A guide to submitting the GCSE History controlled assessment in summer 2016

7 April 2016

Whether you're new to the process or simply after a reminder of which forms to use, my latest update contains a quick summary of the administrative process involved in GCSE History controlled assessment submission. It includes a reminder of the deadlines, the materials you need to send to the moderator and lots of other useful advice and links. 

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Submission deadline 

The final date for submitting your GCSE History controlled assessment marks and samples of work for the summer 2016 series is 15 May 2016.

This is the date by which you must have submitted your GCSE History controlled assessment marks to us, and have sent your sample of student work to the moderator.

Where a centre has been affected by circumstances beyond its control, it may, in exceptional cases, be possible for us to grant a short extension. Requests must be sent to the history assessment team at: history@pearson.com.

The next section considers some key questions you may have about administration.

How do I submit my controlled assessment marks to Pearson? 

Your marks can be submitted on an OPTEMS form (an optically scanned mark sheet), or online via Edexcel Online/EDI.

OPTEMS mark sheets will start to arrive in schools at the end of April 2016 for the summer series - after the Easter holidays. The OPTEMS form will contain the names of all the students you entered for controlled assessment in the summer 2016 series. If you haven't received your OPTEMS and the mark submission deadline is fast approaching, please ask your examinations officer for an update.

You can fill in your students' total raw marks (a raw mark out of 50) on the OPTEMS form. Please do not try to double the mark, convert them into UMS marks yourself, or submit them as a percentage on the OPTEMS! Please also remember that there are no separate additional marks for SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) in controlled assessment.

You need to send the top copy of the OPTEMS form to us. The address should be printed on the OPTEMS form and an envelope should have been provided for this purpose.

You keep a copy of the form for your own records and send a copy of the form to the moderator with the sample of work (the form is printed in triplicate).

Controlled assessment marks can also be submitted online. If you're submitting marks online, you must print out a copy of the marks for the moderator and for your own records.

If you have already submitted a mark but it needs to be amended (for example, because of an administrative error), please email the assessment team at history@pearson.com with details of the amended point score. 

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

On the OPTEMS mark sheet there will be an asterisk next to the name of each student whose work we want to see for moderation. You also need to send the work of the highest and lowest-scoring candidates if they are not part of the requested sample.

You can also check Edexcel Online to identify which work needs to be sent for moderation - there will be a tick next to the candidates' names.

If, for some reason, you're unable to send the work for a particular student, you should send the work of an equivalent student with a similar mark. You should also write a note to the moderator explaining the reason for the change. 

Complete portfolio of work for one student must also be sent

Please note that for controlled assessment submitted in summer 2016 you are also now required to send the complete portfolio of work for one student. This is a requirement for the strengthened GCSE specification to ensure that all the required content is taught. The portfolio must include work carried out by the student and copies of all handouts and other materials provided by the teacher for the entire controlled assessment task.

The student whose work will be submitted will not be known until you receive the OPTEMS form. When the OPTEMS form identifies the students whose work will be sampled, the accompanying portfolio should consist of the work of the student with the second highest total within the sample. If, for some reason, this student’s complete portfolio of work is unavailable, send the portfolio of next highest scoring student in the sample. 

Who is my moderator? 

As well as an OPTEMS form, you should also receive (via your examinations officer) a moderator address label and envelope with which to send the coursework sample. 

What other materials need to be sent to the moderator? 

As well as the OPTEMS, sample of student work and complete portfolio of work for one student, you should also send to the moderator the relevant students' notes, plans and bibliographies, a copy of your third representation and students' individual candidate authentication sheets. 

Forms for strengthened specification

Because the controlled assessment recently changed, there are new versions of the controlled assessment mark and authentication sheet and the controlled assessment notes and plans proforma for certification from 2015.

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Where is the mark scheme? 

This may seem obvious, but we always get a lot of queries asking where the mark schemes are.

There are no topic-specific mark schemes for GCSE History controlled assessment. For GCSE controlled assessment, there is only a generic mark scheme. This can be found in the relevant specification. Please make sure you use the correct mark scheme for the 2013 strengthened tasks. 

Where can I find exemplar work? 

We have examples of marked work available to help exemplify the mark scheme level descriptors.

You can read examples of exemplar work in the Part A, Part B and Part C guidance documents for the 2013 strengthened tasks.

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You can also find examples of work for the pre-2013 specification on the relevant qualification page under ‘course materials’ then ‘exemplar material’. These old documents are still useful in exemplifying the approach to the Part B enquiry and Part C representations task, provided you take into account the changes which are discussed in the above guidance.

Do I need to carry out internal standardisation of marking? 

In large centres with multiple teachers, it's essential that you carry out internal moderation before you finalise the coursework or controlled assessment 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. 

How should I annotate the work? 

It's important that you annotate the controlled assessment 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 assessment levels are perceived, together with summative comments at the end of each part of the coursework or controlled assessment, are ideal.

You should mark and annotate the work in ink. Initial marking may be done in pencil until you're satisfied that you are applying the marking criteria accurately and consistently. Please then go over your marks and comments in ink. 

What are the grade boundaries? 

You should not attempt to grade the work. You should be marking the work by applying the marking criteria in a consistent manner.

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

Grade boundaries are available to download from results day from the grade boundaries page.

Please also remember that the mark you submit to us should be the total raw mark, not the UMS mark. The UMS marks are allocated by us as a result of the awarding process.

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. 

Resitting linear GCSE and transferring controlled assessment marks 

If a student is resitting the entire GCSE History qualification in summer 2016 and they certificated in summer 2015, then they do not need to retake controlled assessment. It is possible to transfer the controlled assessment mark across from the summer 2015 series.

In this is situation it is not necessary to enter for the controlled assessment unit - just enter for the examined units plus the overall cash-in code and last summer's controlled assessment mark will transfer across automatically. 

Teacher support booklet 

You can find further support and guidance in our teacher support booklet for controlled assessment.

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E9 Moderator Report 

While moderating your centre's coursework or controlled assessment, the moderator will write an E9 report which will give you detailed feedback on your marking and administration. You will be able to download this report on results day.

I will provide further guidance on how to access your centre's E9 Moderator Report in my results day update. If, on results day, you can't access your report, please email me at teachinghistory@pearson.com, as I may need to amend your Edexcel Online account. Alternatively, ask your examinations officer for assistance.

I hope you have found this update useful. If you have any further questions, please contact me.



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