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Discussion in 'Religious Education' started by san38, Aug 24, 2010.
Thank you! Keep me posted on your results.
I've had some of my remarks back on B602. Some have changed by two grades, some by one grade and some not at all. This does make you feel confident in the remark system, which is positive. However despite the remark they are still a poor set of results and I feel strongly that there are inherent problems with this new GCSE. The 12 mark evaluation question, which is half the allocation of marks, is asking for something above GCSE. Even the AS doesn't have a weighting of 50% evaluation. The students have a quarter of an hour to write a discursive essay on a challenging topic. The essay I was shown that was full marks on the 'science and religion' topic had references to Schleiermacher and paradigm shifts. That is beyond GCSE and the mark scheme does not ask for scholarship. I think OCR need to reconsider the weighting on this paper. As a department we can tolerate one year's worth of bad results but not two and so inevitably we will begin to look elsewhere.
Sadly, my understanding is that the weighting was imposed from Ofqual/QCA and all boards have this weighting. OCR do need to reconsider their expectations for level 4 answers, perhaps.
I'd be interested to know from people which papers they've been affected on. Delahay was obviously B602; my worse one was B603 (the A* to C for both 603 and 604 was about the same [and still down on the previous five years, though I'm comparing Y10 with Y11]; it was the A* and A for B603 that was terrifyingly low).
I couldn't agree more. Our grades dropped significantly and we have had some of our remarks back and they are very mixed. We have some very bright students but the expectations are incredibly high and our students should not be expected to answer questions at this level. We are looking around to a possible move away from OCR . This will cost hours, time and money, but I can't bear to see their faces drop as it did this year due to these results. This exam makes us look like we are teachers that have limited subject knowledge. I hate this exam and OCR needs to be aware that there could be a mass exodus away from this board.
That is correct - 2 assessment objectives weighted at 50/50 rather than 75 (AO1 & 2) / 25 (AO3) previously. This is directly from QCA and any papers not showing that weighting will be deemed invalid.
Where exam boards seem to differ is in how they devise their questions to meet this increased allocation of marks for evaluation. If they have just one question worth a lot of marks, I can see that many candidates will not achieve the higher marks. If you have 2 separate questions each worth fewer marks but totalling 50% as required, I suspect it is easier to gain higher marks. This should be covered when grade boundaries are decided though - maybe this is the problem. At least some remarks are bringing some students a just result.
Simply, what will happen is that schools will pull RE if they don't get the results. It does no one any favours if the lowest grade students get is their RE grade. It is already hard enough to compete for attention against core subjects. I would like to see all the exam boards test pupils on the role the 6 major religions have in the world and increase their understanding of how culture not religion shape people's lives. They want to know about Religious tradtions, why Sunni and Shiah Muslims opposed each other in Iraq, does Islam require women to wear the hajib? Do they really have to know loads of Bible quotes and how to apply them in all situations. In Key Stage 3 the magic of RE comes alive as we explore together traditions, festivals , origins and the practices of our major religions. We lose that magic at Key Stage 4 as we load them with quotes, people's opinions and teach them to jump through hoops. They love the debates and the frank discussions about issues such as abortion and Euthanasia. Sadly we don't have enough of those because we are so worried that they don't have enough subject knowledge or they won't be able to use that information to evaluate in the greatest detail to achieve the highest marks.
I also have grave concerns about the new spec. Yes, RS must be regarded as an academic subject; to make it all but inaccesssible to a few is a move too far however. Section E is too heavily weighted and little or no guidance is given to centres as to how to obtain 10 marks or above. As a previous poster stated, it seems the skills required here are almost those taught to AS standard. I think OCR have scored a massive own goal. This new exam is already causing many propblems and will only reinforce negative perceptions of RE by learners. Quite frankly, I'm horrified for the children I teach.After much soul-searching and many years of satisfaction with 1931[legacy spec] I'm off to WJEC. I just cant ignore the wealth of anecdotal evidence or the very real drop in results repoprted by schools. I just hope[but i very much doubt] that OCR is listening.
I'm heading to an exam feedback course in November. unless I gain some assurance there that lessons have been learnt this year then I will be off - I'm sure they will say it takes time to bed in a new spec but sorry not good enough - my kids deserves the appropriate marks now. Sixth forms and my performance management take no account of exam boards mucking around with specifications and expecting everyone else to wait patiently while they sort themselves out!
Firstly I mark for OCR on the B601/ B603. I have also marked on 1931 (all philosophy and ethics)
I think the new Spec is good. I may be biased but as the QCA wanted the spec tests a wider range of skills ans allows for higher order thinking and literacy skills.
You need to remember that for the E part / 12 mark question you are not just been asked to compare two views, indeed you are being asked to compare, evaluate and argue against. The answer should be an interwoven piece of logical yet well evaluated arguments.
Candidates will not achieve more than 6 out of 12 if their personal view is not there and importantly supported.
I had a year 9 class do very well in the B603 in the January and in June 74% got A*-C and they were year 9.
The skills not the content should be the focus of the lessons. If so your groups will do well.
And can I add the B601 and other units had a rigorous quality control before the results were published in August.
okay 7-9 marks:
Candidates will demonstrate a sound understanding of the question.
* Selection of relevant material with appropriate development
*Evidence of appropriate personal response
*Justified arguments- supported by some discussion
*Information will be presented in a structured format
*Appropriate reference to the religion studied
* Specialist terms will be used appropriately and for the most part correctly
*There may be occasional errors in SpAG
Ans reflect the significance of the issues raised
* Clear evidence of an appropriate response - fully supported
* A range of points of view supported by justified arguments
*Clear and organised presentation
*Clear reference to the religion studied
*Specialist terms will be used appropriately and correctly
*Few, if any errors in SpAg
I agree, but, to me what seems even more ridiculous is the amount they expect you to write and the time they expect you to do it in. I found that some of my more intelligent pupils couldn't show this in the exam because they couldn't write all that they knew in the very small amount of time given.