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GCSE Legacy Spec A (Higher or Foundation) AQA

Discussion in 'English' started by edmund1982, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. Hi, my Centre do the above Spec and I have always been of the opinion that it is slightly easier to get a 'C' grade if students are entered for Higher rather than Foundation.

    This year I am being encouraged to re-consider this and any student C/D borderline to go in for Foundation. For Novemebr entry the students needed an overall score of 300 on F for a C and 327 on H for a C (obviously including coursework and S and L) is there supposed to be parity between the two?

    What do other people do and does anyone have any advice please?


  2. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    The borderlines will be different in the summer, so what they were in Novemeber isn't really relevant.
    I choose by individual candidate. Do they or do they not need the bullet points provided in F? If they don't, I put them into H.
  3. In terms of the bullet points, probably not, no! I'm leaning towards higher.
    But one of my Asst Heads an English Teacher seems to think that all of the students below 327 on the Higher but above 300 would have passed had they done the foundation paper but I'm not convinced it's as easy as that to work it out!

  4. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    Must be right, then.
    The C pass for H in the summer was 300 IIRC.
  5. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    A C is a C whether it's on H or F Tier. A common piece of work is used to standardise the C grade across both tiers so there should be parity. If a student is entered for H tier and does badly, they risk ending up with nothing. In my centre, if a student doesn't particularly need a ~B - for college say - we enter them for F. But give them a mock H paper and see how they do before making a final decision.
  6. rosieeo

    rosieeo New commenter

    We had a chief examiner in recently who said that it was harder to get a C on the foundation paper. That because it's the top mark, the paper had to be 'remarkable' whilst a distinctly average one could get a C on the higher paper. He thought it was because of the marker's mindset.
  7. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    But the mark scheme for foundation goes up to A* so a C isn't the top mark. Our C/D students used to do better on the Higher paper but, in recent years, they've been more likely to get a C on the Foundation paper.
  8. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    I had one pupil get a B at F. We checked and it wasn't a mistake.
  9. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    Don't want to go against the word of a chief examiner, but the idea that it's harder to get a C on either paper just doesn't make sense. There are clear descriptors for a C in markschemes covering both tiers. If an answer meets these descriptors it's a C - full stop. There may be something in the notion of a marker's mindset and the expectations of what might be seen on a particular tier might carry some weight, but monitoring and adjustments should iron out any injustices.
  10. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    And these words are purely subjective - they have no place in external assessment!
  11. I've always thought that it's easier to get a C on the foundation tier. Foundation is for C/D borderlines and below, whereas higher is for really secure Cs and above. If you're unsure, look at predicted grades. If they're predicted a C, bung them on foundation - nothing to lose that way.
  12. Thanks for all of your points and views so far. I'm still not sure if the score you receive for higher - say 120 - would give you the same score on foundation but to be fair I'm not sure there is an answer to that question. If I have picked up the views here correctly there seems to be a very much split opinion. I have, against my better judgement, put most kids in for foundation and I hope this works.

    Perhaps AQA should work harder to solve these issues, although obviously they may be doing this with the new spec.

    I have to say AQA are generally excellent with dealing with such issues, but over this they have been incredibly vague.

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