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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:09 pm 
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Location: Birmingham
I think I'm correct in saying that the summer 2009 GCSE exams were the first ones to be taken by the KE 11+ exam cohort that had to pass the Univ of Durham CEM entrance exam as opposed to the previous NFER based exam.

You may recall that the rationale for switching from NFER to Durham CEM was that the former was too easy to tutor for and that many children were passing the exam who subsequenty struggled when they got into one of the KE Foundation Grammars. The switch from NFER to Durham CEM was meant to fix this as the latter exam was claimed by Durham to be 'Tutor Proof'.

It's interesting therefore to compare the GCSE results from KE Grammar in 2008 (last year of the NFER) with the recent 2009 GCSE results (1st year of Durham CEM cohort).

Putting aside national trends and major changes in standards at a particular KE Grammar, you might expect that there should be a general overall improvement in performance in 2009 compared to 2008 as there should in theory be less weak but 'Heavily Tutored' children.

I've just reviewed the respective KE 5-Ways 2009 & 2008 GCSE results and the results are very surprising - the trend goes the other way!



In 2009

http://www.ke5ways.bham.sch.uk/sections/1/examination_results.htm

the percentage A* was 28.7% and the percentage A* & A 65.4%

Whereas in 2008

http://www.ke5ways.bham.sch.uk/sections/2/news_archive/250805_gcse_results2008.htm

the percentage A* was 34.9 % and the percentage A* & A 73.3%

Now as I said, I don't know the impact of local factors, national trends or changes in KE 5-Ways standards but I certainly find the results very strange.

Do we conclude from this that Univ of Durham CEM isn't all it's cracked up to be?? Perhaps a case of over selling!!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:00 pm 
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Very interesting - thank you for working that out.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:36 pm 
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Hi Ken and thanks for posting that. It is interesting and, as a parent of one child to start KE next Mon, and another to sit the test this autumn, rather worrying! It'll be good to see the stats for the other KE schools.

I have seen your other thread re Guardian tables and noted that Sutton Girls did extremely well beating KE CBH, Handsworth and Aston! CHG not featured.


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 Post subject: results
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:22 pm 
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Ken....interesting results.

My view is that the results do fluctuate from year to year.

It would become significant if next years results are also poor compared to the non-Durham years.

Also - the key question is : would a different set of pupils passed the exams if they were in the old format? And would these pupils get better GCSE results?

I suspect that the answer to this is that in all likelyhood, the most able pupils do come through the 11+ irrespective of the type of exam. It is most likely to be a just a poor year results wise. Unless next year is also poor! Then I would start pondering.


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 Post subject: results
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:12 am 
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The 2009 GCSE results for KECHB were better then the 2008 results.

In 2008 :

GCSE
40% of passes were A* and 78% of passes were A*/A

A Level
71% of passes were A and 82% of passes were A/B


In 2009 :

GCSE
53% of passes were A* and 85% of passes were A*/A

(In comparison : King Edward School were 45% and 84% respectively, 5Ways were 29% and 65% respectively)

A Level
65% of passes were A and 92% of passes were A/B (last year the % of A grades was higher at 71%)

(In comparison : King Edward School were 77% and 92% respectively, 5Ways were 56% and 83% respectively).

All excellent results. I think next year's results will give a clearer trend about the impact of the Uni of Durham tests. My view is that : a) In the main, the same set of pupils would most likely be passing the exams whether they are Durham or the old format (i.e the most able) b) If the most able students aren't passing the Durham format exams, where are they going? They can only be going to the KE independents, BV, QM - and their results seem similar to other years?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:12 am 
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Thanks for this za1 and KenR, very interesting reading!

Eldest DS is in the KECHB 2009 GCSE cohort, and the new Head Teacher (of one year's standing!) was, according to DS, over-joyed, as this year's results were better than the 2008 results. So much so that Ds said he was permanently smiling!

We will just have to wait and watch each subsequent year to see whether or not the Uni of Durham ' tutorproof tests' are indeed that!

All in all, excellent results!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:50 pm 
First of all I am a fan of the new test because my experience suggests truly bright children always gain a GS place now and average children can not gain a place by simple repetition of VR and non-VR ad infinitum.

I do think years vary. In fact, I think there may be a 'tipping' number such that if you have a really good year of truly bright children, they take everyone with them and lift everyone's results. By the same token, if you get enough poorly performing/disaffected children in a year, they will haul everyone's results down. Children tend to compare themselves with the children round them rather than an absolute (in fact, parents do the same).

I also don't believe that GCSE's are really a test of intelligence so much as application. Thus, all the children, who may have gained entry on the back of repetitive practice in VR and non-VR, may have worked equally hard on their GCSE's. I think you will have to wait until A levels to really see if the exam made the difference as far as selection is concerned.

Finally, I would say that the overlap between ones who passed the old test and the ones who passed the test would be considerable. While I don't see many KE results (unless they fail), my successful KE children usually score reasonably highly in the Sutton exams as well.

Taking Five Ways as an example, I'd say the bottom 20 in my eldest child's day would probably not have made it with the new exam but that would still leave 130 who would still have made it.

There were always anomalies and shocks in the old days--really clever kids who didn't make it, often because they were so clever their parents didn't bother tutoring them but just assumed they would pass the VR and non-VR, taking little account of the fact a state school child would have had no experience of a timed exam. There were also the dyslexic children who had no chance because of the spelling-bias in the VR exam. The old exam was, however, a boon to the non-mathematical who could be very clever in everything else, and these have now been excluded by the new exam.

My son had a child in his primary who failed to make any of the KE's due to lack of sufficient prep. but won a scholarship to KES and lately a place at Cambridge. He would be an anomaly who would definitely have made it on the new exam and possibly without much prep.

To sum up, I think 85% of the children attending King Edward grammar school would have passed either exam. I also think clever children from poorly performing primary schools or from homes not 'in the loop', missed out then and are still missing out now.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:03 pm 
Forgot to say, if you are really looking for the difference it might have made, it would be at the lower end for grammar school i.e. how many got C's and lower despite all the advantage of being at a good school, then and now.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:27 pm 
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Saw this on the KECHB website and thought it was worthwhile resurrecting this old thread:

Quote:
After achieving our record GCSE results in 2009 the Lower Sixth maintained the quality of their performance in the recent AS examinations. Even though the year group is the largest the school has had in the Sixth Form the percentage A grades (63.8), A/B with General Studies (83.8%) and without General Studies (84.7%) are all new school records...Some 77 students achieved at least 3 A grades, 57 at least 4 grades and 44 at least 5 A grades !

At GCSE school records were broken for the second year in succession. 89.1% of all GCSE’s were at A*/A grades and a staggering 57.6% were at A* grade...Fifty four out of a year group of 92 achieved straight A*/A grades. 95% of students in the year group achieved at least 5A*/A grades.


Year 05/06/07/08/09/10
%A* 36/43/31/40/53/58

Year 05/06/07/08/09/10
A*/A 71/81/72/78/82/89

(2005/2007 were both very large year groups and, probably not coincidentally, had distinctly lower GCSE results than 2006/2008).

I think it's apparent that CEM is having some sort of effect, at CHB at any rate, but the detailed 2009/10 results aren't on the website so it isn't possible to see what's happening lower down the scale.

[edit 06/09/2010:]

fm wrote:
Forgot to say, if you are really looking for the difference it might have made, it would be at the lower end for grammar school i.e. how many got C's and lower despite all the advantage of being at a good school, then and now.


Detailed GCSE results for 09/10 are now on the website, the grade breakdown is:

Year.... 2005/2006/2007/2008/2009/2010
%A*... __36/__43/__31/__40/__53/__58
%A*/A __71/__81/__72/__78/__82/__89
%B.... __20/__15/__21/__16/__13/___8
%C.... ___8/___4/___6/___5/___3/___2
Below: 1.0/__0.3/_1.3/_0.8/ _0.7/_0.5

Mike


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