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Drama Edexcel Unit 3 - 2012

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

  1. Not again!
    Look; I just wanted to share my "feedback" from Edexcel and certainly didn't want all this negativity regarding examiners as a whole to start up again.
    I'm sure that loads of English teachers are currently complaining of the harsh marking of their papers too (according to the news anyway) and that paper is not subjective. Maybe it's the "system" we're in, maybe its the wonderful Mr Gove putting his spin on things and making GCSEs more difficult than A Levels.
    I DO do my best; in teaching and in examining; I've not had a negative experience in my team as an examiner and I've been told in the two years I've done the AS Unit 2 exam that my marking has been "accurate" and my comments have been "brilliant". I'm not coming on here saying that examiners are corrupt.....I just said that I didn't appreciate the email I received nor did I appreciate the fact that my examiner (only that one, not them all) took too long between pieces spurting something I have seen no evidence for. None of that is "subjective" it's truth and fact.
    I asked specifically for support in my latest kick in the teeth from Edexcel and that's what I got from rentonave. That's what I thought we got on this forum; support, not negativity!
  2. My reaction to a poor set of results 4 years ago was to become an examiner to see if it would help my teaching /results. It did seem to help -if this had not been useful then I would have taken the next step - change exam boards. It is something I have looked at on many a results day.
    Voting with our feet is the best way that teachers can make a statement about their dissatisfaction with a particular exam board. The more people that change exam board the better. It is trying to find one that suits you and your pupils that is the tricky bit- I was disappointed to read the AQA thread as I think that the controlled assessment is killing my kids at GCSE and a written paper seemed a better alternative - not this year, the marking seems to have been very harsh.
    I am sure the grass is actually greener as I know people who successfully do the Welsh Spec, I also have a friend who teaches and examines for OCR- she loves it -she is of course not a moronic examiner!
  3. I wonder if anyone has made a collective voice of disapproval regarding the marking of Unit 3. If so I would like to know about it. Like many here I find the marks for Unit 3 somewhat bemusing. We seem extremely disempowered. Changing exam boards I don't think is the answer. It also doesn't help those students who got shafted frankly by markers.
  4. We did as a local authority last year - to no avail. Just a "look at the ICE/exemplar materials/come on expensive training run by us" letter back! Like so many people on here we've paid our dues - remarks that were changed for three out of 8 candidates ( but that was not deemed 'significant' enough for all students work to be changed ) on Units 1 AND 2 last year; trips up to London courses; online courses; really focused moderation; one of the department moderating Units 1 and 2...and still amendments down to Unit 1 this year and an absolute travesty for Unit 3 marks this year - no A* or A grades for us - doesn't tally with previous years at all. It is unbelievably disheartening for us and the students, some of whom will now NOT take A level and some who were counting on Drama as a C to get into college. Looking at the AQA comments is just as disturbing.
    Disempowered we are. And Ofqual are meeting today re. English - wonder what'll happen there. I will write, I will request a remark - I will spend most of the beginning of term trying to assure students who are returning that this isn't what we expected and we were not lying when we predicted them A or B grades, just acting as professionally as we can and using our collective tens of years of judgement ( I have been teaching twenty years and done ten with Edexcel ).

    It is a strange relief to read comments on here but as you say the more people the better - still I'm not really holding out much hope.
  5. Its very reassuring to hear one as experienced as you as bewildered as you.
    as one who is much less experienced but not totally inexperienced I just say
    Last year 5A*, 3 As 3Bs 1 C in my Unit 3
    This year 0 A* 1 A 5 Bs 14 Cs 5 Ds 2 Es
    Now, weaker cohort notwithstanding that is a dramatic fall.
    And I am sure others may be even moreso.
    I can't help wondering when these marks go on the sheet they are taken due care of and remember it is GCSE work (not graduate!)
    The students work on these pieces with enthusiasm and talent for MONTHS!!!!!!
  6. The people doing the marking are by and large fellow Drama teachers being paid to come into your school to mark. The buck stops with them, mainly because Pearson Publishing/Edexcel will blindly agree their examiners marks (otherwise it would mean their rubbish training is indeed rubbish, and their rubbish approach is indeed rubbish), and if teachers still disagree, then Pearson Publishing/Edexcel will coin it in appeals money whilst smirking and rejecting those appeals.
    Lots of Drama teachers come over as lovely bleeding hearts who care, or they like to think of themselves that way, but the reality is that a lot of those teachers who do the practical examining are at best unsure and un-prepared, and at worst don't really give a damn as long as they get paid.
    I don't believe that particular constituency of the Educational Drama community really care about the impact on their fellow teachers, or the students, and they don't care about the damage they are doing to the subject overall.
    Tell you what, lets meet again on here next year to go over the same old ground, as we have already been doing for the past several years.
    There is another choice, search for a way to fight back, but not an easy option, requiring collaboration, and with no money to be made...can't see it happening myself.
    The retiring generation of Drama teachers would probably have been up for the fight, but I see no evidence or desire to fight back coming from the vast numbers of jobbing Drama teachers around now.
  7. My exams officer tells me it will cost £55 per candidate to have Unit 3 re-marked!!! Is this the case?? Am probably going to defect to WJEC; it looks loke AQA & OCR are pretty much as inconsistent as Edexcel. Agreed, changing boards shouldn't be the answer & I'm all in favour of a teachers' revolution but in the short term, while the good fight is being fought, it seems the most efficient way of enabling our pupils to achieve the marks they deserve.
  8. Sounds about right.
  9. A word of caution. We appealed Unit 1 and 2 last year. Duly sent sample of eight ( take care which eight - they could go down... ) - three of eight were changed BUT they said we still had to pay as it wasn't significant to initiate a wholesale remark. I was thrilled to have to pay about £700 for the privilege - out of my budget, which for most HODs would probably be most of it - even if I was pleased for the students who went up a grade. The question I have to Edexcel is - how many other students grades MIGHT have changed if I had happened to choose them for the sample ?! The year before one girl went up from a B to an A only when I initiated a similar enquiry and we were told it was a technical error..............

    Having said that I will be going down the same route this year simply because I can then feel/tell students/parents/SLT/colleagues we did all we could. As for changing boards it seems like we are stuck between a rock and a hard place looking over at AQA written paper. WJEC spec will be receiving my attention too.
  10. Yep completely disheartening. Very similar situation with us practical marks wise. No A*/As at all for us ( we regularly have NYT members come through, Drama school successes and were praised a few years ago when 2 students received a special mention from 60000+ entries for their practical performances.....! Unexpected but still lovely to hear ) The new spec/regime hasn't been kind. People have said "well make sure you ask for a different examiner next year" - the joke is a colleague who exams from a local school told me they are not allowed to come back to the same centre ! His Unit 3 marks were completely fair when he visited us btw. Why is it such a lottery as to who you get ? It should be absolutely consistent, obviously. This year's examiner seemed inexperienced to me - didn't put the students at ease with a little pep talk, took a LONG time between performances and was asking US questions about what we do. I'm concerned for the Year 11s just gone who will now think they aren't as good as we've suggested and that we've done them a disservice, but also about my Year 10s who are not stupid, will have talked to them and will want to know why so and so who was amazing in the school production/local production only got a B. I don't feel in any way equipped to answer after two years of this.
  11. Not just me then eh? Thanks for this charleybarley. I had the same thing happen to me....maybe we had the same examiner!!!
    Again; I am in the same position - a lot of my Y10s went to watch the Y11 performances and were in complete awe of them, thought they were amazing and were stunned by the level of commitment in performance, asking them for advice etc....they will be gutted also when I tell them that all the work that cohort put in was not good enough for more than a C grade for Unit 3 and I'm dreading it more than ever ......
    Good luck everyone!!!!
  12. NikiQatar

    NikiQatar New commenter

    We had a group of 13 this year ( we are an international school so only have a small uptake) and although we had a few A's I could not believe how low they were marked for unit 3. We send off a DVD (which isnt ideal, but we cant afford to fly over an examiner) and suggested mark forms, which I do not think are taken into consideration at all and therefore a complete waste of time and effort. I am a realistic person. I know when one of the kids are shockingly bad and when one absolutely nails it. Well at least I thought I did. It seems that EDEXCEL have a knack for making both me and and the others in the department who standardised the suggested mark forms feel completely incompetent and out of touch. What do I tell this years year 11? "Sorry guys, but all those who we have predicted A* or A to this year wont get that at GCSE as all your teachers with years of experience, really have no idea what we are talking about, but the peeps at EDEXCEL do. Therefore, dont get your hopes up no matter how hard you work or how well you act". Feel like I am setting these kids up for a fall. At the end of the day, they are 15/16 years old. What the hell do they expect from them?

    Bye bye EDEXCEL and good riddance. Hello WJEC. If my marks are still bad with them then i need to change profession., because I clearly think I see talent where others (EDEXCEL) clearly do not.

    P.s realllllllly sorry for rant.
  13. Well; first day back and I received my examiner's comments! Not impressed!
    I get told that my comments as an examiner are brilliant and positive; clearly outlining why I am marking a candidate in the banding I am giving them. What I don't put are comments like: "character needs further development" which is a comment I as a TEACHER would give that student! Also; there were discrepancies as she seemed to love one of my students' performance saying that his characterisation was of a high level and consistent throughout, believable, engaging the audience with stunning rapport with others ........so.....why did he get 13, 13, 13, 9 for each element? If he was THAT good and consistent; why didn't he get what he should have got; either top end of excellent and perhaps bottom outstanding (but more likely top end excellent)? And they are trying to tell me that the standard hasn't changed??
    Plus - the comments were rather sparce - how she took half an hour between each performance to write that I will never know. I was furious. Discussed it with the assistant head who was at the performance and he told me not to get stressed.....he said he'd do whatever he could to help as well which is good. I have a meeting with my line manager tomorrow morning so maybe she can advise on where to go and what to do now.
    Now I'm ranting - apologies!!!!
  14. Just to say, I'm very grateful for this forum as an opportunity to share common misgivings. Thank you.
  15. Same boat as most on here. Students A*s in unit 1 and 2 and get Ds for Unit 3. I am an examiner and felt I was confident to judge this years as far better. I get nothing above a B (2 students) right down to an F. Out of order! I am appealing and writing a letter of complaint due to an unprofessional examiner. LONG story! Stick to your guns and if you are confident don't type on here they can't hear your rage! Do something. Like others say if they hear a whole load of complaints they have to hear! Do note there are some goodys out there but it is the luck of the draw at the moment and if they don't hear feedback they can't address weak examiners.

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