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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:45 am 
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Hiya all. New to this forum. Just reading through. My concerns are related to general feed back from children that the VR was easy, the Math OK and the English very difficult. Are we not going to have, as with the GCSE's, an unfair marking system. With the previous format English paper there was a wrong answer or a right answer. With the new format, sat this year, requiring a written answer, the answers are surely open to the opinion of the marker, as to whether that particular person deems the childs answer to be right or wrong. Children of 10/11 years rarely give direct concise answers instead they answer almost in their own language. Will the marker sitting in one side of Essex mark a paper with the same strictness as say a more easy going marker sitting on the other side of Essex. I'm waffling, I know. But if you get what I mean please offer an opinion. My childs strengths were VR and Math with English baffling him at times (and me) but only to the point of lows of 65%. So if the VR and Math didn't challenge even the weaker sitters..........


Last edited by running girl on Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:32 am 
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Remember that the scores are all standardised so that an easy test will still have the marks spread enabling the better children to score higher marks.

DD sat Latymer R1 NVR which is deliberately easy, but still eliminates 1200 children! They then give VERY hard Maths and English papers in R2 to the remaining 500+ children (on Monday children were seen crying and one vomited at the test) where scores are low (a Maths average is between 29-32/50), but they still select the 180 children from these tests. They also re-standardise the R2 childrens' R1 NVR scores, meaning that a score of 72/80 could equal 80/140, and a score of 80/80 140/140!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:58 am 
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Thanks. Yes. I understand that the scores are standardised. However the point I was making is that the English papers as with the Math are marked by an army of markers and that one individual could deem an answer correct whereas another could deem the same answer incorrect. I understand they will have an answer criteria to follow but the line between a correct/incorrect answer may be perceived differently. Maybe a 'oh that was close enough - I'll award a point to that', situation. I don't think there has been a year when the general vibe was that the VR and Math were felt 'easy' so it seems the English for many children is going to be the deciding factor as to whether it is a 'yeh' or a 'ney' As a few parents have already stated on this forum..... knowing how to spell (which isn't taught in my childs school for some reason) and knowing what type of noun a word is (also not taught in school) does not denote a childs intelligence. Babbling again. I'll shut up now!!!!


Last edited by running girl on Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:50 am 
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I'm sure they'll moderate a sample. Also bear in mind that the pupils' perception of the difficulty of a paper is not necessarily an accurate indicator. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:11 pm 
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I would agree with “ourmaminhavana”. I too am a little wary by some of the comments indicating that the exams were easy this year. Are they really ever easy for a bunch of 10 and 11 year olds?

I am reminded of a story comparing two children that came out of an exam; one said it was easy and the other hard. When the results came out, they were not as expected as the child who said it was hard had outscored the one who said it was easy. When questioned, the one that said it was easy explained that they could answer some of the questions whereas the one who said it was hard explained that they couldn’t answer a few of the questions. It’s all perspective!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:29 pm 
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Perhaps you're right. Maybe I am reading more into it than is necessary. My ds did come out saying it was hard going but stated VR wasn't too challenging with 10 minutes left to check. Maths was 'OK' and English was terribly difficult. His peers however, thought it was all easy! As you say.......they do not make these exams easy! If they did they'd be inundated with less than able children. I guess I was just rocked by his statement regarding the English and the way it was formatted. As they say....time will tell!!!!!!!! Still don't understand why they take so long with the results. I'm sure I read somewhere that Kent get their results after a few weeks.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:12 pm 
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Running Girl

I am with you on this, standardised or not, my D's strengths are VR and Maths and these papers were deemed to be easy by so many kids.This is not a case of perception where one persons word against another, the majority of feedback is in agreement. This kind of gives an unfair bias towards kids who are strong in english and not so on VR and maths.
Also amending the format of the english paper was a little naughty and as you point out rightly regards the marking system.
Well its all done now and time will tell. Good luck
HD


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:24 pm 
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Our 1st choice school introduced a composition element to the English 2 years ago with no warning, so the children were all unprepared fo it! Schools like to shake things up sometimes when the results are becoming too close. Latymer dropped VR this year (introducing a VV hard English paper) as the VR scores were in a very tight grouping, and it can be 'taught' fairly quickly, whereas English takes time to learn and excel in. The more children are tutored the more this is likely to happen :roll:


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:43 pm 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
I tell all my pupils and their parents the same as I told my own, once it is over there is nothing you can do until the results come out in March. The papers vary year on year in both difficulty and style. The 2009 paper was all true/false. The complaint that year was that there was a 50% chance of getting the question right so anyone could guess and therefore it didn't measure intelligence. We are lucky that they sit three completely different papers. There are children in GS who scored marks like 8/50 on their English/maths paper in previous years.

DD left her exam and said that she had failed the English paper, she is the child mentioned in the above story about the maths paper, so there is a pattern here. As it happened her English paper was her worst but that was not enough to keep her out of GS, nor has she struggled since getting there and has excelled in English, which always has been her best subject.

In short, I am trying to say, take heart and try to put it out of your mind as much as you can.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:54 pm 
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Thanks 'hopefuldad'. I think that by 'dumming down' the VR and Maths they are opening themselves up to all manner of problems. Will they get the 'cream of the crop' this way? I realise they are after well rounded students but for my son to finish a verbal reasoning paper with 10 minutes to spare, I question the content of it. His strength, as with your son, is maths and vr. My older son took the test 2 years ago (very academic lad - came in the top 10) and found the vr hard with difficulty finishing in time! As with previous years!!! My son that took it this year has the same if not a tad higher intelligence. As in previous blogs.....the English will do it for him. He can write essays to a fine level but answering questions giving his opinion....... he will just have waffled. :?


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