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Anyone changed from AQA to another board - Sociology?

Discussion in 'Social sciences' started by Nickolettalina, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. As the question asks really! At the moment I am just looking around at other examining boards - but there is lots of information to take in. Has anyone made the move from AQA to another, if so, which board?
  2. I got the impression most movement was the other way. A lot of people lost patience with OCR when they asked the same esay question in June and the following Jan. Having seen the WJEC spec it doesn't strike me as qualitatively better than AQA
  3. blt

    blt New commenter

    I'm shopping around too. I haven't a bloody clue what AQA Sociology want anymore! The schemes of work (so called) are an absolute joke as are their question papers.
  4. JodiP

    JodiP New commenter

    I have moved from AQA to WJEC and think it is a million times better. The paper is so much more accessible than AQA and the exam board are very helpful.

  5. Sorry but I should have added that when Mr Gove decides when to strike we won't get the chance to choose. I wonder what type of Sociology specification would meet with his approval?
  6. Thanks for the responses!
    I have heard quite a few say that they have moved to WJEC, as AQA is so unstructured (in terms of marking schemes, help for teachers and expectations of students). I will investigate WJEC further, as it sounds as though it is far more accessible, especially for weaker students, than AQA.

  7. I have examined the SCLY2 paper. The students cannot answer the questions well, that is why they don't get good marks, not because of the incompetence of examiners.
  8. blt

    blt New commenter

    I teach and mark SCYL1 and to be honest, I have no faith in it whatsoever. I wouldn't go as far as what you're saying! My first class honours degree in Sociology and ten years of teaching A-level Sociology, I feel, gives me the right subject knowledge! What I would say is that there are some real issues for me:

    1. No face to face meetings for examiners. Everything is now done on the cheap - online standardisation is the bane of my life and each series my team leader agrees (different one every time).

    2. There is little in the way of support from AQA. Have you seen their 'schemes of work'? They are a joke! Goodness only knows who has written them - certainly I would say someone who doesn't actually teach this in a school anymore. No timings, lesson activities etc. It's really poor - especially when you consider what other subjects are given, e.g. Science and HSC. I have a few lessons of Science and HSC on my timetable this year to fill it up and the support from those teams is amazing.

    3. The mark schemes are very vague and difficult for a non-examiner to use. If you look at the ones from WJEC and OCR, the mark bands and what would reasonably be expected to be seen in those bands is so much more clear.

    4. Talk about an 'old boys (and a few women's) network with the senior staff!!! I feel more comfortable with actual practitioners writing pares, mark schemes, resources, schemes of work etc. They just seem so out of touch.

    So........even though I've never taught anything other than AQA I am absolutely off to another board. I just don't know what else I can do because I have no faith whatever with AQA Sociology.
  9. Hi

    I would move with extreme caution.

    I mark for both boards both before and after online standardisation so I feel I can comment fairly accurately on both

    OCR marks schemes are not easier to understand at all- in fact they are not as easy to follow and marking becomes a long process which I feel many examiners rush through

    OCR are always advertising for examiners and there are many non specialists marking. On the whole I have found AQA examiners much more knowledgeable and I think they are able to keep a good pool of regular markers, whereas this is not true for OCR

    OCR marking is a lottery and absolutely horrendous- unit 3 is particularly a problem but with the introduction of online marking and standardisation this year it now seems to be spreading.

    I personally think that AQA is much more consistent than OCR.

    I am staying with OCR as I do enjoy teaching the specification more- I feel it is less antiquated and students are encouraged more to think about contemporary issues and so I think it is more up to date. The spec allows you to bring in present issues and news items and relate them to the spec.

    Unit 4 is much more straightforward and I really think the last unit for AQA is far too content heavy- I still struggle to get finished in time though

    I would not move to wjec- don't know why really- just don't trust the small welsh board. So for now, I am stuck with OCR- despite having absolutely no faith whatsoever in the marking!
  10. I agree in that OCR mark schemes are not at all clear...ESPECIALLY in comparison to AQA. I taught OCR Sociology, and the guidance/level descriptors for AS were so vague - whereas at least AQA give guidance about which theories and theorists they might expect to see in an answer. I also think that if you study the AO2 demands of intepretation, application, analysis and evaluation that you can understand what the demands of the examiners are. I also agree that AQA could do with updating/creating some schemes of work or more applicable time scales. Getting Theory and Methods taught alongside Units 3 and 4 is a real struggle - especially as this vast unit comes down to one 33 mark question.


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