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Business Studies GCSE help and support.

Discussion in 'Business studies' started by cypresswoods16, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. I have just picked my AQA GCSE Business Studies results from school and was absolutely devestated by the poor results. The Controlled Assessment work has beem marked down and the Unit 2 exam results were not as good as I had hoped. To be honest I have been in tears over this as the rest of the school seemed to do very well. I have always had excellent results but am really struggling to achieve good results on the AQA GCSE Business course paricularly the A*-C grades. My BTEC EDEXCEL and AQA A level results were good!

    Please is anyone else in the same situation and have any ideas on how I can address this? Any advice would be REALLY appreciated as I feel I am failing my students and feel embarrassed to go back to work!
  2. LisHall

    LisHall New commenter

    I know how you feel. I have experienced poor results the last two years with AQA and last September made the decision to change to Edexcel for my Year 10s. I have found that the literacy requirement for the 9 mark question with AQA beyond by borderline students and this has been showed again where 19 students achieved this grade (had hoped that most of these would achieve a C grade!). Fortunately the marks for the controlled assessment were agreed with.
    Like you the rest of the school is doing really well so my results look even worse! However my Year 10 students have performed much better in the Unit1 exam with Edexcel (double the results from last year!).
    My advice - take a look at the Edexcel syllabus. The multiple choice exam style for Unit 1 is more accessible and especially suitable for the boys. The downside is that it is only worth 25% and the other exam unit is worth 50%. However the students do get a choice from 5 controlled assessment project tasks.
  3. Thank you so much for your reply. I was looking to change awarding bodies and most research I have done have suggested edexcel as the past alternative. I am so worried about my results it is making me feel ill and I was contemplating handing my notice in as I hate feeling I am letting my students down and am doing a poor job Your advice has made me feel alot more positive,

    Thank you so much!
  4. jennygriffiths22

    jennygriffiths22 New commenter

    Just a word of warning that Edexcel may not be any better! I entered my year 10's for both exams and the CA (we have been prepping for unit 1 exam with some extension into unit 3 and did the CA in June). Decided to do the unit 3 exam in the summer as an early test because there is no November sitting for that unit and although I have taught Edexcel old spec BS for three years (with no problems) I missed a year and have not done the new CA spec.
    Unit 1 results were good, exam was straightforward, my CA was marked down by 4-6 marks (made my 2 A*'s B's, everyone dropped at least one grade) although this could well be my marking I am struggling to see how the students could have done any better in the time allowed. Edexcel have also moved the grade boundaries for unit 3 by almost one full grade so the C boundary is now one mark off last years B grade boundary.
    Needless to say worrying about next year!
    Welsh Board anyone?
  5. Hi Jenny

    Thanks so much for the 'warning'. The general impression I am getting is that edexcel GCSE Business syallabus is more accessible than the current AQA one and is moe supportive to both students and teachers. As mentioned my grades were really disppointing this year with AQA. I am also NOT impressed that they only had one past paper for the Unit 2 exam that was worth 35% of the GCSE grade.

    Please, if any one else has any suggestions on which awarding bodies are worth consideration, I would be REALLY grateful!
  6. had similar experience with AQA - high achievers do well but the bottom students results are abysmal. my controllled assessment marks haven't been changed however the unit 1 results were down at least one grade on expectations however the unit 2 results much better - a student who scrapped a D on unit 1 gets a B on unit 2! still trying to figure that out.

    However have bit the bullet and after years with AQA have moved to the welsh board - much better and straight forward - one exam and a choice of 4 or 5 controlled assessment questions (was not looking forward to this years AQA topic).

    Exam paper has a mix of multiple choice, short answer questions and the last questions extended writing questions mark scheme much more accessible than AQA or even edexcel. The subject advisor for the welsh board has been so helpful with the change providing lots of help and example controlled assessment and example exam scripts from previous years - responds to phone calls and emails personally and quickly - you actually speak to the same person every time (this does not happen with edexcel - my friend is still waiting for a reply from edexcel and they contacted them 2 months ago!!!)

    Don't give up - show the school that you are making changes - you are not the only one who teaches business that has been affected by this.
  7. Thanks so much for your support and advice. Lots to think about! It is really comforting to hear other teachers have experienced the same problems. The common theme seems to be that AQA are not great. I will definately change and will go with either the welsh board or edxcel. The interesting thing is that I am with AQA for the A/S and A/2 programmes of study and students achieved pleasing results.

    Thanks again Busgirl. I really appreciate your advice and will look into the welsh board. I now feel much more positive about going back to work and not quite so ebarrassed by my results.
  8. simon1971

    simon1971 New commenter

    Hi. Feel for you and have been here in 2011. You seem to take all the blame and do not mention whether pupils may have not worked as hard as they could. Anyway, I had a poor set of results for EdExcel in 2011 and had CA marked down by 4-6 marks which meant that I missed my FFTD school target. Unit 3 was also poor (50%) exam.
    I looked hard to understand why I had been downgraded. I looked at the moderators report and set about changing the task and guidance for pupils. I found model answers from the exam board and put the grading criteria into student friendly language. For the exam I looked at what pupils needed to write in their answer. I looked at the command words too.
    All in all it is making sure you understand the grading criteria and get pupils to practice exam questions.
    This year I have gone from 48% to 81%. I would not necessarily change the exam board but look carefully at examiners reports. Stick with it and remember you are successful with your BTEC and AS results so find some solace there. Good luck
  9. Hi Simon

    Thanks so much for the encouraging words. In answer to your question the students i teach are generally bright but a hard core are very lazy, mainly due to a lack of rigour with the senior management. However I must take responsibility as most departments experienced a big rise in results whereby mine have fallen by 10%.
    You advice has been really useful as I must admit I have not looked at the marking criteria for the CA closely enough and need to do this much more carefully. AQA do not provide a great deal of support with the Unit One and Two exam and was shocked to see only one past papoer was available on thir website for Unit Two.
    If possible I would be really grateful if you could let me know the exam body you are with and how you feel they support you.

    Thasnks so much for your kind words.

  10. simon1971

    simon1971 New commenter

    Hi. I am still with EdExcel. I find that they have excellent help and advice. Colin Leith is the Business advisor and I visit the communities pages on EdExcel. He has always tried to get back to me within the week. http://community.edexcel.com/business/m/default.aspx
    Do you use Results plus from EdExcel? I would recommend this! It allows you to see which questions your cohort did well on and which they did not. You can then focus your teaching on certain topics or look at whether pupils lost marks on the 8,10 or 12 mark questions. You should get advice from your exams officer if you need help setting up with Results Plus.
    I also have stumbled on websites over the years. www.revisionstation.co.uk is a good one. She tell of schools who's VLE are open to anyone. Best one for GCSE Business is The Embrook School who have loads of GCSE materials.
    Regarding CA, I found less help the better. In 2011 I found the company, set up the meeting with the manager, pupils made notes. Result = too descriptive, unmotivated and a lack of ownership from pupils. Last year I decided to let them choose their business, result really positive. Make sure that pupils have clear guidance on what they should write.
    All in all try and make sure you understand the grading criteria for Unit 3 and start Unit 3 questions early in the course.
    I too have had the worse school results twice in my career, its horrible but from experience SMT are keen to see what you intend to do about it and so if you can show what went wrong through analysis and then tell them the intervention, tracking and changes you plan to make they will be impressed.
    Best wishes
  11. Hi Simon

    Thanks so much I really appreciate all you're advice and help. Most seem to be suggesteing a change to either edexcel or the Welsh Board. I really appreciate all the suggestions you have made and will certainly look at making the necessary interventions. As you have suggested I do need to show the SMT what I am doing to try and improve the GCSE Business results.

    Thanks so much for all the suggestions.

    Kind Regards
  12. Hi,

    Happy to 'buddy up' if you wish? I've had two cohorts go through the Edexcel Business course. The first time, I got the business owner to come in, arranged interviews etc. Result: CA marked down. They were allowed to resit and, this time, I challenged them all to go out and choose their own business. It's slightly scary at first thinking that some won't be able to do it, but they all manage it...you'll be amazed at how many of them have access to family or friends that own businesses.

    This year, with a very mixed ability class, I achieved 91% A*-C with almost all students well above their FF target grade. I totally agree with the poster that says "Less help is better". By handing ownership of the task over completely to the students, they really did respond in a way I couldn't have hoped for in my wildest dreams!

    We spent a year where we'd watch The Apprentice each Thursday morning on iPlayer and then look at the different parts of the course that we could tie in (it was a double every Thursday, which was handy). SLT walked in a couple of times with frowns on their faces (watching The Apprentice AGAIN?) but were amazed by the work the students produced. I even had one student apply to The Young Apprentice (and made the last 50 out of thousands!).

    I'm happy to share ideas with you and so on...if you'd like my email address, just shout. I've got an even more challenging class this year coming into Y11...!!
  13. jennygriffiths22

    jennygriffiths22 New commenter

    Would anyone be happy to share (depersonalised) copies of Edexcel Unit 2 BS Controlled Assessment? We chose our own businesses, students did interviews and collected evidence including customer feedback, we reviewed/compared Edexcel's A* and D examples and we still got marked down......moderators feedback was that we needed to apply evidence more to the businesses and focus more on the evaluation but would really like to see other examples? We will need to redo it this term.
    happy to send mine in return
  14. going grey quickly

    going grey quickly New commenter

    I would also ask for any help/examples please if someone doesn't mind! After years of teaching GNVQ then BTEC my school have forced me back to GCSE and I am worried about the CA part as i haven't done it before

  15. Happy to share mine. Give me a bit of time to get settled in with the new year (and new role) and I'll get some over to you. I'll try and include elements of the mod report as well.

  16. Hi pjhirt
    I am also in the same position, sole business teacher in 11-16 school and doing GCSE for first time in 5 years after Btec! I did send you a private message asking for some help almost a carbon copy as the two above, So if you could also send me a copy and would n't mind advising me to, Iwould be so very greatful! Thanks in advance! My email is busyteacher@hotmail.com
  17. That would be really fantastic. I would be SO graeful if you could semnd me your e mail address and I will contact you straight away!

    Thanks so much for your kind ioffer.

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