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Y11 Exam Mock Exam Results - Dept being screwed?

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by ThereAreBunniesInMyHead, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. ThereAreBunniesInMyHead

    ThereAreBunniesInMyHead Occasional commenter

    So the Y11 Mock exam results have been analysed by SLT and apparently my dept is underperforming in comparison to last year.

    Last year my subject was on legacy spec A*-C and my Y11 students achieved roughly 70% A*-C in the mocks. (I won't be exact to retain my anonymity).

    This year my subject is still on legacy at GCSE and my students achieved almost exactly the same in the mocks. HOWEVER, as other subjects are on the new Grade 1-9 system, they are counting 5-9 grades as being A*-C. So as far as I'm concerned I should be down as getting roughly 70% 5-9 grades in my dept. However, as a 5.5 is a B they are actually only counting A*-B grades from SIMS and so my pass rate has dropped to about 45% 5-9.

    They reckon this is accurate / reliable. But as far as I can tell, using my data and trying to convert it into 5-9 grades has meant my department looks like it is underperforming when it is not.

    Anyone else experiencing this and if so, how did you get round it?
  2. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    Get all your ducks in a row and then go and have a discussion with the SLT data guru. Looks as if they are comparing apples and oranges.
    sabrinakat likes this.
  3. Kamit

    Kamit New commenter

    Yes it sounds like you are being unfairly judged.

    So the school presumably do mocks then measure "expected performance" in each subject to judge whether students are under/over achieving in your subject compared to others?

    How did we ever cope without data analytics in the past?!

    I'm a big believer in it when used appropriately at a macro level (e.g. national reference tests to see if compulsory phonics actually makes any difference long term) but not within individual schools. Something as simple as the time of day / weather when the exam happened can have a huge impact on small samples.
  4. ThereAreBunniesInMyHead

    ThereAreBunniesInMyHead Occasional commenter

    So I raised the issue. They admitted it was unfair but basically said that I just had to explain it in my line management meeting but that won't change how they are counting it. But I don't like the fact that the spreadsheet comparing departments has been emailed round to all staff, with comments picking out particular subjects for underperforming, including mine. e.g. "The X department has worryingly low results in comparison to last year" etc.. It makes my department look bad unnecessarily.

    Especially considering that other subjects on grade 1-9 might have all their students who achieved a 5-9 counted. But I could get the same number of students achieve A*-C and get a much lower percentage because for me they are only counting A*-B. Gah! Will be so glad when this transition is over. Although to be fair I wish it had never changed in the first place. I still can't get my head round 1-9. None of it is intuitive.
  5. particlezoo

    particlezoo New commenter

    If it makes you feel any better all of my department's grades were increased by one before being sent out to the kids so that we were in line with other departments!
  6. CandysDog

    CandysDog Occasional commenter

    Time for a reply-all email...
  7. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    The world has gone mad. I work for a university now and we just toss this nonsense out of the window. Statistically insignificant, non comparable. We can use research grade processes in our meetings and this kind of nonsense never ever gets off the floor.

    Sometimes I am so glad I don’t work for a school any more.
  8. jcstev

    jcstev New commenter

    There's something lost in translation here (and it may be the OP who had made a mistake). On the 9-1 scale, A*-C is 9-4. If a school has decided to measure 9-5 instead then it would be unfair NOT to adjust the target. Whether the actual adjustment is appropriate depends on the subject, but suggesting that a department that was getting 70% A*-C should expect 45% 9-5 seems reasonable.
  9. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    Two things
    1. They are mock exams and therefore don’t count for anything
    2. How did schools function before pretty coloured spreadsheets?
  10. cach9801

    cach9801 New commenter

    No department (apart from Maths and English) will have any clue as to what any number grade may look like. SLT hate hearing that. Every department has just 'made up' their results. You'll be doing the same next year. It's all nonsense!
  11. install

    install Star commenter

    It would be silly to compare any legacy exam with a new linear one. No comparison. Exams are now tougher - that is why the new specs are in place. So its not about results going up or down or staying the same this year. Its more about comparisons with the rest of the UK.

    New Exams, new skills, new grades, new approach.
  12. ThereAreBunniesInMyHead

    ThereAreBunniesInMyHead Occasional commenter

    According to Ofqual grades 4-6 are the equivalent of B & C old grades. So 3 new numerical grades encompass two old alphabetical grades. So my school, on advice from several exam boards can't seem to decide whether to measure 9-4 or 9-5. They've chosen 9-5 but as a result are only measuring my A*-B grades not my A*-C. Its ridiculous.
  13. install

    install Star commenter

    Grade 4 will count as an equivalent grade C for the student, BUT for School Performance Tables a 5 will count as the measure of a C and NOT a 4.

    Some may say the powers that be are 'gaming' by having a different perception of a '4' between the students and the Schools.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018

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