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Controlled Assessment - Eng. Lit. - how much planning time have you allotted?

Discussion in 'English' started by Reebop, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. Help! Subject to an awful squeeze here. The plan had been to use 3 lessons this week for the kids to do their CA planning - and to gve me a chance to review and guide, but best laid plans etc. meant only 1 lesson on Friday to start the planning. The kids went home with their plans and instructions to work on them over the weekend and the new Plan B is to spend Monday (when the CA was to start) finalising the plans ready to start the task on Tuesday. Bit worried that this may be skimping somewhat but also worried about delaying again (we were supposed to start planning before half-term and start task the first week back (ie last week!).
    Advice sought, please.
     
  2. Help! Subject to an awful squeeze here. The plan had been to use 3 lessons this week for the kids to do their CA planning - and to gve me a chance to review and guide, but best laid plans etc. meant only 1 lesson on Friday to start the planning. The kids went home with their plans and instructions to work on them over the weekend and the new Plan B is to spend Monday (when the CA was to start) finalising the plans ready to start the task on Tuesday. Bit worried that this may be skimping somewhat but also worried about delaying again (we were supposed to start planning before half-term and start task the first week back (ie last week!).
    Advice sought, please.
     
  3. Golly - we're only using one lesson for planning - maybe we should think about two. The planning is the first lesson of the week. Homework for the weekend will be to go through everything and organise their notes (we're suggesting highlighting what they need) so that they can complete the sheets in a lesson. We've been told that they do this in test conditions. We have only just started teaching the unit so I'm interested in hearing how others will manage this - I'm pretty sure we wouldn't be able to use a week for planning though.
     
  4. Thanks, PinkRuby.
    Really thought they'd need to do a fair amount of planning to get the structure right. None of them have tackled anything like the length of this before and most don't seem to have a clue as to how to maintain a nicely flowing argument! Bit scared really about what the quality will be like. Even the 2 G&T kids seem out of their depth (but they are still year 10)
     
  5. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    CA first week in December - all lessons will be planning from now on.
     
  6. I think that the fact that we vary from 1 planning lesson to maybe 10 or so(?) between just 3 of us says something - not sure what though!
     
  7. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    My set is very low ability, though. I'd take less time with higher abiltity. Mine will be 12 hours planning and they will need every second of that.
     
  8. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    I've been wondering about this. When you say planning, do you mean that you have given students the title and then they are planning for up to twelve lessons?
    What feedback, advice and marking are you allowed to do in this stage?
     
  9. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    No feedback/marking/intervention is allowed on anything which might constitute a pre-prepared draft. So, for example, you may not give students the title, ask them to write an opening paragraph for it then mark it. The safest approach is to study the text in terms of the generic task - theme or character - covering the skills rquired for the CA by modelling/giving practice on something related to the task but not the actual task. So, if your CA task was "Discuss how Steinbeck presents Lennie", you could do all sorts of practice on the task of "Discuss how Steinbeck presents George" and give feedback, mark work etc. Once the students start planning for the real task, you must step back and let them plan on their own. In terms of time for this - the actual planning for the page of notes to be taken into the CA, I would say 1-2 hours is ample - I'm only planning on using 1. (may have to rethink and give another hour though!)
     
  10. CarolineEm

    CarolineEm New commenter

    We've just received the Standardisation Material : Controlled Assessments (large blue document). Pg 9 has detail on notes and what they should / should not contain. This also includes that these are only "one side of notes" - directly in conflict to the information I was given earlier in the year, when I telephoned AQA's helpline and was told that they could use the back of this sheet too. The exemplars of notes in this document are very brief, apart from one which is more detailed (pg 79) but has typed on the top of it "THESE NOTES WILL BE DISCUSSED AT THE TEACHER STANDARDISATION MEETING".
    So, if we are talking about actually transferring their ideas into the box on the A4 sheet of paper, then it would seem that the brevity of what they are allowed to include means that they really don't need much time on this? (Pg 9 talks about "very brief - a few words, key points, page references") Hopefully more clarity will come out of the upcoming standardisation meetings, although many of us have already done one or two controlled assessments, so hope that these won't be judged as non-compliant in retrospect after they have finally given out the criteria / details that we've been asking for since the spring!
     
  11. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    We've just had our meeting and this has been used as an example of what NOT to do, under any circumstances.
    Our students have one lesson to plan, which I think may well be too long, considering what they're allowed to write. They're certainly not being given any feedback on their planning.
     
  12. Thank you for this. I was beginning to think I'd got it completely wrong. I think they need time to go through the scenes and their notes before recording on the sheet but we're going to get them to prepare at home. It's going to take all of our lesson time to teach both texts and give them some practice in writing paragraphs analysing quotations. I worry that most will struggle to structure their essay without some guidance and redrafting but I suppose that's going to be the case in most schools.
     
  13. CarolineEm

    CarolineEm New commenter

    Yes, I had realised from the information at the top of the page that this was going to be how NOT to do it - hence my point that the "very brief" notes that they are allowed would not take two hours of class time to get down. My frustration is that the exam board have only just made us aware of the level of notes allowed, (and this contradicts the telephone conversation I had in the summer with them.) I just hope this means that they will be flexible on controlled assessments completed prior to this release of material and not penalise us / the pupils for using more detailed notes in earlier assessments (?)
     
  14. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    I agree - I think they needed to be more organised than this.
    We laughed this evening though - at the meeting, we were given 400 blank cover sheets and told to photocopy more "if we needed any". Given that there are nearly 200 students in the year, and how many assessments, I think we might just need to... shame we have already more than spent our photocopying allocation for the year!!
    Hmmm... maybe seems unlikely?
     
  15. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    We were told last summer that they could only take brief notes and there were examples of A4 sheets in the Preparing to Teach materials. However, AQA (possibly other board too) do seem to be making up the rules as we go along and it annoys me that essential information is all over the website. I realise that some things will only come up as units are taught but they could make the info easier to find.
     
  16. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    The information about just what was permitted in terms of notes has been available since before Easter and has been given out at all the Preparing to Teach meetings run during the summer term. The notes proforma has been available on the website for several months.
     
  17. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    Caroline Em, I am sorry you were not aware of what was allowed re notes, but I am absolutely astonished as well. The huge programme of training on both CA and Preparing to Teach has been running since January this year. I wonder how you or someone in your department managed not to attend any of these events and thus to lack the information you needed.
     
  18. CarolineEm

    CarolineEm New commenter

    I and a colleague both attended (different) preparing to teach days. We were given the exemplars, but the question of how detailed notes could be was not clearly responded to, hence the fact that I telephoned the board directly. I was told that, because other boards were allowing more than one page of notes, the AQA couldn't insist on only one page, but that this was "recommended", and that there was no problem with using the reverse of the A4 sheet. We decided as a department to allow pupils to make essay notes / plans on the official sheet and to use the back, usually for spider-type diagrams etc. if they wanted to.
     
  19. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    I am certainly not allowing mine more than one side of the official sheet for the CA.
    We'll be doing lots of planning prep, though.
     
  20. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    The funamental point about the notes is not what size of page or how many pages, but what students would find helpful and overwhelmingly, trialling showed that too many notes were not helpful. Some students get bogged down by them or don't use them at all. Over the next couple of years, I suspect we will all learn what works best for our students.
     

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