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EdExcel AS and A2 results

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by adrok, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. After years of inconsistent Edexcel results at AS/A2 I said goodbye to them for good today and am now with WJEC for all A Level. After the marks I had today for paper 4 I am definately celebrating! I have found the Welsh board very clear and definately on our side. The marks for AS today were fair - the interally assessed performance marks were not changed. The written paper was mixed - but those students who had worked hard got the grades they deserved - as did those who didn't work. If anyone wants to jump the Edexcel ship I'm happy to share the WJEC SOW I have been creating so far!
  2. how much external written stuff is there in WJEC?
  3. ahhh two external exams. I do like edexcel but wish wish wish today had never happened.
  4. Ah, Corblimeyguvnor, I couldn't agree more! I think the point about the real personal stress we feel is so important. I dread these days like you wouldn't believe and, on the occasions where there have been issues, feel sick at the thought of going in and facing my hard-working students who have been let down and who are looking to me for answers.

    Edexcel do not acknowledge any issues, which I find intensely frustrating. When I make mistakes, I'm happy to admit to them. The disparity between this years AS results (excellent and, in many cases, far higher than I would've awarded) and last years AS results (mixed bag for extremely high ability class) is just another example. The WPCs last year and this year are miles apart in terms of marks but I'm absolutely confident that we didn't do anything differently and that these weren't any better.

    What can we do? We all know it but Edexcel is such an enormous company that they don't ever deal with it and, as the only board that doesn't have set texts and multiple written exams, they know that we want to stick with them, despite the issues. I do, however, feel that the anxiety of the unpredictability of the practical elements of the courses in particular, but also Unit 4 to some extent, is not something I can continue to deal with year after year. Yes, it's gone very well for us this year, but experience tells me that this won't necessarily be the case next year.
  5. I will look at WJEC - I have heard good things, and perhaps a written exam will raise the profile as a "serious" A'level. Thanks for the advice, frankiesmum7.
  6. Now I've seen the results breakdown for Unit 2 it's clear that the Written Performance Concept marks are what have hit our students the hardest. The majority have 2 or 3 out of 10. There isn't a single student with marks above 4/10. In previous series our marks for this component have gone up to 8/10. It's particularly frustrating that some of our best and insightful writers are getting the same 3/10 as students who submitted really basic, descriptive responses.
  7. I think that corblimeyguvnor has expressed how i feel so eloquently. It is demoralising being a Drama teacher at this time of year as there are no apparent standards. The example of the same Monologue getting such different grades is a classic.

    It is known amongst our pupils how hard it is to do well in Edexcel Drama. Lower school pupils watch GCSE and A Level performances that they see as impressive and encourage interest in the subject- only to be told they got a C grade (I know that they are no experts but this puts them off 'risking' an A level or GCSE with such high boundaries/expectations)

    When I sat with my head last year and he was really pleased I had to remind him not to be complacent as this doesn't mean it will be the same next year - it is a lottery! Even GCSE moderated units fill me with dread ..did we get the C/A right...was my video sessions that was deemed good one year a failure the next?? Never mind Unit 3

    I am not sure what the answer is but the best bit of all...society still considers Drama to be an easy subject!!! If only ...
  8. corblimeyguvnor

    corblimeyguvnor New commenter

    Well I think the word 'lottery' puts it perfectly.

    I would be very interested to hear what Paul, or anyone from Edexcel thinks about this - I hope that he will reply. We know that he is following this thread, I would love to know what his views are.

    I note with interest that there are no Unit 2 training days planned for this year - my Head this morning offered to pay for me to go on one (great that his confidence in me is so high!) - I looked but there are none listed! Perhaps they are just too controversial!
  9. Don't forget there are lots of examples on this forum of examiners who have had bad experiences so not sure unit 2 training would help with such a subjective assessment with such vague criteria.
  10. Rentonave I agree completely! We had v high marks for our WPCs this year - mostly 7s, 8s and 9s - using the same structure as we used last year which got us mainly 5s. And this year's cohort are, in general, weaker. So confusing!

    I haven't been scaled for GCSE yet and we've been told our marking of practical and written is in line with national standards for the last 2 years. That doesn't make me feel confident though. I've sent off the same practical lessons again this year and we've marked to the same standard (using last year's stuff to moderate) but I'm still extremely worried about what next Thursday will bring as I don't trust the board to be consistent. And this is the tough thing and its one of things that makes me question whether I want to keep doing my job. My colleague and I work immensely hard all year, as do our students and then it feels like we've done all that, only to throw it all to chance at the last minute depending on what moderator or examiner we get. So demoralising.
  11. I am still really upset about my marks today and can't seem to shake it off or forget about it! This has never happened before. Students who should have got As have come out with Bs! I am seriously considering a career change after today. I just can't be doin with the stress of it all. Never in my entire career have I felt like this!
  12. Hi frankiesmum7,

    After this years unit 2 results I am looking into other exam boards and WJEC does look like a good option. How are they in terms of support? I would really appreciate it if you could share any info.

    It is great to hear that you have had a positive experience.
  13. I have just emailed a letter to Edexcel detailing my huge concern over AS Unit 2 results. Not a rant - a genuine plea for some support in understanding the mess they have made of my students' grades and, in consequence, their university prospects. Thirty seconds later I received this:

    If you are not satisfied with the 6DR02 marks your candidates received, please go to this web link and use the Post Result Service.


    Do you think they even bothered to read the letter? Or are they getting so many complaints that they have resorted to this rude dismissal?

    Disgusted of East Midlands....
  14. We have had the same experience this year and were very disappointed

    Unit 2 seemed crazy all over the shop with results nothing above 8 for monologues and one student harshly marked with 5's. Our examiner was over an hour and half late for the start of the exam as well which as you can imagine built a lot of anxiety for students!

    Unit 4 were our worst ever after going on a course for the exam as well! Very unhappy! I am thinking about jumping ship now!
  15. I see that Paul has not bothered to reply to the OP eloquent comments. Communicating with Edexcel is like banging your head against a brick wall. The inconsistencies in the marking, especially of the practical units in both AS and GCSE , is jaw-dropping. Let us not forget that losing these units, which are very expensive to run and replacing them with written exams would save Edexcel a fortune and fit in with government thinking in terms of methods of assessment. If our students are seen to fail our SLT teams will eventually pull the courses, even before the students have all stopped opting for a subject with such precarious outcomes.

    Poor results=OFSTED=downgrading= academies. It doesn't take much, all our local schools have gone down one grade following recent OFSTED inspections and we are expecting them at my 'Outstanding ' school this term.
  16. Tinyfairy

    Tinyfairy New commenter

    I am generally happy with my AS and A2 results this year. Unit 4 went really well and helped one student boost an AS grade C to an overall A level grade B.

    Unit 3 marks were not changed and the moderators report was helpful, informative and really clear.

    Unit 2 marks were a little lower than I would have given but generally fair and unit 1 results were a little mixed. The coursework marks went down a little at the top and up a little at the bottom which was fine and fair I feel.

    However unit 1 practical marks went down a lot, not really sure why as the moderators only complaint was that they found it difficult to see and hear some of the students.

    However, I'm generally pleased, nervous next year won't be the same though!
  17. Tinyfairy

    Tinyfairy New commenter

    Just been doing some results analysis and in AS unit 1 I have four students one mark off a grade boundary (raw marks) however, the moderators report says my marking of the practical work was very generous. The moderator does not however, appear to have changed any of my practical marks and some of my coursework marks went up. Do I dare apply for a re-mark for these four students or is it too risky incase the practical marks go down? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
  18. Hi, as the Subject Advisor for all Edexcel and BTEC Performing Arts and Drama qualifications at Pearson, it?s my job to make sure that all of our teachers have the support they need from us at this time of year to understand candidate results and know what services are available, after receiving results.

    I hope that I have gone some way already in answering the questions that you have, both here and when you have been in touch with me directly. I thought it might be useful to also share with you some of the most frequently asked questions and my responses, copied below.

    However, I know that sometimes it?s easier to discuss specific details about your centre and candidates in person so please do get in touch with me at TeachingPerformingArts@Pearson.com .

    I will aim to respond at the earliest opportunity.

    Q: I am not happy with my results...

    If you are unhappy with your results, or you think there are issues with the moderation or external assessment of the reviewed units, there is a post results service for GCE Drama you could use in the first instance which might be helpful. More information on our post-results Enquiry about Results (EAR) service is available here: www.edexcel.com/.../results-enquiry.aspx

    Q: What training are you going to offer to teachers?

    From reading your comments , I understand there is a concern about the lack of training events for units 2 and 4. We had to wait for OFQUAL?s announcement regarding the type of face to face training/seminar events we could make available for teachers. Now we have this information, we are currently finalising the events and will make the dates and details available as soon as possible. It is frustrating, I agree, and I hope we can resolve this quickly.

    Q: Are you going to replace the practical exams in GCE and GCSE?

    There are no plans to replace the practical examinations for GCSE or GCE Drama with written examinations in the current qualifications or in the new qualifications (which will be available for teaching in 2016). The performance opportunities in both qualifications are accepted by OFQUAL, Pearson, the majority of those teaching and studying the qualifications, and key figures from further and higher education, as worthwhile and wholly appropriate for the subject.

    Q: How do you make sure that candidates on unit 2 get the right mark?

    The examination of students in unit 2 is an impartial, objective assessment of live performance work. The examiners undergo standardisation and training to be able to make assessment decisions using the assessment criteria. 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 examining team, who sample their work. Due to the rigorous monitoring process, many centres have more than one examiner attending the live examination. All of our examining processes adhere to the standards set by our regulator.

    Corblimeyguvnor?s suggestion that there is more than one examiner is completely understandable; unfortunately it is not something that can be introduced during the life of this particular qualification as it would be unfair to previous years? candidates. This is not a question of cost; it?s about ensuring fairness and parity.

    Wordwren: I am sorry that you didn?t get a detailed response to your complaint letter. My colleague wanted to provide you with quick and succinct guidance to the process you can now follow. If you would like to contact me directly I can investigate the situation for you.
  19. Paul, I completely understand your point of view as a representative of Edexcel. I also appreciate that you are trying hard to help with our issues and that you can't comment on our individual cases on a public forum. However, I know that there are several examiners and moderators - both on here and in real life - who themselves have raised concerns about the issues of consistency in marking. I am absolutely confident that my AS cohort this year were not nearly as strong as my AS cohort last year and yet they were all awarded Cs and above for Unit 2, while last year weren't. This is one of many examples I can give, and I know we all have similar stories.

    While I know you can't comment on this, I beg you to take this sort of feedback to Edexcel. As long as they continue to pass the blame to the teachers all the time, continually suggesting that we are just incapable of being objective about our own students, then this problem will continue. I have never in 10 years been scaled on any internally assessed GCSE, AS or A2 unit s (practical and written) and my moderator's report has often commented on accuracy of marking and the quality of work; I can't be that incapable of being impartial then, can I?

    If WJEC were to reduce their written exams and set texts, or if OCR were to do a straight Drama A level, Edexcel would find people leaving in droves. On the second of two very embarrassing GCSE courses I went on, in which the leader contradicted himself several times, the whole lunch break was spent listening to one teacher explaining the OCR syllabus to everyone else, who were all planning to leave Edexcel over the next year or so.

    People are disillusioned with Edexcel and it's not just moaning or being bitter about poor marks- I will openly say that I have had cohorts who have had higher marks than I would've given them, as well as cohorts who I feel have been harshly done by. While there are several people on here mentioning the way they feel about approaching results days and talking about wanting to leave teaching, I can only reiterate that Edexcel needs to stop and really look around at what is happening. There are issues. I am 100% convinced of that. If Edexcel continue to fail to address them then people will have no choice but to go elsewhere. I have always felt that the Edexcel specs are the best ones around, but the strain of working so hard all year and then hoping that we get a reasonable marker is just too much now. I can't keep doing it.

    Paul, please listen to what is being said and feed it back. This really is an issue.

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