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Help! Which examination board to choose???????????

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by bigpedro, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. bigpedro

    bigpedro New commenter

    Unless you start doing betecs e.t.c. you're going to struggle.
    I haven't taught Alevel for a number of years but here's what i've found with GCSE courses.
    In my mind it largely depends what you want out of a GCSE, Some schools want a good learning experience, others are just interested in grades. It sounds like you're under pressure for the latter, therefore I would (as we have) go for WJEC's GCSE course. Its scripted to the point of rediculous but this ensures you'll get good CA work. The exams are quite difficult (this summer's was a shocker) and it looks like the course content was designed by a comitee of different area leaders who all tried to shove as much of their particular specialism into it as possible. The exam though is 40% so the "easier" coursework compensates.
    There's always AQA's course which is the most popular and gives a very very good educational experience. Sadly, it seems that nobody can actually pin down what is required to get high grades as opinion differs even between moderators. There's also sooooo many different ways of presenting the evidence that it can often lead to confusion from students who when they ask "what do I need to do" can only be given a list of possible things they could do (there never seems to be a definite answer) I still rate the course, I think it's a fantastic concept but it doesn't suit all students especially if (as it is in many cases) they can't think for themselves.
    EDEXCEL's course seems complex and bonkers, we looked at it and dismissed it as ridiculous for the fact that it has 4 or five assessments in it. Other people may have a better opinion.
    This might help, it might not,
    best of luck
  2. Thanks for that! I thought the same myself. The pressure is getting unreal so have to change something!!!!!!
  3. I have taught AQA and OCR and have had my best results with OCR. Everyone had A* to C last year! I like the fact they have to do 2 controlled assesment of 20 hours each as it means we dont get bored. feels like we do more practical this way and you don't get such long stretches doing folder work.For those taking the exam etc starting the 2 year course this Sept there will only be one exam of one hour 30 mins which sounds great. See info provided by OCR
  4. I have been using Edexcel for quite some time to deliver Resistant Materials and have found it to be exactly to our requirements. I thought I would add my suggestion after reading a comment from bigpedro
    "EDEXCEL's course seems complex and bonkers, we looked at it and dismissed it as ridiculous for the fact that it has 4 or five assessments in it. Other people may have a better opinion."
    As far as I am aware Edexcel does not offer a Product Design GCSE, so I am unsure which course bigpedro is referring to. We deliver GCSE Resistant Materials and like other exam boards it is 40% exam and 60% CA. I would certainly advise you to look at this course if you want to gravitate towards more practical work.
  5. bigpedro

    bigpedro New commenter

    Hmmm, it appears I was wrong. not sure which exam board it was then.
    Apologies to Edexcel
    (though I still wouldn't trust them due to a personal issue from a few years ago when they nearly got me booted out of my job by dropping all my marks by 30% without warning)
  6. If you want to consider AQA's GCSE Product Design which has a seamless transition into their A Level PD and feel you need assistance get in touch with Brian@dixonsca.com
  7. We recently changed from OCR to AQA. We offer PD and EP. We have had great results with these as the course is simple to assess. (we did sit the exam in year 10 and the CA in year 11 but that's got to stop now with the 100% terminal assessment!!) There is lots of practical stuff to get stuck into for the vast proportion of the CA and a choice of areas to study in PD.
    Good support and freindly moderators, and as long as you break down each assessment section of the CA it's a doddle to teach and manage.
    As an aside, we submit all our evidence on CDROM using PowerPoint. Pupils upload each assignment / section on the VLE for checking / marking and now we have bought a few USB DVDRW units so pupils can write their own CD's and I simply collect them all in and post them.
    A digital camera (wireless) is a good investment for plenty on photographic evidence.

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