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Three year GCSE courses - do you run one?

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by Andy Mitchell, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. Andy Mitchell

    Andy Mitchell New commenter

    Over the past few weeks I have been responding to requests for help from teachers approaching the D&T Association asking for information they can use to include in Y8 option booklets as they run three year GCSE courses. The minimising of KS3 to two years and the extension of KS4 courses to three seems to have become popular. I think I understand the reasons why although I don't agree with them.

    If you are one of those schools, I'm guessing what you say to potential students and parents regarding the GCSE specifications that will be taught for the first time from Sept 2017may be causing you some concern. But it needn't do. What are you doing own your school?
  2. jarvisp

    jarvisp New commenter

    What about 45hour rule????
  3. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    @jarvisp there is no getting around the 45 hour 'guideline' but a three year course allows for more focused work in preparation for the Controlled Assessment or time to prepare for the examination. I personally see it as the 'emperors new clothes'. If you introduce GCSE style work into the Year 9 curriculum you are effectively doing the same thing. The only benefit I can see is that, as a whole school initiative, students drop subjects they don't want to study at GCSE and have more time to focus on their DT work. The flip side is that I have taught many Year 8 students who are adamant they don't like DT only to 'change their opinion' after completing Year 9 projects. If it had been a 3 year course I would have lost them and that would be a shame. I personally don't think many Year 8 pupils are mature enough to make that decision, but that's just my experience.
  4. Andy Mitchell

    Andy Mitchell New commenter

    The answer is really straightforward and will manifest itself everywhere over forthcoming years: teach 5 year courses. Obvious really and a return to what was originally conceived when GCSE was introduced in the mid 1980s.
  5. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    But wasnt DT compulsory back then Andy? Likely to be a lot of resistance to students beginning a 5 year course many will not finish. As long as the eBacc subjects are given higher priority I fear DT will struggle.
  6. HuwG

    HuwG New commenter

    This is an interesting conundrum...what did you find on Facebook to answer the question? (link to other thread!?!) We now run a three year course and I have found it better with more skill focused time in preparation for/ but still insisting on the 40/45 hours to undertake the coursework. With D&T time being squeezed in KS3 we felt it was the only way to go to get better grades.
  7. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    I've been doing the 3 year GCSE for a good number of years. Cram Y9 full of skills and making, keep them occupied on making stuff and they'll be far more ready for project work in Y10

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