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How has the EBacc affected your departments so far? Let's compare notes.

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by marmot.morveux, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. marmot.morveux

    marmot.morveux New commenter

    Firstly, I shall have a dramatic moment! We've gone from obscurity to full responsibility because of the EBacc - arghhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Excuse me for that unprofessional moment!

    I'd love to know what impact the decision to award the Bacc has had on your schools so far....
    This is obviously going to affect us a lot and should we be ready for our depts to get bigger again? (That's those which were depleted the first time due to optional languages!!!!) My guess is next year in our school non-specialists might be drafted in to fill the void...
    Am I right in thinking that the EBacc figures will be shown for the first time this January?

    Now that's frightening, only about a 1/6 of our pupils take an MFL and lots are 'C/D' borderline candidates.' Even the year 10 coming up are similar figures. As for our year 9s they've just been asked to retake their options. Impact? None really, I don't think they understand the impact of the EBacc despite it being explained to them. Hardly any of them have changed their options though I've managed to change a few of their minds. I can envisage however, when times get tough at some of the top universities, they will start to stipulate 3 As at A-level plus EBacc.

    So, what has happened in your schools so far? It would be interesting to compare notes.
    MM
     
  2. Where I am, however, there is a lot of competition for Secondary Schools - 1 town, 5 secondaries. SLT therefore believe that we need to be following this idea because, if we don't and the others do it will make us look like our pupils are able.
    Personally, I put my ideas forward, and (believe it or not) these were actually the ones that have been decided.
     
  3. marmot.morveux

    marmot.morveux New commenter

    I think it will be interesting reading when the tables come out in January - we'll see what they say then! The problem is, we are competing against two language colleges [​IMG]
    MM
     
  4. slick

    slick New commenter

    With targets for the number of students doing triple sciences, specialist schools subjects, MFL, Humanity subject..... this all adds up to one curriculum that I did when I was at school and considered "academic". Nowadays there are other courses that offer a wider range of focus and interest for students.... and being MFL trained, I have changed my opinion about all (or most) students being forced down the MFL route. 10 years ago, my answer was yes. Nowadays, having taught for 15 years now, I have become like older colleagues who see this new initiative and wonder how long it will last and what's the new game that we have to play in schools.
    Education is all about jumping through hoops, no love of learning and a narrowing of the curriculum at all levels to produce parrot-trained students able to recite the MFL for example... with limited understanding of the grammar.
    Oh my....
     
  5. Agree with Slick to a certain extent. We have gone down to 0.4% doing French GCSE in Y10, and only 7% doing Spanish.
    We have been told that they want to bring it up to at least 50% doing an MFL...
    Problem is... they gave the current Y9 options, believing at the time in a 3-year KS4... and pushed a huge amount who could have done MFL into BTEC Media... leaving just enough (2) classes worth in order to fill up the current 2.5 members of MFL staff's timetables.
    History and Geography has gone the same way - it was virtually disbanded into 'Opening Minds' - a skills based curriculum.
    SLT are giving the impression that all is well - just a case of a few minor adjustments - but it seems to me that re-building these departments is going to be a monumental effort.
    To add misery to misery, we only have 2 x 90 minute lessons per fortnight with our MFL classes. In many cases, they are on 2 consecutive days, so 180 minutes on Tuesday and Wednesday of Week A, for example, then nothing for 12 days. Disastrous.

    (*** holds head in hands... ***)

     
  6. Geekie

    Geekie New commenter

    Does the fact that it'll be included in January's league tables not convince them?
     
  7. slick

    slick New commenter

    Science has featured in league tables, there was a target for MFL above 50% (?).... we are a Performing Arts School as a specialism and there are targets there.
    The main figure is still the A*-C in Maths and English.... and in my school this will continue to be the case for a long time to come... socially and economically deprived area within a selective system (the boys and girls' grammar schools are both "outstanding schools" with excellent exam results.... ) and with 40% of the school on the SEN register.
    To add another target of MFL is a challenge- (results in my school are always excellent.... hard-working department with students wanting to study French or German.... and we are excellent at moving grade D to C... and in recent years have achieved more top grades as well..... difficult with mixed ability teaching but getting there!)
    I am awaiting the next initiative...... will be here in 3 years?
    Whatever happened to the KS3 Strategy?
     
  8. marmot.morveux

    marmot.morveux New commenter

    But the data will be in a different format though won't it? A headline EBac figure is different to separating out the figures.
    MM
     
  9. yasf

    yasf New commenter

    Will it?
    It's what we are all hoping for - but until the white paper becomes law we are unlikely to see the final result.
    Interestingly it looks as though it's actually the better SLTs that are hanging fire rather than giving a knee jerk reaction. I reckon it'll take a good year or so before the overall effect of the Ebac becomes apparent. And that's of course if the Condem govt. doesn't collapse in the next 6 months or so over one issue or another. . .
     
  10. Im afraid its going to be maths, english and Science. The goverment intend to report Science in the basics indicator from next year.
    I agree that it seems to be strategy after strategy ... most annoying
     
  11. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    The English bac league table will become the predominant one over the next few years. This is what is driving change in schools. The traditional 5 A* - C including maths and English will gradually disappear, or at least become far less prominent.
    Incidentally, whilst I welcome this boost for languages and humanities, I fear the achievements of pupils and schools with pupils who find these subjects hard will be devalued. As ever in England we are torn between academic rigour and valuing vocational subjects. The pendulum is currently swinging back towards valuing traditional subjects, and with undue haste and little discussion.
     
  12. We are very lucky in that all (except for a small minority) do a GCSE in MFL. To answer sashh's question, I have a partially deaf student in Year 11, she has already completed her French GCSE in Year 9 and is about to finish her Spanish GCSE. Her speech is slightly impaired, although she will do the speaking exams and she does the listening exam in a slightly different way. We contacted the board to explain this and we put a note in with her papers and marks. Hope this helps.
     
  13. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    There is a review of 'technical subjects' which hopes to ensure that these subjects are valued and are not 'dumbed down' either with endless writing on planning and evaluation etc. I think M Gove is reversing the idea of child centred learning back to subject centred learning and I can't believe I agree with him but I do.
    I understood that performance markers on the E-Bac will be issued in January 2011. The figures will start low and so year on year they will show improvements making the Tories look good. I understand that you don't need a law to issue statistics.
     
  14. HelenMyers

    HelenMyers New commenter

    I welcome the ''carrot' for getting the more able to continue to do languages .. but there still isn't any incentive for those who are not going to get a 'C'.
     
  15. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    There is something a little odd about using the league tables to get schools to change their curriculum. I can see that Mr Gove wishes to give higher value to some subjects, but at the same time he is allowing academies and free schools to devise their own curricula. This does not seem to stem from a clear vision of a what a good curriculum should be. Does the government wish to impose certain subjects or not? Unless this is clearly spelled out the current reforms will appear half-baked.
     
  16. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    Because he is a Conservative I think he is caught between two stools. A belief in the importance of intellectual development for all through academic rigour and a desire to free professionals from the direction of the state. So half baked is a danger! Look how much the culture in education has changed that we pretty much expect to have the curriculum dictated to us by politicians!
     
  17. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    Conversation with DH this afternoon: advice to HTs is to make no changes until White Paper becomes more - continue to offer a broad and appropriate curriculum:to each student according to his/her abilities and interests.
     
  18. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    Hello Random175
    You are right that we have come to expect the curriculum to come from government. I don't find this unreasonable in itself. I would not agree with total laissez-faire. In the pre NC days, the curriculum was like the British constitution. It ran on tradition and in some schools it looked a lot like it does today, but I do see the need for some kind of core up to 14 at least. I'm not sure we can trust all schools to deliver a broad, relevant and demanding curriculum.
    As an aside, I thought we missed the boat in 2000 when we failed to broaden post 16 provision to any great extent. Mr Gove seems to be a "gold standard A-level" type, so I doubt we shall see such a broadening. As a country we remian pretty exceptional in this regard.
     
  19. In the other thread on this point I commented that I wondered if schools might take the E-Bac (EBacc?) issue into their own hands by continuing to focus on results A*-C including English and Maths and playing down the importance of the Ebac - any thoughts from your schools?
     
  20. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    Our school at the moment is taking things seriously. It looks like we will increase the number of students taking languages because certain students are to be 'encouraged' to choose the e-bacc. Our present up-take is very low as children take the easy option.
     

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