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Low GCSE results in DT subjects

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by sunshinebert, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. They're interesting but not very informative in terms of what lies behind them. I'd like to see:

    * the male/female splits for each subject
    * the annual entry by DT subject for the past five years
    * the total entry decline by whole DT entry and by subject
    * an indicator of the ability ofentry by subject.
    * comparisons with other Boards (I know they come later .... if you have the time to search them out.)

    I would guess that mostly boys made up the RM entry and again that it included a lot of the "less
    inclined". Textiles scores a whole almost 20% more on the A-C than RM. That's a big difference .... GP lingers at the bottom ..... again well down on Textiles and Food). Is this a reflection of differing standards or differing entry ability? I'm wary of stats because of what lies behind them and don't get me started on the arbitrary C cut off for league tables. My A-C this year was a meagre 31% for GP but 82% for A-D. ANO subject was 54% A-C but 63% A-D and with worse residuals. Who will get the plaudits and who will get the bollocking? But who really did better?

  2. I found it interesting to compare AQA Textiles results to that of OCR. - I looked at the link posted earlier for AQA. I haven't tried the other areas but Textiles result percentages were very different. Having seen them I still don't wish to change exam boards- I do OCR but used to teach AQA. Any one interested in OCR results look at page 39 as below.
  3. I haven't been into school yet so I don;t know the full picture but I do know that our Double Award Engineering was severely hit in Unit 3 -the exam. AQA strikes again maybe?
    We had a pass rate of aaroubnd 80% on coursework cut to 20% after examination. We did all the relevant preparation for the exam but we are very fed yp for the kids who worked so hard.
  4. Our graphics have only achieved a 6 percent pass rate- we were expecting about 60 to 70 percent. Basically the moderator dropped the marks for coursework. He has written a comment sheet that explains that the projects were not appropriate to gain the higher marks and not developed properly.

    I have always marked the graphics with the teacher or delivered the subject myself over the last 11 years. I have never had any negative feedback about the nature of my projects or how I get students to develop their ideas. I fact this year we were far more rigorous than normal!.

    We will be appealing but I am very concerned by the obvious disparity that exists between centres and moderators. Is this mostly an AQA problem this year?
  5. It makes a mockery of a system that is already beyond satire.

    Deciding who gets what on the basis of political interference, ass-covering and the general standard of kids that year AFTER the event is no help to either teachers or children.

    Surely you should be able to say with some confidence "You have got 70% of the available marks for the project, which makes it a C/B/whatever; you will need to get 50% of the marks on the paper to get an e.g. B overall."
  6. My GCSE results are lower than i thought they would be the thresholds were quite high i thought! ****** means i have to put even more pressure on them this year!
  7. Apart from Textiles Systems and Control and RM results were awful for us this year (all AQA). None of the S&C group got better than a C - even those kids on an A or B for coursework whom I had down as dead certs!!! Got my worst results ever at 28% for S&C.
    As a matter of interest for those of you who taught S&C - did you find the exam topic a pain? I struggled to think of what to cover for "trains" although I managed to cover most topics that came up.
    When I saw the exam papers my heart sank as I felt they were difficult for the kids. Although I haven't seen a full breakdown of how they performed I'll bet they did badly in the exam.
    One more point - is it me or do the moderators tend to lower marks when their moderator turns up with them!
  8. we improved RM and Graphics this year, both were in the 70% A_C after about 5 years at 20 something, we changed boards from OCR to WJEC mid way though the course
  9. well after looking properly at the grade breakdowns our kids coursework was dropped by 35 marks by the moderator!!! their exam marks were pretty good and do not relate to their coursework grades at all. we are having a second moderation this week so fingers crossed the kids will get what they deserve. its really not fair on them at all.
  10. KHL


    Does anyone out there do "Edexcel" Food Tech? We didn't get one A or A* from approx 40 entries (& probably predicted about 4) - this is the first time in 15yrs teaching mixed ability classes that nobody got an A,- I don't understand!
  11. I agree that something seems strange this year my marks were marked down for top end which has never happened before and results were disappointing. I will appeal some but at £30 a time it is costly if the department has to pay out.
  12. found out that to appeal against the coursework its 150 a time. if the moderator changes any of the marks tho the centre pays nothing. guess you just have to be sure that your marks are wrong and that your head will back you up. ours have been pretty supportive of our re-moderation. the moderators coming tomorrow so fingers crossed!
  13. flat_in_5th

    flat_in_5th New commenter

    nope - ours were up and we use AQA too. 95% Systems, 70% Electronics, 60% RM. All good in our school.
  14. It has always seemed to me that the Moderators are the variable in the process. Having been a moderator for two different Boards and for several subjects over the years my strong impression has been that:

    * they come with vary degrees of experience and not always for the right reasons.
    * that a single day of training is insufficient and that many still hold firm to their own standards and interpretation of what constitutes appropriate coureswork. In other words they do not take on the standards of the Board.
    * the level of scrutiny that different moderators bring varies; some are rigorous (beware!) others let all manners of things sail through because of tight schedules, too much trouble etc..
    * the differences in standards and degrees of moderation between DT subjects
    * the Boards will not debate these issue ... but are in denial that a problem exists. They are a part of the problem therefore.

    As you can no doubt tell I'm fairly critical of the Board's (specifically AQA) ability to administer fair and consistent standards; provide full and proper Moderator training; run support courses that are done with teachers rather than to them and to engage in open debate about both content and assessment of syllabuses.
  15. KHL we also Edexcel Food Tech and some of the coursework has been changed by 15 marks ( 2 of us marked the work together and we have done so for a number of years without comment). Have you had anything back from the moderator yet? We do AQA RM and the coursework had to be 'prime marked' by the moderator as we had no teacher at that point. Some of the marks are obviously correct but one is way out- the student has about 3 pages of nothingness in his folder and still managed to get a C !
  16. it's probably more to do with the fact that they want to make sure they are getting it right. I know I do. When I have to moderate a dodgy center who don't seem to know what they are doing (and you get a lot of them who have been doing things wrong for many years and have not had this pointed out to them by their previous moderators, not sure who's at fault here, but I'll point the finger at the Board), it's nice to get the support of somebody else.
  17. I am so so glad that other experienced teachers are having the same problems as me. I gain 33% A-C this year in AQA graphics. This has panicked me, as the pupils coursework grades were changed by around 2 or 3 whole grades!! The moderator was new, and was one of her first visits, so her moderater also attended.

    i have been the only graphics eacher in the school for 4 years, and therefore mark alone. In all previous the work i have produced has been fine, and now suddenly it s not suitable or damanding!! My two A grades, are now C grades, as are the B grdaes and even one B student got a D! I am so upset that rules seem to have changed, and the mark schemes haven't. I predicted 65% of my pupils would pass with a C. I am planning after speaking to the board to have these all re-marked.

    I do have a second problem....over the summer during some roof re-building our whole dept was flooded. The paperwork,i hope was downstairs, but models were in an upstairs cupboard and it seems my head of dept has thrown half the model out! Will photos attached to the paperwork (if i indeed have it) be ok for a re-mark?
  18. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    We had an excellent year of GCSE results obtaining 100% A*-C in RMT.
    I am a moderator and examiner and fully agree about the quality of both; they vary too much and many still apply their own standards.

    Imagine my shock then when 6 A2 students who achieved mostly A's in AS modules and A in coursework all achieved a U in their written exam!!
    Furthermore, excellent quality product studies were all slashed by up to 50% across the group. A remark on the written paper saw no change so we are going to appeal. It is impossible that this could happen and there were 12 marks between a Cantonese student Ilimited english) and an absolute top A+ student.
    My faith in AQA standards in shattered after 15 year of teaching (and working for them!) I am seriously considering dropping AQA for all DT and would love a response from any AQA officials or examiners here.
    Three years ago an AQA moderator reduced our coursework marks...without even visiting, and I find that our visiting moderator has not taught A level for quite a few years and teaches in a Primary school.....not impressed at all!

  19. Morning,

    We use Edexcel for GCSE RM and A level RM and Graphic Products.

    Our GCSE coursework marks were pulled down by the moderators by 15.1% (exactly one whole grade boundary once weightings are accounted for). This meant that a cohort who were approx 75% A*-B now only have one a* and a huge range of Cs and Ds. The only feedback so far is the generic one on the website which talks through a good project, which seems to be what we do give or take the occaisional mark.

    At As the coursework was slashed by 30% and up to 20% at A2 graphics. All these courses have been taught for years by the same teachers who have gardually honed their technique requiremnets to meet the boards expectations. We mark collectively and always come out at +/- 1%. Feedback has always been positive, even keeping work as exemplar.

    We are trying to gather as much info as possible before launching a costly appeal, cynically I guess few exam boards ever admit they made a mistake!
  20. Our results were unfathomable, the low end did better and the predicted A/B's were pulled down by 2 grades by moderator. We are a special needs school ( Autism, dyslexia, ADHD to name a few) and kept rigidly to the CAT, no meaningful advice on special needs from AQA. I have been using this board for 6 yearsa nd felt that the practical was better than in previous years! We shall appeal - is it just AQA?

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