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Music Year 12 HW w/c 21st Sept.

For Next week (end of Monday 28th)

Complete the texture Exercise E2 that we started in class. You can either do it on paper or Sibelius (here on Google Classroom)

Please create a one-page poster entitled Haydn and the Classical style. It should outline the main features of the style, a brief outline of Haydn’s biography and mention a few key works. You should read the attachments and do any other research that helps. You can use pictures and basic graphic design to make it pretty! You should listen to some works by Haydn while you are doing this exercise – a symphony and a quartet would be good (here on Google Classroom).


Complete Exercise C1 in your workbook and upload a photograph of it HERE on Google Classroom.

Remember to bring your two-bar melody from last week to the Thursday lesson as we will be inputting it on Sibelius.

Year 13 HW w/c 21st September

Mock Paper

Please prepare for these which will happen NEXT week. You need to know the Haydn all four movements, the Debussy and Essay Topics A-G. Online Revision booklet HERE


  • C group:
    • Wed – Dictation and Debussy
    • Thur – Musical Theatre
    • Fri – Haydn Short Answer and Essay
  • G group:
    • Wed – Dictation, Debussy and Musical Theatre
    • Fri – Haydn Short Answer and Essay

Essay Task

C Group (everyday) – see task here to finish for Friday

G Group (Wed/Fri) – see task here to complete for Friday


Please make some meaningful progress and submit on GC on Tuesday (Group C) / Thursday (Group D) (click to follow links). Don’t forget to submit your log.

Year 12 w/c 14th September

For Next Week (end of Monday 21st)

Google Classroom Exercises

Please complete 1f, 2a, 2b, 2c and 2d (click on links to go to the relevant exercises on Classroom)
These are all quite short – you may need to look at the help pages in the front of the Starting Points booklet to check chord types etc (or click for notes on intervals, chords/figured bass and embellishments). If you are struggling PLEASE come to a workshop or contact me in advance of the lesson. Workshops are 11.20 on Mondays and 1.30 on Wednesdays.


Write a two-bar basic idea. Please read these instructions carefully! Look at the help here if you need it. Please bring this to the lesson on TUESDAY.

Your two bars MUST:

  • Be in A major
  • Be written in a string quartet score with the melody in the first violin and root notes and Roman numeral chord labels in the cello (don’t write any other accompaniment).
  • Use I in first bar, V7 in second bar (be careful that you treat dissonances correctly and avoid the rogues!)
  • Should be different (unlike the last exercise)
  • Have a tempo marking
  • Include dynamics and articulation (particularly short slurs and staccato)

For Thursday (end of Wednesday 16th)


Please have another go at writing a B2 exercise (2-bar idea on page 16-17 of Starting Points Booklet). Make sure you follow the instructions carefully and that your second bar is genuinely based on your first!

Google Classroom Exercises

If you have not already please do the intervals exercise 1b and the diatonic chords 1d.

Homework w/c 7th September


Start your composition log, explaining what brief you are following and what pieces you are taking inspiration from and submit on Google Classroom along with an initial idea on Sibelius (saved down so I can open it please!)

C group submit here by end of Thursday / D group submit here by end of Tuesday


You should be revising for the mock in the week beginning 28th September. Haydn all movements / Essay / Dictation / Debussy

Welcome to King Ed’s

I’m really looking forward to getting started. If you have joined us more recently and not had a chance to look at the transition materials then please do so. I look forward to meeting you on the week beginning Monday 7th September. A summary of homework tasks each week will be posted here.

Week 1

Please complete the Keys homework on Google Classroom before THURSDAY 10th

Before the end of the weekend, please complete the following:

If you are struggling then please make sure you contact me – don’t just not do the work. I am happy to see students on Monday if you email me for a time.

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to Year 13! We are spending the first few weeks revising and reviewing in readiness for a mock in the week beginning Monday 28th September.

I posted a set of revision materials that you should be using at the end of last term on Google Classroom so the best thing you can do to prepare for the moment is work through this as well as make sure you have given careful thought to your performance programme.

I look forward to seeing you on Monday 7th September.

A Level Results: are they fair?

UPDATE: the Government have now reverted to Centre Assessed Grades: is this fair?!

There are two main ways in which is is NOT a fair way to resolve this situation:

  1. As noted below, in Stage Two of the original process, teachers and SLT had ALREADY started the work of the algorithm by trying to match grades to the grade profile average of the previous three years. This is why it was so unjust to pull them down further. But restoring the CAG still leaves quite a lot of students whose teacher-assessed grades were changed in order to fit the profile. You could argue that in any case students on the lower end of a grade might arbitrarily lose that grade due to grade boundary changes in the normal system, but this is not the normal system. It is important to remember, however, that students never got a proper opportunity to prove where in the grade boundary they sat.
  2. Leaving the CAGs unmoderated means that any disparity in applying the algorithm between schools will never get picked up, leaving some cohorts treated more harshly than others.

The shambles that the government and Ofqual have presided over is still unfair on students, it leaves teachers to carry the can for moderating their students’ results downwards, following Ofqual’s instructions in good faith. I predict this will be a huge problem in GCSE results this week, when students will be aggrieved by their teachers’ apparently harsh assessments. The CAGs were never supposed to be the grades that we thought our students would get but the closest we could get to those grades within the stringent guidelines laid out by Ofqual. This subtlety will mostly be lost on students and parents.

I don’t know what the answer to this shambles is, but I do think it is fair to point out that it could have been done so much better. Off the top of my head, I can come up with a better and fairer process, but the government had both experts and plenty of time on their side. The system should have worked something like this, in my opinion:

  1. Ofqual give clear guidance as to how centres should moderate their teacher assessed marks into CAGs.
  2. Where there are small cohorts, or large anomalies, centres should have been given a form to fill in, providing more detailed evidence on both individual students attainment and any relevant circumstances (like a change of teacher) that should be taken into account.
  3. The exam boards could then have used the CAGs and the evidence to review and moderate. The presumption should have been in favour of awarding grades that centres could evidence rather than focusing blindly on avoiding grade inflation. This was never going to set a precedent or cause any major problems.

It is now too late to go back and do this properly, but the above steps could inform a centre-driven appeals process on behalf of students who have been hard done by. On the whole, we will only be talking a grade here and there but for a student who might have got into Manchester on AAB and now has ABC, this is cold comfort.

Are the A level results unfair? My personal view.

This post is an attempt to explain how results were awarded and offer some opinion as to the fairness of the process.

Also see this and this from the Guardian

What do we mean by fair?
I take fairness in this context to mean that all students have the same opportunity to be awarded a mark that reflects their achievement over the two years of their course.

Is the normal process fair?
Any assessment process has some unfair elements. In the awarding of A levels some examples might be:

  • a numerical mark on a continuous linear scale is arbitrarily converted into a discrete grade leaving students who have very similar levels of attainment with different grades
  • students might be unwell or having difficulties during particular assessments periods (special circumstances try to mitigate this to some extent)
  • the way in which knowledge is tested may suit some students better than others (a range of different assessment types can help here)
  • examiners might make mistakes or not be competent (moderation and appeals mostly eliminate these problems)
  • students are prepared better or worse by different teachers

The process this year
There were several stages and each have potentially unfair elements as follows.

Stage 1
Teachers use available evidence to come up with a mark for each student from which a rank order and a grade is calculated. This is basically an informal version of what usually happens, although there are some potential problems

  • Students may have performed worse in mock written examinations than they would have done in the summer. This is a shame but at least all students had the same opportunity (illness during mocks is potentially problematic here)
  • Students may or may not have finished coursework that might provide evidence of their ability. Students who were organised and had done work in a timely manner potentially do better, which is arguably unfair, although all students had the same opportunities to finish coursework up to this point.

This stage seems to me not to be notably more unfair than in normal years.

Stage 2
Staff, in consultation with their managers, moderated these marks so that they were broadly in line with results from the previous three years. Senior managers also checked and in some cases adjusted this moderation. The government wanted marks to be plausible in the context of past results. Overall this is reasonable but as noted below, it is not necessarily fair on every individual student.

  • the main problem here is where the profile of current students does not fit well with the profile of previous students. The smaller the cohort the worse the problem is likely to be. If I have a very small group and they happen to have three out of six that are outstanding but previous years were quite average, that makes it hard to fairly award marks that are inline with past results
  • Even in a larger cohort, if you have an unusual number of B students compared to normal years, some at the top end of the grade could (wrongly) be given an A if you have some of those left over in your nominal ‘quota’ whilst others might be (wrongly) awarded a C to keep the overall profile broadly in line.

Moderation of this sort is decidedly not fair to individual students. You could argue, however, that the process is fair overall, in the sense that this could potentially happen to any student equally. In other words is it fair in the same sense as Russian Roulette is fair – all had an equal opportunity to take a bullet.

Stage 3
Exam boards followed procedures set out by Ofqual to check the moderation of marks and adjust them so that overall the results were in line with those of previous years. This is a normal part of awarding A levels so it is reasonable in principle.

However, smaller cohorts (minority subjects such as music in 11-16 schools) and many subjects in private schools are difficult to moderate because the datasets are too small to be compared meaningfully. Ofqual therefore decided that where cohorts were less than 15 more weight would be given to the Centre Assessed Grades whereas in larger cohorts more weight would be given to the statistical modelling. This was compounded by Ofqual’s unreasonably rigid methodology. If their algorithm suggested that there would be 7 Cs in Music in a particular school’s cohort, then those Cs had to be allocated regardless of the teacher evidence (unless it was too small a cohort to make such a prediction).

THIS is hugely unfair because for the first time in this process students are not being treated in the same way. Those in smaller cohorts are getting a more accurate and individualised mark than those in larger cohorts. This is like putting more bullets in some Russian Roulette players chambers than others.

It is understandable that Ofqual wanted to keep results from being unreasonably inflated by the optimism of teachers. However, in these extraordinary circumstances, why is it more important to keep results within expected norms than to ensure students get as close to the ‘right’ mark as possible? The main problem with a one-off year of inflated results is that these students will be competing with students with ‘ordinary’ grades next year if they defer uni applications. Surely this is not so difficult to manage.

Grade profiles are a very blunt instrument. I would have put more weight on value added data. If a subject at a college normally has positive value added, it is unlikely that it will suddenly plummet. Boards should have checked moderated results against this benchmark and let CAGs stand if the value added was within normal ranges.

This years students deserved a compassionate process that gave individuals the best possible chance of a fair mark. My own view is that the system failed to achieve this.

Last week of term!

Don’t forget the Virtually Live! released this Friday.

We just have two days this week and I want to wrap up the term with some assessments as follows:

  1. Timed Essay on Topic A (watch this revision video first)
  2. Mini-Debussy test (watch the revision video and look at the annotated score first) [now on Google Classroom]
  3. Musical Theatre assessment [now on Google Classroom]

You also need to hand in your Serial composition by the end of Tuesday.

Finally please take the opportunity this week to catch up on any work missed on Google Classroom.

I will finish marking work including performances this week (i.e. by Friday)

In September we will have a full mock. I will do a revision booklet by the end of this week to guide your preparation for this.

Have a lovely summer. I can’t wait to see you all properly in September!

Year 12 Remote Learning Week 12

Summary for work for this week

For the lessons in college you will need your DEBUSSY scores please.

If you have got behind – PLEASE make sure you catch up now while there is time.

Coming up
This week: performances, Haydn short answer on movements 2 & 3,
Final week (mon./tue. only): timed essay on overall form (Topic A), mini test on AoS E, mini musical theatre test, deadline for serial composition sketch and film cue sketch

Into the C20 (AoS E)

  • Complete Debussy Nuages Revision Worksheet (on Google Classroom)
  • Composition Task. You need to complete the Serial composition – there is a video on it here. The basic task is to generate a matrix (set of serial rows – generator here) and then to use the pitches to write a piece. See brief on Google Classroom.


  • Short answer test on Haydn movements 2 and 3. Will ONLY be available on WEDNESDAY.
  • Complete your research for essay on overall form (Topic A). There will be a video to help you consolidate later in the week

Also there is the virtual concert choir piece to do here and your practical work to prepare for NEXT WEEK.

Year 12 Remote Learning Week 11

Summary for work for this week

For the lessons in college you will need your DEBUSSY scores please.

If you have got behind – PLEASE make sure you catch up now while there is time.

Coming up
This week: Haydn short answer on movements 1 & 4, deadline for octatonic and whole tone composition sketches
Next week: performances, Haydn short answer on movements 2 & 3,
Final week (mon./tue. only): timed essay on overall form, mini test on AoS E, mini musical theatre test, deadline for serial composition sketch and film cue sketch

Into the C20 (AoS E)

  • Complete Debussy Worksheet 4 (on Google Classroom)
  • Wider Listening Worksheet (now on Google Classroom)
  • Composition Tasks (for this Friday on Google Classroom). The octatonic sketch set last week (make sure you have looked at the . notes and watched the video) PLUS you need to do a whole tone sketch. Both in for this Friday. The whole-tone one is very much like the pentatonic. Stick to the correct scale and concentrate on rhythm, colour and texture to make it interesting.


  • Short answer test on Haydn movements 1 and 4. Will ONLY be available on WEDNESDAY.
  • Start doing your research for overall form symphony topic. There will be a video to help you consolidate next week

Musical Theatre Aos C


Also there is the virtual concert choir piece to do here and your practical work to prepare for NEXT WEEK.

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