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EDEXCEL GCSE Science (2011 spec) November entry module results.

Discussion in 'Science' started by Sar2008, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. Hi,
    I am a Head of Science and like many others received my 'EDEXCEL' November entry module results today. I anticipated a dip in student achievement due to changes that have been made to the way students are examined and the little time we had to prepare students and adjust the way we teach etc. I am however exceptionally concerned about the very unusual number of lower grades and in several cases U grades students have got. Results in my department have been very good over the past few years and I admit to being really worried right now.
    I am exploring every possible avenue regards how this has come about and how indeed it may be rectified, however I wondered whether we are alone or are there are other Heads of Science out there who have been equally shocked today?
    I really would appreciate some input here. My Head will be asking lots of questions, so any comments will be greatly received.
    Thanks so much
     
  2. Hi,
    I am a Head of Science and like many others received my 'EDEXCEL' November entry module results today. I anticipated a dip in student achievement due to changes that have been made to the way students are examined and the little time we had to prepare students and adjust the way we teach etc. I am however exceptionally concerned about the very unusual number of lower grades and in several cases U grades students have got. Results in my department have been very good over the past few years and I admit to being really worried right now.
    I am exploring every possible avenue regards how this has come about and how indeed it may be rectified, however I wondered whether we are alone or are there are other Heads of Science out there who have been equally shocked today?
    I really would appreciate some input here. My Head will be asking lots of questions, so any comments will be greatly received.
    Thanks so much
     
  3. We are the same - pupils approx 2 grades below expectation with many given U.
    Teachers all puzzled and upset, kids crying, angry parents - has anyone had a reply or information from Edexcel with regard how grade boundaries were set?
     
  4. calamityjane2

    calamityjane2 New commenter

    We're in Bury and our edexcel results are not brilliant. Kept the top set on AQA but we thought edexcel looked easier.... Just wondering if the large numbers of lower ability kids doing BTec is skewing the results for the rest? After all the exam boards have a quota of grades to fit to, don't they?
     
  5. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    This is making me feel good as we have just switched to edexel for the first time and our results are exactly as expected with some pleasing grades. Just a few dissapointments that can be fixed with re-sits.
     
  6. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Today our HoSci showed us the results on a website where each student has marks for each question and for each question they are refereneced against the national average for that question. It was quite telling that on some questions our kids got 1 mark out of 3 but were still on the plus side of the national average for the question! This was Physics 1 by the way.
     
  7. All of our students took B1, our results are normally good but these are terrible. As the above person said most students grades are 2 lower than expected. Lots of "U" grades too.
    Have results been poor for C1 and P1 too?

     
  8. Thank you so much all for taking the time to respond. Although not a nice position for us all to be in, I am relieved that we are not alone!
    Interestingly I received a phonecall directly from EDEXCEL to see how we were 'responding' to the results. The representative had been calling several schools in the Essex area and it appears we are all sharing the same issues, with many students falling off the higher tier grade boundaries and many not achieving a grade at all!
    We had a very lengthy discussion re: tier of entry. He suggested we looked at this for our March entries and maybe try putting more students into the foundation tier. I could not believe that I had to explain we were led by target grades and how the majority of our students do indeed have targets of grade C+ or higher, therefore in order to achieve them the only option would be higher!! We would all still have questions to answer if all our higher achievers managed to only secure C grades on foundation!
    I am not sure EDEXCEL do know what they are doing and the fact they were phoning schools etc. leads me to conclude that they are also extremely concerned. They are giving schools 5 'free' papers both from higher and lower tier candidates back to schools, so we can see exactly what students have written against the markschemes... if you did not know this, then please do let your examination officer know. You have until the 2nd February to ask for them.
    We are also looking at getting some papers re-marked, although will make very little difference to our overall pass rate.
    I'm spending this weekend coming up with an 'intervention' plan for our department in the hope that we can turn things around for the March modules.... I agree that as teachers do get used to the new style of examination then things will improve. It is evident from our analysis today, that it is the students skills re: interpretation of data, analysis, explanation and even basic maths etc. that need to be focussed on rather than subject content. We have a lot of work to do in a short time!!!
    Any ideas to share????
     
  9. I am the Head of Science in a large Notts comp. Over the past 4 years we have had A*-C in GCSE Science at 80-85%. I have an excellent, experienced, stable team of teachers
    Three higher tier groups took a GCSE Science module in November. Our outcome today is an A*-C pass rate of 38%. 18 students (all in the FFT estimate range A* to C) achieved a U. The average gap between FFT and Nov results was just over 2 grades. It's usually close to zero in our centre.
    The cognitive demand in many of the questions is way beyond reach of most of our students in the first term of Year 10. Our Head of Maths thought that 2 of the Physics calculations were only accessible to students in our top 3 (out of 10) maths groups.
    I am relieved to see the other comments in this thread. An early call to EDEXCEL this morning has not produced a reply yet. What is going on?
     
  10. Evertonian

    Evertonian New commenter

    I'm a HoD...

    Ours are very mixed. Nothing spectacular but given (as mentioned) early entry, no sign of Active Learn yet (which I was banking on), very little past materials (which I'd thought were coming) I'm not shocked...I'm perhaps vaguely pleased in that they haven't all failed and we have a good few C+s. That said a big number are still nowhere near good enough and we're recovering from some severe results problems...I'm expecting much better very quickly so by the measure of what we should get they are not good enough. Personally, I was putting it down to lack of past questions to coach kids on given that quite a bit is hard to find even in older specs.

    I'm going to go for mass re-sits unfortunately and hope the two extra past papers to work with make the difference with some more question hunting on top based on those. I didn't feel the actual exam too closely mirrored the exemplar material? It seemed a hard exam to my eyes?
     
  11. As someone else mentions in response to your post, sign on to the Edexcel site and download your kids' data and analyse it by group...it tells you how they did in comparison with the rest of the country! Difficult to decide whether that's better than previously at this stage, but if I'm reading it right the average mark across the country for the Bio Foundation was 20.2 out of 60, and 24 out of 60 for Higher. This gives you an idea that grades are down 'big time' nationally (compared to our FFT certainly) with these new papers esp Foundation.
     
  12. MarkS

    MarkS New commenter

    Hi all,
    Well I'm feeling slightly better now (but not much...still questioning my own competence). See post 4 for my original thoughts!
    I also had a phone call from a senior guy at Edexcel at lunchtime. He confirmed for me (without actually saying it) that there is a massive issue with the higher tier results, with a huge number of kids falling of the scale althogether.
    I'm going to have to consider a huge increase in the number of students taking foundation tier in the next series!
    Mark
     
  13. mm38

    mm38 New commenter

    How much of the course is this exam worth? When did people start delivering the content? My exam board have exams at the moment and we won't get results until March.
     
  14. Hi everyone,
    Glad we are not the only ones in this situation! Want to echo the posts about Higher Tier pupils 'falling off the bottom'. As for the advice of the EDEXCEL consultant to enter pupils for the F tier - surely it would be risible to enter a pupil with an FFTD estimate of A or B for the Foundation tier where they have no chance of achieving their estimate! Are the grade boundaries criterion referenced or related to a percentage of the entire national cohort?
    disgruntled, ormskirk
     
  15. theguru

    theguru New commenter

    Ditto here. We only had 2 getting U grades however, In previous exams in which we were with AQA we typically hit 90+% A*-C grades, this time 58%. All entered for higher tier as well. Will anything be done about this by EDEXCEL? Could someone who has access to the results data just let us know on here the %'s of A*-C grades. It would be interesting to compare.
    Thanks
     
  16. Carlsberg

    Carlsberg New commenter

    Morning all.
    I am a little out-of- the loop with these exams, but isn't a Nov entry a tad early for these students. The programmes(s) officially started in Sept 2011, I believe.
    Just a thought.
    Regards
    C


     
  17. sadscientist

    sadscientist Established commenter

    Many centres started teaching this spec last year in Year 9, based on the draft. The outgoing spec won't be avalaible in June 2013 so if you start GCSEs in Year 9 there wasn't much option.
    In the previous spec all the exams for Core Science were multiple choice papers. I agree the new style exam questions are less accessible for pupils at the start of Year 10 so a contributing factor.

     
  18. We are in exactly the same boat. Our GCSE Science teacher are being hauled into the heads office to explain our very disappointing examination results from the Nov entry.

    It's good to know that this is a problem across the country and that this is something we will be commenting on when we 'justify' our results to the head.
     
  19. MarkS

    MarkS New commenter

    The Edexcel courses are set up with three exam series - November, March & June (actually May), so that the three modules can be taught then assessed...at least until the introduction of terminal assessment, which will (theoretically) level the playing field for everyone!
    Mark
     
  20. We had some of the same problems noted above (B1 paper). Does anyone have an opinion on whether it was easier to get a C on the Foundation or Higher paper? I'm trying tto decide which tier for March re-sits and entries for the next unit.
    I'd also be really interested to know what the %A*-C was on the Higher paper.
     

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