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General Discussion / What do you want to see in new A level?
« Last post by swhitch on September 20, 2014, 07:31:56 PM »
Other than the proposed core elements and the beefed up maths what options do people want to see in the new A level specs?
General Discussion / Re: How will your 6th Form curriculum look in September?
« Last post by swhitch on September 19, 2014, 12:15:35 AM »
Hi Victoria
The meeting was excellent and very dynamic, with every HOD having an input but unfortunately, as expected, it has left more questions than answers. Overall it seems that there is little option other than to offer a mixed diet until all subjects are running parallel from 2017. There is going to be a summary of the session made then most probably a working group to deal with it. We need it in black and white before the Options evening in early December.

Firstly from a geographical perspective we are saved any changes until 2016 which may place us in a strong recruiting position as the AS / A2 route will still be available. Discussions with my tutor group Y11 were very positive to doing geography particularly if it did not have the two year linear approach.

The consultation document seems to have been designed with the possibility of a return to the current situation already built in with, say, a change of government. Let's hope common sense prevails otherwise it is likely to be chaotic for a couple of years.

The law of unintended consequences always applies when major decisions are made by someone who lacks any awareness of how things work. We can all make decisions quickly if we don't think things though. I feel very sorry for both the students and the schools who will have to navigate this total shambles.

Geography, from the consultation documents, seems to be easily co-teachable (AS / A2 in the same class) but this would mean that both AS and A2 students would have to have completed the AS element of the course by EasterY12 to allow AS students sit the AS. This rather defeats the object of allowing more teaching time through removal of modular approach.

In the interim there is going to be a real mishmash of exams in the summer, some taking current spec with AS integrated, some taking new spec with AS as standalone with both specs overlapping at the same time as two GCSE specs will be overlapping. Some students will be doing new AS worth 40% whilst in other subjects there will still be old AS worth 50%. Some will be sitting external exams in teh summer whilst others will do no formal exams until the following summer. This will disrupt teaching of those doing liner A2. How out of touch with the practicalities of education could someone overseeing Education be?

Also 2016 is the year that the new GCSE spec is due to start and so there are great demands coming upon us.

We have not tied our colours to any mast but here are some of my thoughts and considerations - they are NOT the views of the school !

Students may be expected to complete courses to A level. Big question:  Should students who are carrying on to A2 but wish to take on option of an AS in order to achieve a grade for UCAS then have to pay for this option?

Practicalities: Any student wanting to drop a subject will have to have made this decision before the exam entry date in Feb/March of Year 12 giving them little time to really make an appropriate decision.

Any dropping after the exam entry date would mean no qualification in that subject. If this happens should students then be allowed to sit AS in Y13 with all the knock on impacts of timetabling, mixed Y12 and Y13 classes etc.

My feeling is that whatever the structure of the VI form offering it will require clarity and a strict approach if it is to work.

All a bit of a jumble so sorry can't help with real definitive answers as to what we will do.

Hope this, at least partically, makes sense - day on Essex Coast with Y12 and it is late !
General Discussion / Re: How will your 6th Form curriculum look in September?
« Last post by Victoria on September 18, 2014, 08:45:25 PM »
Thanks for the responses so far... We've got a working group together to make a decision by half-term about the long-term and the transition period, but not many other schools in the vicinity have seem to have nailed their colours to any mast, as it were.  We're fortunate that the 6th Form funding issue won't affect us as it will with state schools, but still a minefield, especially in the short-term where there will be a mix of options.

Stuart - what was the outcome of your discussion this evening?
General Discussion / Re: AS with new to subject pupils
« Last post by steve piggot on September 18, 2014, 08:36:00 PM »
Always found that students who had not done GCSE Geography did better at AS as they were really focused on the subject. Those who did well at GCSE could be complacent
General Discussion / Help! New to teaching Y13 Coasts
« Last post by tking2 on September 18, 2014, 07:59:29 PM »
I am just starting teaching WJEC G3b and am struggling to know how much depth to go into when delivering content. I'm also not sure how much I can afford to spend time on interactive 'fun' activities, as the safe option seems to be lots of in depth reading for students, but I worry they'll be bored to death by textbook overload!

 It would be wonderful to hear any advice regarding good strategies for delivery when teaching Y13 (totally new to me), or examples of schemes of work or resources to help me get started.

Please help!
General Discussion / Re: Introducing Geography
« Last post by Pauline on September 18, 2014, 06:20:48 PM »
sorry to bump this up again. I would really appreciate any help. Mr P does it ring any bells? The resources may have been on the GA website but I can't find them . They may have included maps , location, GIS ? Thanks
General Discussion / Worksheets for GCSE Geography
« Last post by MidAtlantic8 on September 18, 2014, 03:33:42 PM »
Dear Geographers,

My worksheets are a bit thin on the ground and i have lost many of my classic worksheets-mainly from the Key Geography for GCSE worksheets.

Does anyone have a copy of the worksheets that they would be willing to photocopy or resource exchange for?

Thank-you in advance :-)
General Discussion / Re: Open evening!?!?!
« Last post by zcsaa44 on September 18, 2014, 11:50:01 AM »
I have tried playing world map twister. On a large world map on the floor (I use a shower curtain), people pick cards which tell them a country and then they have to place a body part on that country.

I also have a challenge to build the tallest structure from limited blu-tac and jenga blocks which get tested on the shaker maker from juicy geography
General Discussion / Re: New resources for Geography Teachers - update
« Last post by Vakarian on September 18, 2014, 08:56:19 AM »
Some interesting ideas here:

Weather common subjects are part of geography too, it may be interesting for some

Game which can teach you about world first hand
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