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Entering candidates for exams - or not?


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#1 Dan Dyson

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Posted 23 January 2003 - 03:28 PM

I have several students who I feel shouldn't be entered for their GCSE history because of either lack of coursework/class work poor attendance/poor attitude.
However if I don't enter them the odd one might just scrape a G though this is unlikely. I feel quite strongly that the school shouldn't invest the exam entry fee in them in this situation. However these students will probably be entered for other exams - because they may scrape a G in Maths, English and Science. As a result if I don't enter them my residuals will be appalling and my results will be dire.
Other departments feel the same way about the same pupils but as we don't have a central system for collating this data we all end up losing out and eventually this will affect things like threshold applications - which isn't fair when everything we possibly could have done has been done to get these individuals to produce work etc. :sad: :upset: :angry:

How do other schools get round this problem? Surely we are not unique!

For future years anyone got any experience of Certificate of Acvhievement? What boards offer it? What has to be covered what topics are offered?

Thanks
Dan D

Edited by Dan Dyson, 23 January 2003 - 03:30 PM.

Beware of the History Teacher,
Cause of many a pupilís sorrow,
Though he drones on about the past
His homework is due in tomorrow!

#2 Andrew Field

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Posted 23 January 2003 - 03:54 PM

I actually teach an entire group of ten 'choice' Year 11s 'entry level' history. This is the second group I worked through with. For EdExcel, the board my school is with, the Entry Level course (which was what Certificate of Achievement was until the name was changed last year) consists of three pieces of coursework. The requirements are such that a candidate can achive at this when they would fail to get a G at GCSE. The coursework could easily be done in three-four lessons, although the exam board would probably suggest a little longer. You need to submit coursework to be approved before letting the students do it and it is generally meant to mirror the content of your GCSE teaching.

Last Easter three students who were clearly not going to achieve a GCSE were also switched to the Entry Level course. If you are concerned about students I would certainly still consider it a very real option to remove students from GCSE and enter them for Entry Level even for this year's exam. Obviously talk to your exam board, but it would seem a sensible option.

The aim of the course is to allow you to remove a student from an exam but still submit work to allow them to achieve something. I was very pleased with the results from last year's group - who would have been totally and utterly incapable at GCSE. The two groups I have taught so far are well known around school for being the worst trouble makers. However, when others have covered my lesson they have always been extremely surprised by the level of work and behaviour during the lesson - it offers work at a level the students can cope with and there is an achiveable goal.


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#3 johnwayne

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Posted 23 January 2003 - 09:07 PM

well funnily enough my school are at this point also on the calender of things -

I too have weeded out approx 5 students, only to be told by SMT that they must all have a chance!
what autonomy do HOD have!! talk about these 5 looking bad on the stats!!!! but then again, come the september when SMT want to know why the history dept havn't done too well - I can always say " well you said to enter them!" ( and yes I know, I am in sarcastic mood - because I was told something else today) ----

A current year 10 student wants to change from geography to history and smt have said yes ok!!!!!!!! excuse me but, hello, I am HOD and please consult me first!
It appears that students can change subjects because the law is on their side. The only thing on the student and the dept's side is she is a good student and willing to copy up the work but she will have missed nearly 4 months of being taught it!!!!!!! this subject is not at Distance taught!!

any views on these issues pleaseeeeeeeeeeee

#4 Dan Dyson

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 04:24 PM

As the decision seems to have been made for you perhaps a memo raising your concerns on this issue - to cover your own back for the future and I would also suggest contacting the parents and try to insist that they purchase a revision guide now as it is cheaper and quicker than them copying up 4 months work. If the school is willing to purchase revision guides at least you can get the CGP books and the BBC books for £2.00 each - which even if you have to get it for the student yourself from the department budget is still cheaper than photocopying someones work

Dan D
Beware of the History Teacher,
Cause of many a pupilís sorrow,
Though he drones on about the past
His homework is due in tomorrow!

#5 Dafydd Humphreys

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 07:26 PM

I've a Y10 student who wants to change from Business to History having had the decision made for him at options time based on 'it'll get me a job'. It seems he has seen my list of historians who have run the Bank of England, chaired ICI, Woolworths, founded Body Shop etc etc.

I have no doubts that this excellent student WILL catch up, after buying a textbook and revision guide etc. But its up to the SMT.

After all, I've had a couple of transfer students with no particular interest or aptitude in History joining my group since November.

The lad in question was one of my top three students from Y7 to Y9 so I will gladly take him on. But a situation like that should be up to us as HoD and taken on an individual basis and professional judgment.
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#6 neil mcdonald

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 08:07 PM

The question is, does the student enjoy the subject? Does he or she try hard? The basis of entering a student should not be solely based on our desire to see results improve and jig the figures but surely by the fact that the students put their all in. When that is done, whether the student has little chance of agining a grade, they are allowed the chance to perform to their best. However if they are underperforming due to behaviour/low work rate, then a case could be made. For some students the idea that they should concentrate on core subjects is a good point. The new 14-19 paper addresses some issues regarding underachievement in schools i.e. offering increased vocational subjects alongside job training. I have had a student go from my class to do a 3 day a week work experience slot at an engineering works. He will still be in my class for a lesson a week but he'll probably do his core work.
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#7 Lesley Ann

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 08:27 PM

How about this one, I have a year 11 student who has asked to pick up History NOW. A very capable student who is going to do all coursework and read up on the subject. Keen or what?
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#8 Dafydd Humphreys

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 08:32 PM

Let him do it.

A big secret here - I chose Geography instead of History for GCSE options.
I wanted to do French as well so couldn't do all three. I was top of 3rd year History but also loved Geog and had an aptitude for languages. We had NO options information so hadn't a clue what GCSE history was all about.

I still remember my reg periods in fifth form, helping out my mates who were doing GCSE history - and I wasn't even studying it! I'd love to know what I would have got had I just walked into the exam room!
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#9 Lesley Ann

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 08:38 PM

I am! he is in my form too!

He has AQA text books tonight and is following the core book, reading, he is gonna do the first lot of coursework before half term and the second piece during half term! He wants to do A-Level History at college and be a lawyer! I think he could get a C without even studying he is so bright. he was told to opt in year 9 but did Geog instead. He is on for 9 A-C grades and very keen! More than my yr11 historians.
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#10 Dan Dyson

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Posted 28 January 2003 - 12:16 AM

For EdExcel, the board my school is with, the Entry Level course (which was what Certificate of Achievement was until the name was changed last year) consists of three pieces of coursework. †The requirements are such that a candidate can achive at this when they would fail to get a G at GCSE. †The coursework could easily be done in three-four lessons, although the exam board would probably suggest a little longer. †You need to submit coursework to be approved before letting the students do it and it is generally meant to mirror the content of your GCSE teaching.

Anyone got any examples of work for this? Preferably based around Medicine or American West? Please email me direct with anything.***

Thanks for the ideas - I know he problem is going to be much worse next year as I had to accept several students who do alternative curriculum on to History - problem is the timetable does not take this in to account so they are expected to be able to do a full GCSE on just 1 50 minute lesson a week as they miss the rest with being at a local college on their GNVQ course. The pupils concerned have neither the attiude, motivation or ability to catch up the work - not surprisingly - but "expect" to get a pass at GCSE. Don't ask me how!

Dan D

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*** Sorry to interfere Dan but it's not a good idea to post your private email address directly on the Forum. Anyone able to help in the way asked should contact Dan via the PM or email buttons at the bottom of this message in the first instance.

Edited by Carole Faithorn, 28 January 2003 - 01:42 AM.

Beware of the History Teacher,
Cause of many a pupilís sorrow,
Though he drones on about the past
His homework is due in tomorrow!

#11 Dan Lyndon

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 03:26 PM

I am considering entering some of my year 11s into entry level certificate for the first time - the main reason is for students who have major SEN difficulties or boys who have EAL. I understand that there is a big coursework requirement, but have I left it too late in the year already (my exam entries are needed by friday)? If not - has anyone got any coursework units on medicine / nazi germany that I can use?

Dan

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