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Spoken language assessment for GCSE?

(8 Posts)
Stinkystable Wed 11-Jan-17 11:27:22

Ds is 13 in year 9 and has two weeks to put together a presentation.

He is panicking because he's been told this mark will show up on his GCSEs. Yet he's 13 and doesn't think he's ready to be marked for a GCSE.

He's No idea what subject to make his presentation about or what he's going to be assessed on.

I've had a quick look and am baffled as to what this assessment is, what it entails and how the results will effect his GCSEs?

One site I came across seemed to indicate this is more a debate subject, so the presentation should be put across as an argument for or against something. Examples being 'should violent computer games be banned' 'should the sale of cigarettes be made illegal'

Can anyone shed any light on this?

(The school gave some wishy washy answer, and was no real help)

hertsandessex Wed 11-Jan-17 11:40:26

I have heard of something like this before with my daughter and others but I think it was year 10 one year before the main exam. If the same thing it doesn't contribute to the main grade and is just pass, merit, distinction.

Stinkystable Wed 11-Jan-17 12:01:08

Thank you hert

So it does shows up at the end of year 11 but not as part of the English GCSEs?. But what I'd he doesn't pass? It'll still show up that he failed spoken language?

I think i'm concerned because it's year 9 not 10 or 11. He doesn't seem to have been given information on what's expected. Why is a 13 year expected to pass something designed for 15/16 year old?.

Your link gives the information that ds seems to be missing. So at least he can now plan accordingly.

But I just feel it shouldn't be up to me to ask a punch of strangers on the Internet for this info. Ds should have been prepared for and helped to do this at school.

hertsandessex Wed 11-Jan-17 12:42:48

Yes it will show up on exam certificate as a separate item. There isn't a fail as such but non-classified. In my daughter's case I think everybody got at least a pass and a huge number got merit or distinction. That said it does indeed seem strange that he is doing so early and hasn't been prepared properly. I think this is part of the new GCSEs for English/Maths that will be starting this year marked on the 1-9 scale and the whole thing seems a bit of a mess especially maths.

bumbletoes Wed 11-Jan-17 21:40:49

I would be concerned about him doing it so young. It is possible that his school has decided to grade them all this early so they can decide who to film. Schools need to film ten students with a pass, ten at merit level and ten with distinction and send these off to the exam board. It would be odd and misguided, in my view, to make this judgement so early.

The current Y11s are the first ones this new assessment applies to and schools have only been getting to grips with the requirements for it this year.

You would need to check with the Head of English or your son's English teacher to see if your son has got the right information. However, he clearly has to give a presentation soon so the advice (from AQA, anyway) is to present an argument in order to do well. For example, "All I know about football" would only gain a pass at most, but something like "People who support football are abused by wealthy clubs" or "There is too much racism in football and things need to change" would give the speaker the potential for a merit or distinction.

The presentation needs to be in front of an audience and there will be questions afterwards.

If your son picks a topic he is really interested in and promotes a certain viewpoint, he can feel confident that he is doing the right thing.

I'd certainly talk with his English teacher though, so you both know what is going on and what is expected.

Sadik Wed 11-Jan-17 22:24:41

DD did this just before Christmas but she is in yr 10 (and her entire set is - unfortunately IMO - being entered for the language GCSE this year).

Different here as in Wales so still counts to final mark, but hers definitely did need to be a 'discuss' type topic. DD spoke about the likelihood of finding life elsewhere in the universe, so not really controversial - others talked about the pros and cons of British immigration laws, should the voting age be lowered to 16, that sort of thing.

There was a definite format (5 - 7 minutes, done in a small group and recorded, time for questions, could use powerpoint show which then I think got bundled with the recording) so he really should be getting more details!

Stinkystable Thu 12-Jan-17 11:44:06

I had already spoken to the Head of English, who confirm this is the actual assessment. They said they brought it forward to year 9 so that they could then concentrate on just the GCSEs in year 10 and 11. Which sort of makes sense, but I'm unsure it right to heap pressure on a 13 year old for something that will show up on record when his 16.

As for it being a discuss presentation, according to ds they have been told to just talk about any subject they like individually, and isn't in a debate format.

HoE said the year 10s had already done this assessment.

I don't have to much conference in them anyway. They have abolished sets for the lower years and will not set them later either, claiming all research shows children are better off in mixed ability classes hmm

They also think that working at level three in a top set of year nine is quite good shock

The school use to be a very good school getting very good results but unfortunately it seems to have gone down the pan quite quickly in recent years. Lots of new teachers, good teachers leaving in droves and even many of the new teachers not sticking around for even a year.

It's sad, and think it's got a lot to do with the wider problems in teaching and funding, as much as the drastic management changes within the school it's self.

user1484226561 Thu 12-Jan-17 21:34:25

It is completely normal for GCSE assessments to start in year 9

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