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How can the OCR National be the same as a GCSE - there's only half the work!

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by poppyidol, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    The thing you've missed is that you're quoting the old specs where a big and small unit got a GCSE equivalent. For the 2010 curriculum whichwas passed last year you need to do three units with 100 GLH of work. In reality you're looking at about 120 GLH, or 2 hours per week from Yr10 through to the end of Yr11, the same as ANY GCSE course.
    We look to push our kids harder, and as such are doing Unit 8 (Tech Innovation & E-commerce) along side Unit 6 (spreadsheets) and Unit 4 (multimedia product). These three units lead nicely into our Edexcel AS and A2 course so we're not having to start at ground zero with them.
    Our OCR moderator changed this year as well. Previously we had a business studies teacher, but now we have an actual ICT teacher who is pushing us harder to produce higher quality work (mind you, we swopped the one chosen for us, who thought we were the other school in our town, and stated that he would have to be at our place for 2 days, and that he didn't hold much hope for any of our kids passing seeing what he saw previously - kicked up a bit of a fuss on that one).
    So the moral is it CAN be a good course, but I also know it is there mainly as a way to boost point scores.
     
  2. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    I suspect not - this is a 4 1/2 year old thread
     
  3. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    Bug ger !
    Was getting a bit excited at the thought of some poorlyaimed flaming being directed by the rodent-one.
    Still, like the rapture, we await the second coming...
     
  4. The world did end on Saturday. We just didn't notice...because as ICT teachers we were already in Heaven....;-)
     
  5. gavcradd

    gavcradd New commenter

    It's interesting re-visiting this thread again. I actually feel that the "new" Nationals equate to MORE work than a standard GCSE. With Nationals, you'd have to do two large projects (say, Unit 1 and then databases), then a smaller multimedia project (video editing?).
    Most GCSEs now have two projects (a database one and a multimedia one - seem familiar?) and then an exam that is so full of one word answers and tick boxes that a Y9 student could get decent grades with no teaching.
    Plus, with the Nationals you actually have to pass all 3 pieces of work to get an overall pass grade - 2 distinctions plus a fail grade is a fail overall. With GCSE, if you get full marks in the two pieces of coursework, you can flunk the exam and still get a C overall.
    I think people get too hung up over perceptions without looking at the detail.
     
  6. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    Much more as chasing the <strike>expletive deleted</strike>s for work is becoming more the norm than the exception.[​IMG]

     
  7. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    so you've not seen the thread on the Wolf report that seems to give the ok on Nationals as a vocational qual (which have been positively talked about accordin to thread) provided it was limited to 1 GCSE equivalancy only.
    I agree with the consensus that multiple points award is a bad thing. The result from this is that <u>some</u> people are just teaching the only 'do this, do that' in order to get it done in time. This devalues what the rest of us are doing, and like any bad-news-story is what comes out first when you say OCR Nationals.
     
  8. ICT Don

    ICT Don New commenter

    As I and others queried on the previous thread with no response; where in the report does it mention this? I have a copy and would like to refer to the pages where this is stated.
     
  9. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    If you look at Recommendation 3 on page 113, it talks about the contribution that non GCSE course make to the point score of a pupil, and that it recommends, quote;

    Recommendation 3: Non-GCSE/iGCSE qualifications from the approved list
    (recommendation 1 above) should make a limited contribution to an individual
    student&rsquo;s score on any performance measures that use accumulated and
    averaged point scores. This will safeguard pupils&rsquo; access to a common general
    core as a basis for progression. At the same time, any point-based measures
    should also be structured so that schools do not have a strong incentive to pile up
    huge numbers of qualifications per student, and therefore are free to offer all
    students practical and vocational courses as part of their programme. (See also
    Recommendation 26 below)
    Recommendation 3 is designed to ensure that all KS4 students are guaranteed a broad
    core curriculum, such that they can progress to a wide range of post-16 academic and
    vocational options; but also to ensure that academically successful pupils are given the
    chance to take practical courses. One possibility might be to set a maximum (eg 25%) to
    the number of points that can be contributed by non-GCSE awards, while at the same
    time limiting the number of formal examinations whose points can be averaged and used.
    There of course remains a risk that some schools will, as has happened in the past,
    effectively write off some of their least academically successful students, and park them in
    vocational courses irrespective of whether these &lsquo;count&rsquo;. Recommendation 26 below is
    also offered for that reason. Giving GCSE points to any and every vocational option is not,however, a way of helping such pupils (as opposed to their schools). For those without access to the report rec1 says (page 112);
    Recommendation 1: The DfE should distinguish clearly between those
    qualifications, both vocational and academic, which can contribute to
    performance indicators at Key Stage 4, and those which cannot. The decision
    criteria should be explicit and public. They will include considerations of depth
    and breadth (including consultation with/endorsement by relevant outside
    bodies), but also assessment and verification arrangements which ensure that
    national standards are applied to all candidates.
    Seeing the new curriculum has been passed by the QCA in terms of the national standards, depth, etc, I think OCR meets the test of Rec1, and my own views expressed were those similar to Rec3 (maybe a bright future lies in store writing reports for HMG).
    The report also mentions the damage done to the reputation of vocational qualification due to overloading on points scores and poor moderation. As I've said in the post, our moderator the dogs dangly bits and pushing the limit with us, and that this COULD BE SO GOOD, it just needs that bit more thought behind it to getting it to run smoothly.
     
  10. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    By the way, Rec26 talks about provision for SEN pupils and the fact a school should not only publish a whole school figure for 5 A*-C, but a top quartile figure and bottom quartile figure too.
     
  11. ICT Don

    ICT Don New commenter

    Thank you. Still not sure that the Nationals have long to live.
    I think what this may all mean is that some small vocational provision shouldn't be ruled out. However I have a feeling they will not be GCSE equivalent and will be counted as a seperate measure. Schools will be free to do them but they will only count for as some new measure.
    Public perception will be that they are not GCSEs so they are worthless. Much as is happening at my school at the moment. GCSE ICT numbers are higher than OCR Nationals in ICT.

     
  12. You need a girlfriend.

    " If you look at Recommendation 3 on page 113, it talks about the
    contribution that non GCSE course make to the point score of a pupil,
    and that it recommends, quote;

    Recommendation 3: Non-GCSE/iGCSE qualifications from the approved list
    (recommendation 1 above) should make a limited contribution to an individual
    student&rsquo;s score on any performance measures that use accumulated and
    averaged point scores. This will safeguard pupils&rsquo; access to a common general
    core as a basis for progression. At the same time, any point-based measures
    should also be structured so that schools do not have a strong incentive to pile up
    huge numbers of qualifications per student, and therefore are free to offer all
    students practical and vocational courses as part of their programme. (See also
    Recommendation 26 below)
    Recommendation 3 is designed to ensure that all KS4 students are guaranteed a broad
    core curriculum, such that they can progress to a wide range of post-16 academic and
    vocational options; but also to ensure that academically successful pupils are given the
    chance to take practical courses. One possibility might be to set a maximum (eg 25%) to
    the number of points that can be contributed by non-GCSE awards, while at the same
    time limiting the number of formal examinations whose points can be averaged and used.
    There of course remains a risk that some schools will, as has happened in the past,
    effectively write off some of their least academically successful students, and park them in
    vocational courses irrespective of whether these &lsquo;count&rsquo;. Recommendation 26 below is
    also offered for that reason. Giving GCSE points to any and every vocational option is not,however, a way of helping such pupils (as opposed to their schools). For those without access to the report rec1 says (page 112);
    Recommendation 1: The DfE should distinguish clearly between those
    qualifications, both vocational and academic, which can contribute to
    performance indicators at Key Stage 4, and those which cannot. The decision
    criteria should be explicit and public. They will include considerations of depth
    and breadth (including consultation with/endorsement by relevant outside
    bodies), but also assessment and verification arrangements which ensure that
    national standards are applied to all candidates.
    Seeing
    the new curriculum has been passed by the QCA in terms of the national
    standards, depth, etc, I think OCR meets the test of Rec1, and my own
    views expressed were those similar to Rec3 (maybe a bright future lies
    in store writing reports for HMG).
    The report also mentions the
    damage done to the reputation of vocational qualification due to
    overloading on points scores and poor moderation. As I've said in the
    post, our moderator the dogs dangly bits and pushing the limit with us,
    and that this COULD BE SO GOOD, it just needs that bit more thought
    behind it to getting it to run smoothly. "

     

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