Edusites Media offers hundreds of the best online Media Studies teaching resources and materials. Our Lesson by Lesson Online Slides, Schemes of Learning and Student Workbooks take both novices, non-subject specialists and the seasoned teacher through the new specifications.

Help! Media Studies teachers...feel like you’re part of an experiment?

Help! Media Studies teachers...feel like you’re part of an experiment?

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.

This blog is about one well formed question from Laura and the various responses and advice we offered.

Help! Media Studies teachers...feel like you’re part of an experiment?

Laura asked

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.

Help! Media Studies teachers...feel like you’re part of an experiment?

Looking for expert Mock exams with indicative content?

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.

  • The only thing we can rely on is the banding which is clear and published.
  • We work with senior, chief examiners and Ofqual subject advisors across our four subjects and, in our experience, the grading question for brand new specs will not be broached by anyone needing to retain their professional standing.
  • I’m sure you will be able to find some teachers willing to nail their colours to the mast but... I would not rely on that.
  • So my advice... ask your SLT what they did when the new specs were being delivered for English, MFL, Science etc. Lots of different solutions were found by schools but they will have thought through a process and this is probably the one you should go with. It will make sense to you and them and there should be no nasty surprises for anyone. When you are in the meetings post exam results you will be able to refer to the conversations you are due to have about this shortly. SLT won’t be surprised, this is exactly the sort of conversation I would have had as a Headteacher with responsible teachers working under uncertain new territory.

Do get back to me with any questions or comments.

Help! Media Studies teachers...feel like you’re part of an experiment?

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.

Help! Media Studies teachers...feel like you’re part of an experiment?

Could you help with this?

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.

Help! Media Studies teachers...feel like you’re part of an experiment?

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.