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Good Luck AQA teachers

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by Retro Bates, May 18, 2012.

  1. Retro Bates

    Retro Bates New commenter

    For all teachers who were given a very rough ride last year (and remarked to a better standard) pod luck with the paper today. I hope we can celebrate our students' success instead of fighting for their futures in August.
     
  2. Lyns

    Lyns New commenter

    Cheers, what did people think of it?
     
  3. Retro Bates

    Retro Bates New commenter

    Thankfully It was as expected. Lots of happy students. But only time will tell.[​IMG]
     
  4. Hi
    Mine had mixed feelings, just really hoping and praying for them. The exams officer was amazed that they all went in happy and smiling, we did drama games first and sang their 'anthem'. She also said that it was one of the few exams where students are all still writing towards the end of the exam!
    Fingers crossed for August....
     
  5. Well, I rang the board a few days before the exam about whether it's possible to know in advance whether questions 9 and10 in Section C will be concerned with acting and questions 11 and 12 concerned with technical/design. They very helpfully emailed me back saying that "Q 9 &10 will be the acting question and Q 11 & 12 will be the design/technical question." So with this information, I instructed my candidates to do questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 9 and 10 and NOT to do questions 11 and 12. Hey - guess what?! They lied. It was the other way round, and all my candidates responded to Q 9: 'Describe an aspect of design, technical and/or acting skill that contributed to the VISUAL IMPACT...' and Q 10: 'Analyse why the VISUAL EFFECT you describe was so successful...' This means that any points they made (which they prepared well) about voice, and even possibly gesture/movement won't be credited marks; whereas if they'd answered Q11 about 'vocal and physical skills' and Q12 about 'maintaining or developing their character', they'd have done brilliantly as this is precisely what they worked on towards this exam. I've now complained to the board that I was actively misled into confidently telling my students so clearly NOT to touch Q 11 and 12 based on the information given in writing on the focus of these questions. So... how do I feel about this year's exam? ****** off. I'm just hoping that they've not suffered too much from having any points about other aspects of acting than the visual aspects disallowed and that the boards' cockup is taken into consideration when my centre's paper are marked. I've already had a rather dismissive response from Sue Lewis, so I'm not optimistic that AQA will do anything to help the situation.
     


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    I completely sympathise with you and I feel exactly the
    same. My students are very week writers
    and I told the students to do question 9 and 10 as the past 2 papers
    have focused on acting skills. The confusion is that the design style question
    has come first and that the question we really want them to do on acting has
    come second, although they probably got away with it in question 9 and 10 if
    they talked about facial expressions/physicality. I spoke to a few students after who had
    noticed the change and that they had gone for question 5 11 and 12 however some
    of the weaker students have gone for question 9 and 10 (because I told them to)
    . I’m so gutted about this, god knows what they have written. Is the anything
    we can do about this?
     
  7. I completely sympathise with you and I feel exactly the
    same. My students are very week writers
    and I told the students to do question 9 and 10 as the past 2 papers
    have focused on acting skills. The confusion is that the design style question
    has come first and that the question we really want them to do on acting has
    come second, although they probably got away with it in question 9 and 10 if
    they talked about facial expressions/physicality. I spoke to a few students after who had
    noticed the change and that they had gone for question 5 11 and 12 however some
    of the weaker students have gone for question 9 and 10 (because I told them to)
    . I’m so gutted about this, god knows what they have written. Is the anything
    we can do about this?
     
  8. Probably not in your case, as the board will say that your students should have been told to read ALL the questions and select the most appropriate. I DO have a case, though, as I was SPECIFICALLY INSRUCTED in an email from AQA that Q9 and 10 would definitely be 'the acting question', and Q11 and 12 would be the design question. If they had not told me this, then I would have advised students to read all the questions and select the appropriate ones. The only reason I didn't was that I was already armed (as I thought) with the information that questions 9 and 10 would be the ones for my candidates.
     
  9. Surely telling your students to only answer specific questions is a risky business. I know for Edexcel Unit 4 A2 I don't advise the students which questions to answer but guide them and steer them towards the 'types' of questions that could be easier to write about. However, when teaching the spec I teach it to allow all students to answer all questions. Surely this is what we should be doing !?
     
  10. 'Risk' by definition incorporates an element of uncertainty. How much uncertainty is generated by the board's statement that "Q9 will be the acting question and Q10 will be the technical question"? None. The board themselves "steered" the students (erroneously) towards the types of question which as actors it would be easier for them to write about. Yes, my students were able to answer any of the questions in section C, but questions 9 and 10 asked them only about acting where it made 'visual impact' and had a 'visual effect' thereby cutting out credit for any points about voice, for example. It would have been 'easier' for them to answer questions 11 and 12 where points about the whole range of acting skills will be credited. I AGREE that the usual practice is to expect students to judge for themselves, and a number of my students did notice that 11 and 12 were better for them and did answer those questions in any case, BUT I have a significant number of weaker students who would have wasted valuable time dithering about which questions to answer, and then might have chosen what I would have considered to be the wrong ones - so I rang the board on the offchance that it's possible to know which way the questions will lie as I considered that would help them. I did nothing wrong in doing this and was acting in the interests of my weaker students. Instead of focusing on "what we should be doing," is it not valid to question what the board should be doing, ie training staff on the AQA Drama department number to know what they're talking about?
     
  11. resources4drama

    resources4drama New commenter

    It's a game of where the buck stops.
    • The students should read what is required.
    • You told them not to.
    • AQA told you wrong.
    I'm sure the exam board will apologise / explain some way down the line.

     
  12. Surely it's easier to just change to Edexcel where there is no written exam for GCSE. Problem solved...hoping not to eat my words in the summer, Pray we haven't been moderated down.
     
  13. Retro Bates

    Retro Bates New commenter

    I appreciate you have some argument with the email you received, but I stand by my opinion that not giving them an option is fundamentally wrong. I am sure that the person you spoke to had no idea of the questions and merely guessed. They are, after all, a secret. Your frustrations are understandable. I would be interested to hear of the outcome of any appeal.
     
  14. My experience of AQA from last year's debacle is that they just close ranks. I've already had two emails from Sue Lewis, and an apology was not contained in either. Apologising doesn't seem to be their house style, though as far as I'm concerned this is a situation in which one is most certainly required. They probably regard it as an 'admission of guilt'.
     
  15. I could understand (well, not really, but understand a little better) someone guessing over the phone, in the heat of the moment, but to say he'd look into it to find the answer and email me back, which he did - or someone did - a few hours later, means that's a long, studied guess in which he had time to research an answer properly. I'm not sure how I go about an appeal and whether I have to wait until after the results... Better look into it, I suppose.
     
  16. No way. There seemed to be just as many complaints about Edexcel's moderation last year as there were about AQA's written paper. Out of the frying pan, into the fire, as far as I'm concerned.
     
  17. resources4drama

    resources4drama New commenter

    I
    They would simply say that all information regarding the exam is contained in the specification and (equivalent of Edexcel's) support guide and those documents are the "Bible" which no individual, either on an INSET course, on the phone or in an e-mail has the authority to amend.
    If it says that the questions will be in a certain order in the spec. and they weren't then appeal.
    Otherwise, they will refer you to the spec. and at best, treat the e-mail as "a training opportunity" for the staff concerned.
     
  18. I think you should receive an apology from AQA, but I agree that it might be a fight to get it out of them. The paper was fairly benign this year, I think, with the only 'surprise' being the reversal of question focuses in section C. They're probably trying to play safe this year to deter teachers from jumping ship.
     
  19. Hi,
    I just started back with AQA this year after really hating the edexcel course. Can any of you post up the questions that were in this years exam? It would be really useful for me to use in my prep for the current year 10's experience in yr 11.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  20. That's quite a lot of typing if you want the exact details of all twelve questions. (They're not short!) I'd pull up the AQA website, ring the Drama office and ask them to send you this year's paper. On the other hand, if anyone looking here has a scanner...
     

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