9-1 International GCSEs in English: getting ready for the summer 2018 exam series

Fri Mar 02 14:47:30 UTC 2018

This update contains a reminder of the entry codes, access arrangements, the processes for preparing your students' work, key deadlines, and the materials you need to send to your moderator or monitor. It applies to the 2016 9-1 specifications only.

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Are you submitting samples for:

  • Coursework for International GCSE English Language A (4EA1 03)
  • Spoken Language Endorsement (SLE) for International GCSE English Language A or B (4EA1 E or 4EB1 E)
  • Coursework for International GCSE English Literature (4ET1 03)?

Optional Spoken Language Endorsement (SLE)

Please note, the Spoken Language Endorsement is optional on 4EA1 and 4EB1. The information below on the SLE applies only to those schools/candidates who have decided to complete the SLE. Those schools/candidates who have chosen to do the SLE must submit grades and the sample according to the requirements in the specification.

Entry deadline for International GCSEs: 21 March 2018.

Please note, the Spoken Language Endorsement is optional on 4EA1 and 4EB1. The information below on the SLE applies only to those schools/candidates who have decided to complete the SLE. Those schools/candidates who have chosen to do the SLE must submit grades and the sample according to the requirements in the specification.

Entry codes

Full details are available in the information manual, pp. 164. International centres (with large time differences to GMT) who sit regional papers should consult the international information manual. Each of the option codes below has an additional 'R' for centres requiring regional papers.

English Language, specification A

Entry code

Option

Title

4EA1

A

English Language Specification A (papers 1 & 2)

4EA1

AE

English Language Specification A (papers 1 & 2 & spoken language endorsement)

4EA1

B

English Language Specification A (paper 1 & coursework 3)

4EA1

BE

English Language Specification A (paper 1 & coursework 3 & spoken language endorsement)

English Language, specification B

Entry code

Option

Title

4EB1

 

English Language Specification B (paper 1)

4EB1

E

English Language Specification B (paper 1 & spoken language endorsement)

English Literature

Entry code

Option

Title

4ET1

A

English Literature (papers 1 & 2)

4ET1

B

English Literature (paper 1 & coursework 3)

Do you have a question about how access arrangements affect SPAG marks on any of the English International GCSEs?

Final dates for submission of the coursework and SLE sample: 15 May 2018.

By 15 May 2018 you must have submitted your coursework/SLE grades on Edexcel Online, and sent your sample to your moderator/monitor (whose name/s and address/es will be on Edexcel Online from mid-April). You will have a different moderator/monitor for each non examination assessment (4EA1 03, 4EA1 E, 4EB1 E, 4ET1 03) unit.

Where are the mark schemes for the coursework?

In the specifications.

English Language A (p. 20-23)
English Literature (p. 21-22)

Authentication sheets

English Language A
English literature

Informing candidates of their centre assessed marks prior to submission

Candidates must be told the grade given by their centre for a centre assessed component/unit. This requirement is to enable candidates to request a review of the centre’s marking prior to the grades being submitted to the awarding body, should they wish to do so.

Please see the JCQ guidance here

Although the requirement to inform candidates of their marks strictly applies only to GCSE, GCE and Project qualifications, centres are reminded that the JCQ publication General Regulations for Approved Centres states that centres must have a written internal appeals procedure relating to internal assessment decisions in all qualifications and to ensure that details of this procedure are communicated, made widely available and accessible to all candidates. Giving candidates access to their marks is an important part of the procedure.

See the JCQ publication General Regulations for Approved Centres here

Do I need to carry out internal standardisation?

In large centres with multiple teachers, it's essential that you carry out internal moderation before you finalise the coursework marks. You should sample double-mark, selecting mark points within the same level from different teaching sets. The double marking should continue until you are satisfied that you have achieved comparability.

Small schools with only one teacher need not carry out internal standardisation. It is helpful to include a covering note with your sample explaining that you are in this situation.

How should I annotate the work?

It's important that you annotate the coursework to show the moderator how you have interpreted the mark scheme and applied it to the students' work.

Indications in the margins as to where specific mark scheme levels are perceived, together with summative comments at the end of the coursework are ideal. Your annotation can be on the work itself or on the authentication sheet. Please ensure that the audience for your comments is clearly the moderator rather than the student.

You should mark and annotate the work in ink (rather than pencil). If you have already annotated in pencil, please make a note to use ink next year.

How, physically, should I submit the work?

Please attach the completed authentication sheet to the front of the student’s work using a treasury tag. Please do no staple the student’s work or attach the authentication sheet with a staple. Please do not insert the student’s work into a plastic folder. Please do not attach mark schemes with highlighted descriptors as evidence of marking. The students’ scripts themselves need to be hand-annotated by the marking/moderating teacher to indicate how the work meets particular assessment objectives at particular levels of the mark scheme.

What are the grade boundaries?

You should not attempt to grade the work; you should be marking the work by applying the mark scheme in a consistent manner.

Coursework grades will be awarded at the end of each examination series using the standard code of practice awarding process.

Grade boundaries, which are subject to change each exam series, are published on the grade boundaries page of our website. For summer 2018, they'll be available to download from results day: 23 August 2018. We publish notional component grade boundaries and actual grade boundaries.

A score of zero should only be used if a candidate has submitted work that is found to meet none of the assessment criteria. An X should be used for any candidate who is absent.

Access the grade boundaries page here

How do I submit my marks to Edexcel? And what do I do if I make a mistake?

Your marks should be submitted online via Edexcel Online/ EDI. You must print out a copy of the marks for the moderator and for your own records.

Find out how to submit marks online here

In order to enter marks you must have ‘basic access’ and ‘Coursework and Portfolio’ ticked on your Edexcel online profile. If you don’t have this, your exams officer can amend your profile.

Where is the Edexcel Online link?

Access Edexcel Online

If you need to be set up with an Edexcel Online account please ask your exams officer.

If you've forgotten your Edexcel Online password you can generate a new one.

If you've already submitted a mark but it needs to be amended (for example, because of an administrative error), please email the details to courseworkmarks@pearson.com.

Identifying the sample of work that needs to be sent to the moderator

On Edexcel Online, you'll see a tick next to the names of those students whose work needs to be sent for moderation. You also need to send the work of the highest- and lowest-scoring candidates in addition to the requested sample. If your highest or lowest scoring candidate is in the sample, please provide an additional folder/s. If any of the called-for candidates have been withdrawn or have incomplete submissions, please provide additional candidates' work of a comparable level, along with a covering note.

Who is my moderator?

The name and address of your moderator will be on Edexcel Online or EDI from mid-April.

Word counts, titles, quotations and bibliographies

Please see the specification guidance at the beginning of each coursework unit which gives clear information on word counts. Titles, bibliographies and footnotes (that are references rather than content) are not included in word counts. Quotations are included. Word counts are advisory and there is no penalty for exceeding them.

Where is the mark scheme for the SLE?

In the specifications.

English Language A (p. 26) 
English Language B (p. 11)

SLE guidance documents

The key information on SLE can be found in these documents:

  • English Language A specification, pp. 25-28
  • English Language B specification, pp. 10

SLE authentication sheets

Assessment record sheet (for each candidate), p. 42 of the English Language A specification and p. 25 of the English Language B specification.

And as word documents:

Spoken Language Endorsement Assessment Record Sheet 4EA1

Spoken Language Endorsement Assessment Record Sheet 4EB1


Informing candidates of their centre assessed marks prior to submission

Candidates must be told the grade given by their centre for a centre assessed component/unit. This requirement is to enable candidates to request a review of the centre’s marking prior to the grades being submitted to the awarding body, should they wish to do so.

Please see the JCQ guidance here

Although the requirement to inform candidates of their marks strictly applies only to GCSE, GCE and Project qualifications, centres are reminded that the JCQ publication General Regulations for Approved Centres states that centres must have a written internal appeals procedure relating to internal assessment decisions in all qualifications and to ensure that details of this procedure are communicated, made widely available and accessible to all candidates. Giving candidates access to their marks is an important part of the procedure.

See the JCQ publication General Regulations for Approved Centres here

Do I need to carry out internal standardisation?

Yes, you should use the Standardising materials to standardise all teachers assessing the SLE.

How do I submit my grades to Edexcel? And what do I do if I make a mistake?

Your grades should be submitted online via Edexcel Online/ EDI. You must print out a copy of the grades for the monitor and for your own records. I will contact you again nearer the deadline to explain how to do so.

In order to enter grades you must have ‘basic access’ and ‘Coursework and Portfolio’ ticked on your Edexcel online profile. If you don’t have this, your exams officer can amend your profile.

Where is the Edexcel Online link?

Access Edexcel Online

If you need to be set up with an Edexcel Online account please ask your exams officer. If you've forgotten your Edexcel Online password you can generate a new one.

If you've already submitted a grade but it needs to be amended (for example, because of an administrative error), please email the details to courseworkmarks@pearson.com.

Identifying the sample of work that you have selected to send to your monitor

On Edexcel Online, after entering your grades, you will be able to indicate the candidates whose recordings are in the sample. Students with ‘not classified’ cannot form part of your sample.

Who is my monitor?

The name and address of your monitor will be on Edexcel Online or EDI from mid-April.

Can recordings be submitted electronically?

Your recordings for the Spoken Language Endorsement must be physically posted to your monitor on a USB stick or CD. They cannot be shared on Dropbox or via Google Cloud etc.

Does Edexcel provide envelopes for sending the sample to the monitor? What method of postage is required?

Edexcel does not provide envelopes. It is the centre’s responsibility to ensure that their Data Protection Policy is adhered to. In order to support this process you must ensure that all work is sent via tracked Parcelforce.

How long must the student’s presentation last? What if I’m assessing more than 1 student at a time, for example using a debate?

Each student must speak for up to 10 minutes, including questions and answers. Students’ presentations (with questions and answers) should not exceed 10 minutes. If you assess several students at the same time, each student still needs to speak for around 10 minutes each. There is no minimum time for the assessment. You should bear in mind that you need to observe a sufficient quantity of speaking and listening in order for the student to demonstrate the criteria for each grade.

How should the listening and responding to questions be managed?

Candidates who are not asked questions and therefore cannot respond to them must be recorded as NC (Not classified). The questions asked, either by the teacher or by other members of an audience, should serve to help the candidate. Students may prepare the questions they will pose prior to the presentation. Challenging yet supportive open-ended questions which allow candidates to develop and expand their arguments, can help candidates achieve higher grades. It is helpful to coach students in the skills needed to pose and respond to questions. However having the audience pose scripted questions which the candidate responds to with scripted replies should be avoided.

Do the students asking questions have to be ‘in shot’?

It is perfectly acceptable to film the candidate face on to the camera or slightly in profile so that the candidate can face both camera and audience. There is no need to film the audience but their questions must be heard. Audiences should not be positioned behind the candidate as addressing questions to the back of his/her head is disconcerting and might well prevent the candidate from meeting the needs of, or engaging, the audience.

Can questions be posed by the teacher only?

Yes, they can but if this approach is used, the students should answer in a manner which suggests a wider audience, as in a TV interview.

Can students use hand-held, bullet-point notes or use PowerPoint presentations?

Yes, they can, but the intention is that they speak freely. Please see the exemplars for examples of how students use notes. If a student ‘reads’ you should use your professional judgement and apply the mark scheme as usual. A candidate who presents to the audience by reading from a script without making eye contact with the audience or using paralinguistic features is unlikely to be able to meet the needs of the audience (to interest them) and achieve the goals of the presentation.

The use of PowerPoint and video can be effective in buttressing presentations. However there is skill involved in using such supporting material, and they can give candidates too much to do in operating them. PowerPoint is perhaps best used sparingly to focus the audience on a particular stage in the development of an argument, rather than to provide a text to be read from and it can be counterproductive to use videos to fill up time, or because they are perceived to be entertaining, rather than support an argument.

Is there any guidance about which topics candidates should present on?

It is highly recommended that this should be a collaborative decision involving both teacher and candidate, with the candidate having some element of choice. Some topics chosen for discussion in summer 2017 made it more difficult (though not impossible) for candidates to achieve the higher grades. Recounting holiday experiences or the virtues of famous footballers or family members are not, in themselves, topics without challenge or sophistication, but they make it that much more of an uphill task to meet the national standards for merit and distinction grades. Subjects which involve a degree of controversy tend to provide able candidates with the best scope. Good examples included ‘The Scourge of People Trafficking’, ‘What is “post-truth”?’, ‘How to encourage children to read’.

Requiring all candidates to speak on the same subject, such as ‘Work Experience’, ‘The Experience of Exams’ or a set text can prevent candidates from showing enthusiasm and ownership and can encourage presentations which are merely descriptive. Presenting on poems or texts which students have studied elsewhere in their English studies did not prove a particularly successful approach in the first submission of the SLE for GCSE in summer 2017.

Do I need to make audio-visual recordings of all students?

If you have 30 candidates or fewer, you make audio-visual recordings of all candidates. If you have more than 30 candidates, you make audio-visual recordings of 30 candidates. Full details of how to select the sample are in the specification.

Who chooses the sample of students to be make audio-visual recordings of?

The teacher or Head of Department in the centre does.

What feedback do teachers receive after results have been issued in the summer or January exam series?

Teachers are able to download the Principal Monitor’s Report. Following the summer series, centres identified by monitors as requiring support will be contacted. Support visits will take place between December and April. Centres will be contacted by letter between September and December if their monitor has identified them for support.

Last updated 26 February 2018.

Clare Haviland, English subject advisor
Clare HavilandEnglish
UK: 020 7010 2183
Intl: +44 (0)20 7010 2183
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