This tag is associated with 20 posts

GCSE Tactics: Stick or Twist

The lack of coordination between OfQual and DFE in relation to exams reform is so frustrating. Two major mid-stream announcements have put lots of schools in a difficult position, essentially having to decide between their students’ individual exam successes or the school’s overall performance. We’re reducing exam preparation to a matter of tactics rather than … Continue reading

OfQual Insights: More thoughts on exams.

This week I met Glenys Stacey, the CEO of OfQual.  She’d invited me to share views about aspects of the examination system.  I had previously met Amanda Spielman, the Chair of OfQual – where she offered advice on our Baccalaureate model.   OfQual leaders are keen to engage in dialogue with people in the profession, … Continue reading

My Exam Results Postmortem

My Exam Results Postmortem. Don’t you just love exam results days? I always have….all the anticipation, the nerves, the agonising wait and then, finally….the big reveal.  Jubilation and despair and everything in between….wrapping up years of endeavour in one big moment. It’s an emotional field day. When that email arrives from the Exams Officer carrying … Continue reading

Exam Reform. Another blog manifesto.

I’ve written quite a few posts about exams and assessment in the last year.  Some of the earlier ones were a bit of a rant; more recently, I think they are more measured.  Through this blog and other related activities such as working with the Headteachers’ Roundtable, I’ve been able to meet some of the … Continue reading

Towards a Proper English Baccalaureate

Before joining KEGS as Head, I used to work as Head of Secondary at the British International School in Jakarta.  It was an extraordinary experience on many levels.  One of the features of the school that gave us confidence that we were delivering an extremely strong educational product was that we ran the English Curriculum … Continue reading

TFTW: Exam results are only part of the story.

Essex Chronicle Thought for the Week June 6th 2013 Students across the country are now in the full swing of the annual exam hall rituals, testing their ability to recall and apply their subject knowledge.  In August all will be revealed when students receive the grades that define their achievements, opening or closing doors, and … Continue reading

EBacc Alternative: One System for All; Excellence for All

In order to contribute to the debate about the assessment framework that might replace GCSEs and A levels,  I would like to put forward an alternative. Here is the pdf:  The English Baccalaureate Framework. I envisage a system where the vast majority of students graduate from school at 18 with an English Baccalaureate qualification of … Continue reading

Reaction to EBCs: Why I’m not jumping for joy

New Model Exams Even if we leave aside the absurdity of politicians designing our examination system with virtually no input from the teaching profession and then letting the details come out as little more than propaganda in the Daily Mail, the re-configured announcement/leak regarding O Levels (now EBCs) is frustrating on many levels.  However, it … Continue reading

Battles with AQA over English exams have shaken confidence in the concept of standards

The story of the last week has been about English GCSE and the mess that has been made of the grading.  ‘Only’ 1.5% fewer grades at A*-C were awarded compared to 2011 but still this represents thousands of young people affected and hundreds of schools.  The analysis by Daniel Stucke is superb, showing how the … Continue reading

The folly of narrow newspaper league tables.

As a long-standing reader of Ben Goldacre’s ‘Bad Science’ column, I was under the impression that the Guardian was a champion of the idea that it is important to seek the truth through a rigorous examination of evidence.  I am therefore rather disappointed by the approach they have taken in reporting achievement at A Level.  … Continue reading

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