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End of year examinations


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#1 John Perkins

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 12:32 PM

Currently looking at the use of examinations at the end of year 9 and wondered what people thought. It is not to take the GCSE I might hasten to add but to give an NC level. I am unconvinced this will give me a more accurate set of data due to those no longer taking the subject maybe no making much effort. There is also the issue in my mind in terms of what kind of examination to set. To create an examination that tackles different skills which I think then brings in the question how to level the work. What do other people do already?
John

#2 Ed Podesta

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 05:58 AM

We're starting to put in place cut-down gcse style papers, a 4 marker perhaps ,with a 'what is the message of this cartoon' type question (we do MW). You can write GCSE type questions that address issues like interpretation and significance, as well as the more prosaic causation type foci. I'll admit we've not quite bottomed out how to make this fit with 'levels', but I think that once we've got a few under our belt we'll be able to work this part out. We've done some with year 8 and 9. We're not going to base the whole decision about end of KS levels on this though.

"In the past, philosophers have sought only to understand the world. The point is also to change it." - K. Marx
"Classification is exceedingly tedious" - I. Berlin

 

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#3 John Perkins

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:23 AM

I have tried a similar thing with year 7 as a type of baseline test but here the proviso is that the students sit an exam that can be used to infom (possibly the TMG). My idea is to set a paper in the style of paper 1a Edexcel and then to link the levels to % that are used for the grade boundaries that the board use ie 60% for a L5 which will give a TMG of a C. It is obviously not really how the NC was designed to be used but is the best fit idea that I have at the moment.

#4 Katie Hall

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:58 AM

I am a fan of end of Year exams for many reasons, including getting kids used to working in timed conditions but I think that over linking them to deciding on levels doesn't work very well. We have 3 common assessments a year and an end of year exam in each year of Key Stage 3 but the level is always decided on a best fit basis and the teacher's professional understanding of the pupil. It is important to remember that the levels were always designed to be best fit and based on understanding and progress across the concepts and processes of the National Curriculum. This is quite different from the kind of GCSE requirements of a source test which might end up being set.

#5 John Perkins

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:52 AM

What kind of questions do you set? Do you get them to do an essay or a range of questions?

#6 Jenjane

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:19 PM

I agree: NC levels are a best fit scenario so we do 2 assessments, one in Nov and another in March. And they are interesting ones so that even those who haven't chosen History want to complete them. (We start GCSEs in the last half term of the year).
I have done end of year exams and although it is good practise for timing etc (although don't they get taught this in y 10 anyway?), the amount of time spent on writing and marking it in comparison with how useful the outcome is to teachers and students has always suggested to me that it isn't worth it.

Most importantly: look at what else you have to mark/ do at the time you would set it and make your decision then.

Jane

#7 John Perkins

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:56 PM

I have never really gone in for end of year exams either as I think the in class stuff I do is fine anyway. Their is just the idea that they need to do something formal and a grade needs to come from that. I am really just trying to come up with two ideas then picking he one that I think will be the best for the students. Really interested to see what kind of exam papers people have used or do use.

#8 John Perkins

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:58 AM

Thanks for the feedback so far. Both confirm what I think already but there is pretty much the assertion that an exam must take place. In the past I have shared my resources on here and rarely download myself but this is one occasion where if someone could PM me an example of their test they use then I would be grateful.
Many thanks
John




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