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Exam marking (internal exams)(29 Posts)
Just wondering how other schools handle telling kids their exam marks? Dd’s School gives them their marks but with no context - so they have no idea whether 70% (for example) is top or bottom of the year!
Surely this just encourages them to compare marks with friends (which they are also told not to do)....
We don’t get told averages/quantiles or anything either, which makes it very hard to know how to respond to an “I got 70%” announcement!
I agree, 70% on its own gives no context.
At DD's school they tend to say the highest and lowest in the set which helps a bit.
They definitely won’t do that...too many parents ready to get cross if their child isn’t top!
I give out percentages and say what the highest mark was. If it's a GCSE class, I will also give a grade based on the boundaries for that particular paper.
Highest and lowest in the year isn't terribly useful anyway, as you have no idea whether your child is in a strong, weak or average cohort.
At KS3 DC's school use a working well below expections, working below expectations, working at expectations, working above expectations grading. They then sub categorise as bottom, middle or top end of each level. So for example your child might be the top end of the "meeting expectations" level.
At KS4 they use GCSE levels but again sub categorise as bottom, middle or top of the level.
Agree that telling a child who got 70% that they did the best in their class would be counter productive if they are really capable of 80%. They need to realise they are competing nationally.
Red I fear that if noble reads your comment she'll say that your school is making it all up and can't possibly be that precise.
Honestly saying a DC is working at a 6- or a 5+ sounds crazy. Aren't the 9 GCSE grades sufficient?
Should have said, DC's school ratings are based on year group expectations, not individual child expectations. I think noble's objection is to flight paths based on KS2 SATs, which I agree are rubbish. So the DC are told (for example) that between 50 and 65% is " meeting expectations".
Re "fine gradings" at GCSE, it's actually quite helpful to understand where your DC sits within the grade boundary. DS needed good marks in his Y10 exams to enable him to sit the higher tier papers. As it happened he achieved 1 mark off a Level 5 in two sciences (yes, he was incredibly annoyed), which does mean we have a different conversation with his teachers, than if he'd just scraped Level 4.
I agree it's quite helpful especially round the 4/5 grade, we will probably need discussion re foundation/higher for DD2 too.
I think for KS3 saying working below high/middle/low seems very fine.
For an actual exam paper using actual GCSE boundaries then maybe the 5+ or 6- makes sense, but I think I'd rather be told working at 4/5 or 5/6 (so 2 grades) rather than 5+ which is half a grade tolerance.
RedSkyLastNight the problem with that is the grade boundaries change each year so work which is a 5 one year may only be a 4 the following year.
Yes grade boundaries change year on year, but something that looks like a mid level 5 standard (say) in 1 year is not suddenly going to be level 4 or level 6 standard just because there is a different cohort. And even allowing for the fact that grade boundaries have been set to allow certain % of the cohort to achieve certain levels with the new style GCSEs, we are not going to see masses of change from one year to another, particularly in subjects that have high entry levels, such as sciences.
Usually median is given as well
I fear that if noble reads your comment she'll say that your school is making it all up
Yeah, sorry Red but there’s no such thing as year group expectations (at least GCSE grades actually exist), so your ‘meeting expectations’ stuff is nonsense too. A work of fiction every time they fill in a report card.
I tell my classes top mark and class average. If they ask I’ll tell them for the set above too.
In fairness the school do have very clear explanations of what you have to do to "meet year group expectations" in every subject.
So they may be made up rubbish, but at least they are consistent and well documented rubbish and the DC are very clear what they have to do to improve.
Surely this just encourages them to compare marks with friends (which they are also told not to do)... Do they really not do this? This is how my kids tell how well an exam went - they calibrate themselves against other kids. I have twins so the not talking about results would be totally weird and although I don't encourage competition between the two of them - I do need openness and honesty so I'd have to strongly object to their policy.
But red even if the school has clearly documented what the year group expectations are for each year (the DfE used to have this for maths), this cannot possibly translate to ‘getting between 50 and 65% on a test’. The mismatch between that list and that score will be massive.
Didn't really want to get into discussing my schools's grading system as it's a bit complicated but I was using between 50 and 65% as a shorthand. Actually they are given rather more guidance than this, the test is split into sections with questions at differing levels, and it's only possible to get the "above expectations level" if they have made a good stab at the "hard" question(s) for example. So similarly they can't get "meeting" expectations unless they've completed the middling question (s). They get a level for each section and then they are averaged out. It will probably pan out that there is some range between which all students "meeting expectations" fall and the teachers give them this as a guide.
Example, DD has just had her Year 8 science exam back, she's e.g. ahead of expectations in "science skills" and below in biology (and other marks in other areas). Taken overall she falls within the range for "meeting expectations" but that clearly doesn't tell the whole story in the way the individual components do which is useful for DD and for me in terms of understanding where she is strong and where she can improve. However this is then reported as "meeting expectations" overall which I agree is just nonsense.
Ofsted have said if is impossible to predict grades because the depend on the performance of the whole cohort. Also in judgement subjects like English and, History, among others, there is a marking discrepancy that is automatically adjusted for in national exams. Giving fine levels is therefore simply fulfilling a spreadsheet wrangler's fantasies.
Surely this just encourages them to compare marks with friends (which they are also told not to do)... DS's school only ever gave out results to show where he sat in his cohort.
Dds school has a policy that there are no grades until GCSE year, for homework or end of year exams. The idea is it encourages the students to focus on the learning not the number. Teachers instead give very detailed feedback on areas that need work or have been covered v well. V hard to accept at the start as it makes you worry but it’s a top performing Indy and somehow it works.
Probably OK at a selective school Arewedone but would be hopeless for DD2. I 'need' to know whether they think she is likely to pass different subjects, eg for picking GCSEs and to know whether external tutoring is warranted.
We give year group median they can then see how they did in relation to that. The kids always compare marks with each other anyway.
One school I taught in posted up everyone’s marks to every test on the wall in the corridor for all to see and then their seating arrangement would be made in order of test result (best at the back worst at the front). I was horrified!
Strange not to give them some idea of where they come in the class. In my son’s independent school they give them their percentages achieved in the exams and then a grade based on their school exams. The teachers can only give a certain number of the top grade so the kids know where they came in comparison to the rest of the year. It is useful to know this although I have pointed out to my son in GCSEs he won’t be competing against his friends!
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