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Discussion in 'History' started by yellowledbetter, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. Help! I'm an NQT currently teaching OCR F961 at AS Level and am having a bit of trouble regarding how to go about the structure of the essays. I've trawled the mark scheme and examiner's reports and taught the essays as best as I know how but am just wanting some clarification. Does anyone else teach this and have any hints/guides etc?

    Our results with OCR this year were very poor; all of our students were A/B grade and some of them ended up with Ds and Es on this module. OCR have not held any courses for this and any help from them has been inadequate, to say the least. I know OCR are notorious for rubbish, erratic and unclear marking, which eases my dilemma somewhat, but I'm still very aware that I'm an NQT and will, as a result, take any potentially bad marks personally!
  2. MarkJH

    MarkJH New commenter

    I am afraid that we moved from OCR for the very reasons you indicate: inexplicable and completely inconsistent marking and inadequate support. Entering candidates for resits is one way of addressing the problems-I have had students go from Us in June to high As in January for no apparent reason ! To be honest our candidates generally did well on the essay paper (we did British Foreign Policy 1945-90); it was the source paper that was all over the place. Which 961 option are you doing?
  3. We do Early Modern Britain. Most of them resat this year but the questions were exceptionally tricky (two questions came up that had never been worded like that before, even in the old spec) which led a lot of our students to think they'd be resitting AGAIN in June. HOD thinking that we may switch to Edexcel if the results aren't brilliant again; they were very high the previous year but that may have been because it was a new specification. Which exam board are you now with and how do you find them in terms of quality of support?
  4. Hi - we teach this unit, I am currently teaching the Elizabeth I topic. We have put together some planning resources for students to use when thinking about essay structure etc. I am happy to let you have them to adapt for your own topic if it would help.

    The main issue we focus on is dissecting the meaning of the question so that they understand what is being asked of them, and then they can decide what kind of structure to use. Once they get their head around this it seems more straightforward. Last year we got 8 A grades out of 12 so must be doing something right? I agree that OCR guidelines are vague though!

    If you are interested in sharing resources let me have your email address and I will forward them on to you!
  5. MarkJH

    MarkJH New commenter

    We have moved back to AQA from this year. I like the structure of the OCR course but their marking has become increasingly erratic and (possibly connected with this) their mark schemes seem impossibly vague and abstruse. In particular quite how students are supposed to reach the highest levels of the Assessment Objectives for the investigations element of F965 in essays of 2,000 words or less is beyond me-and I have 20 years teaching and examining experience.

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