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AQA or WJEC A Level

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by Hyrum_Graff, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. Which Computing course do you recommend? I still have time to change. Or was this not directed at AQA?
  2. I can recommend the OCR A Level Computing course. It has a crystal clear syllabus. There are now plenty of resources and books to choose from. Support from OCR is excellent. There is NO coursework in the AS year, which is really wonderful for pupils and great for teaching. No coursework means you can spend lots of time doing practical work without having to spend time jumping through hoops and ticking boxes. It's a syllabus that is procedural-based so lots of free IDEs nd languages to select from. The exams have always been clear and fair and follow the syllabus (try saying that about ICT A level - you have no chance. Every year is a lottery of trying to second guess what the exam board wants, regardless of what is in the syllabus). The second Computing year is excellent too. The project block of work is straightforward, very doable and is brilliantly straightforward and simple and quick to mark - again, try saying that about ICT coursework. The second year theory unit has dull sections, but surprise surprise, they are the ICT topics. It's very good on the whole, however and builds on the first year. If you are going to inspire pupils, and educate them, and keep your sanity, then don't do ICT. Do A Level Computing, and OCR is good. Look on their website for the spec and resources. Their forum is active as well and very useful.
  3. The WJEC AS and A2 ICT exams are clear, fair and follow the syllabus. There you go, no lightning bolt.

    Easy if you have a brain. Questions are always from the syllabus.

    WJEC Coursework is brilliantly simple and quick to mark. Moderated 2 in my lunchtime today.

    ICT is dull but Computing is inaccessible, irrelevant and dull.

    Yup, heavy probability of ICT kids walking out, bored. You won't have that problem with Computing, they won't choose it in the first place - particularly when word gets out......
  4. Llamafarmingguru

    Llamafarmingguru New commenter

    I agree totally. I have had to teach wjec ict for a few years and can't believe it passes as education. Awful! What would you choose as a good key stage 5 course? I pretty much have a clean slate in front of me in my current role

  5. Let's look at the evidence:

    Clue 1: 0 posts,

    Clue 2: attack on ICT and WJEC,

    Clue 3: witless, ineffectual, provocative and pointless.

    Who lives in this sock?

    (All said in Lloyd Grossman voice)
  6. See post 8.
  7. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

    I can't see that this qualification has a future
  8. Which one mate, which one?
  9. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

    WJEC ICT and ICT A level in general. It has no path into Higher education and is attracting criticism from the goverment. ICT up to GCSE is fine.
  10. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    *citation needed
    *citation needed

  11. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

  12. Llamafarmingguru

    Llamafarmingguru New commenter

    If you don't work for WJEC then you should, you are positively passionate in your defence of them. I was marking the AS level today and I had to knock off a mark because a wonderfully crafted leaflet did not contain wordart. Classy
  13. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    with all due respect, if it's in the mark scheme and you knew it was there form day 1 then you can't really fault the system can you. Sure it's hardly taxing, but you knew it was there and so should have your students.
  14. Llamafarmingguru

    Llamafarmingguru New commenter

    I should probably apologise for being flipant and it is indeed in the mark scheme. I was merely voicing my concern as to the level of education received by pupils in this course. There are aspects that are useful certainly and am not convinced that other boards are better. I am very fortunate to have a clean slate with ks5 in my new role next year and I'm struggling to find the best course. I've made it no secret that I find the wjec course slightly irrelevant and outdated but I know other boards can be almost like a lottery with moderation (dida from edexcel being an example of this). There are definitely some good suggestions on this board.
  15. Alycya

    Alycya New commenter

    I currently teach the AQA spec and hate it with a passion, as do my students. I work in an FE college and my intake are either D/E grade students the school 6th forms don't really want or overseas students with English as a second language and they really struggle with the AS papers. The long discussion questions floor them completely, no matter how many times we go through them. The content is very theoretical too. While there is some pre-prepared practical work to do, what actually counts is their answers in the exam on the analysis and testing parts of it (no questions on the practical part at all) and it only counts for 25 marks out of 80 on one of the two papers. The A2 is better, but my progression from AS to A2 is poor as they've hated the AS.
    I'm switching to WJEC, purely because there's a coursework element to AS which will suit my students better, even if it is very prescriptive.
    I would love to teach Computing, but it won't suit the students - most are doing arts/social science/business subjects rather than maths or science, which are the traditional partners to Computing. Maybe in a few years time I can offer it as well (I can dream...)


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