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AQA A or B??

Discussion in 'English' started by missshakespeare, May 22, 2012.

  1. I'm looking for a bit of guidance for any schools/colleges who have experience of either AQA specs for A Level English Literature. We are a centre who have been working with spec A for three years now and are beginning to tire of the changing feedback and unpredictable exam results at A2 and even occasionally at AS. We've discounted changing boards entirely as we like the support from AQA but can anyone advise of the advantages/disadvantages of spec B or explain their experiences?
    We're concerned that if we move we may lose the knowledge we have gained from both bad and good experiences and still be in a puzzled position but i'm optimistic about the chance of a new challenge!
    Any advice would be gratefully received.
  2. Why is A so bad?
  3. I recommend spec A. I've taught both A and B and have had better results with A, particularly at AS. I?ve always taught a full range of students from those just scrapping a C at GCSE to the A* avid reader and spec A suits all. AS is a great course with 3 different routes ? Victorian Literature, WW1 Literature (the one we do) and Struggle for Modern Identity (taught this but prefer WW1 and kids do better). A2 spec A is rigorous and arguably harder than A2 spec B, but if you teach the students well, they will do fine. Ours always have and I worry about it every year. However, although harder, the grade boundaries typically tend to be quite low for the exam. A2 Coursework is fine. The best part about A2 is it?s very much up to you what texts you teach, so it?s nice to do what you and your students enjoy. This year I?ve got a boy heavy group (for a change!) so I?m teaching gothic literature. We've got a great CW moderator and have local standardisation meetings, so receive excellent support. Our moderator runs those meetings so we can talk specifically about our coursework and marks.

    Go for spec A.
  4. gloucesterroad

    gloucesterroad New commenter

    Spec A - the flexibility at A2 allows you to really choose texts which suit the specialisms of your department as well as which are suitable to your students ability level. At AS we do the Victorians - it's the hardest option but that's why we do it: hit 'em hard! - and they do well in it. It also prepares them really well for A2 (I have found that students who come to us in Y13 from our partner 6th Forms, where they to Modern Identity are less well prepared for the reading demands).

    I think that the skills based exams are really beneficial, and the fact that the A2 exam is a the same skills as Section A of the AS exam means that they are already well prepared.

    I'd echo Vitet re. moderation too. Moderation meetings are really helpful and the moderator always provides really great feedback.

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