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Moving from OCR to Edexcel

Discussion in 'Music' started by qu1annie, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. After being a big fan of OCR for many years and achieved some really good results, after this summer's results, I've lost confidence with them (due to grade boundaries being moved in units where the tasks have stayed the same and some very poor moderation - which I will be appealing but that's going to take time - the report said the marks was generally accurate, but some candidates have been changed by up to 8 marks - generally accurate to me means 1 or 2!) There's also been some very bizarre marking in the Creative Task, and they haven't published the report so I can't even see at the moment where it's gone wrong. Not helpful when I need to get my arguments for SLT sorted! (Though I'm bottom of the pile - English is more crucial!)
    I'm now considering a move to Edexcel, and after some advice - I've gone through the spec and it seems to be very straightforward and clear cut, however I'm a bit worried about the budgetary considerations as I don't have that much budget left and will need to buy anthologies etc. What resources would you consider necessary - any good books etc? and how do you manage the anthologies? (When I taught A-Level many moons ago, we had a copy for each pupil, but then gave them a photocopy as well to scribble on.) I've got a few schools near me who teach Edexcel so I can get past papers etc. from them. There doesn't seem to be as many complaints about Edexcel GCSE.
    I'm also tempted to swap my year 11s over as the controlled assessments they've done could meet the criteria, however I'm a little concerned I'd have to get them through all the set works in a year. Has anyone done this? Or am I being stupid for even considering this?
    Any advice is gratefully received
     
  2. After being a big fan of OCR for many years and achieved some really good results, after this summer's results, I've lost confidence with them (due to grade boundaries being moved in units where the tasks have stayed the same and some very poor moderation - which I will be appealing but that's going to take time - the report said the marks was generally accurate, but some candidates have been changed by up to 8 marks - generally accurate to me means 1 or 2!) There's also been some very bizarre marking in the Creative Task, and they haven't published the report so I can't even see at the moment where it's gone wrong. Not helpful when I need to get my arguments for SLT sorted! (Though I'm bottom of the pile - English is more crucial!)
    I'm now considering a move to Edexcel, and after some advice - I've gone through the spec and it seems to be very straightforward and clear cut, however I'm a bit worried about the budgetary considerations as I don't have that much budget left and will need to buy anthologies etc. What resources would you consider necessary - any good books etc? and how do you manage the anthologies? (When I taught A-Level many moons ago, we had a copy for each pupil, but then gave them a photocopy as well to scribble on.) I've got a few schools near me who teach Edexcel so I can get past papers etc. from them. There doesn't seem to be as many complaints about Edexcel GCSE.
    I'm also tempted to swap my year 11s over as the controlled assessments they've done could meet the criteria, however I'm a little concerned I'd have to get them through all the set works in a year. Has anyone done this? Or am I being stupid for even considering this?
    Any advice is gratefully received
     
  3. I did the whole course in one year with my current group, and they did really well. BUT it was a twilight class, so only six of them, and they were all very motivated. I didn't have to chase homeworks, or remind them to take notes etc, and they did almost all their performance preparation at home.
    Regarding resources, the set of three practice papers from Pearson are very useful (the Rhinegold ones are not so good - and you have to find the right place in the CD, a real faff!). I've provided each pupil in Years 10 and 11 with a copy of the Pearson student book (green spine) which they use for homeworks as well as in lessons, and I have enough anthologies for 1 each during lessons (they don't write on them - and I suspect that only the potential A* pupils would benefit from that sort of detail, anyway). The CGP revision guide is useful for cover lessons etc, so I have enough for 1 between 2. You will also need the anthology CD, which is about £30 - those are the recordings that are used in the exam paper, so they benefit from hearing them, rather than other versions on youtube, i-tunes etc.
    If you do switch, can you ask for more funding for the anthologies and textbooks? Since there are no plans to change the spec, they will last for years.
     
  4. Although I'm not planning on moving boards at this time I'm also baffled by the boundaries and the way they have adjusted marks. However, the Creative Task marks are just bizarre.

    Before sending the work off we had 3 music teachers assess the work and whilst there were discrepancies between us it was a matter of 1 or 2 marks. The marks from OCR have come back all over the place. The difference from our average was anywhere from 0 to 12.5 marks down. Our 'B' grade drummer got full marks but our 'A' grade singer got less then half and was our joint worst mark. Whilst it's not the best melodic composition she did everything technically correct and performed it quite nicely. More to the point - my understanding of the assessment is that marks are awarded out of 30 with no half marks but she was awarded 27/60. How can this be?

    Whilst overall the grades are okay with no one really underperforming - the Creative Task marks have cost a few people a grade higher that they probably should have got!

    Very, very disappointing from OCR.
     
  5. I was also baffled by the boundaries and the marking of my Creative Tasks. However I can clear up your singer - the conversion from raw marks to UMS marks involves complex equations to take into account the changing grade boundaries - hence one of my pupils got 29/30 but full UMS marks.
    I'm seriously unimpressed about the change in boundaries in unit 1 and unit 2 when the tasks haven't changed, and I actually thought that this summer's Creative Task was harder than the January one especially with the drummers who had to cope with 6/8 so why this necessitated another rise in grade boundaries I'm not sure. The Creative task is going up in value under the new specification - 20% rather than 15% and I think I'd rather have only three things to concentrate one rather than have to build in anymore time into preparing for the Creative task.
    Thanks for the advice about Edexcel - I'm now fairly convinced I'm going to change my year 10s over. I just need to grovel to SLT for some more money in order to buy resources or I'm going to have stick with OCR. I also think it will weed out fairly quickly the ones I'd really like to lose from the course anyway.



     

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