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GCSE - AQA or OCR?

Discussion in 'Media studies' started by amylong, Dec 12, 2015.

  1. amylong

    amylong New commenter

    Hi all

    starting new post of teacher in charge of media next term. Currently yr 10/11 are doing creative dig media BTEC but have been told I can change to the traditional GCSE route as of next sept, which is appealing to me as I haven't actually taught media before and practical side is new to me.

    I wanted to ask current teachers' advice; would you recommend the OCR gcse route, the AQA single award or double award? I'd like to know advantages and downfalls of both having no experience myself. The school currently runs OCR media studies at A level.

    any feedback much appreciated, no matter how small!

    thanks :)
     
  2. joannelovesbooks

    joannelovesbooks New commenter

    Hi Amy

    I arrived as leader of media my school just over a year ago and they were already doing AQA. I knew OCR from a previous school but hadn't taught GCSE before. I decided to move to OCR for the current Y10s. I prefer OCR because there are fewer coursework pieces but they are complete pieces rather than unfinished bits of planning like storyboards which AQA asks for. I also don't like the change in topic at AQA every year because some of the topics are really not appealing to students and it means departments can't build up the expertise. We are a term into OCR now and are really happy with the change. I much prefer the OCR A level too and would rather just deal with one board at both levels.

    Joanne
     
  3. CandysDog

    CandysDog Established commenter

    I don't teach GCSE, so can't really comment. The discussion of exam boards is interesting because of the vastly different market shares at GCSE and A Level.

    At GCSE, AQA is the most popular exam board, followed by WJEC and then OCR.

    At A Level, WJEC is the most popular exam board, ahead of OCR, with AQA trailing behind.

    None of this answers your query, except to say that what makes an exam board popular at GCSE does not necessarily transfer to A Level.

    (I suspect that a significant part of AQA's popularity at GCSE is down to its status as the 'default' board and its popularity for English. At A Level, Media Studies is more autonomous, which leads to a greater consideration of exam specifications and explains the popularity of WJEC and, to a lesser extent, OCR.)
     

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