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Supporting lower attainers in GCSE Combined Science

Discussion in 'Science' started by gillian_lindsey, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. gillian_lindsey

    gillian_lindsey New commenter

    I work at Collins as a science commissioning editor. I have a query about how best to support lower attainers in the new climate where BTEC does not count in performance measures and for GCSE science exams from 2018 there is increased content and increased demand (including recall of equations).

    I would like to ask if you could spare a few moments to complete a mini survey (only two questions!). We value your input to planning our resources.

    Here is the link

    All feedback welcome!
    Many thanks
    Gillian Lindsey, on behalf of Collins Learning at HarperCollins Publishing
  2. hitherejen

    hitherejen New commenter

    Would love to hear the feedback you got on your survey if possible.

  3. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    It's a shame that BTEC is going because it is ideal for the less able. It just should have to be compared to GCSE for performance measures.
  4. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    Agree with compassman! Unfortunately too many senior leaders in school saw this as a way of improving their GCSE equivalent results and in doing so often instructed staff to do what ever possible to fix the coursework so that students could get C grades. This was BTECs undoing, lack of trust in the grade outcomes, Gove got rid of anything to do with coursework. At the end of the day this was a management faux par which potentially has left a whole group of students at the mercy of an exams only system which is not what they are good at or suited to; history should have at least taught us that!
    Practical courses were always about 'the student can do that' evidenced by the assessor, that process was sabotaged by may I say corrupt, ambitious and downright dishonest senior leadership in schools only interested in meeting their target of GCSE's.
    Something will need to be done to allow these students to access further education - GCSE is not it!
    Compassman likes this.
  5. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Very true our Grade Cs and above went from about 57% to 92% as soon as BTEC was introduced (along with some very dodgy practises with the coursework).

    One member of SLT told me to pass a group of pupils who hadn't done all the coursework saying "we'll get them in next week to do it" I refused to do this. It's that kind of thing that was the death of all coursework BTEC which is a shame as many of the pupils loved it. The BTEC Science exams but I though that lower ability pupils getting a level 1 BTEC gave them something. However, because a level 1 is an equivalent to an 'F' then SLT said they could show x levels of progress or whatever so they are doing GCSE and struggling (and will probably get an F or less anyhow)
  6. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Does anyone know anything about the AQA technical award? I am working with kids weho have missed a lot of school, and who just won't be able to cover 2 GCSEs.
  7. peterdevon

    peterdevon New commenter

    We are hoping that the AQA STEM Technical award may be suitable for less academic kids that struggle with the more academic combined. But the information leaking out from AQA is not encouraging: there isn't any! Whenever I ask them for an update, they say they can't say anything yet. It is not going to be ready for teaching this September nor probably next. I think the problem is Ofqual who don't want to make an easier qualification. After all, the purpose of education is to fail less able students.

    Isn't it?

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