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EdExcel GCSE Results

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by adrok, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. I seem to be in a bit of a minority this year ..... I was actually pleased overall with my results but I think I was expecting the fiasco I had laast year again when strangely nobody got over 13/20 for any component. This year my top candidates both got A grades and I got a few Bs and some Cs. Yes there were bottom end grades too but since I was expecting 3 candidates to get a U and they graded at G, G and E I was delighted to, in fact, get 100% pass rate and 52% A*-C. Also, for the first time ever, my Unit 1 and Unit 2 marks weren't changed.

    Those of you looking for re-marks, I have to say I asked for one for a student who was 1 UMS mark off a C last year and it came back with no change...funnily enough, I'm not asking for a re-mark this year. For once I'm happy (despite ALL the RAW grade boundaries moving up again) but I won't expect to stay like this for next year....

    Good luck in your re-marks and keep smiling - you might be like me and have a rubbish year one year and then suddenly it works out....when you're smiling and happy, just remember its my turn next year to be annoyed again.

    Good luck x
  2. I think I'll have gone Welsh by then, nwyllie.
  3. I am in a simular situation with you. This is my first year with Edexcel and i am furious! My unit 1 and unit 2 marks were fine, all written work was commented as being slighty harsh all other work fine so overall happy - students struggled a little here but they are good performers.

    Unit 3 however.... i have students that are A getting and E, then another student that comes out of character 3 times getting the same mark as the other student and they were in the same performance!!! I have watched these back today and do not agree at all - its a disgrace and i have already spoken with our head and we are going to move boards right away.

    I had 27% A-C and this is because nearly all performance students got Es/Fs!!!!
  4. SGA


    I totally agree that we should put it a complaint. I've been a Drama teacher for ten years and have had consistently good marks around (80-90%). Since the new spec came out, the moderation has been inconsistent, the marking of unit 3 erratic and the grades achieved ridiculous. I've gone from 84% A-C last year to 43% this year with a very similar cohort, using the same play scripts for unit 3 and very similar work achieved in units 1 and 2. I hope they are ready for a fight because I have video evidence and the two years can be directly compared.

    It's time to find a new exam board.
  5. SGA - I felt the same last year when all my students were marked harshly and extremely low - I got loads of Es in the performance and when I looked at the year before and I look at this year - those kids were not an E grade in performance. I totally agree with the inconsistency in marking as I say I feel my examiner this year was particularly generous as I would have marked two of my students at a U grade for performance but they graded!!!!

    I can't help thinking they are doing it by centre; I got it last year so they were going to be nicer to me (I complained last year as my examiner took too long between performances and insisted that she needed "5 minutes per candidate per group" as a break!!! When I complained; she denied it despite me having 100 people in the studio as witnesses including senior leadership from my school. Maybe someone like a team leader told my examiner to be nice to me as I was "mean and evil" or something!!!
  6. corblimeyguvnor

    corblimeyguvnor New commenter

    Words used on this forum to describe Edexcel practical marking include 'lucky' and 'thankfully'. It simply should not be like that.

    With GCSE I was 'lucky' last year. A VERY mixed cohort who the examiner thought were ALL (yes ALL 24) A*, A or at the very worst a top B. Were they? No. No way. But I was grateful and I had dealt the week before with some of my best ever AS students getting Ds and Es. It's a lottery as I have said before.

    However, this made a rod for my own back because it meant I got 15 students this year for AS all coming in with A* or A at GCSE. When I then got a ridiculous examiner for Unit 2 this year and they end up with a D over all for AS I have to justify to my Head why a student can get A* at GCSE and D a year later at AS.

    This year's GCSE are the first ever that I have actually agreed with (and I am an Examiner). A range between As and Cs for a much stronger cohort than last year, but a fair range, well applied and accurately given so that the rank order I drew up on the night is the same as the results I have ended up with.

    I have no faith at all that next year will be the same and whilst I have never once been scaled for Unit 1 or 3 of A Level or Unit 1 or 2 of GCSE, whilst my Moderator reports consistently praise my marking, the 'outstanding' students we have etc. I feel as a teacher with twelve years' experience totally unable to predict practical grades for either specification. How can it be like this?

    The knock on effects of this erratic, unpredictable, unfair lottery at GCSE and AS are:

    A drop in numbers moving from GCSE to AS

    Uncomfortable meetings with parents and the Head

    Stress beyond anything I ever feel running a busy Faculty


    And yet Edexcel get away with it year after year because we all complain separately. I personally know of four HODs who have formally complained this year alone. If we all made a complaint, using specific examples, video evidence etc together, to OFQUAL something would have to be done.

    Paul Webster is very quick to comment on here advising us all to seek EARs. EARs come back unchanged, we all know that and the reason is that you simply cannot capture a performance in video, therefore you cannot remark it on video with any fairness. That is why it is so vital that Edexcel get it right with the Visiting Examiners and so often they are not.

    When we complain to Edexcel we get standard 'computerised' responses. Prepared answers, and they will always say 'The standard changes every year' or 'You are unable to objectively judge your own candidates'. Or they make us go down an EAR route thus generating more funds for them. They say that as a private school I must have 'too high' expectations of the number of high grades I get. No, I am not deluded, I just want to feel that an exam board have a clue. I fully acknowledge I have D or E grade students, what shocks me is therefore when that student gains an A, having dropped out of role, laughed in the piece etc, yet my best student gets a D...

    I have so many individual examples of Edexcel's ineptitude but my one voice alone falls on deaf ears. When AQA made similar ***-ups. several HODs banded together to formally complain so that something was done. We should all do the same. I bet on here there are a range of centres on here - international, private, college, state etc. With a range of centres to complain formally to OFQUAL we might just get somewhere - at least we might get better marking criteria, more adequate training for VEs or better still two VEs per centre...
  7. dramaqueen63

    dramaqueen63 New commenter

    my results for units 1 and 2 have not been changed however unit 3 seems completely erratic, as do many of the replies above indicate. A student who really should have got an E (in my opinion ) achieved a C and it doesnt matter how many times I look at the video I am really not seeing it. Two other students who worked so hard and produced B grade work in units 1 & 2 apparently did so little in a performance piece that they received an E (just!) and now will not be joining my AS course as they are completely disheartened...as am I . I have been teaching GCSE courses for over 15 years and do not generally get criticised as an over optmistic marker but I am now so worried about next years cohort and my choices for their unit 3
  8. I totally agree. You share my feelings about Edexcel - this year was a good year but who knows what will happen next year. We should unite together to complain.
  9. SGA


    Ok - My school e-mail is sgarred@hallmeadschool.com

    If anyone wants to e-mail me, I'll collate the addresses and then we can go from there.
  10. That one's easy to answer: look at when the book was published - I think it was before anyone would have actually taught the new spec. Therefore, they took as much good and useful stuff as they could from the final year of the old spec and re-appropriated it.
  11. "Cutie(QT) I have several students one or two marks off a grade boundary in raw marks and then into the higher grade or one mark off on UMS marks, would these be likely to change if I go for a re-mark?"

    One year 7 years ago a student moved up when I got a re-mark for him, apart from that I have not seen it happen for my students, I came to the conclusion that the mark might be close to the borderline but simply because they placed the student in the top range of the band, but not enough to be in the next band and therefore grade. As for re-moderation, I really really don't think it worth the £800 odd that it would cost. I seriously doubt that they would change enough to make it worthwhile. When I was doing it, the EAB still existed for appeals against exam boards, and I found this illuminating reading www.theeab.org.uk/index.php because the examples of the appeals by schools showed just how hard done by you have to be before anything big changes.

    Therefore I just looked for an exam board where I had never read any complaints about them, found WJEC and have been happy thus far. It is not easier, in fact in some ways the pupils are tested in more ways than Edexcel, and many are put off by the idea of a written exam, but they are very fair and don't make a habit of erratic marking and moderating. Oh, and the paperwork is a third of what you do for Edexcel.

    Good luck with everything!
  12. I got 100% A-C but no A or A* this year despite my top band students being outstanding - lead roles in school production, NYT performers etc. All students got B and lower students got their C but seems to have been no recognition for difference in ability - am awaiting breakdown and will appeal.
  13. Tinyfairy

    Tinyfairy New commenter

    Is it worth appealing or getting re-moderated? I know it will be expensive but I am now faced with uncomfortable conversations with my deputy head, being the only department in the school with awful grades and a drop in numbers at both GCSE and A level because of poor results. I could accept all this if I felt the marks were fair but they are totaly not.
  14. Tinyfairy I am in the same position as you- Drama grades are the worst in the school and stick out like a sore thumb amongst the other grades of a very strong cohort. I don't know where I went wrong ( granted I haven't seen any reports/ feedback yet) and feel that the marks students were awarded (2 bands lower than mine across the board) are totally unfair and in no way reflect the ability of the group. I don't feel my marking is subjective- I am an experienced teacher and have always been more than aware of the ' subjectivity' that could creep in- I have marked according the the criteria of Edexcel. I am not sure of what the best course of action is and honestly don't know what to do.
  15. Tinyfairy

    Tinyfairy New commenter


    I feel exactly the same, I simply don't know what to do. Getting all the work re-moderated or applying for re-marks for students near boundaries is expensive but would be worth it if the results changed, I just don't know how likely that is. For this year I don't know whether to change to WJEC or give Edexcel another go, making sure I heed the advice from the moderators reports. I moderated my coursework with another drama teacher and we agreed on the marks (she teachers at a sister school and does not know my students so how could she be subjective?) how can I have gotten it wrong when my unit 3 marks and my A level marks were all right and I have moderated GCSE units 1 and 2 for two years?! It makes no sense to me. I'm going to discuss my options with the deputy head and take it from there but honestly how can students who get A or A* in other subjects get Ds in Drama?
  16. Totally agree, Tinyfairy, makes no sense to me either.
  17. Tinyfairy

    Tinyfairy New commenter

    keep me updated as to what you decide to do, I would like to hear how other people are tackling it. Did anyone else have success and would be willing to share what they did? Is anyone else going to complain? I am seriously considering it.
  18. Quite simply, I have lost the will to teach after these past 2 Thursday's . I simply do not know what I am doing so horrifically wrong to get my predictions so wrong; going on unit 1 and 2 some students have gone down one or two grades overall. Obviously working through all holidays with the kids and then bank holidays isn't enough and I'm doing something wrong. And don't get me started on Unit 2 changes or bizarre Unit 3 marks!!! Confidence all but gone. Hey ho, another year will soon be upon us!
  19. Have just read all these posts with a mixture of relief and horror - relief that I'm not alone, and horror at the way Edexcel are seemingly working hard to end Drama in schools. Our Unit 1/2 marks were unchanged after being heavily brought down last year (we have done nothing different except avoiding giving any top band marks - is it right that we feel afraid to reward students with full marks, even when it is deserved?). However, we too have a very mixed bag of Unit 3 - lots of D / E grades for pupils who used voice, movement etc to a really good level. One girl got 9 A* grades....and C for Drama. Another got A*- B for all subjects, then D for Drama. I am sending for re-marks where the next grade boundary is close but hold out little hope. I will look at WJEC. The pity is - I love the Edexcel course - if only they could get decent examiners.
  20. If you are preparing for conversations with deputy heads about results that are wildly worse than other subjects, I would suggest that you propose you move boards. If you are saying that Edexcel is at fault, then it makes no sense to continue with the board. Look at each board's spec, and make a table of the advantages and disadvantages of each one for your pupils. That's what I did. The comparisons should be things like: nature of assessment (are they assessing performance or preparation more), costs (resources/texts), time needed for preparation of each unit, word of mouth on forums like this (do they get a lot of complaints etc) paperwork needed for submission of coursework, (look up their forms), set texts you would have to study yourself, and so on. Meet your deputy with that preparation and explain what conclusion you have come to about edexcel, and what board you would like to change to and why.

    I say this because for the purpose of your conversation and the future of what you do for drama in your school, either it is Edexcel, or it is the work you and your pupils did. If you want to continue with Edexcel, it becomes about the work you and the pupils did - why was it scaled, why did your unit 3 examiner miss your best pupils, why did they award high marks to pupils who performed poorly etc. Now if those questions have no answers, and you have checked the moderator's comments, you have sent back anomalies for re-marking in unit 3, been on courses, followed the spec, had moderation with sister schools etc, then honestly, you should swap boards. If you find the answers to those questions, then obviously you will have success with Edexcel next time round because it will be about something you did wrong and you will be able to correct it.

    Personally, when I did the process above, and I showed the deputy what marks my pupils would have got if the coursework had not been scaled, so that he saw that the department would have been in line with other subjects, the conversation became easier. It took me a while to get confidence back, and for pupils to get confidence back, but the fact that I analysed it and made a big change made me feel more in control. The fact that I have now had two years of results that are fair and accurate has restored my confidence. I enjoy the course I teach because the content is good, but also because I think it is reliable and I don't fear the outcome.

    Given that times have changed and we have new things to worry about with performance management and performance related pay, I think the stress will only grow if you have such erratic exam results and you really can't predict what your pupils will get.

    Good luck!

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