Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Exam board that marked St Clere’s exam papers defend record

THE EXAM board that marked St Clere’s exam papers has defended its marking after coming under fire from the Stanford-le-Hope school.

As YT reported yesterday, according to the government, St Clere’s has seen the percentage of students gaining 5 or more A* to C grades (including English and Maths) fall from 67% to 46% in just one year.

So we put St Clere’s criticisms to the Cambridge International Examinations Board.

A spokesperson said: "We have ensured the standards of our IGCSE First Language English syllabuses are comparable with those of corresponding GCSE English Language qualifications.

"This year, in the case of IGCSE First Language English, we made small adjustments at grades A and C – a small tightening of the standard in each case – which our evidence showed were appropriate to maintain IGCSE standards. Making minor corrections to the standard set in previous years is a routine part of maintaining the correct standard of all of our IGCSEs, and is written into our procedures.

"We are confident in the marking and grading of IGCSE First Language English. Preliminary figures show that the proportion of grade changes, resulting from schools enquiries into their results, is in line with previous years".

There has been a variety of responses to the exam results.

St Clere’s member of staff, Jo Nyland said:

"The figures for St Clere’s quoted above are incorrect. The school made it public on their website that they did not receive all the results through in August.

45% did not include all pupils which is why the school could not publish its results. With results all in and some re-marks back, the results should stand at 49.6% and will continue to rise. This is a 12% drop from the league table figures from last year.

"For the correct information please see the School’s Website".

A person who identified themselves as a former student (but asked not to be named) also got in contact with us.

He said: "Firstly, the explicit use and placement of the English Literature results (placed alongside Maths in the October update!) by St Clere’s is misleading to new parents, who may not be aware that results in English Literature are as significant as those in subjects such as French, Geography, and History; and are not in any way interchangeable or comparable with English Language and Maths.

This happening in English is far from surprising. As a student who sat their GCSE’s back in 2012 I was let down by the department. I had actually already achieved a B grade in the English Language exam when I sat it in the January. The coursework (controlled assessment), which made up the rest of this mark, was looked at by the teachers who gave it an expected grade.

"With weeks left to improve it if I still needed, I was told I needn’t do any extra work on my pieces of controlled assessment as it was more than enough to get me a B. It actually turned out that my coursework was low enough to drag my overall grade down to a C. My C’s in English were the lowest grades I achieved at GCSE.

At A Level I achieved an A in Sociology and a B in Law; two heavily written based subjects, in which my English skills were actually my biggest strength! I am in my second year at university studying law.

I realise this information is all very dated and no longer representative but the recent debacle hasn’t shocked me one bit, as opposed to how it would if it were Maths, for example.

"I realise people have suggested the article is negative, but people who are personally affected are very unlikely to be so lenient and understanding when you see first-hand the effect it can have, people were let down last summer, and will now have to spend multiple hours a week preparing to resit the subject on top of beginning A Level’s at college.


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