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Edexcel, aqa, ccea or ocr for gcse maths?

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by BWALSH479, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. BWALSH479

    BWALSH479 New commenter

    Has anyone a reason for choosing any the above boards for maths this year.

    I teach in a large boys secondary school and our results this year were very disappointing.

    Obviously we would like to give the students best chance for success
  2. MLMaths

    MLMaths New commenter

    I'm in a similar boat. Obviously only a year of "old" GCSE to go, but am going to look closely as the A*-C percentages for AQA (our current board) as I suspect EdExcel is somewhat higher from the little digging I've done so far.
  3. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    The main English boards are going to be closer than ever before. Ofqual has not only made the specifications identical, but the sample assessments have been aligned very closely. In fact Collins has published books for AQA and for Edexcel that are literally identical.

    CCEA is not really an option as it follows the NI curriculum, in the same way that WJEC follows the Welsh curriculum. These are not Ofqual regulated and English state schools would not consider them,

    You do have an extra option though with Eduqas, a branch of WJEC that has got Ofqual approval for its English GCSE 9-1. More info at http://www.eduqas.co.uk/
  4. PFCDaz

    PFCDaz New commenter

    The differences between AQA Edexcel and OCR are subtle but potentially significant depending on your cohort.

    Edexcel and AQA have 80 marks per paper while OCR have 100, same length, more marks per question for OCR.

    AQA have some multiple choice questions at the start of their papers

    OCR have the calculator paper as Paper 2, Edexcel and AQA both chose Paper 1

    The specs look very different, Edexcel and AQA have dropped the DFE content as written into their template, OCR have reworded and exemplified what the DfE provided.

    All 3 Awarding organisations have published and are working on, additional support material, detailed schemes of work, CPD etc.

    Disclaimer time, I have tried to be impartial in the info above but I am a subject specialist in maths for OCR, feel free to ignore the next sentence...... I won't post a link, but I would encourage teachers to have a look at our spec if you haven't already as its a genuinely useful document, particularly for teachers new to GCSE teaching....
  5. moontitan

    moontitan Occasional commenter

    I know which one I will avoid at all costs- Edexcel. After the recent fiasco (with the current unreformed GCSE), where the exam style had completely changed, grade boundary for the C grade had shot up I will not touch them. I also attended one of their training meetings where they seemed to be proud of the fact that their qualification will be difficult. When I made a comment about their sample papers not differentiating the students enough due to the high level of difficulty, they refused to consider it as an issue. They were very much in favour in making exam questions challenging.

    I am all for challenging questions, but not a large number of them so that the spread in abilities is diminished.

    So far AQA/OCR look good to me.
  6. bobtes

    bobtes Occasional commenter

    I also recently attended an edexcel meeting, and several of us queried the difficulty of the questions at the low end of the Foundation paper, ie grade G/F.

    However on looking at OCR papers they seem similarly unapproachable for genuinely low ability candidates.

    Rearranging formulae on page 2??
  7. moontitan

    moontitan Occasional commenter

    bobtes- yes I see what you mean about pg 2.

    OCR seem to recognise the fact that a high proportion of difficult questions will fail to differentiate the students, at least that it was the representative I was talking to had acknowledged. So I have kept an open mind with this board. Edexcel on the other hand believe that the more difficult questions there are the better- they are proud of this and have been sending this message across various channels. Head buried in sand.

    It is a shame as my view has always been that Edexcel has had the best resources. I would rather ditch these and choose a board where the students feel confident during an exam.

    AQA looks good to me.
  8. Colleen_Young

    Colleen_Young Occasional commenter

    See also this thread where I started a discussion after having a good look at the AQA Specimen papers - quite a lot of demanding questions on those.
  9. PFCDaz

    PFCDaz New commenter

    The intention of the reform from the DfE was to make the GCSE exams more difficult, it was a specific steer that the exam boards were given and an expectation of accreditation. The interpretation of this was different between the baords, and was eventually "homogenised" following the research Ofqual did this year.

    When all the boards resubmitted, Edexcel and AQA submitted completely new papers in place of those originally accredited, OCR on the other hand tweaked the original SAMs. I'm not sure what the Welsh board did.

    The upshot is that in terms of demand, for Edexcel and OCR it has eased at the bottom end thankfully, while retaining more demanding questions for the more able students on both tiers. AQA brought their level of demand into line with the other AOs.

    Again, hopefully impartial background info :)

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