Just got back from DCs year 11 parents' evening and i felt a slight air of panic amongst the teachers .....

(114 Posts)
iclaudius Wed 27-Mar-13 20:59:06

They seemed all at sea about grade boundaries .... imparted some shocking statistics about the number of A* for example being awared this year as opposed to last year at the same modules.

A few of them alluded to 'Is this Gove? Who knows?'

Generally left us with the impression that August this year will be very different to the last few years. We are not OVERLY concerned by this as we do agree that the system needs to change BUT its worrying when it is your own child who is THIS year group.

Anyone experienced similar news at theor childs school??

noblegiraffe Mon 01-Apr-13 09:01:35

Getting a C in maths was much more difficult last year too, but not as well publicised as the English fiasco. The grade boundaries on one exam board's final module to get a C were way, way higher than previous modules, years, and reasonable expectations.

Copthallresident Mon 01-Apr-13 16:07:56

Last year there were strange inconsistencies in marking and grading across the board, it applied at AS and A2 too and in English Lit as well as English Language and even in IGCSEs which are supposed to be immune. The trouble was that it varied across exam boards so it wasn't as if it affected all DCs. As the Head of Magdalen school commented “The goalposts are being shifted but not necessarily by someone with a valid GPS.” www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/9497631/GCSE-results-university-places-at-risk-from-grades-drop.html

IAmLouisWalsh Mon 01-Apr-13 19:25:46

There were no 'inconsistencies' with marking in GCSE English - no more than normal variations for an arts based subject. The difficulty was caused by the changes made to grade boundaries which are on,y set once all the marking is completed.

Copthallresident Mon 01-Apr-13 21:37:39

As the head of my DDs highly selective indie has pointed out with the expansion in the number of pupils sitting exams marking is too often now carried out by master's students and others with little teaching experience at the level of those being marked, marking errors are far too common and a rigid marking schemes have been introduced as a result which means that well argued and thought out answers can still be marked down. We were not going to challenge DDs RMT mark, surely there was nothing subjective to affect marking, she went up 10 UMS marks. Of course you can apply for a remark but does everyone get the same sort of support from school, it costs money (albeit returned if the mark changes), and can you trust the second marker?

Arisbottle Mon 01-Apr-13 22:28:50

I know of a few subjects that have sent papers back for remarks and they have gone from Cs to As. A C grade answer looks nothing like an A Grade answer, very worrying.

mumslife Tue 02-Apr-13 13:44:16

SO WHY THEN ARE THE GRAMMER SCHOOLS NOT TAKING THIS ON BOARD AND LOWERING THEIR EXPECTATIONS IE GRADES FOR STUDENTS WANTING TO JOIN IN SIXTH FORM WHY WHEN YOU LOOK ROUND A NORMAL COMP FOR SIXTH FORM ARE YOU TOLD YOU NEED TO GET AN A TO DO ANT ART A LEVEL ALL THESE STUDENTS HERE HAVE A AND A* YES AND ALL THOSE STUDENTS ARE NOT VICTIMS OF THE GRADE BOUNDARY CHANGES AS THEY ARE ALL READY DOING A LEVELS AND DID THEIR GCSE BEFORE THE GRADE BOUNDRIES CHANGED GRRRRRR

Copthallresident Tue 02-Apr-13 14:18:47

mumslife In the post GCSE results days last August a lot of schools and sixth form colleges were relaxing their requirements for individual pupils who had conditional places. Not immediately but after 24 hours when everyone realised it was a fiasco.

ravenAK Tue 02-Apr-13 17:03:39

iclaudius - nope, nothing has been 'rectified' for January re: Eng Lang.

We now have 180 year 11s with raw scores for their January exams, but no idea what these actually mean as the boundaries have not yet been set, & won't be until the June cohort take theirs (which mean our lot will all be re-taking, as we have no idea whether they've been successful already or not).

We've pretty much abandoned Eng Lit as a result for this cohort. sad

IAmLouisWalsh Tue 02-Apr-13 17:51:19

Raven - be careful, as you need Lit for Lang to count in the league tables. I know you probably know this, but one school last year didn't!

As for the idea which is repeated time and again about students marking papers - I have marked and moderated English for many years now with the two biggest exam boards, and I have yet to come across anyone other than a qualified teacher marking/moderating. Lots of retired teachers, several on supply, but no-one without actual teaching experience.

ravenAK Tue 02-Apr-13 18:30:43

They have to be entered for Lit alongside Lang for the Lang to count. They don't have to actually pass it.

So they'll all be trooping in to sit the paper, but the preparation they've done for it will be...well, minimal.

I know, it's bonkers. hmm.

IAmLouisWalsh Tue 02-Apr-13 21:29:01

It needs to be a U - I have one kid doing it because she got a C in Lang on resit but missed the January exams. She asked, in all seriousness 'Can I still get a U without revising?'. I bloody hope so.

Copthallresident Wed 03-Apr-13 00:34:07

IamLouisWalsh It isn't just that I have the observation about the declining standard of marking, and the use of graduate students, on record from DDs very selective indie school, and reports as well as personal experience of huge changes when it comes to remark. I am a PhD student in a Humanities Dept at a RG uni and have known several MA students employed to mark papers to supplement their income, albeit not a topic examined in the GCSE syllabus. It is regarded as a sad joke since 20 mins are allowed for the marking of an A2 question, and some who exploited the opportunity had not only not taught 18 year olds, they had not even been educated in the British system themselves.

circular Fri 05-Apr-13 13:17:10

Agree re the sicth form applications. All very well waiting till results and calling round to get a place in 'clearing'. But very nerver wracking to lose out on condtional offers as they are based on predicted grades.

A course may have a minimum requirement of a B, but due to over subscription, only students predicted A will get a conditional offer.
So you have the situation where a student predicted A but gets B gets a place, but one that is predicted B but gets A may not - unless someone drops out, or does not meet min requirement.

mumslife Sun 07-Apr-13 19:57:09

exactly what i was thinking circular those without provisional offer places in my daughters case three out of four grammer schools could potentially not get a place to someone who in fact gets a lower grade than them but was predicted higher kind of makes a mockery of the whole thing. So its okay grammers relaxing their requirements when it comes down to it but those with predicted higher grades regardless of if they get them or not are at an advantage as they already have a provisional place which they will probably get due to grammers relaxing their requirements yet someone on the waiting list without a prov places could get higher than them but not then get a place grrrr

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