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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 163

Date:- 14 August 2004

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NEXT week marks the end of the frets and nightmares for many A' level students as the results will be turned out to produce the next generation of prospective university students and employees across the country.

Many of these results have been marked using sophisticated onscreen marking technology and which sees Edexcel, one of the country's largest exam boards, shaving off over a week in its marking schedule. Almost every school in the country will have students whose work has been marked this way.

Edexcel's examiners have been part of a major technology pilot, marking over 1m GCSE, GNVQ, AS and A level scripts onscreen using proven technology designed to meet the demands of the UK education system. The benefits are a more secure examinations system, quicker delivery of results and an opportunity to provide students and teachers for the first time with detailed analysis of their performance, question by question.

John Kerr, Edexcel's chief executive, commented:- "We are meeting the call to modernise exams in this country. The scale of this summer's onscreen marking pilot has been enormous. It is certainly the single biggest change in marking of students' work since A levels began over 50 years ago and I would like to personally thank our examiners for the part they have played. We have proved the technology works and we can now produce finalised results well ahead of schedule." 

Onscreen marking sees students' exam scripts delivered to Edexcel's scanning centres where each page is barcoded and scanned. 

Once marked, scripts are electronically checked onscreen by senior examiners, ensuring the reliability of the markers' work. This saves the movement of the scripts using postal and courier services and is the point at which savings on time can be made as the traditional five script movements could take up to three weeks to flow around the system.

Judith O'Hare, Edexcel's Chief Examiner for Spanish, said setting-up as a home marker for the onscreen pilot was simplicity itself. "The training is online and the technical installation CD self-loaded onto my home PC and was very easy to work.

The benefit to examiners of the onscreen method compared to the traditional way is that it saves over four days of administration, collecting papers, checking, cross referencing and all before we can start marking. Onscreen marking means that I can concentrate on what I am supposed to be doing, marking students' exam work."

Edexcel is the largest awarding body offering the joint currencies of academic and vocational qualifications. Qualifications include GNVQs, NVQs, GCSE, A/S and A levels, and the Higher Nationals and other BTEC qualifications.

Noah is a winning Mucky Pup....!

NOAH TOBIAH KINVIG aged 14 months from Aigburth, Liverpool has got reason to smile - his messy mealtime grin has earned him runner up prize in a competition to find the nation's 'Muckiest Pup'.

The competition was run by SMA Progress in partnership with Prima Baby magazine to search for the little one who ends up with more food around his face than in his tum at tea-time! 

Noah's photo was chosen from hundreds of entries to win a fabulous baby walker with wooden alphabet bricks and a wooden activity train toy.

Commenting on the competition win, Mum Christine said:- "Noah is just getting to grips with solid foods at the moment which means mealtimes can often get a bit messy! He looks so cute, but he creates loads of laundry!"

Anne-Sophie Danvers, spokesperson for SMA Progress added:- "Noah's cheeky grin made all our judges smile and he clearly seems to be having a lot of fun while he experiments with more grown up foods. We understand it can sometimes be a worry for mums when their toddler seems to end up wearing more of their dinner than eating it." 


11 YEAR OLD pupil Tony Hughes has been awarded with Vernons annual Citizenship Award, following duties he has carried out at Netherton Park Primary School's Student Council.

The award has been presented in recognition of Tony's work with the student council. The council has elected a board for the first time this year, including the formal positions of Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer.

As the Chair, Tony has mediated between his fellow pupils and the teaching staff with ideas they would like to see implemented at the school.

Ged Davies from Vernons visited the school to present Tony with the Vernons Citizenship Award trophy and a £15 gift voucher, as well as a cheque for the school.

Judith Aspinwall, head teacher at the school commented:- "This is a fantastic way to reward a pupil who has carried out a task that merits real recognition. Tony thoroughly deserves this honour for the duties he has performed as the Chair of the Student Council. He should be very proud of this success."

Vernons, the Aintree based games operator, established the award to give something back to the local community. The award is about realizing the value of the young members of our society and their valuable contribution.


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