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Y10, English Controlled Assessment -today! WISH the school would tell us!

(14 Posts)
Erebus Tue 11-Mar-14 10:30:25

Last night, at 9.30pm, DS casually mentioned he has a CA in English today; I asked if it was a mock, but no. Apparently it's The Real Thing for an end-of-Y11 English GCSE!

Now, I know he's responsible for his own education, blah, blah- but he's a classic 14 year old. So of course he thinks it's better not to tell me about it in case I make him revise or even <gasp> talk to him about what sort of things might be useful to think about (Love themes in Shakespeare, he tells me).

Though he goes to a very good comp, and yes, I have faith in them, I do wish they'd tell us parents what's coming up so we can plan accordingly- I mean, what if he was borderline unwell today? I would definitely have sent him in if I knew he had a GCSE exam! But maybe not if I didn't know because no one told me!

Rant over- apart from being hmm about why he's doing CAs in what I thought were now exclusively linear exams??!

TeenAndTween Tue 11-Mar-14 11:54:05

I agree.

DD1 y10 also doing an English CA today. This is her 3rd one so far.

She is a bit up and down with how on the ball she is, but so far has been OK about the CAs.

I believe the current y10s are the last year group with a significant amount of CAs. The only subject my DD is doing without them is Maths. eg Science has 25% practical/coursework/CA or something.

What I particularly wish is that they would publish more clearly what they are allowed to take in. Some CAs they can take notes eg 40 words, and some nothing at all.

The plus side is that by the end of y11 there won't be so much pressure on the final exams as they will already have marks in the bag.

Erebus Tue 11-Mar-14 15:03:39

That would be a plus sign- if I didn't feel DS is facing 'C's if not 'B's, even dare I suggest, the odd 'A' he is capable of if the school had us, the parents, along for the ride a bit more. They're making it very easy for DC to fail because they're too young and immature to recognise the significance of these exams!

I asked DS if he was nervous this morning, he shrugged and said 'A bit, I guess'- I wouldn't mind if this casualness was the result of meticulous preparation, but we all know it's actually because he hasn't grasped what's at stake- particularly as I wasn't in the know to put a bit of necessary pressure on him to study!

Challengers Tue 11-Mar-14 15:22:40

The whole system of CA's is wrong wrong wrong . My DD is having to re-sit 2 of her English ones as they were gone in Yr 10 and it was far too early - she herself admits she didn't know what she was doing then . If she doesn't re- sit an a would be a stretch . It's so much pressure un necessarily ! She didn't have too much notice .

Erebus Tue 11-Mar-14 15:32:48

Either my DS really isn't switched on or I'm not getting it. He's being given 'some extra time tomorrow, maybe, to finish it'- he has the actual question in front of him now so surely a DC of a current English teacher could memorise an answer ready for tomorrow's catch-up? There appeared to be no time limit or word count today.

What IS this CA all about?!

whyayepetal Tue 11-Mar-14 15:42:03

Quite agree Erebus - we have this too, and it would really help if school let us know in advance. There is a lot of talk about working in partnership with parents, but surprise exams don't make it easy to achieve in practice. We went to a very patronising parents meeting when our DD was in Y9, but the timing of the CAs and ISAs was not mentioned at all - only vague waffle about whether they were watching TV or listening to Justin Beiber instead of working. Rant over grin

wordfactory Tue 11-Mar-14 15:42:07

That is really pants OP.

We have been given the dates of all CAs this year - with an attached letter asking us to etch it in blood in our diaries grin...

wordfactory Tue 11-Mar-14 15:44:36

And yes, Erebus ther eis nothing to stop that happening.

Essentially, DC know in advance what the question will be. Prepare it extensively, refining theirt answer, liasing with their teachers and parents if they choose. They then get to prepare an aide memoir of a couple of pages long that they can take in with them...

It is a gift for some pupils!!!

wordfactory Tue 11-Mar-14 15:45:57

And yes, a pupil can learn their answer off by heart if they wish!

Minime85 Tue 11-Mar-14 16:54:38

they are only allowed an a4 side (usually half a side) absolutely no more not written in continuous sentences or prose to take in with them.

totallyuseless Tue 11-Mar-14 17:22:38

Dont worry they have another chance in year 11 to redo it.

TeenAndTween Wed 12-Mar-14 09:06:03

So far DD has done:
- one 4 hr CA (with a break) that she could take 100 words in to, plus set book
- one 2 hr(?) CA that she could take 40 words in to
- one 2 hr CA that she could take no notes in to at all

Theas18 Wed 12-Mar-14 09:10:21

We aren't told at all. However DD2 is in possession of most of the "organised" genes in the family so she knows, and knows what she needs to do for each.

As I understand it all the above re prep apply - so if you are a hard worker with a good memory you have no reason not to get a great mark. And retaking in year 11 is also possible and only so many of the best marks are submitted too.

All fine, unless your school is hit by harsh moderation of results sad

wordfactory Wed 12-Mar-14 09:26:28

DD has done two eng lit, one eng lang, one drama, one spanish.

Preparation in school and at home has been focussed and intense.

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