Earlier today I attended an AQA hub meeting. Kudos to AQA for the efforts they are putting in to make sure schools are well supported in the run-up to the new 1-9 GCSE. The hub meeting was useful in determining which tier to enter borderline students, to look at how practical skills could be examined and to look at the types of questions that could be used to test A02.
As always, these meetings are often as useful for what you find out from networking with the people there…
- AQA hadn’t considered teachers might want to photocopy the resources they provided as a spiral bound booklet.
- Teachers say they don’t have enough assessment materials to rehearse the new 1-9 GCSE with students
- The age range of science teachers ranged from the very young to my age (and even older!) so I’m reassured to know that not every school drive out older staff through an excessive workload
- Assessment systems are equally despised in schools across the region with data requests from SLT being a common cause for complaint.
- Some schools are doing mocks now and again after Christmas (one even enquired about teachers putting on extra lessons in the holidays to make room for another mock – it wasn’t clarified if the school offered to pay overtime…)
- Linked to assessment systems many students have targets that are unrealistic. One school assigned grades based on a distribution and predicted some students a grade 8, SLT said those students need to get a grade 9 now in the exams…
- Time allocated to science teaching is inconsistent and varies from school to school (and widely between double and triple in one school…)
- That teachers are determined to do what they can for their students whether than be attending hub meetings or putting practice materials and lessons together.