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Help explain the AQA S.B assessment Objectives!

Discussion in 'English' started by bluechair84, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. The assessment objectives (AOs) for this specification are as follows:
    AO1: respond to texts critically and imaginatively; select and evaluate relevant textual detail
    to illustrate and support interpretations
    AO2: explain how language, structure and form contribute to writers’ presentation of ideas,
    themes and settings
    AO3: make comparisons and explain links between texts, evaluating writers’ different ways
    of expressing meaning and achieving effects
    AO4: relate texts to their social, cultural and historical contexts; explain how texts have
    been influential and significant to self and other readers in different contexts and at
    different times.
    I haven't taught GCSE this year but I want to be more familiar with the AOs. There seems to be considerable overlap between AO1 and 2. Can anyone help me to understand the differences?
  2. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    No overlap.
    AO1 is about interpretation and the ability to select apposite quoation as evidence
    AO2 is about the technical detail of form, structure and language.
  3. We are doing something in our department that I think is not accurate. It is not affecting students grades but I think it might in future if we don't correct it now, but as I don't teach GCSE I don't feel confident in analysing what we are doing, yet I seem to be the only person to have noticed.
    We are applying the writing AFs to AO1 including appropriate quotations, and the reading AFs to AO2 which appears to be incorrect.
    So in AO1 - the students should be interpreting the authors message / purpose using quotations to support their ideas .
    AO2 is more concerned with what exactly? This may seem a dumb question - but I don't teach the AOs, only AFs and I'm certain the department is not interpreting them correctly. Yet I cannot find anything on AQA regarding features of AO2 to cement and structure my discussion with our HoD.
  4. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    1. - AFs do not apply at GCSE
    2. - The AOs you have quoted are all reading AOs - writing AOs have no place in your assessments.
    Form: play, poetry, novel, short story etc
    Structure: self explanatory. How is the text structured? 5 act play? Well made play? Poem with a regular rhyme scheme and stanzas? etc
    Language - mainly to do with imagery in poetry and Shakespeare's verse in particular, but must also be addressed when writing about a novel. The writer's choice of language is, after all, intended to have a specific effect upon the reader/audience.
  5. ok thanks,
    I am trying to map across the AFs to the most relevant AOs and create a transition peice for the year 9s to help them access the new criteria. They are familiar with the AFs, so I want to put the AOs in those terms. Do you think this is advisable?
  6. i-mod

    i-mod New commenter

    Understand wish to maintain familiarity with AFs but GCSE is a different biz - and my preference would be to introduce AOs in Year 9 and build your own course in preparation for GCSE - and NOT for early entry but longer, deeper learning.

    Try looking at the AOs like this and see what happens to your AFs:

    AO1 is Reader-focused (understanding, interpretation and response based on details and whole)

    AO2 is Text-focused (authorial craft in language and genre skills and techniques)
  7. Thanks i-mod. I think I'm getting the hang of the boundaries. I will reconsider using the AFs, but I think that if they can be mapped, it will help them to understand what is required for each AO. I've spent some time with our HoD today and produced this. Would anyone like to comment on it's value and accuracy?
  8. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    bluechair - haven't been able to look at your blog yet (access denied from work PC) but if you go onto the AQA website, the objectives are mapped across KS3 - KS5, which should help you. Shout if you can't find them.
  9. Hi RR, I have spent quite a bit of time looking for something that shows how the AFs lead up to the AOs on the AQA website to no avail, which is why I went down the route of writing my own. If you could help with the link I'd be very grateful! It's probably exactly what I'm after!
  10. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    The AQA link is here but I can't really see the value in this. Why can't you just explain the AOs at the beginning of Year 10?

  11. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    Thanks for providing that GloriaSunshine. I think the point about mapping the AFs to AOs is to ensure consistency of teaching across key stages and I certainly feel that the new GCSEs require some adaptation of the KS3 curriculum eg introduction of spoken language. I wuld also advocate some real/continued focus in KS3 on reading skills a la AFs to improve GCSE performance in both English /Language and Literature. Of course, specific GCSE AOs should be focused on at beginning of KS4 but they shouldn't be a total change of direction.
  12. Gloria - In previous years, our school has entered our students in for GCSE a year early. This has made an absolute muck-up of their education really and left those now in year 11 with a year to kill. I don't think this will happen in future, but our current yr9 crop already do some GCSE intro modules such as the Spoken Language that Regent mentioned. To make matters difficult, we have to input data as GCSE grades even though we are marking to the APP criteria, with no real direction from the powers above as to how to translate them. They finish year 9 doing a mock GCSE controlled assessment marked to the GCSE criteria. Effectively, this makes data input easier for this final module as they are in A-U format, but we have to help the students see how what they have learnt all year is relevant to the new spec. It's a real mess to be honest, and the legacy of the past few years is slowly being fazed out as senior leaders are realizing the difficulties of entering a whole year group early.
  13. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    Agreed, regents. I just feel the exercise of mapping AFs to AOs seems pointless. I'm sure we all say to our y9s, "You will need to do this for GCSE ..." all the time, or to y10, "Remember how we practised using quotations when we did ...". We are using AOs rather than AFs in y9 which is now part of KS4 and a transition year where they do a bit of Spoken Lang, some comparative poetry, creative writing in style of GCSE CA etc. We are also trying to read more texts with them and do some short CAs in the hope of them feeling better prepared.
  14. Oh - and thanks for the link! Going through it now [​IMG]
  15. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    Bluechair, we're doing a bit of what you're doing but we don't do early entries, so the GCSE style units are more like introductory work or a way of tying GCSE style tasks in with KS3 texts. We level y9 work but by impression rather than APP from this year. I think we've given up on that because of the time it took. By thinking in terms of AOs, we cover the AFs anyway and it simplifies it for us. I'm not sure where we're going to go with the levels and grades for y9. So far, school systems only work with levels.

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