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GCSE AQA PE Full Course

Discussion in 'Physical education' started by paul_taylor001, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. Dear all
    I'm just reviewing this years cohort and wanted to get people's views on the exam paper and the practical grade boundaries. We have found that the practical grade boundaries were raised from previous years. What do people regard as the best ways to score good marks? As a performer,official or coach and in what sports? It's also alot more difficult to get a C on the paper than previously or do people disagree?
    Would love to know what people think...?
  2. Hi
    I know exactly what you mean about the practical boundaries....was hoping to find a few more people had written their thoughts on here. I was convinced my students were sitting on reasonable practical results before going into the exam and now the grade boundaries have been disclosed they were all marked as D's!
    I went to a standardisation meeting earlier in the yar having just taken over as HOD and was advised that marking the students as officials in Athletics was a guaranteed way to score 10/10. Fitness was also recommended as a good one for students to do as a performer.
    Its so frustrating though.....surely we should be encouraging them to participate in the sports they love not the ones that are easy to get high marks in!!!
    Any other feedback from the exam would be greatly appreciated.
  3. The practical grade boundaries are hideous. We moved from OCR because the theory paper was not right for our kids. The moderator didnt move any marks and the kids appear to have had a two grade decrease. Our B kids were dropping in at D's.
    Absolutely gutted.
  4. Logged on to TES specifically to see whether anything had been posted with regard to this year's AQA PE exams.

    The grade boundaries for raw marks on the theory papers (particularly foundation and unit 5 of the double award) were very high. For example, if a student scored 36/70 in unit 5 (51%), they would have ended up (from theory) being awarded a G and a UMS of 30/120 (25%).

    This is a single example that reflects the pattern of many students' final grades. There appears to have been a significant down-weighting of theory papers. This has shifted the weighting of practical:theory considerably away from 60:40.

    Most every student from our cohort (over 50 students) has achieved at least 1 grade below expectation.

    Have people found this to be the case with other schools? Be very interesting to hear!
  5. Hello,
    Interesting that PE grades have been affected massivly, up to two grades in some cases yet there are only 4 posts about it. AQA Drama has been affected in the same way, and there are 12 pages of posts!!!!!! Says a lot about us PE teachers and our love or writing.
    We have had similar experience to other schools. How our practical grades can drop from last year (With a more able cohort practically) bemuses me.
    My suspicion is that some schools have entered overly high practical grades. Like mentioned above getting everyone to do Athletics officiating, or table tennis officiating etc. Schools like ours who refuse have to go down that route and give grades that genuinley reflect ability have been penalised and ended up with results way below where they should be.
    We are contacting AQA to express our displeasure and would suggest all affected schools do the same. That way we might get somewhere.
  6. Hi
    We also found our practical grade boundaries to be way out. At moderation we were told our grades were fantastic, collectively for the group, one of the best he had moderated. However, when we got our results we had 13 pupils out of 36 with D grade practical - i would hardly call that fantastic. It seemed that the UMS conversions were so far out from what the exam board led us to believe. Our top grade students (A*/A) were where we had thought but all ourpredicted B's and C's were quite a way out.

    We also found the theory UMS conversions to be very confusing with pupils scoring between 62-80 (i think) all receiving 120 UMS marks. This seemed to be a little unfair to me.

    On a lighter note, your point about athletics officiating did make me laugh though. At my standardisation we were advised to avoid it as there was not enough content to warrent anything over a 5 or 6. That might explain why the practical grade boundaries were so high if others were told to award 10s!
  7. At our standasization meeting we watched a video of a girl officiating Volleyball. In a nutshell she said nothing, blew her wistle a lot and waived her hands around a bit. The chief moderator said she was a 10. We all looked at each other in amazement.!!!!!

    AQA have given schools the opportunity and some cases advice on how to bump up grades, then cut them all back down again to the detriment of those who did it properly. Our cohort this year were one of our most able ever, the moderator who came to see us said they were the most able they had ever seen, yet they have now got the worst practical grades we have ever had. !!!!!

    AQA are definatley off my Christmas list.
  8. Can I just ask how people are going about contacting AQA? is there a specific person we should be writing to or phoning?
    Thank you
  9. We are going to write to the subject advisor (not sure who that is). We will ring AQA and ask who this is and let you know. I hope other people will do this so hopefully something will happen about it.
  10. We contacted AQA examination officer via telephone (Helen Clay). At the time, we were (surprised to be) told that we were the only school that had raised any concern. Despite this, a colleague from a different school in our consortium phoned 24 hours later and was told the same thing.
    0844 209 6614 or go through main AQA switchboard.
  11. Attended a subject meeting this evening and every centre had found their GCSE P.E results to be the worst ever. All of us had had similar experiences with moderation and had marked the students on merit and received positive comments from the moderator. Overall are grades were on the same level as previous years. I cannot believe that more P.E teachers are not complaining about this to AQA. It also seems that other examboards have done similar things to the practical boundaries. Will be contacting AQA tomorrow and will post feedback,
  12. We are ringing on Monday. We had 26 hand picked kids who are practically the best in the year (we are a big school too!! 2300). They were scoring D's but getting, as was said before positive practical moderation comments, decent scores - or as we thought!!!
    This year however the whole year could pick GCSE so got 150 kids going through with varied practical abilities - very worried for the next years results review with the boss!!
    Hope someone at AQA are reading these.......
  13. I hate to throw a spanner in the works but.... I teach A level AQA PE and have been complaining about the ridiculously high grades they come into FE with.
    The practical has been so highly marked that a learner with absolutely no knowldge of even the most basic theory can get a B grade.
    It is very hard to get any kind of pass at A level when they have no memory of having been taught something as simple as components of fitness! And those who do remember usually have it wrong!
    Hopefully this year's crop will have to have done better in the exam!

    I don't mean this personally, mattwato, you just happen to have posted something that is similar to a conversation I have had recently. This
    sends chills up my spine!
    I went to a practical moderation at school sixth form this year. They too had handpicked their best, neatly ranked and awarded 5 out of 5 for the skills. I would have given them 3/5 as they did not play regulalrly for a club, had only ever played school rugby and had little flair for the games I saw them demonstrate - both at AS and A2.
    By the guidelines I know I am right, I attended a standardisation meeting and asked these questions and got hissed at. I assume that this refusal to play fair is why there was a blanket reduction of the practical grade.
    I am furious as this has had an unfair impact on my students - they too had their practical downgraded, even though I am certain I was accurate according to the standardisation guidelines.
    But I have been told that, despite 11 of my students being in an Olympic Start programme and 16 of them playing in 4 different sports as Junior Internationals, their reduced grades stand!
    How do you tell a Junior Int that he cannot have an A grade for his practical? How do you mollify the parents??

    I have not complained, having done so before I know it will have no impact. But I am no longer with AQA. In my opinion this is a direct consequence of schools grade padding and my students lose out as they actually are as good as they get graded!
    I cannot, in all good faith, leave their fate in the hands of others who seem to ignore the grade requirements in their zeal to avoid unpleasant discussions with HoDs!
    I know this will be unpopular and that I will get some very negative responses but, honestly, I prefer to teach students who have not taken GCSE PE. I prefer those who play a lot of sport and got a good Biology grade! Thye have no preconceptions and at least know some of the science they need!

    I too hope that someone from AQA is reading this...
  14. It appears that these unexpected decreases in marks particularly in the practical aspects is not limited to one exam board. We have been the victim of a similar issue with OCR and at a recent fixtures meeting it appears all the schools in our area of the LEA have similar issues from different boards. So the real questions are 'whats really going on', why the changes and who is behind it?
    I suggest you get in touch with your LEA and/or BALPE as they have more of a voice than individua schools complaining to their exam boards.l
  15. I think it will be said that it is happening for the same reason Geography was hit a couple of years ago.
    Almost all of the students we had come to us to do Geography at A level had had their coursework downgraded, often from an internally assessed A to an examined C. QCA stated that this was because too much of the work was done by the teacher - writing guides, starter sentences, etc etc.
    I have been told by 2 examiners that both GCSE and A level PE have been under the spotlight for a couple of years, since the specification changes.
    As I am in FE I tend to go to different CPD than most GCSE teachers and the issue of what exactly constitutes a 5/5 grading for PE has been rumbling for a while. Some say that they cannot grade the school football captain at 3(ish) where the board guidelines say he should be, as that is too low for parents, HTs etc to come to terms with (mine has much the same problem with our more normally gifted players).
    This has been discussed at all exam board CPD sessions for years. The same things are discussed, the same problems highlighted, the same mutterings and mumblings, the same pro formas with ever more detailed feedback.... and nothing has changed. So I am assuming that the boards have been told to adjust the grade boundaries.
    This year I already know I have 2 students who come from different schools who did nothing for their PE practical, it was ALL done for them. Predictably they got Bs - their exam grade was low! I have one girl who got an A who does not play any sport or dance or any activity regularly....... go figure that one out.
    I know I have a different viewpoint, but really, if this is the start of more standardised practical moderation then I am all for it. If they would also change the practical: exam ratio heavier on the exam then my life would be far more fun. I'd have A level PE students who would actually be able to do some science! I used to, when the performer role wasn't worth much at all! All that written coursework made sure that they could ALL use the theory.... much more suitable for work and/or degrees.
  16. <font face="Calibri">Hello all.</font> <font size="3">I agree with all the arguments that GCSE PE is not rigorous enough. There were also ways to "inflate" grades by using easy area of assessment. We never went down that route, and refuse to do so. </font> <font size="3">My issue with the grade boundaries are that they changed after the marks were sent in. It has led to a situation where the grades of this year&rsquo;s cohort are nothing like last years, despite being more able, our predicted grades are way out, which has led to students who are hugely disappointed. If we had known in advance that the goal posts were moving, we would have recommended that a lot of the students choose either BTEC PE or a different subject where they would have got a better grade. We would probably have also recommended a lot of those who are starting GCSE this year should have also done BTEC. Our current year 10 have 2 GCSE groups and 1 BTEC. If we had known in advance we would probably have ran 2 BTEC and 1 GCSE group. We now have 25 students who are probably on the wrong course!!!! </font> <font size="3">Don&rsquo;t mind if they want to make it harder. My issue is the disparity between this year and last year, and the lack of warning.</font> <font size="3">Cheers.</font>
  17. Thanks for not taking my head off [​IMG]
    The A level grade boundaries were moved quite drastically too - up to 6 marks, which meant the loss of a grade for some!!
    mattwato - really??? D grade practical for county players??? That is offensive!
    But please don't go the hill walking/volleyball route - I have just had a chat with a couple of chief moderators and guess what is on the hitlist this year..... I think the boards really mean business this time, maybe over the next couple of years there will be some changes to the practical - who knows?
    Good luck to all for this year!
  18. The theory paper we took this year 2011 for our Year 10 pupils was banded to stop pupils getting a,b,c marks. We had some A* grades a few As then a couple of Bs, loads of D's and E's. We predicted 54% and ended up with around 30% with bright pupils as well.....

    The grades themselves dont matter as such, but the conversion to the ums scores makes it difficult for pupils to do as well as predicted by the end of the course.

    The difference between 2010 and 2011 has been startling - go elsewhere is my opinion. I would had I known how the theory paper would be marked.


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