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Controlled Assesesment - marks to grades for reports - help

Discussion in 'English' started by clairey27, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Hi, as a department we are struggling with converting marks to grades based on the CA for reports (due to the boards not wanting to give the marks/bands a grade). We have a few ideas what we could do to rectify this for the next lot of reports, however we were interested to hear what other schools are doing for their reports to helps us make the most appropriate decision.
    Some of us have worked out what we think the grade boundaries are but this is only an approximation, some of us look at the grades for the last exam board's for coursework, again this is only an approximation. This is not an ideal soloution.We are most likely going to ask the school to change the section on the report that says gradesto mark - this will then avoid confusion. However the school has to approve this yet.
    Any help that anyone could give about what their schools do to report CA grades on reports for GCSE English years would be much appreciated.
  2. It doesn't help that you think the entire English teaching TES community does the same exam board. Which exam board do you do? WJEC has a marks to grade chart published in the Specification.
  3. Hi ArthurDent, my HOD told us that no boards were giving out grades, that all boards were moving awary from giving out grade infomation in relation to CA, apolgogies for her lack of correct information. The board is OCR.
  4. This is a really difficult one and we haven't come up with a solution yet. We are currently giving an 'instinctive' grade I suppose and erring on the side of caution so that if they get a surprise when they get their final grade it will be a nice one! Not good really.
    I'm not sure about putting a mark on the reports - it wouldn't mean anything to parents really. Maybe the solution is not to give a grade or mark or anything, merely to say what the pupil is doing well and where they could improve...this will never happen in real grade-obsessed life obviously but it would be nice!

  5. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    Give the band rather than a mark/grade?
    SMT don't like it, though [​IMG]
  6. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    I agree about the obsession with grades, target grades, predicted grades, progress blah,, blah, blah and I think there are a couple of possibilities:
    1. HODs/teachers will create their own mark-grade conversions and hope they get them right when the final totting up is done (this is already happening of course - see fluffykat).
    2. Teachers will be allowed to use that oft-cited tool of teacher assessment, using the narrative descriptions of student performance in the spec - effectively marking intuitively with the spec descriptions for reassurance/guidance for inexperienced teachers etc. So, teachers will still be able to talk about grades but not tie those grades to particular marks on individual pieces of work, more in terms of holistic performance.
    3. Eventually, a different system of tracking/measuring progress will evolve and all this fuss will die down! [​IMG]

  7. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    Clairey - your HOD is quite right - the decision to remove grade equivalents from CA marking criteria was taken by QCDA and applies to all boards.
    An earlier poster referred to WJEC as having a clear marks to grades grid, which is true, as does the AQA spec and I suspect the OCR one too. However, this does not allow for a direct correlation between the mark bands and the grades, as many English teachers have discovered to their frustration. This grid is used to convert Unit marks (UMS) to grades and can only be applied by the boards once the entire unit is taken. It has to be adjusted for different weightings etc. So, whichever board we do, we are all in the same boat! There is no simple solution and the best thing to do is to try and adopt the system of bands for individual pieces of work and use grades as an intuitive assessment of holistic performance. Before there is an outcry, I know this is not easy but change never is and we all just have to get on with it![​IMG]
  8. Page 24 of the WJEC Teachers' Guide gives a Notional Mark/Grade conversation chart for all CA. It gives three columns for CA marked out of 20, 490 and 80. So, WJEC do give a direct correlation - OK, it's notional but it's good enough. Bands and Grades don't line up, but with WJEC you do get the ability to know what the grade is notionally.Besides, don't know about you, I mark and think in terms of grade and then refine with the mark scheme. So, I think C and look at where 12/13 marks lie within the bands and refine accordingly. So far, I've been OK with my marking.
  9. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter


    I think this is the way to go. Get in your head what they need to do for a C, a B, a D and so on and mark with a grade. That's what's going on our reports and into the system and it's what the kids will be told. Nobody needs the numbers until the end and they can be adjusted when the folders are complete. We're recording a number for our own records but marking in grades only for all other purposes. So far, everybody happy.
  10. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    Hallelujah! This is exactly the right approach and it puts the power back in English teachers' hands to use their own assessment skills. Let's hope it catches on soon and gets rid of all this fear and confusion about the lack of grade equivalents. [​IMG]
  11. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    I couldn't see that - the mark bands and the grades didn't tie up so I assume you are working it out for yourself, which is what other posters have been trying to do and I think it's understandable but misguided. The second part of your comment is exactly what we should all be doing.

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