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GCSE, AS Computer Science Sept 2015

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by KevMitson, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. Now please treat me gently.

    I am starting in a new school as of Sept 2015 and have been asked to put forward what I feel will be best for the computer science curriculum. Currently I am looking at the Edexcel GCSE (2013) and Eduqas AS/A level.

    All exam boards bring out their new specifications starting in 2016, so a next year start obviously means using the old syllabus. I toyed between Edexcel and OCR for GCSE but quite simply swayed towards Edexcel due to the problems OCR have had with their controlled assessments i.e. changing them ! and their infatuation with App shed. LMC and Raspberry Pi, all of which are excellent ways of programming but do not give kids much scope.

    My questions are ! is Edexcel a better choice to OCR thinking ahead (I am steering clear of AQA far to much like rocket science) and has anyone else going down the Eduqas route ?

    Any meaningful advice greatly received.

  2. tjra

    tjra Occasional commenter

    I'd go with Edexcel - there's a lot more theory (75% opposed to OCR's 40%) but the main benefit is that it will be closer to the final spec for 2016 (all exam boards limited to 20% NEA [controlled assessment] ).
  3. Exactly my thinking thanks
  4. olderandwiser

    olderandwiser Occasional commenter

    When the penny finally drops and ofqual realise that a range of answers already are in the public domain for the two most likely popular 2017 entry GCSE controlled assessments, and that you can also buy bespoke solutions (how 'bespoke' would be debatable), I am sure they will have no choice but to annul them and replace them. You can't have the answers freely available to all students for a public exam - it brings the entire exam system into disrepute and looks even worse for the 'regulator'.

    For post-16, I agree with the eduqas choice. It is infinitely easier than AQA's university second year degree level offering, where you and your students will need a Maths degree to cope with many topics and an amazing skill set to tackle large topics like Functional programming, and WJEC is more helpful and responsive than OCR, who frankly, treat teachers with contempt, disrespect and downright obfuscation.
  5. larathegiraffe

    larathegiraffe New commenter

    "You can't have the answers freely available to all students for a public exam"

    Of course you can. It's been happening for years with both GCSE controlled assessments, and coursework before that, and with A Levels. 2017 answers are certainly out there already so students and teachers need to build in extra time to do a second assignment when the first lot are cancelled. It has to happen soon, when the newspapers get hold of the evidence in September or October and ofqual are again seen to be sitting on their hands.
  6. tjra

    tjra Occasional commenter

    It's like de ja vu. Yet again someone asks for information on exam boards and the same old crew come in moaning about the same discussion topics they have in every other thread. HE DIDN'T ASK ABOUT CONTROLLED ASSESSMENTS. Why do you feel the need to steer all discussion in that direction? It's so tedious.
  7. danlee

    danlee New commenter

    I find OCR repugnant. I cannot explain my anger with the way in which they treat teachers. AVOID OCR AT ALL COSTS - YOU WILL REGRET IT.
  8. larathegiraffe

    larathegiraffe New commenter

    A very good summary made of OCR ------- OCR = obfuscation

    "due to the problems OCR have had with their controlled assessment"

    It was part of the original post.

    What is tedious is that OFQUAL and Exam boards keep ignoring the problem every year. And each year, the qualifications lose more integrity. As professionals who care, we should be raising the issue of controlled assessments, the lack of credible checks, the problems created by having answers online and the ineffectiveness of OFQUAL as a regulator again and again; one day, someone might take notice, but until the date, everyone should mention it everywhere they get a chance, at meetings, at the LEA, with MPs, on forums and keep doing it.

    Presumably, tija, you work for OFQUAL or an exam board and want this disgraceful set of affairs hushed up, or are you selling solutions to controlled assessments and the last thing you need is for them to be replaced with something a bit harder to cheat in ....
  9. tjra

    tjra Occasional commenter

    No; I'm just fed up with you and others derailing every thread with the same discussion over and over again. We get it - controlled assessments are a joke. Rehashing the point repeatedly just makes the few threads we have on here more pointless.

    If you bothered to read up on the latest specifications instead of whinging about them, you'd know that controlled assessments ARE on the way out and are being replaced by NEA (Non-Examined Assessment), which most subjects won't be able to have. Design Tech had to battle for 20% (I believe) and Computing did as well. The NEA will test programming ability only and will be controlled; in that tasks will be released with a relatively short timescale to solve and submit.

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