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OCR Nationals and Creative iMedia in light of the Wolf report

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by HappyHippy, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. I had a letter today stating that OCR Nationals was being rejigged to include 25% terminal, external assessment, there will be a new Distinction* grade and students will be entered for both L1 + L2 with the final grade and level being decided at the end of the course (presumably L2 D* equating to A*, L2 P equating to C, L1 D* equating to D and L1 P equating to G).

    Although the form of the assessment wasn't clear (I'm hoping for a practical test) and the issues over single, dual, triple award status is not resolved this at least gives me the confidence to make decisions about what options to offer.

    The Creative iMedia team, on the other hand, have said nothing and have ignored email requests for information. With time for a decision fast running out I have a horrible feeling that offering what has been a fantastically fun and engaging course is going to be untenable.

    Anyone have any input they could share?
  2. In order to comply with the new DfE regulations there must be a fully 40% external assessment component (i.e. "an exam bit"). OCR and Edexcel are clambering like mad dogs to get their qualifications accredited with the 40% 'exam' component on their vocational courses.
    As for Nationals well. Like many in the ICT community, I've been very vocal against Nationals. I continue to advocate that the safest bet is to avoid them. The tide has turned with the government - the only "safe" qualification is GCSE [great :( ] Overall, what's the point in taking a risk - putting in hard work to create a new programme of study with a new spec only to find out the government keeps pulling the rug from under your feet with league table regulations.
  3. tonyuk

    tonyuk Occasional commenter

    I have just finally had an answer from OCR on Creative IMedia in that it is being redeveloped and will, by the sound of it, will have an external assessment and be graded so no more single grade!
    Hoorah can now teach this to all abilities and at last to echo the previous poster a good qualification!
  4. tonyuk

    tonyuk Occasional commenter

    Would agree with that for Nationals but can not be that for Creative as these things dont exist in it!
    Could be create a spider diagram of your ideas or a story board etc could be interesting I feel!

  5. HI tonyuk
    Could you please tell me what you got in the way of your answer from OCR, that led you to believe creative iMedia will have an external assessment component and graded scale?

  6. The main thing is that they have to do that in order for the qualification to count in the league tables. Without that, the take-up will be practically nil.

  7. gary_scott

    gary_scott New commenter

    I spoke to the lady in charge of imedia at Bett at the OCR stand. She told me the course was being re-developed but may not be ready for Sept, possibly the year after. She said that there were no plans to change the structure so it would stay as a Pass / Fail course equivilent to 2 B's at GCSE. Apparantly many of the units will be very similar to as they are now. So positive news that it'll still be about and will end up on the league tables, not so good in my opinion that they are still going to keep the pass/fail and not do something like the nationals have done in their revamp with the Distinction*/Distinction/Merit/Pass. If its not being changed before Sept then there is a good change I will not be allowed to offer it any more :(
  8. From what you [gary_scott] say iMedia WILL NOT be going on the list of vocational qualifications that will count towards performance measures as the DfE website states
    "Qualifications will only count if:
    • they offer pupils proven progression into a broad range of further qualifications or careers post-16, rather than narrowing students’ options
    • they are the size of a GCSE or bigger
    • they have a substantial proportion of external assessment and require students to use knowledge across their subject
    • they have grades such as A*-G (those with simple pass or fail results will be excluded)."
    From: http://www.education.gov.uk/inthenews/inthenews/a00199719/all-vocational-qualifications-to-be-judged-against-strict-new-rules
    As you state iMedia will still be a Pass/fail course then this will not meet the above.
  9. ***.

    That effectively tolls the death bell as far as my school is concerned. We run this as a double option and getting one GCSE out of it would represent bad value for us. Getting none (as far as performance tables go) would be akin to committing suicide.
  10. I spoke to someone at OCR yesterday and have been in email contact with Alison Pearce who will be furnishing me with more details on Friday I hope. All I've got at the minute is that the BETT story is not what Alison was giving out.

    SLT are trusting me to make a call on this, but if it's a pass/fail with no external exam then my hands are pretty much tied. Fingers crossed - and I'll report back when I have news!
  11. gary_scott

    gary_scott New commenter

    I'm certain she told me it was still going to be a pass/fail course, in fact I asked the question directly. It was early on the wednesday, i basically went straight to the OCR stand and asked about OCR Nationals and iMedia. There is always the possibility that I've missunderstood but she definately said that it would be fine to go on the league tables and would have external assessment included. I too hope its not a Pass/Fail as that put good kids off from choosing it as an option at my place but I'm certain she said that was staying.
  12. gary_scott

    gary_scott New commenter

    Happy Hippy, Have you heard anything from OCR yet?
  13. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Most posters seem to be thinking about their league table positions. Thinking about the students for a minute, wouldn't an exam similar to BCS (or, indeed, Functional Skills) mean that they would leave schools actually having mastered the necessary skills, rather than having used them only once?
  14. A very good point.
  15. I am thinking of league tables, and I'm very sad to do it. I'd love to be the one school that sticks two fingers up and says that we're going to do what we think is best for the kids - but if let the figures drop our intake drops. OFSTED will come sniffing around to stop us from 'coasting', our funding will drop and we'll end up not being able to do all we can for the kids.

    I'm desperate to keep offering the course and I'm still hopeful - but no emails as yet. As soon as there are I'll make sure I post here - promise.
  16. gary_scott

    gary_scott New commenter

    Still no news Happy Hippy? What good customer service from OCR. I've got to have my option booklet done by next week with the course being offered. Think I may have to reluctantly stop offering iMedia if the news doesn't come soon. Would it really be too much to ask to have something from OCR? Even a press release or something would put my mind at rest. If we start this next year and its not going to count on the league tables then I'll be in a lot of bother. I was told at BETT the new course would count but there's nothing to say a new course will be here by September and nothing actually written anywhere! What a farce.[​IMG]
  17. Currently getting an Out Of Office response.

    I'm loathe to pull the plug, but my confidence in OCR is draining rapidly...
  18. From what I gather OCR will not know until the end of the month if Creative iMedia will count in the 2014 tables and if it does how long they have to redevelop it to fit the new criteria.
    I emailed their vocational qualifications mailbox and was advised they submitted the current one to be included until the changes have been made and was referred to www.ocr.org.uk/news/2011/item_050.aspx
    I dont think we will know either way till the DfE produce their list and OCR decides what to do.
  19. But OCR know that no grading system = no performance table ranking (or have I misunderstood that totally?).

    Given the above as true then all I want to know is whether they are planning to try and meet the new rules or not? The OCR Nats team said "Yes we will... yes we will... yes we will... here it is (subject to approval)". From the OCR Vocational team we're getting tumbleweeds...
  20. The boards can submit existing quals
    for inclusion on a temporary basis until they have the time to redevelop
    it, the list by the DfE will set out what will be included and for how
    long as far as I can gather. If Pass/Fail is the only thing a qual fails
    on it can be included still on a temporary basis.
    I believe the
    reason Nationals and some edexcel quals are not included in this was
    because the accreditation dates were coming to an end anyway.
    hope after all this is sorted we have a period of relative stability,
    this whole thing is ridiculous and means long term planning is a waste of

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