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Changing to OCR B GCSE History

Discussion in 'History' started by bps5, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. bps5

    bps5 New commenter

    Hi All,

    As part of a review of GCSE History, I am thinking about switching from Edexcel B GCSE SHP to OCR B. The decision to switch boards has been down to a combination of poor/mediocre results and a desire to try something different with our pupils. I would also like to move away from SHP and back to Modern World History.

    I've looked at the specification and the first unit seems OK - (I would probably go for the Nazi Germany Depth Study and then the Terrorism Option). As it is a single sex boys school, the chance to study the Iraq War/September 11th has gone down well with the pupils that would potentially sit the GCSE next year if a switch took place. However, I am more concerned about the British Depth Study option for Unit 2 - either option (I would probably go for the 1945-1979 option), seems very broad. I've taught a similar thing before for AQA/Edexcel - so I may be panicking about nothing.

    If anyone has any views on the OCR B GCSE course, these would be most appreciated. In particular, I would be interested to know if people though that the GCSE is suitable for pupils of all ability (this will be the sticking point before the switch can be signed off for next year).

  2. The structure you are proprosing is exactly the way we teach it. We have just changed to entering our students for paper 1 in year 10 - we haven't done this before, so will see how it goes!! You will find that the Controlled Assessment will take about one term to complete from start to finish. Our students do a mock for this, and complete the 2000 words piece on computer but it has to be quite closely controlled. You would be wise to use a depth study outline for the CA - we do Germany for the paper one and then do USA 1919-1941 for the CA and it helps to have the guidelines of the OCR depth study to plan your teaching. You have to cover a reasonably wide range of content so that you can cope with the changing question - every year it is different and you must adapt your teaching to accommodate that.
    There are two specific OCR Modern World textbooks, the main one is by Ben Walsh. It has a lot of good information and images, but could be wordy for your lower ability students. For your Germany unit the best book is actually the SHP textbook on Germany - I forget the title, but it has a white cover with black and white photos on it. This also comes with a lower ability range, and has a lot of source material in it, which is really useful.
    I am happy to pass on any SOW etc if you would find it helpful.
  3. bps5

    bps5 New commenter

    Thanks for the information. The fact that we can run the course in the way that I proposed will be a great help in persuading people to consider changing. Although our modular GCSE is going to finish in 2012 anyway due to changes introduced by Mr Gove.

    I think we've got a whole stash of the white SHP textbook on Germany in a cupboard somewhere. If it is the one I'm thinking of, it has a black and white picture on the front cover of children playing with stacks of banknotes. I used this textbook when I did GCSE and have taught from it before.

    I was going to do the USA 1919-41 for the CA - there used to be an SHP textbook for this as well when I did the old Edexcel Modern World GCSE several years ago (not sure if we've still got these).

    I would appreciate any SOWs, etc that you could pass on. I've sent you a PM with my e-mail address, if that's OK. Thanks for your help.

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