Sunday, September 03, 2006

Media Exam Results, August 2006

I'm not sure why, but it has been more difficult to find the whole range of media results this year. They weren't listed in all the papers. I eventually tracked them down on the website of the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ).

I've aggregated all the listed exam results and come up with a figure of around 136,000. This includes GCSE, AS/A2 and GNVQ Intermediate/VCE. These are all the film and media qualifications which report in August. It doesn't include the vocational qualifications from BTEC (National Diplomas etc.) and City & Guilds which might take the total up to 140,000 plus. We'll include a full analysis in itp next month, but here are a few 'headline' findings:

GCSE Media is forging ahead with a massive increase this year of more than 20% up to 57,521 from 45,685

AS (film and media) is up by around 4% from 41,309 to 43,018

A Level (film and media) is up by nearly 10% from 28,261 to 30,964

The increase at A Level follows on from a big AS increase last year. Perhaps the surge at GCSE will have some impact on AS next year?

The gender splits are interesting. The general commentaries don't seem to notice that Media Studies has been one of the new subjects that has attracted young women in large numbers. At GCSE the gender split is roughly even, but at AS and A Level, the female entries are clearly ahead of male entries. At 16, more girls than boys opt for AS. As a consequence the percentage of "all male entries for AS" taking Film and Media is actually higher than the percentage of girls (4%) -- even though the number of girls taking Film and Media is actually higher. At A Level, the figures suggest that overall the number of boys progressing to A2 is less than for girls. In Film and Media, girls maintain their 3.9% of the total A2 entry, but for boys it drops to 3.8%.

Any surprises in these figures?


Rona Murray said...

One not very positive thought that crosses my mind from experience is how the lack of access to technology in schools can restrict the activities for G.C.S.E. Media. I mean computers as much as filming equipment - which could restrict interest from those more 'hands-on' boys at that level, and undermine its marketing at A level?
Both genders. of course, get equally stuck in when it's available, but I've seen (and marked) a lot of necessarily low-tech, print-based work at this level.

Melissa Severn said...

We have been talking a lot about gender at A Level this week. Last year the Year 13 groups and even split of gender and a cross section of ability and interests. The new A/S group which comes from a boy heavy year 11 has 3 boys and 27 girls. The Applied A-Level group has one third girls and two thirds boys (which is odd given boy's alleged love of exams, as it is all coursework). The one year GCSE group which is for students who failed the core and need lessons to fill the time between resit lessons, is entirely made up of boys!

This is all in a department that has three female teachers.

Roy Stafford said...

I think your gender splits sound like what might be expected from the stereotype Melissa. I'm intrigued by the "boys like exams" comment though. Does this represent another way of saying that they don't like too much written coursework? I'd expect the Applied A Level to appear more attractive to them than AS. They possibly think that there will be less writing involved, but I fear they may be disappointed!

Rona Murray said...

I think that's right - boys (stereotypically) seem to tend towards a minimalist approach to writing, which means the quality has to be so high, whereas girls (stereotypically) write more and therefore have more chance of hitting the point?
The WJEC GCSE media seems to hit it about right, with the word limit on the coursework - pushing for quality.
I'm wondering now about the mixed messages at A level - rather than fully integrated skills, we have parts that target the different skills. Interestingly, I've heard of the possibility to submitting a video diary as an evaluation of production work rather than the essay format. Progress? Good for both sexes?

Roy Stafford said...

I'm all in favour of evaluations in a format relevant to the production medium and as a moderator I always encouraged centres to do this -- on auditapes or on video. It seems crazy to me to get a student to present a photographic exhibition and then to ask them to write an essay about the exhibition -- something which is used to assess their writing skills rather than their understanding of photography. Many media students are most articulate within their chosen medium -- not usually the written word.