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Draft New GCSE Specifications for England

Discussion in 'English' started by CandysDog, May 27, 2014.

  1. CandysDog

    CandysDog Established commenter

    So, this is the week when the exam boards submit their specifications for the new GCSEs in English Language and English Literature (to be first awarded in 2017) to Ofqual for accreditation and we get to see the drafts.

    OCR is first off the blocks and published its draft specifications and specimen assessment materials today:

    AQA's drafts are due out on Thursday. Pearson Edexcel and Eduqas (WJEC's new brand for England) should both have their specs out very soon too.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. pianopete

    pianopete Occasional commenter

    Nothing new or exciting in terms of text choice in the lit spec (can't seem to find the language one on the link). I suppose that's a double-edged sword; no innovation but also at least there aren't loads of brand new texts that we need to learn.

    All the unseen worries me - not in terms of teaching it - but in terms of the fact there is no guidance about it at all as in where it will be taken from, what style of extract, length etc. I know unseens are meant to be a surprise but the way the spec reads it could be anything!
     
  3. pianopete

    pianopete Occasional commenter

    Ok Langauge one is there now along with spec papers for each. Nothing particularly worrying I don't think just the complete "anything goes" nature of the unseen on both lang and lit really... We don't do OCR so I don't know how different it is from current offer; also the 0% for S&L seems pointless!!
     
  4. CandysDog

    CandysDog Established commenter

    OCR's website seems to keep randomly hiding documents temporarily, but it is all there.

    The specimen assessment materials provide a bit more guidance on what to expect for the unseen texts.

    I don't do OCR either (very few schools do ? they only have about 5% of the entry nowadays), but the question style is often quite similar to their current style.

    The 0% speaking and listening (or, to give it its official name, spoken language) is a requirement from the Government ? all boards' specs will have this (and the OCR spec implies that it may be going back to being identical S&L for each board again).
     
  5. wiemaranerlover

    wiemaranerlover New commenter

    My only concern is them specifying the Shakespeare text for Lit. Am assuming that if OCR have specified choice of four, then other boards will follow...

    He wrote so many beautiful brilliant plays, the choice from R&J, Merchant of Venice, Macbeth or Much Ado, to me, seems boring.

    That said, I'm hoping Jane Eyre is on the Eduqas or AQA list, as that's who we are likely to choose from!
     
  6. Is it just me, or is it rather worrying that an exam board cannot manage to print an English specification without glaring errors such as the one below? It occurs at least twice.

    It's not inspiring me to join OCR...

    Centre’s study one set text from the five 19th century prose set texts, that include a range of classics.
     
  7. CandysDog

    CandysDog Established commenter

  8. CandysDog

    CandysDog Established commenter

  9. Honeydew

    Honeydew New commenter

    Thanks Candysdog. Wonder when Edexcel will release their spec. Wjec's lit spec is closed book. Does anyone know if OCR are allowing clean copies of the text into the exam? I can't seem to find this info on their spec.
     
  10. CandysDog

    CandysDog Established commenter

    All the new specs will be closed book. Exam boards are allowed to reproduce extracts and poems in the exam.
     
  11. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    That'll cause a few panics.

    Mind you, they were all closed book in my day.

    Cue: "You were lucky - we were so poor, we didn't have books"
     
  12. Speaking

    Speaking New commenter

    Has anyone tried downloading the AQA drafts as it won't let me and tells me the link appears to be broken?
     
  13. pianopete

    pianopete Occasional commenter

    Yes I've managed to do it... Rather than download from the page you need to click on the specification link and download from there... A faff but it works!
     
  14. anteater

    anteater New commenter

    The AQA specs look quite live-able with. Perhaps we will be allowed to go back to them now and cease doing the dull-as-ditchwater Cambridge thing that we turned to in the unseemly scramble for Cs. The only annoying thing is that the texts aren't reproduced for the Language GCSE Paper 2 - something by Jay Rayner and something with characters called Harry and Eddie, which I can tell from the questions - maybe still in copywrite? Or am just being thick and unable to find it? If they're really not there, that wasn't a good choice for a specimen.
     
  15. pianopete

    pianopete Occasional commenter

    I couldn't find the insert texts for paper 2 either annoyingly. Looks like a good spec though - I like the idea of giving a set chapter/act in the Spring for Lit texts to focus revision.
     
  16. VeronicAmb

    VeronicAmb Occasional commenter

    All of the specs look OK. Nothing major for the Lit texts. I'm leaning towards AQA as they have The Merchant of Venice... I'd rather study this at GCSE rather than KS3. I do like the Language side too. However, I think for the benefit of my department and whole cohort, it looks like I will be sticking with Eduqas.

    I will be intrigued with the A-level specs though... Does anyone know when exam boards will be drafting it up? I read (on AQA I think) they will be publishing it in the Autumn?
     
  17. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    There's plenty of time to make a decision and, unless you have a department with a lot of temporary teachers, it should be a department decision, I think. HoD would have to have the final say but it' subset for everyone if there's consensus, and I wouldn't base a choice on one text. AQA have changed texts fairly frequently on previous specs.
     
  18. pianopete

    pianopete Occasional commenter

    VeronicAmb - I think it said AQA KS5 specs are out in June...
     
  19. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    There are links to specimen papers/mark schemes, but I can't get them to load (Firefox).

    As you were - I can open them on ie
     
  20. belfasty

    belfasty New commenter

    Are my eyes deceiving me? Will controlled assessment no longer be a part of the new AQA spec? 100% terminal examination? Yippee!
     

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