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Core 1 in year 11

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by fmapp, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. For the last six years we have been entering one group of year 10 for their early entry in GCSE Mathematics. They are our brightest students and acheive well. In year 11 we have tried a variety of courses- including GCSE Statistics and OCR freestanding maths unit.
    This year we decided to do Core 1 content (in order to bridge the gap between GCSE and A Level) and a large number of students who want to do A Level Maths sat the exam in May. They will continue with the rest of A Level maths in year 12 and year 13.
    However within the last week we have learnt from a nearby school , who also do this and have done it for two years that students are now being penalised by the Russell group of Universitys for taking three years to complete the A Level.In one instance a students who wanted to do medicine is not having the A Level in Maths counted and so needs to study something else.
    My question - has anybody else experienced this and does anybody else know anything more about this.
  2. pwc9000

    pwc9000 New commenter

    Personally I don't really see how doing Core 1 would provide a better bridge than OCR Additional Maths.
    Regardless why would you need to do the C1 exam if its a problem?
    I'm no expert on uni entry but from the learning I'm doing in that area it seems to be the load and relevant study in Year 13 that is important to top universities rather than a rogue C1 paper done in Yr11.
  3. DM

    DM New commenter

    It is not the entire Russell Group but a few universities insist that A Levels are studied simultaneously over two years so that they can see that students will be able to cope with the workload demands of a university degree.

  4. I know what you know

    We have our last fast trackers just entering Y13 and have pushed them through the A level in 2 years with some doing AS FM in Y13

    They all have 3 other A'levels that they are taking through to Y13 but we are aware that the maths may not be counted ... we understood that there was more chance of being counted alongside 3 others as an early than having taken 3 years
  5. DM

    DM New commenter

    Cambridge's view:
    "Qualifications taken early
    We are, of course, in favour of stretching and challenging learners, but not at the expense of levels of achievement. Thus, we would discourage schools and colleges from entering their students early for public examinations unless they are very confident that top grades will be obtained. A grade B in a AS Level taken in Year 11 is still a B in our eyes; it is not equivalent to an A in the same qualification taken in Year 12. Where students are successfully taking qualifications early, we would still want to see evidence that they can cope with a workload equivalent to three A Levels taken simultaneously.
    We must also highlight the potential disadvantages of taking A Levels early in subjects where the knowledge and understanding will be required at university. Students who have not studied a key subject in a structured way the year before they arrive at university can find that their knowledge, all-important to some undergraduate courses, has atrophied. A good example of this would be a student studying a maths-based course like Mathematics or Engineering whose maths has become rusty during a pre-university year in which maths has not been systematically done.
    If a school is looking for ways to stretch its most able students in Year 11, we would strongly recommend that they encourage students to read widely around the subjects that interest them. This might be facilitated by the provision of appropriate reading lists or even material; and appropriate follow-up, for instance via a discussion group, should help develop the sort of analytical thinking and intellectual flexibility that we look for in applicants - and which is central to success at university.
    Another way in which they might consider stretching their most able students in Year 11 is via Critical Thinking AS Level. This may develop students' thinking in a way GCSEs do not, and, as we do not include Critical Thinking in conditional offers, there is no risk associated with taking this qualification early: a lower grade will not damage an applicant's profile."

  6. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    We had a student doing C1 & C2 in Year 11 this year. This is so the student can study Further Maths alongside the three sciences next year - no means of doing 5 options in our place. The remainder of AS and A2 Maths will be picked up in twilight hours, most probably all in Year 12. This student will cope with this, and I believe a high A will be the outcome. In such circumstances, I think it is worth bringing A level into KS4. Otherwise, there really is no point, especially since some influential Universities seem to frown on the idea.
  7. weggster

    weggster New commenter

    I still don't see why people take A levels early. I'd recommend broadening the study of the GCSE and FSMQ topics.
    Don't bother rushing into taking AS qualifications in Year 11, wait until Year 12. If you do insist in "ploughing ahead" then defer taking the exams until the correct (Year 12) time.
    There are all manner of things you can do with mathematics below AS level that will stretch even the most able if you are prepared to work on the topics. There are so many proofs etc that you can work on. Modelling is also a great approach for able students.
    Fast tracking in almost all cases is the wrong option. Read around the subject and enjoy maths rather than qualifications.
  8. All fine if thy are intrinsically motivated. Remember, many kids do maths for 'non maths' (ie science) degrees and simply want the qualification. The mindset of some pupils might not be one of wanting to do maths that won't count directly towards their UCAS form and one whole year of that can be hard to carry out.
    I love the FSMQ yet as it is (IMO) now harder (in a different way) to AS many kids find it hard with no real reward.
    My thought is 'do what works for the cohort' rather than anything rigid as a general approach
  9. There is a new qualification that might be of interest. We are considering it for the top set.
  10. I like it. My concern is (1) its as hard (in my limited experience of it) as much of C1/C2. It will take far longer (again at a guess) than C1. Will kids buy into it on top of a GCSE in terms of a worthwhile addition to their CV? I think good kids could do this instead of the GCSE (but thats me living in the idel world)
    I would like a textbook for this one which I asked about but had no answer on.
  11. Hey
    My son has just sat core 1 at the end of Y11 and I can see myself worrying for the next two year because of the comments made above. Does anyone know which of the Russell Universities have this two year ruling? Or if he resits core 1 in Y12, will this count as doing this A level in two years?
    From someone who does not want to 'age' more than two years in the next twenty-four months!
  12. DM

    DM New commenter

    The universities that would care about this wouldn't approve of resits either!
  13. Hi
    it is varied between the universities and does depend on what he wishes to do. From the replies that I have had Oxford , Cambridge ,UCL , are definately against it particularly if students want to go on and do medicine. We have been alerted to the problem by another local school where a year 12 student has been told her maths A Level will not count because she started it in year 11, they want to see her complete three A2 courses in year 13 and taken over two years.- this is to study medicine.
    This school have decided to change syllabus in September and all the students will sit Core 1 in January 2012, with a different exam board so that there is not this potential problem in the future.
    At the moment we are considering doing the same - or there is the other possibility of withdrawing our students from the exam.


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