The subject advisor team here at OCR supports teachers delivering our qualifications. Our teachers include experienced senior leaders, heads of faculty, subject leaders, senior teachers, teachers in their early careers, newly qualified teachers and of course teachers in initial teacher training.
Today, this includes PGCE students, GTP teachers, Teach First, Now Teach and others.
Many of us on the subject advisor team are former teachers and we know how challenging teaching GCSE and A Levels can be for the first time, especially in times of reform.
In recent years, many of us have visited ITT providers and have run assessment training sessions for PGCE students.
All teachers, including PGCE students and other trainees, need to meet the Teachers’ Standards.
Part 1 relates to teaching and Part 2 to personal and professional conduct.
It is standard number 6 of Part 1 that the subject advisor team support:
6. Make accurate and productive use of assessment
Our subject advisors have visited PGCE students at several institutions including Liverpool Hope University, the University of Bristol, the University of East Anglia, the University of Worcester and Goldsmiths College, London; providing support for trainee teachers in several subjects including history, business, economics, religious studies and English.
We have delivered sessions covering a range of topics including an overview of the qualification system, misconceptions about examinations, key principles of assessment, marking and moderation.
When planning and providing the support we try to look at it from the perspective of the trainee teachers – looking back to what we would have found useful when we were doing our teacher training.
Feedback from course leaders and students has been excellent – and we have been delighted to help develop trainee teachers understanding of assessment in the context of exams.
If you run an ITT course at a university and are interested in a visit from a subject advisor, please contact us by telephone on 01223 553998 or by email to email@example.com so we can discuss it further.
Following your requests, we are making some basic assessment training materials for ITT students available online. These could be used by tutors training teachers in universities, colleges and schools.
The first resource is a PowerPoint presentation which covers:
The second resource is a booklet featuring an introduction to the basics of assessment and activities around assessment objectives using exam questions from history, religious studies, English, maths, computing and science.
It is intended that mixed groups of students would be able to work through all or some of the activities. If you use the resources with your students, please let us know how you got on so we can further develop them.
If you have any queries or questions, you can comment below, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 01223 553998 or follow us @OCRexams.
You can also sign up to subject updates and receive up-to-date email information about teacher networks, professional development events and resources and support for religious studies.
Ewan Brady, OCR Subject Advisor
Ewan joined OCR as a Subject Specialist in June 2014. Since joining OCR Ewan has been responsible for several subjects including law, government and politics, and sociology. Ewan led the redevelopment of our new AS and A Levels in law for first teaching in 2017. He took over responsibility for religious studies as subject advisor in 2017. Ewan taught for 16 years in Scotland and England and has eight years of leadership experience in humanities, teaching subjects including history, law, politics, citizenship and religious studies.