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

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

  1. We are experiencing the same issue. Based on the results plus analysis, and if I am reading it correctly, the national average for B1 Higher was 24/60. Using the grade boundaries this means the national average was a D, so the average student 'dropped off' the paper. I'd be interested to know what the average was for foundation? Was it 20/60, an F grade, as someone previously stated? Currently considering all the options. It will be interesting to see the results in March for OCR and AQA and whether there is a significant drop in the results for their new specifications.
  2. ploughlane

    ploughlane New commenter

    We do OCR Gateway and our Y10 double science students sat their first exam this week. They too started in Year 9 and over the past 4 terms we have had to teach in much more detail than on the old Gateway spec to cover the material in the detail required. I'm really sorry if I sound rude but as the old Edexcel 360 required so little knowledge, could it be that some teachers have just continued teaching in the same way and have not prepared their students sufficiently for the new significantly more challenging GCSEs.
    I too have spoken with maths teachers about the high level of maths knowledge they need and was told how challenging it was. That means we are now also maths for scientists teachers.
    The real problem will be in the summer of 2014 when the students open up their envelopes to find out how poorly they coped without modular exams. On the plus side, an A will really be worth an A but I feel sorry for the thousands of students who will have failed. I just hope SLTs around the country including mine, will actually listen to us when we tell them how much harder the new GCSEs are.
  3. I don't think teachers are naive enough to continue teaching in the same way!
    The specification content is very explicit so it's not a problem with what we are teaching. Students know exactly what is required in terms of content.
    We knew for a while that the style of questioning was going to be significantly different ,challenging and that long answer questions would be required too. I'm sure most schools prepared students as best as they could with the time given.Obviously there's an issue with lack of preparation as during Yr7 and 8 we were teaching the old style exam techniques.
    .As someone previously mentioned average grade on the H paper was at the lower end of a D grade. The average for the F paper for was 20.22/60.
    People have mentioned moving students to the F paper - our students performed just as badly on the F paper , many being awarded an E of F grade.
    It'll be interesting to hear the results for other exam boards when they become available.
  4. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    This is the first time we have ever used edexcel so no previous experience of them.
  5. mm38

    mm38 New commenter

    Obviously November 2011 is very earliest opportunity to sit an exam. Any candidates who sat this exam in November must have been preparing for a large portion of their Year 9 when Specs were still being finalised. I haven't taught Edexcel since 2006 in the days of dual award science. I taught it in two different schools one which did Modular where candidates sat mulitple choice exams throughtout Years 10 and 11 and then had some very short written papers at the end of the course. In the second school we did Edexcel Linear and for a high performing school where results weren't as good as they should have been. One thought was that our students were mainly competing with candidates from the independent sector and therefore grade boundaries were higher. We then moved to AQA and our results have improved significantly.
    I guess questions I'd be interested to know is how many candidates sat these exams? How does it compare to other years? Clearly centres have been preparing candidates for this exam in Year 9 and are probably centres doing triple over three years. Are some centres entering students for just one subject in each session? Does that mean that entries for Biology were greater than for other subjects? Or were they putting candidates for all three exams in now? Does Edexcel give teachers information about how their candidates compared to similar centres and all centres. Is there a big difference in the two as this could suggest that there are more of a different type of centre taking the exams and doing well than yours e.g. independent schools.
    Our triple science students are doing their exams now in January. What I don't know yet is how many students who are doing Core will be sitting the exams as separate subjects since AQA offers a combined paper option which has a split of 35% and 40% for the January and June exams. Does this mean that the majority of candidates are doing triple science and therefore are more capbable students? This could be reflected in the grade boundaries.
    I think most of us realised that this new GCSE was very different from the old one and that the first time round was always going to be scary!

  6. MarkS

    MarkS New commenter

    Hi all,
    It is both worrying and reassuring to hear so many similar stories! I ahve just e-mailed the Edexcel Science Experts, but I won't hold my breath for a satisfactory response to my concerns.
    On Friday, I used Results Plus to find the average scores for each of the 6 papers, and it doesn't make for easy reading. All three higher tier papers have average scores leading to D grades (although average Chemistry and Physics scores are only just below a grade C). All three foundation tier averages fall in the F grade range.
    When will Edexcel give us an explanation? I wonder if OFQUAL is aware of what has happened? Can we encourage the TES to run a story?
  7. I am an NQT science teacher . I have a physics background and came into teaching as a mature student. I have passed numerous observations all 2 or above, ran after school clubs and work hard to teach children in a fairly tough area. I have just had my grades back for the Edexcel B1 Year 9 group and they are terrible. I have only had since September to teach them for the November paper. I had contacted HOD and SMT and asked for extra hours as we had insufficient time to get through all the work. This was denied and I organised weeks of voluntary lunchtime clubs to go through revision books. I don't know how best to move on from here and my HOD is away and not back till at least next term. Now I'm really worried about C1and whether to change all students to Foundation, how to re motivate them, appease parents etc I think they would have been better completing the KS3 curriculum and developing their skills but obviously this is out if my control as a NQT!! Any wise words would be greatly appreciated!
  8. mm38

    mm38 New commenter

    Surely there should be someone in your department who is in charge in the absence of your HOD? How did your results compare to those of other groups? Someone should get in contact with Edexcel regardless of the results and check the situation with students in Year 9 taking exams. Are these students going to get 3 separate GCSEs? In which case it is my understanding that those in year 9 now can only obtain triple science by taking all the exams at the end of course which is 2014 as Gove is bringing in linear assessment starting for 2 year courses starting in 2012.
    Most importantly as an NQT you shouldn't be going through this on your own and your department should be supporting you.
  9. Carlsberg

    Carlsberg New commenter

    I can only empathise with teachers, students and parents with these poor results. However, if I am reading these posts coreectly ( and I may not be), then Year 10 students are being entered for a Nov sitting after 4 terms of study. Why? It's too early!
    Why ( formally) start GCSE's in Year 9? Give the kids a break and hone their skills instead. Needless to say, I welcome the government's u-turn wrt linear assessment.

  10. Batsheep

    Batsheep New commenter

    We had our Year 10s in for Edexcel Higher tier B1, C1 and P1 (yes, we did start them all in Year 9 and we are selective) and despite (or because of ) a fair amount of pre-result panic, ours did OK. We had a couple of Us which we have never had before, but the overall results were fine and about what we normally get.
  11. This was the first time we have done Edexcel (having done both AQA and OCR) and are wishing we hadnt bothered. Some of our year 10's are on a rota system and have science 5 times a week, - these were entered for the Nov module some P1 some B1 some C1 depending on their "rota" and the results are generally well below what was expected across all of the units with all teachers. All groups had teachers teaching within specialism and all teachers are experienced with between 26 and 5 years teaching experience of a range of specifications all up to A2 level. It is a massive relief to realise that we were not the only centre who have had results below expectations.
    We too have contacted edexcel - we have also had several of our papers remarked (although we have not recieved scripts back yet) it was interesting to note that all but a few were increased and some of these were remarked to a tune of 8 UMS marks!
  12. We got 10 papers back today in an email. Odd that we were going to be charged £10 a paper to recieve electronic copies of them, which is pretty low cost compared to retrieving a paper copy popping it in an envelope etc etc.
    Our results were very poor. And very disappointing. checking the marks awarded to our top scoring pupil seems to indicate that marks are being lost for minor errors. I am an examiner for AQA Higher GCSE Physics and for OCR A2 Chemistry and they are nowhere near as proscriptive as this mark scheme. There is no possibility of a BOD mark anywhere on the paper, so implying something, eg that plants are unable to photosynthesise due to lack of light, even though the loss of light due to overgrowth of algae resulting in less oxygen being produced had been clearly stated resulted in her missing a marking point.

    I have done a full analysis of the paper and going over it with my students this week. One example shows a student who had glaring gaps where he had recieved no marks for a large number of questions, i caught him in the corridor today for a quick chat thinking maybe he could shed some light, maybe he had had an off day and missed tranches of the questions, but no, he had attempted every question, and he is an A grade student with a U in this exam.

    I have a network assessment event tomorrow and one of the edexcel examiners will be there. it is going to be an interesting meeting I think. Going to go armed with papers mark schemes and the rather vague examiners report..
  13. mm38

    mm38 New commenter

    Some interesting stuff going on. I guess another question I might one to know is who is examing this course in November? On the old spec November exams would have been multiple choice so marked by computer. Has Edexcel struggled to employ qualified teachers to mark these exams? Do the mark schemes show that they have been standardised to include other possible answers which give BoD? I know from doing a Specimen paper for a mock for AQA. It was very hard to mark because it hadn't been standardised.
  14. I have been Head of Science in a London School for many years now. We used to do Edexcel back in the day before the previous changes but dumped them when they started the 360 course and moved to AQA as they were more EAL friendly. With the new courses Edexcel admitted they had messed up and were going to make their course more EAL friendly and on this basis we went with them too. However, it became obvious that this was not the case when we tried the exemplar exams and made the decision to pull them all out of Edexcel and back to AQA on the very last day before entriy costs went up. (October) This was frowned on by the SLT but I think it was a good choice. The exam was more EAL friendly and straw poll on the exam questions with my bottom sets showed a large probabillity of higher grades than the two mocks we did (one Edexcel, the other AQA) I think Edexcel have shot themselves in the foot again!
    It will be interesting to see how this Government directive to Exam boards for a 60% mark for a C grade works out!!!!
  15. Is this definite? Is there anywhere I can corroborate this info? (not doubting you by the way!)
    Also, does anyone have any similar info on OCR (Gateway)?
  16. Dear HODs of Science, I have recently come back from teaching abroad and the CIE IGCSEs after 15 yrs away from the UK. I worked briefly in a comp last term and have talked to my friends about School Science. From what I can see the student's language and thinking skills are just not up to the job. I don't think you can blame yourselves. There is far too much pressure on schools to deliver results and when the exam papers used to be tick boxes and short answers teachers obviously prepared students for that. But the skills required to do well have to start in Year 7, you cannot be expected to train these students in a year let alone a term. The answer to the problem is huge and requires an indepth look into how Language is used across the whole curriculum, if we are to develop students who can think outside the box.
  17. I totally agree with you. I cannot understand this push to get students started on GCSE so early. Has everyone forgotten what they were like as a teenager? I think its just become too much and I wonder how effective it really is. I'd like to see the statistics that show not only students do better, but they enjoy it.
  18. I am afraid that GCSE Science has been so watered down in recent years that perhaps the board wanted to be more rigorous but like so much in education these days there was little effective communication concerning this. I have been teaching IGCSE and GCSE in recent years and can therefore appreciate how standards have slipped dramatically in GCSE science.
  19. The last bunch of Year 7s I taught could have started GCSEs in Year 7!
    We need higher expectations and we need to rethink how we do things.
    (And the Yr 7s were being taught in their second language!)
  20. MarkS

    MarkS New commenter

    I_lblack, I look forward to hearing your experiences with the examiners!!!

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