1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Exam only GCSE English?

Discussion in 'English' started by jodirola, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. jodirola

    jodirola New commenter

    Does anybody know of an exam board that doesn't have any controlled assignments and is exam only for English and/or English literature?
  2. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    Watch this space!
  3. sweetie1

    sweetie1 New commenter

    The international GCSE is, I believe, exam only.
  4. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    And should therefore be avoided like the plague if you want to teach English properly, I suggest!! [​IMG]
  5. Assessment has very different goals to teaching. The problem is that as assessments become more elaborate, teaching can suffer. There's also the issue that non-assessed work gets a lower priority, sometimes no priority at all.
    Then the elaborate assessments are often not themselves well thought through. For instance "open books" examinations were intended as less pressurised examinations, removing the need to memorise material. But what the examiners forgot was that there are always some winners and some losers. To get into the winners category, the candidate now has the difficult and stressful task of using reference material under exam conditions. It's more difficult than memorising quotations, and it's not a skill that transfers outside of the exam room.

  6. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    I wonder what you mean by "elaborate assessments"? Assessment measures how well a pupil has met the success criteria of the learning: assessment tools can vary as much as that requires, which is why podcasts, essays, presentations, storyboards, etc. are all perfectly valuable forms of assessment.
    As for non-assessed work getting a lower priority, this means that anything NOT in the 60 minute exam is treated as worthless: that to me suggests that we should have a much wider range of assessment instruments at our disposal so that all the pupils' learning is given the importance it deserves.

  7. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    Since CAs are proving so troublesome, AQA is considering a terminal exam only spec. I imagine that this will be true of all the boards.
  8. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    Why "troublesome", gruoch?
    Of course, Curriculum for Excellence seems to be going in a whole different direction...
  9. Have a read of the various threads and posts about CA "cheating" and confusion over what kind of support you're allowed to give or not and you'll get a flavour of the troubles. It appears that some schools are marking the CAs and given too much feedback, stopping CAs while teh studenst are sitting them and giving specific feedback to classes, plus loads of other ****.
    I quite like the idea of CAs in theory, but I'm not teaching any classes that are doing them this year, so don't have the headache.
  10. A bit off topic, but i found this webpage that students / teachers can set as ther home page / internet start page, Im an art teacher, but my girlfriend is an english teacher and she uses this with her classes:


    it is from the site www.mylinks.me.uk that you have probably already seen
    Hope this helps with revision and lessons!
  11. ela86

    ela86 New commenter

    yep, the English London Board by Edexcel (now an IGCSE) and the Cambridge GCE English Language.

    Those are the one's we do where I work.
  12. ela86

    ela86 New commenter

    sorry.. "ones" no '
  13. tica

    tica New commenter

    As an experienced teacher of IGCSE who loves teaching the course and considers that she teaches English 'properly', I resent the above posting. The course is very open and allows a lot of freedom and interesting approaches.
    Why exactly do you think the course should be 'avoided like the plague'? Do you have any experience to base this assertion on?
  14. Simple assessment: 2 hours (answer both questions)
    a) Write a story about a unicorn.
    b) Do you think the school leaving age should be raised to 18?

    Elaborate assessment:

    The simple assessment tells me, personally, what I need to know. Also it takes only two hours, and is not very vulnerable to cramming or cheating or endless revision or other forms of manipulation. It is however vulnerable to practice in timed essays,no assessment is absolutely perfect.
    Priority works in a queue system. Whatever is most pressing gets done first. So students put all their effort into assessed work and skimp on non-assessed work. Teachers respond by making more work assessed to protect their own subjects, and the system gradually gets more and more dysfunctional.

  15. tica

    tica New commenter

    I bumped this post because I would be really interested to read Raymond Soltysek's reply to my earlier posting. Unfortunately he seems to have gone quiet after being very active on this topic.
  16. i agree compleatly
  17. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    I'm sorry I wasn't instantly available to answer your post of four days ago. I'll try better next time.
    Examinations are probably the least effective way of assessing learning; they lead the curriculum; they can even at their best assess only a small part of what any child has learned on a course; they are arbitrary measures, with learning tested by what the examiners happen perchance to ask that year; they are blunt instruments which actually tell us nothing of a pupil's distinct abilities; they are set and assessed by people who have not taught the vast majority of the children taking them; they rarely if ever assess crucial affective outcomes; they are usually normative, thereby assessing pupils against each other rather than against their own needs and aspirations; they are used to rank pupils, schools and whole classes of society; they can be "bought" by fees paid to a private school or a good tutor; they have nothing in common with the ways in which pupils will be assessed throughout their working lives.
    Is that enough to be going on with? To seek an exam-only course seems to me to be wholly out of step with the way assessment has been developing over the last three decades. However, to each his own - it's just a pity that children continue to suffer because of antiquated and inadequate forms of assessment.
  18. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    Do you know, if I'd spent four or five hours trying to come up with the worst possible assessment instruments I could think of, I doubt even then I would have suggested two so appallingly awful as these... [​IMG]
  19. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Come on! It was a joke (wasn't it???)
    And are people being tongue in cheek when they talk about "boards" running public educational assessment?
    Exam boards went by the board, as you might say, about ten years ago.
  20. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    Well, I was criticised by tica for "going quiet" for four days; it's been four days since I replied to her e-mail, and now it;'s her turn to "go quiet". I'll presume that, like me, she actually has a life.

Share This Page