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Edexcel GCSE 2011 Science, November 2011 unit results

Discussion in 'Science' started by MarkS, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. MarkS

    MarkS New commenter

    Hi Stephen,
    I have personally sent a message to the e-mail address above, and the direct address for your name, but have yet to receive a response from either. I may have used my school e-mail for one or other of these, so I will check at school tomorrow to see if I have a reply!
    However, why not give a response to the results here? Or on the Edexcel website? How does Edexcel view these results? And what will the response be for future exam series?
    I have had very angry parents on the phone to me every single day since the results were published, and I have been unable to give a response which is satisfactory from a parental point of view. I (and my teachers) have had very upset students who are now questioning their ability, and who will very soon become disillusioned with the subject if something does not change.
    Surely Edexcel owes all of us an explanation?
  2. Stephen,
    I have tried to contact you at Edexcel on several occasions. You (or any of the 'experts' are yet to be available to take my call. Our exams officer contacted edexcel who admitted there was a huge issue with this series of results and so have offered all centres access to five scripts free of charge - you therefore clearly know there is a problem.

    I also have had many angry parents on the phone and some incredibly upset students. Many of our students were targeted A*/A and did not achieve this and as a result the vast majority are 'opting out' of triple award as they fear they will fail. This of course would be a huge shame as we are clearly turning off talented scienctist in favour of other subjects - all due to this exam.
    I am pleased to see a parent comment on here - thankyou Barbara Townley, As so far Edexcel are not listening to the outpouring of frustration from teachers and heads of department up and down the country.
    Edexcel please take action to rectify this situation before centres leave your awarding body in droves!
  3. mousey80

    mousey80 Occasional commenter

    Have the exam board been too rushed to get everything in place because it took so long for the specifications to be accredited?
  4. MarkS

    MarkS New commenter

    Well said Dom!!! All seems to have gone quiet over at Edexcel...
  5. MarkS

    MarkS New commenter

    Well said Dom!!!
    It all seems to have gone quiet over at Edexcel...
  6. We have had the same experience as many schools on this forum and others. It seems that OFQUAL, or the DfE, or both, have imposed a much tougher regime on the exam boards, resulting in a depression of results by about 2 grades on average compared with previous years for the November modules. This is borne out by provisional national data released by EDEXCEL, and all the anecdotal evidence I have collected. We were told explicitly last June at the board?s meeting in Nottingham that OFQUAL had instructed the boards to reduce significantly the number of A* and A awards, but by an unspecified percentage, so this is not really a surprise. This renders FFT estimates quite useless this year, by the way. Have school managers been informed of this?

    This is a seismic shift in GCSE grading that will have dire political repercussions if not addressed before the final awarding meetings in the summer. It is difficult to see how Mr Gove will be able to preside over such a dramatic fall in Science grades over one academic year. I suspect that there will be a frantic massaging of grade boundaries to cover up this mess. Will adjustments be made in the March and May exams, putting the November students at a massive disadvantage? If so, we need Edexcel to offer a free re-sit opportunity for all November candidates as soon as possible. I would urge all other school to press for this, and to change boards if the request is not met.

    Year 10 students, parents, and teachers are in a position of intolerable anxiety. I have spent many hours over the past two weeks dealing with this trauma, advising worried parents, drawing up emergency plans with our senior management team, re-scheduling exam entries, and dealing with confused students. We are already starting to lose potential triple science candidates for September.

    Will UMS scores for the controlled assessments be used to bump up the statistics? Will the extremely low average raw scores in November, and the difficulty of the papers, and the subsequent compression of the marks range destroy the rank order of students so that shifting the boundaries becomes unfair?

    It would be great if a representative of the board, or OFQUAL, posted a reply to these questions. Stephen has been very helpful in phone conversations, but I think questions should go much further than the Science Advisor.

    NB Quote from the OFQUAL website:

    "As set out in the [Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning] Act our main objectives are:

    ? to secure that assessments give a reliable indication of skills, knowledge and understanding and that the attainment level is consistent over time
    ? to promote public confidence in regulated qualifications and assessments"

    so plenty of questions for them as well.
  7. Does anyone know where it's possible to get a copy of the November 2011 papers online? Our students sat the Biology ones, but none sat the Chemistry, so we don't have copies of these but would like them to aid preparation. I've looked on Edexcel online and Results Plus, but Results Plus only gives me the ones our students sat.
    Many thanks.
  8. Edexcelscienceteam

    Edexcelscienceteam New commenter

    You can find them at the following link, under 'Question paper':
    Hope that helps,
    Edexcel Science
  9. Dear teachers of new specification Edexcel science,
    You may be interested in some new resources I've created over the last couple of months. They are 31 biology B1 revision videos and 25 chemistry C1 revision videos. These videos have been made to completely mirror the new Edexcel specification. Each one lasts approximately 3 minutes.
    I've just uploaded them onto my youtube channel - please take a look.
    Please feel free to use, share, and feedback to me.
    Thank you,

  10. As soon as I saw
    how the Science exams were changing I suspected there would be a massive drop
    in pass rate. I have had one child go through the 360 science system where it
    seemed that many more passed due to the multiple chance aspect of the exam. A
    20 minute MC exam is in no way comparable to the new 1 hour mainly written
    exam. You actually have to know your stuff well now. Not only that, the
    questions are far more taxing.
    <font size="2">My child did do
    the Biology exam in November and got a good mark however this would probably be
    down to the large amount of revision done, at home. I believe that the new
    system cannot rely on school work alone, as in the past. In our school t</font><font size="2">here were a few
    other good marks in this exam but the majority did fail, many are now sadly being put onto BTEC. Is that the way to go? Most of these children do not realise that this completely stops them from taking A level science. Perhaps if they were informed of this, some would pull their socks up.</font>
    <font size="2">I have just
    looked over the physics paper from November. I am absolutely astounded that
    anyone passed. It seemed to me most questions were the &lsquo;trying to apply your
    knowledge&rsquo; type which means the student has to waste much time thinking about
    them. Surely these sort of questions should be limited to A* questions.</font>

    After many hours
    of revision it took me and my child 3 hours to wade through this paper in order
    to be sure we had the correct answers. (We are not privileged to be able to
    access answer sheets as Edexcel keep all the November papers for school access
    only, which makes everything even harder for those of us who want to support
    our children at home!!). This paper was far harder than the sampler papers
    given on the Edexcel website but thank goodness we mere home revisers, could
    access the samplers, because the whole thing would be a nightmare otherwise. Not all
    teachers seem to deem it necessary that their students actually see old exam
    papers and being a parent who thinks this is essential I find it very frustrating
    that I cannot access more recent exam papers, especially when the course has
    changed and there are no old papers to look at.
    My last major
    concern is essential course information in the official Edexcel science book is
    very sparse at times. We have to refer to other publications for answers to
    exam questions as they are not in the Edexcel book. Surely the official book should
    have everything needed to get an A*. The very fact that there are no answers to
    any questions given in the book, leaves the problem that students are never
    sure they are getting things right.
    <font size="2">I think the past
    system was too easy. I know many students who got good grades without an ounce
    of work and then found A level sciences shockingly hard however it seems to me
    the present students have been given a double whammy. The grade boundaries
    being raised alongside a massively harder exam. It is not surprising that so
    many are failing or not achieving target grades? It will be a long slow process
    to encourage students back into the old ways of revising at home, if they want
    a chance at passing these new exams. I cannot imagine the failure rate when it
    reverts back to linear.</font>


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