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Improving coursework after it has been internally assessed and standardised

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by Dandolf, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. <font face="Calibri">I am teaching at a top independent school. I have been told to allow more time for the worst pupils to improve their Controlled Assessment even though all the marking has been done and we have internally standardised their work. The following was sent to me via an email, needless to say in the interest of the innocent, names have been changed.</font><font face="Calibri">&ldquo;I think that the 6 pupils with C/D need to resubmit - with the objective of raising marks to a low B. Please could you give all possible help and support to these pupils to ensure that their marks are improved.</font><font face="Calibri">If any pupils with A/A* quibble about this, I suggest that you refer them to Roger (although you should of course encourage them to accept the situation). </font><font face="Calibri">I know how strongly you feel about the "fairness" of this so for the pupils with B I suggest that you use your judgement - in the spirit of fairness and consistent with the time available.&rdquo;</font> Can I just refuse to do this? Should I contact my union?
     
  2. <font face="Calibri">I am teaching at a top independent school. I have been told to allow more time for the worst pupils to improve their Controlled Assessment even though all the marking has been done and we have internally standardised their work. The following was sent to me via an email, needless to say in the interest of the innocent, names have been changed.</font><font face="Calibri">&ldquo;I think that the 6 pupils with C/D need to resubmit - with the objective of raising marks to a low B. Please could you give all possible help and support to these pupils to ensure that their marks are improved.</font><font face="Calibri">If any pupils with A/A* quibble about this, I suggest that you refer them to Roger (although you should of course encourage them to accept the situation). </font><font face="Calibri">I know how strongly you feel about the "fairness" of this so for the pupils with B I suggest that you use your judgement - in the spirit of fairness and consistent with the time available.&rdquo;</font> Can I just refuse to do this? Should I contact my union?
     
  3. This isn't only happening in independent schools as I have heard some interesting things from other teachers and even if not said directly there is still the expecations to get the students to reach their target grades and therefore to help sthe students do this despite this not being allowed. One problem is that SLT perhaps are not doing CAs (as they do little teaching) and they have not appreciaited that it is no longer course work.
    The standard of my CAs is not as high as the old course work, but I have to say that I have to step back and say that all things considered the students have done well as after all they are only 15/16 years old doing perphaps 10/11 other GCSEs
    We have to let the exam boards know about the pressure we are being put inder to get the grades.
    Clearly if people do not adhere to the contol asked of us it is not fair and the exam boards can only set the levels correctly if we obey instructions
    I wonder what the unions would say? Yes do contact. You cannot be the only one and we need to bring this up for the sake of everyone!
     
  4. The expectation of making sure they achieve target grades (which in our school are a grade higher than base grades) is very much embedded in my school - my whole class had target grades of an A/A*. They were pretty independent with their CA and the work does not look very different to our usual coursework - if anything folder work is more concise which I prefer. Other teachers have said the same to me. There are some who are B/A grade students who may not achieve their target grade because they have not put in the effort. until we actually see what the exam boards expect we can not really know what to get students to produce. the exam boards won't know what to expect until they see this year's work.....
    I was told by a chief examiner to let them just make something simple for GCSE just to get it done and out of the way... while this may have merits for some it does not work for the able very motivated ones who are really into the subject and who need to be stretched and challenged - besides how are they meant to develop the skills to study this at a'level if they do not make something at least a little challenging for GCSE. The suggestion made to me was a denim bag from a pair of jeans...............for a recycling project! we do that as a fill in project in year 8/9 if we need one.
    it's very unclear of how this will work - I guess the exam board should be informed that we are being pressured to get 'better' work out of students. But then isn't this similar to the fact that lots of schools are making students resit things like their History CA because results were not very good and students are having a second go? (don't quote me here - it might just be a rumour, a parent told me this).
     
  5. Wow Dressmate - were you resting on the space bar ??
    I have several concenrs over this.
    Am I putting my pupils at a disadvantage by not letting them do an extra day or two over the Easter break? I knwo many schools are working over the holiday so the answer I suppose is yes but I had a big clock counting down the hours as we went along and most of them have dpone really well. And I am only doing one - kid free - day at school this holiday so I am going to stick with this.
    You have been given target grades for the kids that YOU have to reach. What if the pupils is incapable of the grade without major intervention?
    Other examination boards (I am doing AQA) seem very strict. in particular WJEC actually supply a fixed template for Textiles with every page dated and teacher annotation limited to a small box on each page.
    In your situtation I am not sure. No help I know, but every teacher finds themselves in a different place. I would proabably do it but make your misgivings very clear to Senior management.
     
  6. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    I've replied more fully to your same post in the Independent forum. Basically, what is proposed would be a blatant contravention of the exam regulations. The JCQ, on behalf of all of the exam boards, has issued a booklet on Controlled Assessment (all subject leaders should have a copy):
    http://www.jcq.org.uk/attachments/published/1388/ICA.%202010%2D2011.doc
    Section 17.1 makes it clear that if the work was done under formal controlled conditions, the candidate can only change the submission by embarking on an entirely new task, and the clock for the controlled conditions must then restart.
    In other cases, candidates must not be allowed to make amendments after the work has been submitted for final assessment by the teacher.
     
  7. I think this year has been very unfair on teachers and pupils alike. I have seen the same situation with the now doomed Diploma, as in read the specification and just teach the damn thing whereas when you present your interpretation they say oh well we don't want it like that.
    The target setting for some pupils is totally un realistic, I have an A* candidate who would never achieve this in a million years because it is based upon thier academic ability and not their work in DT. This puts undue pressure on teachers and pupils alike but I doubt the process will change. I have gone to the 'letter of the law' in not helping pupils as my HOD was very specific about this and has accepted we may take a hit this year. I do not think it is acceptable that some schools are prepared to tear up the rule book come what may as it is not fair and we should remain professional about what we are supposed to do.
    If this is allowed to happen, we are not preparing these young adults for the outside world. Bosses from top UK companies have commented on how pupils leaving school are ill prepared to deal with the world of work in recent articles.
     
  8. It would be interesting to see what the JCQ think of this thread (I'm sure they check/read this site) as they may think that whole scale mal-practuce is happening in schools!
     
  9. I hope they do read it and take action.
    This makes me really cross as I have done exactly what the exam board told me to do, sat them in the ICT rooms under more or less exam conditions when writing up, only given general feedback in the form of the highlighted markscheme, nothing personal, collected it all in after the 45 hours and took it home so they had no more access to it. I expect now, my students will end up being penalised because of the malpractice of others.
    I havrn't marked any yet, too nice outside, so can't say what they'll be like, but glancing through, they've done a decent job.
    I wonder whether I shoud put a comment on it when submitted to say 'all their own work'.

     

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