In June 2017 the new GCSEs in England in English and Maths will be graded for the first time. Schools are teaching to a new syllabus, and there is great uncertainty about the standards that will be applied. How can CJ help in this situation?
Schools want to know what standard their pupils are currently working at now, so they can identify possible weaknesses in their teaching, and so that they can predict their results.
The issue is that no-one really knows what the standards will look like until after June 2017. Only after all the scripts have been marked and graded will we see how performance has been turned into grades.
What about June 2018? You don’t want to be in the same position again.
So here’s how CJ can help with June 2018.
Identify some key tasks related to the new GCSE syllabuses.
Unseen writing tasks and open-ended maths questions are perfect.
Set the tasks for your whole cohort.
Involve all teachers in judging them.
At that point you will have a rank order of scripts which has been collectively produced. The scores will be objective and free from bias.
But you won’t know the standard of the scripts (unless you get together with some other friendly schools, when you can start making some statistical predictions).
So apply the grade descriptors as best as you can to set cut points for the grades for the whole cohort. At this stage you will have a score point associated with each grade cut-off.
Every time you have a large scale exam include a similar but not exactly identical task for judging.
When you come to judge these new scripts, add some of the scripts you have already judged so you can make direct comparisons with previous sessions. Use the same grade cut-off scores.
Finally, in July 2017 you will be able to see how accurate you were when you applied your grade descriptors to produce your grade cut-offs. You can now use the grades achieved by your pupils to adjust the scores points associated with grade cut-offs.
From September 2018 your archive of scripts means you will be in a strong position to know exactly where your pupils stand in relation to the new GCSE standards whenever you do a judging session.
So here’s my advice. Stop worrying about June 2017 and use CJ to start getting prepared for September 2018!