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English i-gcse

Discussion in 'English' started by MrsTyers, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    We are currently with AQA for GCSE english language but are considering changing to the Cambridge i-GCSE. The problem is that we don't know any other English departments that use this syllabus.
    I was hoping that anyone who does do the Cambridge i-GCSE would just respond letting us know how they've found it, any advice or feelings.
    Many thanks.
  2. Hi
    I taught Cambridge IGSE for four years. We taught Second Language, First Language and Literature - with learners being placed in the most suitable language course and literature optional.

    Firstly, I must point out that the courses are confusingly named - Second Language implies a boring and flat course for learners whose native tongue is not English, involving a rote grammar and vocabulary style syllabus. This is not the case; simply, it is a more accessible and hand-on approach for learners who are not proficient at English - no matter what their first language. Equally, I taught second language English speakers the First Language course and they excelled as they had a talent and flair for writing. Think of them instead as higher / lower or extended / foundation - and you get a closer picture.
    The courses allow for plenty of supplementary material to be incorporated but allows learners a challenging and rounded knowledge of writing for different styles, purposes and audiences in a variety of formats. Each can be combined with the Literature course - or not, for personalised learning that suits the needs of your class.
  3. anteater

    anteater New commenter

    Just looked at the spec for this, and it has got me really excited! We could do an entirely exam based course, so no worries about our kids being short-changed because we refuse to play fast and loose with the Controlled Assessment rules, as it seems so many schools/departments do. But there is a coursework component option, too, which could be helpful for some students. A choice - wow!
    But does it count towards the stupid English Bacc etc? Off to check!
  4. songsong

    songsong New commenter

    I know this is an old thread but can anybody update me with experiences of IGCSE.
  5. songsong

    songsong New commenter

    Glad it's going well for you rioja. Do you mind me asking what sort of school you work in? State? Independent? High ability?
  6. cherryaimless

    cherryaimless New commenter

    I am also wondering about switching to the Cambridge i-GCSE. It looks like a much more sensible course, especially as I am feeling fed up with the cumbersome AQA courses - which, quite frankly, are all over the place. Controlled Assessment is a burden; in some respects worse than the coursework element used to be. I heard an ugly rumour that Controlled Assessment is on its way out and AQA is thinking of going back to the traditional O Level way (Whooppeee.... I think...)...so all this learning the new spec would have been for nothing anyway. Grrr.
    Wouldn't it be lovely if we could all suddenly switch to the English iGCSE? That'd show 'em!
    Knowing our luck though, the Cambridge people would probably just start mucking about with the iGCSE spec...
  7. cherryaimless

    cherryaimless New commenter

    So it would...
  8. PRU. Mixed ability.
  9. I teach it in an international school, so we may not be talking about the same spec. In the international version there is no tiering, so all students sit exactly the same examination. Check. The international version also, in my view, muddies the waters between reading and writing skills and the directed writing, I find, many lower ability students really struggle with. It is not a seamless transition from KS3 and does not prepare students for KS5. I find the literature texts especially demanding and the standard question, while easy (formulaic) does not build skills for A level. In short I find it the most likely spec to encourage teaching to the test, least likely to prepare for A level and with the least differentiation available. I know the newly released Uk spec does include speaking and listening, but I would check the other points I have made. Also, the language is not a course, it's a test and with language only groups I have spent considerable time devising a course so that they are not mired in endless past paper practice, which is boring for all concerned. I could be completely wrong, but consider carefully the tiering issue, the literature texts and how students will cope with directed writing - its hard.
  10. I've been looking at the edexcel certificate - has been accredited so it can be counted in 5 A-Cs. Manageable content for all abilities. No controlled assessment. Single tier entry. Can't see a downside unless i'm missing something obvious!

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