Discussion in 'English' started by fluffykat_9, Oct 18, 2010.

1. ### fluffykat_9

I was wondering if anyone could help me, I have the onerous task of updating the coursework tracker spreadsheet that we used for the old spec's coursework, to fit in with the current spec's controlled assessments.
So far, I have formatted it to account for all of the percentages and marks for each of the units, but I am having trouble with the uniform marks and converting them into a tangible grade. I know that we are not meant to be issuing grades after a pupil has completed controlled assessments, but only meant to refer to bands. However, we have to report home pupil's current working at levels at the end of each half-term, therefore we need to refer to a grade!!!!
Maths is so not my forte! I know we aren't meant to be doing it, therefore shouldn't be working them out, but if anyone has already gone to the trouble I would really appreciate looking at how you have seperated them into grades so that I can update the formulas on my spreadsheet.
Our headmaster looked at our old spreadsheet every couple of weeks so he could keep an eye on the grades, and by referring to grades we could effectively track progress and it reaped dividends with our predicted and actual A*-C percentage, so he is very very keen for me to redo the spreadsheet to keep up with the momentum of progress. I also used it to track Mock Grades and Speaking and Listening.
If anyone could help I would really appreciate it

fluffykat_9

2. ### PinkRuby

I've been using the tables in the spec. A* seems to be 90%, A is 80% and so on making the boundary for a C as 60%. Or had you already got that far? I've yet to look at how to deal with the weighting for each unit and how to do put it all together.

3. ### regentsrejectOccasional commenter

save yourself all this bother fluffykat. You are right - you're not meant to be doing this and you can't do it accurately so don't do it! Use the narrative grade descriptions and forget your formula bars. Try to explain the new system to your Head and ask him to trust his English teachers' judgement.
Good luck

4. ### anteaterNew commenter

I'm afraid no matter how often you say it, regentsreject, teachers are going to have to try and convert the bands into grades, whether they want to or not. As fluffykat says, we are expected to report to sudents, parents and SLT in grades for tracking purposes.
Looking at the "uniform marks" (whatever that means) in the spec, I guess a crude way to approximate a grade would be to multiply a Speaking and Listening grade (which we mark out of 15) by 8, making it a mark out of 120. And a creative piece (out of 20 - needs adjusting for A03 iii when you've done the second piece, of course) by 6 to make it out of 120, and so on.
So a student who got 9 out of 15 for the first S & L task would be low C, and for 6 + 5 for the first producing creative texts task would be a D. Therefore I'm going to put her down as D for tracking purposes for this term. My sanity check for this is that I think she would also have been this grade under the old syllabus.

5. ### regentsrejectOccasional commenter

And I repeat - teachers are perfectly able to report grades to SLT, parents and students as often as they like, just not tied to a mark in a band. Until teachers move away from this obsessive need to convert marks to grades, the skills-based approach this new spec is designed to encourage will be consistently undermined and over-worked, hard-pressed English teachers will continue to tear their hair out. I know that others need educating as to this new system and if and when all parties understand the change, maybe English teachers will not feel pressurised to undertake this time-consuming, inaccurate exercise.
Try speaking to teachers who are used to using bands without grade equivalents - OCR English teachers have been doing it for years. It's just the change of thinking which is problematic, not the system itself.

6. ### tophut22

Rightly or wrongly I am going on this based on the descriptors for each band and how they relate to the old criteria.
Split each band into 3 numerical thirds.
Top 2/3 of band 5 = A*
Bottom 1/3 of band 5 and top 1/3 of 4 is A (straddles boundary)
Bottom 2/3 of band 4 is B
Top2/3 of band 3 is C
Bottom 1/3 of 3 and top 1/3 of 4 is D (straddles boundary)
Bottom 2/3 of 4 is E
Top half of 5 is F, bottom half is G.

I despair

8. ### annapops

It's the HTs and parents you need to convert - they are the ones who demand to know grades and aren't interested in "bands".

9. ### fluffykat_9

Thanks for all of your responses, I really do acknowledge both sides of the argument, but when we have to report back grades 6 times a year we need to ensure that we are being accurate and I do not want to set them an assessment for assessment sake so I can give them a grade.
I eventually went with the 90%, 80% thing. I think I need to tweak it for grades F and G, as when looking at the marks for a whole folder, out of 205, it seems quite harsh that they need to get 41 just to get a G. So far it is looking okay for the higher tiers, but harsh for the lower tier.
My spreadhseet and formulas are now sorted, so ready to go for the first controlled assessment first week back after half term and all staff can enter the data for each of their classess and I can track achievement.
My head was spinning yesterday after staring at a screen, formulas and numbers for hours - give me a dictionary anyday!!

Thanks for all of your help, it really is appreciated!

fluffykat_9

10. ### PinkRuby

fluffykat, I'd love a copy of your spreadsheet, if you're willing to share:
magentasue@gmail.com

11. ### regentsrejectOccasional commenter

Don't want to rain on your parade and I really feel for you doing all that work but this is precisely the issue - how do you know these "grades" will be accurate? If no-one knows where the borderlines are yet, how can you be sure your tracking is accurate?

I truly believe this will all come out in the wash and in a couple of years time there will be no issue about the lack of grade equivalents.

12. ### tophut22

I would really appreciate a copy too Fluffykat if I can. I intend to make one that calculates all the totals for controlled assessment cover sheets too so it can be mail merged off. Will be glad to return the updated version to you if yours saves me some of the work. By the way, is there a controlled assessment equivalent of the old AQA coursework coversheet that gets sent off to the noard with the titles and grades yet?

Regentsreject - relax! Pity us if it helps.

13. ### tophut22

oops - tophut22@yahoo.co.uk

14. ### regentsrejectOccasional commenter

Yes there is. It's in the same place as the notes proforma.

You're right, I'm not going to post anything more on this - I'm just going to take your advice and relax ...zzzz

15. ### tophut22

Can't find it anywhere on there at all - some other interesting things though.

17. ### tophut22

Thanks - I had been lookingon EAQA at another place where the candidate notes form is available. I am not relaxed having seen I will have to complete 4 separate cover sheets now! What do AQA hope to achieve by it? I'll need to by a new filing cabinet.