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igcse

Discussion in 'English' started by Johnfrank63, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. I've just been sent info about the AQA igcse in Lang and Lit. I notice it has coursework! Why is it allowed for this and not for the normal GCSE? Am I right in thinking that the igcse is meant for A* - C students at posh schools? It all seems very dodgy to me - why should it be regarded as a better option for students than the standard GCSE - AQA even advertise it as allowing more teaching time without controlled assessment!Are we going to end up with some kind of two tier O Level / CSE scenario? Or am I being paranoid and suspicious? Any light thrown on igcse will be appreciated!
     
  2. The government have lifted restrictions on state schools offering IGCSEs now and AQA have just had their IGCSEs in Lang and Lit accredited by Ofqual. They are however awaiting confirmation from DfE by end of month that they will count towards league tables/5 A*-C figures/English Bac etc... Cambridge and Edexcel IGCSEs already do though, I think, so I can't see that should be a problem. An increasing number of state schools, including ours, are considering opting for IGCSE from Sept as the lack of CAs and the refreshingly skills-based and flexible specs mean that they are potentially more inspiring and, perhaps, better in terms of getting the grades out of pupils of all abilities. The criteria look straightforward and the coursework seems good preparation for both Lang and Lit A Levels.
     
  3. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    I mark an IGCSE English (first language) for Cambridge. This particular one is "extended" tier - A* to E.
     
  4. I'm going to be doing Cambridge IGCSE Eng Lang and Lit from this coming Sept as I only have the students for max 2 and a half terms so feel that these courses are the better option for the time I have. I like the fact that there's no CA and that the coursework options are flexible. The only thing i'm not really that keen on is the poetry in Lit for UK schools - seems heavy going...
     
  5. Anyone can offer an academic qualification and anyone can sit one. So if the Ayn Rand Institute offered certificates in Atlas Shrugged then an independent school could choose to enter its pupils, they could get the certificates, and employers could attach whatever value they wanted to those certificates.
    Until recently government banned state schools from offering the IGCSE, which was leading to a two-tier system - one set of exams for the rich and another for the poor. This was unfair to intelligent and hard-working state school pupils.

     
  6. manc

    manc New commenter

    I note the WJEC IGCSE introductory conferences are all fully booked, which tells its own story.
    Teachers and pupils hate the CAs and are voting with their feet.
     
  7. manc

    manc New commenter

    Really, manc, that's interesting.
    Yes, isn't it?
     
  8. So my question is this: Why should anybody stick with the current GCSE specs when by doing the igcse(approved by the government to be acceptable as A* - C English qualification) they will have:
    2 Exams papers
    2 pieces of coursework
    rather than
    3 exam papers
    and FIVE controlled assessments?
    Aren't the current specs already dead in the water?
     
  9. I hope I can shed some light on this, as I have been 'investigating' the possibility of changing from AQA to the Cambridge's iGCSE in September 2011. We are certainly not a 'posh' school and our Y10s are sick of doing one CA after another! We did a trial with a group of Y10s last month to see whether the course was any good, and now await the results in August. It was lovely not to do the CAs and the Lang exams were straightforward.
    There is only one drawback as far as I can see. Look at this statement from AQA
    "We are pleased to announce that Ofqual have accredited the AQA Level 1/2 Certificates in English Language and English Literature (iGCSE), for first teaching from September 2011."
     
  10. Can I also add (to my post above) that the Cambridge Level 2 (iGCSE) is made up of
    - 20% S&L (pair talk, group work and presentation). This must be recorded.
    - 40% Reading exam (higher or core tier)
    - 40% Writing - THIS IS A CHOICE OF TWO OPTIONS, WHICH IS A GREAT PLUS POINT!
    1. 3 creative pieces of coursework (the old fashioned way - though one first draft must be included in folder)
    or
    2. A writing exam

    When you compare this to the new GCSE with the millions of CAs, it is fantastic. I just hope we can get around the name.
     
  11. We're considering the same, with Edexcel. It helps that our Year 9s are really nice, and deserve the best possible course, which is mostly certainly NOT the current WJEC or AQA GCSE specs. Awful, awful courses.
     
  12. manc

    manc New commenter

    Agreed.
     
  13. i-mod

    i-mod New commenter

    AQA IGCSE is not meant for A*-C kids from posh schools. It has an F Tier. Check out the accessibility of questions - there's some good thinking about what helps kids at different levels. And lots of freedom of choice for texts and tasks.

    As for coursework - I don't know. Perhaps the ghastly Gove has to agree to some "freedom" of choice in these things. It could be better than his freedom to think the same way he does.
     
  14. In Essex, we're viewing IGCSE as a genuine alternative to conventional GCSE English. One or two English departments have already taken it up, but there has been a lot of interest. So much so, that we've got all four major exam boards coming to an IGCSE English conference in July. We've also put a lot of information on our blog: englishmattersessex.blogspot.com, which you might find useful.

    If you live near Wickford in Essex you can book on our course if you want, although we've had to put a small charge on the event to cover our overheads.Details on the blog as well.

    Sorry to self-promote, but I thought it might be of interest to people.
     
  15. We have just gone for the CIE IGCSE in Slough for next year Yr 10 - both lang and lit. The lanfg is a fully accredited IGCSE (0522) the lit an ICE, which has equivalence.
    The choices within the course are quite wide and we are looking forward to a rigorous exam based syllabus with no CW at all. The anthologies for study at lit are interesting and we are hopeful that this will prove a success. If anyone wants to get in touch to discuss/share ideas specifically I am at jwp@sloughgrammar.berks.sch.uk and would welcome some input/feedback/suggestions/support...

    Jonathan
     

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