Neil Hateley – OCR Computer Science Subject Advisor
In this blog, I outline the process for determining Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) for larger Cambridge Technicals qualifications and provide links to the more detailed guidance and examples available on our Online Support Centre.
We are aware that some centres delivering Cambridge Technicals are having difficulty with the approach proposed for determining TAGs in summer 2021. There are also some areas in which the qualification TAG process fails to capture important grading information for some students who are in the first year of a two-year course of study.
The approach to generating teacher assessed grades has been challenging for most centres, however, some have been able to adapt more readily than others. We are aware of some centres who deliver the larger Cambridge Technicals qualifications, such as the 540 GLH Foundation Diploma, 720 GLH Diploma and 1080 GLH Extended Diploma, expressing concern about the process of topping up qualifications and the accuracy of grading for learners who have incomplete evidence.
If you are running a two-year program of study in which you certificate learners at the end of year 1 on a lower qualification, and then enter them for a higher qualification at the end of year 2, you will need to enter qualification TAGs for year 1 and unit level TAGs at the start of year 2. This includes:
You will need to enter qualification TAGs for year 1 and unit level TAGs at the start of year 2.
Qualification TAGs do not capture the points-based information for individual units, which will be needed when topping up to a higher award. The unit level TAGs will capture this information and make the process fairer and more accurate.
Cambridge Technicals are usually graded using multiple units of work scored on a points system for each grade achieved. Centres have reported that they are working with a mixture of completed units and incomplete or compromised units. Producing a holistic or best fit grade from this collection of information has proved challenging for centres where disruption has made a significant impact.
We would encourage centres to use the holistic judgement approach where possible to determine grades for learners. This could be applied within the grading of a single partly completed unit, where for example LO1 and LO2 have been completed but LO3 and LO4 are incomplete or missing due to difficulties experienced by the learner or centre. The partial evidence could be used, alongside the grade descriptors, to generate a TAG for each compromised unit. These unit grades could then be used together with other more complete evidence to form a grading judgement for the whole qualification.
It should be remembered, as many of you will be aware, that to achieve a distinction grade overall it is not necessary to complete every unit, or even most units at distinction. This remains the case when determining TAGs for summer 2021.
We have provided detailed guidance to support the grading of larger Cambridge Technicals qualifications this year, along with worked examples, in the links below.
Example: Grading the Foundation Diploma (540 GLH)
Example: Grading the Diploma (720 GLH)
Example: Grading the Extended Diploma (1080 GLH)
If you have any questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 01223 553998 or tweet us @OCR_ICT or @OCR_Vocational. You can also sign up to subject updates and and receive information about resources and support.
Neil joined OCR in January 2020, bringing with him a broad swathe of experience from the further education sector and industry. He has completed 17 years in both small and large further education establishments, delivering vocational and industry certified training programs. Neil’s previous employment experience included systems support for control systems, as well as electronic and electromechanical development engineering work.
Neil has a first degree in Applied Physics from Hull University, and post graduate qualifications in Business Computing from The University of Northampton.
Outside work, Neil is a keen gardener and beekeeper, he has a young family and various pets most of which he looks after on behalf of his daughter. One day he may even get around to getting his motorbike out of the shed again .