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The biggest impact that CA has had on my life (I'm a private tutor, ex Head of English) is the huge rise in requests I get, especially from a certain type of pupil -I will only say that they are all at grammar school. Parents are terrified at the thought that their girl can't just copy up her coursework any more, or learn things off by heart!
'Just tell me what to put!' Real request.
trickywu 'Just tell me what to put!' Real request.
Why am I not surprised?
Finally, finally, finally, this administrative nightmare that is the Controlled Assessment marks and predicted grades has been completed. Maybe I'll get some sleep and stress-free moments now -until the sample is requested that is. Are we really facing a future of this every year? Madness.
Agreed.. Took me and the exam officer 5 hours. There really is nothing about controlled assessment that I like. Much more difficult to administer, a massive increase in workload dealing with kids that are either absent or late arrivals; doesn't allow for the development kids make over the course of two years; and for the first time ever we have experienced plagiarism by kids who have memorised chunks off the web. We never had cheating in coursework, but the insecurity of having one go at it has produced exactly the opposite of what was intended. AQA is there any chance (seems unlikely) you might pay attention to some of these issues?
There are undoubtedly lots of issues in schools surrounding the organisation and administration of controlled assessment; as we spend a lot of our day talking to teachers we do understand. That said, I've not come across the issue you identify with plagiarism before. In most cases teachers say that for all its faults, controlled assessments has at least reduced the opportunity for plagiarism in their schools (when compared to coursework). Could you clarify what you mean by it 'doesn't allow for the development kids make over the course of the two years'. Is that because they do their controlled assessments early on in the course?
I'd love to say that as well as paying attention we could actually change things for you; however, our hands are tied by what Ofqual require, and currently, that is 60% controlled assessment in English (so for us, 40% written and 20% speaking and listening). The rules around how controlled assessment is conducted are also imposed on us by Ofqual. The iGCSEs (our AQA Certificates) have much more flexibility, and we hope that once they become accepted by the DfE as part of the performance measures more teachers might consider them as an alternative.
What I mean about the lack of development is that we used to redraft the coursework in January of Year 11 and year on year the kids would recognise what they needed to do to improve because their analysis and language skills had improved over time. The only way we can do this now is through the use of different questions which is much more time consuming.
I understand the restrictions that AQA are under with regard to controlled assessment. The moment the igcse is approved I will move to it as I think it is a far better option. I was shocked when I discovered the plagiarism as we had never had it before under the old system, although I know others had. It was only a few students but it stood out for me as this was exactly what C.A. was designed to combat and we had explained this to the kids. Needless to say, the students involved had to submit a different response. However given that we have your ear can you please explain the rationale for the 2hour 15 minute Unit 1 exam? Is it not possible to do what WJEC have done and split the reading and writing element into two separate papers?
Thanks for that explanation siolae. I understand what you mean now. I know from talking to teachers that a number of schools have radically altered how they approach the tasks since the spec began for the reasons you describe. They have revised long term plans so they are now either saving their controlled assessments until year 11 as far as possible, rather than doing them in year 10 (or 9), or they are giving students opportunities to do different tasks in year 11. I'm sure these are things you have considered.
With regards to the 2 hour 15 exam, it was originally 2 hours but when it was piloted it was evident that students needed more time, given the length of the reading texts. We have considered splitting it, but the Chief Examiner is keen to keep the link between reading and writing as the source texts can act as stimuli for the writing questions. I think even if we did split it we might very well have to have the two papers in the same session as we are constrained by the common exam timetable which is agreed by JCQ. I believe that even though WJEC have two papers, they are actually timetabled on the same morning and so are taken contiguously.
I'm going to send you a PM so that you have my aqa email in case you need it.
Has anyone had a sample requested yet?
We're a school of 150 pupils, and we've had to send forward 10 controlled assesments, along with two pupils' work who achieved 80/80 and 40/40, so 12 overall.
I hope the marking was okay..!
johnsmith_french35Has anyone had a sample requested yet?
Not yet. If no regquest by Thursday, we have to ring AQA.
gruochjohnsmith_french35Has anyone had a sample requested yet?
Ours came in today. I think the biggest surprise was that it's different students, for the most part, for Lit and Lang.
Mrs GoatstranglerI wonder if any of the exam boards have spared a thought for teachers (like me) who are only paid for the lessons they teach, nothing whatsoever for meetings, duties, prep, marking, etc. (And that payment per lesson has only been increased once in the last 12 years - by £1 per lesson.)
I spend hours and hours of my own time marking CAs and then doing all the thudding paperwork while the exam board pockets the exam fees. Ridiculously unfair. And if it is Ofqual calling the shots, why don't the exam boards point out the unfairness of getting the teachers to do a shedload of their GCSE assessment? Because it funning well suits the exam boards, that's why. They get the money, we do most of the work. Cheers! Edexcel Cert, here I come; stuff off AQA.
Very well put, but I'd go even further. They get the money, we do most of the work, we get the criticism, we're accused of making mistakes, cheating and ignoring the rules, and it's our fault if the kids don't get the target grade. We should insist on a situation in which
with no overlap.
Mrs Goatstranglerstuff off AQA
Mrs Goatstranglerit funning well suits the exam boards
Mrs Goatstranglerall the thudding paperwork
Loving these euphemisms!
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