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OCR GCSE results - how did you do?

Discussion in 'Religious Education' started by san38, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. I am very disappointed with our RE results. They were way down on expectations and I have a direct comparison as half my RE classes also are also in my OCR Citizenship classes . RE got 28% in comparison with Citizenship that got 57%. It seems absolutely crazy as this is almost double. Every Citizenship student also takes RE and this is a marked contrast. I have analyzed our Citizenship and many of these kids are 1-2 marks off of a D and can make it up with their 60% controlled asssessment. I can not do the same with my RE classes as it is going to be hard to get some of these students over the C-D borderline.
  2. Interesting to read this first post and the successive replies. We are in exactly the same position and have dropped from continuous results ranging from high 60s to 80%+. Last year we had a significant drop and were down to 61%, from the previous year's 84%. We sent around 60 papers for remarking, none of which were altered, obviously costing several hundred pounds. I recalled many papers to check the marking which, frankly, was appalling. On one question, for example, three students wrote virtually the same thing, one answer scored 8 out of 8, another scored 5, another scored 3. The only thing that stopped us appealing was the cost implication. We crossed our fingers that this year the marking would be back to normal, but we are now down to 57%, our worst results ever. Three years ago, OCR's RS results were over inflated. We got our best results ever - 87% with a cohort of 280 'bog standard' students, with 120 A and A* grades. Even we could see that some students who didn't really deserve As got them. As a result, other boards complained to QCA about OCR. This information came from a colleague of mine who has marked for many years for AQA. Clearly, OCR have had their wrists slapped and had tightened up their marking. However, this is grossly unfair on centres and, most of all, our students. I am writing to the board to insist that any changes to marking regulations be communicated to centres, otherwise we will be changing exam boards. I would urge everyone else who has had a similar experience to do the same.
  3. Our Year 11 results were the worst ever with 16% not achieving their estimated grade. I have never had this before. Worse still 2 Year 10 groups were entered for a module of the new spec Philosophy and Ethics. All were expected to get C or above - only 3 did. I am at a loss to know what to do next. I have just learned that it costs £62 for each remark and as money is limited I doubt school will bother.
  4. san38

    san38 New commenter

    This is so unfair and it leaves me at a loss of knowing what to do. I agree - around 3 years ago results were inflated but we have been at a steady 65% ish for 3 years. Thre has now been this plummet of over 20% and I don't know where to go. If the exam board don't budge there is no way I can pay for 10% of our 300 entries to be re-marked. The joke is that many of the kids have now left and won't be losing too much sleep, our SLT won't care as they've got great results overall and it's 'only RE'. Myself and my colleagues however now feel that our competence will be under question, our pay progression threatened - oh, and OFSTED are due before Xmas and will probably be expecting me to have an explanation ready. I despair...
  5. delahay

    delahay New commenter

    Oh dear! We've put in for a remark. I'm not hopeful.
  6. To give you an idea of the extent of the damage- these are full course kids.
    3 years in a row high 80's (including this years year 11). These pupils were very mixed ability.
    This year's "high acheiving" and hard working year 10's -only 35% got a C or above. Nothing higher than a b.
    Remarks won't get funded. Is there a breakdown of grade distrubiton somewhere? The SMT that I talked to said the decent grades must have gone somewhere....
  7. Firstly can I just say that I am so happy that there are others out there that feel like me! I really thought at one point that it was me!

    I am so frustrated at this whole situation that I do not know what to do!

    In January my year 10's sat thier B603 and gained 88% A*-B.....so you can imagine my suprise when their results this time around were 50% grade B-C...not one pupil got a A or a A*! How can this be! even if i was a bad teacher these guys are high achieving! and obviously proved they had the exam skills in Januray!

    My year 11's had 52 % A*C in January.....and that has fallen to 11%! this is soooooooooooo bad! (new spec, short course)

    In contrast my year 11 pupils who sat the full course (old spec) got 88% A*-C (there were 35 pupils)...!

    so basically everyone who sat the new spec this time round got slaughtered!

    I am so upset and don't know what to do! This sisn't what we expected at all! OCR are no help at all! I have to go through the procedure of re-mark....but to access that procedure it will cost me £2000....as I had a cohort of 200 pupils who sat the exam...!I don't have the budget...and there is no guarantee the mark will go up!

    what to do?!!!
  8. How about a petition or a joint letter...? there seems to be loades of us who are not happy????
  9. I would gp along with this. Anything to try to get to the bottom of why year 10 failed so miserably.
  10. Oh, I agree with all of this. I am SO disappointed with our Year 10 results - it was the GCSE short course Phil and Ethics on the old spec. We got 18% A*-C, no A*s or As..... the 7 students who did the full course did better but they were able students who made the short course up to a full course in an after school class. I changed from AQA to OCR in 2008 as I thought it would be more appropriate and accessible for our students. Our results inmproves that year but dropped last and this year. I am confused about what to do as I was going to ensure this year Years 10 would be entered for the new spec but after what everyone has sais on here I just don't knowd
  11. I think schools should get together and go to the press. This is unfair and lowers the profile of RE in schools. If Senior Management see that RE is under performing so drastically compared to other subjects they may just decide it is no longer required as a subject. Our school will be putting all our 2010/2011 cohort through to complete the full course in June. As you will all know that is when it starts to impact on the whole school results. Many of the schools that have posted poor results now face an uphill battle to achieve even 50% A*-C. I find it demoralizing and unfair on the students as well as us as we are in the business of getting results for our students. There has to be some recourse other than just sending in remarks and spending thousands of pounds to have these exams remarked. Think about it , who is winning here? Oh it could be OCR!!!!
  12. Putting my head above the parapet here as a senior examiner on this spec...I am not representing OCR in any capacity, official or otherwise. Just trying to use my knowledge of this spec to help my colleagues out.
    Firstly if you are really concerned you must ask for remarks - I would agree with the colleagues who suggested selecting a sample across your entry, this will be enough to show if the examiner who marked your school had a general problem and you will hear about that from the report the re-marker (who will not be the same person!) sends in. We work very hard through the summer to 'catch' markers who aren't keeping the standard, but no system is perfect. (Remember marks can go down as well though!).
    I would also like to make some points about the spec though, because I do believe it is a good one, and improves on the one it replaces vastly, which can only be good for our subject. It is an academic subject and it should be assessed academically.
    The new levels of response (parts d and e - available from OCR website) and the modular format of the qualification do not allow for totally generic material to be credited as highly as has been the case in the past. Then there is the new question structure - the new e part, 12 mark questions. These are <u>extremely</u> different to the old evaluation question. Answers following the old 'forumla' that used to get 5 out of 5 on the old 1031/1931 spec will not get full marks under the new levels. This forumlaic style (1 paragraph my view, 1 paragraph someone elses view, 1 paragaph religious view) gives answers of a lower standard, when the descriptors for the top levels require discussion, justified argument and engagement with the issue. In addition very able candidates may have spent a long time on the a, b and c parts, presuambly because they felt the questions was so obvious that there had to be some hidden requirement - there was not! If they are writing half a page or more for 2 or 3 marks when a sentence, or for some questions single words would have got them those marks then they lack time to address the mroe complex questions. basically These new questions require candidates to develop more in the way of exam technique and time management skills than they have needed in the past.
    I understand the anger that so many of you have, and I sympathise. But I do dare to assume that as you become more familiar with the questions and new marking requirements your results will head back where they were before.
    I hope I have been helpful, and you won't take your anti-OCR feeling out on me!
  13. poppy2004

    poppy2004 New commenter

    To be fair though pookie42 - it just seems to be OCR who is being focused on on this board. Other teachers who use other exam boards seem happy enough and they are facing the same issues as everyone else with new content and structure.
    I think it would be worth getting full feedback from everyone about all the exam boards - is anyone else unhappy with other exam boards? I am guessing not...
  14. san38

    san38 New commenter

    Thanks for your input pookie - am grateful. I started this post and as you are a senior examiner I would be really grateful for your advice on what you think I should do in my situation. Really can't afford to ask for 10% of cohort to be re-marked as if I am wrong the bill would be un-payable ( I enter 300). School have agreed that they wil pay for 10 students to be re-marked and papers returned so that I can have a look and see where I think have gone wrong, or where we think the marking is harsh. Whilst thinking this is a good idea I am also frustrated with the fact that IF these 10 do go up I have probably left it too late to get the rest re-marked and again there is the huge financial risk that I'm sure I would not be able to take. I feel like I have no real option other than to take it on the chin and this is depressing for my own sake and for the morale and reputation of the dept. I know you are only speaking on your own behalf, but if you were in this situation (as explained more fully in my first post) what do you think you would do?

  15. san38

    san38 New commenter

    Oh - just to clarify _ am actually talking about the legacy 1031 short course NOT the new spec. The comments on here are really worrying in that regard - but I'm trying to obsess about one thing at a time!
  16. The first thing is that you have until December to submit enquiries (at least that is when I am booked up until...) but my understanding is that if you representative sample raises concerns at the remark then you can request OCR to do a full remark, if they agree that an 'extended review of marking' is warranted my understanding is you shouldn't be charged. There is a lot more info in the JCQ guide on this, which you can find here http://www.jcq.org.uk/attachments/published/1257/13.%20Post%20Results%20Services%20Booklet%2010-11.pdf . or via the exams officer post-results admin section on the OCR website. You want specifically to look at section 6.7 on pg 10. The first lot shouldn't take long to come back to you either - the re-marker has a strict deadline to hit!
    I do understand that it is a blow to morale for results to take a dip like this, a lot of subjects will have done so on the new specs. Personally I wouldn't change boards straight away though, I have been through a rushed board change (for A level) for this reason and I would argue that even with changed assessment criteria you are still in the right 'space' in a way you may not be with another board. I would read the Chief Examiners reports when they come out, practice with the new levels of response till I'm sick of them and give it another year, using that time to review the other boards as well. Maybe get onto one of the INSET courses OCR runs if that is an option for you (I know that its hard in some schools) because that would give you the chance to a) talk to a senior examiner about your concerns and any questions you have and b) you would get to have a look at some papers and discuss how they were marked, how the standard was set and why it was all done that way.
    I hope that's helpful?
  17. Hi Poppy2004.
    I was under the impression OCR was being focussed on here because the original post was about OCR results. I would be surprised if everyone is happy with their exam results from other boards, but I do realise it is the scale of discontent you are talking about...
    Obviously I am not an expert on the other boards results tables; but from what I know my opinion, and I accept it is just my opinion, is that general perception was OCR was the easy option, AQA the real toughie and Edexcel somewhere in the middle. I am talking here about the perceived academic rigour applied in the marking and the subject specific knowledge and skills required for the top grades.
    If there is no discontent with the other boards new specs then perhaps it is because they were not making changes on the same scale...not knowing the legacy specs well I can't say for certain about them but for OCR the changes have been huge! It's not only the shift in levels requirements I mentioned before, the new modular system is a massive step change from the old 1031/1931 structure, - I can't really go into details about grade awards and the statistical way results on those papers had to work together, (mostly because the maths is beyond me!) but I believe the new system is actually much fairer, and differentiates between the abilties of candidates far better.
    I can accept that creates an issue in relation to the results schools are used to expecting but I would expect any major change in any subject to produce the same temporary problem.
  18. I'm not talking about the new spec or new levels, but the final year of the old legacy spec. 1931. Great results every year, then appalling results. Every year we recall a few papers to use as specimens for our next year's classes. Last year's marking bore no resemble to what had gone before and I'm pretty sure this year's will look the same given the results. Not fair on us, not fair on the students and a very good reason to change boards. As a senior examiner I hope you report the general discontent to whoever it is who needs to know.
  19. Trust me, they do know.
    I am surprised and concerned to hear that the legacy took such a dip for you...and I appreciate how the past couple of years have shown a change...I can only tell you that the senior teams on the new specs are working very hard to create a consistent standard and will continue to do so. I'd like to think we deserve the benefit of the doubt for at least a second year, but I can't make it be so.
    I have focussed on the new spec in my posts because this summer was the last session for the legacy, and I'm afraid I am a bit obsessed with the differences between them, as you probably spotted...however enquires about results rules are the same for the legacy as the new spec and if you really feel your students have been treated unfairly, well - that is what the system is there for, please use it!
  20. Unfortunately, the cost of remarks last year with no change to the papers means I cannot afford to take this risk again, with a budget cut. I have raised this with the board and I look forwward to the response from the complaints department at OCR.

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