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confused by the optems form edexcel GCSE DRAMA pls pls help!!

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by ArthurDent, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. You've got it sussed.
  2. Hi I am trying to work out which bands meet a C grade equivalent. Working on 45/60 like last year it computes as Band 2 Excellent. Would it be fair to say that it is then harder to reach a C if your coursework is not in the top two bands. You might need a 30 from Paper 3 to reach 65% if in Band 3 for Paper 1 and 2. If true where is the B equivalent?
    I can see my pupils getting lower grades unless we are directed to mark higher.
  3. Stop even trying! Edexcel won't know what a C grade is until they have seen work from Centres this year. It's a new Spec. and the grade boundaries will be new. the only thing we know for certain (because Ofqual say it) is that the same proportion of students will get the grades as they did last year. With the new Outstanding band 1 being there for A* and a bit of A grade - I think - it would seem that C grade boundary will be in a different place. As a moderator, I'm pretty sure that if you apply the marking criteria properly, and don't try to make comparisons between old and new specs, you will be accurate in the middle and lower ends. My hunch is that Centres will think work is Outstanding when it is merely Excellent! You really must look at your marks carefully in August AND really get to grips with your E9 (or U9) and the Chief Examiner's Report this year to get your head around it. If you teach AS/2 Edexcel Drama, you might remember how Centres were surprised etc in the first year of the new Spec. to re-iterate: Just mark the practical and coursework according to the new Spec criteria and trust to judgement and the moderators and examiners and then analyse the data in August.
  4. 'My hunch is that Centres will think work is Outstanding when it is merely Excellent!'
    I think you are right about that Arthur BUT what I am worried about is how many kids are outstanding at 15/16 years of age!??
    Can i ask you if there have been any hints/advice about what constitutes 'outstanding' or even excellent?? For example 'original thought' is a key phrase for top band English, even my daughter sitting Yr 6 SATS is being given hints about what a level 5 should have - eg a semi colon!
    I know it is all jumping through hoops but I think we are all just so stressed about letting the kids down as we automatically compare with last years cohort even though we shouldn't - well joe blogs got an A last year and this kid is just as good.
    If you teach AS/2 Edexcel Drama, you might remember how Centres were surprised etc in the first year of the new Spec - That is what worries me! The first year of AS new spec found people really disappointed as grades just seemed to be down.
    It is all such a headache and your help on this forum is really appreciated Arthur!

  5. Thank you for the compliment. Trouble with 1699 old spec is that there wasn't much room at the top of the mark scale. How do you differentiate between a student who is worth 20/20 because they meet the criteria and what you might expect from a 15/16 year old and a 20/20 from a student who is working at something approaching AS Level a year early? The new Level 1 ' outstanding' criteria are designed to give more room at this very top end and stop students needing to get 97% for an A*. I've said it before, I'll say it again, Ofqual insist that the same proportion of students will receive the grades as they did last year but the grade boundaries will be in different places. So hints or tips about what is outstanding? If it's an A grade student, think excellent. If you have an A* student think outstanding. If you have a B grade student they are probably somewhere in the excellent band. BUT until the marks are in, coursework moderated and the Edexcel have had their grade awarding meetings, we won't know for sure. It's UBER-important that you get your E9 from the exams' officer and that you read the Chief Examiner's Report this year as there will be plenty of things that should shed light on your concerns.
  6. Right, after all that I'm now confused by the OPTEMS!!
    I have two fulls sets (with the three different coloured copies) for each unit. Is there a reason why? One set has the sampled candidates starred and one doesn't. Which one do I use???
  7. Sorry - ignore that! I've checked again and I do understand it! Easter holiday brain!!!
  8. Easter brain.

    You DO total both the theatre trevie +Doc response totals together and thats what you enter on the 2 paper 2 OPTEMS? Yes? no?
  9. Yes you do! Sorry for the delay. I've not been logged in much this week.
  10. I agree with the general sentiment in this forum that the paperwork for this GCSE is too dense and complex it has taken me over 18 hours to process everything for 13 candidates.

    One new addition to the moderation process is causing me real concern because of the potential for genuine ambiguity and misunderstanding. We now have to fill in a sample record sheet and mark 5 pupils based soley on their achievement in the provided video evidence. This radically increases work load as we have to provide two sets of marks for five candidates. I am puzzled as to how to apply the practical assessment marks which are designed for a 6 hour assessment to an hour or two of video, is it possible to give full marks to a pupil only demonstrating one sixth of their total input or do we award the candidate a sixth of their overall mark? Would it not be better to ask Centres to just place the five selected candidates in rank order as seen in the video sample rather than giving them a mark from a mark scheme designed for 6 hours of assessment not one or two hours? What advice have moderators received about dealing with a possible misunderstanding by teachers about awarding correct marks in this new sample sheet?
  11. Remember, the purpose of the video is to check that you can mark your students' practical work accurately. Do they meet the criteria the video lesson? Are they excellent or merely good? You have to make that call. The cirteria can be applied for one session and for all sessions: it's the beauty of them being that flexible! Remember that the outstanding band is NEW and it's not just the old band 1 with a new name. So, if you would have given a candidate full marks on the old spec, are they really working beyond GCSE standard - in which case they are safely outstanding or are they working fully at GCSE standard - in which case they are on the level 1/2 border (probably). It's the first year of a new spec, workload this year will be greater as everyone is doing it in more detail and more carefully because it's unusual. (The same will be true for moderators who will spend more time on each centre because they know they have to be right). So, yes, it's possible to give a few marks more in the video lesson than you give overall for the six hours and it's equally possible that the top marked candidate overall will not be the top marked candidate from the video lesson. As to the last question we have received no advice about dealing with possible misunderstandings by teachers about awarding the correct marks in this new sample sheet because the ICE is perfectly clear about what is required.
  12. Thanks for the reply.

    Do I understand you correctly - you imply that the outstanding band provides marks for work beyond GCSE standard - if this is the case the marking system is flawed - the exam board should not provide marks that are for work that is beyond the demands of the specification. From the start I have been uneasy about the term "outstanding" as it is such a strong judgement to have to apply to GCSE standard.

    I understand the general rationale of having to stretch out the top end marks (the previous 97% for A* was silly ) but I fear this radical overhaul will cause confusion for both teachers and moderators for the first couple of years. Let's hope it works out for the best and does not disadvantage too many pupils.

    As to your last point - if the ICE was perfectly clear I would not have the misunderstanding - the flexibility of the marking scheme you write about is not explicit in either the Specification or ICE.

    I fear I have probably over-marked the five candidates in the video session due to misunderstanding but totally stand by my overall marking which is backed up with plentiful specifc examples in my written statements, I have included a thorough record of work and the video shows pupils purposefully engaged in meeting our assessment objectives. If the moderator has to adjust the video sample marks will this also necessitate a change to the overall marks if everything else is agreed?

    Huge thanks by the way for giving up your time to give expert advice to this forum - change always takes time to bed in and be able to discuss our experiences with someone in the know is very helpful.
  13. Do you not think that students who are working beyond what you expect from GCSE shouldn't be rewarded more than those who are working at the top of the range expected for GCSE? The exam board are recognising the fact that, with the old spec, there was no differentiation between these two types of students. No, the radical overhaul will not cause confusion for moderators because we are standardised every year and know what the national standard is. It might confuse some teachers which is why it's imperative that you get hold of the Chief Examiner's Report and your own centre's E9 report so that if you are confused, you understand things a bit better. If you have over marked the candidates in the video you have probably over marked the candidates overall. New Spec, new standard and you should be consistent. If your marks on the video are too generous or mean, it could result in an adjustment to the cohort. What the adjustment is, will be the responsibility of Edexcel to make. As a mod, I don't know how any adjustments are made as it's not in my remit to know. Thank you for your final comment, much appreciated.
  14. Ah an interesting debate posed by your first question and I would answer that I don't think that a GCSE student working beyond the GCSE standard should be awarded more than a student working at the top end of a standard. A mark of 40/40 should reflect the mark that is achieved by a pupil meeting the top end of a GCSE standard. It is perfectly acceptable to imagine that some pupils could actually have achieved 50/40 if they are performing beyond the standard but the specification has no requirement to cater for those working beyond it. It makes no sense to create an almost unattainable top band because in theory a great actor like Robert De Niro could take the exam and that the specification feels that it should recognise such extraordinary talent. The danger is that it creates the confusion that I tried to express in previous posts. I still fear that in the first year be teachers and moderators who read the new top band as a band beyond GCSE and others who rightly read it as the top band of a GCSE. Once the first year is out of the way the standard will become clearer but there is the fear that in the first year marks could understandably be misapplied to the over benefit of some candidates and the disadvantage of others - an issue that plagued the first year of the new EDEXCEL A Level Drama course.

    I still feel there is a problem having to mark the sample video as it is just a snap shot of the whole. In a creative, devising assessment such as our drama coursework provides you can only give a meaningful mark to the pupil's whole contribution over the 6 hours. I always thought the the purpose of the video snapshot was merely to provide brief practical evidence that the record or work and the comments on the pupil's record sheet bore some semblance to the actual reality not something that can be accurately marked by a moderator from distance. If this moderation check is as vital as you make it out to be then the exam board need to be sending moderators to the centres and watch the work live and moderate with the teacher next to them.

    In reflection I think the marks I have awarded are correct - I teach at a very able centre and stingily believe that the current cohort is a vintage year. Hear's hoping!

    Thanks again for the feedback
  15. Apologies for the typos and errors in the last post. For some reason an early draft my last reply has appeared in the forum rather than my more erudite final version. I'm better at drama teaching than IT (I hope!)
  16. I have found that on occasion my the marks I've given in the video have been slightly lower than overall, purely because that wasn't their consistent level, if that makes sense. More so at A level where you're marking the practical over a greater number of lessons.

    I would also query the sentiment that we're marking outstanding as 'above GCSE level'. I can't quite comprehend how, if the standard that we're marking at is GCSE, we're asking them to go above that standard in order to get an A*. Is this consistent with other subjects? For example, would an English GCSE student have to write an essay at A level standard to get an A*? (This is a genuine question - I don't know the answer. Perhaps that is true, in which case, fair's fair...) For me, A* should be about covering all the expectations of the GCSE and, at that level, we couldn't ask anything more of them. But surely, at that level is they key? I don't know.

    I'm hoping they might scale down the paperwork a bit next year. I do believe that the new spec is better in theory (as with the new AS and A2) but the delivery needs some clarification and the paperwork is an issue. Hopefully it's one they can resolve.

    I would also echo the comments about Arthur - it's been invaluable having your advice on here regarding this!
  17. Again my computer has de-paragraphed me! Grrr!
  18. The standard is clear. Well, it is to me, I'm a moderator for both U1 and U2 and so have sat through two meetings to ensure I know what the standard is. Do remember that the old spec suffered from A8 students needing 97% to get an A*: that's ludicrous and needed to be addressed and brought into line with other subjects which is why the mark scheme has been adapted so that there is a bit more flexibility and that A* will still mean A* without marks being bunched up at the top end of the mark scale. Ofqual requirement, really, not Edexcel being difficult. I'm sure the idea of moderating the centre live with the teacher would be the best outcome but it's too expensive I know my headteacher would be unwilling to allow me to visit 40 schools - that's 40 days out - to do it. What rj says about the ways mods used to look at the video is correct BUT, you don't have to be Einstein to realise that this change is probably forced on the board by Ofqual. Afterall, the old way of checking standards on the video was unchanged between 1698 and 1699 - so about fifteen or so years in use, I'm sure Edexcel didn't want to change it. So, the new rule is there to check and moderate the standards. Yes, it's quite likely that the marks you give for the video lesson will be lower than the marks you give for the whole six hours and if you get this right, then the standards for your practical work will be accepted. If you are out, the marks could change - isn't that how A Level works now? (I don't teach A Level, I don't know.) And you could look at lots of these changes as bringing GCSE and A Level specs into line. In response to Crunchy's comment aabout English, for example, well, yes there is lee-way at the top of the mark scheme. I teach WJEC English and for each grade for controlled assessment work there are two marks but there are 3 for A*. What's the third one for? Other grades it's effectively, 'insecure but inside the grade boundary' and 'safely' that grade or 'solidly that grade' Cand you be solidly above that at A*? Yes, you are producing work that wouldn't be out of place at the next level up. To assume that A* is the very pinnacle of student achievement in English or Drama or anything, is to limit the possible achievements of students.

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