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Moderator marking in Edexcel GCSE

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by aoconnor334, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. johnfield

    johnfield New commenter

    It is clear that there is ahuge amount of dissatisfaction with Edexcel at the moment. I share mrlewis's frustration that all of a sudden practice which has held good for some time is now being seenas sub standard. Rigorous preparation and adherence to guidelines hasn'[t helped us. More in hope than expectation I have asked for a re-moderation of Unit 2 and for some 6 out of 16 students to be re-examined for unit 3.

    Whilst I have had some disquiet about aspects of Edexcel for some time, for as long as I was able to write and deliver a robust course and students were able to achieve the level to which they aspired and - in my professional opinion - had earned i was prepared to live with the disquiet. Now, of course, we have come massively unstuck and we're presiding over results that have taken value away rather than added to it - as in other years. Does anyone else find the distinction between what is 'excellent' and what is 'outstanding' in the assessment criteria vague? If something is 'outstanding', by definition it can only apply to a very small number of candidates. How on earth can we know that something - on a national level - is 'outstanding'? is it a descriptor we can only reserve for our most able candidates - whatever the everage standard of the whole group. That is one of my 'beef's. the external examiner seemed determined to find all levels of ability here and marked the work A* to G. Completely crazy!! If the marks were right this year then as sure as eggs is eggs they've been wrong up to now!! Furthermore, the quanitity of different bands means that someone's work can be jusged 'excellent' and only achieve 13 out of 20. Similarly it can also be jusged to be 'adequate' and achieve 5 out of 20. By any vestige of common sense this is ridiculous.

    I'd be interested to know how anyone else fares with re-moderation and remarking. I'm not hopeful but I had to ask for it if only to register my utter dissatisfaction. I'll keep you posted!!
  2. I too await the re moderation of Unit 2 with some trepidation. I chose that Unit first (after much interrogation, we were told that the practical and written parts were not treated separately - we'll see..) and if the marks come back having been altered, I would hope to send Unit 1. It's quite possible though that we'll run out of time.

    And yes, johnfield, I too have real issues with how on earth we work out the difference between "outstanding" and "excellent". As it happens, I sat down with a new member of my department today and had just that conversation. There is just too much room for subjectivity. I moved to the AQA A level about four years ago because Edexcel's A level assessment criteria smacks of the same wooliness (never mind expecting the teacher to do far too much of the work.)

    I've had enough of Edexcel. But somehow I have to get about forty year 11s through this year as it's too late for them to change. Year 10 are probably just about to start the WJEC course...
  3. No news as yet from Edexcel? Has anyone else had any news?
  4. johnfield

    johnfield New commenter

    Not yet. I sent for external examiner mark sheets (for unit 3) which were nonsense. Didn't use terminology in the marking criteria, were brief to the point of obscurity and certainly didn't reflect the standard I saw. Will post here as soon as there'a anything but I'm not hopeful
  5. No, nothing yet....
  6. johnfield

    johnfield New commenter

    We have now received our re-marks for unit 3 - so not strictly related to this topic which is more about moderated units. However, I thought it was worth posting here that there are absolutely no changes whatsoever - nothing up or down by a single mark. What this suggests to me is not that the re-marker was in absolute and almost supernatural intellectual synthesis with our examiner but rather that the status of the videoed evidence was simply not strong enough to challenge the original marks. So effectively you have a procedure which can only rubber stamp the original assertions unless the video is of a professional standard - and even then does it ever really capture the essence of the original performance? I cannot adequately express the sense of impotent rage that I feel. I work in professional theatre, I have written text books for A level and have examined A level practical work at a senior level and know with every vestige of knowledge and experience that I have in this business that these marks are wrong - and in some instances wrong by a considerable margin. I understand that our practical examiner is a Media Studies specialist who has done some Amateur Dramatics and occasionally teaches Drama when there are sufficient gaps in the timetable to allow him so to do. I have absolutely no doubt that if I complain to the examination board I will get some feeble response about examiners being privy to national standards etc etc.

    Regarding appealing against re-marks all I can ascertain is that the appeals must be 'based on the adequacy of Pearson's procedures and their application'. In other words, I can't question the accuracy of the re-marking, only the procedures which arrived at the re-marking. All that I think I can do is insist that the examiner doesn't set foot in the place again and send as strongly a worded letter to the Chair of Examiners as I can muster. What else, frankly, is there?
  7. Hello!

    I posted on here that I was frustrated about my moderators' report. It was largely very positive. It said that our marking was in line with national standards and commented on the quality of work at the top end. Great. And then there was a comment about our standardisation: ?The centre failed to adequately standardise internal assessment across different assessors / activities / tasks.?

    So having emailed back and forth with 'ask the expert' and getting quite vague responses, I finally got the answer today. The moderator pressed the wrong button and they're sending me a replacement one!

    Good old Edexcel!
  8. We had no change for our Unit 3 marks also- they must be getting a fortune from schools

    Crunchy - my examinations officer just laughed at the comment you got- as they seemed at odds with the rest of the report. It was also accompanied by one about 'not being in line with specificiation requirements' - yet praised the scheme's challenge for the pupils and the range of activities offered. I suppose it could be a wrong button ..but not sure I have the energy to chase it up! However, these negative comments have bugged me since August...
  9. Phoned Edexcel today and our unit 1 and unit 2 remodersation is still being processed. I am currently writting our SEF for an expected upcoming Ofsted and have my exam appraisal meeting this week - just want this sorted now really - but reading the above I'm not hopeful.
  10. We've had our Unit 3s back. Of the ones that we sent off, most have been altered by 2 or 3 marks but not quite enough to affect grades, sadly.
  11. Hi johnfield

    Just to clarify your comment about examiner mark sheets not using the terminology in the mark scheme; we are not allowed to say words like "good", "excellent" etc and we are asked to use different phrases which should mean the same as good, excellent etc. Don't know if that clarifies anything for you.

    Last year I got my comment sheets back and the examiner wrote constructive feedback such as something like "needed to vary pitch more vocally" or "needs more character development" which I am absolutely positive isn't the examiner's role - anyone else get that sort of thing this year?
  12. Still waiting for my Unit 2 re moderation.....anyone else heard anything? Of course, this will almost certainly mean that, even if they do put the marks up, there won't be time to appeal the other Unit, which was my plan....
  13. I got my exams officer to ring Edexcel today. Apparently it will take a few more days and we should hear by the middle of next week....
  14. I have had 3 of my re-moderation units back along with the page of feedback. In all cases the original moderated marks have been upheld by the exam board - so no change to marks. I really need to take this in as I feel extremely angry about the whole process.

    A neighbouring school also went through this process and no change as well.

    Following the standardisation on line for unit 1 last week I have finally had enough of Edexcel.

    I am also going to ask Edexcel exactly how many centres this year were remoderated downwards - I cannot help but feel that there seems to be a MASSIVE change of emphasis upon the words OUTSTANDING and also on the application of thematic exploration practical UNIT 1 which is something we have prided ourselves on - but this year the exam board's interpretaion of the work/topic that we have submitted is critical - when previously it was not.

    The video session is usually of the same series of episodes of work that include still image, though tracking, Teacher in role and spontaneous and prepred improvisation and an abstact movement sequence all based around a visaul stimulus.

    I will now move all studens to WJEC once my Year 11s have completed this year.

  15. All my Unit 2 marks were changed yet the moderators report said all marks practical and written were within tolerance. Have been chasing the exam board since August for them to look at this yet no reply. Had a particularly nasty experience with an examiner for AS in May - again, have yet to have a response of any kind from the exam board. I had students in AS who were A/B in Unit 1 yet suddenly C/D in Unit 2, being A* at GCSE, and dont even get me started on how the examiner conducted herself in the exam.

    I am now in the process of making things more formal through my school to them. I am absolutely with all those who take it personally, when you care about your kids its hard not to and, unfortunately, its not Edexcel that have to be pulled apart in a subject leaders meeting every year when i cannot explain the discrepancies, its me.

    Rant over.
  16. Oh dear, I feel gutted for you too. I suspect I will feel gutted for my own students shortly as I'm still waiting for the re moderation of our Unit 2 to come back. This is an appalling state of affairs. I too am on my way to WJEC. I rang them yesterday - they're putting on an extra training day in January. It's in Birmingham because there are so many English schools wanting to follow their GCSE course!
  17. And the results are in.....no change to the Unit 2 marks at all. Much the same comments as before. So that's 41% A* to C as opposed to around 80% in recent years. What really worries me now is that I have 43 very keen and eager Year 11s who have to go through the same process this summer.....
  18. johnfield

    johnfield New commenter

    Mr lewis (Oscar) I share your anger. I had slightly better fortune with Unit 2 where the marks were not restored to what i had originally awarded but were improved a little. The net effect of this is that two of the grades (out of 16 students - we're a very small centre) went up. My real anger is more focused towards out examiner for Unit 3 - a Media Studies specialist - whose marks were all over the place. When you pay £54 per candidate for a re-mark for 6 candidates and they come back exactly the same without any explanation then the process is flawed. I am writing to the Chair of Examiners and suggest that similarly disgruntled people do the same. I'll email you separately about this Oscar. Cheers, Richard
  19. Year after year after year the same stuff. Edexcel complaints.

    Some things to consider.

    You're all rubbish teachers, you kid yourselves about the quality of work and standards of kids, you're too lazy to do a thorough job, and you shift the blame onto the exam board.


    Edexcel are a rubbish board, we know the threshold for an A* is 97%, but they shift and change the half thought through rules each year, and nobody really knows what's what.

    Exexcel, being a private business, create a situation where, they coin it big time with appeals which they gleefully reject, knowing your managers won't believe your complaints about the exam board anyway, and assume you and Drama are rubbish.

    Edexcel coin it even more by getting you to do the convoluted admin for free, while building in impossibilities to the admin to ensure you muck up.

    Drama as a subject is nearly impossible to mark anyway, and it will always be subjective.

    Your fellow Drama teachers DO THE DIRTY ON YOU as moderators by marking your kids down (and thereby threatening the very existence of educational Drama, including their own jobs) when they become examiners and moderators. Flushed with the excitement of being out of school, being treated like God when they turn up to examine, and loving the power they feel at that moment as they moan about everything in place in your school, they feel their (subjective) judgement is right no matter what, by mere dint of being appointed the examiner.

    Everybody has lost sight of what matters in educational drama, and Drama GCSE's anyway, so whatever we have is a dogs dinner of an exam system, which does not try to please everybody, oh no, and ends up pleasing nobody beyond those making money out of your students distress, and your distress.

    What matters are the actual students themselves, but their agenda is way out on the margins in the melee of

    Course meetings, deadlines, chief examiners, line manager pressure, admin, technical issues, competition with other schools, the need to drive D students up to C (rather than actually educate!) and so on.

    If you earn extra money as a Edexcel moderator or examiner you may not realise how much you are despised, by me at least, and I suspect by many others. However this will never show as everybody fawns over you when you visit in the hope of getting decent marks.

    Mind you, all the efforts of the decent Drama teachers STILL doesn't matter, because you're STILL gonna get rubbish marks whatever you do.

    Drama teachers are killing educational Drama when they support such a flawed examination system. Look back in this forum at the threads each year around results and you will see what I mean.

    I am out of the game now, so have no axe to grind, but until Drama practitioners grow some, then it will always be rubbish, and the subject will die.

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