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Help with GCSE, please help

Discussion in 'Music' started by taffymatty, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. Hi all, I have posted about this on threads before, but things are going mad now.

    My mock results are very low, students have not finished their first composition and no performing has been recorded. Both me and the HoD were new to the school in sept, I am an NQT. My HoD left at Christmas, we do have a new acting HoD until the summer who started on Monday. I gave out the results to students and since then I have been receiving email from parents that are not that friendly, they are all saying that they were told that they child was on for an A/B last year so what went wrong. We flagged up this problem in sept with SMT because the students were so far behind and have a big attitude about this, SMT have not done much in the past however now that parents have emailed they are calling meetings and all sorts. Does anyone have any key word sheets or exam techniques sheets (ie, list of words for texture etc). I have been over the exams so many times over the holidays and I can see a trend. I have so much to do and don?t really know how to do it all. If anyone has anything that can help or any advice then pleas pass it on.

    I am a good teacher, all outstandings in observations and passed PGCE very high. There is just so much to do with this class and they are hostile. It is a high performing school. I have been working my butt off for them but there is still a long way to go.

    Thanks, a stressed NQT

    taffymatty@hotmail.com
     
  2. Hi all, I have posted about this on threads before, but things are going mad now.

    My mock results are very low, students have not finished their first composition and no performing has been recorded. Both me and the HoD were new to the school in sept, I am an NQT. My HoD left at Christmas, we do have a new acting HoD until the summer who started on Monday. I gave out the results to students and since then I have been receiving email from parents that are not that friendly, they are all saying that they were told that they child was on for an A/B last year so what went wrong. We flagged up this problem in sept with SMT because the students were so far behind and have a big attitude about this, SMT have not done much in the past however now that parents have emailed they are calling meetings and all sorts. Does anyone have any key word sheets or exam techniques sheets (ie, list of words for texture etc). I have been over the exams so many times over the holidays and I can see a trend. I have so much to do and don?t really know how to do it all. If anyone has anything that can help or any advice then pleas pass it on.

    I am a good teacher, all outstandings in observations and passed PGCE very high. There is just so much to do with this class and they are hostile. It is a high performing school. I have been working my butt off for them but there is still a long way to go.

    Thanks, a stressed NQT

    taffymatty@hotmail.com
     
  3. Red wine fan

    Red wine fan New commenter

    Which exam board are you using? Also, what components did you give out as their mock mark? If only listening, then they will almost certainly be lower than pupils were expecting because it's the most difficult part of the course.

    It's no consolation I know, but I've been in your position and had the parents on my back etc. Added to that I was on a one term contract and trying to get coursework sorted for an exam board with which I wasn't familiar - NIGHTMARE!

    Personally, I'd focus on coursework this term as a damage-limitation exercise. I'd probably ask SMT/HoD to send out a letter to parents explaining the situation and asking how they would feel if their kids came in over either the half term or Easter holiday to record coursework. Then you can spend the remaining time between Easter & the exam on the listening.

    Hope that helps, best of luck and if you need more, let us know.
     
  4. Thanks, I do edexcel and I gave them the specimen paper. I have been working on their comp 1 with them since sept and it has got so much better, I marked their comp in sept and it was F?s and G?s, not they are working for B?s.

    The results for the listening paper were F, G and U. the overall marks and mainly D?s and E?s with the odd C. but at my school they expect A?s and B?s. the school gets 84% A*-C.

    I am just out of ideas of how to get the on target. They have the ?well its not our fault? attitude.

    I have written a letter to parents outlining what I can see and what I have done this term ready to show at my big meeting tomorrow.
     
  5. Hi taffymatty

    I don't do edexcel but I can sympathise. I have taken over as HoD in a new school in september where year eleven had next to no coursework - what they did have was of shocking low quality- they have no musical talent and they have no clue about the listening. They are a really nice bunch though and I feel sorry for them - they have been let down.

    I have sent deadlines to parents- give deadlines for completion of coursework. Run catch up sessions two days a week or whatever after school and make this known to parents. Pass some of the buck back to the kids- you cannot do everything. I would suggest you concentrate on getting coursework done up til Feb half term maybe?

    Suggest to the kids that you will be setting loads of revision homeworks for the listening exam and the only way they will improve their grade is to revise at home. I have produced booklets of key vocab and descriptions of styles in the past and set them a page a night as homework.

    I do AQA but I may have some stuff to help. What topics do they do in the listening exam?
     
  6. Thanks for all the emails, i have set deadlines for eveything and sent these dats to the parents, however, the deadline was monday and i got nothing. lol
     
  7. If the school is achieving so well at GCSE, these must be pretty bright kids ? why not whittle down the specification into something ?Language for learning?-heavy and give them all a copy! In the 2007 OCR listening, a mark of 65% was possible without even hearing the CD (with the help of a little lateral thinking); they just have to learn the words that go with each area of study.

    You could also consider inviting in an impartial ?adviser? to look at their compositions with them and listen to their performances. The brutal honesty of, say, a retired head of music or even a local musician might take some of the pressure from you, and force them to take responsibility for their own weaknesses in the subject; what horrible brats they sound!
     
  8. I've done edexcel for 4 years now with a 100% pass rate at A*-C so these are some things that i have done to get the job done.
    As a last resort ask for two or three days off timetable and give the kids appointments of an hour in which they should record their solo performance and complete their composition 1. Ask the parents to be at that appointment to witness their child's effort or lack thereof. Make the compositions as formualaic as you like... edexcel can be marked up very high for fairly basic compositions. as long as they make sense and the ideas/ choices are the pupil's you can achieve high marks with a simple ternary form and a basic song from a musical. I surprise myself every year that i push my marks up and they are never changed by moderators... as long as you justify your marks quoting the criteria directly.
    you could prepare some simple solo and ensemble performance pieces... simple tunes like twinkle twinkle with a duet part for the ensemble. any single line pop tune for the solo. Get the pupils to record these and be honest with the limited marks you can give to them. they might decide to pull something out of the bag.
    in terms of the exam don't worry too much. tell the parents that you aren't worried and are confident that with proper intense revision sessions the pupils will be very well prepared. I set mine the spec paper and they all did horribly badly too. they won't have revised for this and will have been shocked with the questions no matter how much you prepared them!
    sorry for the essay but hope it has been useful. if you have any more questions i'll be happy to help.
    Tom
     
  9. casper

    casper New commenter

    Taffymatre, will e mail you the comments I hace hear re the specimen paper. I have some ideas Iwill send to you. In the same boat. Loads of kids and no coursework from last year.

    I have some tips, which may help.
     
  10. casper

    casper New commenter

    taffymatty are you ok??
     
  11. hey everyone, thanks for all your help, we are doing everything that you say, fingers crossed. if anyone has any more key word sheets or something for edexel then please send them on

    thanks again for all the emails. x
     
  12. Hi everyone

    I know this is an old post, but can anyone give me some tips for edexcel gcse music composition criteria? I am a new HOD, marking compositions for the first time, and i just want to make sure i am marking them correctly! Can anyone help me with understanding options A and B please?!
     
  13. There is guidance for these criteria on a document on the edexcel website - something like supporting the 2012 entries - composition. Hope that helps.
    I always mark with someone else, either within the department or not, makes life a lot easier.
     

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