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Secondary English Teachers - Advice needed

(15 Posts)
AllOverIt Fri 10-Dec-10 13:20:13

Hi! I left teaching after 10 years in 2009 to be a SAHM and have been appointed as an English Literature examiner for June 2011.

Just looked through the new spec, casually wondering which books to re-read before now and May, OH MY GOD! It's all completely changed!

Can someone spell the changes out to me? My fuddled-sleep-deprived-fug of a brain can't work it all out. Imagine you're explaining it to your average E grade candidate....

<scratches head as I really used to have a brain>

Kez100 Fri 10-Dec-10 13:41:19

Examiner? Do you mean that or do you mean marker?

I just cannot imagine where a GCSE examiner has been appointed without knowing the spec they will be examining.

If it's marker, then I can understand.

AllOverIt Fri 10-Dec-10 14:04:34

Yes, that would be a problem! Thankfully, I'm not actually writing the paper!

Officially you are called an 'examiner'. That's what it says on my letter of appointment anyway....

AllOverIt Fri 10-Dec-10 14:10:04

P.S. The spec is WJEC, but a few of my old colleagues have mentioned that the changes are across all boards....

Kez100 Fri 10-Dec-10 15:54:21


I like the grandoise name. Wish I was called that! I mark for some professional papers and we still have the name 'marker' - the description quite under estimates the difficulty!

I hope someone can help and let you know the syllabus - might be worth asking on TES as well. That is populated by a lot of teachers and has it's own dedicated english forum section.

shirljon Sun 02-Jan-11 12:17:53

Don't panic, just contact WJEC and ask them for more info. They are a very user-friendly exam board. I've been an assistant marker for WJEC in English Foundation Tier Papers 1 and 2 for about eight years now and really enjoy it. There are a few changes taking place this year and I'm sure someone in Cardiff will be able to give you guidance either by e-mail or phone.The reality is never as scarey as the paperwork makes it sound!

AllOverIt Wed 05-Jan-11 08:19:25

Thanks. I think I'll ring them today and see if I can change to Media as it's easier and quicker. If not, I think I'll delay it for another year as I really don't fancy Lit. The pay might be brilliant, but it takes so long..... DS is at school full-time next year so will have time in the day as DD will have started Pre-school by then too.....

shirljon Wed 05-Jan-11 09:19:45

If Media is a softer option I'd go down that route.I didn't start marking until my dds were both in full-time school but you CAN fit it around children who are still at home. I know people in my teams who have two or three children and a part-time job AND mark as well. Hats off to them but they probably rely on grannies and/or baby sitters at the height of the marking season. Marking is very intensive (and intense!) during the marking period so you need to be super-organised before the scripts come rolling in. Best of luck!

AllOverIt Wed 05-Jan-11 16:26:05

I did English paper 1, foundation when pregnant with DS. It nearly killed me, and I had to send about 100 scripts back as I just couldn't manage. I remember it being awful - God knows why I'm doing it again....!

shirljon Wed 05-Jan-11 16:53:48

Credit crunch and all that ... The pay is £3.30 per script so it's not a fortune but a nice bonus.I get up at 5.30am every day during the marking period. Yes, it nearly kills me too! Paper 1 won't exist as such after this summer. There will be Unit 1 and Unit 2 instead but I am waiting to find out more information from Cardiff.

squeezedatbothends Thu 06-Jan-11 17:15:15

Gosh - I'm more than a bit worried!! Last year my son sat a paper in English Lit - he got a D. It was a big shock - he was predicted an A, but his teacher checked the paper and asked for a re-mark. He went up to an A. In fact his whole class went up too. Luckily they were only ASs and the remark came in JUST before his university application (to read English Lit) went off. Apparently the examiner was inexperienced/unfamiliar with the syllabus/only in it for the money/drunk/all of the above. I'm struggling to find sympathy here. Kid's futures are at stake and they are being judged by people who apply for jobs before they even read the spec. Abandon hope all ye who thought it was a fair world! Mistakes at A2 level won't be picked up before your child has lost their place at uni. Please don't be an examiner. Work in Tesco.

PonceyMcPonce Thu 06-Jan-11 17:16:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AllOverIt Fri 07-Jan-11 08:22:16

Are you joking squeezedatbothends?

How dare you question my qualification for marking this paper! I have over 10 years experience in teaching and examining and because I dare to take out a few years from my career to raise my kids, I am therefore unfamiliar without the dramatic changes to the specification that have occurred since I left teaching in 2009.

As PonceyMcPonce kindly stated, everyone will be starting from scratch this year as the changes have only come in this academic year.

AS /A2 marking is notoriously inconsistent and it seems that your DS was a victim of this. However, we are discussing GCSE here. You'd be better off starting a thread about this yourself rather than venting your frustration here, rather rudely.

If you'd bothered to read the thread properly, rather than using it for a spring board for your vitriol, you'd see that I have decided not to mark this year. You seem quite ignorant.

As for stating that the examiner was drunk, only in it for the money.... hmm

cardibach Sun 09-Jan-11 17:24:30

I teach the WJEC syllabus - it appears complicated at first but isn't too bad. I haven't taught the examined units yet though, so won't know any more thatn you do. Just download the spec from the WJEC website and have a thorough read.

Alexandra93 Mon 10-Jan-11 16:36:55

Definitely switch to media if you can! I really sympathize with the examiners for English. I did the exam last year, and we had to do peer-assessment marking in class as an exercise. That was bad enough; I can't imagine doing 100s of papers.shock

I got an A* though, so...thanks, if it happened to be one of you that marked it.grin

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