« Last post by swhitch on September 19, 2014, 12:15:35 AM »
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 !