In the past weeks, we’ve been running online Q&A events to give you a chance to ask subject-specific questions about this year’s grading process. This followed our roundtable video, which gives suggestions on how to use support materials and answers many general grading questions. In this blog I’ve summarised the discussion design and technology Q&A event, and the most common questions we’ve been receiving about grading for summer 2021.
The evidence doesn’t need to cover every aspect of the specification. The aim is to include evidence that shows the student’s ability across the range of content taught and, where possible, all assessment objectives.
Yes, you can still use the existing adaptations. In addition, you should only use content that the students have been taught.
Yes, incomplete NEA can be used if you wish to do so. JCQ have produced some guidance on assessing incomplete NEA. If the NEA work is incomplete it may still allow, students to demonstrate their subject knowledge and understanding. If your students have produced their NEA we have provided guidance and exemplars to support assessment for GCSE and A Level in line with the grade descriptors. You can find these in the Assessment section of the qualification pages on our website.
No. Awarding organisations are not moderating NEA for GCSEs and A Levels this year. While you might choose to use completed or partially completed NEA as one source of evidence of learner attainment, there is no requirement to do this and the work will not be being assessed as it normally would be. You do not have to offer learners the right to an internal appeal of the mark by the centre before the submission of teacher assessed grades.
You can do. However, if you are using different evidence for a student, you would need to provide an explanation. The worked examples from JCQ are helpful when considering differences in student evidence. If you have enough holistic evidence to provide a grade, then you can justify leaving the missed assessment out. If not, you would need a rationale to explain the replacement (which could just be ‘they were absent’). It would be useful in this case if the replacement was similar as this would provide greater confidence in the result you are providing.
November 2020 was an atypical year. The last ‘regular’ exam series was 2019. Use the grade boundaries as a guide, but do remember, it is a holistic look at the evidence for the student. There isn't a requirement to use the additional assessment materials and turn the result into a grade, the mark might suffice when compared to grade descriptors and exemplification.
If you have further questions about this summer’s grading process, you can email us at email@example.com, call us on 01223 553998 or tweet us @OCR_DesignTech. You can also sign up to subject updates and receive email information about resources and support.
All advice and guidance provided by awarding bodies regarding arrangements for summer 2021 undergoes ratification by the JCQ (Joint Council for Qualifications). This is to ensure that awarding bodies provide consistent information to centres. The content of the above blog is currently being reviewed by the JCQ and is therefore potentially subject to some change in wording.
Before joining OCR in September 2019, Karl taught creative subjects in both art and design technology for 12 years. With experience with a variety of roles in secondary schools, including as a head of department, he has a wealth of knowledge and experience in teaching creative subjects at GCSE, A Level and BTEC. He has also previously worked as one of our examiners.