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Exams

This tag is associated with 20 posts

Standards?! What’s going on with GCSE grades?

Are standards going up?  Here’s my annual twitter joke for GCSE results day: DfE media guidance. Response to GCSE outcomes: If results have gone up: This is evidence of policy raising standards. If results have gone down: This is evidence of policy raising standards. It’s a clever trick – but it’s not actually wrong.  A … Continue reading

GCSE Results Post-Mortem

I hope your results have been kind to you and your students; I hope you are still standing after the annual tightrope walk.  However well things went, whether you are a senior leader, Head of department or teacher you’re going to want to try to extract as much information as possible from the results so that you can celebrate all … Continue reading

Exam grading is inherently flawed; but there’s no conspiracy.

    To put this post in context, previously I have written various other posts about the nature of exam grading, the way OfQual operates, the bell-curve of norm referencing and its role in setting standards, the degree of error that is inherent in any assessment and grading process.  Here is a selection: https://headguruteacher.com/2013/08/31/ofqual-insights-more-thoughts-on-exams/ https://headguruteacher.com/2014/05/27/the-assessment-uncertainty-principle/Continue reading

FACE It. A formula for learning. 

 Have you been exploring ways to teach students how to revise for exams?  It’s something lots of students struggle with.  Based on recent experience of taking students through GCSE exams this idea was devised by DHT Deb O’Connor; a simple and powerful formula to convey the essence of good learning and revision. Neatly, it also forms an … Continue reading

Our A* Victory vs Pearson. David 1: Goliath 0

Yesterday we heard the news that we had finally won our case with Pearson/Edexcel about an A* grade in Art GCSE.  Despite several negative responses to appeals and complaints, spurred on by the candidate’s parents, we persevered and ultimately won the case. It was just one grade, but it mattered to the student and her … Continue reading

The Assessment Uncertainty Principle

In our system so much hangs on the value given to our assessments leading to qualifications.  As we seek to measure learning with some degree of accuracy, we risk losing contact with the meaning of what the nature of the learning is.  Our increasing need for measures that are reproducible, consistent and transparent decreases our … Continue reading

Pedagogy Postcard #12: Blending content with assessment

A series of short posts about specific elements of teaching practice that I think are effective and make life interesting. Some are based on my own lessons and others are borrowed from lessons I’ve observed.   The idea of teaching to the test is often referred to as a being a limiting, narrowing aspect of … Continue reading

Labour’s National Baccalaureate: Strong on Principles and Pragmatism

Over the last year, I’ve been working with IoE Director, Chris Husbands, as a member of the Labour Skills Task Force; it has been a fascinating process. This week the third and final report from the group was published, outlining some recommendations for 14-19 curriculum and qualifications reform.  I recommend reading the report in detail … Continue reading

An Inside View of Exams: Messages from the Chief Regulator

  Last summer I had the opportunity to meet Glenys Stacey, Chief Regulator at OfQual.  She contacted me after I’d written about exams on my blog and was keen to have an exchange of views.  (Another power-of-blogging moment.) I now feel comfortable contacting her directly to ask what is going on with various examination issues.  … Continue reading

Taking Stock of the Education Agenda Part 1

Intro This has been a rather remarkable year in education and in my professional life.  Amid the permanent white water of policy change, I’ve been fortunate to have numerous opportunities to engage with teachers, school leaders, academics and policy-makers.  The world of twitter and blogging continues to provide a wonderfully rich seam of challenging material.  … Continue reading

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