Isobel Woodger, OCR English Subject Advisor
Here at OCR we’ve had lots of queries from centres in recent weeks about marking coursework, or non-exam assessment (NEA). For A Level English Literature (H472), this means Component 3: Literature post-1900.
There have been questions about how to apply the mark scheme. This isn’t surprising as it hasn’t been assessed for two years, so a larger number of teachers than normal will be submitting marks for moderation for the first time. We’ve also had questions about administrative requirements, and most particularly about whether any allowances should be made when marking for the abnormal and difficult circumstances many students have had to contend with while completing their assignments.
Regarding that last point, the JCQ (Joint Council for Qualifications) has recently released guidance, which makes it clear that all NEA must be marked in the same way as before the pandemic disruption. This is really important, as it will help ensure that all students’ work is marked to the same standards.
As the JCQ guidance also says, the 2022 grading process that takes place after marking, when the grade boundaries are set, will provide a safety net. So please don’t think that by marking your students’ work to pre-pandemic standards this year, you are in any way doing them an injustice. (For more on 2022 grading, please see this Ofqual article from September last year.)
In the light of that recent JCQ announcement, and the queries we’ve had from you, we thought it would be helpful to provide a quick summary of the support available to ensure that you are marking to the correct standard.
There are several resources that will help you have confidence in your application of the mark scheme for H472:
General information on NEA administration is available on our website. There is a candidate cover sheet on the Administration section of our English Language web page.
For A Level English Language specifically there are a couple of points to remember:
We hope that your students enjoy researching and writing their investigations for H472. This independent study remains an important part of A Level English Literature, helping to develop important independent study skills, as well as enabling students to study texts of real personal interest. Each year we’re always thrilled to see new texts and combinations that students are passionate about.
We have written a blog post exploring ways to encourage student independence of text choice and task construction. Additionally, we introduced our Expanding your NEA library resources two years ago which students seem to really have engaged with. We have published three lists so far which you can find on our Assessment page under NEA:
Finally, we will, as always, be offering CPD on H472 in the next school year. Keep an eye on the Professional Development section of our website and be sure to have signed up for English updates (details below) to get details of when these become available.
If you have any questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 01223 553998 or tweet us @OCR_English. You can also sign up to subject updates and receive information about resources and support.
Isobel has particular responsibility for the A Level English qualification suite. She previously worked as a classroom teacher in a co-educational state secondary school, with three years as second-in-charge in English with responsibility for Key Stage 5. In addition to teaching all age groups from Key Stage 3 to 5, Isobel worked with the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Education as a mentor to PGCE trainees. Prior to this, she studied for an MA in film, television and screen media with Birkbeck College, University of London while working as a learning support assistant at a large state comprehensive school.