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General Discussion / Re: GCSE Specifications 2016
« Last post by swhitch on July 03, 2015, 12:29:33 PM »
Hi Jodi

Your senior team might want to find out what Ofsted's view is of running this model is, just in case.
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General Discussion / Re: GCSE Specifications 2016
« Last post by gilmoregirl on July 03, 2015, 08:43:08 AM »
I currently do the AQA A spec but have made the decision to change come the next lot of specs, there are several reasons but the main one is that they seem to have hugely increase the content and the number of case studies required, and we currently find it quite tight with the existing content so a lot more with no additional time for us would be impossible.

After attending a workshops with AQA, OCR and Educas, currently looking at changing to OCR although still need to check out Edexcel. Will be waiting for approval before making any decisions now
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General Discussion / Re: Short course GCSE
« Last post by kevincooper777 on July 02, 2015, 08:03:24 PM »
Thanks for replying Graham! - it's not happening now for various reasons, but if it comes up again I think as you say I would go for the full course.
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General Discussion / Re: GCSE Specifications 2016
« Last post by Jodi on July 02, 2015, 06:53:18 PM »
I couldn't agree more with the GCSE meant to be over 2 years. Unfortunately these decisions aren't made at department level but are whole school policy to teach GCSEs for 3 years - I am guessing the same is true for most people stuck in this boat. The 2 years curriculum time has been spread over the 3 years so there's not even extra time from doing it this way. Thanks for the advice re: DfE guidelines, at least there's a loose plan for teaching in Sept!
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General Discussion / Re: GCSE Specifications 2016
« Last post by swhitch on July 02, 2015, 06:23:17 PM »
Sorry but .......... Should KS3 not be 3 years and GCSE 2 years? That is certainly what the DfE rep put across was their expectation at a consultation meeting on subject content last year. As the GCSE is not due to start until September 2016 starting in Y9 in 2015 must surely be at your own risk as everything is going to remain in flux for sometime yet.

If you absolutely MUST start before the content is finalised I think I would be looking at the DfE subject content guidance as that is now not going to change and boards will have to provide for it.


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General Discussion / Re: GCSE Specifications 2016
« Last post by nicko427 on July 02, 2015, 12:24:44 PM »
At a conference today and may be able to shed light on a few things.
All specs were rejected by ofqual (already knew this via Twitter). All have to have more challenge and rigour, especially more in the maths.
They are being resubmitted - and be aware that there are changes to content as well. Likely to be passed in August - but not definite.
Heads will have to sign that students have had the opportunity to do two days fieldwork - one each for human and physical - may be worth making your SLT aware of this as you will have to provide it.

We do AQA A at present but are likely to change for various reasons.
I suspect a case study is in depth, an example illustrates, but suggest you contact relevant exam board and ask for clarification.


I hope you don't mind me asking Judith, but we're thinking of moving from OCR B to AQA, is there any particular reason why you are moving away from them?
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General Discussion / Re: GCSE Specifications 2016
« Last post by nicko427 on July 02, 2015, 12:22:47 PM »
Having seen this this morning I called AQA and spoke to their Geography Department directly who confirmed that their spec had not been approved, and in their words needed "some minor tweaks" but would not give any further details as to these "minor tweaks" but they are hoping for it be sent back to OfQual by August and aim to have it published in September (and whilst that gives us who teach a 3 year GCSE a bit of an excuse to have an easier summer it doesn't help that much!)

If all of the exam boards have been knocked back then I guess that it more likely to be common issues across them all relating to either:
- Lack of extended writing (seems to be less in the new specs?) and alot more short answer questions to meet the old foundation tier...
- Changes re fieldwork skills
- Lack of higher end mathematical skills (on the Dept for Education release way back they included the like of spearmans rank and other statistical methods, but I've not yet seen any exam questions relating to these yet...which might be the difference between a 7 and a 8/9 grade?)

She also confirmed that a case study needs to have significantly more detail than an example (despite the exam questions being weighted the same) as the case study questions could relate to wider aspects, where as the example questions are more narrow.
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General Discussion / Re: GCSE Specifications 2016
« Last post by Jodi on July 02, 2015, 10:16:48 AM »
Judith thanks ever so much for sharing this info it is invaluable in deciding what to do come September with a 3 year course.
For Independent schools Edexcel have said they are keeping IGCSEs but not the Certificates.

http://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-international-gcses-and-edexcel-certificates/international-gcse-geography-2011.news.html?article=%2Fcontent%2Fdemo%2Fen%2Fnews-policy%2Fqualifications%2Finternational-gcses%2Fgeography%2Finternational-gcses-unaffected-by-dfe-announcement-on-performance-tables
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General Discussion / Re: GCSE Specifications 2016
« Last post by Evlinda on July 01, 2015, 07:56:23 PM »
Thanks for the update Judith- very interesting.
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General Discussion / Re: GCSE Specifications 2016
« Last post by Judith R on July 01, 2015, 07:03:17 PM »
You're welcome. Hadn't seen it mentioned here so thought it was important to share.
Some people today are doing skills and UK stuff at first.


UK will be a big deal - most things linking and comparing to that context.
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