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Draft New GCSE Specifications for England

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

  1. CandysDog

    CandysDog Established commenter

    The specifications may change entirely before accreditation. However, accreditation is due to take place before or during this autumn (often suggested to be September). Once the specs are accredited, there should be no further changes.
  2. VeronicAmb

    VeronicAmb Occasional commenter

    Thanks CandysDog....

    I can tell my dept will be rushed off our feet next year with GCSE specs, NC and the New A-levels. I don't want to prioritise but I think I'm going to have to prioritise KS3 and A-levels as we teach all English A-levels including Creative Writing and Media and Film Studies.

    I will not be looking forward to timetabling in Jan as this will be a killer. Why are they changing everything in one year, it's just all a bit of a farce if you ask me! And I definitely DO NOT want to be doing this-and-that over choosing what spec to pick and etc over the 6 weeks. No waay!
  3. CandysDog

    CandysDog Established commenter

    English is particularly unlucky, as it is the only subject where the new GCSEs and A Levels are both taught from September 2015. Most subjects (including Maths and Science) are staggered (though there are other subjects that have to cope with both GCSE and A Level changes together in September 2016 or September 2017).

    At least Creative Writing and Media Studies aren't changing until September 2017...
  4. lizgaskell

    lizgaskell Occasional commenter

    At a WJEC meeting in Manchester tomorrow so hoping to come away feeling that my instincts to go with them for both are right. Other option for us is same a Verincamb... Wider choice of texts BUT we will probably end up doing the same two or three I suspect so this point could be a moot one anyway. Then when Gove realises that every student in the land is doing say, A Christmas carol, that will be culled too!

    Ho hum.

    Will post if I find out anymore tomorrow but I suspect there are not many people who know more than Candy's Dog :)
  5. lizgaskell

    lizgaskell Occasional commenter

    Okay, to be honest, if you had read the drafts carefully today you might have found the meeting a bit of a waste of time - I had a four hour round trip! For some, this was the first time they had seen them.

    However, I am now certain to go with wjec for both lang and lit. Really liked the 'source,' for the 19c novel. Basically an extract to get you started on a longer essay style response.
  6. VeronicAmb

    VeronicAmb Occasional commenter


    Yeah it is unfortunate. Creative Writing and Media/Film Studies will be a problem in terms of timetabling. Every student has to do GCSE Lang and Lit, which means instead of 4 sets, we now are going to have 5 sets and the new AS co-teachable alongside A-level in Lang and Lit just seems a bit complicated as many of my dept teach more than 4 A-levels across the boarder. From Sept 2015 I shall have one SLT and 2 part timers which normally teach A-levels!! It's just getting me frustrated and it's also going to affect how A2 is put on the timetable... This is my biggest annoyance ever!
  7. Honeydew

    Honeydew New commenter

    Having looked at the AOs for Edexcel (GCSE English Lit) I was glad to see that AO2 is only assessed for the extracts. For general essay questions where students have to refer to the play or novel, they will be tested on AO1.

    AO2 = 'Analyse language, form and structure used by a writer to create meanings and effects, using relevant subject terminology where appropriate' and AO1 = 'use textual references, including quotations, to support and illustrate interpretations'. Am I correct in understanding that the AO1 descriptor doesn't require students to analyse quotes to the same degree as they would for AO2?
  8. wigglyworm

    wigglyworm New commenter

    Can I urge caution with regards to the welsh Lang spec and timings. I can't find my link to it right this second, but from memory the 2nd paper is 2.5hrs long. Many of our students receive special consideration +25% time - that makes for an incredibly long exam.
  9. CandysDog

    CandysDog Established commenter

    That's Lit Paper 2. Most of the other boards' are only 15 minutes shorter. WJEC's pre-2012 Lit exam was that long and became very popular.
  10. CandysDog

    CandysDog Established commenter

    My international spy network tells me that none of the exam boards' specifications have been approved straight away. Despite the hysteria that will no doubt occur in some quarters, this is entirely expected and exactly what usually happens during accreditation (as seen for the last set of English specifications and, more publicly, the last Science ones).

    For what it's worth, I've heard that Ofqual are not happy with having pre-released sections for English Literature texts (as seen on AQA and Edexcel) and AQA's approach to unseen poetry questions.
  11. lizgaskell

    lizgaskell Occasional commenter

    Thanks for this update Candy'sdog. We have not started any real work in this precisely because they re still drafts. Thankfully.

    Will most likely go with wjec though.

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