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I have felt uncomfortable for some time about the prevalent attitude of “will it count towards my GCSE? The unfortunate truth at the moment is that if it does, most will really try and put in every effort.If it’s “just practice” or, heaven forbid, an assignment merely to develop or secure understanding, it doesn’t get the full focus of a “proper assessment”.
See the specifications for full details.) These coursework tasks have been chosen because they relate to the subject content of the unit and they give students the opportunity to meet all the assessment criteria.
Teachers and students may choose their own tasks, but AQA strongly advises that, if they do, they consult their coursework adviser before using the task with students so that the adviser can reassure them that the proposed task is suitable.
Possible choices are heights, weights, pulse rates or reaction times of males and females and/or different age groups.
Measurements of trees, shells, etc, of different types and locations could also be compared.
It seems almost ridiculous that I have to state that at all.
Teachers spend every lesson with their students and know better than anyone the full range of their achievements within the subject, in much more detail than any examination can hope to discover, no matter how long or rigorous. Teacher assessment (in English especially) has snapped under the weight of the accountability framework’s focus upon it.
The environment now is far more pressured and in these circumstances, it is likely that internal assessment of GCSE and A levels as presently practised has become a less valid form of assessment. Teacher assessment is still the best way of assessing student progress and learning (although, as David Didau asserts, measuring learning is a horrifically complex business).
It should still be the basis of teaching and learning in the classroom but only if the sole purpose of that teacher assessment is to measure the child’s progress and identify next steps in learning.
I will be glad to see the back of this distinction as it will allow and require a full focus on the process of learning in every piece of work throughout the course.
Teacher assessment is best I genuinely believe that teachers are best placed to make accurate and complete assessments of their students’ abilities.