Shelley Monk, Science Subject Advisor
Here at OCR we’ve had lots of queries from centres in recent weeks about marking non-exam assessment (NEA).
There have been questions about how to apply the mark scheme and the adaptations that have been put in place. 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.
As the JCQ guidance on NEA marking says:
“When you come to assess your students’ NEA, you should mark all NEA using the published mark schemes, as you did before the pandemic disruption. If you have more than one person marking your NEA, you must carry out standardisation activities as usual in an exam year, to ensure all your markers are marking to the same standard and using the relevant mark scheme.
You must not try to account for disruption your learners have experienced by marking more leniently than you would normally. Teachers should not be making holistic and speculative judgements about overall performance or potential. Your marking should be based solely on the completed work in accordance with the published mark scheme. Exam boards will moderate all NEA in the usual way this 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.
All three tasks (test, fieldwork notebook and personal project) are internally assessed and externally moderated. The mark scheme for the test can be found on Interchange, alongside the tests. The mark schemes for the fieldwork notebook and personal project can be found in the qualification specification (pages 15-17).
The specification (p14) explains that marking of student’s work should take a ‘best fit’ approach, positive and reward achievement: ‘The awarding of marks should be directly related to the marking criteria’. The candidate cover sheet, where you record your marks, has a column for you to include evidence explaining why the mark has been awarded: this helps the external moderation process as it provides clarity for the external moderators.
There are several resources that will help your confidence in applying the mark scheme for Entry Level Geography:
All of the forms for Entry Level Geography can be found under the administration section of our qualification page. Administration information for all entry levels can be found on our website.
For Entry Level Geography specifically, there are some points to remember:
We hope that your students enjoy studying Entry Level Geography. Remember, there are resources on our website to support you with delivering the course.
Be sure to have signed up for geography updates (details below) to get details of when professional development courses become available and notifications of new resources.
If you have any questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 01223 553998 or tweet us @OCR_Geography. You can also sign up to subject updates and receive information about resources and support.
Shelley Monk joined OCR seven years ago after teaching geography for 16 years. She has considerable experience in delivering GCSE, IGCSE, A Level and the International Baccalaureate qualifications, as well as leading departments in Secondary Schools in the UK and Internationally. Shelley has eight years’ experience as Head of Year 12 and 13, supporting students both pastorally and academically.
At OCR Shelley worked with the geography team to reform the GCSE, AS and A level qualifications and she currently supports teachers through the development of a variety of resources, the CPD programme and subject communications. Beyond this role Shelley is clearly a geographer, as she loves walking her dog, exploring distant places and finding new recipes to trial on family and friends.