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GCSE results

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by curlyk, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. warbyton

    warbyton New commenter

    Just to add, we are Edexcel (see earlier comment) and German. We extensively moderated and one of our department has been an examiner. All the years of experience and a previously good record of our estimations of writing do not match the marks awarded this year. The most worrying thing is that I do not know what to do differently next year as I do not know why the marks were so much lower! I feel a little better to know I am not alone in this, but gutted for the students, most of whom, I feel, are one grade lower than expected.
  2. Herringthecat

    Herringthecat New commenter

    I am in a similar position. I have just finished my NQT year and my GCSE group was Edexcel French. I even went on an edexcel 'how to mark writing controlled assessment' course last autumn and agreed very closely with the course leader with all of the sample papers we were given to mark.

    Yet I have still overestimated the quality of the kids' work: by an average of 10 UMS points. Two of them got a huge 22 UMS points lower than I thought they should get. One came in 3 points HIGHER! It's very hard.

    I was an average of 3 points out with the speakings.

    I moderated with the other dept member who taught GCSE French last year. Hmmm....
  3. polkadots29

    polkadots29 New commenter

    I'm not sure what to do differently next year other than be incredibly harsh when marking the next lot. The problem is, though, that my next group to come through are low ability (previous lot were mixed), and they're having problems reaching what I thought was C standard as it is!
  4. Herringthecat

    Herringthecat New commenter

    I genuinely thought I was being harsh with the marking! I now plan to go through all the pieces from last year's year 11 which achieved 'top-box' marks to try and analyse them, and rewrite my 'you must include' checklist. I had always understood they should include three to five examples of the different tenses, to demonstrate they could properly do it (more of the passé composé: a couple of regulars, an irregular with avoir, and an irregular with être).

    I was also big on 'interesting vocabulary' and getting ambitious grammatical structures in for the more able, while keeping it simple yet accurate for the less able.

    Does anyone know how I can tell which of the writings is 'piece 1' and which is 'piece 2' according to results plus? I want to write down Edexcel's marks on the copies I took of my candidates' pieces to try and analyse that way.

    It still seems to me that it's very, very hard to get all this wonderful linguistic gymnastics into 201 words. Hey ho.
  5. templing

    templing Occasional commenter

    This is partly because of all this nonsense that I've retired early (at 55). This ver.mine (politicians, Ofsted and the lot) have absolutely no respect for teachers, or pupils for that matter.
  6. ambi

    ambi New commenter

    Having just reread this thread, the earlier post by orh197 has struck a chord. I have just been analysing my results more closely and have found exactly the same problem as orh 197. The breakdown of marks on the enhanced marks analysis for content/rol/accuracy once added together over the 2 tasks does not add up to the totals given by the board for writing. This is extremely confusing. It makes a difference in total UMS points to most of my students and a difference in grades for 4 students - 2 would go up a grade and 2 would go down a grade, but maybe as orh197 has suggested, a senior examiner might have adjusted the marks???Who knows? - it is a complete mystery. Do we query it or not? There are 2 pieces of work that have ended up with vastly different raw scores to the scores I would have given - one by 9 raw marks and one by 7. I was pleased overall with my results and don't want to rock the boat but if there is a mistake maybe we should take these points up with the board. Has anyone else done a detailed analysis and noted a similar situation?
  7. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    Our experience of remarks was that they sometimes resulted in some minor additions of UMS points.
  8. ml01omm

    ml01omm New commenter

    Herringthecat, I am in your shoes too - just finished my NQT, been to the training course, and had work moderated by department (HoD, 17 years experience, fellow colleague, 30 years experience).

    Having read the examiners report - apparently my marking for the speaking CAs was spot on (as stated by the examiner). I applied the same level of judgment to the writing, so not sure how I got 5 to 6 marks out in some of the writing.

    My head wasn't too happy with me last year as a result of my behaviour management failings, so I can't imagine this is going to help my situation.
  9. backwardfinesse

    backwardfinesse New commenter

    We are OCR, though stopping after 2015 and switching to AQA IGCSE, for better or worse.

    This year, as in 2011 (but not in 2012/13) we have had approx. 15+ UMS per candidate less on the writing than we had predicted, despite having got it more or less right last year.

    Across a cohort of approx. 100 candidates (French) only 4 were deemed worthy of A* for Writing, whilst 46 got A* for Speaking. The standard grade profile for a top set candidate was A*/A*/A*/B, or C.

    By contrast, our Oral marks were fully upheld, and many who had 56/57/58 out of 60 were awarded 120/120.

    Similar patterns at C/D grade level

    A bit like a Show-jumping course where most of the fences are so relatively low that the outstanding get no extra reward for clearing the fence by a country-mile or with panache; whilst the one tough fence is just unrealistically high.

  10. salsera

    salsera New commenter

    WJEC - Having looked at our written marks, the differences between what we gave and moderated as a dept and what the examiner gave, range from -12 to +10 with most being around 7/8 marks different and very few being exactly the same or varying by 1/2 marks. This difference does not instil any confidence in the marking that has been done. All our listening was accepted as being correct.

    Also noted is that the grade boundaries have gone up by 2 marks....and this has hit the borderline students ....

    Looks like we are all off to Cardiff for some INSET - haven't got the time available to become an examiner however useful it might be.

    However, as someone has already done - it would be nice if those who were or have been examiners shared their insider knowledge - that would show support for your colleagues.
  11. toadman

    toadman Occasional commenter

    WE are also going to AQA igcse- it looks so much better.
  12. gregcolin

    gregcolin New commenter

    We are doing the same for all 3 languages with year 10 in September. I am looking forward to hearing the talk about this at the London LAnguages show!
  13. backwardfinesse

    backwardfinesse New commenter

    Interesting that you plan to go to an INSET in Cardiff: I don't think OCR do face-to-face INSET any more: I had heard that they preferred to do Virtual sessions (where the "delegates" can't really answer back.

    Last OCR one I went to was run by OCR Chief examiner for the Oral component, who couldn't really answer all the queries re the bizarre Writing results we were firing at him...

  14. Herringthecat

    Herringthecat New commenter

    I am sat here now with photocopies of my kids' writings, and am writing my estimated grades on them as well as what Edexcel awarded them. I am still feeling baffled. Eg the kid who came up with the sentence (a propos of One Direction!) ' Quand j'étais plus jeune je n'aurais jamais pu croire que je pouvais aimer quelqu'un autant que je les aime' got 9/6/3 (6 for knowledge and application of language; she had a subjunctive in later!) and 3 for accuracy!

    But here is a more general question for Edexcellers:

    When I went on the 'how to mark' course in October, the course leader chap clearly said that you could get an A if you only included two tenses. But in the examiners' report it says: 'in order to achieve a mark of seven or more for Knowledge and application of language, the basic language does need to be secure as well as there being attempts at a range of more complex and varied language.' and it also then says that if you get less than 7 in K&A, you can't get more than 3 for accuracy.

  15. curlyk

    curlyk New commenter

    Well, the results coming on on these posts look very much like those of 2 years ago,across all exam boards.The inconsistent marking of the writing elements has driven many of us to distraction.I think the idea of examiners letting us in on their secrets to accurate marking is a good one,except for the fact that I abhor the idea that we need insider knowledge to get it right. Why is n`t the mark scheme and the techniques needed to apply it ,clear for all teachers to see and use ? Two tenses or more needed for top grades ? accurate or attempting more complex language with varying success equals a good grade ? . Time this writing exam fiasco was put to bed.Any suggestions for a new way of assessing writing ? A way that teachers can explain to their students properly , for which they can prepare the students adequately,with tasks taken in controlled conditions, that teachers can mark against unambiguous criteria ,( a writing test which provides meaningful and challenging tasks for all abilities).Then, hopefully ,tasks could be sent off to any of the exam boards to be moderated ,in the sure and certain hope that what has been marked is likely to get something very close to the grade the teacher has predicted and passed on to the student .Pipe dream ??

    It is so sad that so many students have had their hopes dashed and the chance to continue with language study squashed, by this rigmarole of an exam .Not forgetting the anguish of their teachers .We care, so much ,so why do n`t the exam boards get their houses in order !!Pressure from above ? Money in the bank from re marks ?Incompetence ?The death knell of language teaching and learning clamours ever louder, with each GCSE result day that seems to suggest MFL teachers do not know how to teach writing skills to able students, ( or are unable to mark scripts with any accuracy ! ) in the eyes of students ,parents and SMTs . Oh well, onwards and upwards,every one ,just keep doing what you know is right and perhaps someone, somewhere in the great scheme of MFL teaching expertise will do something about this fiasco.At least you can print off this stream of posts and stick it under your SMTs noses, as proof you are not alone .
  16. salsera

    salsera New commenter

    Amen to that Curlyk.

    I spent from most of yesterday (ie a proper working day) in school going through results and the students' scripts. Though I could come to a happy medium between mine and the examiner's marks I still couldn't see how those ones they marked hugely up or down could have been so. Marking was definitely harsh in some yet lenient in others and even more so when you compared one piece of CA to another.

    With regards to tenses we were also told that the variety could be applied across the two pieces so writing wasn't so stilted and flowed more.

    In the past I remember submitting a piece of A* work which was flowery, accurate and just flowed - it got the mark. However, a student who was accurate but very pedestrian and didn't take chances but wrote a "nice" piece of French was awarded the same grade ..... I am confused and so very fed up.
  17. jolly

    jolly New commenter

    I echo Curlyk's response about the mark scheme being transparent, and that if teachers need to become markers to understand the game of marking, then the mark scheme is not fit for purpose.

    What galls me is that we are told one thing at training..... my school did the online training with AQA and we agreed with the marking wholeheartedly, and at times were even harsher than the chief examiner.... and yet when we then apply this standard to our own students' scripts, we are way off.

    In short, a joke and disgrace. Re-marks here we come.... and whilst this occurs, students wishing to continue with AS Spanish and French have decided to take other subjects because their predicted grades have resulted in Bs and Cs (despite getting A and A* in EVERY other subject).
  18. kate2521

    kate2521 New commenter

    We don't need to learn how to mark written work as we all did it perfectly well when we teachers marked the coursework and the boards marked the orals. We never had any nasty surprises then. The problems started in 2011 with the new spec and the boards marking the writing. There have been far fewer complaints about oral moderation than the marking of the writing since 2011. I don't understand why they can't get it right but it seems they can't. Too much emphasis on content hasn't helped but the issues run deeper than that. We all know what constitutes an A* piece etc from marking the coursework, so the number of teachers on here who have had their years of experience and expertise called into question and who have "got it wrong" is worrying.
  19. curlyk

    curlyk New commenter

    Good luck, everyone for the new year.Have faith in yourselves,plaster on that teacher smile and give SMTs hell !!! and don`t forget to have some `me ` time in term time .When you look back after 35 years of teaching , it is the great results and the good kids and your amazing colleagues you will remember, not some non language qualified Ofsted inspector`s condescending comment ,nor some weirdly unfathomable GCSE result .If you get some lovely children to enjoy learning languages and some to carry on studying post GCSE, you have done a good job, no, a fantastic job.October half term will be here before you know it !!!

    Amusez- vous bien ,mes enfants !!
  20. Herringthecat

    Herringthecat New commenter

    Well if you want an umabiguous way to test written French for all levels, translation is your answer. Kinda looking forward to the new exam for the new year 8s... only three more years of this nonsense.

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