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Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by godsowncounty, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. Hi

    I just wanted to see what others school have done regarding the new GCSE syllabus for AQA. Our head of department seems to thinks it's fine with just adding a few topics onto the end of the current schemes of work and calling it done.

    I am extremely worried by this as I know of other schools that have spent months updating schemes of work. Are many people using the timelines form the AQA site?

    I would be interested to see what other measures schools are putting in place with regards to the new weighting to certain topics and the emphasis on problem solving.

    All responses welcome
  2. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    In many ways, having been through too many new GCSEs, I'm with your boss on this one. If your SoW is doing its job well now, why ditch it? Why throw out the baby with the bathwater? A significant proportion of content from the new GCSE is the same; what's different can be added to the mix at appropriate points. The big difference is the complexity of the problem solving and that will require a change in approach, amongst other considerations some matching resources.
  3. Colleen_Young

    Colleen_Young Occasional commenter

    Agree with googolplex.

    Yes we need to think about problem solving skills and also think of the implications for KS3, many of the newer elements eg functions / Venn diagrams etc can be introduced there as well as a more problem solving approach for our younger students.

    In case it's useful: GCSE New Content
  4. krystyna647

    krystyna647 New commenter

    We are using the timelines from the AQA site. I think the most important difference from the way we taught the old GCSE is to prepare students to use the skills they have in unfamiliar situations. We have invested in a set of Collins AQA textbooks written for the new specifications, and the way they phrase their questions really does aid this.
    On a slight side note, what proportion of your students are following a foundation scheme of work? I am a new HOD and am a bit worried about getting it wrong. I know the exam entries are a way off but I have come across a bit of opposition from maths specialist SLT when saying that we might have to consider entering a higher proportion of students for foundation. With the old GCSE, if they have any chance of getting a C then they get entered for higher, but I think that we need to give it more thought with the new exams, given the progress 8 measure.
  5. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    For the Foundation question: we used to have set 5 only (10 students out of 110), those unlikely to get a C grade, doing Foundation.
    Now we have sets 4 and 5 (25 students out of 110) doing Foundation, set 5 aiming for Grade 4 (or lower), set 4 aiming for Grade 5.
  6. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    The issue of tiers of entry is the big unknown with this new GCSE. At the various meetings of HoDs I've been to over the past few months, alongside trying to fathom current and predicted performance grades for students, choice of tier is the thing that most are worrying about. In the past few years, the proportion of Higher Tier entries has risen emphatically so that, as I understand it, something around 85% of entries are now at Higher. This, more than anything else, resulted in a big hike in the Edexcel C boundaries at Higher Tier since they presumably can only allow a certain proportion to gain that C.

    The new GCSE substantially increases the demands at Higher. Even so, I've heard Heads of Maths asserting that the changes make it more likely, rather than less likely that they will enter their students at Higher. If the tests remain at the standard shown in the specimen papers, this seems a bizarre position to take. My view is that there will be a dramatic shift towards foundation which looks rather like the old 'intermediate tier' from a number of years back but with more problem solving.

    Adam's figures are interesting but I needed to have a quick look at the context of his school to make sense of them. His school seems more skewed above average than ours. We have about 280 in the year currently with about 235-240 doing Higher. For year 10, I’m currently thinking that will fall to about 180, possibly fewer even than that on Higher. But I'm open-minded about the eventual choice, currently teaching a whole bunch of middle sets the Upper Foundation/Lower Higher topics, either looking to consolidate these in Year 11 or, for those who cope, ready to blast with selected 'Higher only' topics aiming for the Higher tier. It's a question of how we draw the line - as Adam said: target 5s at Higher knowing they're going to be feeding on scraps, or do we save Higher only for those who have a chance of the 6?

    What we need is greater clarity and that can only really begin to happen once students start sparring with those practice papers. I fear there will be some very low scores, even for those aiming for 5s, and some very demoralised students. It would be nice to think that the tier didn't matter but in reality it does: as ever, the final choice will be a very important strategic decision. We'll only truly begin to appreciate the best routes once those first results flow in, summer 2017.
  7. bobdrivesahgv

    bobdrivesahgv New commenter

    We've bought a new SOW but it contains topics we were told will not be examined.

    Somewhat confused now.

    For example, is stem and leaf in the new syllabus, or not?
  8. DHoD07

    DHoD07 New commenter

    Our current year ten are not doing so well in the termly assessments! Is anyone else experiencing this?
  9. fellis19

    fellis19 New commenter

    Completely agree, I haven't done Stem and Leaf or Frequency Polygons but they have appeared on Edexcel Sample papers - how do we find out ??

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