1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Choosing A Level courses

Discussion in 'Science' started by FleurR, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. FleurR

    FleurR New commenter

    Hello

    My school is expanding to begin teaching A Levels next year. Can anyone suggest any really good exam boards and/or specifications for AS and A2? I am currently teaching AQA Science A and Additional Science, with a few pupils taking separate sciences.

    Are there any really good or bad exam boards or specifications that people would recommend or urge me to steer clear of?!
    Which ones would suit a small school, with limited resources?
    What about the combined science A levels - are they any good? Do universities value them?

    Any advice would be great - sorry to be vague, but just want to get an idea of what people are doing and what they like/what works!
     
  2. FleurR

    FleurR New commenter

    Hello

    My school is expanding to begin teaching A Levels next year. Can anyone suggest any really good exam boards and/or specifications for AS and A2? I am currently teaching AQA Science A and Additional Science, with a few pupils taking separate sciences.

    Are there any really good or bad exam boards or specifications that people would recommend or urge me to steer clear of?!
    Which ones would suit a small school, with limited resources?
    What about the combined science A levels - are they any good? Do universities value them?

    Any advice would be great - sorry to be vague, but just want to get an idea of what people are doing and what they like/what works!
     
  3. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    We use AQA for chemistry, physics and biology (my subject).
    I've taught OCR before and find it as good as AQA.
    Recently I've been privately tutoring Edexcel biology A level and hate it. I don't like the support materials and the mark schemes are no-where near as comprehensive as the other boards. The style of question is also very much more synoptic, which is not, IMO, good for students of today.
     
  4. I've taught OCR biology and chemistry and found them pretty good. The old Edexcel biology course was great but we didn't like the look of the new one.
    The OCR (B) Advancing physics is also very popular with students.
     
  5. I've only ever taught AQA which I have found to be a decent specification for chemistry. I've heard good things about the support fro WJEC because it's a small exam board but I don't like their spec. Combined science A-levels are fine if you have students who may be going on to university to do more generally scientific courses like nursing, midwifery but no good if they may want to do something with a heavier science base like pharmacy, chemistry, physics etc. The AQA applied science course is a good one for those students who want to take maybe one science A-level and would otherwise take A-level biology because they think it will be easy (which it is not).
     
  6. Our centre uses OCR for all 3 and the students seem reasonably happy with them. The Advancing Physics (OCR B) we use does have many positives. However the coursework elements are significant and if they were being taken on by staff with no experience of them I would think they would be pretty hard to get to grips with.
     
  7. AQA Chem - very good spec, good support, good resources, very hard coursework for lower ability students (current grade boundaries are about 41/50 for a C grade).


     
  8. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Occasional commenter

    We do OCR A for all three sciences having switched from OCR B physics a couple of years ago. The courses are straight forward and well organised. We have had some concerns about the challenge of papers and consequently the grade boundaries but as a department we are very happy with our courses at the moment.
    The internally assessed part is fairly straightforward but you would need to do at least one trip to cover the fieldwork component of A2 biology
     
  9. In many ways, it doesn't matter which one you choose, because A Levels are all being redeveloped for first teaching in September 2014.
    So, choose whichever course you can find that's the most straight-forward for you to pick up and work with; and then look at the new courses in more detail when they start to emerge.
     

Share This Page