I sit here looking at my trackers now that they have the January exam results and most of the controlled assessment marks in them. I am very pleased. Last year we had a lot of upset parents because controlled assessment results were lower than exams by quite a margin. I don't think that we will have that issue this year.
Firstly I created some support materials aimed at getting the students to assess what made a good table/graph/evaluation/equipment list. The links are below. We spent time in class going over these.
Shouldn't you be teaching these skills in key stage 3 I hear you cry? Yes we should, but previous controlled assessment results show that maybe we aren't getting those skills across and intervention in year 10 is needed. The tables that the students produced were great and I was largely pleased with the graphs. The line of best fit required was a curve and this lead to some sketchy lines. We also had good risk assessments too.
Then we we over and over it as a group of staff. I tried to ensure that they knew exactly where the marks would come from. I think this helped staff to have the confidence to give the generic advice needed.
Lastly we had a day off timetable 9am to 6pm with the students to complete the planning, doing and evaluating sections of the controlled assessment. I was massively impressed at how good the attitude of year 10 was during that day. It was long and they were trapped in two rooms with the same people. The team work was great, the attention to detail was fantastic, but also the commitment and resilience.
I think this made a massive difference and would recommend to anyone they ask their senior management to have a day off timetable to complete the controlled assessment (two days if you are doing OCR gateway).