Working your way through the new specifications can feel like being part of a Big Brother experiment. Here at Edusites we have been responding to hundreds of questions from our members.
I teach AQA A Level media studies and one thing I am particularly concerned about as the first set of exams approach is being able to mark student exams accurately. I have asked AQA for exemplar answers to their specimen materials but they have only provided a very complex mark scheme with a huge number of possible responses - it is unclear what sort of standard students would need to be writing at to achieve particular grades.
I apologise if there are some materials already on the website - I am working through it slowly, but would be hugely grateful to be pointed in that direction if there are, or if there are no exemplar responses, could you let me know if these will be produced as a resource at some point?
I have copied in my colleague who teaches GCSE Media and the same question applies.
Emily from Edusites Advice
Great question...but...until the first set of exams are marked there will be no grade exemplars from the board because the reality is that they don’t know, yet, what kind of response will get what kind of grade.
Do get back to me with any questions or comments.
Laura's followup question
Many thanks for this detailed response. I will discuss with my colleagues and await the mocks / indicative content. I suppose what I'm saying is that even if grades and marks were not applied, it would be incredibly helpful to see rough examples of students' work in the different bands. The mark schemes / indicative content for AQA are very detailed and as most of our students are working at roughly C grades and below, it would just be helpful to see examples of the mark scheme being applied to exemplars across different abilities.
It would be great to have an examiner's feedback on a couple of our student's scripts in terms of applying the mark scheme.
When your students take one of our exams could you forward some papers to us so we can share the responses? Those schools who are also members of Edusites English will know that we do this frequently and the student responses and examiner notes and reports are labelled Live Scripts. Just send us an email and we'll do the rest. Please note that unless requested all schools, teachers and students are anonymous.
Our Senior Examiner/Teacher thinking about this problem
The absolute most important thing for Media teachers is to speak to their senior leader responsible for data.
We have experienced the 2 year cycle now of 9-1 in English. Lenient and, especially at top end with very positive grade boundaries in Year 1.
Year 2 changes with an average lowering across the board of 5-6 points for the second year of exam boundaries.
I know it doesn't always help but all the Media teachers are in the same boat.