpaul

    ukpaul Occasional commenter

    There is a set text, yes. I attended a meeting last year but I felt that there were other areas that were less impressive as regards their exam. I also checked out the IGCSE which, surprisingly, appears to be less rigorous as well as all other exam boards, unfortunately none of them appeared to be much of an improvement and some were a complete nightmare.
  11. I could have written this post myself. I teach in a selective school; there are students who have got 11 A*/A grades - and a B in Drama. They had A*s in their Unit 2 practical work, they can write well across the curriculum, yet, for some reason known only to God and AQA GCSE Drama Examiners, they lose that ability when sitting a Drama written exam. Like you, I've spent £200 of the school's money attending the AQA-run course about succeeding in the written exam and followed the advice punctiliously. What on earth is going on?
  12. mandimac

    mandimac New commenter

    Even though we got 96% A* to C rating, our A*/A was absysmal. We worked harder with these students who were more motivated and brighter than last years and the top mark was a C 51/80 on the Written.And these were boys who got A*/A in English...Even worse, a boy who got a D in English and whom we genuinely thought woulf fail, got the same mark as a Boy who got As! No sense. I have been teaching for 20 years with excellent results from wide ranging ability students and now feel what is the point. Interestingly, whilst AQA A Level does throw up the occasional rogue result each year for Individual Students, it is nothing like the GCSE. I am going to reexamine Welsh Board as even though people might bawlk at a SET TEXT, it does prepare them more effectively for A Level.....
  13. And yet, when I look at ERA on the AQA website (which at last is working), the other 'similar centres' have all done considerably better than mine - they're all indicating results very close to 'all centres' results. So others are getting it right. Who are these 'similar centres'? I remember trying to find this out last year, and failing.
  14. ukpaul

    ukpaul Occasional commenter

    We are ahead of both similar and all school percentages. Having said that our results took a dip last year which has not changed this year. We used to get 50+% A stars with the written paper gaining more A star grades than the practical, that has now flipped as the grade changes have led to more practical than written A star grades.
    So, as a top performing school our results are now mostly A's with 25% ish A star and the odd B grade. As such we are doing worse than before even if we are still ahead of similar schools!
    With 10% A star written papers as opposed to 50%+before and with 50%+ practical A stars as opposed to 10% before I'm more than a little confused. Surely this should help those schools that are less academic and they should be seeing improved grades? Is it that the grades have now been more widely spread around different types of schools so that the bottom has been squeezed up and the top squeezed down?
    The thing we need to look for is a 'control' group, those who took the same exam in January or last year and that can be compared.
  15. My centre is also ahead of similar and all school percentages - and although I do not feel that AQA under marked us particularly I do feel that the results were not in line with my understanding of the student's abilities. I did get a couple of A* written papers (not from the students I expected them from) I will be buying these scripts and going over them very carefully!
  16. My top has been "squeezed down" AS WELL AS my bottom. Now I look like a pear.
  17. Devastated. I could have written many of these posts myself; the same themes recur. My A*-C is fine, so school are pretty happy, and because of the nature of my students (we tend to get the 'less academic' for Drama) the fact that my A*-A is (I think) poor doesn't seem to upset my SLT as much as I'd feared. But this time last year our written results were really good. I didn't relax about it, because reading all the posts on here (and having had such dreadful results experiences in the past with Edex) I know that you've never sussed it, can never think 'well that went fine so we'll just carry on as before'. So this year we refined last year's teaching, used recalled A*-A papers, all the AQA exemplars, followed all the guidance and ...completely different set of results. So sad for my students, who spent hours and hours preparing for this, and got much better written results in other subjects. Last year I wrote to AQA straight after the paper, complaining about how different it was to what we'd been prepared for, After that, my papers were marked fairly and my students got what they deserved. Is this a coincidence?

  18. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    No, it is not correct. 27.9% of grades awarded for AQA Drama were A* or A. Down 0.3% on last year.
    If it were true, maybe. As it is, this is higher than most other subjects (with notable exceptions, in more obscure languages and sciences).

  19. Could it be that this student did well because he didn't have a copy of a play with him. Students are not permitted to take any resources into the exam with them.
  20. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    As above (and as on the AQA website):
    <h2>AQA GCSE Drama Written Paper (42401)</h2>

    June 2012 Examination

    Please note that no Texts or Personal Notes can be taken into the
    examination. Please ensure that this information is passed on to the
    invigilator(s) for the exam. Paragraph 4.2 of the Instructions for the
    Conduct of Examinations states that if candidates have any unauthorised
    material in an examination (whether or not they intend to use it), this
    may be considered as malpractice.


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