New specs, new anthologies, new practices.
I imagine I am not alone in finding myself nervous as I prepare the second cohort of students for the ‘new’ Edexcel IGCSE specification for English Language. ‘One down: learn from it and move onwards’ goes the dictum. But it is not that easy.
In 2018 our first cohort were real Guinea Pigs – new specification and a new marking regime (9-1) with little real guidance from the board, and more importantly, no idea how the papers would be marked in the reality of the post exam rush in the summer. We had descriptors and a small quantity of SAMs, (some written by boys at my school), yet we had not seen the marking in practice.
As it happened, the range of marks altered under review suggest that the ink is still not dry on this one: we had papers rising by 12 and one falling by 9 marks - and that was in paper 1 alone.
I’ve been trying to get my head round this paper, and assuming that lost teachers can teach the anthology with confidence, I thought I would write a piece about teaching the examination and looking at examination practice. This can be used by teachers coming to the specification for the first time and also by the students themselves – stimulus pieces, if you like, to help them to engage in discussion of how they might approach the exams.
I use exemplar material from my recent cohort and try to offer suggestions as to the rationale behind the marks given – all are anonymised and all might be used separately to allow for gallery critique and live marking of real scripts in front of a class.
There’s also the issue of exam practice – how to organise time and the real risks of failing to plan for the longer questions. Interested?
Edusites Unseen texts
The resources are here and offer a good companion to the Edusites booklets of sample non-fiction passages as we prepare for the ‘difficult second’ cohort to sit this excellent exam.