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Help with Controlled Assessment for AQA English (new) Unit 3a

Discussion in 'English' started by katesues, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. Hi everyone, looking for a bit of help with the CA for Unit 3a.
    I'm a learning support worker at a secondary school (although as I have a degree in Eng Lit, my school sometimes seems to think I'm actually an English teacher, albeit an extremely underpaid one).
    I have to help a group of current year 10 students get their controlled assessment done after the half term holidays - and I don't have a clue where to start! I'm used to the old spec and although I have been given a load of info on the new one, I'm not sure what I'm meant to be doing with the students.
    I would greatly appreciate some help from any experts out there, as I want to get a clear idea of what I'm going to do with the students over this half term.
    From what the English Dept at my school have told me, we have to pick one of the tasks out of the four CA tasks provided by AQA, which seem simple enough. I have been told the students HAVE to cover prose, poetry and drama BUT do not have to compare them to each other. More specifically, each student has to cover a play from Shakespeare, a text from a different culture and one from the English Literary Heritage.
    And that is it - that is all the info I have been given. So am I right in thinking then that we pick a task (let's say for example "Explore the ways the theme of identity is developed") and then pick a play from Shakespeare (eg Twelfth Night), a prose text (eg Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) and a poem (which needs to also cover different cultures, say something from Grace Nichols etc) and then the students have to write a piece on each text within the same question of identity?
    If that is the case, does that mean each each student will submit three pieces of work, all under the same task heading, to be written within the guided formal supervision time of up to 4 hours?
    Any clarification on this would be much appreciated, I have also been given a free run on what texts I can use, so any suggestions on what would be good to do would be great. As someone who is not actually an English teacher, and only 22, I feel a little bit out of my depth - many thanks, K
     
  2. Hi everyone, looking for a bit of help with the CA for Unit 3a.
    I'm a learning support worker at a secondary school (although as I have a degree in Eng Lit, my school sometimes seems to think I'm actually an English teacher, albeit an extremely underpaid one).
    I have to help a group of current year 10 students get their controlled assessment done after the half term holidays - and I don't have a clue where to start! I'm used to the old spec and although I have been given a load of info on the new one, I'm not sure what I'm meant to be doing with the students.
    I would greatly appreciate some help from any experts out there, as I want to get a clear idea of what I'm going to do with the students over this half term.
    From what the English Dept at my school have told me, we have to pick one of the tasks out of the four CA tasks provided by AQA, which seem simple enough. I have been told the students HAVE to cover prose, poetry and drama BUT do not have to compare them to each other. More specifically, each student has to cover a play from Shakespeare, a text from a different culture and one from the English Literary Heritage.
    And that is it - that is all the info I have been given. So am I right in thinking then that we pick a task (let's say for example "Explore the ways the theme of identity is developed") and then pick a play from Shakespeare (eg Twelfth Night), a prose text (eg Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) and a poem (which needs to also cover different cultures, say something from Grace Nichols etc) and then the students have to write a piece on each text within the same question of identity?
    If that is the case, does that mean each each student will submit three pieces of work, all under the same task heading, to be written within the guided formal supervision time of up to 4 hours?
    Any clarification on this would be much appreciated, I have also been given a free run on what texts I can use, so any suggestions on what would be good to do would be great. As someone who is not actually an English teacher, and only 22, I feel a little bit out of my depth - many thanks, K
     
  3. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter


    I'm stunned by this! This is not your role - it is up to the class teacher or HOD to decide which texts and tasks the students will be doing.
    And I'm stunned by this! The students need to study three separate texts for this Unit. How can anyone be expected to do this in a half term? English is a GCSE stand alone qualification and is meant to be studied over a year, although many schools choose to take 2 years over it. The idea that a huge chunk of it can be covered in one half term is a nonsense.
    The students need to be taught each text and prepared for the CA, which they then do on their own, completely unaided. The teaching must be done by a teacher, not a learning support worker (however well qualified!). The class teacher should have decided which tasks the students will be doing and prepared a precise title for them.
    They do need to produce three separate pieces, one on each text. They can do the same task on each text eg "Discuss the development of a central character in ..." or they can choose a different task from the bank.
    However, from your post, there is some serious misunderstanding going on here. I would go straight to the HOD and get clarification of exactly what you are meant to do and resist at all costs any attempt to get you to "cover" ie "teach" the texts!
     
  4. A couple of suggestions to get you up and running - check out the overview of controlled assessment here which explains what it means to AQA centres.
    Also, it may be worth taking a look at the controlled assessment documents available in the English Resource Zone on our website too, it's a good place to start.
    There are lots of useful controlled assessment resources being shared on here, but if you do find that you want to talk it through with somebody then please do give us a ring. You can reach us on 0161 953 7504 or by email at english-gcse@aqa.org.uk
     

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