Marie Bessant - Music and Performing Arts Subject Advisor
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, Marie Bessant summarises the questions asked at our Music and Drama Q&A event.
For summer 2021, the previous adaptations have been replaced with the Teacher Assessed Grades.
You are looking to reach a holistic grade. This means you do not have to reach component level marks. You can still work to the required NEA if it helps you, and it can be placed into your range of evidence, but there isn’t a requirement to complete it fully. You’ll need evidence to support that a student is working at the grade you have determined they deserve.
To determine your TAGs, it is best to use the published grade descriptors to identify the typical performance and characteristics of your evidence.
Holistically! Grade descriptors will help you identify how the range of evidence for each student aligns with the expected performance standards. There are a number of steps:
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, assessment objectives.
Consider whether the evidence is sufficient. If not you could use the assessment materials provided by us to supplement or help confirm student performance.
Although this evidence is not being prescribed by exam boards, it does need to be as consistent as possible for all your students, unless there is a good reason why the work would not be representative, e.g. a student or students missed more content than their peers because of self-isolation. This is to ensure that your grading judgements are consistent for your students in your centre.
Yes, you can - there is a guide to this by the JCQ on how you might wish to use it.
If NEA is used, it does not need to be given the same weighting as in a standard year. The weight you give any piece of evidence, including any NEA, will depend on the quality of that piece of evidence and how representative it is of students’ attainment.
You can use any evidence that demonstrates a student is working at a particular grade. There is no requirement to cover/find evidence for the whole specification. Although you can still use the adapted NEA requirements and the usual marking criteria as a guide to work towards.
So for music:
November 2020 was an atypical year. For music and drama this only includes the written papers.
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.
If you have further questions about this summer’s grading process, you can email us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 01223 553998 or tweet us @OCR_PerformArts.
You can also sign up to receive subject updates and receive 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.
Marie joined OCR in July 2014 as after teaching music and performing arts for 10 years. With experience as Head of Department at secondary schools and FE colleges. Marie has a wealth of experience teaching music and performing arts at GCSE, A Level, and Level 2-4 vocational qualifications. As OCR’s performing arts specialist Marie led in the development for the new Music GCSEs and A Levels, and now oversees the management and support of Music and Drama GCSE and A Level, and the Cambridge Technical vocational performing arts qualifications. Alongside this Marie is an organist and pianist with a love for rock music.