Marie Bessant, Lead Subject Advisor
Here at OCR we’ve had lots of queries from centres in recent weeks about marking non-exam assessment (NEA). For GCSE Music (J536), this means the Integrated Portfolio and for A Level Music (H543), this means Composing and Performing.
There have been questions about how to apply the mark scheme. This isn’t surprising as it hasn’t been assessed for two years, and 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.
A Level Music’s NEA is externally assessed: the following is guidance to aid your understanding of the mark scheme and the requirements for submission.
GCSE Music NEA is internally assessed.
There are several resources that will help you have confidence in your application of the mark scheme for Music NEA:
There are adaptations to the requirements this year, which are detailed in the Changes for 2022 at the top of each subject webpage.
For GCSE Music there is one coversheet to complete per student this year. It can be found in the Administration area of the webpage at the top of the forms list.
For A Level Music there are also 2022 forms, and these can be found in the administration/forms section of the A Level Music webpage, again, at the top of the list.
There is no requirement for individual student authentication forms, but one authentication form is required to cover the whole class/cohort each year.
Key dates and deadlines: Internal marks for GCSE Music need to be submitted by 15 May. Your sample for moderation will be sent to OCR after this.
A Level Composing needs to be submitted by 15 May, and Performing must be submitted by 31 May.
We will, as always, be offering CPD on all music qualifications in the next school year. Keep an eye on the Professional Development section of our website and be sure to have signed up for music updates (details below) to get details of when these become available..
If you have any questions, you can email us at email@example.com, call us on 01223 553998 or tweet us OCR_PerformArts. You can also sign up to subject updates and receive information about resources and support.
Marie joined OCR in July 2014 after teaching music and performing arts for 10 years. As one of our Lead Subject Advisors, Marie is also OCR’s performing arts specialist and led the development for the new Music GCSEs and A Levels, and now oversees the management, development and support of Music and Drama GCSE and A Level, and the Cambridge Technical vocational performing arts qualifications.
With experience as Head of Department at secondary schools and FE colleges, Marie has a wealth of experience teaching the performing arts at GCSE, A Level, and Level 2-4 vocational qualifications. Marie is an organist and pianist with a love for rock music, shopping, food, reading (anything from Austen to Atwood, and particularly anything fantasy and sci-fi) and a particular love of Kris Kristofferson.