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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:01 am 
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...for the current cohort!

Ofqual, in its infinite wisdom, wants to pull the plug on the Speaking and Listening element of the English Language GCSE from summer 2014. This means that many students currently in Y10 who have already done assessed work on this module will see their efforts go to waste. Not to mention the school resources that have already been dedicated to it in terms of teaching and administration time. Ofqual's reason for the haste? "We think it important that these qualifications are made sufficiently resilient as quickly as possible." Words fail.

The whole idea of disregarding speaking and listening from a language exam, especially in one's own native language, is ill-conceived. There will of course also be repercussions for dyslexia sufferers who will see their chance to shine and make up precious marks snatched away. But the thing I find most distasteful is the haste in which it is to be implemented. You can't cancel a module worth 20% of the overall final mark midway through the course!

Anyone wishing to respond, please go to http://www.ofqual.gov.uk/news/ofqual-la ... -language/ and follow the links. There is a comments page (sneakily disguised as a response form) which doesn't count, AND an official consultation form which does. Hopefully this won't be yet another NONsultation. :evil:

Should point out - iGCSE candidates not affected. Only those exam boards subject to the whims of Ofqual.

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Last edited by Marylou on Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:02 am 
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Thanks Marylou, I didn't know we still had a chance to comment, will do.

It's utterly ridiculous - especially for these poor y10s who have had so many changes thrown at them at once.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:09 am 
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Location: Herts
What a shame. I have seen so many students grow in confidence by being taught how to construct an argument and then present it. You cannot get a language GCSE without being able to speak it confidently so why would you be able to get an A* in English if you are not able to communicate in your own native language? What is it going to be replaced with? DG


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:41 am 
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Hi Marylou thanks for letting us know about the chance to put our views. My ds is one of those y10's who have already completed his assessment. This isn't a strong area for him but he put a lot of effort in and came home I think quite proud of what he did. So I really don't want him to feel it has been a waste of time. It is hard enough getting him to concentrate!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:48 am 
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Oh no!!!!!!!!!
English gcse which requires students to write good english - surely not???!
The misses Magwich are cheering even as I write!
For those who love the toe-curling awfulness of drama and showing off in front of anyone who can be corralled into forming an audience there is always Drama gcse.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:02 am 
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Quote:
For those who love the toe-curling awfulness of drama and showing off in front of anyone who can be corralled into forming an audience there is always Drama gcse.
There is definitely some truth in that. I could not understand how performing role play after role play, as DD had to do, could rightly be said to be an essential English skill, rather than, as you say Magwich, Drama. She detested it - pretending to be a character out of "Oliver Twist" or "The Merchant of Venice". The 'speaking' part did involve giving a formal presentation, which I suppose is just about something you could fit into an 'essential English skills' context, but the highly confident 'in your face' children, many of whom had had private speech and drama lessons, did so much better than the others. And the group discussion was highly artificial and again, dominated by the usual suspects. (This was AQA which happily I didn't have to teach at the time - it was the most terrible 'meeja' dominated course, the whole of which ought to be consigned to the scrap heap imho).

So while I think it is highly desirable that these skills are tested at GCSE, I am not really sure how it ought to be done without it becoming an offshoot of Drama and something which plays to the highly confident and those who love being the centre of attention.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:07 am 
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The desirability or otherwise of this component is not my main point. Students will still be required to write good English. Personally, I am not a big fan of coursework and welcome a return to a more rigorous approach. What is so wrong is that Ofqual wants to implement this change part way through the course for the current cohort, many of whom have already carried out assessed work under this scheme on the understanding that it would count towards their final mark. If you want to make a change like this, you don't move the goalposts by doing it part way through the course. But then Ofqual has form in this area. :evil:

A "sufficiently resilient" qualification isn't one in which candidates cannot be confident that the assessment scheme set out at the start of the course will still be the same one applied at the end of it. :x

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:24 am 
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My poor ds1. He has special needs which make him slow at writing. He gets maximum extra time in exams and will probably only get C's in GCSE's.

He did his English Speaking exam and got an A - probably the best he has ever got! His speech is slow and clear - good for a speaking exam. He had to talk about what he wants to do in the future. Apparently it was good and the class were interested. But he is in year 10. Talk about bad luck. It seems bad enough that he's doing all his exams in year 11, it would do him good to have several attempts.

:( :( :(


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:31 am 
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ginx wrote:
My poor ds1. He has special needs which make him slow at writing. He gets maximum extra time in exams and will probably only get C's in GCSE's.

:(

My DD's written work is good but she finds the S&L component quite challenging as she gets extremely nervous when speaking in public. She would have been quite happy for it not to count at all :roll: but in the event she put a great deal of effort into it and was proud of what she had achieved. Now she feels it's all been a waste.

There is still time to do something about this - respond to the consultation! My guess is that there will be such an outcry that Ofqual will still make the change but postpone it until the following year. Then they'll say "See? We listened." :x

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:47 pm
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Location: Warwickshire
Good idea, Marylou, and for my ds1's sake I will respond to the consultation. Could make the difference between pass/fail for him. I'm amazed his talk was good, but apparently it was! Speaking slowly has its advantages.

He'd be a good reader in church (if he went!).

Thank you for the advice. :)


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