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GCSE results

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by croquemadame, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. Does anyone know what time the GCSE results will be available online for Edexcel? Is anyone else feeling a bit sick about the results tomorrow?
  2. AQA has been available for last hour or so.
    So depressing though. How can we get worse results than last year??
    None got a C or above. Loads got a D or E!!!
    I am utterly gutted and not sure how to handle the situation with students and SLT :-(
  3. I am also gutted about our results , we are a comprehensive with languages for all, and our overall % is in the bottom 4 of subjects across the school from today's results. Our exams officer said to me: " Oh well the percentage is always going to be lower for languages than other subjects", well that cheered me up a treat :-(
  4. I know how you feel but remember your exam officer has a point. You are competing with subjects that have probably double the amount of time allocated to them over KS3 and KS4. In addition, you are teaching a subject that is perceived as being very difficult by pupils and if my experience is anything to go by, you have probably colleagues that tell the pupils that languages are not anywhere near as important as their own subjects making it even harder to motivate the remaining pupils. In conclusion, you are teaching a difficult subject under difficult circumstances. I am sure you are doing a great job. I feel as deflated as you do many times but it is important to remind ourselves that we try our best in a system that is not beneficial to the progress of languages.

    Kind regards

  5. our results for both languages were worse than last year. SLT not happy. Waiting for mark breakdown later this week so I can organise my defence before we return next week
  6. Am just writing my exams analysis now. There are various articles around such as the Dearing report which underlines that severe grading is an issue in MFL. Look on the Association for Language Learning website under severe grading for some comments to use with SLT. Our results are really good BUT the students who took languages did a lot better in most of their other subjects, so I need to justify / explain this in my exams review with the SLT.
  7. The only students who seem to be able to access A* in German are the bi-linguals. Is any one else finding this? I am in a grammar school and seem to be doing well with As and Bs but I am finding it really hard to access those very top grades.
  8. Batsheep

    Batsheep New commenter

    We had a good haul of A* (modular AQA) and several got full marks in the 50% terminal unit. For the first time the German results were better than French - shame it'll be a different syllabus for next Years 11s, though it does seem to be going OK so far.
  9. As has already been pointed out, one of the problems is the time allocation for MFL. The Council of Europe recommends 350-400 guided learning hours to get from scratch to CEF B1. B1 corresponds to Higher GCSE. The Cambridge Exam Board for ESOL accepts this figure for learners of English as a Second Language. Check out the FAQs here:
    How many hours of study are needed to reach the levels of the Main Suite exams?
    So if 350-400 guided learning hours are needed for a (probably) highly motivated learner of English then surely this should be the minimum figure we should aim at for MFL. When I was at school in the 1950s we had 600 class-contact hours over a period of five years to get from scratch to O-Level in French. The problem is that MFL has been crowded out by a plethora of softer options.
    Here are the O-Level papers I sat in 1958 - no wonder 600 hours were needed to get to this level! And at that time at least one O-Level in a MFL was a unversity entrance requirement.

  10. Can I offer some words of hope to those who are disappointed adn stressed by their results?
    Every year I have written on here of my frustration and stress




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    with our whole cohort entry of French in a language college,
    After years of steady 60ish we suddenly dipped to 44% in 2008 then 45 (up to
    48% with remarks) in 2009 having bust a gut to do what we could to improve. An embarrassing
    place to be in a language college.We realised we were entering the whole ability range in an
    entry cohort that was increasingly elitist and that the A*-C % nationally had not
    kept pace to reflect this. Hence the Cs
    in to Ds and so on as they were squeezed out

    So we took the plunge and put the vast majority of our foundation
    candidates in for NVQ in Business French – 63 out of 80 achieved a level 2 which
    counts in the A*-C%– no percentage graphs to adhere to – if you achieve it you
    achieve it. It’s very different to GCSE – harder tasks to do in some ways, but
    much more accessible ways of tackling them. The kids enjoyed it more, and our results
    have shot up. The overall year group achieved 83% A* -C for French so we are in
    a much happier place.
    Two years ago I was in despair – today I am
    celebrating. It was a long hard journey – lots of work to get it set up but it
    was definitely the right thing to do. You need the fullsupport of your SLT and it
    doesn’t come cheap but it will improve your results. If you are depressed today
    after GCSE I’d really urge you to consider it. This is a system that works with you - not against you.
  11. Can you tell me more about NVQs?
    Who provides it?
    What is the cost?
    Do you need to get staff qualified or certified?
    Who marks the work?
    I may be interested for in 2 years time as I think I want to give the new spec a chance!

  12. Wow - sorry about all that gobbledy gook in previous post - that's cos I typed it in Word adn cut and pasted.
    If you do a forum search you 'll find some intersting reading on NVQ. Basically you can use your notes in tests which are a little and often, you retake them as often as you like and it's all based on real life business situations. The flip side is that you have to get it 100% right! It's internally assessed and has to verified by a qualified assessor. Yes soemone from yoru school has to take the qualification to assess initially . Entriss are 2x as expensive as GCSE and the training is £800 for 3 days but as far as I'm concerned it is worth every penny.It's fully accredited by either OCR or Edexcel.
    We used the iLangauges scheme (OCR linked) - check it out on Google - all the assessments are provided and lots of teaching materials too. It's run by Juliet Park who is teh SSAT Lead Practitioner for NVQ and Wendy Adeniji who is a well known consutlant and training provider.

    I was initially reluctant to go out of my comfort zone but am so glad we did it!
  13. Ours were teriible and I am really fed up - worst results in years.
    I really have done everything to get these kids through and they did nothing so very obvious.
    We had a huge number of D grades nearly 50% - most of these should have been C grades.

    on professional judgement rather than being data driven - the grades
    are totally representative of the effort and committment put in by
    students over the two years of the course, of teh fact that they did not
    attend revision sessions, failed to do homework or coursework prep, did
    no preparation for the speaking exam
    But hey, that doesn't come
    into the equation when I have to sit in front of th head and take the
    blame for the depts' Low figures.
    Thsi is also in spite of the
    fact we got a glowing dept review with student feedback saying how much
    they enjoy our lessons and feel they are well planned, challenging etc,
    with lesson obs by both SMT giving us good or outstanding for our
    lessons (and also Ofsted).
    Good way to start the new year - totally demotivated (again).
  14. Think I am going to go down the NVQ route - just going to be difficult when the cost is so huge and we've just had a budget cut!
  15. Yes, I feel like that too. You can lead a horse to water.... When I looked back at the mocks marks they completely represented what the students finally achieved. I think the kids give other subjects priority and they underestimate the amount of work necessary to go up a grade. They figure that as they will not be chosing MFL for A Level they will manage on a bit of revision. and the other grades are more important.
  16. Totally agree with your comment and the phraseI have been using all year.
    Some subjects gave detentions to catch up with coursework.
    Core subjects had small groups (ten in maths!) and extra lessons on top of curriculum time, for those students on borderline.
    We gave revision timetables. booklet, websites (linked revision book into website stuff) lunchtime sessions every lunchtim, chance to do additional coursework so that their choice for submission would be greater, writing frames, coursework mats for prep, additional speaking practice at lunch with TA or teacher, access to school email account so they could email at any time (weekends and evenings) set up an account on facebook for student support (which some abused) active revision and wide range of activities to promote all skills; we were planning at all hours and I have to say to the detriment of other year groups.
    And on a persona level, being a widowed mum, my two children had to put up with a stressy mum due to the fact that she's come home from work frustrated at the lack of application from year 11 but still beng hit over the head by SMT to get the required targets when I knew i was onto a losing a battle and I had no more time or strength to give, in addition to the time in evenings then spent planning lessons for year 11 so that something wemt in and they didn't go running to the head to complain (which they had/have a tendancy to do)
    I have been teaching for seventeen years and have to say that pressure wise to get results, this year has been the hardest and least rewarding ever!
  17. I am not yet sure about NVQ route as school's budget is very tight and I am fighting to even get new stationary, let alone get someone trained for £800. and changing resources ... but certainly something I will let Head know about when I have exam analysis to explain.
    It is very hard to see students get 5 A-C in other subjects and not in French. I looked at breakdown of Speaking grades and I am surprised to see that many got 0/4 and 0/6 for Fluency and Range on their Presentation and/ or General conversation. I looked at markscheme and their marks and it just does not do them any justice. 0 means nothing of value which I am finding hard to understand when most managed to make sentences with connective words, past and future... I am not sure about asking for remarks and if it would make a difference or not. any body else looked at these? this was with AQA.

  18. rosa11

    rosa11 New commenter


    As redpens has said, there are alternatives to GCSE out there. We do Asset. Yes, I know it can cost a lot, especially with resits. It has made a difference for us. I've had a very sneaky thought for the kind of learner who wishes to continue with a language but won't be taking it at AS (we're a language college whose kids have to take langs) Get the kids to take two different languages in KS4 but only enter them for Speaking and Writing at Intermediate level. The teacher can give the candidate a lot of support without it being dodgy, no accreditated training needed, transferable skills to reinforce the learning and a shot at gaining an A-C equivalent level in two languages. It can be done? Anyone out doing something like it? Do tell!

  19. This is just playing a cynical game, surely. What we should be about is ensuring that our students have a firm knowledge of one MFL, which they can choose to build on a some point in their lives. Education has become so corrupt, it's no wonder so many students are turned off by the manipulative games that are played around them.
    Please don't take this comment personally Rosa11, I realise the pressures you must be under to play the system. It is such a sad state of affairs.
  20. Sorry if it comes across the wrong way but:
    I work at a comprehensive school in london - bog standard. however our headteacher is great in refusing to play numbers games and to dumb down the curriculum so languages GCSEs remain kind of compulsory (about 85% take a language). we got mainly boys.
    German Edexcel we had 85% A*-C yesterday - our best ever results. My bottom set (most of their MEGs D and below) 14 kids - 11 got a C or above. It is possible and I think if you are committed to a fair education for everyone you can't fob off kids with pseudo qualifications because everyone KNOWS that they are not a real GCSE equivalent.
    you gotta be honest to the kids too, i tell them that it is double hard for us because languages are harder and we are competing against the grammar and independent schools. and you gotta play the system - i push them real hard for their coursework because that's their "get out of jail card" if they mess up one of the exams. in the speaking exam we drilled role play cards because that's where the points are and the kids find that easier to remember.
    motivation is really important and that starts way earlier than in year 10. you have to have a good course in KS3 that keeps them engaged and understanding the value of language learning, we had an awesome trip to the Rhineland with that year group in year 8 and they were still talking about it in year 11.
    I don't wanna sound too smug though - I still find it hard to get my top kids A grades, they seem to level at a B grade and as a consequence our AS/A2 results are mostly shocking but well, we will get there in the end...

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