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French GCSE results AQA Summer 2011

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by cassiopee, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. It seems that a lot of schools are in the same situation. We have had our results marked down for Speaking by 6 marks for the majority of students, which means that an A* student who should get a mark of 60, ends up with 54, same for writing, we have native speakers ending up with a B????
    regarding adding up the components marks, if it does not add up it means that the marks have been adjusted by the Principal examiner during their standardisation, following first marking by the moderator. So if marking is judged too severe they add +2 to the total of both marks in the writing, and I suppose if it is too lenient, then marks are deducted.
    All this is explained in the examiner report you will find in the enhanced results on e-aqa.
    I will certainly make a formal complaint this week
  2. steph green

    steph green New commenter

    think I can help with this one. The same thing happened to me. I spotted the discrepancy, so went through every candidate (although 5 candidates were mysteriously missing...) and added up the individual components. The totals I arrived at were closer to the marks I had been expecting but wildly different to the final mark awarded. Desperately hoping for a clerical error, I contacted the board for an explanation. On contacting a "processing" person at AQA, I was told that the individual component marks were wrong!!! I was told that there will have been a "problem" with the original marker, that all the papers will have been sent to a senior examiner and re-marked but that the original marks couldn't be removed from the website. So, I had spent hours adding up marks that shouldn't have been there. When I complained about the waste of time and misleading information, I was told that, yes, regrettably, it's not ideal!! In the meantime, I got a friend who marks for the board to look at some papers and they thought that the original marks were appropriate and didn't need changing. Where does that leave me? With lots of unhappy students, some of who are prepared to go for a re-mark. Out of interest, where are you based? A previous poster wondered if the problem was confined to the North-West and I am certainly in that region. Perhaps we have a rogue marker doing scripts from our region.
  3. I am entirely with you, I could not work out what had gone wrong this year until we sat down as a department and realised that all our written assignements were completely out of line with our own marking. We are usually spot on and we are all very experienced, how could we get it so wrong?
    I cannot think it is our task setting as all tasks were approved by our adviser.
    I did not realise that on top of this the grade boundaries had been moved! talk about moving the goal post during a race! We are in the South east and were already quite surprised to see how the june exams were considerably more difficult than any sample papers or previous papers.
    I have e-mailed my adviser and I am looking forward to an answer! I do believe that teachers need to act together to get any decent result, or they will as usual treat this situation as an "isolated incident"!
    I don't know if it makes me feel better to see all the posts or if it makes me more angry about how hard we work and how little our work is respected!
    Has any of you got your papers back? I only got last years ones back in December so if that is the case again it hard to put a case together in time...
    Any advice welcome!
  4. Im in the North West too and are results are the lowest ever. The first year ever not to get any A*s in both French and German.
    The writing has been marked so harshly - sometimes upto two grades lower than what I myself had marked it at. Our students are so disheartened by it and I do not know what to do now! My department are at an all time low and I am too. What do they want from our children at just a GCSE level?? The mind boggles...
  5. gsglover

    gsglover Occasional commenter

    One problem seems to be down to the government's insistence that speaking is marked in house but writing is now marked externally. This appears to have caused some issues as it the opposite of what most schools and exam boards have been used to!
  6. Relieved to hear so many people have the same problems but cannot believe this has been allowed to happen. I feel very sorry and upset for these pupils who I feel have not been awarded the grade they deserve and now we don't know how to proceed as a department with our current cohort. I have made a complaint too to AQA as have other Heads of Department in my area- South East. It's not acceptable. It would be interesting to know if anyone has had any feedback?
  7. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    My exams officer simply did not believe that the written papers returned by AQA were externally assessed - the look on his face said it all. He is putting together a strong letter to AQA about the process of remarks - he was utterly gobsmacked that we should have received the papers back before the end of remark season. As he said, how can AQA now defend marks on papers that haven't remained with them at all times??
    The whole situation is very, very fishy, and I'm not even convinced going to another board would achieve much.
  8. kate2521

    kate2521 New commenter

    We're in the South West and have had a lengthy reply from AQA defending their position and justifying the boundary changes, saying the cohort in 2010 was very small and the boundaries were always going to change. See my earlier post. I would like to make a formal complaint to Ofqual.The whole situation stinks and we've all had to start the year on a negative note and waste hours checking marks etc.
  9. I do not understand!
    Our writing scripts have been returned by the board.
    If we want remarks, do I then need to return the relevant scripts back to the board?
    Would anyone mind if I corrected and amended them first to give my kids a boost?
    After all they worked hard, and based on the specimen material provided by the board, I expected them to get As instead of Cs and Ds!

    I am off to sulk in my shed
  10. Yes! I have 3 writing remarks and they have requested I pluck them out of the envelope and send them back! What a farce!
    AQA have a lot to answer for!
  11. Hello. I'm not with AQA but OCR and we've had exactly the same problem with the Writing. I don't kknow what the boards are playing at. Could we complain to OFQUAL?
  12. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    Crazy, crazy system! Is it a case of right hand, left hand etc over at AQA?
    We are with WJEC who have at least had the good sense to hang on to our scripts so far.
  13. I think we all need to act together on this issue. I like the analogy of how the boundaries were changed after the race started. It seems easier to get a good grade at AS writing than it does for GCSE writing - I don't think I am alone on this.
    Ofqual state:
    "As regulators of the qualifications system, we always want to know
    about fundamental or persistent problems with awarding organisations and
    boards. If you’re not sure whether we can help,

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    who can advise you."
    Clearly, from this forum and speaking to other professions there is a fundamental and persistent problem with this awarding organisation. Ofqual need to feel the full force of our discontent. I urge all HODs to write and express their experiences and views. MFL is without a doubt one of the hardest subjects to teach - we do a great job. Yet, this August many of us have been made to feel like incompetent teachers because of this random, inaccurate and unreliable system AQA enforce on us.
    We need to act now - and together. Otherwise MFL will continue to die in this country.

  14. ambi

    ambi New commenter

    Littlemisssunshine - we too did OCR and I have been trying to locate what raw marks were given to our candidates for the 2 writing tasks ( we know what grade overall they got for the writing- but I really want to see how the board's marks compare with what we estimated each piece so that we can see the difference as our French writing marks were lower than we thought). Have spent about 40 mins with exams officer trying to find said marks or report on writing but we could not find anything. Have you managed to find them?
  15. If a conjugated verb is crossed out proerly, with a black marker pen for example, then it cannot be read! The rules are that there should be no conjugated verbs on the TPF. It's not fair if some students get the credit for work using verbs they had written down, when others produced the work without "cheating" I examiner on this component and from many centres the TPFs had clearly not been checked thoroughly. Good practice from one centre was that it was checked, candidates removed verbs then the teacher signed again where he had written his original comment, confirming that the verbs had been removed.Little bit more time consuming but better for the candidates and the grades in the long run. Btw, I am a teacher, teaching GCSE German and French and am not a native speaker :)
  16. I am disgusted with the marking of the Controlled writing assessments (German). As with many centres on here we had all of our papers marked down and in the end we had no A* / A Grades. I queried this with Alistair Drewery (EDEXCEL MFL) and he said that I needed to look again at the marking criteria. I sent all of them off for a remark, but have just been informed that they didn't change. I am an experienced teacher (15 years) and we have never been in this situation. I will be contacting EDEXCEL again. I honestly don't know what they are expecting from GCSE candidates to be awarded an A grade.
  17. We have the same concerns. Our highest mark for speaking was a grade B. Candidates who scored maximum raw marks for writing were given a C for their speaking. We even had a member of our department who sat Spanish GCSE and was marked down from A*-B! The feedback form from our moderator implied that we were in line with AQA and 7 phone calls later they can't explain what has happened - their suggestion is we have a re-moderation. We are still waiting for AQA to get the feedback form from our French moderator so we don't even know wht went wrong. We will be formally complaining as a centre.
  18. The same has happened with us. Compare the 2011 UMS scores for UNIT 1 , as a starting point, against the RAW marks for January 2011/Jun 2010- -then compare each component with its corresponding one in the other MFL(German and Spanish).Then do the same with UNITS 2-4 ??
    A few marks tolerance on UMS is what we have worked with for many years but to have variations on such a scale is to say the least outrageous! Forecasting grades becomes .........a farce!
    Should the exam papers not have been standardised beforehand with an appropriate level of challenge, based on previous papers ? The response was :-

    As someone said the boundaries were changed after the race had started!! Our Higher listening comparison made very interesting reading in both categories. It has affected the marks and grades of the French cohort and I have emailed the AQA several times for explanations! Unsatisfactory explanations Looking at the other strands in the forum there are too many angry people to ignore!. People are suggesting contacting OFQUAL. I have done thisI have sent emails to the highest levels . Contact <font size="2">www.all-languages.org.uk</font> . Replies have been supportive and helpful.
  19. I marked and moderated with my colleagues 50% of our French cohort, and 100% of our German cohort.
    Guess what?
    My French marks were accepted without question.
    My German marks were all downgraded.
    Clearly I have a better grasp of the French specification than the German specification??????????
    So half the French cohort ended up with an A*; but only 10 % of the German cohort got an A*. The CAT scores and previous performance suggested that the cohorts were very similar in ability.
    Result? Healthy uptake for French AS, and once again the German cohort has shrunk as the pupils have lost confidence. (The teachers are not exactly feeling very confident either...)
    We will be complaining to OFQUAL. We have already complained to AQA, but it seems to be falling on deaf ears.
  20. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    3 of our Writing (Unit 4) remarks have come back with higher marks, but only by a couple of UMS points in each case, which seems too little to me if the standard is to be the same as in previous years. I'm awaiting 9 more.
    I have taught top sets at our grammar school for 24 years and never have we had so few A* grades. We normally get 25-30, this year 12, with a very good group too. I am scratching my head wondering why the number of A* grades could go down nationally with a falling cohort of linguists.

    Still no comment from AQA or Ofqual?


    (Scroll down.)

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