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Drama Edexcel Unit 3 - 2012

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by evn, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. evn

    evn

    So this is the first time I have posted but I am desperately seeking advice!

    I'm a NQT and have taught Year 11 GCSE Edexcel this year. My unit 1 and 2 marks have remained unchanged and I have many students on an A* after these two units. I then read on to the Unit 3 marks and was frankly horrified! No student achieved higher than a B (and that was only awarded to 2 students) everyone else was on a C or D. Now I may be new to teaching however I know the pieces they produced deserve higher marks than that. I base this on the performances I have seen at other schools during my training year and my HoD feedback. Has anyone else found this? And what can I do? I don't seem to be able to find anything on Edexcel's website to indicate grade boundaries for this year etc....
     
  2. evn

    evn

    So this is the first time I have posted but I am desperately seeking advice!

    I'm a NQT and have taught Year 11 GCSE Edexcel this year. My unit 1 and 2 marks have remained unchanged and I have many students on an A* after these two units. I then read on to the Unit 3 marks and was frankly horrified! No student achieved higher than a B (and that was only awarded to 2 students) everyone else was on a C or D. Now I may be new to teaching however I know the pieces they produced deserve higher marks than that. I base this on the performances I have seen at other schools during my training year and my HoD feedback. Has anyone else found this? And what can I do? I don't seem to be able to find anything on Edexcel's website to indicate grade boundaries for this year etc....
     
  3. ineedsleep

    ineedsleep New commenter

    Hi
    There's a thread about this on page 2. You are certainly not alone. There are many experienced teachers who are shocked at the unit 3 marking. This happened to us last year and we complained but nothing happened. We have already changed exam board for the coming year 11.
    Ins
     
  4. It's certainly not you. I have never seen so many posts from teachers unhappy with the Unit 3 marks. ineedsleep - which board are you changing to? I am on the verge of going to AQA.
     
  5. You're thinking of changing to AQA? I hope all your students are fantastic writers, cos that's what they'll need to be to get anywhere near decent marks on the 40% written exam.
     
  6. So which board are you using? We have a cross section - talented performers who struggle with writing, those who can do both ....but since my most talented pupil was marked in the bottom 5 of the cohort for unit 3, I cannot bear another year with Edexcel, Advice needed.
     
  7. Can you tell me where that link to page 2 is? I have been absolutely dumbstruck about the Unit 3 results. I have experienced actors, who have performed to a very competent level in festivals like the Shakespeare schools and the International Youth Arts festival marked down as a D!!!!!!! In one of the performances NONE of the actors scored higher than a D! And they were all A/B in unit 1 and 2! I worked in the industry for 25 years before teaching and I am sure as anything that they were a top band performance. I am at a loss as to what to do?
     
  8. I have been with AQA for 20 years, but after a second set of awful results (after years of decent results) due to the appalling written paper marking and massively hiked grade boundaries, I'm now moving to WJEC that has a more benign written paper with a lower overall weighting. I have a lot of 'average' students who now don't stand a chance of getting a 'C' with AQA and feel it's my professional duty to do something about it.
     
  9. cos that's what they'll need to be to get anywhere near decent marks on the 40% written exam.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Hi everyone
    Just thought I'd share this with you. I emailed Edexcel last week regarding the appalling marks I received for Unit 3 and basically asked them why the standard had clearly risen so highly. This is the response I received today - copied and pasted omitting any names:
    Thank you for your
    email.

    I am sorry to hear
    that you are unhappy with your GCSE Drama 5DR03 results.

    <u>I can confirm that
    the marking for this series was no harsher than last series.</u>


    Please let me
    reassure you that the examining of your candidates&rsquo; work has been carried out in
    line with the Ofqual Code of Practice. Careful monitoring throughout the
    examination series is undertaken to check the accuracy of marking for all
    examiners. Examiners are trained to apply the standard set by the Principal
    Examiner to ensure that all candidates are treated fairly. All examiners are
    monitored throughout the examination window by members of the Senior team, who
    sample their work.

    If you are unhappy with your results you have the
    opportunity to apply for an Enquiry About Results. This can be done through
    Edexcel Online www.edexcelonline.com. You can contact your Examinations
    Officer with more details on how to do this.

    You have the opportunity to appeal the outcome of your
    Enquiry About Results if you are still not happy. You may send your intent to
    appeal to the Edexcel Appeals Team, 190 High Holborn, London WC1V 7BH.
    Comments anyone????
    Nicky
     
  11. Evening Nicky
    What a snotty impersonal reply which toes the party line- I would be furious! I think they should track examiners who constantly are targeted in 'appeals' as it is dealt with by the appeals team and the examiner in question will never know. If they are way off the mark they should be told and dealt with.
    Are you going to appeal (if your school will support it-) did you also complain about how long your examiner took between groups - I seem to recall it was AGES... you need all the ammunition you can get. I know this email will just add to your disappointment and anger over your marks, not what you needed. :(
     
  12. Couldn't have put it better myself rentonave!!!
    I was even more furious when I read this that I had to send them an email in return basically outlining that they hadn't actually addressed my questions and that it was abundantly clear that the standard HAD been raised from last year (I still have the DVD from last year's exam and have compared performances).
    I have also told the person who has written this that I am not letting it go and that they shall be hearing from me again via either my line manager or senior leadership once I have had the relevant discussion regarding complaining formally. I am asking for re-marks and will appeal if school allow it. I have reminded Edexcel of the so-called "five minutes per candidate per group" ruling that the examiner spurted not just at me but other members of staff including an assistant head.
    This has certainly brought out the Celtic Temper in me and I am NOT letting this one go; I'm like a dog with a bone!!!
    I think it's about time Exam Boards were actually honest with us "lowly" Drama teachers!!!!
     
  13. Well, as an examiner I have never heard of the 5 minute per candidate rule!
    In fact, on my accompanied visit it was made clear that we did not take too long deliberating (easy to get carried away when discussing with others) as not to leave candidates waiting too long.
    I still think your examiner was writing up all his/her sheets AT THE EXAM rather than later - if you had a group of 6 that's half an hour!!! It would take a max of 15 minutes for 6 I would guess.
    I try to fit in with the flow of the day and what suits the teacher - nothing worse then trying to perform over break with all that noise! Sometimes I am far too nice though - last year one school were 'running late' and one gap included a long dinner break and we should have finished at 12.30 and I was there till nearly 2.00. I only got paid for 3 hours - doh! But they did buy me lunch!!


     
  14. For AQA, the 'five minutes per candidate' rule is a general rule for the minimum length of time on stage for a candidate. Ie, in order to do enough to be graded for performance, each candidate needs to be on stage in role for at least five minutes. It has nothing to do with the time the examiner takes to mark them. I wonder whether Edexcel has a similar guideline/rule. It really wouldn't make sense (as outline by rentonave above) for it to mean that the examiner has to take five minutes to mark each candidate - that'd be just crazy.
     
  15. I know that the 5 minute rule is to do with the time length of performance but this year the examiner specifically told me that it was the length of time she needed between each piece.
    thanks everyone for your support though!
    Nicky x
     
  16. I was absolutely horrified by the Unit 3 grades this year! We had 53 candidates go through and not one of them was awarded higher than a C grade!!! In face only 11 of those were Cs and the rest were Ds and Es!!!

    I am and edexcel moderator for units 1&2 and all of our marks were fine, no problems or scaling so I am at a loss to understand how I could be so "wrong" with my predictions for Unit 3 based on what they performed and on previous years... since the new specification came into play our Unit 3 grades have been awful with more than 8 years with edexcel I'm wondering if my poor students would fare better with WJEC!!!
     
  17. Sooz817 - complain to Edexcel. Email the drama assessment team and say exactly what you've just said here. It's been exactly the same as me (except for the 53 candidate bit) none of mine have got above a C in performance either.
    I honestly think that the more people that complain to Edexcel the better; that way I'm not the lone voice who gets their emails deleted and their letters shredded!
    Nicky x
     
  18. Yeah but we've had years of this now. We read about examiners training that fails to agree standards, we read about useless feedback, we read about insufficient time, we read (above) about cheesed off examiners working over the 3 hours they should've (reflected in the marking?) we read about skewering marks according to gender, we read about totally ridiculous administration that has to be done, et blimmin al..
    What we don't read, despite this forum regularly going on about mutual support, is about Drama teachers who are examiners saying 'sod all this I'm going to be generous in the extreme in my (subjective after all) marking. I am going to stand by my fellow Drama teacher, and stand by the subject'.
    Bad you say? Well things can hardly get much worse in this race for the bottom marking anyway, can they?
    Mind you there is the gravy train aspect of things to consider. Teachers schlepping off work to do the examining, the exam board paying them, and paying their cover too. Pearson the parent company of Edexcel chasing profit (appeals anybody?) and comfy Edexcel examiners not wanting to rock any boats in order to maintain their positions (and a neat little paragraph on their CV's).
    When are we in Drama going to re-discover the fire in our bellies huh? We are working in Education, not the blimmin luvvie Theatre, even if 90% of us are failed wannabe performers. Why aren't we subversive any more? Its our kids, our teaching, our subject and our integrity...don't be cowed by accusations of 'professionalism' (absolute **** word that should be banned), but stand up for your subject and your futures.
     
  19. 'we read (above) about cheesed off examiners working over the 3 hours they should've (reflected in the marking?)'
    Err, I am assuming that was me making a light hearted comment about fitting in with the school day to help a fellow teacher - I wasn't 'cheesed off'- - the extra time allowed me to fill in the paperwork I normally do at home.I was joking that some examiners make the day to work to their agenda but I work to the school's advantage because (believe it or not) I have the best interest of the pupils at heart. It didn't effect my marking and once again you have been personally insulting to me by implying this - when I was actually posting to support Nicky.
    I went into examining to try and improve my teaching of the units in question. It was to benefit the students. Since being an examiner I have appealed against Edexcel myself with unfair marks (rocking the boat) and both asked and given advice on the forum about it. I have been teaching far too long to be motivated by a neat little paragraph on a CV!!
    I agree teachers should complain when there are problems and bad practice. I think the marking system is subjective and therefore naturally flawed. I understand that these things can make people really angry- I have been in the past - but it is the system that is wrong - not just teacher examiners.
    I am sure you are not personally angry at JUST ME but I feel now that everytime I post something you are looking to pick it apart and imply I am either a poor examiner or a poor teacher. I have not gone over to the dark side as you seem to think all teacher /examiners have. I am dedicated to my job and the pupils I teach (like all of us on the forum who continually seek help and advice) and your continuing prejudice is making me feel uncomfortable when posting on here.


     
  20. I don't know you, and if you think I intend to be personally insulting to you then why? Why would I want to single anybody out? What would motivate me to do that? I reckon you may well be a good teacher, but also I reckon (right now) all of the practical examiners are poor. To quote you above 'I think the marking system is subjective, and therefore naturally flawed'. Well thats OK then is it? The examiners don't react against that, they shrug and say 'what can you do?'.
    I am very well aware of subjectivity floating around all arts endeavours, but if I were to take the Pearson/Edexcel shilling I'd sure as hell want to be better prepared than those who post and say 'well i do my best but there are some rogues out there', and merrily make it up as they go along. This is why I don't want to be part of the corruption that is practical examining in Drama, and am left to cast around for the best exam board...which sure ain't Edexcel...and mainly left bewildered and damaged for myself and my students by the subjective decisions of moronic examiners.
    If the system is wrong why be a part of it? To change it from within? Well for the past four or so years the system (judging by teachers reactions on here) is getting worse not better. if no-one were an examiner maybe it would focus people a bit better.
    P.S.
    Feeling a bit uncomfortable when posting on a forum is nothing to the discomfort people feel after going through the reality of the Edexcel wringer.
     

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