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Stupid Question about iGCSE

Discussion in 'English' started by kts1966, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. I must be extremely dim ( or over tired from exam marking!) but the whole iGCSE has passed me by.
    I have read both threads and still can't quite understand. Is it a 'full' GCSE?
    I have been reading 'Level1/2 GCSE' as 'half of a GCSE'
    We do AQA with year 10 sick of CA's so some clarification would be great.

  2. thebigonion

    thebigonion New commenter

    IGCSEs <u>are</u> full GCSEs.
    They are not counted by the DfE when it comes to totting up your school results - a Grammar school not far from me one year had a 100% 5 A*-C rate, with about 70% A*-A, but a 0% 5 A*-C including English & maths rate simply because they did IGCSE maths.
    That was one for the Ofsted bods to ponder...
  3. We've been assured that Cambridge IGCSE counts towards both League Tables and the EBacc. We're going to be starting with Cambridge as of Sept. IGCSEs are full GCSEs.
  4. thebigonion is correct about IGCSEs not being counted by DfE, however the qualifications everyone is looking at have been rewritten for UK state schools.

    The English Certificates do count as the equivalent of GCSE English - as other posters have said, Cambridge and Edexcel have already recieved the nod from DfE as regards their contribution to 5+ GCSEs A*-C (E/M). AQA will hear at the end of the month, and I guess WJEC will hear around then as well.

    A point worth noting is that although they count as GCSE English equivalent, they don't fulfill the full NC requirements for English. The boards have said that they 'sample' NC requirements. The idea is that you would take an English Certificate and maybe an English Literature Certificate (or GCSE English Lit - AQA are happy for you to mix and match).

    If you were doing an English Certificate on its own, you would need to think carefully about how to fit in study of Shakespeare, etc if you wished to adequately fulfil statutory NC prog of study at KS4. It wouldn't stop you doing Eng Cert as a standalone, you just might need to put in some content that wasn't actually on the exam.

    Now there's a novel thought...
  5. To update your post rshakey, you may be interested to hear that the DfE has now approved the AQA
    Level 1/2 Certificate in English Language for funding, which will be administered in the same way as
    funding for accredited GCSEs.
    Now that funding is confirmed, the points for A*- C grades and inclusion on the league tables will follow,
    and will be the same as they are for a GCSE. We hope to make a similar announcement for the AQA
    Level 1/2 Certificate in English Literature shortly.

  6. Contrary to our previous post and prior understanding, the AQA Level 1/2 Certificates do not
    currently qualify for league table points or funding for 14-16 year
    old, although they do qualify for funding for students post-16.
    You may also be aware that the AQA Certificates were omitted from the government's recent statement of intent.
    is not to say that they will not ultimately be granted performance
    points but indicates the government may follow the advice of Professor
    Wolf and running all new qualifications as a pilot before they are added
    to the list of qualifications for performance tables.
    we recognise that this may limit the number of schools that are able to
    teach the AQA Certificates this year, with some missing out on this
    opportunity for at least the next two years.
    We are now in
    discussions with the DfE on this matter as we have a proven track record
    of assessment at ages 14-16 and believe that the AQA Certificate is not
    only comparable to the offerings of Edexcel and CIE (who have their own
    Certificates on the list) but offer additional benefits, as a result of
    being designed from the ground up for the UK market.
    The DfE has launched a consultation
    which we hope will influence their decisions on this and other new
    qualifications. We would encourage schools to give their views.
  7. for what it's worth we've gone for the camb IGCSE precisely because we hated the CA experience this year - not only was it as stressful as the coursework from the previous incarnation but it left the kids at the lower end of the spectrum with such rubbish marks going into the exam that they wouldn't be able to get a decent mRK. our kids do a lot better in exam than they do in coursework and the whole one-shot dimension of the CAs left them seriously disadvantaged. What bothers me most is that there will be a whole two years of kids across the country who will not have great English grades (that they would have had before) just because of the CA much up. The world of work isn't going to appreciate that and they will suffer.

    I didn't mind the marking, it was not any more demanding than coursework marking previously, but I did object to the rules about notes being so confusing and non consistent across exam boards.

    all in all IMO the kids in CA years are being stuffed up by them.
  8. My colleague Traycie has nailed it! We are starting CIE iGCSE in September and have all been enrolled an an e-training course - more of that anon. I have got some CIE material if anyone wants to glance at it. I have uploaded it to the resources zone...

  9. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    Forgive me for not understanding this at all. When approached correctly, CAs are much closer to exams so if students do better in exams than they did in coursework, why has CA been such a disaster? Why worry what other schools or exam boards are doing in terms of notes? Why can't teachers just teach students the skills of producing notes which are helpful in terms of thinking about what to include in an answer, in the way that you would hope they would do in an exam?
    A number of teachers seem to be considering the jump to iGCSE to get away from the CAs and do all terminal exams. If CAs are approached as mini-exams, what's the problem?
  10. A marathon open book exam assesses different skills to a one to three hour closed book exam. It also requires a whole different level of resources to support.

  11. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    AQA's Literature exams are either open book or extract-based. CAs are very similar in that students have unannotated texts to work with and have prepared the texts during lessons. They should be using the same skills for both ie - read the title of the question/assignment, select appropriate material from the text, plan the answer quickly then write it.
  12. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    (from previous curtailed post)

    As far as I can see, the only real difference is that students have considerably more time to write the CA response.
    As with any new specification, the change is always problematic for some and it generally takes a couple of years for teachers to find out how to do it best. I am convinced that most of the concerns around CA will have disappeared in a couple of years' time (of course, CA itself may have disappeared by then!)
  13. Yes, agreed. You'd think the kids would see that too but they don't.
    to them four hours writing a comparison of a poem to a shax text is hellish and VERY scary. no matter how you prepare them for it they approach it more with a coursework mindset rather than an exam one - they just do. well in my school anyway.
    Yes again agreed there should be no issue if the teacher has taught them to write good solid notes and then they apply them well, rule say you cant help with notes simple apporve or remove the ones they present. you can guide them with general hints but you cannot tell them what to do. the notes may not look like an essay plan so anyone who turns up with notes that resemble this style has to have them taken away. IF the students don't meet your request for submission the day or so before so you can check them and they can have a chance to do it again if it look like a plan then they are stuffed. AND once the essay is begun they cannot bring in any extra stuff so if it isn't there on minute one of hour one they go without. Sadly, being children and not sensible adults, they get all panic stricken and all the skills you have taught them go out the window and they make mistakes. It is not like a terminal exam as the writing is for a sustained period on one question, not a number of questions in one sitting, and there is a distinct lack of stamina for writing at length. it is also very hard/impossible to fit in a 'mock' of the long essay so that you can prepare them for the actual thing - as we would do with terminal exams - as again you have to pick a completely new question for the actual CA and so basically repeat the preparation and writing/marking stage - that takes practically a whole half term to do well and there isn't the space in the timetable to do this twice and still cover all the other stuff needed for the exam and other CAs. In short it is a time munching nightmare to try and prepare them with mock essays for CAs. the short creative/descriptive are fine - you can do mocks and prepare well. even the two hour text one is OK - the big issue is the long task and the panic that they get into even thinking about it. They also have to be written in school - so the kids are out of their comfort zone and can't always apply themselves well sat in a classroom. We toyed with the idea of having the exam set up of desks in the hall but it wasn't workable around all the other requirements on the space.
  14. boy - should have used some more punctuation in that.

    anyhoo - can see your points but for me they were rotten and we are well rid.
  15. manc

    manc New commenter

    What is 'they' - the last poster's points, or something else?
  16. manc

    manc New commenter

    'Anyhoo' - now I'll never know. Curses!
  17. they was in reference to CAs sorry for the lack of clarity - it was a bit of a relief fuelled rant. :)
    feeling much more rational after 6 weeks of bedrest...
  18. If students have done, say, OCR Literature and CIGCSE, would this count towards the
    5 x A* - C with Eng and Maths? I can't seem to find an answer to this question. I am assuming
    IGCSE wouldn't count unless the students were also entered for a Lit exam? We have students
    who have arrived late that we want to enter for IGCSE, but can't find any guidance on whether
    the Lit has to be done with it to count in the 5 x A* - C EM measure, and if so, can any Literature
    course count or does it have to be IGCSE Lit? Hoping someone can help as I haven't been
    able to get a sensible answer out of the exam boards yet!

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