Mike Goddard, OCR History 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 History, this means unit Y100.
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 Y100:
General information on NEA administration is available on our website.
For A Level History specifically, there are a couple of points to remember:
We hope that your students enjoy researching and writing their essays for Y100. The independent study remains an important part of A Level History, highly prized by higher education institutions. Each year we’re really impressed to see the range and diversity of titles submitted.
Remember, there is support available for students when they come to think about their assignments:
If you have any questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 01223 553998 or tweet us @OCR_History. You can also sign up to subject updates and receive information about resources and support.
Mike is a history subject advisor and has worked at OCR on the history portfolio since 2007. Previously he has held roles at Cambridge International Examinations and for an educational publisher. Mike has a degree in Economic and Social History from the University of York and a Masters in Modern History from UCL. In his spare time he enjoys crosswords and snooker.