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I can't understand why anyone is still using QCA units!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Marshall, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    They are so out of date and there are so many good alternatives out there.
    PS - they were never interesting in the first place!!!
  2. beethan31

    beethan31 New commenter

    I used them as an NQT to get me started with ideas, but our school has totally ditched them now and our curriculum is much more creative, often using the children's ideas. They are positively frowned upon now!!
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    We use them still. Great for starting points and for splitting learning objectives into lessons. Also good for ensuring progression through the year groups.

    I assume slavishly following them might be frowned upon, but have no real idea as we don't do that.
  4. What is a good alternative? I am trying to re-do the activities from the QCA Units but I'm struggling to think of alternative activities to cover some of the objective.

  5. The QCA units are very, very outdated. The QCA has even said sometime ago not to use their units as they are just not good enough or today's teaching. As for alternatives, see what the curriculum asks for.
  6. Just as a matter of curiosity: why were they good enough for yesterday's teaching?
  7. They were good enough because they were thorough in their content. Creative curriculum is great but can be an excuse for some fairly wishy washy teaching and progression of skills being ignored. This is the second time I have seen a creative curriculum and had hoped that it would be thorough as that way it would last but have seen some really tenuous links on plannng and because we teach year groups we don't look carefully at the previous yeargroups to ensure an appropriate progression in skills and knowledge.

    What is needed is to look at not the one unit of QCA but to read the units in the previous 2 years and the following year. Once you have understood those then adapting QCA becomes easy as you start from a real understanding of what is being taught in the subject. Few teachers can be bothered or to be fair , have the time.

  8. Does anyone have any more stimulating units/schemes that are more up to date and interesting than QCA?
  9. WolfPaul

    WolfPaul Occasional commenter

    I just can't understand why anyone is still doing "creative" topic work. It is just so 1970s.

  10. jog_on

    jog_on New commenter

    As with all schemes, there are good and bad things. If schools continue to use them, I don't see it as a problem as long as they aren't followed strictly, which most people don't do anyway.
    I think the Science units are very handy.
  11. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Excellent post!
  12. Me too, but I would love to view a different scheme of work/whole-school overview if someone is willing to share.
  13. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    there are no new scheemes that i have found, although i have found new interpretations oh the same materials.
    The whole point is topic creative work was abandoned because it was felt the material was not robust and children where not being taught what it was felt necessary.The reality was teachers slavishly followed this scheme introduced and up till a few years ago you ignored it at your peril.
    Now the pendulum has swung again and in the 'new' child led curriculum is dominant and teachers are expected to let children desires,decisions, and interests lead the curriculun( in my mind another recipe for disaster)
    I dont feel we should abandon QCA, but use them as what they where intended, a guide to the content deemed necessay to help children understand and areas of learning.
    I just came across my old topic work of the 1970's which was loosely based on a theme and i realise how insubstantial some of it was to the content demands of QCA. Whether what replaces it depends upon the creative talents of many young teachers, and as many have been brought up within the subject led curriculum,even in training places, it wil be interesting to see if they can adapt/////although it might make a fortune for textbook writer
    Best of luck as i remember how hard it was to develop such topics back in the 1970's lol
    Maybe i should put my old topic webs and learning on a resource base..or sell them lol
  14. Can't agree with the first post. 'Good alternatives' do not exist - t least not in science. The QCA units give an excellent framework for content - but please do as we have always done and ADAPT them to suit your style and your classes/schools. It gives a good basis for what to assess pupils on too!
  15. I have used the Hamilton Trust science schemes although they are very lengthy - I was wondering what other people thought of them? They do have some good resources but again I wouldn't follow them to the letter.
  16. BrightonEarly

    BrightonEarly Occasional commenter

    If you are dipping into the QCA units for Primary German or French, my collection of free online activities may be of interest to you. Currently, there are 395 activities for Primary French and 444 for Primary German, which I have written to support the teaching of the QCA units.
    Click on French or German as appropriate on the home page of my website and see for yourself:
  17. Hamilton are confusing sometimes and the resources are not really up to scratch.

    I used the QCA as a student and thought their progression and objectives were spot on. I liked the way they gave you the key questions but left you to find the resources. Exactly what you need. You can be creative for the 21st century by putting new films etc into the planning but not losing the academic rigour and need for progression in year groups.

    Bring back the QCA
  18. Waiguoren

    Waiguoren Occasional commenter

    I am glad to read a thread with people defending the QCA. From some comments I'd been reading recently I was feeling uncomfortable admitting that I use them. Usually what I do is take the QCA and then add or swap activities as I see fit. I think it's a fine idea to have the government give us a set of programs and yes, I agree that the QCA are a lot of help in giving you continuity and thoroughness. Quite frankly, nobody ever told me what it was I was supposed to be teaching! Without the QCA it feels like I have to guess, look to others for help, make it up as I go along and then get slapped down if some inspector sees me doing something that goes against his arbitrary expectations.
  19. Waiguoren

    Waiguoren Occasional commenter

    Thank you very much, BrightonEarly, they look most useful!

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