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New GCSE specs....how's it going?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by HappyHippy, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. No thanks. I've taught the AQA AS for several years. You may be right, but we're sticking with AQA for now and I have enough to do. Likewise, when a pupil misses a deadline and says "But... such and such happened... ask me mam!" I'm not going to do that either. :0)
  2. gavcradd

    gavcradd New commenter

    Sigh... I've had this argument elsewhere on another thread. Call me old fashioned, but I want to offer GCSE for the 14/15 year olds and then offer them AS/A2 when they move into our Sixth Form. I teach AS Computing and I'm looking at the GCSE Computing spec and the difference in what they produce is massive. Yes, the programming skills that they are expected to gain are very similar, but only a small subset is ever tested in the GCSE assignments. The theory side is also massivey different, as you'd expect it to be - the questions, obviously, being much simpler on the GCSE Computing examination.
    Anyway, back to the question. For GCSE I can wholeheartedly recommend the AQA GCSE spec - easy to mark, well structured, good support from the board.
  3. I have plenty of experience teaching Computing A-Level and I'm taking a few groups of high ability students through the GCSE pilot. There is a big difference between the two - do not anyone fool you that a level 2 course is the same as level 3! Anyone who says this is clearly uninformed or hasn't got the direct experience. The last post as spot on. The programming required is very challenging at GCSE and equally challenging at AS. However the A-level has much greater breadth and depth than the GCSE through all study topics. The GCSE can be a great course (depends your vision and programme of study), mine are enjoying so far.
  4. I've posted some resources to the resource bank (mostly binary stuff) and also some to Mukoku (mukoku.vl3.co.uk). Not by any means full coverage but it might be of some use.
  5. Thanks for all the input. We are likely to be going with the Edexcel new GCSE ICT. Anyone out there have any experiences of this they would like to share? Good or bad!......
  6. We started teaching the EDEXCEL GCSE 2010 this year and I've found it quite difficult to get my head around - Marking is difficult and the CABs (Project Briefs) are fairly vague - although students are expected to go through it on their own I find I'm having to constantly stop the class to show them examples similar to those in the CAB.
    The layout for the course is to do a large teaching block and then let them get involved in the coursework on their own for 40 hours - in reality you end up doing a lesson on, say Spreadsheets, then let them replicate this to the spec of the CAB.
    The GCSE 2010 is similar to DiDA but with non of the planning and a shorter review - these marks are made up in the exam - have a look at the sample exam papers, maybe test some of your current year 9s with them to see how they fair (my year 10s dropped 2-3 grades on a mock I gave them) .
    I have been looking for another school to swap samples with but to no avail.
  7. We are doing the AQA course and are finding the same - we have to start - stop - start - stop through the coursework, setting near identical tasks to a bit of the coursework, helping them through it, then getting them to do the real bit of the task on their own, and then repeating for the next bit. It's all very silly really and the pupils are beginning to hate the ICT teachers for making them do this!! We tried to get them to the tasks on their own, magically assuming that they could gain the knowledge, but that idea fell quickly flat on its face. I am beginning to wonder who the *** were who came up with this idea of controlled assessments. This was so predictable, that teachers would have to duplicate tasks to get them to do them without help.
    Year 10 fill out a sort of non commital pre-indication of who will be selecting A Level ICT in September at our school. It helps us plan a bit and gets them to start thinking about options for next year. Our pre-indication numbers are down 30% compared to the pre-indication numbers last year (and that was down on the previous year). When asked, the reason was that they hated the coursework and ICT and don't want to do more of the same boring repetitive stuff - they will take some convincing to change their minds I think.
    Any ideas on how to make A Level ICT sexy for pupils who are doing AQA GCSE ICT, peeps? I really need some good ideas or we will be making some teachers redundant soon!
    Thank you.
  8. We have gone with the CCEA spec - Irish board, the controlled assessment instructions seem much more straightforward than OCR who we were originally favouring. Done half the first task and seems okay so far. Board very helpful. Again we are doing similar but different tasks that the board have supplied which are helpful. Also question papers lve on the Internet so have pointed students in their direction to have a look at them. I got very bored at the AQA launch meeting so did not go for this one.
  9. Hi there,
    With regard to the Edexcel GCSE ICT, have you had a chance to view the Assessment guidance document?
    This breaks down each of the activities and highlights how students might meet the assessment criteria.
    It is also worth mentioning that the CAB activities are self contained and it is possible to take a break between each activity.
    There is no requirement to get students to work for 40 hours on the controlled assessment.
    Also, 40 hours is the maximum time allowed to complete the CAB.
    I would be happy to help with any aspects of your delivery of the new GCSE ICT.
    You can contact me directly on ICTSubjectAdvisor@EdexcelExperts.co.uk
  10. ictLad

    ictLad New commenter

    We are running the new AQA ICT spec and the new OCR Computing Spec. I have handed off the ICT class to my colleague and she says that it is going well, the pupils I have asked seem fairly happy with it all too. I personally am running the Computing spec and I love it, something to get my teeth into and the kids are really enthused by it. The coursework MAY be a bit too simple for some of them (I reckon I have about 50% of them nearing completion after only about 8 hours of work) but overall it is still a very enjoyable course.
    As for teaching an AS level in Computing over two years, yes I think it would be possible BUT I can see two problems with this idea
    1) SMT would never go for it, I think the idea of doing an AS in place of a GCSE would freak them out
    2) I fear it would have a negative impact on AS numbers in Computing, why would they take it when they already have it?
  11. Thanks for all the replies - going to go for it with Edexcel!

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