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GCSE French AQA certificate

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by Maxomtb, Aug 29, 2014.

  1. Hi. We have been doing GCSE French AQA with controlled assessment. Our results have plummeted since the introduction of CA. This year we are considering changing to the linear course. Has anyone worked with this? I would love any advice.

    Cheers
     
  2. gsglover

    gsglover Occasional commenter

    Used it this year and we were pleasedwith the results. Speaking and writing tests were very fair and no CA. I recommend it.
     
  3. Just seen this thread which led me to look at the iGCSE spec. I'm very excited about it. We too have seen a plummet in results since CAs were introduced. Our results breakdowns, for almost every student, show that they achieved C grade or more in their controlled assessments but then a number of them were let down by the listening and reading exams, which in my view should be 'easier' skills than speaking and writing. Of course the reason is that less able students relied hugely on memory in CAs, getting them a grade C, but then had little linguistic knowledge or ability to use in the exams at the end of year 11. The amount of teaching time eaten into by preparation for CAs and conducting them is ridiculous. I was looking forward to 2016, but now am all the more excited as I can scrap CAs earlier! Also, no more nagging at some students to actually take the CAs - it really was like getting blood out of a stone with some of them. Reduced workload for us as well since the speaking assessments are merely recorded by us but sent off to AQA for marking. It sounds like a no brainer. I feel like it's too late for our new year 11 students since they have already prepared a number of CAs in year 10 and I don't want the backlash from them which would be inevitable if they thought none of those assessments were going to end up counting towards anything. I do want to introduce it for our new year 10 students though. It looks like some simple tweaking of our SOW should be enough.

    Is there any catch though, apart from the obvious that they only get one shot at the speaking and writing assessments and that weaker students won't be able to rely on memory?
     
  4. gregcolin

    gregcolin New commenter

    We are starting it next week. Don't think it will take much changing of our SOWs at all and it will save us time which we currently spend on CAs!!
     
  5. So are we- it just seems better all round.
     
  6. In addition, it is better preparation for what will replace gcses!
     
  7. This is the iGCSE, correct? I am also very interested in this, I much prefer the linear approach and am just fed up to the back teeth of trying to jump through hoops to get CAs (esp Writing) up to a standard which just seems to be ever-changing and not transparent for us teachers. However, am I correct in thinking that I've read somewhere that iGCSEs aren't going to count in league tables after 2017? Will the new linear-type GCSEs be in then anyways, and we can do this iGCSE until the whole lot is linear?

    Thanks!
     
  8. toadman

    toadman Occasional commenter

    For those starting year 10 tomorrow, the Certificate (AKA igcse) will count towards 5 A*-C etc and qualifies for points. When the replacement gcse begins using different grades, the Certificate may still get points but will probably be subsumed into the new exam. AT present it is the nearest thing to the new exam in terms of style of assessment, so we too are opting for it as from tomorrow. At worst, it is good practice for teachers and at best might look something like the new exam and allow us to teach properly without the difficulties and vagaries of CA and its assessment(particularly writing!). There will be disadvantages in that writing and speaking tasks will not be known in advance, but based on the paper this year, they seem fair and predictable.
     
  9. As a new HOD I am also keen to look at this. Have been on the AQA site of course but is there anyone out there who can help me discover more? Perhaps even come in to school?
     
  10. vacherin

    vacherin New commenter

    You could start by going to London LAnguage Show and hear STuart Glover doing a talk about it. I'm sure it will be informative. If you need anything I know that he would be willing to help you. Contact me off forum and I will pass on details.
     
  11. vacherin

    vacherin New commenter

    WE plan to start French tomorrow but am waiting to see how it feels before commiting other langs.
     
  12. Thanks for the info. I am going to be speaking with my SLT link about pushing to do this iGCSE with the new year 10s, certainly with those who've opted for it and are unlikely to pass the "traditional" GCSE in its current, CA-heavy format. I am wondering to myself if I am bold enough to suggest that the current year 11s who are struggling (still) with their CAs and again, are unlikely to pass, should I change their course 1/2 way through and put them in for the iGCSE? The content and SOW we've taught them should still stand them in good stead.....something to think about......? Anyone doing anything similar?
     
  13. I would have done this but it doesn't carry points until the following year. I know some did it this year but it was mostly private schools and those who had already done gcse early or schools where the points made no difference.
     
  14. gsglover

    gsglover Occasional commenter

    My advice is to wait for the new year 10s unless you are in a private school or the headteacher is willing to sanction it for year 11. Our year 11s just gone had done gcse in year 10 so they did the certificate this year with good results.
     
  15. I spent 20 minutes on the phone to AQA about this spec. They were incredibly helpful and have pointed me in the right direction. As I work in a private school, I think we will take the plunge for French to start with.
     
  16. gregcolin

    gregcolin New commenter

    As a private school, I think you will be OK
     
  17. vacherin

    vacherin New commenter

    My colleagues in Spanish and German have decided to go for it too so we are now starting in all 3 languages!!
     
  18. vacherin

    vacherin New commenter

    The release from CA is already superb!
     
  19. toadman

    toadman Occasional commenter

    At least there will be a mutual support group on this site!
     
  20. Our controlled assessment results were so good this year that my SLT line manager has suggested it might not be a good idea to swap to iGCSE! She seems to be forgetting the fact that our listening and reading exam results were far worse and that it's due to the fact that controlled assessments take time away from practising those skills. We had students who were very good at using notes in their exercise books and textbooks to put together drafts for their CAs, then committed what they had done to memory but clearly ended up performing better in the CAs than their true linguistic ability would have allowed for! SLT had better not tell me we can't switch over. I'll go nuts.
     

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