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GCSE AQA UNIT 4

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by Tequila, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Tequila

    Tequila New commenter

    The marks in our centre fall way short of what we predicted our students would achieve in the writing Controlled Assessment. Does anyone else have this issue?
     
  2. gsglover

    gsglover Occasional commenter

    see thread entitled AQA GCSE summer 2011 as it has continued to 2012
     
  3. Tequila

    Tequila New commenter

    thanks.
     
  4. We have just got our results and are gutted. The writing is completely way off from what we predicted so we are requesting a remark asap. For example one pupil got a G for her writing when we predicted a D! What is going on???? Some of our A students got Bs and Cs.
     
  5. a_rooti

    a_rooti New commenter

    Which language is this?

    My Spanish ones were down, but French seems to have done well.


     
  6. I feel a bit better. This is my first GCSE results and most of my writing grades are really down compared to what I estimated! So at least it's not only me! On the plus side, my speaking UMS are slightly higher than estimated (I though I'd be marked down), but the grades still end up being lower in the end as well... I'd say about 8/9 of my group of 27 got what they should have been getting...
     
  7. It looks like lots of people have the same problem. Only 4 out of 30 achieved A* - C in German writing. Am considering asking for remark but not sure that my head would agree as we had all speaking and writing remarked last year.
     
  8. Really disappointed ,too. Only 3 A*s but 16 As and then 15 Bs, 6 Cs and 2 Ds.. Should have had at least 10 A*s. Unit 4 has been marked really harshly and students have achieved at least 2 or 3 marks less than we thought at the top end. What do they want at AQA ? It is GCSE and not A2, after all. I would like better guidelines about how to achieve the top grades, starting with making the mark scheme more precise. It is very vague and no help at all ! We acted within the guidelines, used our integrity and paid the price ! If we want more students to take up German at AS level, then the marking needs to be addressed.
     
  9. My Spanish speaking results were spot on (!), but almost all GCSE students were marked down in the writing. As it happens, the overall results were unaffected but the discrepancy becomes increasingly more important at AS/A2. I have attended 2 courses with the Chief Examiner and download and analyse all the exemplar material with the classes. I would really appreciate suggestions as to what else I can do to get my marking on track.
     
  10. veverett

    veverett Occasional commenter

    I know now we realise this (see quote), we should be able to set titles that will not see pupils penalised, but isn't it a little bit ridiculous? Shouldn't we stand up and say so? Shouldn't AQA be embarrassed that instead of marking pupils' Spanish, they are marking them down for including a paragraph on future plans (which may well have been suggested by the bullet points). It is shockingly unfair and shows a ridiculous attitude to assessing pupils' work.
     
  11. I agree with you. However when I was teaching ICT GCSE I was struck by how flexible GCSE MFL exams were. ICT teaching seemed to involve endless amounts of second guessing nuances in the specification. Failure to carry out the specification to the letter meant losing heaps of marks.So maybe we should actually be counting our few meager blessings.
     
  12. Realistically when marking the essays as an examiner you wouldn't go out of your way to find an irrelevant paragraph- it's just when something stands out like a sore thumb- I feel the one on future plans (I marked some cases of this) were particularly harsh but I was clearly advised that it would be irrelevant under a title of School.

    Keep the titles very broad eg my life as a teenager / my free time/ education
     
  13. That is very useful to hear, however what happens if the title is vague ( we were advised to keep titles as open ended as possible to avoid the pitfalls of relevance). For example : My holidays or My family. It's hard to be irrelevant then, isn't it? We felt our marking was very fair, but there are huge anomolies. We marked positively and we tried to remember, too, that these are GCSE kids and not A level. I think that defining what is A* at GCSE is very hard, because there are students whose work you read and you think - I won't see better than this , but there are equally kids whose work is not quite as excellent, but still worthy of an A*. I am very confused about the expectations.
     
  14. I am feeling exactly the same. Our marks just don't correspond with AQAs, inspite of being very careful with the titles. There is a difference of 10 marks in some cases and our examiner clearly thought that some of our weaker students were better than our average ones. The whole thing is utterly depressing and very confusing.
     
  15. Tequila

    Tequila New commenter

    It is good advice about the task titles however, when you have to change them every two years, you will start to run out of options pretty quickly. Who wants to have to keep changing their material for the writing prep?
     
  16. Thesaurus!!!! lol
    I wrote the following in another thread but I presume it's relevant here too...
    Hiya
    As I said earlier in the thread, I marked the writing element for AQA.
    To
    be cleared to mark you had to complete a sample of 30 essays online
    within toleration, and if you were not cleared you then had to send an
    immediate sample of your first 50 essays from a centre to your marking
    supervisor.
    When marking AQA provided us with some samplar texts
    e.g. a passage that equated to 9-10 for RoL, a passage that equated to
    8-7 etc and they did this for Content and Accuracy too. In addition they
    provided a list of features to look for- I agree maybe this could go
    maybe go to centres- thought there are some sample texts and annotated
    marks on e AQA that people can look at.
    Obviously a student's
    essay has to be FULLY relevant to hit the top box for content. Another
    issue was that students could not get above a certain mark (6 I
    believe?) for Content if there were not 2 or more clear examples of
    opinions- maybe some students have come a cropper due to this- indeed
    AQA put examples like this in standardisation to check that markers are
    on the ball...
    Another thing, at the standardisation meeting I
    went to we were told that in circumstances of say a 7 paragraph essay
    with 6 good ones and a dreadful one we were informed to focus on what is
    good ie don't overpunish a poor section.


    For every essay I marked I had to record the marks on a sheet to
    go to my marking supervisor and along with this any comments as to why I
    gave a certain mark for C, RoL, and A. Now obviously you can't go into
    detail on every one but maybe some of this is given to centres when they
    appeal marks.
    Another thing to bear in mind is that I wonder why
    as teachers we have to send off predicted marks for all 4 skills to AQA-
    as an examiner I did not see the students' predicted writing marks but
    the mind boggles- does someone see them at AQA HQ and compare the
    markers' marks and the teachers' predictions and then amend them?
    As I say these are just my thoughts- I've not received my own feedback. I hope this is of some help.
    I really hope that my marking has been well-received, it's not in my interest to disappoint Centres.
     
  17. Our results were a complete shock considering the amount of data analysis and moderation we do, with our hard work and that of our students a pass rate of 16% is extremely disheartening. we have been marked down massively in writing and speaking compared to our predictions which is strange as our Spanish haven't changed despite being moderated by same teachers....the questions are endless. After 8years of predicting within the grade boundary to now be dropped by 2 grades per student is awful. definitely getting onto AQA for investigation process. has anyone else had this experience?
     
  18. Surely all of this business with the title is far too open to interpretation, which is completely unfair to candidates. This is why I still uphold that the exams boards should send out controlled assessments tasks for the all of the areas to remove all of this ambiguity or just scrap them all together! I have looked at the additional exemplar material published after last years fiasco and this is what I would say given that this is what the board is sending out as examples of good practice.

    Task title: Finding a home abroad - two of the bullet points 'what you did when you went on holiday there and your plans after moving' - if I were an examiner and being fussy I would say both of those have nothing to do with finding a home.

    Task title My life as a teenager - one bullet point 'Your future plans' - if they look to 10 years in future, it could be argued they're not a teenager anymore - which is as ridiculous as the school talking about university scenario.

    Task title My Lifestyle one bullet point - 'what foreign foods you enjoy and why' - I personally see no link but guess it could be argued.

    Task title - Personal Relationships and future plans - first bullet point - a description of yourself and family - again could be read differently by different people - is a description of yourself necessary in personal relationships unless you talk about the relationship you have with yourself?

    To be fair on them, their one from spring 2012 is a lot better and has more detailed notes - however, all of the assessments had to be submitted in spring! I know I am being very picky above, but it's just to prove the ambiguity of everything.

    I sometimes feel that the exam board also forget we have had to take on extra work with this CA,. We now have to mark and moderate speaking as well as set writing tasks and, let's be honest, all teachers 'attempt' to mark it, to give their pupils an idea of their result. This is before you've organised the admin and signed about 6 sheets per pupil!

    I seriously start to think it would be easier to have a completely linear course with a final exam for speaking and writing.

    I do really appreciate the person who said about contacting the advisor and admit I should have done this before - but didn't personally think there was a problem with the tasks I had set as I had already tried to make the titles more general than last year. I know this is a rant but reading other people thinking the same as me just adds to the frustration. At least there's another week to enjoy!
     
  19. The best way round it is just to flip the speaking and writing tasks every two years, which is allowed. Can do it until the end of the specification, so probably about 2014 if Gove gets his way.
     
  20. Yes, and for the second year in a row in spite of being absolutely spot on for the Speaking. My students' papers have been marked down by up to 25 UMS marks and one of the best pieces of language I have seen in 10 years hardly scrapped a B. I now have to face students, parents and managers and try to explain something I do not understand. I feel gutted and I'm sick and tired of this. I'm considering entering next year's session as a student and see what I could get in Writing... as a native speaker, getting a B or a C would really make my day.
     

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