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AQA English controlled assessments - any teachers out there who can tell me...

(4 Posts)
mumalot Tue 02-Oct-12 00:15:33

...about when a school decides a pupil's work in a CA is good enough to submit.

DC is at a maintained selective school that does relatively poorly at English GCSE. A couple of A*'s, a handful of A's and most kids get B's or C's. I've raised this with the school for years but hey ho they say they are working on it....yet to happen and now DC is in Year 10 and it's her turn to run the gauntlet.

DC is predicted B in Eng Lang. which on a bad day could presumably slip to a C (see this year's grade boundary fiasco). As a result we got her a tutor who teaches in a similar school and says she is clearly capable of an A.

My question is this. DD is just about to enter the horrendous circus of Year 10 CA's. If I understand it right the school can construe the speaking and listening sessions as practices until the pupil does "well enough" in one. Am I correct therefore in assuming that seeing as the school predict her as a B student, and as the teacher will be marking her, then as soon as she 'hits' a B standard of work in her CA then it's likely that that piece of work will be submitted? And we will not know what she scored in it until she gets her final grade in the Summer of 2014 so can't request she has another go? And that even if she could have another go under AQA rules, the school is likely to submit her CA as soon as she hits her predicted grade rather than worrying about helping her get her aspirational grade of an A? I have tried asking these questions of the school but you would think I had asked if the Queen farts from the general wave of "We don't answer questions like that!" that came back at me.

Alwaysinlove Tue 02-Oct-12 10:36:58

Unfortunately I would say it depends on the school. If they follow the rules correctly then students should only have one attempt at each CA and the mark they receive for that should be submitted. Students are allowed to resit a CA but it has to be a different task, so they can't simply improve one they have already done. The thing is, some schools don't seem to adhere to these rules so it's difficult to say. I would keep phoning the head of department and let them know that you are aware of your daughter's targets and are encouraging her to strive for her aspirational target.

webwiz Tue 02-Oct-12 11:07:37

DS is in year 11 and at his school the timing of controlled assessments is determined by what fits in with the scheme of work rather than each individual students readiness to get the best possible grade. DS completed English language GCSE last year and is doing English literature this year but even if they were down side by side they all have to do stuff at the same time or it won't fit in.

You would only resit a CA if you had really done badly compared to expectations and then it would have to be out of lesson time (ie after school) on a completely new task.

I don't teach AQA, but do teach English, so can share what my school would do.

For controlled assessments, we only generally offer pupils one shot at each written task but if anyone gets significantly below their indicative grade then we could ask them to do a different task, but that would be done outside of lesson time (at lunch/break or after school) so would depend on teacher and pupil availability. To be honest, in that situation, if your daughter was predicted a C and had got a B, I wouldn't be offering her the chance to try again (too much extra pressure for pupils, who have a lot to do without endless resits and too much extra marking for teachers!)

It is slightly easier to offer more opportunities for speaking and listening assessments as they don't take so long to set up, do, or mark so - in my classes at least - each pupil would have at least two goes at each of the three assessments (again, different titles/tasks each time though) We would put forward the best of those marks (so it's less that a pupil would have done 'well enough' as you put it, but more that 'their best attempt' goes forward)

In terms of submitting marks, that generally doesn't happen until the end of the course, so in the Feb/March of Year 11. The CA's are kept somewhere safe until then. At our school, pupils would know what those marks were.

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