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got my A2 ~Ethics re-marks back

Discussion in 'Religious Education' started by san38, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. san38

    san38 New commenter

    and am gutted - not one has changed by so much as a mark. Am I right in thinking that alone seems odd? We only put a request for re-mark in on Monday afternoon and the results were on the interchange this morning and that seems very quick. I asked for the papers back - haven't had those yet -at the moment I would lack the confidence to challenge them again anyway. so not only will I have very upset kids, I'm not going to have SLT on my back too for getting us all a nice big bill to no effect. [​IMG]
  2. NoseyMatronType

    NoseyMatronType Lead commenter

    Hi San,,
    sorry to hear about this but not altogether surprised. Do let me know what you make of the scripts when you get them back.
    I'll do the same when I receive my AS scripts back.
    I'm so busy at present that I haven't had an opportunity to pm you detailing my very serious concerns about OCR, which extend not just to the marking but also to the quality of the textbooks.
    Will get back to you in a few days when things are a little less hectic.
  3. delahay

    delahay New commenter

    I think there are issues with OCR. A friend has jumped ship after years with them. The final straw was AS re-marks which went up two grades. Have you looked at the Edexcel spec? It is so straight forward.
  4. san38

    san38 New commenter

    Thanks Delahay. I will look at edexcel again -so hard to make the move especially when you are commited to one board for another year anyway - and I just know that my results will probably be great with OCR again next year - it's the inconsistency that is so bad. My memories of edexcel when I last looked are of the anthology paper -I teach in a large comprehensive and it did look to me as though that would only be suitable for the most able students ? Maybe I'm wrong - will look again,. Thanks for advice. By the way I think A level syllabuses are all due to be reviewed again soon - any idea when they are likely to change?
  5. San38 and others, we've had enough too and were surprised at the inconsistency in our AS retakes from the Jan session. We're off to WJEC instead.
  6. I've just got my A2 scripts back and they are very harshly marked - to the point I'm wondering what to do. I suspected that it would be the evaluation they had fallen down on but even their knowledge and understanding have been marked really low - and in some cases kids have written 6/7 of A4 with completely relevant selection of information as requested by the spec and getting marked at a basic attempt.
    I'm not sure how to play this with them - let alone the exam board!
  7. NoseyMatronType

    NoseyMatronType Lead commenter

    Is that A2 Ethics or Philosophy joeybird?
    Mine are imminent and I will leave a comment about them here.
    Is there anyone on this forum who doesn't have issues with OCR at AS and A2 ?
    If so, could you leave a brief remark?
    It's difficult to know how representative the comments here are since satisfied customers may not be inclined to contribute.
    So it could be that we form a minority.
  8. san38

    san38 New commenter

    joeybird I really feel for you. Have had this very difficult situation myself with one of my students - the only so far whose paper we have seen. Paid for the re-mark and the paper returned - I don't agree with the mark given and had to sit down and be honest with her that whilst I thought it was wrong we don't have the resources to take it to appeal and in all honesty couldn't see OCR backing down even if we did. Am waiting for some more papers back but really think 'what's the point' when there's nothing I can do to change things. Let me know how things go.
  9. lam


    I'd look again at EDEXCEL.

    I once taught (and examined for) OCR, but tbh had concerns over the standards in marking and we jumped ship to EDEXCEL and have never looked back.

    Just look through the TES and see how many complaints about OCR marking are on here compared to EDEXCEL. Well, there's just no comparison. We never ever ask for remarks with EDEXCEL, as I find the marking to be very consistent.

    The main bugbear is with the implications paper... and I know several people dislike it and left EDEXCEL because of it... but actually it really isn't all that difficult for the students, provided that you as the teacher prepare them for it.

    The trick with the paper (particularly the Westphal text) is for you to go through and to make sure all the elements are taught across the two years. Then you literally only need to spend a couple of weeks on each text at the end of the course tying all the loose ends together and making it make sense.

    I teach in FE, and we have a lot of lower ability students, but we always get great results from the paper (usually our best) and by the time I've finished with the students - they usually want the Westphal text to come up because they have got so much to say about it. Remember, that the whole point of the etxt is about linking it back in to their previous work, so this makes it much easier. The only tricky bit is getting them to understand the text - but with teacher support, they usually manage that.

    And, in all other respects EDEXCEL is far superior to OCR. I would never go back to OCR now.

  10. NoseyMatronType

    NoseyMatronType Lead commenter

    thanks for replying in such detail. I will definitely be looking at the EDEXCEL spec. over Easter.
  11. NoseyMatronType

    NoseyMatronType Lead commenter

    I pm'd you yesterday. Check your inbox. Hope to hear from you at some point.
  12. san38

    san38 New commenter

    Hi Joeybird - sorry to hear your experience -much the same as mine and I could have written your post. I am feeling somewhat inept and vulnerable too - in my school you're just as good as your last results and pointing out the short-comings of the exam board just seems like I'm making excuses. I too am now doubting my own ability (despite previous succesful years) and wondering if this dip has come not because of this year's performance but because I've got away lightly with an 'easy marker' in earlier years. Had an awful conversation with a student who I felt should have got a higher mark and this was confirmed when we got the paper back although the OCR re-mark stayed the same. My fault or there's we are still the public face of what is a **** system. We have decided not to appeal because I have no faith in that process either and can't afford the risk. Let me know how you get on. Good luck.
  13. NoseyMatronType

    NoseyMatronType Lead commenter

    I've had a look at my scripts. It's as I thought: they have all been marked severely and are one grade off what they should be.
    I have, nevertheless, gleaned some possible insight into how this whole business might work.
    For example, two of my best candidates wrote on Natural Law (this was the January AS Paper not A2). One of them omitted to emphasise the Aristotelian influence on Aquinas in their part a response. The other did but their explanation was inaccurate. One of them also failed to explain how Natural Law relates to Eternal Law, Divine Law and Human Law.
    Both of them, nevertheless, evaluated Natural Law theory perceptively in their part b response and gained high marks.
    In the past, before the advent of two part questions, they would have almost certainly have earned themselves B grades. Although the explanatory power of their responses was somewhat lacking in terms of its range and depth of analysis, the evaluation was sufficiently subtle and detailed to warrant this grade. I have no doubts about this whatsoever.
    However, the rigid application of the mark scheme as far as AO1 is concerned meant that they both lost out.
    I could go on. There were other minor issues as well. But I doubt that these marks would be altered if they were challenged.
    To be fair to OCR, I've heard that this goes on in other subjects. A few years ago, for example,a friend of mine who is an English teacher warned his best candidate for years to 'not be too interesting.'
    The meaning of his message was clear: the best candidates are capable of a level of logical and lateral thinking which is probably beyond that of the examiner marking the paper. So woe betide them if they digress in an original, insightful manner, straying beyond the boundaries of that aforementioned mark scheme and perhaps omitting a common feature in other scripts (for instance, a brilliant essay on the theme of blindness in King Lear that fails to mention the literal blinding of Gloucester might suffer in this way).
    At the moment then, I'm weighing up whether to move to EDEXCEL. If I go with them, I'll be checking that they make absolutely explicit the way in which their own mark schemes are applied. I'll also want to know whether those mark schemes are applied robotically. I can see why this happens as one thing that does result from it is a degree of standardisation across examiners. But I would expect a decent examiner to also be sensitive to the merits of individual scripts.

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