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Ofqual rescues ‘wrongly entered’ GCSE pupils from failure but who is to blame for the mix-up?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. install

    install Star commenter

    1 Do you think it is currently consistent? Is 15 percent to get a 4 too easy?

    2 Do you just teach Maths and no other gcses at all? How long have you been teaching/ examining for?

    3 What do you think happens to students who get a grade 1, 2, 3?
  2. install

    install Star commenter

    Or maybe - I am right. 15 percent to get a grade 4 - really? It doesn't seem right...

    As for 'obtuse' - love it..That might be a triangle according to Mr Maker ..lol:p
  3. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Don't forget that it isn't the % that gets the grade but the UMS score. So presumably 15% on the H paper gets the same UMS score as 60% on the F paper. So why are you not saying that 60% sounds too high for a meagre 4?
  4. jcstev

    jcstev New commenter


    I currently teach GCSE Maths (KS, and also KS) in an 11-16 school. Within the past 5 years I have also taught
    - A-level Maths
    - A-level Further Maths
    - A-level Use of Maths
    -GCSE Maths (resit) and Functional Skills - so I know what happens to students who get below grade 4/C
    - BTEC Science (level 2 and 3)
    -and also line managed Psychology and Geography

    (And in the 15 years before that a similar mix, including multiple versions of tiering).

    I've been examining for 4 years.

    I think that when a tier covers 6 grades, 15% is a reasonable mark to award the lowest available grade.

    The structure of Maths exams means that the questions aimed at grades 4 and 5 appear on both tiers, which means there is a consistency of standard when awarding these grades on either tier (on both tiers students have to get the same questions right).

    I've answered your questions, now your turn.

    1) What is your definition of consistency?

    2) What have you taught, when and for how long?

    3) Do you think the "pass" grade should be the one that allows progress to A-level?
    border_walker, nervousned and strawbs like this.
  5. install

    install Star commenter

    So you have only taught for 5 yrs and only have main experience of teaching one subject and then btec science?

    1. Consistency = A standard across all gcses - not just tiers within one gcse
    2.I have taught over 20 years. Biology GCSE and Pe. Have also taught RE at GCSE and A Level. I have examined gcse and A Level for over 15 years
    3. I think a pass grade of 4 is not acceptable. A 5 or above is though.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
  6. jcstev

    jcstev New commenter

    You need to read my post again - I've taught for 20 years, not 5.

    How would you establish consistent standards across subjects?

    You haven't answered my question 3 the way I meant it. I'm not asking what grade is enough to go on to A-level (which for Maths would be 7, not 5) - I'm asking if you think that any grade described as a "pass" should allow a student to progress to A-level.

    You didn't answer my question 2 properly - I asked "when", not just for how long? Are you a current teacher?
  7. jcstev

    jcstev New commenter

    @install I don't have a proposal to ensure consistency across subjects because I don't think there's a problem. I would expect there to be different % needed to get the same grade in different subjects.

    A pass rate of 15% would be worrying. However, a pass mark of 15% to get the lowest grade on a tier covering 6 grades is reasonable.

    You do say there is a problem, but I don't think you understand what you're talking about, and we're going round in.circles.
    blazer likes this.
  8. install

    install Star commenter

    Lol..:D:pTbh I agree about the 'circles' you are in , but I think you are struggling to continue because it has got to the point of your proposal but you cant give one. Because you cannot absorb the full problem or comprehend what 'consistency' means outside of Maths tiers. Maybe you are blinded because you are too close to the problem.

    There is clearly a problem though with gcses - and maybe you are naive to it. Just look at the thread title..Consider the recent changes to all gcses too..To not see a problem or to pretend that everything is perfect sounds a little odd. I suspect there are more problems to come. And time will tell...

    Even so - good luck and happy teaching.
  9. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    I agree. I’ve always thought 1 tier, no time limit. Or sensible very long time to finish exam. Eg 90 marks 2 hours, gives all the chance of accessing all questions. The middle bottom could be advised to stop at such and such a question, but be given the freedom to access the higher qs.
    install likes this.
  10. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    Yes, quite like this on demand idea. But it’s probably a logistical nightmare to do it properly. Early entry should have been like this. All entered for foundation then now you’ve got a C you are being entered for HT next year. Solves needing the safety net. Anyway I’m entering all my target 3s for HT next year! LOL.
    install likes this.
  11. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    But the grinding halt shouldn’t be grinding, it should just be a halt. Well done you got to q5 this time. Next time we will be aiming for q6 style qs. But I do get the demoralising thing, and do feel the pain. Special consideration here at the basics end.
    Catgirl1964 and install like this.
  12. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Still doesn't solve the teaching problem. Are you really going to waste hours of the lower ability kids time covering topics that they have no chance on earth of understanding. Time that could be spent covering the stuff they need to master to get a 4.
  13. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    My school is not accepting people below 7 onto A level maths courses. I don’t have a problem with the 15% pass mark, I have a problem with the 3 given for anything below this, how low did it go? So zero on this paper would give 2 grades higher than some who took foundation. What’s to stop gaming next year?
    install likes this.
  14. install

    install Star commenter

    Good point.I have come across schools accepting lower. And is it the same for other A levels at your school- in terms of having to have a 7? Why is this do you think - do they doubt the gcse grade 5 and 6 in Maths as being appropriate?.
  15. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I agree that on demand exams on the scale of GCSE are impracticable - they were more my ideal for structured, proper assessment of achievement in a subject.
    Install still doesn't get that all students from history might be able to answer a question about (say) the causes of WW2, while few low ability students would be able to factorise a quadratic equation and the high ability students would get bored ploughing through 1/4 + 0.5 (and then not have enough time to assess the full breadth of the level 9 content). I think Install's trying to trick me into arguing for the return of O levels and CSEs.
    yodaami2 and install like this.
  16. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I will say it again. Level 4 is a poor grade, equivalent to either a grade D or a poor grade C.
    it is enough to let the kid off yet more compulsory maths. That is all. They probably ought to be doing more maths though.
    I agree with Install that 15% doesn't say much about a student and that they should really have done the foundation tier.
    Proper assessment on a wide ranging subject like maths should involve the student being able to do more than 15%. However, you have to be able to sort out the bottom end with something if they do badly.
    Catgirl1964 and install like this.
  17. Robfreeman

    Robfreeman Occasional commenter

    Isn't that why we used to have intermediate tier?
    nervousned and Catgirl1964 like this.
  18. install

    install Star commenter

    According to the original thread Ofqual 'lowered the safety net' to 'save' the grades of 4,700 students - so that they could get a 3,3 and not a U. All entered for the Higher Tier. There are still loads of students who got a U on the Higher Tier?

    Had there been no tiers, this problem might not have happened? And those that got a grade 'U' would not have done so?
  19. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    Historically you could get an A level grade that was effectively an O Level pass grade.
    install likes this.
  20. install

    install Star commenter

    I agree. And it gets more interesting here. Can you remember what the A Level grade was that equated to the O level pass? Was it a an A Level Grade D or E?

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