This guest post was written by Dave Woodward @dwoodward11.
Since the introduction of the GCSE PE (2009) specification, I have been intrigued to see the changes and developments that have taken place within the exam paper.
The most notable, being the removal of bullet points/ prompt on the 6 mark questions and also, the increased frequency of 3 and 4 mark questions (Extended questions). I am also extremely interested about getting the little things right (Marginal Gains)
I have been doing a lot of work with my students on the 6 mark questions and highlighting areas of specific weakness. I wanted to see if I could dig a little deeper though, and by further analysis, try to identify any ‘marginal gains’ that would better prepare my students for the exam in May 2015.
I have been using ResultsPlus from Edexcel over the past few years, as it is a huge database of information for results analysis about cohorts and even specific students. For those who are unsure what ResultsPlus is, this is what Edexcel say:
“ResultsPlus is a free online results analysis tool for teachers that gives you a detailed breakdown of your students’ performance in Edexcel exams. Widely used by teachers across the country, ResultsPlus provides the most detailed analysis available of your students’ performance and helps you to identify topics and skills where your students could benefit from further learning, helping them gain a deeper understanding of their subject”
The specific area I looked at for this research was the skills mapping of each theory paper from June 2011 until June 2014.
I downloaded the skills map reports from Edexcel then cross referenced them with each year and the range and content of questions that have appeared. That left me with this spreadsheet.
I have found that the following areas have never appeared:
The following have appeared every year:
So what does this show me?
I can see that the impact of rest on the Cardiovascular and muscular system hasn’t been tested for 4 years. I can also see that Describing, explaining and applying the principles of SMART targets has appeared each year.
But what impact will it have?
It is a tough one to measure, the true test will be on the afternoon of Friday 15th May 2015. One thing is certain however; I won’t change the way I will do my revision but when going through the topics that haven’t been tested I may spend a little longer than I have previously on them. I may set extended questions based upon topics that haven’t been tested. I think you can play a dangerous game second guessing the exam boards on trying to look for patterns, I will just use this information along with the existing information about how my students have done in mock papers, extended questions and homework over the last 2 years to plan a balanced revision package for them. Ultimately for my students’ to feel in the best possible mental shape ready for the exam paper, anything I can do to help is time well spent.
“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” John Wooden
Thanks for reading and I hope it helps you and your students. If you have any questions or want more information please get in touch.