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Summer exams 2021... teacher assessments must be the way ahead for this year?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by red_observer, Aug 12, 2020.

  1. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    Following on from an excellent point from @install i want to start a debate on this. Are we going to let another year go by where uncertainty for teachers, students, parents and employers just “wait and see” how Covid pans out or can we get sone stability in our classrooms by opting for no exams next summer and teacher assessment only?
    1 it gives y11 and Y13 classes the certainty that their work will be assessed on a regular basis and the data means something. Their homework will count towards it and not just based on end of course exams.
    2 it will bring stability across the country. No more will there or won’t there be exams this bring ls it to an end in the hope they a vaccine is found and then rolled out before September 2021.
    3 even if there are more lockdowns and a return to on line leaning then this won’t put doubt into the system about whether there will be exams next year or not.
    4 internal exams and mocks take more seriousness for everyone.

    Anything to add? Anything to counter this view?

    I’m hooked on it now!
  2. install

    install Star commenter

    Thanks @red_observer

    I know some schools would prefer Teacher Assessments in 2021.The Gvt have already done a Consultation to find out what might help for exams and have decided on taking some content out for some subjects. Teacher Assessments rather than an uncertain year of well being and possibly more exam stress would be better in my view.

    So I agree with all your points , except pt4. Mock exams come in many shapes and guises and are done in a range of conditions ( possibly nothing like the real exams). They also sometimes use past papers - all available prior to the mock exams, along with answers.

    I think schools might do their own assessments but ultimately those agreed final Teacher Assessments/ rankings should be seen as nearer to the final grades than any mock exams.
    eleanorms and red_observer like this.
  3. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    Good point about past exams and mark schemes and perhaps schools would have to come up with their own mocks and Mark schemes which could be approved by examining boards?
    eleanorms and install like this.
  4. install

    install Star commenter

    Good idea.

    One disadvantage - It ends up being a cycle whereby teachers possibly end up taking on the role of exam markers but with no time afforded to do the job. It’s teachers doing exam marking by the back door. And still no moderation of grades across the country.

    Better to rely on Teacher Assessments and rankings at the end of the Course, signed off by each school and sent off.
  5. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I think teacher assessment is a good idea but it must be standardised in some way. Maybe exam boards could produce some assessment materials that must be done under exam conditions. Looks like the modular system had some benefits!
    It would almost certainly result in more homework being done and handed in!
    eleanorms, install and red_observer like this.
  6. rararasputin

    rararasputin Lead commenter

    I don't know about other exam boards but for Edexcel the previous year's papers can't be accessed by pupils so they could be used as mock exams.
    install likes this.
  7. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Senior commenter


    Teacher assessment is worthless in my experience.

    Having ran BTECs for years, when they were all teacher assessed.

    It was near impossible to retain any integrety.

    3/4 of teachers lied.

    1/4 who didn't were hounded, harassed, bullied, bribed, threatened and basically made to rue the day they were born.

    By managers, colleagues, students and parents.

    The result was a potentially thoroughly decent qualification not worth the paper it was written on.

    I held out for years, throughout several changes of schools but surcombed in the end, life went from intolerable to reasonably comfortable over night. But I still feel guilty.

    Please don't put any other staff in that position.

    Please don't put students in the position of having worked for a qualification not worth jack****

    Exactly the same situation with controlled assessments, some schools ran them under exam conditions, others wrote out the markscheme in "pupil speak" and handed it out.

    As a TA, I regularly saw teachers dictate the answers to students.

    It meant students who did it under exam conditions properly, were severely disadvantaged.

    Whatever happens, we need some sort of external grading
  8. install

    install Star commenter

    That is true but they can be accessed nevertheless by schools.
  9. install

    install Star commenter

    Agree. The real exams are without doubt far more accurate. I would also hate to see a return to Cwk. I don’t agree that BTECs are not worth anything though because they are.

    The problem is it hasn’t been external grading this year. So a precedent is being set suggesting external grades are equal to mock exams or Teacher Assessments. By Teacher Assessments I don’t mean Cwk. These would be the Teacher Assessment Grades overall along with ranking as was done in 2020.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
  10. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Senior commenter

    BTECs are a great qualification that can really set a young person up for the next step. However, when it was entirely teacher assessed, the actual grades meant nothing, as you couldn't tell an outstanding student from a student whos teacher had just given them an outstanding grade.
    nervousned and install like this.
  11. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    install likes this.
  12. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    Good post
    BelleDuJour and install like this.
  13. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    A good and fair reply.
    I too saw controlled assessments being abused especially by one of our departments I should have reported them.

    I am still hanging out for the professional judgement of teachers to return to the profession and although I agree with exams and external assessment this would be for 2020/2021 just to get rid of the uncertainty next year brings @Corvuscorax20 ?
    install likes this.
  14. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    And just did this year.
    install likes this.
  15. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    Well that is clearly wrong for teachers to behave like that but maybe understandable if they have a good teaching relationship with their pupils over a number of years?
    install likes this.
  16. install

    install Star commenter

    I suspect slt types put pressure on teachers too be more lenient with their marking.

    The elephant in the room is also (easier) igcses of course. Allowed in private schools but not state schools. Another system which seems to punish the poor in my view.
  17. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    Well we should abolish private schools anyway...
    install and emerald52 like this.
  18. eleanorms

    eleanorms Occasional commenter

    Appreciate I'm biased, but as a parent of a Year 11 next year, it does feel as though they are actually the ones really losing out. Nobody either in government or in the profession, rightly of course, wants to unfairly penalise this year's cohort, who had no choice in this mess. So it feels that they might actually be generously graded. But Y10s have missed over a term of teaching and there are no clear answers for them. I did the consultation as a parent. I agree with most of the proposed changes. But it is annoying that the exam boards say they cannot guarantee to produce grades by August if the exam period begins two weeks later yet they are apparently able to chuck out various different lists of grades at two days' notice. Okay, over simplifying the situation.
    Just for next year, could we not go back to modular assessments? P1-P2 first, Early Elizabethan era, then Weimar Republic, say. They will still have to master the skills and the knowledge.
    I know there is no perfect solution. I know TA is messy. I teach Year 6!
    phlogiston, install and smoothnewt like this.
  19. install

    install Star commenter

    There lies another story - money means lots even in education .
  20. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    I canj only speak for my own subject, but IGCSE is undoubtedly more difficult than GCSE Music. Attainment in the IGCE is higher than GCSE, but not because it is easier but because the majority of its candidates come from selective schools.
    BelleDuJour and jellycowfish like this.

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