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Discussion in 'Science' started by excess, Dec 5, 2018.
I attended the science PiXL conference today.
Any news that you care to share?
Why wasn't it a virtual conference. I assume from the name it has something to do with IT?
Not specifically IT. From my experience, PiXL are chief snake oil salespeople; schools and HTs have to sign up (and presumably pay) to join the PiXL "consortium" which entitles them to access some PiXL resources and attend "conferences" at London Whitehall. The resources are equivalent to one author's TES resources (so really dependent on whether that subject specialist's style suits you) and the conferences just seem to be a way of spreading management speak and new acronyms; mock exams have become PPEs (pre-public examinations) specifications have become PLCs (personalised learning checklists) and revision is DTT (diagnosis, therapy, testing). Don't think I learned anything else form the one I attended.
My analogy is that PiXL are like a MAT that can't be bothered with actually taking responsibility for a school. They'll reinvent the wheel a couple of times and plaster it with management speak to try and hide the fact that they've increased your workload by asking you to do something that you already do.
PiXL has its fans as well as its critics. Certainly, when it was first set it up, it would advise schools on ways to boost their position in their league tables including mass entry in BTEC Science, multiple entries for English and Maths GCSEs and switching students to take IGCSE English.
PiXL are like most things in the educational world - you need to take what works for you and run with it. There are as many different styles of teaching as there are teachers. Generally I've found their stuff to be pretty good/worthy of adapting to match how I teach.
Averagedan hits the nail on its head.
Take what you like, tweak what you can and leave the rest.
However, they couldn't answer the question about allowing grade 3 or 3-3 in 2019 exam results.
It would depend on how many will end up on a U. They did recommend though, to enter your 5-5 for foundation.
There will be a grade 3 for Triple (this was planned for last year regardless of how the entries work). There are no current plans for a grade 3-3 on Combined and it is unlikely that OfQual will allow the extra grade being added following the results.
ScienceGuy - have you got a source for the information regarding it being unlikely there will be a 3-3 on the 2019 HT Science exams?
Another positive vote for PiXL from me. I have been to the last 5 Science conferences and always bring back something useful. In the early days they were all about ways to make entry decisions work in schools advantage however as this is now mostly not possible, it has become far more about getting results out of students. Its usually nothing particularly groundbreaking but the resources they produce are generally good and are often useful as is. It would only be snake oil if their strategies didn't work - our Maths results would suggest that this is not the case!
At the last conference there were over 1000 Science teachers in attendance - that is a lot of schools represented. It makes exam boards and publishers listen and in my experience has been a force for good.