September 2009
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Erratic GCSE history results

I wonder whether the new GCSE history courses which started, for most, last week will yeild more reliable results than this year’s. Am I alone in finding it incredible that students who scored A or A* on one paper score a U on the other? When teachers work so hard over two years and give the kids so much practice at writing exam answers and even marking them to exam markschemes, there seems such little margin for error in the final marks. And yet for the past 3 weeks scarecely a day has gone past when teachers on their forum have come up with even more horor staories of remarking an dhalf the kids seeing their marks improve by 1 or 2 grades. When AfL is so ingrained in classroom practice at GCSE and skills-based work so well-developed from KS3, surely teachers know what theor students shoukld achieve. There will always be the odd surprise and the odd disaster but surely we need a reliable system that gives the students what they deserve. one wonders whether schools having access to past papers and markschemes has actually exposed the inadequacy of the exam board’s marking!

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