Controlled assessments – the confusion

How much assistance do you give your pupils with their controlled assessments?

If you read the various teacher forums you will see that there is quite a discrepancy between schools. Some schools seem to just treat the CAs  virtually as exams with the minimum of preparation. Pupils are only allowed to take in a few notes. Other schools seem to prepare draft versions with huge teacher input and then allow pupils to take a virtual draft copy into the assessment. And, of course, there are all the variations in between these two extremes.

Now, I’m not saying that one is right and one is wrong, but what does seem wrong to me is that pupils aren’t competing on a level playing field. The marks gained in these CAs form a sizeable part of the final grade and it seems unfair if pupils are sitting them under vastly different conditions. The idea was that CAs would remove exactly that inequality that many teachers felt existed with coursework where many pupils were able to call on a lot of external help – parents or tutors. It doesn’t seem to have worked does it?

Are 100% exams with no coursework/CAs the fairest way forward? What do you think?

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