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Have you picked the easiest new A Level exam board for September?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by alevelteacher, Jun 27, 2015.

  1. danlee

    danlee New commenter

    Yes, of course I have. Why would anyone set out to pick the hardest?

    However, I haven't really noticed much difference between OCR and Eduquas. Care to enlighten me?

    Dan
     
  2. olderandwiser

    olderandwiser Occasional commenter

    Either Eduqas or OCR seem doable to me. AQA is not doable for many reasons. Too much pure Maths will be impossible to teach to many students, who still struggle with working out the average of three numbers. And of course functional programming forms a major part of the AQA specification and is a level of difficulty that teachers can do without. I remember when this was on the OCR syllabus a few years back. Although it was a basic intro, and much more basic than the current AQA requirements, it caused problems every time it appeared in exams. This is a paradigm that frequently appears in year 2 of computer science degree courses - I think I can guess who was responsible for bullying this pet topic into the new specification! Utterly stupid to include it, unless as I suspect, this is about AQA wanting to rid itself of CS altogether?
     
  3. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    I would worry that students embarking on A level don't have an adequate grounding in Maths. If I were having to run this course (and T.G.I'm not) I'd insist ,as in the past, on a A grade in GCSE maths as a part of the entry requirements - yes I know "B*ms On Seats Rules" - but...

    BTW don't think that AQA would have any qualms about dropping A level CS.

    They are "not planning to develop new A Levels " in Electronics, D&T Systems ,Citizenship, Bengali, Panjabi, Polish, Anthropology, Modern Hebrew , Science in Society.

    Computer Science could easily join them if they wished
     
  4. olderandwiser

    olderandwiser Occasional commenter

    Yes, I think AQA have done their forecasts and are now making sure that they actually happen so they can finally dump this troublesome subject.

    Including Functional programming in the specification and making it one entire section out of 13 is a great way to do it; few teachers can teach this at all, few will have ever used it practically, or have been taught it and there are hardly any resources or training courses that are of worth to help teachers or students with this topic. Frankly, if you do AQA, you are stuffed.

    Then there is the inclusion of a crazy amount of Maths, way beyond other syllabusses' content. Unless you have done a Computer Science degree or a pure maths degree, teaching it with confidence, enthusiasm and with zeal will be impossible. And the students simply do not have a grounding to take on the pure maths topics.

    I think AQA will happily announce it is dumping CS A Level after one year and will then ensure it disappears for good the following year. Happy days for AQA.
     
  5. NeitherMouseNorSock

    NeitherMouseNorSock New commenter

    Nope, I'd made a balanced decision.

    AQA: Disliked their old spec, so discounted that even before the crazy new spec

    OCR: Was always the sensible alternative but co-teachability looked tough.

    WJEC/Eduqas: Already familiar with the old spec and provided the easiest transition.

    No-brainer really.
     
  6. larathegiraffe

    larathegiraffe New commenter

    We are just about ready now; have some expensive but pretty good bought-in resources, a prepared a few of our own and have an outline plan for the first year and a detailed plan for the first half term. I'm not sure who in the world of the sane would do the hardest exam board by a mile, but are going for one of the nice, straightforward ones! I'm quite looking forward to it actually and really looking forward to teaching algorithms and then Python for the first time on this course. I've been working hard on this all year as my personal number one target, have done half a dozen programming tasks by different exam boards in Python (at the GCSE level) and a few harder tasks from books so feel fully prepared. I've even stopped using CAS as I found they were more a waste of time than helpful. Bring on September!
     
  7. gigaswitch1

    gigaswitch1 Occasional commenter

    Where did you get the resources from larathegiraffe? We are looking to teaching in the next couple of years.
     
  8. larathegiraffe

    larathegiraffe New commenter

    We've bought and used wwwdotheteacherdotinfo for quite a few years now and has been pretty good but there is a lot of stuff now to support the new A Levels (interestingly, there isn't anything for the AQA course!!) Also looking at wwwdotadvanced-ictdotinfo/ although it should be called wwwdotadvanced-computersciencedotinfo/ really. Some useful stuff there for coding. Needs more on Python in my opinion but it's good.
     
  9. gigaswitch1

    gigaswitch1 Occasional commenter

    Thanks for that. It is good to get feedback on teachers that use their stuff.
     

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