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Controlled Assessments

(35 Posts)
inthesticks Sun 07-Nov-10 16:29:27

Do the school decide when they take place or is it the exam board?

I am puzzled because DS1 in Year 10 was given Mice and Men to read over half term and was told on Friday that they have the GCSE controlled assessment on this book at the end of November. This doesn't seem long to prepare? If the school knew about it I'd have thought they'd have made a start in September.
Are they likely to have more CA on the same book does anyone know? It's AQA and a new course I believe.

TheProfiteroleThief Sun 07-Nov-10 16:47:51

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RealEyesRealiseRealLies Sun 07-Nov-10 17:33:07

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inthesticks Sun 07-Nov-10 19:25:10

Thanks for your replies. So 3 weeks would be considered long enough to study the book then?
I am shock, but then I was at school a hundred years ago when exams were all done in one stint at the end of 5th form (Year 11).

BelligerentGhoul Sun 07-Nov-10 19:33:55

It sounds like bad planning to me (am an English teacher too). However, the English dept are probably being pressured to enter pupils early for as many assessments as possible in order to establish a 'baseline' level in as many areas as possible. Pupis can then re-sit them later.

Not the way I personally would want to do it but that comes after us having to fight and refuse to try and cram a two year course into a year! Maybe that's what's happening at your son's school?

Kez100 Sun 07-Nov-10 20:55:17

My daughter has also just sat a CA for M and M. I think she had last half term studying it but no homework over half term on it, so it took her by surprise to be sitting a CA last Monday, out of the blue.

I also thought won't she be better at English next year? I remember (in the olden days) improving a lot from my mocks in January (would have been year 11) and the summer!

bruffin Mon 08-Nov-10 00:58:09

My DS is year 10 and is doing AQA English. He has not done a CA yet and hasn't even started studying a book yet.

inthesticks Mon 08-Nov-10 10:05:36

I'm obviously out of touch.
I still can't get over the fact that they don't bring home text books at secondary school. Not even in English. It must waste a lot of class time reading during a lesson. This was the first time he had ever brought a book home and only his class were given it (for one week).
I asked for a list of the books they would be studying so that I can buy them myself but only got a vague reply.
DS thinks I interfere too much.

seeker Mon 08-Nov-10 10:10:48

<wild outraged hijack>

I am outraged that my dd is in year 10 of a hight achieving school, and they started reading To Kill a Mocking Bird at the beginning of the year, and they are still only halfway through!

And they are writing essays on the half they've read - how on earth can you write a meaningful essay when you've only read half the book?????????

Sorry, as you were!

Docbunches Mon 08-Nov-10 11:04:43

Just to add more confusion to this thread ... my DD in Y9 has just brought home 'To Kill a Mocking Bird', which I'm really puzzled about because although her school has started doing a 3-year KS4, it doesn't apply to the core subjects for which she is still in KS3, or so I thought confused.

I suppose I should be grateful she's got three years to nail her English Lit GCSE, unless of course, they make them take it early.

bruffin Mon 08-Nov-10 11:07:43

I really want to know why DS hasn't even started To Kill a Mocking Bird yet sad

seeker Mon 08-Nov-10 11:11:21

Dd and her cousin (same school same year) were debating at the weekend whether it's best to take dd's line, and read the whole book anyway because you really want to know what happens, or her cousin's, and read along with the rest of the class because it would be even more crashingly boring if you did know what happens!

Docbunches Mon 08-Nov-10 11:33:09

bruffin, if it helps any, my DS who is in Y11 and at the same school as my DD, was given TKAMB to study in Y10. I'm pretty sure it was towards the middle/end of the year as well. Also, I don't think he has finished reading it yet and he has a mock next week! (he doesn't like reading much).

bruffin Mon 08-Nov-10 11:43:27

Thanks Docbunches, I am not that worried, Ds's school do really well when it comes to english. He has been watching The Others in english and writing about that.

inthesticks Mon 08-Nov-10 11:45:47

So most schools seem to adopt the plodding read-it-aloud-in-class approach then.
DS1 hates reading fiction so it was quite a feat for him to finish M&M in a week.

DS2 on the other hand in year 8 has already read all the books for years 8,9 and 10. He is going to be soooo bored when the slow motion reading in class comes along.

sue52 Mon 08-Nov-10 12:04:14

My year 10 daughter has been studying of Mice and Men since September and has had quite a few long in depth essays and spot tests on the book since then.

bruffin Mon 08-Nov-10 12:12:00

I did OMAM and TKAMB as well as Romeo and Juliet for my English Lit O'level. I can't believe 30 years later they are still doing the same books.

sue52 Mon 08-Nov-10 19:06:11

Just had a word with DD about the upcoming controlled assessment. She said they would have to demonstrate how the novel showed the powerlessness of the characters. Don't know if that helps.

inthesticks Mon 08-Nov-10 19:31:04

Thanks sue52, I wonder whether they all do the same assessment in view of the fact that schools don't all do it on the same day.
I wish DS had done some long in depth essays. So far in class they have watched the film.... and that's it.

IHeartKingThistle Tue 09-Nov-10 00:06:41

Erm, bruffin, they're classics?

IHeartKingThistle Tue 09-Nov-10 00:15:36

CAs are still so new; everyone's trying their best but I do really feel for the current Year 10s (and their parents!).

If you're worried, please contact the English Department. Some of these worries do sound like Departments planning badly but some of them sound like they could easily be misunderstandings. Better to check.

mummytime Tue 09-Nov-10 00:23:19

My son is complaining as he has been studying Macbeth since year 5. When he's finished with it for his controlled assessment he will be relieved. But at least he knows the plot.

bruffin Tue 09-Nov-10 08:28:18

I know IHeart but there are plenty of other "classics" out there and probably others that have been elevated to classics in the last 30 odd years, it seems strange that they are still using the same books, not that TKAMB and OMAM are not worthy.

DS says he has a CA coming up on the film of The Others

Kez100 Wed 10-Nov-10 12:08:39

We had MacBeth, a set of modern short stories and History of Mr Polly for our O level literature 30 years ago. And I got a U

Managed an A in Language though - that was back when language was just language : precis, comprehension from a piece first seen in the exam, imaginative writing and formal writing.

And, yes, I did read the books and attend lessons and write in literature for 3 hours (or whatever it was).

sue52 Wed 10-Nov-10 13:46:21

Bruffin What subject is your DS watching The Others for? I only ask because that film gave DD nightmares.

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